Yep, after consulting with family, friends (and, as my dear departed mother used to laughingly say, “God, and three or four other white folks”) I’m throwing my hat into the ring for the Cuyahoga County Executive’s job … why not? I can sling bullshit, make empty promises, and not call people back once I’m elected with the very best (or worst) of ’em. And the real upside is, I’ve already been to prison — been there, done that — so that’s not something the electorate has to be concerned with in my case. I mean, if I learned one thing from all my years on the other side of the law, it’s the proper way to take a bribe. I passed Politics 101 with flying colors, you’ll never see me doing the perp walk.
My campaign slogan is: “With me, at least you know what kind of honest crook you’re getting.” Now, are the words “honest crook” an oxymoron, or just a regular, person type moron?
The platform I’m running on is simple: A turkey in every pot, a Double Eagle in every pocket, and an Old Crow in every glass (but I’ll be drinking Patron — as the top executive, it’s top shelf only for me). I’m promising to be all things to all people. Just tell me what you want, and I’ll promise to deliver. I’ll magically turn back the hands of time, way back to when the auto plants and steel mills were humming right along, and school bussing wasn’t even thought of … but no fair looking behind my back to see if my fingers are crossed.
My first promise is that I will ONLY hire friends and family … come on, who the hell else am I going to hire, enemies and strangers? Duhhh. But the standards will be very high: We’re going to do drug testing — if you haven’t smoked at least one joint in the last 30 days DON’T EVEN BOTHER TO APPLY! And we’re going to do complete background checks also: Please at have one misdemeanor on your record, or don’t waste your time.
My campaign team is busy setting up headquarters at a strip club down in the Flats, and we’ve got tons of money to throw around. We’re looking for some paid staffers, but again, the standards are very high: Female hires will be judged only on their bust size, and males on their groveling abilities. “Yes men” can quickly move to the front of the pack. As you can see, we’re taking this seriously … or at least as seriously as everyone else running.
Please, don’t take notice of the campaign trick I’m about to pull of changing how I refer to myself; instead of the singular “I,” it’s now the plural “we,” like British Royalty, how the Queen is referred to. This is just to build a sense of unity and inclusion in the voters’ minds, to make you guys think that I’m one of you, when I’m really not.
Once we’re in office all campaign workers will be awarded handsomely with “no show” county jobs. However — and we hate to put this caveat on the deal — workers will have to at least show up every other week to pick up their paychecks. That’s going to be a firm rule … no paychecks will be mailed out — no exceptions. I mean, you’ve got to have some standards, right? After all this is Cuyahoga County.
Long-time county employees, however, need not worry about any changes: If you’ve been checking into work and then disappearing (and have been doing so for years) you can keep right on … you’re grandfathered in. Hey, we know that we can’t teach old dogs new tricks. Likewise those employees who have been using county time to sell Avon, Amway, Pampered Chef, Girl Scout cookies, candy bars, greeting cards, church dinners, pre-paid legal services, and discount phone and utility scams … keep right on doing it, we’re not trying to get elected to piss anyone off.
Ditto those dudes who run the betting pools, lotteries and fantasy football leagues while on the clock — if you’ve been busily doing this while your co-workers take up the slack for your lazy ass… continue on. We’re “go along to get along” kind of people … just as long as every county employee who wants to keep their job kicks back 10 percent of their paycheck to our campaign year after year. Fair is only fair.
Any employee who worked their skirt up the ladder … all we can say is, hang on; those employees who cook breakfast at their desks on county time (or do their make-up, hair and nails — and spend their time chatting on the phone on personal calls — when they’re getting paid to do work) we’re not going to try to stop you; if you’ve been completing an advanced college degree on county time we applaud your love of education, but maybe you can pay something back to the taxpayers after you get that new job; if you’re a supervisor or manager who has been bullying your staff for years … don’t worry, it isn’t payback time — yet; those employees who expect a pay raise for simply doing the job they were hired to do, we might even throw you a bone; and, lastly, if you go to meetings and claim other folks’ ideas as your very own while thinking no one knows about it … this is the kind of underhanded, double-dealing backstabbing that could win you a promotion under our regime. Now, we didn’t miss anyone, did we?
Finally, as soon as we take office there’s going to be a change to the county sick time policy: Every use of sick time, even if it’s only for half-a-day, will require a doctor’s slip — again, no exceptions. We’re not dickin’ around on this issue. But in an effort to streamline the process, we will accept slips signed by one doctor, and one doctor only: my brother-in-law, Dr. Elmer Snerd, a chiropractor. But to make it convenient for as many employees as possible, he’s going to set up a satellite office in the back of the Sportsman’s Grill on St. Clair, right around the corner from the County Administration Building. You can’t ask for more than that, can you?
Since we’ll have to spend half of our first year in office out in Vegas (as the top county executive we’ll have to help determine where’s the best place in Cuyahoga County to build the new casino) this is going to be very challenging, but we’re gong to give it our best shot. Hey, it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.
(Many thanks to Andrew Samtoy for sparking the idea for this column)
From Cool Cleveland correspondent Mansfield B. Frazier mansfieldfATgmail.com. Frazier’s From Behind The Wall: Commentary on Crime, Punishment, Race and the Underclass by a Prison Inmate is available again in hardback. Snag your copy and have it signed by the author by visiting http://www.frombehindthewall.com.