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Random Observations by Pat Ostrye

The Sleaze Factor - Alive and Flourishing! 

     Nine months to go before the General Presidential Election, and the sleaze factor has already risen from the sewers to show its wicked head.  One might figure that a member of the opposition campaign would be the one promoting the first underhanded blow, as Allen Raymond advised us in that excerpt from his book in the L.A. Times earlier this month.  He confesses to being a Republican ringleader and orchestrator of the very worst in "dirty tricks".  Although he has reformed after spending time behind bars for his ambitious, felonious activities, he warned us that right now real sleaze is inevitable, on the way, and doesn't necessarily have to contain a shred of truth.

    John McCain seems to be the first serious target this time around but he has successfully deflected the alleged accusations and knocked it all down within the first 24 hours.  Remarkably, the perpetrator could hardly have been anyone opposing him for the Republican nomination, when the closest opposition is too far behind to have made a difference and the Democratic contenders have each other to battle at this point in the game.  However, lurking in the shadows out there are hundreds of aggressive reporters, hoping to make a name for themselves and their newspapers by digging up a thread of "something" even just a bit shady in a candidate's background that could be enlarged and twisted badly enough to ruin him/her as quickly as possible.  John Kerry and Michael Dukakis can attest to that, to name only two out of hundreds.

    Back to McCain.  It's amazing to me how, after taking such vile abuse from his fellow Republicans, including "W" Bush, when he was running in the Republican Primary in 2000, he can turn around and fall in line with their philosophy and tactics as if they had always been great pals.  When the ashes settle, how can these harsh, verbal annihilations be sloughed off as "friendly rivalry", equated to running for Class President in high school?!  

    It matters not whether it is a city, state or national election, when it comes to sleaze.  In 1974 when I first ran for the Monrovia City Council, the downtown area was a ghost town, so three of us ran as a team to do "something" to turn things around.  We defeated the "status quo" incumbents and allowed redevelopment to take over.  Monrovia is now a beautiful, flourishing and prosperous "All America City"  and has been used as a "how to" example around the state. 

    To make my point, those inccumbents and their friends tried every "dirty trick" in the books.  I found out after it was all over that the newspaper had been given a vile, trumped-up story about one of the other team members and me, which, fortunately, the newspaper refused to print or even let me see it.  This sort of thing is happening every day of the week in every election.  For this Presidential race, it has only just begun!!

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