Runaway Roadkill Caucus or Bloody Bipartisanship ROADRAGE!

Richard Scarry's Grand Theft Cars And Trucks and Things That Go
posted Mar 6, 2012
Tacoma, Tacomic, Roadkill Caucus, Washington State, Tom Sheldon, Jim Kastama, Rodney Tom, budget, GOP senate takeover, Bipartisanship
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Last Friday we saw history in the making down in Olympia--A Republican party take-over of the state senate thanks to turn-coat conservative "Roadkill Caucus" Democrats (Tom Sheldon, Jim Kastama, and Rodney Tom) who broke rank to vote on a frightening education/toxic-cleanup/disabled/elderly-slashing GOP crafted budget with more cuts than a Kill Bill movie.  Goldy up at The Stranger hopping mad; thank the gods the Pacific Northwest still has an Alternative Weekly Newspaper.  Here is a KUOW summary if you don't want to read all these articles.

AND NOW an email from a real politician:

Dear RR,

I appreciate hearing from you about the state budget and the economic situation that the State of Washington is facing. I am highly sympathetic to your concerns and am also distressed at the thought of additional cuts.  We continue to face an extremely daunting budget situation.

Last spring, the Legislature adopted a bipartisan two-year budget that spent less than we expected to receive in revenue and provided $700 million in reserves. However, since then, the revenue forecast declined by more than $1.6 billion, including a $122 million drop in November's forecast.  Since the Governor announced her budget in November, legislative action and forecast updates have reduced the revenue gap significantly, but about half still remains to be filled.

The House version of the 2012 supplemental budget (HB 2127) has the goal of creating a state spending plan that's balanced, supports basic education, maintains the social safety net and keeps higher education affordable.  In this budget we cut more than $1 billion from the budget we approved less than a year ago.  It makes cuts in health and social services, but it does keeps alive programs such as the Basic Health Plan, Housing and Essential Needs, and Disability Lifeline which sustain the cooperative relationship with the federal government until 2014, when the Affordable Care Act is expanded.

It assumes additional revenue, without increasing taxes, from several sources which have already received bipartisan agreement:  closing the tax exemption that banks receive on interest for first mortgages, adding the cigarette tax to "roll-your-own" cigarettes, utility tax revisions and a $41 million increase to the state in liquor taxes as a result of Initiative 1183.

The Senate on the other hand, has passed a budget that is radically different from the House.  They accomplished this by implementing a take-over of the process, rolling out a 200+ page budget without a public hearing or a chance for public input and demanding an immediate vote.  The budget skips a $130 million payment into the state's two under-funded pension plans (Teachers Retirement System 1 and Public Employees Retirement System 1).  It cancels medical coverage and housing support for the disabled people on the Disability Lifeline, eliminates the state only food assistance program, cuts the TANF caseload, length of coverage, and grant size.  It "trims" $44 million from K-12 education (including the Readiness to Learn program), $30 million from higher education and $311 million from social services including child-care subsidies for the working poor.  It cuts $6 million from family planning funding.

The process of negotiating a budget between the Senate and the House has been set back by the passage of the Republican budget.  It flies in the face of almost every constituent who has contacted me about programs that they depend on for their personal security and the security of their communities.  As vice-chair for the Ways and Means Committee, I'll work to move the negotiations back toward a more compassionate response to the needs of constituents in these difficult times. 

On a brighter note, neither the House Democrat's budget or the Senate Republican's budgets include a need to go to the voters to request more revenue. I have always worked hard to assure that the state does not abandon those in need.  My commitment to this has not, and will not waver. I hope that you will share this information with others as you talk about issues that are facing the state and that you will continue to contact me whenever issues come up that concern you.


