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January 8, 2007

Country quote machine returns to Olympia

Posted by David Postman at 10:16 AM

I see that when I was in D.C last week former state Rep. Jim Clements, R-Selah, was appointed to the state Senate seat left open by Alex Deccio's retirement. Clements released a statement that proclaimed, "The 'porch dog' is back."

As a leading Clementologist, I have to admit I don't know exactly what that means. As I wrote in 2000, Clements often talked about porch dogs in his countrified speeches on the House floor. But it was never exactly clear who the porch dog was supposed to be.

Sometimes he's the porch dog, looking sleepy but guarding the door closely. Sometimes Locke is the porch dog, afraid of the first sign of trouble. And sometimes the porch dog is just a porch dog. "My porch dog can run from the porch to the fence in three seconds," he says.

I suppose they're all back, along with other of Clements' corn-pone commentaries, like these gems:

On an explosion of gambling, he said: "They gave away the farm. The horse is out of the barn and running down the street." When the state agreed to a gambling review: "We're finally going to pull the sheet back on this corpse and take a look."

Of politicians who hog the glory, he says, "They're like the rooster that takes credit for the sun coming up."

My favorite was the cat in the stovepipe that Clements used to talk about. I had to ask him what that meant, and he explained that's how cats were castrated in the old days.

"You understand?" Clements said. "You wouldn't want to be that cat."

Clements will have to do more than just be colorful this session. This fall he has to run for election for the last year of Deccio's seat. And David Lester writes in the Yakima Herald-Republic that Clements already has competition.

Yakima businessman Curtis King, who narrowly trailed Clements in the ranking by precinct committee officers earlier this week, said he will run this fall to complete the final year of Deccio's four-year term

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