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.
Of course, nothing's settled until the Senate is gaveled to order. "We continue to hope that we will come to a mutual agreement between now and January 14," apparently-dethroned Senate Majority Leader Ed Murray (D-Seattle) told me by phone shortly after the Republicans' press conference. But Sheldon had been offered the same president pro tempore slot by the Dems, and Tom couldn't possibly get a more prestigious or powerful gig than Majority Leader, so it's hard to see what Murray could offer to bring them back into the fold.
No doubt editorialists will laud both Tom and Sheldon for their "bipartisanship." But both were elected as Democrats. Something to remember the next time anybody prattles on about the "will of the voters."