Being up front in Olympia is not usually appreciated. I have found that characteristic to be lauded by the public, but really barely tolerated by members and others. It used to be seen as a breath of fresh air by the press, but they clearly like the more guarded legislator these days. Boring is better.
I want people to know what I am thinking. So, I initiated a call to the governor's DSHS policy advisor. She wanted to know what would be covered at the press conference. I told her what I thought the people in public comment might say about needed changes at Child Protective Services. I suggested that the governor could adopt most of the suggestions without implementing legislation.
I had a high ranking member of the Attorney General's staff in my office. We chatted about some of my observations of CPS performance. I have a detailed memory of the cases which I have investigated. I told him that the people wanted social workers who lie to the family court judge to be fired. He seemed to agree at least that perjury should not happen. He is only the messenger.
Washington Families United, Executive Director, Dave Wood, was one of my interviews. Dave is a hard core Democrat. He has traveled across the state advocating for families who have been wronged by the department. I will count him as one of the people who never gave up in trying to protect families by reigning in CPS. He has confirmed literally EVERYTHING that I have observed.
I had an unexpected conversation with a family court commissioner. I was looking for volunteers for the Romney campaign and stumbled across the judge. He agreed, if you lie in court...you should lose your job. Judges cannot get involved in partisan races so the conversation had shifted to CPS.
Getting a good overview from different perspectives is, I believe, an important step in preparing for our press conference and public comment period.