Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

DeBolt, Carns kept caucus members in the dark

Representative DeBolt, who last May wrested the leadership position of the House Republican caucus back from Representative Chandler, is refusing to apologize for the GOP's despicable dirty tricks campaign. DeBolt needs to resign from his leadership position - immediately. He has brought shame upon the Republican caucus.

DeBolt won't taken responsibility. He's a chicken - a coward - a magnet for corruption. And fellow Republicans are horrified by his (and Carns') recent actions:
Though he raises money for the Speaker's Roundtable, DeBolt said he does not keep tabs on its activity, does not review its budgets and did not orchestrate the ad campaign. He said that was the work of Kevin Carns, who works for both political committees.

"What they do, they do," DeBolt said of the Speaker's Roundtable.

But others, even some Republicans, disputed the "arm's-length" relationship DeBolt described.

"I think leadership bears some responsibility," said Rep. Bruce Chandler, a Granger Republican who led the caucus last year. "Inevitably, anything the Speaker's Roundtable does reflects on leadership."

DeBolt said he hasn't heard complaints from other Republicans. But several have apologized, Grant said.

That includes Rep. Larry Haler, R-Richland, whose eyes began to well up when asked about the ad campaign.

"I'm appalled at it," he said. "I came over here to build bridges and this burns those bridges. It makes me want to throw up. My constituents didn't send me over here to do this."

Haler, who said he apologized to at least three Democratic colleagues Tuesday, said DeBolt "has no room for deniability." He and Chandler said rank-and-file caucus members were not told the campaign was coming.
DeBolt and Carns kept GOP caucus members in the dark. This filthy smear campaign is the work of a very small number of people, but it ultimately reflects back on the whole Republican Party. By refusing to accept responsibility and apologize, DeBolt has ensured that he will never lead the caucus again. As David Goldstein notes:
DeBolt won his leadership position by a single vote, and I’ve already heard from a reliable source that at least one of DeBolt’s former supporters has sworn “never again.” There will be a leadership challenge after the current session, and DeBolt will lose.
The smear campaign that DeBolt and Carns orchestrated is completely backfiring. And now that even Republicans are condemning it, you have to wonder how people like Stefan Sharkansky feel about having stepped forward to shill for DeBolt, Carns, & Co.

(Stefan, if you remember, identified the sex offender on the postcards as a Level III sex offender from Pierce County. Wonder who fed Stefan that information).

Stefan is apparently content to be a tool for the corrupt Republican caucus leadership, which cares not about governing, but about seizing and maintaining power.

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