Inside Opinion

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Tag: rodney tom

Dec.
10th

A coup in the Senate, but not a ‘blood purge’

The big story of the day is the “bipartisan” coup in the state Senate. Two Democrats joined the Republicans to give them 25-24 control of the Legislature’s upper house. They’re calling it the “Majority Coalition Caucus.”

Two architects of that takeover – Sens. Rodney Tom, D-Bellevue, and Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville – dropped by Monday afternoon to brief the editorial board on the move that will install Tom as Senate majority leader. (We’ll have an editorial in the print edition Tuesday; a sneak preview has already been posted on this blog.) The other Democratic defector, Tim Sheldon of Potlatch, will

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Dec.
10th

A healthy check on Democratic power in Olympia

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

By now – a day after they handed the state Senate to Republicans – Sens. Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon will have been excoriated as traitors, turncoats, back-stabbers and double-crossers by their fellow Democrats.

Conniving rascals they may be, but they’ve done the state of Washington a big favor.

Until Monday, 2013 was shaping up as another dreary stretch of same-old, same-old Democratic hegemony over House, Senate and governorship. The party’s leadership has grown a little too comfortable, a little too arrogant, a little too generous to public unions and other favored interest groups.

It does real damage to the state. For example, it’s the chief reason Washington has suffered from one of the nation’s most benighted approaches to public education.

Any reforms that promised to make schools more accountable faced dual execution squads in the Legislature, where the education committees of the House and Senate faithfully did the bidding of the Washington Education Association and other enforcers of the status quo.

The coup’s sweetest result: The Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee falls into the hands of Republicans.
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