State Representative Jeannie Darneille
27th Legislative District

by NineInchNachos on 3/6/2012 @ 2:46am
here are all the nerdy details.  Thanks Tacoma Mama! (for the link and suggesting this topic) 

by L.S.Erhardt on 3/6/2012 @ 2:57am
Too many meaningless words from yet another spineless career politician.

by fredo on 3/6/2012 @ 5:16am

Darnielle's preferred approach to dealing with important budget problems is to alter the dates when different debts become "due" so that it looks like spending was reduced. Apparently RR favors that approach too.

by cisserosmiley on 3/6/2012 @ 6:59am
Yes, darnielle is a real politician...tunnel visioned, living in a bubble, and wrong. Jim Kastama was the last"gay marriage" vote, then all his budget items get cut post gay marriage vote. Kastama's budget items were in tacit trade for gay marriage. Ed Murray and Lisa brown passed gay marriage...then cut out Kastama's trade...Kastama's revenge was proportional to the mega-under the bus treatment. Hardball politics. Are we really ready to know to truth on this garbage?

by The Jinxmedic on 3/6/2012 @ 7:49am
"The truth? You can't handle the truth!"

by NineInchNachos on 3/6/2012 @ 8:13am
trading for human rights..  stay classy olympia!


by NineInchNachos on 3/6/2012 @ 8:28am

by debivans on 3/6/2012 @ 9:02am
Adding "roll-your-own" cigarettes? Just legalize pot and tax the crap out of it. Marijuana laws DO NOT WORK. Pot smokers find it, buy it, and use it. So just make it legal and TAX it! Different issue than the Tacomic but that roll-your-own in quotations brought me here.

by cisserosmiley on 3/6/2012 @ 9:03am
That article is pure political theater. D "consultant" says no one will give kastama a dime...that consultant is being paid by D leadership to say that. Both sides are insane.

by NineInchNachos on 3/6/2012 @ 9:08am
@debivans Seconded!
@cisserosmiley  sing it! 

by NineInchNachos on 3/6/2012 @ 9:49am
"Road Builders über alles! Smooth the way! Screw schools, jobless, policy research, single moms, elderly, breathable air, drinking water, bathing water, crapping water,...did they leave anything out?" ~ W.O.

by NineInchNachos on 3/6/2012 @ 9:51am
"RR, it would probably have been really difficult to draw, but just maybe you could have had Kastama with his back to the viewer while he's whizzing on everything left behind?" ~ W.O.

by NineInchNachos on 3/6/2012 @ 9:58am
MEANWHILE,  the stranger has hit the turbo booster


good stuff!

by cisserosmiley on 3/6/2012 @ 10:10am
Slog all you want...this is a practice run for next year when Kastama's seat is scheduled to be taken over by a republican...

by NineInchNachos on 3/6/2012 @ 10:15am
do you think this budget is a practice run for when we have Governor McKenna ?

by NineInchNachos on 3/6/2012 @ 10:15am
I demand you spill the bean town! 

by cisserosmiley on 3/6/2012 @ 12:44pm
Does anyone remember in the middle of Clinton's time the Washington State Legislature shifted to Republican majorities for a couple years. Does this Tacomic mark a new re-du era in Olympia?

by NineInchNachos on 3/6/2012 @ 12:54pm
before the tacomic there was only darkness.  and it was good.   then the cartoonist said, let there be graphite... and the paper smudged, and it wasn't very good.   5 long years later, it was sort-of ok... but really hit or miss.   Olympia is self-existant, uncaused and eternal.  There is a Democratic Majority, and there always was a Democratic Majority.

by cisserosmiley on 3/6/2012 @ 1:08pm
Except when there was a republican majority?

by NineInchNachos on 3/6/2012 @ 1:10pm
are we talking RINO majority?

by Non Sequitur on 3/6/2012 @ 1:22pm
Meet the new boss, just as entitled and spend-crazy as the old one.

by NineInchNachos on 3/6/2012 @ 1:24pm
garbled bumper-stickers, that's just what we need!

by NineInchNachos on 3/6/2012 @ 1:38pm
how many of those stinking Republicans took the Didier Pledge?   How conservative can they be?

