Guest Columnists

The good, the bad and the completely ridiculous

Mr. Cranky’s election elucidations
October 26, 2022 at 5:00 a.m.

Guest Columnist

Editor's Note: Just in time for the general election, CDN is pleased to herald the return to NW Washington news pages the face and voice of Mr. Cranky, aka Alan Rhodes, who for many years brought smiles to faces of readers of our predecessor publication. We will be nagging him to keep sending missives from his semi-retirement.

When the Cascadia Weekly went down the drain last year, I was left without a gig. While the involuntary vacation was fun for a while, lately I’ve been suffering withdrawal symptoms from going 10 months without annoying anybody (in print, that is). So it’s time to brush the cobwebs off my computer and write something, and what better way to start than with some commentary on next month’s election?

U.S. Senate: Murray vs. Smiley. Patty Murray has considerable clout in the Senate, has been a champion of liberal values and a major force in passing important federal legislation, such as her work with John McCain on a pipeline safety bill after the Olympic Pipeline Company blew up Whatcom Creek. And Patty has, over many years, funneled billions of dollars into Washington state.  

Tiffany Smiley’s credentials are pretty thin, and it’s hard to come up with much that qualifies her to be a senator. Tiffany does, however, have a very appropriate last name, because she has a really nice smile. It’s highly unlikely she could defeat Murray, but she might have a promising future as a model for toothpaste ads.  

U.S. Congress: Larsen vs. Matthews. Bellingham’s leftier lefties hate Rick Larsen because he isn’t Bernie Sanders. Well, that’s true. He’s a moderate Democrat, so the far right hates him, too. Given how crazy everything has gotten in this country lately, moderation isn’t looking all that bad.

For a dive into immoderation, check out the campaign website of Larsen’s opponent, Dan Matthews ( Folks in the LGBTQ+ community might be interested to learn that Dan has come out solidly in opposition to what he calls “sexual confusion.” And anyone who wants to take a ride on the Nutball Express can click “My Message,” and read Dan’s monumental compilation of MAGAesque cliches with its sensational number of exclamation marks!!!!

State Senate, 42nd District: Shewmake vs. Sefzik. Last January the Whatcom County Council’s liberal majority appointed 22-year-old Simon Sefzik to complete the term of the deceased Doug Ericksen, mainly to keep Ben Elenbaas from getting the job. Sefzik seems a pleasant lad, but is probably much farther right than the image he projects. He is, after all, a graduate of Patrick Henry College, aka “God’s Harvard,” with assistance from a National Rifle Association scholarship.     

State Rep. Sharon Shewmake has been an effective legislator and is the only economist in that body. An economics degree seems a good thing to have when you’re playing with billions of taxpayers’ dollars. In her City Club debate with Sefzik, Shewmake mainly stuck to the issues, while Sefzik preferred the attack mode. He was also pretty dodgy, especially on the issue of abortion.

State Representative, 40th District, position 2: Ramel vs. Smith. Two Democrats are competing here. Trevor Smith is a dedicated union man, which is a good thing. Back before turning to writing, when I still had an honest job, I always belonged to a union. But Trevor’s focus seems a little narrow. The only endorsements on his website are from labor unions.

The incumbent, Alex Ramel, has a better grasp of the big picture, which is reflected in his endorsements — everyone from the Washington State Labor Council to Planned Parenthood to the Sierra Club. Alex has the advantage of already being in the Legislature, where he’s been doing a good job. As Aristotle said, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Well, maybe it wasn’t Aristotle, but it’s still a good rule.     

State Representative, 42nd District, position 1: Rule vs. Thompson.  Alicia Rule is wrapping up a successful first term in the state Legislature. Three of her bills were signed into law this year, including HB2051, which provides financial assistance to farmers and ranchers affected by flood damage. Alicia, by the way, is opposed to defunding the police.

I mention that last item because Alicia’s opponent, Tawsha Dykstra Thompson, portrays western Washington as a lawless hellscape. Granted, crime rates are up lately, but listening to Tawsha, it sounds like you’re taking your life in your hands by walking out to the mailbox. She blames this on the Legislature’s liberals who, as she sees it, are aiding and abetting scofflaws and thugs. She’s definitely pro-police, which is quite decent of her, given that the Bellingham Police Department fired her for refusing to get a COVID vaccination.

State Representative, 42nd District, position 2: Timmons vs. Johnson. Joe Timmons is currently the governor’s representative to northwest Washington, working with citizens, businesses, tribes and local governments. That seems like pretty good preparation for a step into the Legislature. Joe’s opponent, Dan Johnson, an extremely extreme extremist, is a Trump supporter. Mr. Cranky’s No. 1 Rule of Politics: Never under any circumstances vote for a candidate who supports someone who tried to overthrow democracy.

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