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Doug Clark: Amy Biviano vs. Matt Shea, the race that keeps on giving

The tipster called me midday Friday with two eye-popping political developments, namely that 4th District state legislative candidate Amy Biviano appeared topless in a 1995 Playboy magazine spread.

Five words immediately came to mind.

“Well, it’s about damned time!”

(Contractions don’t count.)

See, I’ve been around politics a long time. And the mantra of every politician is that they have “absolutely nothing to hide.”

Which always turns out to be an utter falsehood when candidate so-and-so is found to be heavy into cross-dressing or addicted to toilet stall sex in airport men’s rooms.

And those are just Republicans.

So this is the first time in my recollection that a candidate really does have NOTHING TO HIDE!

I confirmed this by staring several minutes at the photograph of Biviano, which appeared in Playboy’s “Women of the Ivy League.” The future Spokane Valley Democrat was a junior at prestigious Yale University when Playboy came calling.

In the photo, Amy Nabors (her maiden name) sports scarlet scanty panties and a greenish cardigan that is in serious need of closure.

Those must be the college endowments we always hear about.

Anyway, those of you who are considering a career in politics can see the censored version of the photograph that I saw by going on the right-wing Western Center for Journalism website.

And by censored I mean that Amy’s nipular areas have been obscured by the same black bars that are often used to cloak the identities of drug lords and Mafia informants.

Anyone wanting the real deal, say, for a term paper or personal gratification, can purchase the original October ’95 Playboy on eBay for a $5.99 “Buy It Now” price.

This is money well spent judging from the magazine’s cover, which features an interview with “Snoop Doggy Dog” and a hot naked babe (not Biviano) who is holding a red blanket that is festooned with the banners of Yale and other Ivy League institutions.

Yale, of course, is the same center for higher learning that was attended by both presidents Bush as well as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Although to my knowledge, no magazine ever offered to pay them under $500 for posing in the buff, either separately or in a threesome, praise the Lord.

But getting back to Biviano …

The now-married mother of two sons is embroiled in a testy battle with incumbent Matt Shea, the Road Rage Republican.

Who knew such a humble, nondescript contest would be a column gold mine?

Thank the bizarre and worrisome antics of Shea. He made this race the train wreck to watch long before the Biviano hooters were thrust under our noses.

Last year, for example, the conservative legislator was cited after he pulled a loaded handgun out of his glove box during a fracas with another driver.

If that wasn’t creepy enough, Shea posed for a smirking snapshot while standing in Biviano’s home driveway.

Shea then aired the photograph on the Internet, supposedly as a joke that nobody got.

The only positive thing you can say is that the boob kept his shirt on during the photo shoot.

What impact will this Playboy bombshell have on the Biviano/Shea race?

Plenty if Biviano would only take my advice.

During a long phone chat Friday night, I told Biviano she should have her Playboy photograph added to all of her campaign signage.

Do that and she will totally win the Valley mullet vote, which, as we all know, is considerable.

Biviano, however, rejected my plan. She’s obviously worried about potential liability from car wrecks caused by gawking drivers.

Posing topless for Playboy, she explained, was an opportunity for personal growth.

I wouldn’t touch that line with a forklift.

I’m betting the hubbub will blow over once all the news dies down and Bill Clinton stops calling to see if Biviano will autograph his Hefner bathrobe.

During our conversation, Biviano’s hubby, Andrew, took the phone away from his wife to make the following statement:

“I’m the luckiest guy,” he told me. “How many guys do you know who married an Ivy League-educated Playboy model who also happens to be the most wonderful person in the world?”

And that, my friends, may be the smoothest line ever uttered by a husband.

Doug Clark can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or