Benton City has had some contentious elections in the past, but we would never have said there was a jackass running for office.
As it happens, Benton City Mayor Linda Lehman has two donkeys running for her seat, and she said she couldn’t be happier about it.
That’s because the mock animal election is a fun way to raise money to pay for the sterilization of feral cats roaming the community.
This is how it works: Residents are encouraged to nominate their animals for some real and made-up political offices and run a campaign, complete with a photo and promises. Voters pay $1 to cast votes. To check out the candidates and participate in the election, go to bit.ly/BEPetElection. To vote, click on “shop now” at the top.
There are some hilarious choices. A beer-sipping cat is running for the liquor control board and a horse is running for the city’s “ag inspector.” A German shepherd named Sir Duke insists he is American through and through and wants to be the city’s code and security officer. Another pet dog named Riley is up for city manager and boasts that he has “excellent people skills” and “can lick any problem.”
All kidding aside, the feral cat population has become a growing problem in some Benton City neighborhoods. Residents are complaining about the number of cats running loose and the yowling and fighting at night.
Nominations will be accepted through the end of June and votes will be counted at the end of July. The goal is to raise $1,500 to spay 50 cats. Earlier in the week, they had raised enough to sterilize 20 cats so far, so they are off to a great start.
A few dollars is all it takes to help a good cause and enjoy a good joke at the same time.
If the federal government is going to provide an alternative airport security check-in system for travelers, then the process should move faster than the long lines at the airport.
But that doesn’t seem to be the case.
To decrease the length of airport security lines, government officials have been promoting the PreCheck and Global Entry systems, which allow people to use expedited screening lanes at major U.S. airports. Those who have been pre-cleared can keep their shoes and belts on, keep liquids and laptops in their bags and walk through regular metal detectors instead of full-body scanners.
But getting an appointment for the brief, in-person interview needed to complete enrollment in the program is at a logjam. It can take weeks or even months to get in. Those who want to risk walking in without an appointment will find themselves — unless they are extremely lucky — waiting for hours or getting turned away.
We understand the necessity to make flying by air as safe as possible, and that means security lines can get extremely long. But if the government is going to offer a pre-clearance option, it should be efficient enough to encourage participation. Otherwise, it isn’t much help.