“Political Promotion” By James Jay Schifrin

         image024Last week the Patronage County Commissioners considered a proposal to generate a little extra income for some needy people at the courthouse. Swindle Advertising was awarded the right to sell advertising displays on rest room walls in all county buildings.          

The proposal was an inspiration of Commissioner Sidney Swindle, and worked its way up through County Ombudsman Sidney Swindle, Jr., to the Patronage County Administrator.        

In the proposal, the younger Swindle wrote: “I know that with my father’s leadership at the courthouse, this county is going to be rebuilt and strengthened. We at Swindle Advertising want to be involved in this process.”

“Great idea,” agreed Commissioner Filch. “Besides rest room walls, think of all the other places we can sell ads. Lawyers and bail bondsmen could advertise in courtrooms. Funeral directors could hand out cards at the Coroner’s Office. Locksmiths could give demonstration at the workhouse. Body shops could give estimates at the auto license bureau. We could even advertise the commissioners’ office 3-cents-per-copy Xerox service.”  

Rising to the occasion, Commissioner Pilfer declared, “Prostitutes could pay us to have their pictures and phone numbers painted on paddy wagons. The Prosecutor’s Office has some useless space, X-rated movie posters could go on his walls. In Probate Court, gold-and-silver exchanges could offer “Probate Rebates,” and he continued enthusiastically, “Public employees could walk around wearing sandwich boards when they’re not working.”        

Wait a minute,” interrupted Commissioner Filch. “Isn’t all this illegal?”        

“No problem,” assured Commissioner Swindle. “We’ll just tell people about our budget problems. Nobody will ever notice.”        

image025Another public building they could use for advertising is the sewage treatment plant. Political ads would go their quite nicely.          

image056This op-ed column never appeared at any time in the feisty Mt. Washington Press personally edited by eminently renowned publisher Dennis Nichols. In fact, it appeared as part of The Muckraker series, in something called The Zinzinnati News in July 1981 (whatever the hell that was).