Wednesday Jolt: Reardon's Facebook Status, Democrats' Status in Olympia
The day's winners and losers.
Today's Loser is Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon
Losing his cool, anyway. Reardon—who was bruised in a sex scandal last year—posted this odd message on his Facebook page today:
"While in a mtg. w/a certain State Senator they pulled a little attitude. So before I left the office I slipped an empty tuna packet behind the filing cabinet. Enjoy your week, Senator."
We have a call in to a certain Snohomish County Executive's office.
Today's Other Loser: The State Senate Democrats
There's probably going to be a lot of these 25-24 votes this year, though as we go forward, they're probably going to be about policy, which will make the Democrats even bigger losers.
Today's vote, with the Democrats on the short end and the Republican-dominated Majority Coalition Caucus coming out ahead, was another process vote. The Democrats proposed legislation this morning that would have tempered the MCC's numbers advantage on the Facilities and Operations Committee by adding Lt. Governor Brad Owen, a Democrat, as a non-voting chair. The current F&O chair is Sen. Don Benton (R-17, Vancouver), who oversees a 4-3 advantage. Last session, the Democrats had the 4-3 advantage.
Complaining that the committee had become "opaque" and "secretive," the Democrats wanted to install Lt. Gov. Brad Owen as chair to provide a check.
F&O is generally a sleepy committee; it deals with parking, intern pay, and dining room hours. But it also deals with making the senate a safe place to work. As a result, the Sen Pam Roach saga has landed there. F&O both conducted an investigation into Republican staff complaints about Roach's "abusive" behavior and, with its new 4-3 majority, took the recent vote to lift the sanctions on her that had kept her out of the GOP caucus.
Roach wanted back in, and the new MCC leader, Sen. Rodney Tom (D-48, Medina), who needed her vote to complete his coup, made it happen. (Tom, by the way, is also on F&O.)
Complaining that the committee had become "opaque" and "secretive"—the Democrats note that the vote to lift the sanctions against Roach was done "behind closed doors with no press allowed" and that agendas have not been published in advance for the Democratic members—the Democrats wanted to install Owen as chair to provide a check, while leaving the Republicans with the voting advantage.
They lost along caucus lines. We have a call in to Sen. Benton.