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Pam Roach wins. Judge says voters’ pamphlet statement by her opponent must be changed

Post by Peter Callaghan / The News Tribune on July 9, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
July 9, 2010 5:45 pm

Thurston County Superior Court Judge Thomas McPhee has ordered a candidate for 31st District Senate to change his voters’ pamphlet statement. That after incumbent Sen. Pam Roach (R-Auburn) filed suit saying the statement was inaccurate and in violation of law governing the state pamphlet.

McPhee, after a Friday hearing, ordered Matt Richardson to alter the statement and remove statements Roach claimed were false.

Here’s what Richardson, a Republican who now sits on the Sumner City Council, had submitted to the Secretary of State for inclusion in the 2010 voters’ pamphlet:

“Unfortunately, the permanent sanctions against Pam Roach prevent her from contact with Senate staff, and more critically, from meeting with other Republicans. This severely impairs her ability to represent the people and the interests of our district. After her 20 years in office, another four years for Pam Roach will not be productive.”

Here’s what the statement will say now:

“Unfortunately, the sanctions against Pam Roach prevent her from contact with Republican senate caucus staff, and more critically, from meeting with other senators in caucus. This severely impairs her ability to represent the people and interests of our district. After 20 years in office, another 4 years of this would not be productive.”

Roach argued successfully that Richardson had the details of the recent sanctions by her own GOP caucus wrong. Roach says the sanctions don’t completely impede her communication, do not prevent her from speaking to elected senators and aren’t permanent because they are subject to review and change.

Roach has been barred from direct contact with partisan caucus staff since 2008. They still can work for her by communicating through her aides, and she also can assign work to the Senate’s nonpartisan committee staff.

As for fellow Republicans, she’s free to meet with them one-on-one, but the GOP has kicked her out of their private caucus meetings.

“He got his clocked cleaned,” Roach said Friday of Richardson. “He lost on every point.”

Roach was a sponsor of the bill in 2004 that created the standard that McPhee enforced Friday – that the voters’ pamphlet shall not contain false or misleading statements about an opponent.

“Don’t you think that this is kind of fun, that I could be arguing in court my own bill?” Roach said.

When the lawsuit was filed, Richardson called the complaint a “quibble.”

“I am happy that my statements were preserved by the Court with very minor changes.” Richardson said in a statement sent out Friday. “The ongoing issues with Pam Roach, which have been referenced in 13 articles since 2008 by The News Tribune alone, should be brought to light. The people have the right to know what is going on before they vote.”

Both King and Pierce Counties will print a primary pamphlet. The state guide will be on-line only.

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