Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: Assessor-Treasurer

Aug.
8th

Too few primary voters, but they made good choices

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

Sure, the Olympics are a distraction, many of us are on vacation and the weather’s been so sunny that perhaps it’s thrown Northwesterners for a loop. But does that explain the lower-than-expected turnout in Tuesday’s primary?

Going to an all-mail election statewide was supposed to boost turnout. After all, there’s no excuse for failing to vote when the ballot is right there on the dining room table.

Unless a whole lot of voters waited until the very last minute to return their ballots, it’s looking like turnout won’t reach the 46 percent that Secretary of State Sam Reed had predicted. That makes it hard to decipher what the results indicate about voter sentiment and what they portend for the Nov. 6 general election. Because this is a presidential election year, turnout is likely to be more than double what it was in the primary, possibly around 85 percent.
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July
8th

For assessor-treasurer: Tim Farrell or Billie O’Brien

Billie O'Brien

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

It might be hard to explain to an outsider why an office like assessor-treasurer is such a hot race in Pierce County this year.

You sort of have to live here. The incumbent is Dale Washam – a perennially unsuccessful candidate who managed to get elected under a fluky ranked-choice system in 2008. It was a year in which many new voters weren’t aware of Washam’s long and checkered history in Pierce County.

Tim Farrell

That’s not the case today. A voter would have to have been holed up in an isolated cabin in the Cascades not to have heard about all the trouble Washam has caused. His incompetence and abuse of county employees have cost taxpayers millions. If he’s re-elected, he’ll keep ratcheting up the bill.

Fortunately, he has four respectable challengers in the Aug. 7 primary – any of whom would be a huge improvement. The top two vote-getters will advance to the Nov. 6 general election.

Three candidates are political veterans familiar to local voters: Pierce County Councilman Tim Farrell and former Tacoma City Council members Mike Lonergan and Spiro Manthou. Read more »

Jan.
5th

2.3 million new reasons to hasten Washam’s recall

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Two new budding lawsuits seeking $2.3 million in damages are yet more evidence that Dale Washam will bleed the taxpayers of Pierce County until the day he leaves office. The Washington Supreme Court should let them hasten that blessed day.

The citizens pushing to recall Washam are itching to start circulating their petitions, and many more are itching to sign them. The Pierce County Superior Court has found sufficient grounds to launch the recall campaign, but Washam has appealed to the high court – which could effectively sabotage the effort by taking

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Nov.
20th

A recall that targets the right official: Dale Washam

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Dale Washam, Pierce County’s embarrassment of an assessor-treasurer, apparently thinks of one thing night and day: getting someone – anyone – to prosecute his predecessor, Ken Madsen.

At this point, it’s abundantly clear that Washam is not capable of dropping this poisonous obsession, which long ago spilled over into the abusive treatment of his staff and illegal retaliation against employees who complained.

It’s also abundantly clear he is one very expensive public official. His abuses of office have already run up a six-figure tab for taxpayers, and employees he has mistreated will likely be collecting settlements mounting well into the seven figures.

The man simply must be stopped before he does more damage, because – bank on it – he will do more damage.

A resignation would be the honorable course, but Washam appears utterly incapable of finding any culpability in himself. The rolling disaster his administration has become is all the fault of others – especially the vast conspiracy frustrating his crusade to destroy Madsen.
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