Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« Giuliani on Al Qaeda Associate... | Re: Letter of the Day »

Thursday, November 8, 2007

What the Sherman Loss Means for the Democrats in ‘08

posted by on November 8 at 15:15 PM

One thing I kept hearing in the “who’s gonna win?” conversations during the runup to yesterday’s election was this: “He’s got a D after his name.”

This was the line used by folks who thought Bill Sherman was going to win the race for King County Prosecutor against Republican Dan Satterberg. And yeah, you’d think that D would be a plus around these blue parts.

Indeed, just look at the difference in “hard money” fundraising by the Democrats and Republicans this year (the money they can use to help candidates directly). The Central Democratic Committee reports that its hard money account raised $635,868 so far this year. The Republican Committee? $176,000.

Apparently, it’s a good time to be a Democrat.

But Satterberg won. Maybe it’s actually better to have an R by your name in one important way: The party thinks to kick in some of that cash to your campaign.

Check it out: Despite the fact that the Democrats trounced the Republicans in hard money fund raising, the Republicans gave $125,000 of that $176,000 to Satterberg. Of their nearly $636,000, the Democrats gave about $30,000 to Sherman.

On the bright side for Democrats: They still have a lot of money left for ‘08.

However, on the bright side for Republicans: Dino Rossi can now motivate his party (and his donors) by talking about how the Republicans actually won in King fucking County.

I’m not sure what’s more valuabe: Money or momentum.

RSS icon Comments


I think what it means is that Backstabbing is more important, as the elected Dems who endorsed and contributed campaign money to Satterburg know.

But such actions have consequences, because a number of Dems who contribute are going to not help out their campaigns in the future, and will refuse to carry their campaign literature.

Actions have consequences.

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 8, 2007 3:18 PM

It wasn't the money, Josh, no matter how fucking hip you think it makes you to feel like it's OK to slam the Democratic Party organization.

It was all the prominent Dems who felt like it was OK to support a "pet Republican" because Norm Maleng had not been a flaming right-wing nut case.

Well, Norm's dead, and Satterberg is not Norm. Where's your outrage toward Adam Kline? Where's your outrage toward the Durkans? If they had all stood firm behind Sherman, all the GOP money in the world would not have helped Satterberg.

But no, that might be work. It might mean making a few phone calle, right? Just slam "the Democrats," because that's what passes for commentary around here.

Posted by ivan | November 8, 2007 3:21 PM

I think you are forgetting that most Washingtonians are not party affiliated and vote very, VERY, independently. Just because you have a D next to your name doesn't mean you get my vote.

Posted by seattle98104 | November 8, 2007 3:23 PM

Don't think that just maybe the fact that Satterburg was the heir apparent of one of the most respected politicians in the entire state was a factor regardless of party affiliation? Is it possible the voters just like the guy better because of his track record and policy ideas?

Perhaps, just maybe, voters that don't go your way aren't automatons that only vote for letter after the name that the parties payed to put there.

Posted by Westside forever | November 8, 2007 3:29 PM

I think you are forgetting that most Washingtonians do not fancy themselves as party affiliated and like to believe they vote very, VERY, independently. Just because you have a D next to your name doesn't mean you get a vote from people who fail to grasp that we do actually have a partisan political system.

These folks are often the same ones screaming about a lack of qualified D candidates, blissfully ignoring that they have been busily independently voting Rs into offices that provide much needed political and practical experience.

Posted by Juan | November 8, 2007 3:34 PM


You bash me for bashing Democrats (you think I think that makes me hep) ... but then the crux of your analysis is this: "It was all the prominent Dems who felt like it was OK to support a 'pet Republican.'"

So, you're bashing the Dems too, no?

It's your lucky day Ivan, you're as hip as me.

And by the way, I agree with your take on prominent Ds. Here's my hit on Sen. Kline:

Posted by Josh Feit | November 8, 2007 3:38 PM

Well, watching Jenny Durkan, the surprise to all now independant endorser, just watching and wondering, when she will endorse Rossi ...

Giant legal jobs in the future??

Disgusted. I thought she would be great to go to Congress someday. No way now.

Posted by Larkin | November 8, 2007 3:38 PM

Nothing like selling out to get the Durkan name in print.

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 8, 2007 3:41 PM

What Westside forever said @4. Will in Seattle, you sound like Tom DeLay.

Posted by T | November 8, 2007 4:43 PM


I heard from someone who works for a public defender that Sherman has a reputation of being somewhat underhanded--withholding evidence, or doing things like faxing just the first page of a multi-page police report so that it appears that he's acceded to a request to share information, when in fact important information has been held back. Who knows, maybe all lawyers work this way. It's not my field. But I do think that it's possible that within the community of people who would know, that a reputation of not being a straight-shooter might negatively impact his success running for office. It would be interesting to know if this is indeed the case. The person who told me this is a screaming lefty, so I don't question his motives. I was really surprised when he told me he'd voted for Satterberg.

Posted by Emily G | November 8, 2007 4:58 PM

Jesus...can't anyone out there possibly believe that people voted for Satterburg because of his qualifications? Bill is a great guy and was a credible opponent for Dan, but when push came to shove a lot of folks simply thought that he lacked Dan's experience. The best evidence of this was the groundswell of Dems in the lawyer networks around town quietly advocating for Dan over the last few weeks.

