The state House Republican Caucus just released a list of its “leading Republicans (ranking)” on the House standing committees for the 2009-2010 sessions.
Among the locals on the list are Skip Priest (Education and Education Appropriations), Jim McCune (General Government Appropriations), newcomer Bruce Dammeier (Human Services), newcomer Jan Angel (Local Government & Housing) and Dan Roach (Transportation).
I noticed one notable name missing: Rep. Tom Campbell of Roy. After all, he’s the chairman of the Environmental Health Committee. Doesn’t that make him its “leading” Republican?
Instead, the list names Rep. Matt Shea, a spanking-new legislator from Spokane Valley as the leading Republican.
Curious about that, I asked Lisa Fenton, the caucus’ communications director, why being chairman doesn’t qualify Campbell as being the “leading” Republican on the committee.
Here’s her reply:
Rep. Campbell was appointed to serve as the chairman of the committee by Speaker Chopp. Rep. Shea has been appointed to serve as the lead for the Republican caucus by our leadership. While it is true that Rep. Campbell is technically a Republican, he serves more as an independent member of the Legislature. He doesn’t caucus with either the Democrats or Republicans.