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Honolulu Lite

by Charles Memminger

Wednesday, July 19, 2000

Boomer could be
voters’ best friend

I'M thinking about registering my dog, Boomer, as a candidate for the state Legislature to represent Kaneohe, including all of its fire hydrants, trees and voters.

Boomer is what they call in the dog world "a good boy." But he has been known to have a few "accidents." So, should he actually get elected and end up treating voters exactly as he treats fire hydrants and trees, well, I suspect many of them would understand, if not, in fact, be used to it.

Why should a dog run for public office? They say that most politicians have all of the attributes of a dog, except loyalty. I believe that's said as an insult. It implies that other than loyalty, dogs have no other positive traits. That is nothing but anti-dog rhetoric put out by the pro-cat lobby.

Dogs have a lot of qualities, although loyalty is probably the most noteworthy. Loyalty in public office is like a drop of mercury on a table top. It separates and rejoins in alarming ways. It can't be pinned down. It assumes any shape and melts into any handy alliance. Like those senators who voted out Margery Bronster as attorney general. Their loyalty to their constituents disappeared as they clumped together with other political powers.

Then, after they dumped Bronster, they morphed into other groups promising other loyalties. Like a drip of mercury attempting to escape the gravity of his association with the anti-Bronster crowd, Sen. Brian Kanno now is trying to pledge loyalty to the voters.

BOOMER would have stayed loyal to his constituents from the get-go. He would have been sorry to see them go off to work. He would have run out to greet them when they got home. He would have placed his body between them and any other neighborhood bully dogs. He'd sleep at the foot of their beds, ever vigilant, even if someone tried to get him to abandon his post. I'm sure Kanno is a nice guy, but he's certainly no Boomer.

But I shouldn't pick on Kanno. The only reason he's in the news is because he went public. He could have laid back in the weeds of anonymity and hoped voters suffered their usual Election Day amnesia.

I suppose if Boomer did run for office, he'd have to come up with a platform. I know him pretty well, so I think I could guess what some of his priorities might be:

Bullet Investigate why dog food prices in Hawaii are so much higher than on the mainland. As dog food prices go, so go the prices of other imported items. Boomer doubts that the ODFPC (Organization of Dog Food Producing Countries) is keeping production down to keep prices up. He suspects middlemen are gouging Hawaii kibble consumers.

Bullet Build more dog parks so that constituents get out more with their pets. This would relax people so they would be happier and more productive.

Bullet Teach more people to "shake." Even dogs know that basic etiquette leads to a healthier society.

Bullet Let kids bring their dogs to school. Dogs encourage compassion. They soothe and bring joy. There'd be fewer shootings at school if dogs were allowed to attend. (OK. In the spirit of nonpartisanship, cats would be allowed, too.)

Obviously, the platform needs more work, but you get the drift. If you can think of any other good reasons why a dog, specifically Boomer, should serve in public office, drop him a note at the e-mail address below. No calls, please. He's a good boy, but he still gets the receiver all slobbery.

Charles Memminger, winner of
National Society of Newspaper Columnists
awards in 1994 and 1992, writes "Honolulu Lite"
Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Write to him at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin,
P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu, 96802
or send E-mail to or

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