I still can't understand why we as Dems are so pissed about the Repub money. First, Dan ain't leaving the KCPAO anytime soon so the Repubs are sorely mistaken if they think they're building a future candidate for "higher" office. Second, despite the rather lame insinuations that Dan and Norm were plotting some kind of Bush-backed secret Repub coup using the KCPAO, we have what is widely acknowledged as one of the squeakiest clean, most well-run prosecutor's offices in the country. Dan has been an important part of making it that way. And I'd really like to see your evidence to the contrary.

I say let the state Repubs waste their cash for bragging rights. We should all be worrying about Dino, not Dan. (For that matter, how is it that the knuckleheads in the KC Dem machine couldn't even run a candidate against Jane Hauge, fercrissakes?)

But what the hell am I wasting my breath
for on the Slog. Go ahead and bring out your brickbats...I'm ready for you bizzatches...

Posted by Please Pull Up Your Pampers | November 8, 2007 5:04 PM

Hey...whoa there Emily.

Yes, I ended up voting for Satterburg, but only after a long period of deliberation. Bill is a straight-up professional -- I don't know who you talked to or which agency they worked for -- there's a couple. But I also know folks who work for TDA and Bill has a reputation as a fair dealer. There's a certain amount of rough-and-tumble in litigation (civil is usually much nastier than criminal, fwiw) so it's pretty easy to find someone with a grudge.

It was a tough election. Instead of bitching, we actually should feel kind of lucky that we had a choice between two qualified individuals rather than simply two party drones. But we never feel lucky...we like to feel oppressed...

I, for one, am looking forward to hearing what Bill's next move will be. I'm hoping that he'll make another legislative run. And if he does, I'll donate again.

Posted by Please Pull Up Your Pampers | November 8, 2007 5:22 PM

Bill and Joe - mated - running and running and running

god, if you don't have it in two tries, get a night job

voters do have a bit of scorn to their gifts

Posted by Paul Lafrance | November 8, 2007 5:47 PM

Yeah, someone with a grudge... like some innocent sap who was locked up for 2 months just because the KCPAO couldn't figure out a convenient political slant to admitting that they realized they got the wrong guy a week after he was arrested and let a guilty guy go free in the process.

Nah, that kind of shit never happens at the squeeky clean KCPOA, huh?

Posted by Packratt | November 8, 2007 8:38 PM

It seems Rossi has both money and momentum.

Posted by 98059 | November 8, 2007 9:24 PM

Cash has far, far less to do with it than you want to think, Josh. FAR less. Satterberg is part of the Maleng lineage, and people voted for that over what was clearly a random, opportunistic Democrat which, even by the admission of colleagues per your first line, everyone just assumed would win because he's a Democrat.

It's not about the money here. It really is not.

Posted by Gomez | November 8, 2007 11:09 PM

I fail to see the tragedy here. Dan Satterberg != Dick Cheney. Maybe people voted for him because they like his priorities for the prosecutor's office, and they also like his connection to Norm Maleng? While I voted for Sherman, it was a close thing for me.

Posted by Greg | November 9, 2007 12:52 AM

Hey Packratt,

What happened to you sucks and I hope you are able to extract the civil damages you deserve from the city and the county. You were let down by the system and all the rest of us should feel ashamed. I am very sorry.

Victims and those accused of crimes can fall through the cracks. That is not corruption; it's inattention, incompetence, and/or failures in accountability. These are not acceptable.

But Bill was part of that system as well. If you were hoping that the KCPAO would radically change under his regime, you were mistaken.


Posted by Please Pull Up Your Pampers | November 9, 2007 9:15 AM


I'll admit you might be right since it's impossible for me to determine who's call it was to keep prosecuting me after everyone else realized I didn't do anything wrong.

I just wish I could do something about it, but thusfar I've been denied at every turn. So all I can do is go public and hope that someone who CAN change things and bring some accountability to bear will try to do so after seeing what the lack of accountability has caused.

Thank you for the reasoned reply, I really do appreciate it.

Posted by Packratt | November 9, 2007 10:08 AM

@7 & 8: It was amusing, though, to see Jenny Durkan's nervous, stumbling attempt to give the money call at Tuesday's Gregoire fundraising luncheon. I guess nobody had added up the factors (election day, a room full of loyal Democrats including Bill Sherman in attendence) and realized that it would be an awkward moment for the once, but not future, Democratic hopeful. The Democratic Party will miss you, little Miss Silver Spoon!

Posted by Sherman Voter | November 9, 2007 11:55 AM

@20 -- You are way too bitter. I was at the lunch and Durkan was great. BEtter than at least two govs. ANd I heard her pitch raised a lot of money -- so it is not just me. If I wanted a party that demanded loyalty over personal choice -- I would join ALberto and the gop. She said from the outset that she thought Bill was a good guy, but Satterberg more qualified. Time to MOVE ON. And Durkan supporting Rossi, she will kick his butt again.

Posted by Sherman Voter Moved On | November 9, 2007 3:21 PM
22 >american airline center in dallas tx

Posted by check airline flights | November 18, 2007 2:23 PM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).