House Speaker Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, took umbrage when I posted a blog item that said he wanted his Democrats to have a 98-0 advantage over Republicans in the House.
(Actually, he said “all,” and I translated that into “98.” It’s something I learned from the Teachers Union: “All means all 98,” or something like that.)
Anyway, Frank’s got 63 members already, and he’s actually hoping to pick up a few more this election. Where is he going to put them? Democrats had to create a bunch more committees when they got 62 members. I think we’ve got 22 or so now. All the senior people want to be chairmen or chairwomen. That’s how we got the Appropriations subcommittees on General Government and Education, so Kelli Linville and Kathy Haig could have a chairpersonship.
This summer, we got a third Approps subcommittee: Health and Human Services. The chairmanship went to Eric Pettigrew of Seattle, which probably explains why Jeannie Darneille of Tacoma has been so cranky lately.
If Frank’s caucus picks up several more members, he’ll either have to create even more committees to keep people happpy, or risk having a lot more cranky members in his SuperMajority. (But with 67 members, the D’s could pass all the bills by themselves, with no R votes at all. And Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown needs just one more seat, from 32 to 33, for a two-thirds majority in the Senate. Make that 34. She’d need one more to offset maverick Tim Sheldon.)