Politics Reichert: Good Cop or Bad Cop?
Eastside Republican Congressman Dave Reichert just announced that he’s received the endorsement of the Washington Council of Police & Sheriffs. Interesting timing, as today’s Roll Call has an article that looks at Reichert’s own tenure as King County Sheriff as a potential political liability.
You’ll need a subscription to read the article online, but here are some excerpts:
Freshman Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) earned his suburban Seattle seat two years ago by running a campaign centered on his storied tenure as King County sheriff.
Now Democrats hope that revelations of corruption in the sheriff’s office will taint his reputation as an ideal law enforcement officer and cripple his re-election efforts.
Since last August, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer has run a front-page news series about an array of problems in Reichert’s old fiefdom, ranging from abuse of power to officers hit with drug and domestic violence charges…
Reichert is not accused of any wrong- doing but some of the stories paint a portrait of an administrator unaware of questionable, and sometimes illegal, behavior by subordinates. The stories also examine whether Reichert let some bad cops retire with full pensions out of expediency rather than pursuing criminal charges.
“I think it creates a serious credibility problem because he’s shirking accountability for criminal activities that happened on his watch,” alleged Kelly Steele, spokesman for the state Democratic Party.
“Ultimately, in a broader sense, it’s the same problem with the Republican corruption in Washington D.C.,” Steele continued. “Reichert thinks that the rules don’t apply to himself and his friends.”
To which the Reichert campaign responds:
Reichert denies that he dropped the ball in any of the many cases the Seattle paper has outlined. His campaign and Republicans in the Evergreen State also are convinced that Democratic or third-party efforts to tie Reichert to the abuses and activities of rogue cops will fall flat.
“Dave has a record of 35 years of public service in the district; it’s a shiny, wonderful record and people in this community know what he’s done for this community,” said Bruce Boram, Reichert’s political consultant. “His record as sheriff speaks for itself … that’s why the people of the 8th district elected him.”