Passed by 32nd LD Dems: Resolution Condemning the Actions of Senators Tom and Sheldon

Whereas Senator Rodney Tom ran as a Democrat in 2010 in the 48th Legislative District; and

Whereas Senator Tom received over $25,000 from the State Democratic Party and $44,000 in in-kind donations from the Senate Democratic Caucus in 2010, and additional support and resources from the 48th District Democrats; and

Whereas Senator Tim Sheldon ran as a Democrat in 2010 in the 35th Legislative District; and

Whereas Senators Tom and Sheldon empowered Republicans during the 2012 Session of the Legislature by using a rarely used procedural move known as the “Ninth Order;” and

Whereas Senators Tom and Sheldon announced they would serve as Majority Leader and President Pro Tempore during the 2013-14 Session of the Legislature with votes from 23 Republican Senators; and

Whereas Senators Tom and Sheldon stated that they would form a “philosophical majority” with the Republicans Senators; and

Whereas the proposed chair of the Health Care committee, Senator Randi Becker, expressed skepticism on creating heath insurance exchanges as required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the proposed chair of the Justice committee, Mike Padden, is an outspoken opponent of abortion; and

Whereas the 32nd Legislative District Democrats do not share the governing values of Senator Becker, Senator Padden, and other Senate Republicans who do not agree with and actively work to oppose the Democratic Party Platform; and

Whereas the actions of Senators Tom and Sheldon betray the fundamental philosophy of the Democratic Party;

Therefore be it resolved that the 32nd Legislative District Democrats shall direct its delegates to the King County Central Committee and the State Central Committee to oppose the nomination, endorsement, or expenditure of any campaign resource to Senators Tom and Sheldon; and

Therefore be it further resolved that the 32nd Legislative District Democrats shall work with the Democrats in the 48th Legislative District and the 35th Legislative District to make it publicly known that neither Senator Tom or Sheldon “prefers” the Democratic Party; and

Therefore be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be sent to Senator Ed Murray, Senator Maralyn Chase, the Kitsap, King, Snohomish, Mason, and Thurston County Democratic Party chairs, the chairs of the 35th and 48th Legislative District Democrats, and the Washington State Democratic Party.

Adopted December 12, 2012 by the 32nd District Democratic Organization

Brendan William's frank analysis of the Rodney Tom debacle, and the Dems' dilemma

Former progressive legislator Brendan Williams says, in The Inevitable Republican Coup and Its Inevitable Silver Lining, that the Democrats’ embracing of Rodney Tom a few years go had a predictable outcome: his turning on them the way the scorpion turned on the frog.

By rejecting the man [Rodney] Tom refers affectionately to as “Rob” [McKenna], Washington voters made it clear that after decades of Democratic governors they still want to chart a progressive course. The actions of Tom and Sheldon are, quite simply, aimed at invalidating the election. Every eight years the frog gets a chance to drown the scorpion. Will we take it? …

We were told an all-cuts bipartisan budget was equivalent to the moon landing! We heard the safety net was saved and the budget “spectacular”! We read education and higher education were, by not being cut further in a supplemental budget, saved!

Meanwhile, in truth, the safety net was gutted; the state workforce was cut to a degree greater than any other state; and education funding plummeted while tuition rates soared.

Perhaps the Democrats would reply: “if we didn’t go along with the Tim Eyman-inspired budget cutting, anti-tax mentality, we’d get booted out of office.  Blame the misguided voters, who consistently vote almost two to one against income taxes and for 2/3 super-majority initiatives.!”  After all, 64.5% of Washington voters approved Eyman’s I-1185 this year: see

Washington Two-Thirds Vote Required to Raise Taxes, Initiative 1185 (2012)

I think Gov. Gregoire should now be using her soapbox to educate the public about these issues. She’s called for new revenue but needs to be louder about it.

Governor-elect Inslee has vowed not to raise revenue.

The Left in Washington State needs to mount a concerted effort to educate the public about how they’re getting screwed by the regressive tax system. The voters’ ignorance is the fundamental problem.

There also should be a cleaning of house in the Democratic Party, in which progressives kick out the DINOs (Democrats in name only). But such a battle would be difficult, because ex-Republicans and “centrist” Dems abound, and some of them are quite good on women’s rights, gay rights, and the environment.

