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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Clark: Bruised Bonnie bemoaning rough and tumble

Aw, Bonnie. Say it ain’t so.

How disappointing to learn that former Spokane County Commissioner Bonnie Mager has been spending her post-election days trying to wreck her laudable legacy.

Mager should be remembered as that singular Voice of Dissent on the last Spokane County Commission. The Democrat refused to join her pickpocket colleagues, Republicans Todd Mielke and Mark Richard, as they blew fat bundles of our tax money on a fool racetrack in Airway Heights.

But now Mager has put herself back in the news in the most foolish of ways. She is accusing Al French – the Republican who beat her last November – of libel.

This came about Tuesday in a 107-page complaint Mager made to the Public Disclosure Commission.

A hundred-and-seven pages! That’s impressive.

If only Bonnie had put such effort into running for office she’d still have her own courthouse parking spot.

Anyway, it seems her complaint covers a number of French-inflicted wounds that Mager supposedly suffered along the campaign trail.

Chief among the Mager Whine List, however, is a charge of libel that stems from a flurry of pre-election e-mails.

In them, French supporters wrongly claimed that Mager had “falsified” her application for some kind of farm-based property tax break.

It would be an entirely different matter if Mager were charging French with terminal shiftiness, say, or chronic oiliness. She might evoke some sympathy.

But libel?

Bonnie, baby. You’re a brighter bulb than that.

French is a politician. You are a politician.

You can’t libel each other.

Save for the most egregious of examples, our system has been painstakingly set up to allow political opponents to smear, tar, defame, malign and eviscerate each other in the most horrible of ways without fear of recourse.

It’s the American Way!

Complaining about being falsely accused of shenanigans over some boring farm tax break is like running to the emergency room over a skinned knee.

Given the nasty nature of the Internet, Mager should thank her lucky stars that pro-French bloggers didn’t twist the facts and have her running an Enumclaw-style bestiality ranch.

It’s a sick cyber world out there. That’s why I stay away from it as much as possible.

Besides, French didn’t even make the aforementioned incorrect falsification claims.

Always have your stooges do the dirty work. That’s Rule One for Mafia dons and crafty politicians

Hey, I’m totally speculating here.

The point is that French has plausible deniability. He won fair and square. He’s a commissioner now and far too busy screwing up county government to be bothered by a bunch of libel lunacy.

Well, I think we’ve all learned a valuable lesson today.

And that is that decent people have absolutely no business engaging in the cutthroat business of politics.

Decent people bruise like bananas. Decent people care about their reputations.

Politicians are the same jerks we hated in high school.

That’s what it says on the lapel button I had made and I’ll send a free one to the first dozen readers to e-mail or call me via the information below.

Libel? Don’t make me laugh.

The day we stop politicians from libeling each other is the day we stop having politicians.

On second thought, Mager may actually be on to something here.

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