Politics Republicans Would Never Do This. But Democrats?
posted by October 31 at 14:28 PMon
The big partisan race on Tuesday is between Republican candidate Dan Satterberg and Democratic candidate Bill Sherman for King County Prosecutor.
An influential Seattle elected Democrat, State Senator Adam Kline (D-37, South Seattle) has not only endorsed Satterberg the Republican, he’s done robo-calls on his behalf, signed a fundraising letter, and given quotes to the dailies about supporting Satterberg.
Would an elected Republican ever ever do this for a Democat? This is what’s wrong with Democrats and all their Free-to-be-You-and-Me shit.
Some, like Sen. Kline, say a law enforcement office should be above politics and non-partisan—which is crazy. (Kline also told me he’s writing a bill to make the office non-partisan.)
With issues like treatment vs. incarceration; sentencing reform; the death penalty; drug laws; and gun laws, law enforcement is hotly politicized, and Democrats and Republicans have different agendas.
Additionally, the KC prosecutor sets law enforcement priorities. Sherman pledges to get tougher on environmental crimes and points out that under Satterberg, a suspected environmental polluter, Nuprecon, got off the hook. (Coincidentally, Nuprecon CEO John Hennessy just donated $5000 to the state Republican Party. Gee, I wonder which race that’s going to go to?)
And the KC prosecutor is on the canvassing board, which oversees complaints about elections—you know, like whether or not to count reams of discounted votes from Democratic strongholds that were originally ignored in the tight Gregoire/Rossi race. (Satterberg was the lone vote against counting the infamous Larry Philips batch of Democratic votes from King County.)
Indeed, on all these fronts, there are major differences between Democrat Sherman and Republican Satterberg. For example, Sherman wants a moratorium on the death penalty and says he’ll advocate to reinstate the assault weapons ban. He also wants to institute an environmental crimes unit, like other major prosecutor’s offices around the country. Not Satterberg. Sherman is more specific about expanding rehabilitation (making drug felonies part of drug court, for example) while Satterberg speaks in platitudes on the issue.
So, I asked Sen. Kline why he endorsed Satterberg.
Here’s what he said:
1) He’s known him for 17 years and Satterberg helped Kline write a strong drunk driving law back when Kline was President of MADD.
2) He’s been good on pushing treatment over incarceration.
3) He supported a Kline bill to make the sentencing grid less draconian and costly.
3) He suspects, although he says he doesn’t know, that the KC Prosecutor’s office shot down former GOP state party chair Chris Vance when Vance was shopping lawsuits in the Gregoire/Rossi standoff. “I suspect Vance went to Maleng and Satterberg,” Kline told me, “And if he did, the Prosecutor’s office obviously said, ‘No.’”
4) He believes Satterberg isn’t going to use the office as a stepping stone to run for a more obviously partisan gig like AG or governor. “Satterberg made it clear to me that he wasn’t going to seek higher office. If he was, I would not have done this.”
Kline acknowledged—kind of undermining his own point—that the KC Prosecutor’s Office is a major political force in Olympia and that they’ve often been on the opposite side of issues from him, citing the death penalty and the Three-Strikes rule.
I told him that Sherman had called for a moratorium on the death penalty. I also told him that Sherman has been running on gun control—one of Sen. Kline’s biggest issues.
“I’m less familiar with Bill,” Kline said. “I just met him last night, and we chatted. He seems like a wonderful guy. But my point is that Satterberg has been there and been doing this kind of work.”
It’s galling that an elected Democrat, who benefits from South Seattle’s strong Democratic base, would go to bat for a Republican, a party that pushes a tough-on-crime agenda over a rehabilitation agenda; that doesn’t get it on the environment; that’s locked into the death penalty; and that is way out of touch on drug reform—all issues that impact South Seattle’s 37th in a big way … and all issues that are in play in the KC Prosecutor’s race.
A Republican senator from an equivalent, conservative spot—not someone like Republican Rep. Fred Jarrett, who orbits liberal Seattle, but someone from, say, the 7th District (Pend Oreille, Steven, Ferry Counties) would never back a Democrat in a hotly contested partisan race.