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Doug Clark: Election write-in Mr. Chicken has major ‘IT’ factor

Mr. Chicken, a 32-year-old sulfur-crested Australian cockatoo shown here with owner Jennie Willardson. (Doug Clark)
Mr. Chicken, a 32-year-old sulfur-crested Australian cockatoo shown here with owner Jennie Willardson. (Doug Clark)

The prelude is over. Once again, the primary election has performed its time-tested purpose of separating the lax from the lackadaisical.

Speaking of the 5th District Congressional race …

I couldn’t help but feel a bit sorry for Dave Wilson, that pie-eyed Independent who dared run vowing to “End the Gridlock!”

How out of touch can you get?

Dave, voters don’t want to end the gridlock.

If voters wanted to end the gridlock they wouldn’t keep re-electing* the same ol’ gridlock-causing incumbents over and over and over again.

(*Spokane mayor excluded. Although the Lilac City hasn’t had a repeat offender since wealthy blowhards wore spats, that’s from a satanic curse, not politics.)

My jaundiced observations of the political process have led me to believe that the people want Congress to be like one of those “Real Housewives” TV shows.

Filled with bickering, betrayal and a phony bunch of boobs, I mean.

So Wilson won’t get the chance to plant his magic beans and turn discord into harmony since only the top two primary vote getters continue on to the November Snake Dance.

Capturing less than 12 percent, Wilson finished a dismal third behind Republican incumbent Cathy McMorris Rodgers – at the top with over half of the vote – and Democrat challenger Joe “No Way/No How” Pakootas’ with 28.88 percent.

Wilson did, however, throw a lovely shindig downtown in a courtyard atop the Saranac building.

I crashed that gathering Tuesday night and was quite relieved to see the thrashed candidate in good spirits and in no danger of hurling himself off into the void.

And so the pipedream persists.

Does the candidate exist who could unite our forever-feuding government?

A candidate both major parties would respect and support?

A candidate who really might end the gridlock?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the perfect write-in name for Election 2014.

He is Mr. Chicken, the 33-year-old sulfur-crested cockatoo I met in Coeur d’Alene Park Tuesday night at a picnic supporting Bonnie Mager.

A so-called independent, Mager was running for a chance to get back on the Spokane County Commission, a job she held four years ago as a Democrat. Latest results, however, show that Mager pulled a Wilson and came in third.

I chatted with the candidate awhile and found her charming as ever.

Then, a few minutes later, I stumbled upon Mr. Chicken and his caretaker, Jennie Willardson, who were sitting at a table.

This suddenly turned into the best primary election ever.

You know how they’re always saying how A-list movie stars and big-shot celebrities have that compelling “IT” factor?

And by “they,” I mean the trashy supermarket tabloids that you pretend not to look at while you’re waiting in the checkout lines.

Well, that’s Mr. Chicken all over. I couldn’t take my eyes off this fine and feathered fowl.

And get this: Willardson said Mr. Chicken doesn’t bite, enjoys meeting the public and says things like “Where you going?” and “What time back?”

Mr. Chicken is already more articulate than John Boehner.

“I like cats; I like to eat cats.”

That’s a funny joke Mr. Chicken likes to tell when he’s warming up a crowd.

This is definitely the political figure we’ve all been waiting for.

And unlike the other birdbrains perched in Congress, Mr. Chicken has no concept of money. Toss him some birdseed. He’s happy as can be.


Remember what name to write in when the fall election rolls around.

Mr. Chicken goes to Washington. It’s a movie in the making.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by email at

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