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Doug Clark: Time in jail may be good thing for wannabe politicians

Spokesman-Review staff writer Pia Hallenberg moderates a Spokane Valley City Council election debate at Center Place on June 19, 2017. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

So two out of the four candidates running for a Spokane Valley City Council seat have reportedly spent time in jail.

I can barely express what a potential political game-changer this could be.

Any student of civics will tell you that we Americans tend to shy away from electing candidates who have already seen the inside of a cell.

We prefer to vote for grinning phonies who practically ooze with the appearance of squeaky cleanliness.

You know, the ones in TV advertisements where Candidate X is always shown standing next to his hot blonde wife, a former Miss Wisconsin, their 2.3 adoring children and Sam, a rescued golden retriever that was probably rented.

Then Candidate X takes office and starts picking our pockets and sounding like a moron.

That’s when we start hollering about throwing the lousy bum into the nearest lockup and tossing away the key.

Q: Why do you think so many distinguished members of the U.S. Senate wear pinstriped suits?

A: It’s so the shock won’t be quite so great when they’re led off to prison and the suit stripes turn horizontal.

First the elections – then the handcuffs.

It’s called tradition.

Take the Spokane City Council, for example.

Not one of these public servants have logged any time in a hoosegow. (Granted, there are one or two I’ve always had my suspicions about.)

These fine men and women have now established a lengthy track record of time wasting, blather, money wasting, more blather and not fixing the streets.

I think it’s safe to say the ol’ welcome wagon left for Cheney long ago.

At this point most concerned Spokanites would enjoy seeing the entire bunch wearing orange jump suits and picking garbage off a litter-strewn highway as part of a supervised work-release program.

I mean, come on. After screwing with the downtown parking meter rates, the Council has now decided to turn its collective wisdom on combating climate change.

Mark my words. We let these clowns mess with the weather and come November we’ll all be in a new Ice Age, fighting wooly mammoths and living in igloos.

And do you have any idea what it’ll cost to heat an igloo?

I’m betting the Council knows. Which would explain the following headline that actually appeared in Tuesday’s newspaper:

“Council will consider raising utility bills.”

I know what some of you are thinking.

You’re thinking, “But, Doug, what about Mike Fagan? He was the lone council member to vote against this climate distraction.”

True. But Fagan is guilty of guilt by association.

As my beloved mother used to tell me: “You’re no better than the company you keep.”

Plus every time you think Fagan might be all there, he starts with the nut job conspiracy talk about the dangers of immunization or that aircraft exhaust might be spraying weather-altering exhaust into the stratosphere.

So maybe it’s time we start electing politicians who’ve already got that jail part of the equation behind them.

Having that mug shot experience just might be the sort of “scared straight” motivation a politician needs to be more responsible.

But who knows?

As far as I’m concerned, just wanting to run for office is enough prima facie evidence to warrant psychiatric committal.

As that great philosopher Will Rogers once noted: “We always want the best man to win an election. Unfortunately, he never runs.”

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