If you're not having fun this election season, then you're just not following state Sen. Pam Roach's re-election effort in the 31st District, generally the area from Auburn to Enumclaw but mostly wide-open foothills and mountains where there are fewer voters to be harmed. Their ballot options in November consist of picking Republican Roach or Republican Matt Richardson, a Sophie's Choice so excruciating that SeattlePI.com could bring itself to back only a write-in vote for Democrat Raymond Bunk, defeated in the primary. On the other hand, three prominent Democrats are holding their noses and backing Roach because they loathe Richardson that much. Roach, meanwhile, is piling it on, publicizing a video in which an airline pilot tells of coming home early and finding Richardson having an affair with the pilot's wife.
School teacher and Sumner City Council member Richardson, meanwhile, is accused of using city e-mail for personal business to set up an extramarital liaison, pleaded guilty in 1993 to a misdemeanor sex crime and was reprimanded in 2006 after being accused by students of inappropriate behavior.
That record prompted three Dems last week to endorse Roach. Rep. Christopher Hurst and former 31st District candidates Yvonne Ward and Karen Willard called their endorsement "a highly ironic turn of events" but said it was "both painful and necessary" in light of Richardson's past.
Ironic isn't the half of it. Roach, despite her own lousy record, is essentially campaigning on her opponent's even lousier record. She calls him "a really bad man," earlier sued him for defamation, and recently reported on her blog that Richardson got a suspended sentence for driving recklessly through Puyallup.
Now she has perhaps driven the final nail, linking her blog to a video of a riotous Aug. 16 Sumner council meet at which the pilot, during a public comment segment, got up and accused Richardson of having relations with the pilot's wife.
Richardson called it "garbage" and a slanderous attack. But the pilot said he came home four days early from an airline flight and:
I found Mr. Richardson hiding in my house...Matthew Richardson was having an affair with my wife, in my home, while my children were in bed asleep...It's in my court documents from my divorce...You had a bed set up in my loft. You were hiding in there...and your ice cream, your grapes and your blankets were all still there....you were there and you were doing it.
It is a memorable moment on what is said to be the most popular Sumner City Council video ever. If you're inclined to watch, it begins about a third of the way into the meet, after the opening prayer in which a pastor blesses "free elections." Amen to that!