Saturday, April 23, 2005

The discontinuity of the Democratic Caucus

Last Friday, the House voted narrowly (and twice) to pass legislation that suspends I-601. If you remember, this is the famous voter initiative that requires a supermajority (two-thirds) vote of the legislature to increase taxes.

Among the Democrats voting against this bill were Representative Kelli Linville (D-Bellingham), Rep. Tami Green (D-Tacoma), Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Gig Harbor) and Reps. Dawn Morrell (D-Puyallup) and Rep. Larry Springer (D-Kirkland)…actually strike that; Reps. Morrell and Springer voted against it before they voted for it. The vote was taken twice because the first time it didn’t receive a Constitutional majority of 50 votes. The Democrats did not like the first outcome of the vote and a motion to reconsider was made so the D-caucus could whip come of their members back. Before you applaud the other three for a brief stint of conservative voting, consider this:

Just a week earlier the House passed its budget bill that includes a tax increase of nearly a half billion dollars and a 12% increase in spending – the highest in a decade! Linville, Green and Kilmer all voted in favor of this bill.

The Democratic controlled House and Senate needed to suspend I-601 to make their budget package work because they knew they didn’t have a supermajority to pass the tax increases in either chamber. So how can these legislators vote in favor of a half-billion dollar tax hike, and then vote against the mechanism to make this possible? Clearly theirs is a political interest rather than a representative one. Kilmer, Green and Springer are all freshmen and have voted conservatively all session long to protect their vulnerable seats. Linville is a legislator who will always ride the fence and please both sides of her constituency and never really takes a stand on these huge issues.

What this comes down to is job security before representation. It’s not that these legislators don’t agree with the tax and spend mentality. Keep that in mind when their voting record is brought up in next year’s elections. They are just as much to blame as the rest. This is a ideological conflict, not a political one.


(Doxxiegirl) said...

I am curious to know...are either Linville, Green, Morrell or Kilmer up for re-election in Nov?

I am still baffled at how an already established law, that required the legislative body to have a 2/3 vote in order to pass tax increases, could be changed in the middle of session by repealing I-601. I thought that most bills that were passed were active within 90 days of session ending.

I wonder if the Democrats had planned this repeal all along.

Matt Cole said...

Are they up for election this November or next November? Well, Jennifer, we hold elections every two years for state House races. Usually in even numbered years. Since we just had one in November on 2004 then we are not scheduled for another House election until November of 2006. Hope that answers your question. You can also learn that by enrolling in a Poli Sci 101 course or in your H.S. government class.

(Doxxiegirl) said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
(Doxxiegirl) said...

You do realize that one of these days, someone who you are going to demean and put down, will not take so kindly to your smart ass know it all attitude. Just keep that in mind little man. Karma has a tricky way of coming back around.

Matt Cole said...

As a Christian, I don't believe in Karma.

(Doxxiegirl) said...

or being nice, so it seems. ( :