Once Around the Statehouse Lightly

Bless the Beasts of Brexit | 10-19-2018

We’ve heard the complaint that politics is going to the dogs, but in the UK earlier this month it was all true. That’s because, as Reuters reports , close to 1,000 dogs and their owners recently marched on parliament to call for a second vote...

Wanted, Dead or Alive | 10-19-2018

Bombastic brothel owner Dennis Hof may be dead, but he’s likely going to win election to the Nevada legislature anyway. That’s because, as KTLA reports , it’s too late to remove the self-described pimp and “Trump of Pahrump”...

Pot, Meet Kettle | 10-19-2018

Speaking of candidates who might generously be described as a bit off center...Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner appears to have the temperament of an agitated pit bull. Or maybe just a desperate pol trying to stay relevant in a race he’s...

Oh Mom, No You Didn’t | 10-12-2018

Oh yes, yes she did. University of Florida student Pieter Hanson was in the middle of a test recently when his phone started going off nonstop. Fearful something terrible had happened, he quickly handed in his test and headed for the hallway. But nothing...

Kinda Situation Normal | 10-12-2018

If you’re looking at the California voter guide for this November’s election, you might notice a glaring omission. Yes, as the Los Angeles Times reports , while the guide contains the usual candidate statement from GOP gubernatorial candidate...

Snap What? | 10-12-2018

Anyone who has spent any time walking in San Francisco can tell you the City by the Bay has a lot of homeless people living on the streets. A lot . And one of the myriad problems with that is that folks inevitably end up relieving themselves on those...

And They Are Never, Ever, Ever Getting Back Together | 10-12-2018

The ultra-far right has had a pretty festive last 18 months, what with feeling like they have a true friend now in the White House. But as the Washington Post reports , the hopes and dreams of a plethora of young white supremacists were dashed last week...

Til Couch Do Us Part | 10-05-2018

If you’re like me, you’re inclined to live by the adage of “out with the old and in with the new.” Well, thankfully for Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant some folks have no use for that. As the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reports , an old...

Youth Shall Be Served | 10-05-2018

Much has been made of the number of women running for state or federal office this year, but the ladies aren’t the only group of traditionally underrepresented folks making a run this year. As the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports , the younger...

All in the Family, Feuds Edition | 10-05-2018

Nobody needs to tell us that recent political events have caused huge riffs between friends and families on opposite sides of the political spectrum. But those feuds are not relegated to voters – pols are increasingly finding themselves crossways...

How Not to Moderate for $1,000, Alex | 10-05-2018

Future debate organizers might want to cross famed “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek off their list of potential moderators. Goodness knows the folks who put together the recent debate between Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and challenger Scott Wagner...

And The Winner Is | 09-28-2018

We’ve seen some great political ads over the years, but Minnesota Congressional candidate Dean Phillips has outdone them all. In a new video , Phillips uses the legend of Bigfoot to accuse his opponent – incumbent Erik Paulsen – of ignoring...

Safety While Selfying | 09-28-2018

Getting your first driver’s license is one of the great moments in life for most teens. And this being 2018, that means taking a selfie with their new license and posting it online. Alas, also because this is 2018 that opens the door to identity...

Get the L Out | 09-28-2018

Or better yet, get it back in. That’s the word from the folks in the New Jersey town of Lavallette, who saw something glaringly wrong on a new road sign state transportation folks erected on Route 37. As UPI reports , the contractor who made the...

God Save the Queen, and Send Me a Picture | 09-28-2018

Be careful what you tell folks they can get for free. Ohhhh boy. When the Australian magazine Vice reported recently that a quirk in the law allowed every Aussie citizen to receive free “nationhood material,” it was on. As NBC News reports...

All Cheese Politics Are Local | 09-14-2018

Me or you griping? Meh. The governor griping? Now there’s a call to arms! Case in point comes from New Hampshire, where the AP reports that a Londonberry Township resident took to Twitter to ask a local market to stop placing the price stickers...

Definitely Not Going Postal | 09-14-2018

State and local lawmakers used to dealing with homelessness issues know that one of the major aspects of that dilemma is public urination. And as city leaders in Paris can attest, it certainly is not a problem relegated to the U.S. As such, the City of...

