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Postman on Politics

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

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May 2, 2008 4:41 PM

Grassroots Dems balk at party orders

Posted by David Postman

At PolitickerWA, Bryan Bissell reports on Democrats unhappy with their state party’s decision to nominate candidates for this summer’s top-two primary. Bissell says the 36th and 10th district Democrats have balked at Chairman Dwight Pelz’ order to have precinct committee officers endorse candidates in contested Democratic primaries.

The 36th District Executive board met last Thursday and decided that the use of a handful of PCOs, some of whom were appointed, was too undemocratic a way to choose a party nominee when there were so many thousands of people interested in the political process this cycle.

After this decision was made, District Chair Peter House both mailed Washington State Democratic Party Chair Dwight Pelz a letter and sent him an e-mail notifying him of their decision not to nominate either of their candidates for State Representative, John Burbank or Reuven Carlyle.

Pelz then told the 36th LD almost immediately that if they do not change their mind and use the PCOs to choose a nominee, then John Burbank would be the one. Pelz affirmed that, in the absence of a choice by the LDs, the state party is in charge of the decision.

Carlyle used his campaign blog to respond to Pelz’ move:

It's all insider baseball, sausage-making process of politics that won't impact the race much....but it does have the real possibility of sending ugly signals to the 63,000 Democrats of our district...including the 18,000 who came to our presidential caucuses.

Meanwhile, up north in Island County, the 10th District Democrats say they’re not ready to endorse a candidate in a contested legislative primary. Writes Bissell:

"Our decision was to postpone until after the state convention," said 10th LD Chair Alec McDougal. "There are some who would like to have the race over with, but others felt a nomination made with PCOs casting weighted votes would quite possibly be seen as the least democratic of nominating processes."

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May 2, 2008 1:50 PM

Rep. Simpson takes temporary leave of committee post

Posted by David Postman

Rep. Geoff Simpson, charged with domestic violence this week, issued this statement today:

Serving as chair of the House Local Government Committee is an important and time consuming responsibility. Today, I have decided to take leave of my position as Chair of the Committee until my legal issues are resolved.As always, I intend to remain accessible and responsive to my constituents while I focus on the unfortunate personal matters that have arisen.

As I have stated, I remain confident I will be exonerated of these unwarranted charges once the facts are revealed. At such time, I plan to resume my leadership duties as chairman of the committee.

It's not clear to me whether Simpson was asked to step down from his chairmanship. House Speaker Frank Chopp says in a statement:

I met with Representative Simpson yesterday afternoon. He understands the gravity of the situation, and he has decided that he will take leave of his position as chair of the House Committee on Local Government pending resolution of the charges he faces. We both believe this is the best course of action for all involved.

House Clerk Barbara Baker just told me that the decision was a mutual one reached yesterday after a meeting in Simpson’s hometown of Covington. Simpson, Chopp and Baker were in the meeting. Baker said:

The thing that was nice about the meeting was they did set politics and personalities aside and talked about how Geoff really does have to spend his time right now focusing on his personal situation. And Geoff acknowledged that.

Also, the King County jail officials clarified yesterday that Simpson had spent a day in jail after his arrest:

Contrary to recent reports that there were no records of State Representative Geoff Simpson being booked into the King County Correctional Facility, hardcopy and electronic records show he was booked on April 27, 2008, at 2:47 p.m. for Assault 4 (Domestic Violence). Mr. Simpson was released the next day, April 28, 2008, at 5:45 p.m. after his court appearance.

A check of the publicly accessed version of the Jail Inmate Lookup Service (JILS) incorrectly showed no record of the booking. The system error has been corrected and all records in both the public access and law enforcement access areas of the system currently reflect that he was in custody.

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May 2, 2008 1:44 PM

Rules issued for state primary

Posted by David Postman

Secretary of State Sam Reed today the final rules for the state’s first top-two primary. As was clear from the proposed rules, Reed said candidates can state their preferred party identification on the ballot. But the Democratic and Republican parties, which have been hoping to thwart the primary, will not be able to show on that ballot which candidates have received their official endorsement of nomination.

After the jump is a summary of the rules. You can read the full document here.

Continue reading this post ...


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Recent entries

May 2, 08 - 04:41 PM
Grassroots Dems balk at party orders

May 2, 08 - 01:50 PM
Rep. Simpson takes temporary leave of committee post

May 2, 08 - 01:44 PM
Rules issued for state primary

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