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Caught in the Middle 

Ward 3 City Council candidate Vicki Hart is a nice person; so is her detractor in The Skinny.

I like Vicki Hart. This automatically tells you two things. One is that The Weekly is not the monolith that everyone has always accused it of being, a place where everyone eats vegan, hangs out on Fourth Avenue and walks in political lockstep. See, when Vicki announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the Ward 3 City Council seat being vacated by Jerry Anderson, she was hammered in The Skinny, the second-most read part of this paper, right after the nudie ads.

It also lets you know that, obviously, I don't write The Skinny. Most of the time, I have no idea who writes it. So all you people who come up to me and tell me really cool things for The Skinny will now understand why they never make it into the paper. Besides, to write for The Skinny, you have to be politically astute, you have to have your ear to the ground, and you have to have the capacity to be outraged by things other than guns, home schooling, and kids who are home-schooled at gunpoint.

I've known Vicki Hart for years. We've served together on Parent-Teacher organizations and school councils, sat next to each other and rooted for our respective kids at Amphi track meets, and even rubbed shoulders professionally for a brief time when she was writing for this publication.

She caused this huge stir a couple years back when she wrote the story about the drunken Salpointe graduation party that was held at some big shot's house. (To show that she's an equal-opportunity offender, she also broke the story about Amphi's baseball team being stocked with Mexican imports.)

After the Salpointe thing came out, several kids I knew from Salpointe came up to me and accused me of having written it. I told them I hadn't and besides, I added, "You know me well enough. If I'm gonna piss on somebody, I'm gonna use my own piss."

They nodded in agreement and left me alone. But not everybody left Vicki alone. Her house (which is near Salpointe) was vandalized for months. But she hung tough.

Of course, Vicki isn't perfect. No one is. Heck, even my goddess-like wife has a small scar near her nose from when she fell off a moving flat-bed truck when she was 11 years old.

I live in the county and so I really don't have anything to do with city elections. But I hope Vicki wins. Actually, my first choice would be for Jerry Anderson to keep his seat. He's a fighter and I like his style. Then my next choice would be Vicki, and then one of the other two Democratic candidates, Paula Aboud or Bob Webb. (I'd probably pick Aboud because Webb doesn't appear to want to win.)

After them comes the minor party candidates. I'd probably go with the Libertarian guy (Jonathan Hoffman) over the Green Party guy (Ted O'Neill), because Libertarians are more likely to eat meat and I might get invited to a barbecue or something.

Finally, there is the Republican candidate, Kathleen Dunbar. She's an OK person, I suppose, but she's a Republican and they tend to want to buy and sell things that belong to all of us. Plus, she's backed by my friend, Emil Franzi, and that dude is wrong more often than people who pick their own lottery numbers.

I simply never support Republicans as a matter of personal policy. I might support Dunbar if she were running against Saddam Hussein, but that's only because he'd probably store chemical weapons in his house to hide them from the United Nations inspectors.

Richard Pryor said that his dad died at the age of 57. The cause of death was a heart attack suffered while engaging in mattress hockey with an 18-year-old girl. And, according to Pryor, "Didn't nobody cry at his funeral. All (of) his friends said, 'Lucky motherf-----!' And then, nobody would touch that woman for about three years after that."

This sprang to mind when I read the part about Vicki having this cushy $25K-a-year job writing a newsletter for County Attorney Barbara LaWall's office. I've known about this for quite a while; just about everybody has. I've always figured that it was none of my business what other people make. (That attitude keeps you from going crazy when you read about the salaries of major-league ballplayers, city managers, and Dick Cheney.)

I also figure that anybody who complains about it does so with at least a little bit of jealousy in his heart. You gotta believe that every writer, journalist, editor, hack columnist, essayist and English professor would give his left nard for a gig like that. Can you imagine just writing some BS stuff and making money off it?

Don't even say it.

I mean, can you imagine writing some BS stuff, earning enough money to live for a year, and then having lots of time left over to write the Great American Novel, explore the Meaning of Life, and/or coach Freshman Girls basketball? Yeah, that Vicki Hart's a lucky motherf-----.

Let's get this straight. She's not my favorite politician of all time. That would be Bobby Kennedy, but he's dead. She's not the nicest person ever to run for office. That would be Jimmy Carter, and his niceness helped us get stuck with Ronald Reagan for eight years. She's not even a polished politician, but then I hold to the insane idea that ALL Americans have the right to run for office. This notion of a "qualified candidate" is largely crap.

Should she get elected, I have no idea what kind of job she'll do on the council. She might be a true voice for her constituents and grow into a position of statesmanship. Or she might be like Janet Marcus was. It's all just speculation, anyway. She probably won't even get elected. She's been blasted in The Skinny and supported in my column.

By my count, that's two Kisses of Death in two weeks. Now all she needs is for the Citizen to endorse her.

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