Senator Rodney Tom serves the 48th Legislative District in Bellevue. He has recently come under criticism for helping Republicans take control of the state senate. (See Democrats Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon hand control of State Senate to Republicans.) The resolution below, by the 48th LD, falls short of condemning or censuring Senator Tom, although many state Democrats were in favor of a much stronger resolution. See for example the 32nd LD Democrats’ Resolution Condemning the Actions of Senators Tom and Sheldon and the proposed resolution censuring Tom by the 43rd LD. Sarajane Siegfriedt reports that “A letter from State Party Chair Dwight Pelz urging censure was circulated at the [48th LD] meeting, but no amendments were allowed by Phil Kouse, the new chair.” Siegfriedt also reports that 48th LD Rep. Ross Hunter opposed the inclusion of language censuring Tom.
See also Publicola’s report on the contentious 48th LD meeting; 80 out of 86 Democrats announced their intention to vote against Tom in the future.
RESOLUTION: State Senate Leadership Rightfully Belongs
to the Elected Democratic Majority
Whereas the 48th District Democrats, according to our bylaws, exist “to contribute to the growth, development and influence of the Democratic Party” and to “support … those candidates who, by their records and reputations, are in general agreement with the [party] platform;” and
Whereas State Senator Rodney Tom was elected as a Democrat in 2006 and 2010 with the endorsement of, and financial and volunteer support from, the 48th District Democrats and other Democratic organizations and elected officials; and
Whereas Senator Tom has announced his intentions to oppose ratification of the Senate leadership and committee chairs chosen by the elected Democratic majority, instead installing Republicans to chair important committees, including Healthcare, K-12 Education, Judiciary, and Ways & Means; and
Whereas Republican control of the Senate would be a barrier to enacting legislation that advances Democratic goals and values, such as funding for K-12 education, broadened access to higher education, mental health counseling, insurance parity for reproductive care, and implementation of the Affordable Healthcare Act (“Obamacare”), and others;
Therefore, be it resolved that State Senator Rodney Tom is advised to vote to ratify
the leadership chosen by the elected Democratic majority caucus; and
Be it further resolved that by failing to vote for this leadership slate, Senator Tom will be thwarting Democratic values and the will of the people, rendering himself ineligible for our future endorsement and support under our bylaws.
Adopted this 9th day of January 2013, by the 48th District Democrats.
The Resolution above was adopted at last night’s meeting by a vote of 30-8, including Senator Tom’s vote against.
–Phil Kouse, 2013-2014 48th LD Democrats Chair.