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Senate coup good move for state
Kudos to Eastside Sen. Rodney Tom (D-Medina)for joining with fellow Democrat Tim Sheldon of Potlach to give Republicans control of the state Senate. The move is the best way to insure there will be a balance of power in Olympia when the Legislature convenes on Jan. 14.
Both Tom and Sheldon are conservative Democrats and will have key leadership posts under the joint arrangement with Republicans. Tom will be the Senate majority leader and Sheldon president pro-tempore when Lt. Gov. Brad Owen is absent.
It didn’t take long for snotty comments to surface, accusing Tom and Sheldon of selling out voters for political power.
In reality, the move by Tom and Sheldon is the best hope that all views – Democrat and Republican – will be considered as the Legislature works to craft a budget that is balanced and serves residents’ needs. Remember, Governor-elect Jay Inslee is a Democrat and the Democrats control the House.
Voters have made it next to impossible for the Legislature and governor to raise taxes for the next two years by passing I-1185 in November. Even so, Democrat control of the governor’s office, House and Senate would let the party do pretty much whatever it wanted regarding other legislation.
We know Washington is a “blue” state, but that doesn’t mean that all voters want only Democrats calling the shots.
Seattle Democratic Sen. Ed Murray, who had been prepared to lead the Senate, said the move by Tom and Sheldon “could bring the institution to a halt.” We don’t share his concern, but in any case, it’s better than letting the Democrats railroad through any thing they wish.
Sens. Tom and Sheldon have made sure this won’t happen. Other Democrats should see the wisdom of this, too.
– Craig Groshart, Bellevue Repoerter