Politics Another Installment of Overheard in Olympia
Seattle Times chief political reporter David Postman was hanging out with his colleague Ralph Thomas on the sidelines of the Senate chamber last Wednesday night (the closing night of the session, as legislators were shuttling back and forth between chambers and the dueling lobbyist-sponsored soirees in Democratic leader Sen. Lisa Brown’s office and the Republican caucus room)—when eastside Sen. Brian Weinstein (D-41) came upon the pair.
Postman, dressed in a new pinstripe suit that he reports he’s quite proud of, was wrapping up a chat with Sen. Darlene Fairley (D-32), when Weinstein, also dressed in pinstripes (he’s well-known in Olympia for his dapper outfits), approached.
According to Postman, the following conversation ensued:
Fairely (to Weinstein): Looks like his suit is as nice as yours.
Weinstein: I doubt it.
Postman: I wouldn’t be so sure.
Weinstein: I’m sure mine cost more.
Postman: I doubt it.
Weinstein: You’re nothing but a fucking peasant.
Weinstein then sat down between Postman and Thomas. (Fairley had gone on her way at this point.)
Weinstein: I don’t even know who the fuck you are.
Postman: Well then why are you talking to me?
Weinstein: Are you Postman? I don’t give a fuck.
Postman: Well you should. I’m the political chief for the biggest paper in the state, and we’re right in your district.
Weinstein then lectured Postman about how newspapers get everything wrong, Postman says.
Weinstein tells me that the conversation started as a case of mistaken identity. He says he mistook Postman for a friend in the governor’s office—Scott Merriman—who he typically jokes around with in this manner. He admits using the F word, but says, “I called him a peasant. I didn’t call him a fucking peasant.” He also says Postman has the chronology of the conversation wrong, maintaining that he (Weinstein) never talked to Fairley.
By way of further explanation, Weinstein says it was a party where people were joking around and drinking, but says he himself was not drinking.
After the incident, according to Weinstein, he talked to Katy Johansson (the Senate Dems’ Communications Director). Weinstein pointed to Postman and said: “Is that Postman? I think I really blew it with him.”
Weinstein called Postman today and apologized.