The abstruse job that has driven Sandeep Kaushik-the often witty writer who is, embarrassingly, I think, fawned over as a sort of Hunter S. Thompson figure among his gullible fans in the MSM-into the arms of King County Executive Ron Sims's office, pays a shitload more than The Stranger, the paper that graciously sent Kaushik to Iowa, New York City, and Boston, and paid his way to go on Howard Dean's Sleepless Summer Tour, on which the occasionally unctuous Kaushik, to his delight, got to pal around with New Republic reporter Ryan Lizza-all so Kaushik could make a name for himself and land this high-paying Sims gig, where it is hoped by Sims that Kaushik's political perspicacity will rescue Sims' career; and where it is hoped by Kaushik (who, with undue speed upon leaving The Stranger and landing a government job, bought a five-bedroom house in Phinney Ridge) that his own incipient political career-pecuniary motives aside-will gain enough momentum so that after working in Sims's office he (Kaushik) can go work for Governor Gregoire in 2008 as she prepares to fend off Dino Rossi, who would never be in such a threatening position in the first place if Gregoire and her hapless campaign team of tepid NPR baby-boom liberal nincompoops had bothered to read anything Kaushik had written about her campaign in The Stranger, the paper that in 2002 took a risk by hiring Kaushik, the former boyfriend of Saturday Night Live's (circa 1979) drug-addled and perpetually evanescent Laraine Newman, and whose only experience with journalism ended abruptly when Reed College's Class of '87 demanded that Kaushik be removed as editor of the student newspaper, The Quest, for his at-the-time execrable, although obviously prescient, comments about orotund Andrea Dworkin-comments that only hinted at Kaushik's knack for analysis; which analysis, unfortunately, oftentimes is still shrouded due to Kaushik's habit of burying his points deep in recondite stories under the weight of longwinded wind-ups that pile subordinate clause upon subordinate clause which, although laced with elegant adjectives, have been as exhausting for this editor to untangle as, I imagine, they have been for Stranger readers, who are as interested in Kaushik's politics beat as they are in The Book of Common Prayer, and who will now only be able to seek out Kaushik's writing in the hackneyed speeches delivered by Baptist Sims about such important county issues as sewers and botched elections-this latter topic being one that Kaushik will be charged with obfuscating in incantatory prose rather than using his expository skills to distill the truth of the matter, which is that Sims, as The Stranger reported in 1999 when we broke the Julie Anne Kempf story, has been mismanaging King County Elections forever, and doesn't deserve Kaushik, who, I'm afraid to admit, as someone who'll be working the opposite side of the street from Kaushik, is-like Steve Ballmer recently learned-a Herculean adversary. Ask Sandeep himself about his position on Andrea Dworkin. ■

josh@thestranger.com

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