Former King County state Sen. Cheryl Pflug issued the second of two fiery news releases Wednesday denouncing the appointment of fellow Republican Dino Rossi to fill her seat until the November election.
Pflug had been vague about her concerns in her first letter, but is more explicit in the latest, saying it’s a move by Republicans to help candidate Brad Toft.
I am speaking out after Rossi’s appointment, initially thwarted by skeptical Councilmembers, because it is the next step in the campaign to get Toft into the Senate. No one seriously believes that Rossi is there to do my constituent work for 5 months. There were certainly other, better “caretakers.” I believe Rossi is there to use his stature as Senator to lend credibility to Toft and to continue to work his “friends” for money and endorsements. His appointment also effectively shut out a write-in campaign by another Republican with credibility.
Toft is the only Republican in the race. It was too late for other Republicans to file for office when Pflug pulled out of her re-election campaign at the last minute to take an appointment from Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire.
Someone could still run a write-in campaign against Democrat Mark Mullet (whom Pflug has endorsed). But if Republicans had appointed a potential write-in candidate to the interim job, it would certainly have smelled of politics.
Republican chairman Kirby Wilbur defended the appointment in a scathing statement:
The process that appointed Dino Rossi to Cheryl Pflug’s old seat was open and honest, the exact same way it was when Cheryl was appointed to her Senate seat in 2003. For her to criticize this transparent appointment process, given how sneaky and deceitful it was for her to make a backroom deal for a cushier position as a bureaucrat, makes her a hypocrite – plain and simple. … Cheryl should keep her irrelevant thoughts to herself – no one cares.
Pflug fires back, even taking issue with the chairman’s past use of “Pflug” (the P is silent) as a verb:
Now, not many care what Wilbur thinks. His “Pflug you!” response clearly undermines his pretense of standing for “family values.” Further, his many conspiratorial accusations are silly because they fly in the face of the facts and timelines involved. I voted for marriage equality 7 weeks before I even thought to apply for the GMHB position. I didn’t wait to tell the Party that I had a new offer and would be withdrawing my candidacy. I called within 2 minutes of the governor’s offer, and my phone records affirm that.