So was the official "launch" of Scottsdale election season heralded by gunshots? The sound of trumpets or a drum roll? An activist pushing the mayor into the Waterfront canal?

Nope. The beginning of election season was launched by the introduction of a clothing line for those disenchanted with our beloved city leaders. The line comes complete with the fashion staple - T-shirts - emblazoned with slogans accusing incumbents of being "shills" for light rail or bearing messages that were more concise, derogatory and tasteless.

The designer of this "politics as usual" clothing line? Anonymous, of course.

Based on some of the messages, I think we can assume it may be someone who possesses limited verbal skills - someone who clearly doesn't want to clutter their mind with facts, specifics and words with more than one syllable.

Alas, I had so hoped that this election season would not be tainted with the stench of politics as usual, that this would be an election season where issues and differences between candidates could be clearly articulated in a civil and conversational manner, an election season where mud was not slung, claws were retracted and catty comments were reserved for the proper forum: council meetings. Apparently we have not evolved that far as a city and I am destined to be disappointed yet again. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

I have decided it is time to launch my own line of clothing appropriate for local political "addicts," reserved for those usually responsible for pointing out the inadequacies of others. Yes, this is a line whose time has come - active wear for activists, complete with politically incorrect slogans (their favorite kind).

Here's a sampling of T-shirt slogans perfect for an activist's busy, 24/7 lifestyle. Whether you are pontificating at council meetings, circulating endless referendums or arm-wrestling goons, these shirts will make you look like the fashion icon you aren't. No easy task.

Activists: We're progressive. Giddy up.

Activists: Protecting Scottsdale's past by destroying its future.

Uncivil behavior: Not just a choice, it's a lifestyle.

No to light rail. Yes to higher gas prices.

Activists: Protecting neighborhoods by preserving blight.

Referendums: The real WMDs.

Activists: We'll do the talking so you don't have to.

Activists: Making politicians look good.

Activists: Civility is not an option.

Activists: Jacks and Jills of all trades, masters of none.

Activists: We have no lives, obviously.

Height and density: The other evils.

Tempe Marketplace: The shopping Mecca that Evil built.

Activists: Saving you from height and density and giving you the gift that keeps on giving - higher property taxes.

Activists: All of the questions, none of the answers.

Activists: Transforming Scottsdale into the Tombstone of tomorrow.

Activists: Building a bridge to the past.

Mass Transit? We've got horses, don't we?

Activists: Preserving the status quo - because we can.

Based on sales of the T-shirt line, I have plans to launch a line of designer eyewear for activists, as well. Glasses for the terminally shortsighted - for those who can't see the forest for the trees.

I hope activists will take this in the spirit of election season. You see, if you dish it out, you should be able to take it. Or as Mom used to say, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of my high rise."


Lisa Haskell is a Scottsdale resident.

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