Richard Gorby likes Tony DeBone. He really, really likes him.
He likes the Republican candidate for Deschutes County Commission so much, in fact, that he made radio ads supporting him and attacking his Democratic opponent, Dallas Brown. Recorded them in his own voice and paid for them with his own money.
There's nothing wrong with that at all. But a couple of things Gorby says in one of the ads are ... well, weird.
After saying The Bulletin's Oct. 14 endorsement of Brown "should gag us all," Gorby goes on to accuse Brown of having "no credentials and no experience. ... At age 25, apparently he's never held any similar position or been involved in any meaningful committees, governmental or not."
Brown isn't quite the complete political babe in the woods that Gorby makes him out to be; he ran a credible campaign for Bend City Council in 2008 and has served on the city's Public Transportation Advisory Committee. But maybe Gorby doesn't consider that one "meaningful."
Experience isn't the only qualification for public office either. The Bulletin - hardly known for being excessively kind to Democratic candidates - praised Brown's in-depth knowledge of the issues, calling him "a walking catalogue of information about county government in general and Deschutes County in particular."
Gorby's ad goes on shredding Brown's resumé: "We cannot afford to elect anyone during these difficult times who needs training wheels. We need a candidate with a proven track record of community service, business savvy and enough age under his belt to understand current problems and possible solutions."
And then comes the real weirdness:
"Sorry Dallas, go join the military and serve your country for a job. Others your age are - why aren't you?"
WTF??? Yes, some 25-year-olds are in the military, but plenty of others are not. Is Gorby saying Brown is some kind of slacker for not being in the armed forces - or is he saying that military service is an indispensable prerequisite for being on the Deschutes County Commission?
Either way, the snide comment was stupid - a cheap shot unworthy of a serious aspirant for public office. And since DeBone has not repudiated Gorby's ad - Gorby "has been a wonderful supporter," he says - we can only conclude that he approves of it.
Gorby, who describes himself as an independent voter and Vietnam veteran, makes no apology for the ad or any part of it. "Very few people put their money where their mouth is anymore, and I think that's unfortunate," he said. "It's just an expression of my opinion. People don't have to like it - they don't even have to listen to it."
Putting your money where your mouth is is certainly permitted - even praiseworthy. In this case, though, Gorby has put his foot where his mouth is. And for that we're giving him THE BOOT.