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Tag: Tim Sheldon

Feb.
22nd

Were seeds for Majority Coalition Caucus in state Senate sewn in Washington Redistricting Commission?

Well, yeah. Sort of.

The so-called coup by 23 formerly minority Republicans and two Democrats that broke in mid-December came just after the final undecided Senate race was decided.

Because it was so close, the race between GOP incumbent Don Benton and challenger Tim Probst wasn’t official until the election was certified. Benton won reelection by 78 votes out of just under 55,000 cast. Once he was in and the GOP total was up to 23 votes, the coalition with Democrats Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon could became a majority of 25.

Did Benton deliver the majority?

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Jan.
14th

UPDATE – Maverick Democratic Sen. Tim Sheldon elected president pro tem of Senate

The Senate has sworn in maverick Democratic Sen. Tim Sheldon to serve as president pro tempore, presiding over the politically divided chamber when Lt. Gov. Brad Owen is away. No one else was nominated but the vote was 38 to 10 Monday – far from unanimous.

Among the dissenters was Democratic Sen. Karen Fraser of Thurston County.

“A big portion of my constituency is very unhappy with his shifting” allegiance to join the GOP caucus in a coalition,  Fraser explained.

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Jan.
14th

Senate Republicans poised to take over Environment, Higher Ed, Parks, Trade, Human Services; remaining question marks include Sens. Hobbs, Hatfield, Eide

Washington will get a new Democratic governor this week with a green-energy agenda, but Republicans are preparing to take the helm of the Senate committee that would consider such proposals — along with other panels dealing with colleges, trade, parks and prisons.

The Legislature officially returns to session today at noon with the specifics of how the Senate will work still up in the air. After several Democrats turned down its offers to lead committees, the Republicans-plus-two-Democrats majority in the Senate has issued a new proposal to the minority.

As described in an e-mail that was circulated among Democratic senators

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Jan.
12th

Pierce County Democrats elect new chairwoman, Jeannie Mitchell; censure Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon

Democrats today elected a new county chairwoman, Jeannie Mitchell of North Tacoma.

They picked Mitchell over Anita Latch and Cindy Poysnick. She replaces Rose Ehart, who did not run for re-election to a second two-year term.

Mitchell, who has a business with her husband as independent contractors delivering magazines, is a former chairwoman of the 27th District Democrats. Her goals include better recruitment and training of candidates and precinct-committee officers.

Pierce County Democrats also formally censured two Democratic state senators who have allied with Republicans to form a new governing coalition.

The resolution accuses Rodney Tom of Medina and Tim Sheldon of Potlatch of “thwarting

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Jan.
9th

Capitol shuffle sends AG’s lobbyist Hunter Goodman to top Senate admin job

Hunter Goodman is moving over from the Attorney General’s Office to serve as secretary of the Senate. The announcement just went out confirming the day’s earlier rumor as Goodman replaces longtime secretary Tom Hoemann. Goodman was deputy chief of staff and served as legislative director for outgoing Attorney General Rob McKenna, a Republican who ran and lost his bid for governor.

New AG Bob Ferguson, a Democrat, is replacing some staff members, including the appointment today of a new solicitor general.

Goodman obviously knows his way around the Capitol but the powers that be still have to

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Dec.
27th

Lt. Gov. Brad Owen starting peace talks with state Senate leaders on Friday morning

The ongoing stalemate over who is in charge of the Washington state Senate may get sorted out on neutral ground Friday morning. Lt. Gov. Brad Owen says he is convening a three-hour session with leaders of both Democratic and Republican blocs that are vying for position in the divided chamber.

“It’s not my job to dictate or tell them what to do but I have some history and I have some ideas. I think they recognize I’ve been pretty independent over the years,’’ Owen, a Democrat, said by phone today. “I think there is a good possibility of working it

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Dec.
12th

Senate Democrats’ leader Ed Murray says he’d rather be in real minority than accept GOP power-sharing plan

It remains to be seen what Senate Democrats will do about the power-sharing arrangement outlined this week by 23 Republicans and two Democrats, led by state Democratic Sen. Rodney Tom. With Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch, also in the new Majority Coalition Caucus, the remaining 24 Democrats have not decided what their next steps will be.

That is what Sen. Karen Fraser, the Thurston County Democrat who chairs the Senate Democratic Caucus, told me yesterday afternoon. But it doesn’t look like Democrats are accepting the power-sharing terms laid out Monday by the new Republican-plus-two majority, which has offered to let

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Dec.
10th

UPDATE – Republican-led coalition takes control in state Senate

Senate Republicans joined by maverick Democratic Sens. Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon announced a new majority coalition today to run the Senate in January, calling their plan a bipartisan effort to share power in a cooperative way the public is demanding. Tom will serve as majority leader of the new Majority Coalition Caucus, while Sheldon will take over as president pro tem, presiding in the absence of Lt. Gov. Brad Owen.

The news came as perhaps a small surprise to Democrats, who had offered to share power under leadership of a 26-Democrat majority but knew an announcement was coming. Democrats’ leader Ed Murray called it a “take-it-or-leave-it” approach and it was unclear if the 24 remaining Democrats would agree to provide chairmen for the six committees that the new coalition offered.

Tom and Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler of Ritzville said they agree with Gov.-elect Jay inslee, a Democrat, that new tax revenue is not needed to answer a Supreme Court ruling on the funding of schools. But the Washington Education Association quickly denounced the Senate power shift, calling it “misguided” and harmful to K-12 schools in a news release.

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