State Senators Ro_ney Tom and Tim Sheldon think they own Olympia or something. Senate Dems are caucusing this afternoon, presumably to elect Ed Murray the new Senate Majority Leader. That is, if Tom and Sheldon still consider themselves Democrats.
Democrats currently hold a bare 26-22 majority in the Senate, pending the outcome of the near-dead-heat race between Republican Don Benton and Democrat Tim Probst in LD-17. If Benton wins, that makes Tom and Sheldon kingmakers, at least in their own minds. They're demanding that committee chairs be shared between Democrats and Republicans, with no doubt a couple plum assignments for themselves.
“I think it would be more practical, if they don’t feel like they want to organize with the Democrats, that they organize with the Republicans,” Murray added, “because I really do feel like somebody should be in the majority.”
Right on, Ed!
And good riddance. Sheldon has always been his own weird thing, but Tom is a former Republican who's been nothing but trouble since glue-sticking a "D" next to his name in 2006. If in the wake of an election in which Democrats won the White House, the governor's mansion, and all but one statewide office, while holding onto control of the state House and Senate, Tom wants to switch parties once again, by all means go for it. Tom's two 48th LD House colleagues just won their elections with 69 percent and 61 percent of the vote respectively. Nothing would make me happier than to see him run for reelection in two years as a born-again Republican in this increasingly Democratic district.
Or, I suppose, Sheldon and Tom could just shut the fuck up and be satisfied with whatever committee assignments they get. Tom is reportedly angling for chair of the budget-writing Ways & Means Committee, but just keeping his chairmanship of the Higher Education Committee is more than Tom deserves, and more than enough bipartisanship for me.