The Hammer

The Hammer, Vol. LXIV

Campaign cashin' and ranch romancin'
November 23, 2022 at 5:00 a.m.

By RON JUDD
Executive Editor

Just When You Thought It Was Safe: To loosen your grip on your wallet, even victorious candidates (not to mention any names, like Sharon Shewmake) are still out there fundraising. Shewmake emailed supporters Tuesday to pitch an “election wrap up and fundraiser” to help “close out final campaign expenses.”

Hammer’s Advice to Candidates: Get that campaign money upfront, even if, in the case of 42nd District candidates, you have to rent space to store it all.

Speaking of That: Shewmake’s Public Disclosure records indicate she has already raised $681,000 and spent $634,000. But clearly there are incidentals. 

Behind the Scenes at the CDN “Ranch-Off”: Here on State Street much has been made (and possibly much lost, via online betting) of the recent ranch dip contest held in our own digs. Suffice to say: The winning recipe, described in our food writer’s piece as “Ron’s” was far, far superior to all others, and possibly any ranch dip, anywhere, ever.

Full Disclosure: B. Hammer knows said “Ron” character quite well and has even been known to share an Old Fashioned with him on special occasions. Good fellow.

Even So: The amusing part of the contest was that Ron sort of gamed (others have uttered pejoratives including "cheated") the system, using a ranch mix — northwest classic Uncle Dan’s — as the basis for his recipe. For the record, this was not prohibited under the rules.

Nevertheless: This creative workaround — and a tremendous normal person's time saver — drew howls of protest, which continue, from runner-up losers such as the restaurant-trained Isaiah Roland, as well as Assignment Editor Audra Anderson, all of whom went to far, far more trouble to concoct complicated (i.e., more than three ingredients) ranch dressings later judged inferior by their peers.

What Can We Do: Except invoke former football coach Rick Neuheisel and say: “Scoreboard, baby!” 

One More on That: For actual behind-the-scenes footage of Ranch-Off One, see the reel on (Chinese-owned; hello, Xi!) TikTok under @cascadiadaily.

And Finally: In a recent survey of 700 residents who could not quickly come up with an excuse to do something else, Bellinghamsters en masse urged more tree canopy in the city. Interestingly, 19% surveyed said there's enough canopy already. And 1% said trees really oughta be scaled back. Thanks to the Poulan, STIHL and Husqvarna families for participating.


The Hammer is swung on Wednesdays or when ranch-off results are called into question.

Have a news tip? Email newstips@cascadiadaily.com or Call/Text 360-922-3092

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