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.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Thanks but no thanks

So what happens when Democrats in Washington state do something bi-partisan like give an eastern Washington Republican an important vice-chair position?

Her caucus seemingly can't handle it.
Rep. Maureen Walsh stepped down Thursday as vice chairman of the House Committee on Early Learning and Children's Services, The Associated Press reported. Walsh, R-College Place, was one of two Republicans selected by Democrats for top committee posts in December, in a nod to bipartisanship. Rep. Tom Campbell also was named chairman of the newly formed Select Committee on Environmental Health.

"Maybe it was naive of me to not think it would cause any problems," said Walsh, who also cited family concerns as part of her decision. Her husband died in April, and she has a 14-year-old son attending school in Olympia during session.

"When it boiled right down to it, the fact that I had some folks in my caucus who would view me a little different or not see me as a team player ... I don't need that. I don't need that at all," she told The Associated Press.
It's a partisan system. It always has been and always will be.

Broadly speaking, the main distinction to be made is this: you can be partisan and try to tell the truth the best you understand it, or you can be partisan and tell whatever lies you think will further your political fortunes. Each party will have some individuals who fit one or the other category, but what's important is the overall institutional character of each party.

It appears that enough GOP members in the Washington House had a problem with Walsh accepting the position that she felt the need to step down.

We're confident enough in Speaker Frank Chopp's leadership abilities that we won't say what he should do now. But it's worth noting that this kind of deflates any future complaints from the GOP about not getting enough committee slots. I mean, we give them stuff and then they give it back, what do they want?

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