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Originally published June 29, 2014 at 5:30 AM | Page modified June 29, 2014 at 7:11 PM

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City Light’s copper heist is pure-grade comedy gold

The Wrap by Ron Judd

Seattle Times staff columnist

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Scam artists have learned that all you have to do is mention "minority" and "children" and liberals turn of what's left... MORE
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Today we bow in the presence of greatness.

The continuing misadventures of Jorge Carrasco, the Mensa-candidate CEO of City Light, leave Mr. Wrap — who, for the record, deals professionally with industrial-strength stupid — humbled to the point of near speechlessness.

It’s not every day that a public servant takes dumb to an all new place, engaging in acts so incredibly daft that they exceed the ability of mere mortal satirists to publicly mock them.

Such was the case with Carrasco’s 2013 hook/line/sinker swallowing of the fake-charity, scrap-metal heist perpetuated by two “natives,” both of whom appeared to have wandered directly off the set of the 1960s screwball cavalry comedy “F Troop.”

This is the sort of knee-slapping, maestro-level malfeasance that leaves Seattle’s civic structure alone at the top of the national bonehead food chain.

Two weeks ago, most sane (non-City Council) people were outraged by Carrasco’s mega-pay raise, awarded during revelations of his agency’s attempt to pay news-fixers to burnish the big boss’s image. Today, we look at that extra hundred grand a year and simply nod in appreciation. It’s a small price of admission to the biggest public-sector Gong Show in America.

This man is comedy gold, worth every cent, and the City Council best not spoil the fun.

More artisan bungling:

Seriously, Though: Anyone might have fallen prey to the smooth operators perpetuating the City Light copper scam. That one guy, “Joe Wolf,” was sporting the most authentic Cherokee Fu Manchu mustache we’ve seen in a long time.

Hey, Ray Conner: Yeah, we can all understand how massive tax breaks and worker-shafting are necessary for Boeing to competein the “fierce marketplace” of aerospace, with a swarm of viable competitors ranging from one to none for most work. But the plaintive wails of you and other Boeing execs will continue to remain bad punchlines until you explain how the crying need to cut corners and economize — amid record profits — never applies to Boeing upper management.

Oooh That Smell: A mechanical malfunction caused the spill of thousands of gallons of partially treated sewage into the water at Port Ludlow. Resort guests made the best of it and pretended they were vacationing in Victoria, B.C., Raw Sewage Capitol of North America.

Meanwhile, Over There: A city employee has been fired by Sunnyside, Yakima County, for allegedly using public money to purchase auto parts for his own use. Pretty small potatoes, but you’ve got to start somewhere, and this guy may yet prove to be Seattle City Light material.

Speaking of Public Good: State Sen. Doug “Free Lunch” Ericksen, R-BP, drew howls by hosting a Spokane “public hearing” on rail safety, the vast majority of which was reserved for a North Dakota oil spokesman to explain how Bakken crude oil is perfectly safe to ship through people’s backyards. Everyone feel better now?

And Finally: As an ardent admirer of B-movie-style stage flops, feigned patriotism and other theatrics, Mr. Wrap finds the World Cup an amusing diversion. But why, pray tell, is it so critical to soccer fanatics that every last person from sea to sea proclaim America a “soccer nation?” The insecurity is unbecoming.

Ron Judd’s column appears each Sunday. Reach him at or 206-464-8280.

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