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Postman on Politics

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

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April 25, 2008 8:34 AM

End of an era

Posted by David Postman

Today is Dave Ammons’ last day as a reporter. After 37 years in the Olympia bureau of the Associated Press Ammons is leaving for a job with Secretary of State Sam Reed.

There are several events scheduled to celebrate Ammons’ career. The capital press corps will tip a few with him at the end of the day today. Later, the upper crust will fete him at the Temple of Justice.

He’s already written his last column. It’ll be in papers this weekend. But here’s a little preview of his take on what has happened to the Legislature over the years he has been watching:

Over time, can-do boldness gave way to a cycle of spending and retrenching, reflecting the boom-and-bust cycles of the economy. Ideas seemed to get smaller and forward movement more incremental, as both parties learned the political wisdom of caution. Vanilla became their new favorite flavor.

Chris Mulick wrote a tribute to Ammons in the Tri-City Herald. Ammons started in Olympia four years before Mulick was born. He says of Ammons:

He has been a loyal servant for consumers of news in Washington and elsewhere. And in these humble press houses he’s been the glue that’s seeped between each member of this rather independent fraternity and held it together. We've all been enriched by his years of service.

My favorite Ammons story is abuot when he met Ted Bundy when the serial killer was working for the state Republican Party.

"I remember telling people that this charismatic young man was going places," Ammons said. "Little did I know it was going to be the execution chamber."

The way I originally heard the story was Ammons returned from having coffee with Bundy one day and announced, “I just had coffee with a future governor of Washington.”

Good luck Dave. You'll be missed even though you're just moving across the street.

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