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Washington's Empire State of Mind

photo of Julie Sobel
December 10, 2012

Is Washington State the new New York?

Control of the New York state Senate was in flux for weeks, before a group of breakaway Democrats settled on a power-sharing deal last week with Republicans that gave them joint control of the body.

Today, two Democratic state senators in Washington announced a similar move. The Seattle Times:

Two conservative Democratic state senators announced today they will join with Senate Republicans to form a "majority coalition caucus" in which they say power will more or less be split between the two parties.

The coup, which has been rumored since Republicans gained a seat in the Senate in last month's election, would install one of the conservative Democrats, former Republican Rodney Tom of Bellevue, as the body’s majority leader and the other, Tim Sheldon of Potlach, as the president pro tempore.

Democrats and Republicans would each chair six committees under the proposal, with a majority of just one vote, Tom announced in a news conference. And three committees would be evenly split.

...

Democrats controlled 26 of 49 seats before the coup and were preparing to lead the chamber under Sen. Ed Murry, D-Seattle. On Monday, they derided a power-sharing agreement as risky, noting that they have proposed to create an evenly-led education committee and to give Republicans an unprecedented number of seats on committees.

 

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