Life seems to be one endless whine for Spokane City Councilman Chris Anderson.
I’m willing to bet that, as a child, Anderson was one of those pouty, lip-quivering spoilsports for whom the tennis net was always an inch too high.
Nobody probably ever passed him the basketball enough.
Should the other team score a touchdown, I picture a young Anderson hollering foul over some imagined slight and then storming home with his football tucked firmly under his indignant arm.
Anderson hasn’t matured much as an adult.
He blames political conspiracies for snatching away his jobs. Dark forces lurk behind every bush. Nobody ever treats him with quite enough respect.
His latest antics are classic whiny Anderson.
Some weeks ago, the councilman set off to win a seat on the County Commission. He campaigned as an independent, of course. What established political party could possibly be good enough?
Democrat John Roskelley won the primary, leaving Anderson a distant second by 6,000 votes.
He knew he had as much chance of winning the general election as Elvis had of coming back to play the Arena.
Anyone with a spine would have ignored the odds and seized the opportunity to address the public. Anderson instead called a radio talk show to boldly chicken out of the race.
Then he realized his name still was on the November ballot.
Anyone with a spine would have taken his whuppin’ like a man. Anderson instead wasted the county’s time and money by suing to get his name removed.
“The whole point is fairness to the voters,” Anderson, 43, told a reporter. “I believe a candidate who submits himself to voters for election to office should have the prerogative to remove himself.”
Anderson took his feeble argument to court last Friday. To nobody’s surprise, Superior Court Judge Larry Kristianson told the man he had no case.
Elections are serious business. You can’t drop out of a race just because your inflated sense of self gets in the way.
Despite all his conservative rhetoric, Anderson isn’t above using the system when it suits his ends.
In 1991, he filed for City Council despite not meeting Spokane’s two-year residency requirement. When that fact was uncovered, Anderson reluctantly dropped out of the race.
He had a legitimate reason to have his name expunged from the ballot. It would have saved the public from voting for an ineligible candidate.
Back then, however, name removal wasn’t in his interest. Leaving it at the ballot’s alphabetical top spot was a great way to fuel his political ambitions. Sure enough, although legally out of the race, Anderson took second place and nearly 10,000 votes.
A judge later disqualified Anderson from the general election.
Want a more recent example of this opportunist’s ways?
Last week, we learned city taxpayers mistakenly paid Anderson $920 in unemployment compensation.
Salaries of elected officials are exempt from such benefits. The city should not have paid a nickel. It’s not Anderson’s fault; someone else made the error.
But get a load of the councilman’s response. Asked if he would reimburse the city, Anderson said no way. “Most people who claim unemployment have no idea where it comes from,” he said.
Yeah, Chris, but now you do know. That money wrongly came out of the pockets of city taxpayers.
Wouldn’t a man with conservative values pay back his constituents in a heartbeat?
Nope. He’s taking this mistake to the bank.
“It’s not as if I was trying to sneak anything by,” added Anderson.