Gone to the Dogs, In a Good Way | 09-14-2018

The tiny Kentucky town of Rabbit Hash (population 315) is mostly known for two things: the bunny-based meal that gave the burg its name and for having the best known country store in the Bluegrass State. That’s worthwhile enough, but there’s...

Ins and Outs of a Boycott | 09-07-2018

Boycotts are all the rage these days. Undies in a knot over Nike featuring former football player Colin Kaepernick in an ad campaign? Set your running shoes on fire and declare a boycott! Bent out of shape at In-and-Out Burger for sending the Cali GOP...

Friends in High Places | 09-07-2018

It’s good to be king, but it’s better to be friends of the king. Or at least the king of the commonwealth of Kentucky. As the Louisville Courier Journal reports , Charles Grindle, the state’s chief information officer, received a $215...

No Seal of Approval | 09-07-2018

Common sense ought to be enough to convince most people to leave wildlife alone, both for their own safety and that of the critter. But then common sense isn’t always so common. Case in point, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration...

It Beats Raising Taxes | 09-07-2018

Raising funds for civic works isn’t easy in small towns where the tax base is often more limited than seats on the DC Metro at rush hour. One dramatic way for burgs to gain some bucks is to let Corporate America have its way with them. This week’s...

Now That’s Hot | 08-31-2018

Government officials all over the world are feverishly working to figure out ways to mitigate the worst impacts of global climate change. In the meantime, we poor peons have to learn to deal with a rapidly warming globe. But if you think you have it bad...

And The Winner – and Loser – Is | 08-31-2018

That Ron Estes is a real winner. Ron Estes is also a loser. Wait, what? Yes, as the Huffington Post reports , Ron Estes was both the winner and the loser in last month’s GOP primary to represent Kansas’s 4th Congressional District. So how...

It’s Not the Lie, It’s the Cover Up | 08-31-2018

As Richard Nixon would tell you if he was here, the lie is rarely what sinks your ship, it’s the cover up. And now-former Florida legislative candidate Melissa Howard can vouch for it as well. As most folks have now heard, Howard’s run for...

Now We Can All Sleep at Night | 08-31-2018

With wildfires burning the state down amidst the usual end-of-session jamming through bills that really ought to have had a lot more deliberation, California lawmakers can point to at least one epic accomplishment: surfing is now the official state sport...

Giddy Up Go A Go Again | 08-17-2018

With the session winding down last month, Massachusetts lawmakers passed a bill extending authorization of the Bay State horse racing industry. But with the hour late and everyone exhausted, lawmakers neglected to send it to Gov. Charlie Baker, inadvertently...

Sick Burn, Dude | 08-17-2018

There is no love lost between Ohio Gov. John Kasich and the man who bested him to win the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, Donald Trump. The latest ruffle came after Kasich used an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” to argue that...

Feather Faux Pas | 08-17-2018

For New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the bald eagle feather he brought home was a fantastic memento of a great canoe trip he took with his youngest daughter. He liked it so much he placed that feather on the mantle above his fireplace. But as ABC News reports...

A Sign of the Times | 08-17-2018

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is good at ruffling more than eagle feathers. The Federal Highway Administration is also angry with him, this time over hundreds of “I Love NY” signs on Empire State highways. As the Associated Press reports , the...

Let There Be Soft Afternoon Light | 08-10-2018

There can be any number of reasons to object to a new high-rise apartment building going up in your community. Berkeley, California residents, for instance, are not thrilled about a developer’s proposal to build a five-story building that would...

For The Love of Puppies | 08-10-2018

Candidates often spar over which one loves certain things more than the other. The object of that affection in recent years has often been guns, but as the Chicago Tribune reports the Illinois governor’s race might hinge on something far more interesting...

But Do You ‘Like’ Like Him? | 08-10-2018

If this political year hasn’t already been weird enough for you, try this on for size: a Virginia Congressional candidate is denying his interest in legendary forest creature Bigfoot is sexual in nature. Yes, as Vox reports , candidate Denver Riggleman...

Something Here is All Wet | 08-10-2018

California’s raging fire season is totally because we don’t have enough water out here to fight fires because we wasted it by sending it out to the Pacific Ocean. At least that’s what a certain tweet-mad president opined on the social...

