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Postman on Politics

Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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October 24, 2007 10:15 AM

A Republican critique of Dan Satterberg

Posted by David Postman

Democrat Bill Sherman's efforts to remind voters — over and over again — that Dan Satterberg is a Republican hasn't worked on Stefan Sharkansky. Either have Republican efforts to convince voters that electing Satterberg as county prosecutor is the most important race of the year.

Sharkansky has become increasingly critical of Satterberg in a series of posts he titles


He is unhappy that Satterberg won't prosecute a P-I writer for voter registration fraud.

He said that Satterberg's decision to return $770 in contributions to Lori Sotelo was a "bizarre attempt to appear 'non-partisan.'"

By returning the contribution instead of simply explaining the correctness of the decision not to prosecute Sotelo, Satterberg only raises doubts about his own impartiality and legitimizes the false partisan insinuation that Sotelo really should have been prosecuted.

(I don't think that's what Satterberg was trying to do. He explained his decision as an ethical choice, saying he did not want even the appearance that someone the office declined to prosecute would later repay the favor with a campaign contribution.)

Of course, Satterberg has tried in other ways to appear non-partisan. Sharkansky doesn't like that, either.

Satterberg is also endorsed by Mrs. Gregoire's consigliere Jenny Durkan, the lead Democrat lawyer in the election contest lawsuit. Every politician has multiple, sometimes competing, allegiances, and Democrat/Republican partisanship isn't necessarily the most important. Like Norm Maleng, Dan Satterberg's first loyalty is to the County Executive, whom he sees as his primary client. A bold and principled Prosecutor could establish him/herself as an independent force for accountable government. But that's not what we've had, or will have, if Satterberg is elected.

I wouldn't be shocked to see Satterberg reprint the Sharkansky posts as a direct mail piece to Democratic households. I could imagine a headline that says, "How come the Republicans' favorite blogger doesn't like Dan Satterberg?" The answer of course would be, "Because he thinks Dan isn't partisan enough."

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