Political Buzz

Talking WA politics.

NOTICE: Political Buzz has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Political Buzz.
Visit the new section.

County Council, on 4-3 vote, picks redistricting committee, passing over former exec Ladenburg

Post by Kris Sherman / The News Tribune on March 22, 2011 at 9:26 pm with 20 Comments »
March 23, 2011 9:47 am

On a split and acrimonious vote, Pierce County Council members appointed a four-member committee Tuesday to oversee the county’s redistricting process.

They council appointed Republicans Mike Abernathy and Deryl McCarty and Democrats Ken Blair and Sam Ross to the panel, which will then pick a fifth member as its chair.

In making the appointments, the Republican-dominated council passed over two high profile Democrats – former County Executive John Ladenburg and former Tacoma Mayor Bill Baarsma.

They were approved by a 4-3 vote, with Council Chairman Roger Bush and members Joyce McDonald, Dick Muri and Dan Roach, all Republicans, voting yes. Stan Flemming, a Republican, joined the council’s two Democrats, Tim Farrell and Rick Talbert, in voting no.

Farrell cried foul after the vote, complaining that he turned his light on first to speak about the nominees and that Bush instead turned to Muri, who made a motion on the appointments.

The redistricting of council district lines – done every 10 years following the Census – generally carries political intrigue and sparks questions of fairness and grumbles of gerrymandering.

After the four Districting Commission members appointed by the County Council Tuesday agree on a fifth person to act as their chair, the committee will select a Districting Master, who will draw up a plan for approval by the committee.

You can read more about the process on the county’s redistricting web page.

A bit more about the four Redistricting Committee members appointed by the County Council Tuesday:
• Abernathy is a retired attorney who lives on the Key Peninsula.
• McCarty is an Air Force veteran who served on the committee 10 years ago. He lives on South Hill.
• Blair is a former Bethel School Board member who lives near Frederickson. He is a child support enforcement officer.
• Ross works in marketing and advocacy for UFCW Local 141. He lives in Lakewood.

They were among 10 nominees – five Republicans and five Democrats – nominated by their respective parties for work on the committee.

Christine Wilson of Puyallup was the fifth nominee in the Democrat group.

Dave Morrell, Matt Hamilton and Don Houghton were the other Republicans nominated by their party for consideration as committee members.

Leave a comment Comments → 20
  1. Concernedfather says:

    Well, John and Bill, do you hear us now?

  2. PumainTacoma says:

    Tim Farrelll is a whinny political hack for Baarsma and Ladenburg two worn out Democratic thugs reminding us of Tacoma’s corrupt past involving Brame et, al.

  3. JeffTacoma says:

    I saw this on TV and I see that the TNT doesn’t even understand the political crap here. Muri and the Republicans refused to even ask the two Democrats on the Council who they prefer, they rammed it home. IT is a partisan appointment. Muri also intentionally put on the Committee a Democrat who had withdrawn his name, and was on the phone with Farrell saying he could not serve. Why do that? Simple, it takes all four committee members to pick a chair. So, when only three show up, no chair means no committee. When the committee cannot act, it cannot appoint a redistricting master. After 60 days, the duty to appoint that master goes BACK to the Council. Muri will blame the Democrat for not showing up, then he will appoint a Republican special master so they can gerrymander the County again. This is a partisan polictical attempt to kill the Charter’s provision that we have a bi-partisan committee appoint a special master and bring the appointment back to the Council, which just proved their extremely partisan nature. They should be recalled.

  4. geeterpontiac says:

    Well Jeff, were they any more partisan than you were in your commentary?

    Hardly.

    Four versus three simply means they were expressing the will of the majority of their constituency and therefore, the will of the majority of the voters in Pierce County. If they weren’t, they will be kicked out of office next go around if anyone can make the case.

    Of course, the Dems could have ran off and hid in another state before the vote. But, it wouldn’t have meant anything in this case.

    Still, it would have been a wonderful symbolic sign of support for WI and Ind Dems who run and hide rather than representing their constituency and obeying the oath of office they took.

  5. @geeterpontiac – the Legislature appoints a person to the Redistricting Commission to represent each caucus (2 Dems; 2 GOP). This is different in that the GOP picked two Dems from a slate of five while picking exactly who they’d like on the Commission.

    Is @JeffTacoma’s comnentary partisan? You bet! Is it out of line? Absolutely not!

    Dick did not even allow the Democrats to comment. The minority voice was trampled by Dick. Dick is a…well…you know.

  6. dbreneman says:

    “Farrell cried foul after the vote, complaining that he turned his light on first to speak about the nominees and that Bush instead turned to Muri, who made a motion on the appointments.”

    I have no idea what turning your light on first means, but I’ll guess that Council sessions are now being run like a TV game show. Maybe Alex Trebeck should be the Chairman. Why didn’t Farrell simply raise a point of order? If you don’t understand the parliamentary process, you shouldn’t be in a parliamentary body.

  7. dirtydan54 says:

    Wow, the godfather of Pierce County corruption, good ol boy John was passed over? Wonder what future grand scheme the council is saving him for.

  8. geeterpontiac says:

    JAvison– So, is ok for JeffTacoma to express a partisan view of the issue? Sure, that is perfectly fine. I never said otherwise. All I was saying was JT was criticizing them for being partisan, but his reaction is simply partisan also. His partisan ox got gored
    .
    If the situation were reversed, would he have commented? Would you have? I wouldn’t hold my breath in expectation of such.

    Look JAvision, we can probably agree the hostility and partisanship that exists in this country is a detriment to good governance but there doesn’t seem to be much else in the offering at this point. While I don’t mean that as an excuse for improper behavior, it is a fact of life.

