One further observation on yesterday's Olympia press availability, where Senate Republicans rejected Democratic budget compromises that didn't do enough to dismantle state government and punish public employee unions. At one point Senator Ro_ney Tom passionately defended Republican proposals to eliminate early retirement pension benefits that most private sector employees don't get.

"I have to work until I’m 67, 68, 69. Why am I real interested in funding a system where people want to retire at 53 and 56?" asked Tom. "My constituents ... need a level playing field."

Tom represents Medina, perhaps the wealthiest community in the entire state.