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Election Day results cause more glee than Christmas

November 12, 2002|by TIM ROWLAND

The day after Election Day, I chanced upon a longtime political operative out at the gym. When he saw me, he got a big grin on his face and said, "Boy, did you hit the jackpot."

I tried to maintain a dignified countenance as I nodded my head, just once. "Yes," I said solemnly. "Yes, I did."

But to myself I was going Attention Deficit Disorder-turbo. I was like a kid who got too many toys for Christmas and doesn't know which one to play with first.

Ronald Reagan's famous litmus test was "are you better off than you were four years ago?"

Oh yes, I am. At all levels. County Commissioner? Are you kidding me? Let's see, just glancing down the list, Doris Nipps, for one, doesn't like the public spotlight and doesn't like attention.

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Hi, Dori.

Heeeeeere's Timmy!

And trading in John Schnebly for John Munson? In four years, Schnebly never gave me jack. He guarded against a wrong move more carefully than a beach ball at a porcupine picnic.

I thought, maybe, perhaps, the armor might be starting to chink when I noticed quotes in the paper where he was talking about himself in the third person. From O.J. Simpson to Bob Dole, talking about yourself in the third person is usually a good sign that the old Firestones are starting to come off the Explorer.

But then boom, Schnebly walked away from public office without realizing his potential.

What with all the John Howard litigation, now that Munson is in, a full 40 percent of the commissioners are suing themselves. That's gold. I'm praying he develops into one of those folks who says what he thinks without overduly burdening himself by thinking about what he says.

So if Munson wants to say that we should lay off county employees to pay off the sewer debt or that the lights in the North High parking lot should be turned off overnight to save a little money, I've got his back.

I'm not going to allow some member of "academia" with a lot of "credentials" to try to turn it around by saying the lights actually save money by discouraging vandals. Oh really, what is there in a parking lot to vandalize? Besides, of course, the lights?

Speaking of crime, you have to love Washington County voters. Outside of taxes, what's the biggest beef Republicans have with Democrats? That's right, being soft on crime. So in the contested races, who was the one and only Democrat we elected to countywide office? That's right, the sheriff.

By the way, bad career move on the parts of Bert Iseminger and David Russo, two erstwhile Republicans who felt as if their chances for election might be heightened if they switched to Democrat.

Talk about going off the high board after they've drained the pool, in a year when all you had to do to win was paint an "R" on your chest and say "Me no tax," riding the donkey was like a kiss from Tony Soprano.

Just look at these numbers (Democrats, cover your eyes): McKee 10,215/Perini 3,442; Shank 7,734/Russo 2,949; Don Munson 23,602/Newby 9,842. Munson himself had more votes than the Democratic candidates did in delegate districts 1C, 2A, 2B, 2C and 3B COMBINED.

Bob McKee had a theory about Election 2002: "Nice won, arrogance lost."

So how does this explain Alex Mooney?

But numbers don't lie; this wasn't an election, this was 49ers-Broncos, 1990. And it happened all across the country. I knew it was going to be a hard night for the Party of Whatshisname when I switched over to CNN and saw James Carville looking depressed. I'd seen him mad, irritable, uppity, jubilant, swashbuckling, angry, tumultuous, peevish, gregarious, bellicose, incredulous, thunderstruck, livid and outraged - but never depressed.

I hope he snaps out of it. He's the only thing left about national politics that I still enjoy.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.

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