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Tag: Christopher Hurst


Environmentalists sort out ‘champions’ from ‘duds’

An environmental group praises Reps. Skip Priest and Geoff Simpson as “champions” while singling out Reps. Christopher Hurst and Troy Kelley and Sen. Tim Sheldon as “green duds.”

Washington Conservation Voters released its scorecard today, ranking each legislator on their environmental votes in 2009 and 2010 on a scale of 0-100.

South Sound legislators Hurst, Kelley and Sheldon are among five Democrats — the others are Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen and Rep. Tim Probst — who come in for criticism.

Hurst’s and Kelley’s votes in this year’s special session to put energy-efficient upgrades of schools on the ballot weren’t enough to save them from the group’s ire. The Conservation Voters website says Hurst and Kelley earned low 44 percent ratings when they “voted against clean water, against the protection of our shorelines, against energy efficient televisions, and against transit for Pierce County.” They call Hurst’s record “shameful” and “likely (to) backfire on him in the near future” and say Kelley is “severely out of step with both his party and his constituents.”

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Another challenger in northeast Pierce district

The first day of filing brought a new candidate trying to unseat Rep. Christopher Hurst.

Republican Daniel Geske of Bonney Lake filed today to challenge the Enumclaw Democrat, who represents parts of southeast King and northeast Pierce counties in the House.

Geske says he’s “very conservative” on his Facebook page, but doesn’t include much other information about himself.

The other Republican in the race, Patrick Reed, seems to be ahead of Geske in collecting his party’s support. He recently announced departing GOP state Rep. Dan Roach has endorsed him.

Reed hasn’t yet filed. Nor has Hurst, who plans

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Labor has Roadkill Caucus in its headlights

Days before the state’s biggest labor group makes its campaign endorsements, its president has some tough words for centrist Democrats in the Legislature.

The self-styled Roadkill Caucus isn’t even truly centrist, Washington State Labor Council President Rick Bender writes in the council’s newsletter out today:

… this year, something different emerged, masquerading as moderate. It’s a group of Democrats calling themselves the Roadkill Caucus. They espouse a pro-corporate, anti-government agenda. They use the same rhetoric Republicans use about Washington having a horrible business climate, about the need to “reduce government’s footprint,” and even labeling their fellow party members as

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A “battle for the soul” of House Democrats

Rep. Christopher Hurst has filed paperwork to run for re-election. That’s no surprise. What’s interesting is his party affiliation.

Instead of Democrat, it’s “Independent Democrat,” a slap at the majority party that he disagreed with frequently this year.

The former police detective from Enumclaw voted against the $800 million tax package and the I-960 suspension that paved the way for the taxes. He was among those conservative-to-centrist Democrats that some dubbed the “Roadkill Caucus.”

Hurst said he will remain in the House Democratic caucus and support Speaker Frank Chopp of Seattle, but he and other legislators from rural and

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Which Democrats are immune to tax ads?

The answer: Not very many.

A number of freshmen and swing-district Democratic legislators were cut loose by their party to go their own way on tough tax or budget votes. But very few voted no across the board.

If the key bills are the main tax package, the tobacco taxes, and the operating budget that depends on both of those tax increases, the list of Democrats who opposed all three is small. I only see four: Rep. John Driscoll of Spokane,  Rep. Tim Probst of Vancouver, Sen. Tim Sheldon of Potlatch, and just one from Pierce County:

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How many votes did your state lawmaker miss?

You can find out below, courtesy of a count by Washington Votes. But the more interesting part of the report out today might be the excuses lawmakers gave for missing votes.

Some are pretty compelling: illnesses, surgeries, disabilities. Others, not so much. Read them below, too.

Living near Olympia didn’t help attendance records. Four of the six most frequently absent House members were from the South Sound. Led by Rep. Christopher Hurst of Enumclaw (163 missed votes), whose wife has been recovering from brain surgery, the list also includes Reps. Geoff Simpson of Covington (91), Cary Condotta of Wenatchee (80), Reuven Carlyle of Seattle (75), Jeannie Darneille of Tacoma (67) and Dennis Flannigan of Tacoma (67).

The most frequently absent senator was Sen. Bob McCaslin of Spokane Valley (491), who was hospitalized during session, followed by Sens. Darlene Fairley of Lake Forest Park (96), Janéa Holmquist of Moses Lake (85), Cheryl Pflug of Maple Valley (78) and Dale Brandland of Bellingham (69).

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House votes for taxes

Hours after its unveiling, the tax compromise cleared the House by a vote of 52-44.

All Republicans and a few Democrats voted ‘no’. South Sound Democrats who broke with their party included Reps. Christopher Hurst, Troy Kelley, Mark Miloscia and Larry Seaquist, who opposed earlier versions of the tax package, plus Rep. Geoff Simpson, who switched to a ‘no’ vote from his support last time around.

Rep. Dawn Morrell, who had voted ‘no’ on earlier versions of the bill, switched to a ‘yes’ vote.


House: Limit computer access at sex-offender lockup

Restrictions on sex offenders’ computer use at the Special Commitment Center cleared a deadline to advance today, passing the House. Now we’ll see if senators agree with the House’s scaled-back version.

The Senate had unanimously agreed to prohibit sex offenders’ access to computers unless they are deemed necessary for treatment. Sen. Mike Carrell pushed the restriction, outraged that 16 sex offenders were charged with or suspected in possessing child pornography over the past three years.

The objection in the House: That the restriction might make the Special Commitment Center look too much like a prison when the state

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