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May 3, 2013 at 3:14 PM
State Sen. Don Benton’s malodorous appointment
Without scanning the photo archives, I seem to recall it was state Sen. Don Benton, R-Vantucky, who was holding that infamous sign at the Tea Party rally that read: “Keep your government hands off my Medicare.”
I might be wrong, but the pattern would fit. You know, those anti-government conservatives, who condemn all that socialism going around, as they stand with both feet in the trough.
Benton went in all hip deep, accepting an appointment by two Clark County GOP commissioners to lead the county’s Department of Environmental Services.
Democratic Commissioner Steve Stuart was dumbfounded by his Republican colleagues, Commissioners David Madore and Tom Mielke, would fill an important post without at least seeking other applications. Stuart told them what they did “stinks of political cronyism. Stinks!” The Vancouver Columbian has audio links to a curious moment in local government.
Madore and Mielke said that Benton was fully qualified and they did not need to open the job to candidates. You decide. Here is Benton’s work history from his online legislative biography:
Professional Experience: An advertising and marketing expert, Don is founder and CEO of the Benton Group, which conducts sales, marketing, and training consulting for television worldwide. His ad agency division manages the marketing and advertising for several law firms and small businesses, 1988 – present; co-founder, Santa Clarita Temporaries, Inc., temporary employment agency, 1979-1983; district manager, Farmers Insurance Group, 1983 – 1988.
Benton, who won reelection in 2012 by fewer than 80 votes, was in the news recently for his noisy opposition to replacement of the Interstate 5 bridge that links Vancouver and Portland. His willingness to impede commerce on a vital West Coast freeway link is stunning. Of course, a quick look at his delusional pursuit of federal political office suggests he is not grounded in reality. He led the state Republican Party for a second a few years back.
Benton does not like the I-5 bridge plans or light rail, but he is “all aboard” for the gravy train. Wanna bet he has already figured out how his time in Olympia will factor into his government pension with the county job?