by NineInchNachos on 3/6/2012 @ 1:40pm
more slog!

by cisserosmiley on 3/6/2012 @ 1:58pm
Former Wa. State Republican majority leader

by NineInchNachos on 3/6/2012 @ 3:29pm

by cisserosmiley on 3/6/2012 @ 4:01pm
Its as if this dude set up some mondo PR opportunity for himself to be unveiled as a stately person who has importance to voters across Washington...

by NineInchNachos on 3/6/2012 @ 4:45pm
just who is taking who for a ride in their old-timey steam roller?  So crazy it just might work.

by troysworktable on 3/6/2012 @ 10:46pm
Did those three senators hijack the Wayzgoose steam roller?

by NineInchNachos on 3/7/2012 @ 8:26am
In negotiations with one of the above State Senators for possible cartoon art sale.  Healthy sense of humor FTW! 

by fredo on 3/7/2012 @ 8:28am

If they had their way the Democratic caucus would drive a steam roller over all the beleagured state taxpayers. What's the difference? 

by NineInchNachos on 3/7/2012 @ 9:24am
Tacomic SOLD to Senator Rodney Tom! 
Go RoadKill Caucus!!!!  

by NineInchNachos on 3/7/2012 @ 1:07pm

by NineInchNachos on 3/8/2012 @ 8:40am
high grade waxing

by cisserosmiley on 3/8/2012 @ 8:57am
Great article. Mr C missed a point...this was not only a repudiation of Lisa Brown, but includes Frank Chopp. He is at odds with D's across the state and I wouldn't be surprised to see a challenge to his speakership next session. He will quit then because he won't play unless he makes the rules too.

by Urban E on 3/8/2012 @ 10:41am

  I think it's the funniest Tacomic I've seen yet. Snap Krackle Pop hahaha

by NineInchNachos on 3/8/2012 @ 12:16pm

by NineInchNachos on 3/9/2012 @ 8:41am
anybody catch the republican barbershop singing on npr this morning?

by NineInchNachos on 3/15/2012 @ 4:04pm

by NineInchNachos on 4/4/2012 @ 3:47pm
OMG.  Pam Roach

by NineInchNachos on 4/9/2012 @ 8:07pm
it is not a matter of IF Pam Roach will flip out and go all JBLM, it is a matter of WHEN. 

This person should not own a gun.

by NineInchNachos on 5/3/2012 @ 4:12pm
bump!  this is the cartoon that cost Lisa Brown her job!!/PattyMurray/status/198187...

by NineInchNachos on 5/3/2012 @ 4:47pm

by cisserosmiley on 5/3/2012 @ 7:09pm
It's an unwritten rule that majority leaders go away when they lose control. It's why so many senators were in tears that night, they were watching their friends careers die.

by NineInchNachos on 11/12/2012 @ 5:19pm
hehe ho ho

by NineInchNachos on 11/15/2012 @ 6:25pm
here is an example of a republican calling himself a democrat

by cisserosmiley on 12/10/2012 @ 11:39am
They did it.  Today, the road kill caucus empowered Pam Roach to lead your children's lives into tomorrow. They really did it.

by NineInchNachos on 12/10/2012 @ 11:44am

by The Jinxmedic on 12/10/2012 @ 2:09pm
So what?

by cisserosmiley on 12/10/2012 @ 4:29pm
The bipartisan senate coalition could be a good counter weight to the house's more singular goal of fleecing citizens.  Sen. Roach as head of gov. relations/tribal stuff committee means more business/AWB lobbyists will get to testify about how tribes have unfair competitive advantage. It's going to be more fun this year than in many previous years. I encourage all to keep a positive attitude and contact your elected reps & senator every day during session. 

by NineInchNachos on 12/10/2012 @ 5:03pm
anti-healthcare reform republican in charge of healthcare committee?  evil! 

by NineInchNachos on 12/15/2012 @ 10:34am
Conservative roadkill democrat Rodney Tom cuts his hair with a flowbee (via kuow)