News Seattle Times Interviews Angry Sen. Weinstein
posted by April 3 at 10:02 AMon
Seattle Times Olympia reporter Ralph Thomas has a good follow-up story to the interview I did over the weekend with state Senator Brian Weinstein (D-41, Mercer Island). (I interviewed Weinstein on Sunday about his frustration at having his homebuyers’ protection bill iced by House Speaker Rep. Frank Chopp.)
Sen. Weinstein told me:
This is democracy at its worst. Here is one guy that overruled 30 Democratic Senators and the Democratic House Judiciary Committee. What’s the point of working hard on a bill? There’s no point in doing the fact finding, holding eight hours of hearings, of doing the right thing, if a dicatator can just pull the rug out from under you. I feel helpless.
But Thomas got some even sharper quotes.
Sen. Weinstein, referring to Chopp’s relationship with the Building Industry Association of Washington and Chopp’s decision to table the homebuyers’ protection bill:
If you start connecting the dots, you see he [Chopp] has some kind of understanding that he isn’t going to hurt them this year. They knew they had an ace in the hole. They knew Frank was going to kill it.
BIAW lobbyist Tom McCabe on Weinstein’s hearings and on Weinstein:
They weren’t hearings,” McCabe said. “They were inquisitions. He was nasty to anyone who didn’t agree with his idea.”
McCabe acknowledged talking to Chopp about the bill. Did the speaker promise to kill it?
“Not really,” McCabe said. “We talked about the bill. He listened to reason, which Weinstein wouldn’t do. I think that guy’s irrational.”
And Senate Majority Leader Sen. Lisa Brown (D-3, Spokane) on Sen. Weinstein:
Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown said she has urged Weinstein to tone it down and “to focus on the policy rather than the person.”
Thomas, however, gives Weinstein the last word:
“I haven’t been here long enough to play by some of the rules that some people play by,” Weinstein said. “But I don’t mind taking off the gloves when I know I’m right.”
Meanwhile, The PI weighed in with an editorial on Weinstein’s bill, scolding Chopp.