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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

King County Republicans: Bill Sherman is "incapable of administering justice"

NPI has learned that the King County Republican Party recently sent out a letter signed by Chairman Michael Young requesting financial support for GOP candidates in key King County races, including Jane Hague (who is seeking reelection in the 6th District, opposed by Richard Pope) Jim Nobles (who is challenging incumbent Democrat Scott Noble for Assessor) and Dan Satterberg, running to succeed Norm Maleng as King County Prosecutor.

Evidently Young cannot stand the thought of a Democrat succeeding the late Norm Maleng, because he made a strong effort in his letter to impugn the Democratic nomineee's integrity, suggesting that the prosecutor's office under Bill Sherman would be unfair and partial. Here are key excerpts from the letter:
"As a committed Republican, Norm Maleng capably led his office for nearly 30 years. Including his distinguished time of service, Republicans have held this office for 60 years. Now is not the time to surrender this office to an extreme fringe liberal who is incapable of administering justice for all King County residents."


In my time as Chairman, I have never felt more passionate about defending a seat in county government as I do this one. It is crucial that we maintain control of the Prosecutor's office. If we do not, justice will not be served to the citizens of our county. Folks, there is a reason Republicans have been elected to pursue justice in this county for six decades running, and it is up to us to remind voters why.

Please take this urgent request to heart and consider joining forces with the King County Republican Party to make 2007 the year Republicans turn out to protect our county's future."
This is how these guys intend to honor the legacy of Norm Maleng?

Young's claim that somehow only Republicans can be trusted to uphold the law and protect the people of King County is absurd and outrageous. Bill Sherman is exceptionally well qualified to serve as the people's attorney, and his commitment to to high standards is unquestionable. Bill is all about freedom, fairness, justice, protection, and mutual responsibility. That is simply who he is.

Bill is one of the greatest and kindest people I have ever met. It angers me that anyone would suggest he is "incapable of administering justice." What grounds does Young have for making such a ridiculous statement? None whatsoever!

We call on Dan Satterberg, Sherman's GOP opponent, to denounce these comments, and assure the voters of King County that he is opposed to the view that "justice will not be served" unless he is prosecutor. Unfortunately, it seems that he is only willing to do so halfheartedly: David Postman reported this morning that Satterberg tried to brush off the attack:
So what does Satterberg think of Young's attack on Sherman? In many ways Young's letter seems to be precisely the sort of partisanship that Satterberg says has no place in the prosecutor's office. I asked him about it this morning.
"I'm happy to have help of anyone that wants to help me. But I don't agree that justice would come to a grinding halt in King County. I just think I'd do a better job."
Satterberg said he didn't see the letter until it arrived in the mail. But he has no objections. He says Young is doing what he needs to do to raise money for the county party. It's clearly a different approach than Satterberg takes in his public campaigning, where he focuses on his years of experience in the office and continuing Maleng's non-partisan ways.
"Those other labels and stuff, that's what party chairmen do. ... You have to raise money for your party in the way you think gets some sense of urgency in the troops."
Don't make excuses for the King County GOP, Dan. If you don't agree, then say that. Don't say, "I don't agree" and then dismiss the matter. The allegation against Bill Sherman was serious and unfounded.

Young's comments are akin to those of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and other Republicans who have tried to scare Americans into voting for the GOP by declaring that America would or will be less safe with Democrats in charge. Their implication: if you vote for the Democrats, the terrorists win.

That's the same kind of tactic used in this letter. It says if Republicans don't keep control of the prosecutor's office, "justice will not be served" ...because the other candidate is "incapable of administering justice".

And why is that? Because Sherman is liberal? Or as Young and the KC GOP put it: "extreme fringe liberal". Typical. That's what Republicans like to say about all of us. To them, we say: there is nothing extreme about being liberal and progressive. Our values are traditional American values.

We will proudly assert that as often as we have to.

Young's statements about Sherman are despicable and wholly without merit. He should be ashamed of himself for making them.

There is no place for these rank, groundless gutter attacks in our political dialogue. Michael Young and the King County Republicans owe Bill Sherman an apology and a retraction. Dan Satterberg, meanwhile, still has the opportunity to condemn this Rovian viciousness and demonstrate whether or not he shares Bill Sherman's belief in a prosecutor's office that delivers justice for all.

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