Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist read my earlier post on a year of political skirmishes in county government. He was struck by a quote from Judge James Orlando, who scolded the County Council last month for its decision to eliminate a Superior Court seat. Orlando said he hadn’t “seen such a blatantly illegal act in my 25 years in practice.”
“Really?” Lindquist told me in a telephone interview this morning. “(What about) murder? Rape?”
The prosecutor’s point: “I don’t think hyperbole fosters good working relationships.”
He noted his own deputy used much more moderate language in challenging the council’s action. “Reasonable minds can differ respectfully over legal issues,” Lindquist said.
Orlando wasn’t the only stoking the fires of political rhetoric this year. Other Pierce County politicians used words like sloppy, pandering and disgusting to describe the actions of their peers. And those are just the words they used in public. It’s one measure of how strained relations have become among politicians in various branches of county government.