Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The unimportance of being earnest


The Pillsbury Doughmagogue strikes again.

Let me explain Gov. Dave Heineman's latest smoove move as Nebraska's chief executive: It's as if Poppin' Fresh had appointed the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man to the Confectioners Council a few years after the big guy got busted for spreading malicious lies about Mrs. Smith. And after he never got around to paying his fines for an unfortunate 1984 incident in Manhattan.

Of course, the press learns of the whole deal, and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man abruptly withdraws, saying his dad had just been turned into a s'more. And Poppin' Fresh is left without even a hardy "Hoo hoo!" for curious reporters.

What the doughboy can't say is this, because it is true: "Who cares if the dude stinks up the kitchen? He's my kind of culinary hack!"

Or something like that.

I THINK you'll find my analogy reasonably close as you read about how terribly hard it is to be a D'oh!-magogue in a world where the press occasionally pays attention:
Shannon
Bellevue businessman Patrick Shannon said Monday the governor knew about Shannon's state fines for campaign violations before appointing him last week to the Nebraska Legislature.
Shannon withdrew Friday several hours after questions surfaced about an anonymous smear campaign he orchestrated against an opponent in a 2004 legislative race. Shannon cited a family medical emergency as the reason for his withdrawal.

Gov. Dave Heineman declined to say Monday morning whether he knew about the $16,000 in state ethics fines levied against Shannon before appointing him to the vacant District 3 legislative seat.
Heineman: D'oh!
“He's withdrawn, and we're in the process of finding a new senator to appoint to District 3,” Heineman said. “That's the most important priority.”

Later Monday, The World-Herald contacted Shannon at his Bellevue tax and accounting business.

Shannon said the vetting process for the appointment lasted about three weeks. It included a private, in-person interview with Heineman that lasted about 40 minutes and “one or two” follow-up phone conversations with the governor.
Shannon said during the in-person interview that Heineman questioned him about the $16,000 in fines.

“He told me he knew (about the fines) and asked what did I learn from it,” Shannon said.

Shannon sent an email to the governor's office Friday, stating he couldn't fill the seat because his father had “just suffered a heart attack” in Oklahoma and it would be necessary for him to help provide care for his mother.

In an interview Monday from his Bellevue office, Shannon said the heart attack was mild and his father had been dismissed from an Oklahoma hospital and was recovering at home.
OBVIOUSLY, what Shannon learned from the ethics fines was that if you don't pay them, nobody notices . . . or cares. What he also learned is that the governor doesn't care if his appointments stink up the unicameral, just so long as it smells like Republican hackery.

What I love about Nebraska -- and what has been its saving grace since Boss Dennison's fall from power in Omaha -- is that Nebraska pols are just so bad at this stuff. Would that all politicians were so utterly incompetent at all the right things.

0 snappy rejoinders: