You, too, can live a privileged life when you know somebody



Tacoma, WA - Tacoma's in turmoil. Rick Neuheisel's in trouble again. Boeing is packing again. The Legislature is trying to pack. And Sammy Sosa is corking his bat. What's going on?

As a public service, here are the answers to some of the region's most vexing questions.

Q: Boeing is threatening to leave the state if we don't give the company what it wants. Didn't the company already do that?

A: Leave or threaten to leave?

Q: Both.

A: No. The last time, Boeing didn't threaten first. The company just said it was moving its headquarters and there was nothing we could do about it. The fact that Boeing is making the threat first is a generous concession to its home state.

Q: What do they want?

A: Whaddya got?

Q: I've got a record budget deficit and high unemployment. The only one making any money is Rick Neuheisel.

A: Boeing has asked a half-dozen states to show why they should build its next jetliner there. Each is falling over itself to give the company cash and other gratuities to move there.

Q: Doesn't our constitution prohibit the state from giving tax dollars to private interests?

A: Yes, which is why it's taking the Legislature so long to figure out a way around it.

Q: How does my business get such generous treatment from the state?

A: You have to know somebody.

Q: On another topic, what is going on down at Tacoma City Hall?

A: City government is still reeling from the acts of an evil man who killed his wife and then himself. The question is: Should David Brame have been promoted to a position of responsibility by people who should have known better?

Q: And what have the City Council members done about it?

A: They have put a lot of people on paid leave and they have commissioned a lot of studies.

Q: Sure. But what have the council members done about it?

A: They have put a lot of people on paid leave and they have commissioned a lot of studies.

Q: No wonder people are so angry. If City Manager Ray Corpuz is going to retire anyway, why do council members keep him on paid leave?

A: They're not sure, but they have commissioned a study.

Q: I hear Corpuz is paid $618 a day. How do I get a job like that?

A: You have to know somebody.

Q: Councilwoman Sharon McGavick said it seems The News Tribune is running the city. Is it?

A: No. The truth is scarier than that.

Q: OK. I'll bite. What's the truth?

A: Nobody's running the city.

Q: Great. What's the real problem with Tacoma city government?

A: You have to know somebody.

Q: Wouldn't you think that $1.2 million a year would be enough that Rick Neuheisel wouldn't need to gamble?

A: Living in Medina is expensive.

Q: Aren't you all being too hard on Rick? He said it was just a neighborhood thing and that everybody enters Final Four pools.

A: That's true. But everybody doesn't coach college athletics, where gambling is prohibited. And everybody doesn't drop $5,000 to enter a tournament pool.

Q: But Rick says it's like betting on golf holes.

A: What's he bet during golf matches? His car?

Q: Did Sosa cheat or is that standard behavior in baseball?

A: Sosa cheated and that is standard behavior in baseball.

Q: Why would someone so successful and so popular do something so stupid?

A: Steroids cause confusion.

Q: The Mariners are on fire again. Does this team ever lose?

A: Only in October.

Q: You've been a real big help.

A: To quote Chevy Chase: Thank you very little.

Peter Callaghan: 253-597-8657


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