BOISE – The Lorax, the “shortish and oldish and brownish and mossy” character with a “voice that was sharpish and bossy,” was created by Dr. Seuss in his 1971 environmentally themed children’s book by the same name, in which the Lorax “speaks for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.”
And it was the title of a quirky 2012 feature film starring the voices of Danny DeVito, Zac Efron and Taylor Swift.
But did you know that the Lorax was a write-in candidate for public office in Idaho, and garnered three votes in the Nov. 6 election?
“Idaho Lorax,” with a home address of “General Delivery” in Pocatello, submitted the necessary paperwork to the Idaho secretary of state’s office to be an independent write-in candidate for the Idaho Legislature in Idaho House District 29, Seat A. It – or he? – was the only write-in candidate to file for the Idaho Legislature this year.
In the Dr. Seuss book, the Lorax warns of destruction as all the Truffula trees are chopped down and turned into “thneeds” in a factory that belches out “Gluppity-Glup” and “Schloppity-Schlopp.”
Soon, not only the trees are gone, but also the “Bar-ba-loots” who fed on the Truffula fruits, and the “poor Swomee-Swans” who “can’t sing a note” because of the smog in their throats. Then there are the “Humming-Fish.” “You’re glumping the pond where the Humming-Fish hummed!” the Lorax warns. “No more can they hum, for their gills are all gummed.”
Warns the story, “The word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear. UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
Alas for the Idaho Lorax, though it got three votes, it didn’t come near winning. Democrat Carolyn Meline won the open seat, formerly held by Rep. Roy Lacey, D-Pocatello, with 7,971 votes. She defeated Republican Dave Bowen, who got 7,178 votes, and independent Bob Broker, who garnered 2,320.
Lacey won the district’s Senate seat, formerly held by Senate Minority Leader Edgar Malepeai, D-Pocatello, who retired.
Wrote Seuss of the Lorax, “I’ll never forget the grim look on his face when he hoisted himself and took leave of this place, through a hole in the smog, without leaving a trace.”
Barr, Claus get votes
Idaho also had 34 people file as write-in candidates for president of the United States, most of whom got no votes at all. But clearly the most popular of the group was Roseanne Barr, of Kamuela, Hawaii, who got 39 votes. Trailing her were Santa Claus, of Incline Village, Nev., with 12 votes; and Tom Hoefling, of Lohrville, Iowa, with 8 votes.
At the lower end, two candidates each got four votes: Idahoans Gerald L. Warner, of Moscow; and Chance White, of Pocatello. Trailing were Will Christensen, of Littlefield, Ariz., with 3 votes; and with one vote apiece, Ronald C. Hobbs, of Biglerville, Penn.; and Reverend Merepeace-Msmere, of Boise.
The tallies for the write-ins fell far below the six candidates actually on the Idaho ballot for president, all of whom got at least 2,200 votes, according to the final results. Republican Mitt Romney carried Idaho with 420,911 votes, 64.5 percent; Democrat Barack Obama had 212,787, 32.6 percent; Libertarian Gary Johnson got 9,453; Green Party candidate Jill Stein got 4,402; independent Rocky Anderson got 2,499 and Constitution Party candidate Virgil H. Goode got 2,222 votes.
Nuxoll: Let’s drop it
Idaho Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, whose touting of a tea party plan to upset the presidential election results through an Electoral College boycott got national attention after it was described in this column last Sunday, now says she’s ready to drop the idea, which experts said was based on a misreading of the 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
“I floated an idea out there on November 19 about the electoral college,” Nuxoll wrote in a message posted on Twitter. “Our country is a country of opportunity to discuss ideas and effect progress and change. I believe in less government, more opportunity and I will fight for that motto because of my love for this state and country and our exceptionalism. But there is no upside to division in our country now since we are all in this together. Some have rejected the idea, so lets drop it and continue on. To villify me because you don’t like the idea is unnecessary.”
ISP chief retiring
Col. Jerry Russell, director of the Idaho State Police since January 2007, plans to retire on Jan. 18. Gov. Butch Otter praised the outgoing chief, saying, “I regret losing him, but I know that one of his priorities has been establishing and maintaining a strong bench of leaders at ISP who can continue his great work. … I wish him the best in all his future endeavors.”