- WA State Legislature
One of those weird quirks of "professional" journalism that I'll never embrace is its virtual prohibition on accusing somebody of "lying." One part manners, two parts cowardly fear of fighting a libel suit, journalists almost never use the "L" word even to describe the most obvious and blatant fits of dishonesty.
Well, fuck that. State Senator Rodney Tom is a liar:
Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom has occupied many corners of the political map, from Republican to Democrat to official leader of a Republican-dominated coalition that runs the state Senate with an iron hand.
Now, while saying he’ll run for re-election as a Democrat, Tom has hired a fiery Republican political operative to run his re-election campaign in the Eastside 48th District.
He’s picked Keith Schipper, until last Friday communications director of the state Republican Party, and last fall spokesman for conservative Republican Jan Angel in a special state Senate election on the Kistap Peninsula.
If Tom had the balls to stand by his convictions he'd run as a Republican. But he doesn't, so he won't. Instead, in a shameful act of electoral trickery, he will lie to his constituents by claiming to be a Democrat when he clearly is not.
Tom doesn't just vote with senate Republicans, he has maneuvered himself to be their caucus leader! He has been officially expelled from the senate Democratic caucus. The state Democratic Party has recruited a challenger to defeat Tom, while the state Republican Party has not. It is Tom's betrayal that has been the key to blocking a Democratic agenda in Olympia. Tom is no more a Democrat than I am a Republican!
I could call myself a Republican. I could even back it up by showing you the official card I carry in my wallet (a souvenir from my mocking participation in the Republicans' 2012 presidential caucus). But that doesn't make me a Republican. And to insist that I am would be a lie.
The fact that it is perfectly legal for political candidates to lie about themselves and their opponents is no excuse. Tom's decision to run for reelection as a "Democrat" shows complete and utter scorn for the democratic process and the voters he claims to represent. It is deceitful. It is disrespectful. And it is a lie.