February 18, 2010 in City

Prosecutors’ spat a delightful study in self-defeat

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker has axed his political rival and deputy prosecutor, Dave Stevens.

Nice knowing you, Dave.

And don’t let the door spank your legal briefs on the way out.

Poor Tucker. Our prosecutor obviously has no concept of that sage wisdom observed by Mafia bosses and attributed to the ancient Chinese general and military strategist Sun Tzu:

“Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”

Tucker wouldn’t know Sun Tzu from a Shih Tzu.

For the last 10 years he’s been running the prosecutor’s office under his own credo:

“Keep your golf clubs in the trunk of your car, and extra tees in your pocket.”

Besides being more fun to watch than an all-monkey rodeo, the latest prosecutor high jinks tell us a great deal about the cut of each man’s jib.

Not long after Tucker performed his Wednesday Dave-ectomy, I received an e-mail from the Stevens for Prosecutor campaign. The attached press release was only slightly less hysterical than the radio coverage of the 1937 Hindenburg conflagration.

“In a stunning move of political retaliation, Deputy Prosecutor Dave Stevens was fired…”

This Stevens quote really twanged my heartstrings:

“My wife and I have two young daughters at home and this whole process has been quite upsetting for them.”

All together now …

“Boohooooo!”

What a whiner. Stevens should have considered how upsetting “this whole process” might become BEFORE starting the political trash talk about his boss.

Flash back two weeks. Stevens announced that he’d oppose Tucker in the August primary. Both men are Republicans.

“Until I came here,” Stevens crowed, “I’d never seen a total lack of leadership. There needs to be a determined leader, not an absent administrator.”

Rumor has it that Stevens was also mouthing off a lot at work about how he would rearrange the deck chairs (not to mention the personnel) once he assumed command of the RMS Tucker Titanic.

Like Sun Tzu, I’d have kept Stevens around to look like the bigger man and to keep tabs on him.

Tucker’s hide, however, is thinner than cellophane.

So Stevens’ ouster should surprise nobody, least of all Stevens. According to one of our earlier stories, Stevens claimed Tucker told him last fall that it might be curtains for any employee who dared run against him.

Plus Tucker tipped his hand when he questioned why “the public should be paying somebody to run against his boss.”

So suck it up, Davey. Losing an $86,000 job in this economy would give anyone the dry heaves. But politics is cesspool business.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Never feel sorry for a politician. They’re mostly just older versions of the same social-climbing ass hats who bugged the heck out of the rest of us back in high school.

You know who’s loving this February freak show even more than I?

Frank Malone.

Malone is a longtime Spokane attorney. A Democrat. He has also launched his bid for county prosecutor.

True, a lot can happen between now and August. But if Malone plays it cool, he can kick back and watch Tucker and Stevens cannibalize each other faster than starving rugby players in the Andes.

Now that’s entertainment.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at dougc@spokesman.com.


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