State Politics Phil Talmadge will be back. Poor health last month ended the gubernatorial bid of the Democratic former state senator and state Supreme Court justice, but he isn't finished with politics. After Talmadge takes care of the tumor on his kidney— serious but not life-threatening—he plans to re-enter politics, either by promoting policy ideas or running for office, or both. After his latest experience, he has identified his biggest concern: political fund-raising. "Money has always been the mother's milk of politics," he says, "but it has become a malignancy on the body politic." He found that chasing donations has become far more important than debating policy. "The process is broken. People better decide if they want it fixed." Talmadge is toying with creating an organization to work on the problem. His solution? Public financing of campaigns. Let's hope he can put his considerable energy and skills into making it a reality. GEORGE HOWLAND JR. The Mariners Maybe it could be a memorable year after all for the Mariners, currently dead last in the American League West division. The M's John Olerud, with teammate Rich Aurilia, got locked in the video room next to the dugout at Safeco Field in the fourth inning of a game against Detroit on Saturday, May 22. They had gone to the room for a quick look at their previous at-bats. But Olerud was the next scheduled batter, and the game had to be delayed until a stadium worker drilled through the lock. To some, it recalled the legendary moment that Marvelous Marv Throneberry, the New York Mets first baseman, got locked in a room and couldn't get out until someone showed him he was turning the knob the wrong way. Throneberry played for the hapless 1962 Mets, modern baseball's greatest collection of losers (40-120). Throneberry epitomized the Mets when he once hit a triple but forgot to touch second and was called out. He promised never to do that again, and didn't: The next time he hit a triple, he forgot to touch first and second. Olerud, also a first baseman and, coincidentally, a former Met, is no Throneberry, of course: After the game delay, he grounded out—touching no bases—and the M's lost their 28th of 42 games. A lock on the Mets record? Too soon to tell. RICK ANDERSON See "The Roof Closes on a Goof Season," p. 22 Media Stranger Editor Dan Savage, who turns 40 on Oct. 7, might be taking that adage "you're only as old as you feel" a little too literally. This month found the potty-mouthed purveyor of sex advice low-balling his age to Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporter Mike Lewis, whose May 12 story on competition between Seattle Weekly and The Stranger initially said Savage was 34—still a member of the Capitol Hill paper's crucial 18- to 34-year-old target demographic. "When I called Dan to confirm quotes and his age, he told me he was 34," says Lewis. "I assumed the people who told me he was 39 were wrong, as I had Dan on the phone, and he should be the most accurate source." The operative phrase here, of course, is should be. The P-I removed Savage's age from the Web version of the story and left it out of the print edition. This wasn't the first time the aging writer has been confused by the passage of time. In a piece that ran two years ago, The Stranger claimed Savage was 33 (he was 38). And when Savage was named editor of The Stranger back in 2001, an announcement in the newsletter of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies claimed he was 31, when he was actually 36. Savage's age has been given correctly in some media accounts, such as a previous P-I story about the two weeklies in 2002. MARK D. FEFER

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