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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Tension is Building in Olympia

posted by on March 31 at 11:45 AM

The Olympian reports that Rep. Brendan Williams (D-22, Olympia, Tumwater, Lacey, pictured below) threatened to resign his seat after House Dem leadership suggested watering down a Senate bill that Williams has been pushing in the House to give new homeowners recourse against shoddy construction.

The Olympian reports today:

“There is no point in continuing in this (job) if right-wing thugs like the Building Industry Association are allowed to run roughshod over the process, Williams told the paper, referring to Chopps statement that he wanted to work with parties such as the building industry to craft a bill this summer.


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UPDATE: Here are the speaking points against the home buyer protection bill the BIAW circulated to its membership.

RSS icon Comments

1

Frank Chop blows.

Posted by EXTC | March 31, 2007 12:32 PM
2

This guy represents one of the most liberal groups of neighborhoods in the country and the building industry has him in their back pocket? The guy never even has an opponent when he runs. What an ass, there has to be someone else who isn't in bed with those fucks

Posted by Ross | March 31, 2007 12:41 PM
3

By saying that he wants to work with the BIAW, Chopp is essentially saying he wants to turn the bill into a study, or not address the issue at all. What does he hope to get from the BIAW in return?


It is really disheartening that the speaker seems to be more concerned with the next campaign cycle than with providing Washington consumers with some basic protections.

Posted by Mike | March 31, 2007 2:14 PM
4

BIAW is a criminal organization. Right up there with the NRA and Tobacco industry.

Rep. Brendan Williams is my new hero!

Posted by David in Wedgwood | March 31, 2007 2:21 PM
5

Rep. Brendan Williams is a badass and a great politician. I am psyched to see him standing up for homeowners.

Posted by nbp | March 31, 2007 2:48 PM
6

There's a reason, and a legitimate one, why the BIAW is worried about insurance and lots of frivolous lawsuits. The courts have said that if one building in one subdevelopment demonstrates faulty construction, the owners of every unit built by that developer can sue for equal damages, even if no other home shows or develops any other problems. It's great for everyone but the builders, since you can have a perfectly functional and well built home and still get a couple hundred grand.

Because of this, lots of insurance companies stopped offering policies to general contractors, and those that do restrict them to five units. If you want to build more units than that, generally, your only option is Lloyd's of London, and it will cost a fortune.

That being said, the problem contains the solution. Pass the homeowners' rights bill, and add on that only those homes which show faulty construction can be sued over. It would fuck with my business, since my company does allow contractors to build more than five units in a subdivision, but hey, I'm willing to compete on price.

Posted by Gitai | March 31, 2007 5:10 PM
7

#6
Seems reasonable. Still, Frank Chopp blows.

Posted by Sean | March 31, 2007 5:59 PM
8

I had a contractor who hid numerous defects and when the house started to creak in 25 mile an hour winds -- well we found out we had a $65,000 bill (the house was 9 months old).

Our contractor ran and the insurance company stepped in to defend him (by the way under Washington State law it's the homeowner v. an insurance company -- not the contractor) The BIAW needs to stop being the power house in Olympia. They need to license contractors so they may even be required to know how to build. Right now -- no requirements to construct a home but a small fee and getting a policy from an insurance company and a small bond. SO, THE CONSUMER PAYS FOR FAULTY WORK!

So, congratulations to Brendan Williams!
Stand up for consumers and please also stand up for the environment (SSB6011). (Another bill which is in jeopardy and protects the environmenT -- ANOTHER BILL UNDER ATTACK BY CORPORATE LOBBYISTS)

Ida

Posted by Ida | March 31, 2007 6:11 PM
9

First Chopp says "my way is the highway" to a bigger, uglier viaduct; now he's giving the greenlight to even more shoddily-constructed condos and townhomes.

What's next from this guy?

Posted by put him on the chopping block | March 31, 2007 6:12 PM
10

Chopp maybe has forgotten he fought for the Shorelines Management Act. He fought for consumers.

Now the goal is to make sure that his "majority" doesn't fade away even if it doesn't represent real D values.

That is so sad. Perhaps, sometimes, someone forgets that it is better to lose than to forget your values. I don't believe it comes with age but with being in the establishment too long.

Posted by agreed - put him on the block | March 31, 2007 7:20 PM
11

BIAW attempted to buy the election of a Washington Supreme Court justice, and now it attempts to hijack the democratic process in the state legislature. Obviously, it made a deal with Chopp, and is confident Chopp won't renege. That explains why BIAW and its members, including Master Builders of King County confidently refused to negotiate over the homeowner's warranty bill. BIAW knew all along that no matter how far the bill progressed in the Senate, it would never pass the House controlled by Chopp. Just one hour after the House Judiciary Committee passed the bill by a vote of 7-4, Chopp announced to the press that he wouldn't approve the legislation.

His explanation that the bill needs more study is a smoke screen for keeping his bargain with BIAW. The building industry is the only industry where those who are negligent cannot be held responsible. It's time to hold the builders, BIAW and Frank Chopp accountable to the citizens and homebuyers of this state.

If Chopp wants to hold his seat and serve the citizens, rather than either his wallet or his ego, he should announce his support for this bill.

Posted by sandy | April 1, 2007 10:31 AM
12

I'm getting sicker & sicker. I used to believe in Frank. But last session he wouldn't OK the (Wal-Mart) Health Care bill because he was so concerned about getting a large majority.

Well, now he has that big majority and there's no election this year and he's holding up good bills because he wants to KEEP that big majority.

When does the D leadership start representing the constituents concerns. This is sort of like in D.C. where the D's are afraid to do what the public wants them to do. How the hell do we change them? Thank God for a few Brave ones.

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13

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14

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We shall talk about


Posted by WriglyB | April 26, 2007 7:12 AM

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