(originally published at the Bellevue Reporter, in condensed form)
Anyone paying attention to the goings-on in Olympia would know that there’s nothing bipartisan about the Senate “majority coalition” under the leadership of Bellevue’s Sen. Rodney Tom.
Rodney Tom, a former Republican, is nominally a Democrat. But he’s been voting and speaking like a Republican.
Recently, when asked about the state Supreme Court’ mandate to increase funding for education, Tom said: “We should never have a conversation that we need new revenue for education.” Yet despite our relatively high cost of living, Washington teachers earn $2,500 less than the national average and $12,000 less than their peers in West Coast states. (source) See also How much teachers get paid — state by state.
Tom and the Republicans are holding the transportation package, including funding for Metro buses, hostage to their demands. They want to overturn the prevailing wage (more union busting), weaken environmental requirements for road projects, and exempt transportation projects from the sales tax (thus further starving the general fund). And they won’t allow King County to institute a local funding option for Metro.
Nor will Tom and the Republicans close tax loopholes.
Come on, Tom! Either act like a Democrat or return to the Republican Party where you belong.