Monday, December 17, 2012

Op-ed: Don’t call the state Senate’s Majority Coalition Caucus bipartisan | Opinion | The Seattle Times

The Seattle Times gets corrected.

The Seattle Times editorial page applauded the move as a necessary check against the Democratic House and governor [“State coalition caucus a promising change,” Opinion, Dec. 12]. This argument looks flimsy after Washington voters overwhelmingly selected Democrats for president, senator, a majority of our congressional delegation, governor, all statewide offices except one, and majorities in the state House and Senate.

The fact is, though, the public expects us to work together to move the state forward, no matter who is in charge. This is especially true in the Senate, a diverse body with an unstable balancing point that shifts from issue to issue. After the election, majority Democrats knew that the Senate would descend into dysfunction if we tried to govern with a strict 25-vote strategy, the bare minimum number of votes necessary. We knew we needed to work from a much broader base, 30 to 35 votes. So we proposed a more-inclusive, less-partisan organizing model than has ever existed before, including a bipartisan education finance committee, and invited dialogue with Republicans about our proposal.
. . .
A strict 25-senator majority changing longstanding Senate rules to consolidate their hold on power will surely invite mischief and abuse in the future, and create unintended negative consequences for the public.

You could call that many things. Just don’t call it bipartisan.

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