The Scandal that rocked the City


By Mitch Henke


Jamison Gullible was a hardworking, blue-collar family man. For thirty good years Jamison had worked at the First Specialinterestville City Bank. But hard times have hit Specialinterestville lately, causing Jamison to become overly concerned with the state of his home town. After discussing the idea with his lovely wife and children, Mr. Gullible decided to start making things right again in Specialinterestville.

    His decision to run for city mayor went along incredibly well. Being a very respectable man in Specialinterestville, he thought he would attract a solid voter base. Jamison was fairly sure that he could win the election because he only had one competitor: Joe Shmoe. Mr. Shmoe had been running the city for quite some time now with his son John, but the city’s condition had worsened and worsened. Jamison knew he would make a better mayor. Even more, Jamison had heard rumors of the Shmoe’s taking bribes behind the scenes to gain votes, but dismissed them in good faith.  

    Jamison’s campaign started off with a bang. All the people in his local area loved him because of his quality of character. So to gain more support, he decided to walk around the city and convince people to vote for him.

    As Jamison was walking, he came upon Rentcontroll Place. On the corner, Jamison spotted a little boy sleeping in a shopping cart pushed by his parents.

    “Hello, my name is Jamison Gullible, and I am running for the mayor of Specialinterestville. Why are you pushing your little child around in a shopping cart?”

    “Well, the problem is that we don’t have anywhere to live, and Tommy needs his nap.”

    “What do you mean you don’t have anywhere to live?”

    “Well, we did live in that building there” pointed the father, “but the rent has become too much. You see, rent control was placed on the apartments across the street from our building, but not on our side” the father explained. “It was talked up to be the best thing to hit Specialinterestville in a decade” he said. “But all it’s done it put more people out on the street. To make up for the loss of rent, the landlord that owns all the buildings had to raise the price on our apartment to make up for the loss of revenue.”

    “I see. So how come you don’t live in the other building?” Jamison asked.

    “Because you can only get into that building if you bribe the landlord” replied the mother.

    “Who’s the landlord?”

    “Joe Shmoe.”

    Jamison walked away startled. If Joe Shmoe owned the housing, why would his father impose rent control? He thought back to what the family had said about lowering the rent to help out families. ‘I got it!’ he thought to himself, and waited to the debate.

    At the debate the next day, Jamison had the Shmoes back on their heels.

    “It doesn’t seem like a win-win situation for the Shmoes, but it is. Not only does Joe increase his good reputation by helping the city, but John can maintain his profits by staggering his prices, and taking bribes behind the scenes to put people up in the rent-controlled housing. Mayor Shmoe has been scheming all of you for the past term, and it must stop here. If I’m elected, I promise to do away with rent control and dishonesty in office for as long as I’m mayor.”

    The crowd responded with an uproar, and Mayor Shmoe walked off the stage. Jamison Gullible had done it. He had cracked the Specialinterestville housing scandal and won the title of Mayor in his fair town of Specialinterestville.