Public officials say and do the darndest things | Roegner

As Will Rogers used to say, “I only know what I read in the paper.”

For most of the year, I write about serious topics like homelessness, COVID-19 and race relations — all while politicians and government workers say and do the darndest things year-round.

Each year, I keep track and share some of the more interesting quotes with our readers. Sometimes readers share their favorites. Here are a few to lighten your day.

Asked what he thought of President Donald Trump’s causing transition difficulties for President-elect Joe Biden, Mike Pompeo said: “It will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration.”

President Trump attempting to demonstrate symphathy over COVID-19: “It is what it is.”

Money well spent? President Trump paid $3 million for a recount in Wisconsin that added 87 votes to Joe Biden’s total.

Demonstrating his limited knowledge of minorities and their goals, Jared Kushner said: “Black people must want to succeed.” A Black Federal Way resident speaking to a primarily white community meeting said: “We’re just like you. We want the same things.”

Five African grey parrots were sent for rehabilitation after they used different curse words in different British accents at the wildlife park in London. That is real talent. Couldn’t they be a new act?

The King County Council reversed itself after calling for Juneteenth to be a paid holiday when they discovered that it would cost $4.8 million to give 15,000 employees the day off. Being politically correct can be expensive.

COVID-19 has caused our world to operate differently. Did you ever think you would see the day when the governor closed schools, but restaurants and bars were open?

Brenda Lynn Cavoretto, the former police chief in Coulee City, faces two charges of fraud from on the job injuries after collecting workers compensation while working as a pin-up model.

Carol Mitchell, a Black female member of Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier’s management team, was fired a few days after filing a whistleblower complaint. What’s the point of being a whistleblower if you get fired anyway? Odd rules they have down there in Pierce County?

Speaking of Pierce County, a bill to take over the Tacoma-Pierce County Health department failed after the prime sponsor, Pierce County Councilmember Pam Roach, changed her vote. Maybe it’s something in the water?

Medicare Administrator Seema Verma billed taxpayers for almost $6 million over two years to improve her image?

State law bans nepotism, but Judy Fitzgerald, a top official at DSHS, had more latitude than most and hired her nephew at $4,399 a month and her daughter to a $58,000-a-year job as an analyst. Her son also worked in the agency. State Auditor Pat McCarthy found Fitzgerald had erred, and Fitzgerald was admonished by the DSHS secretary.

After the election, President Donald Trump said, “I worked harder the last three weeks than ever before.” But the only pictures we saw of him every day was playing golf.

On Dec. 8, Denise Juneau, the Seattle superintendent of schools, resigned after she learned her contract would not be renewe . That is four superintendents in 10 years for Seattle schools. On Dec. 9, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced she would not run for re-election next year. That will make four of the last five mayors who have only lasted one term. Both women are smart, but you have to wonder — is Seattle governable?

I don’t imagine many suburban superintendents, or mayors, would want to trade places anytime soon.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact