FAIRBANKS - North Pole Mayor Jeff Jacobson is usually all about all things Christmas. But when you call him and his fellow residents "elves," be prepared for a lump of coal.
Normally giddy to see his 1,600-resident city mentioned in any national venue, Jacobson took offense when he turned on a national television news program to hear Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, mention North Pole as an example of a recipient of what he considers wasteful "pork" projects in the federal appropriations bill recently signed into law by President Bush.
According to Jacobson, the veteran senator questioned why the "elves" needed the $200,000 for recreation projects that North Pole received in the bill.
McCain also offered similar comments about the North Pole recreation dollars in a recent press release: "I guess Santa had a tough year and the elves need a little help from the American taxpayer."
Them there were fighting words as far as Jacobson is concerned.
Jacobson, switching roles from mayor to Santa, decided the only way to respond to such a naughty senator was to send McCain a letter expressing his disapproval, enclosed with - what else? - a lump of coal.
"Senator, let me tell you a little about North Pole, Alaska," Jacobson's letter begins.