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A hanging jury for Republicans?

Post by Patrick O'Callahan on June 16, 2010 at 6:30 pm with 5 Comments »
June 16, 2010 8:19 pm

You can’t fault the King County Municipal League for lack of transparency. Below is a memo we got yesterday from state Sen. Pam Roach, a Republican running for re-election in the 31st District.

From the looks of it, this conservative Republican will be facing a panel of two conservatives, one centrist, three liberals, two “very liberal” liberals and two who describe themselves as “left of center.” Seven identify themselves as Democrats, none as Republicans.

I was contacted by the Muni League to set an interview date. In the past I have gone in with all the extraordinary things that I have done for constituents, district efforts led, my efforts in Honduras, local endorsements…etc. I spent hours gathering things up..driving to the interviews (sometimes as far north as Fircrest) and I was never the token Republican “superior than my opponent” candidate.

After they left several messages I decided to call them. I told the nice young-sounding lady that in the last interview there were two trial lawyers on the interview panel and my opponent was, in fact, a trial lawyer. That, I said, did not seem too fair to me. I asked if I could see this year’s panel members assigned to my race….. I can’t believe she actually sent it! 

Here’s the response from Brit Sojka of the Municipal League of King County:

—–Original Message—–
From: CEC Coordinator
Sent: Mon, Jun 14, 2010 10:55 pm
Subject: List of Municipal League Committee Members

Hello Senator Roach,

I am very sorry that I wasn’t able to continue our conversation earlier today.  As requested, I’ve provided information on the candidate evaluation committee members you would be meeting with below.  

Party Affiliation
Political Viewpoint

Matthew John McCauley
UW Law Student
Left of Center

Dr. William DeGrace

Jacob Vela
Very Liberal

Jasmine Tolle
Student & Accounting

Laraine Volkman
Very Liberal


Kelly Goold
Project Manager, Seattle Parks

Jake Beattie
Executive Director, Bike Works
Left of Center

Nola-Jean Bamberry

Daniel Magill
High School Teacher, Seattle Public Schools

Helen Gorsuch
no info
no info

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. americanLatina says:

    This is what passes as “unbiased” in Seattle?

    Muni league should just tell everyone what it is:’s Seattle office

    What a sham. Are any of these people from a rural area? Have any EVER dealth with DDES or the horrific impact the Seattle attitude has on the farm?


  2. I’m sorry that Pam’s memo edited out the most important message that was sent in that email. She forgot to extend the invitation to South King County residents that the Municipal League of King County is always trying to make – that we want more of them to join our candidate evaluation committees!

    We would love to have a South Sound candidate evaluation committee next year in Pam’s own legislative district. If you would like to be part of that effort, please let us know at and we will be delighted to have your involvement. (americanLatina this means you!)

    For those of you curious about the rest of the message. Here’s what was left out of that memo:

    “I do hope you will still submit a questionnaire (see attachment). This document will be published on our website for your constituency to access and review. It will also provide you with an opportunity to put us in touch with 3-4 people you think we should talk to about your recent activities and achievements. We would much prefer working with your primary references than having to work with media sources or secondary references alone.

    I sincerely appreciate your call today and agree that we need a larger presence in the unincorporated areas of King County. If you know of any individuals or groups that we could invite to be a part of our evaluations next year, I do hope you will let us know. ”

    And… as far as transparency goes… I still think it would be nice to get the information we requested from Pam so that we can share that information with other King County voters.


  3. americanLatina says:

    I was actually told that, as someone who has worked with political campaigns before, I was not eligible…when I told them which party. Maybe that isn’t official policy, but that is what I was told when I sent in my application.

  4. americanLatina says:

    So you are moving ahead with your evaluations, even though the panel is heavily unbalanced?
    I appreciate the openness here, that we at least know where the nonpartisan panelists stand on the issues.

    I wish we could see the same from everyone in the media. I remember let everyone know how each “reporter/opinionator” voted in the 2000 election. Needless to say, it was heavily for Gore (something like 35-5 plus 4/5 voting for others). It is good to know the biases of those providing us their “unbiased” version of the political world.

  5. A former muni league volunteer says:

    Having sat on that committee before, and also having been a conservative on it (that is to say I’m a GOP activist of a mostly libertarian bent), I’ll say the following.

    The process is fair, no talk of ideology was permitted about any candidate at any time, it’s entirely along the criteria of effectiveness, knowledge, integrity, and involvement that someone is gauged. Not a damned thing else.

    As for the fact that a majority of the members on the Seattle Leg committee are liberal shouldn’t shock anyone. The committee exists to evaluate races in the city of Seattle, which means with the exception of myself when I served on the committee (I am an Eastside resident and it was my second choice), every single person on the committee was a resident of the city of Seattle, so given the demographics of the city, the fact that most of the candidates and most of the committee members are liberals of one stripe or another isn’t off-base or something that would make it unfair intrinisically.

    And the reason the Muni League solicits the party affiliation and spectrum leanings is to make the committee as balanced as possible.

    And let’s be fair here, Pam Roach is a total axewound. She’s got issues serious enough that the Senate Republican Caucus booted her from it for mistreating staff and told her to get counselling (, so I wouldn’t take anything she says in any way seriously.

    There’s my 1/50 of a dollar.

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