Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Abuse of Special Districts
March 7, 2016 5:59 PM - Season 3, Episode 4 - Subscribe

This week.... The Republican primaries degenerate into yet more chaos, and the Republican elite tear into Donald Trump. LWT presents a short clip of Morgan Fairchild reading Trump's former wife Ivana's (remember her?) barely-fictionalized account of sex with him. Trump's confrontational attitude in tweets has begun to inspire imitators even worse than the original. And Now: People On TV Mean "Fucking." Main story: Special-purpose districts (YouTube 15m), local governmental entities created for a purpose but given little oversight, and which are sometimes wildly abused. Many people don't know what they are, so to help spread the world, LWT made an explanatory video with the help of some California school children.

The US Election: "Or, as you may know it, the Clowntown Fuck-the-World Shitshow 2016"
Texas: "The Lone-Star State, as in, a lone star is what most people would give Texas on Yelp."
Land's End: "The clothing company so boring, its name is literally synomonous with water."
Government: "Sport for nerds."
posted by JHarris (5 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm disappointed Oliver didn't use the opportunity to talk about the awesome story of Jen Henderson, the Missouri college student who got overlooked during the creation of a dodgy commercial district created for tax-hiking purposes who subsequently had 100% control over its sham "elections".

(The exposé on that absurd "rent-a-voter" mobile home business was almost as good, though!)
posted by Rhaomi at 11:43 PM on March 7, 2016 [8 favorites]

I'm disappointed Oliver didn't use the opportunity to talk about the awesome story of Jen Henderson...

Yeah, I was waiting the whole time for that. Sat through the credits and everything. I can't imagine why they left it out -- talk of mosquito control districts and shitty fire chiefs and rent-a-voter schemes isn't nearly as illustrative of how fucked up these things are than that one story.
posted by Etrigan at 7:08 AM on March 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

same here. maybe he wanted to focus on when the district are actually doing a lot of damage to the states, and that story didn't really fit?
posted by numaner at 11:45 AM on March 8, 2016

I gotta say I loved the mosquito control district -- props to them for being so conscientious about making their meetings so easily accessible even if literally nobody is paying attention (and probably they didn't even have a quorum for the meeting shown, so they wouldn't have been able to do anything anyway).

I need to talk with my city about making more of its public meetings accessible online. Surely they could round up some high school students to do the camera work and such. As it is, the meeting minutes are on a month (or more) delay because they need to be approved as an accurate summary during the next meeting. I get that being on camera makes people feel nervous and embarrassed, but it's more embarrassing not to have public meetings available for anyone to view, IMO.
posted by asperity at 9:23 AM on March 10, 2016

The follow-up to the story about Jen Henderson is as awful as the original story was. They eventually unearthed more eligible voters in the CID. They held an election... at CID headquarters. Overseeing the process? CID Executive Director. Did it pass? Yes, by one vote, 4-3.
posted by aabbbiee at 1:33 PM on March 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

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