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Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Another Democratic First in Olympia…

posted by on January 9 at 10:10 AM

although, it’s not necessarily worthy of applause.

The State House, dominated by a 62-36 Democratic majority, voted unanimously yesterday to change the rules so they could do something that’s never been done: Appoint a member of the minority party as a committee chair.

Indeed, the Democrats made Rep. Tom Campbell (R-2, Parts of Pierce and Thurston Counties) chair of the environmental health committee. Additionally, the Dems handed a vice chair postion to Rep. Maureen Walsh (R-16, Walla Walla). Walsh will be vice chair of the Early Learning & Children’s Services committee. Democrat Ruth Kagi (D-Lake Forest) will chair that committee.

Speaker of the House, Rep. Frank Chopp (D-43, Capitol Hill, Wallingford, U-District) explained the move:

Good ideas and leadership do not come from just one side of the aisle. The continued prosperity of Washington state depends on all of us working together cooperatively. In making their decisions, the House Democratic Caucus carefully considered the varied talents of all House members, the needs of our people, and the forward momentum of our state. Rep. Walsh and Rep. Campbell remain Republican members of the House, but that does not impact our respect for their abilities and their dedication to this institution in fact, we think Washington will be better served by this bipartisanship.

RSS icon Comments

1

Well, if these guys are really quite qualified, then I'm all for it. Though really, with a supermajority, it doesn't seem necessary.

Posted by Gitai | January 9, 2007 10:09 AM
2

I hope it works well. I think it's a good example to set for the rest of the nation. I'm so tired of us vs. them.

Posted by monkey | January 9, 2007 10:14 AM
3

I guess it doesn't really matter which party wins elections. Apparently it doesnt matter that the electorate voted for Democrats knowing that there might be a supermajority and thus an abundance of committees headed by members of one party.

In the end, what difference will it make.

bipartisanship = compromise = ONE party.

We all work together to accomplish the same thing.

There really is no difference, is there?

Posted by patrick C | January 9, 2007 10:19 AM
4

Not worthy of applause?

Really?

Sure, it wasn't something that HAD to be done, and admittedly not very many people outside of Olympia would probably take much note of it, but the fact that this was even considered, let alone accomplished speaks volumes about the direction upon which Democratic leaders at the State level are embarking.

It seems to me to be a perfect application of the carrot/stick approach: rewarding moderate Republicans with demonstrable working knowledge in certain areas (particularly ones that are traditional Democratic platforms) with committee leadership positions sends the message that the Dems are actively engaging in bi-partisanship, are willing to listen to good ideas regardless of their source, and effectively cuts the rug out from under their opponents, who now won't be able to use the excuse of being locked out of the policy-making process as an attacking point on these issues.

I'd say, it's a pretty effin' brilliant move on their part.

Posted by COMTE | January 9, 2007 10:25 AM
5

Ban political parties!

Posted by elswinger | January 9, 2007 10:37 AM
6

Toss the scumbags a bone. They've got NOTHING in Olympia, for the indefinite future. Screw 'em.

Posted by Hortense | January 9, 2007 10:51 AM
7

I approve of what the Dems did. They need to involve the Republicans in the government; this was an extremely good and politic move that should bear dividends for Washington in the future.

Politics is much about negotiation and meeting at some common ground. It's not all confrontation and winning battles by 51-49 "majorities."

Posted by Sachi Wilson | January 9, 2007 11:01 AM
8

I approve of what the Dems did. They need to involve the Republicans in the government; this was an extremely good and politic move that should bear dividends for Washington in the future.

Politics is much about negotiation and meeting at some common ground. It's not all confrontation and winning battles by 51-49 "majorities."

Posted by Sachi Wilson | January 9, 2007 11:01 AM
9

I agree, and I'm as liberal as it gets. It's a shrewd move on the Dems part, and involving everyone is the right thing to do.

Posted by Original Andrew | January 9, 2007 11:52 AM

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