    Also, you mention a minority got trampled. Really? What have the Dems been doing for years in this state? The Repubs have been screaming about Dem spending every year for what seems like an eternity and have been ignored. (At least they didn’t run and hide)

    Now all that is coming home to roost. Where was a concern for the views of the minority the Repubs represented over the last 30 years?

    And where was the concern for the minority view on Obamacare, etc, when a gimmick was used to pass it? Please, it’s a sad situation but spare me the sanctimonious platitudes.

    Heck, I would bet you and I would treat each other better and with more respect and integrity than these politicians do each other. Sad, but very probable.

  9. Good for the passing on John and Bill, as they had left me with a bad taste in my mouth,as for Stan. I have my vote ready when he runs again and it is not in his favor!This is in my opinion of how they conducted themselves while in office.

  10. chazzmoney says:

    For those on both sides making this about partisan politics… Go watch what happened. Even the two Republicans nominated for the redistricting board requested that the county council reconsider what was happening and do things right.

    Redistricting is important to our democratic process and should be done fairly. This isn’t about one party being in control; its about mutual respect and fairness for all.

    When did politics become more about holding on to power than doing what is right?

    Shame on the council members who voted yes. Many cheers to Stan Flemming for voting with his conscience. If we had more politicians like him, we’d be doing much better as a society.

  11. chazzmoney says:

    Also, to geeterpontiac, who said:

    “Four versus three simply means they were expressing the will of the majority of their constituency and therefore, the will of the majority of the voters in Pierce County.”

    The will of the constituency was to elect these representatives. It does not mean that the will of the constituency is represented in their actions. Roger Bush received my vote, but I do not approve of what I saw happen or of his actions.

  12. @geeterpontiac – How does the state redistricting commission run over Republicans? I don’t see the logic there.

    Dick made sure that they picked the ONE person who tried to back out from being considered as he couldn’t commit to doing the work. If he doesn’t do the work, then the two Republicans can just do whatever they want. How is that fair?

    This is a shady, underhanded deal constructed by Dick and Mr. Bush that will ram a seven-district council plan through to benefit them. This is why the appointments should be left entirely up to each stakeholder, like the state does. This wouldn’t happen in the state redistricting commission.

  13. geeterpontiac says:

    “JAvison says:
    March 23, 2011 at 5:28 pm
    @geeterpontiac – How does the state redistricting commission run over Republicans? I don’t see the logic there”

    I wasn’t referring to redistricting explicitly. I was speaking generally and I thought my references to spending and Obamacare would make that plain.

    But, Adam Smith’s district is an example that many considered gerrymandered, as was Norm Dicks. Whether that is true or not, I don’t know. But, I have heard from sources that some lines were shuffled to give enough of South King County to Smith in order to neutralize Pierce Country voters who rarely support Smith.

    Regardless, what was done (whether we approve or not) was nothing the other side wouldn’t do given opportunity.

  14. geeterpontiac says:

    “chazzmoney says:
    March 23, 2011 at 3:25 pm
    “The will of the constituency was to elect these representatives. It does not mean that the will of the constituency is represented in their actions. Roger Bush received my vote, but I do not approve of what I saw happen or of his actions.”

    Reasonably speaking, there is no way we can say it wasn’t the will of the MAJORITY of their constituency. As I said in my earlier post, if it isn’t, they will be judged accordingly.

    Also, you and I are only one part of their constituency. As a rule, they will do what they think will please the majority. That is how they get elected. Would you suggest they do otherwise? If they ignored the majority of their constituency, they wouldn’t be there.

    Example, I am part of Adam Smith’s constituency. He represents me because I am in his district. Granted, I think he is a poor representative but evidently, the majority of his constituency thinks he is wonderful. I assume it is probably because they listen to his words rather than paying attention to his actions. But, that’s their choice.

  15. Big difference between Baarsma and Ladenburg. B is actually sort of honest (for a politician), and a real D. B also did redistricting for Tacoma’s five districts and did a non-partisan job. Most all D’s would broadly support B for such an appointment. Also, B has never lost an election, nor even had a close one. They should have choosen Baarsma.

  16. PumainTacoma says:

    thurber: you say B is honest? So why did he hire Beletz to run his campaign and not disclose that he knew Brame had raped a woman prior to becoming Chief of Police… your honest meter is broken!!!

  17. intheblack says:

    Wow. Listen to all the junk fly in these comments.
    I take my hat off to councilman Fleming for seeing it for what it is. It seems pretty darn simple – one guy nominated says he can’t do it and another says he has a prior committment that will remove him from the middle of the proceedings and they still vote to approve these people?
    This is just plain bad management and I would add bad judgement if it were not for the appearance of alterior motives. If these council members were CEOs, they would have been gone long ago or thier business would have tanked.
    I wish more people would sit in on the Pierce County Council meetings and see them for the poorly orchestrated government that they are.

  18. S_Emerson says:

    The meeting is now available for online viewing. Cue to 19:05 at http://www.piercecountytv.org/cfapps/council/iview/councilMeeting.cfm?meeting_dt=3/22/2011%203:00%20PM.

  19. @PumainT: Good points. I said “basically honest for a politician”. Baarsma’s never been involved in a money or ethical scandal. Not like Ladenburg with his drug company stock holdings, the value of which depended upon the company’s contract with Pierce County.

    How could I ever forget Jamie Beletz? But later Baarsma figured him out.

    As for Brame, his chief advocates were Kevin Phelps and David Seago. They had far more influence over Corpuz, who made the appointment. Baarsma was basically duped.

  20. geeterpontiac says:

    “thurber says:”

    “As for Brame, his chief advocates were Kevin Phelps and David Seago. They had far more influence over Corpuz, who made the appointment. Baarsma was basically duped.”

    thurber, are you referring to the David Seago that used to work for the TNT?

*
We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0