Medicare and Medicaid Cuts Make Us Sick! — march and rally Thursday in Seattle

Working Washington is holding a march and rally: Thursday, August 30th 11 AM, Corner of Boren and James, (RSVP to the right)

Rally and March from Seattle’s historic First Hill neighborhood to McKenna’s International District Office
Thursday, August 30th 11 AM
Corner of Boren and James
(RSVP to the right)

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan back a federal budget that ends Medicare as we know it in order to fund tax cuts for the 1%. Meanwhile, Rob McKenna is proposing a state budget that would drastically reduce Medicaid services for seniors and the disabled while keeping corporate tax loopholes in place.

These radical proposals would slash services to the people who need them most and eliminate thousands of jobs — while protecting special tax benefits for the richest 1%.

We Need Jobs, Not Cuts!

To RSVP click here.

Dwight Pelz criticized for inviting Cory Booker to be keynote speaker at convention banquet

[This article co-written with David Spring]

Washington State Democratic chair Dwight Pelz is coming under criticism on Democratic email lists for inviting Newark mayor Cory Booker to be the keynote speaker at the State Convention Gala Banquet to be held on Friday June 1 in Seattle.   Booker is well known as a supporter of charter schools  — a position at odds with Democratic values and possibly with the State Constitution.

Furthermore, the LA Times reports today that on Sunday Booker called the (Obama campaign’s) attacks on Mitt Romney’s former company, Bain Capital, “nauseating” and “a distraction from the real issues.”   The White House was unhappy with that criticism, and  Booker later tried to backtrack his position, but it was too late.   The LA Times article says:

Republicans continue to exploit Booker’s comments…The Republican National Committee launched a “Stand With Cory” petition drive, and purchased ads on the social media site Twitter to amplify the message. The Romney campaign circulated an email with dozens of press accounts of Booker’s comments and the Obama campaign’s attempt to rebut them.

Booker is wrong that the American people do not care whether Romney closed down plants in the US and outsourced jobs overseas. Given that we have record unemployment in our nation as a result of predatory capitalists like Romney outsourcing jobs just to make a billion bucks, this should be a central issue of the campaign. It says that Romney does not care about the American economy or the American people or American jobs.

There’s more.  Parents Across America Seattle has announced that the fake grassroots pro-charter school group, Stand for Children, backed by the same billionaires who back Cory Booker, has endorsed Rob McKenna for Governor – probably because Rob McKenna, like Cory Booker,  supports Charter Schools. Nearly all of the 19 Dems endorsed by Stand in past races are corporate Democrats. They claim to be bipartisan – but what they really mean is bipartisan corruption.

So in inviting Cory Booker to be the keynote speaker at the State Dem Gala Banquet, the State Party is also indirectly helping Rob McKenna.

We are living in very strange times. Given that Jay Inslee is behind in the polls right now, the State Party would be a little wiser in their choice of keynote speakers. Is offending thousands of parents and thousands of teachers and thousands of union members what we want to be doing right now?

At least half a dozen participants on Washington State Dems email lists concur in the criticism of Pelz over the Booker invitation.

Last month too Pelz came under criticism — for his harsh words against Dennis Kucinich, who was considering running for Congress in Washington State.

[Added 2012/05/26: Paul Krugman writes: “And it has been especially sad to see some Democratic politicians with ties to Wall Street, like Newark’s mayor, Cory Booker, dutifully rise to the defense of their friends’ surprisingly fragile egos.”]

On Rob McKenna's Six Principles

GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna’s campaign website has

Six Principles for a New Direction in State Budgeting

Below I’ve added interpretations, suggested by  Zach Smith an Walt Kloefkorn.

  1. Restore the Legislature’s role in collective bargaining (bust  the unions)
  2. Reduce lawsuit abuse (strip Americans of their right to defend themselves in court)
  3. Introduce managed competition for state services (contract out state worker jobs and give the contracts to my contributors at higher total cost to the taxpayers)
  4. Promote performance to do more with less (more work less pay and fewer services and reduced job security for public employees and teachers)
  5. Shrink general government through attrition (make it impossible for state agencies to meet their core mission)
  6. Save money on state health care costs (cut health care for state workers and teachers).

Rob McKenna returns money to shady foreclosure firm days before settling with banks

Rob Mckenna On Wednesday, a story broke that Rob McKenna has accepted $14k from a shady foreclosure firm that his office had put “on notice” for investigation.  After sitting on those contributions for over four month, he only returned them to avoid an optics problem —  days before he announced a settlement with major banks. See McKenna returns $14K from foreclosure trustee firm