Jack Wayne Chappell received less than 2,000 votes when his name appeared — again — on a congressional ballot this spring.
So it's difficult to take Chappell too seriously when he said, in an email Tuesday, that he plans to run as a write-in in Idaho's 2nd Congressional District. Especially since, in his own words, Chappell says he will declare as a write-in "in order to get a few more laughs."
Well, Chappell got the attention he seems to crave Tuesday, since his email signed off with this remark directed at 2nd District incumbent Mike Simpson: "You can't even be a duck in this world without somebody wanting to shoot you."
Melissa Davlin, the political reporter with The Times-News in Twin Falls, picked up on this quote. In her blog, she questioned aloud whether it was a poorly chosen comment or a veiled threat. (Personally, I'd read it as the former, but I don't think it was out of line to pose the question.)
In a rambling and bizarre email to Davlin — which hew chose to share with reporters across the district — Chappell denied he was making a threat.
"How you could remotely construe a humorous remark like, 'You can't even be a duck in this world without somebody wanting to shoot you' as a veiled threat from a political crackpot shows not only that you lack any trace of a sense of humor, it also indicates that you have no regard for the First Amendment."
Yeah, this campaign is off to a laugh-a-minute start.
As I've said before, Chappell is a gadfly and a repeat candidate. He never seems much interested in talking issues, but seems more interested in calling attention to himself. Tuesday's back and forth was consistent with his character.