Not only was I endorsed...but I was the ONLY incumbent Senator running for reelection who was! It is an honor to have been voted the endorsement. And, I thank those who are appreciative of my efforts to save Rainier School, provide a safe work environment, and always have an open door to concerns of workers. See the reaction of some over the endorsement: Wow!
The one Republican we endorsed is the one the Republicans don’t want (Pam Roach). We want her; we like her a lot." Washington Federation of State Employees' spokesman Tim Welch said Monday.BRAD SHANNON; Olympian Staff writer, April 20, 2010
One of Washington's largest state-worker unions withheld endorsements for incumbent Democrats in the state Senate, delivering a swift rebuke over the weekend to its traditional friends.
The Washington Federation of State Employees took the rare step Saturday at its early endorsement convention in Seattle and said it was over employee health care coverage and cuts in the just-passed state budget. The move hits a traditional political ally of the union in what could be a tough election year.
The federation, which represents about 40,000 workers, also endorsed 18 House members and 16 of the 61 Democrats in the majority. Its lone senatorial endorsement was a maverick Republican, Sen. Pam Roach of Auburn, who is often at odds with her own party on internal issues.
“We hold the entire Senate responsible for how they handled the budget. ... That is why there were no Democratic (Senate) incumbents endorsed,” federation spokesman Tim Welch said Monday. “The one Republican we endorsed is the one the Republicans don’t want (Pam Roach). We want her; we like her a lot.”
Welch said Roach, who has built one of the least labor-unfriendly records among Senate GOP members, made a behind-the-scenes effort to save Rainier School from closure in Buckley.
The leader of the Senate Democratic Caucus campaign committee, Sen. Karen Keiser of Kent, took the rebuke in stride Monday.
“I consider it a spanking or a slap in the face. It doesn’t hurt me personally. I can take a hit or two,” Keiser, the chairwoman of the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee, said.
“If they like to play with fire, that’s fine. I wonder if they had a different majority to work with, if they’d be doing real well next year,” Keiser added with sarcasm. “There were several (GOP) initiatives to do all sorts of nefarious things from the other side of the aisle (on employee benefits and labor issues). If that’s what they prefer, then they’ve made their bed.”
And as for endorsing Roach, Keiser said: “I think that it’s ridiculous and stupid. Because Pam Roach is a good 26th vote, OK? It means diddle squat. It is lip service and it isn’t consequential to the outcome” on specific legislation....
My reaction? I will continue to do everything possible to protect the lives and safety of individuals living at institutions such as Rainier School in my district. We, as a society, have a responsibility greater than we might understand to help those who may be the "least among us."