Sparkling City of the Roaches | 08-03-2018

Feel like your elected officials are not paying any attention to issues you care about? You can always take the tack that Corpus Christi resident Patricia Polastri took last month when she wanted to make a point to the “Sparkling City by the Sea”...

You Can’t Fix Stupid: | 08-03-2018

The English actor Sasha Baron Cohen has made a career out of mocking people who take themselves pretty seriously. His new show on the Showtime cable channel has drawn lots of attention of late for catching a plethora of political folks behaving in ways...

A Change Will Do You Good | 08-03-2018

For years Claire Conlon was one of the most affable, competent and respected Capitol staffers in Sacramento. But as anyone who works in a statehouse can tell you, the job can and often will grind you to dust. So a year ago Claire pulled up stakes and...

Rocky Mountain Putin | 08-03-2018

Visitors to the Colorado statehouse in Denver will find a wall adorned with portraits of America’s presidents. Washington. Lincoln. Roosevelt. Kennedy. Bush. Putin. Wait, what? Putin you say? The former KGB agent and notorious Russian dictator?...

Unsafe At Any Speed | 07-20-2018

There’s several kinds of stupid in this world. Driving darned near 100 miles per hour in a 55 zone, for instance. And then there’s the kind of dumb where said speed demon brags about it to the cop who pulls him over, and even claims to take...

All Aboard the Crazy Train | 07-20-2018

Since state primary elections tend to be dominated by each party’s most fervent followers, candidates tailor their pre-primary positions more to those extremes than they would in a general election. And to be real, some of those extremes can be...

Gov. Margaritaville | 07-20-2018

If you were looking for Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo last Monday, you needed to ditch the shoes first. That’s because, as CBS News reports , she opted to hold her usual Monday office hours at the beach. It was just the first of what Raimondo...

Noodle Needle | 07-20-2018

Things have sure gone downhill for the relationship between former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and President Donald Trump. Once at least willing to be nice to one another in public, these days it would be better to not invite them to the...

True Lies | 07-13-2018

To hear certain folks talk (cough, cough, everyone on Fox News), high earners can’t get out of California fast enough. They’re packing up and sprinting for the border – any border – as fast as their private fitness instructor-toned...

For Some Reason I’m Hungry | 07-13-2018

It’s bad enough when someone else gets your name all wrong, but the needle goes to 11 when you screw it up yourself. Case in point comes from Connecticut, where the Connecticut Post reports that a banner on the website for U.S. Senate candidate...

Now We’re Talking | 07-13-2018

As noted elsewhere in the issue, Maine Gov. Paul LePage managed for the seventh time last week to block the will of a majority of lawmakers and voters to expand Medicaid health coverage to an additional 70,000 poor Mainers. The matter is now in the courts...

This Will Make Holidays Awkward | 07-06-2018

Things may be about to get awkward around the Quiroa home in Providence, Rhode Island. As the Associated Press reports , David Quiroa Sr. is running for a seat in the Ocean State Legislature. As is David Quiroa, Jr. Ah, like father, like son! Well, sort...

Unclear on the Concept | 07-06-2018

Warren, Michigan Mayor Jim Fouts likes to say he is available to the constituents of his Detroit suburb around the clock. Well, maybe not so much. As the AP reports , Fouts recently came under some heat for blowing off a constituent who tried to talk...

Where There’s Smoke There’s Heckling | 07-06-2018

Think our current political climate is toxic? Well, it is. But the stain of incivility is hardly unique to us Yankees. Case in point comes from Japan, where lawmaker Yoichi Anami yelled “enough already!” at Kazuo Hasegawa, a 47-year-old non...

Campaigning While Black | 07-06-2018

Add canvassing your constituents to the things an African American person might do that causes someone to freak out and call the police. As the Portland Oregonian reports , Oregon state Rep. Janelle Bynum was recently canvassing her district – knocking...

The Price You And Only You Pay | 06-29-2018

It was very bad that now-former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens left office in disgrace over a litany of deplorable behavior and alleged corruption. It was worse that he tried to stick the state with his legal fees on the way out the door. But as the Kansas...