Jordan Schrader at the (Tacoma) News Tribune gives both sides of the story in the gamesmanship question about the 26th District.
“There are games being played. I can’t say there isn’t,” Port Orchard Republican Angel said. Her rival, Gig Harbor Democrat Schlicher, similarly decried “stupid games” and concluded in frustration: “This is why people hate government.”
Recall that this is the district in which the appointed incumbent state Sen. Nathan Schlicher, D-Gig Harbor, is likely to face off against state Rep. Jan Angel, R-Port Orchard, to finish the last year of the term former state Sen. Derek Kilmer was elected to.
We addressed both sides of the issue when it comes to state Schlicher when we posted The Politics of Diabetes, because we did ask why he was the sponsor of the diabetes bill in the first place when it was sponsored by another legislator a year ago.
But then we posted about Schlicher’s Narrows Bridge toll bill getting killed by a floor vote to not have a floor vote. (Confusing. It just means they voted to not vote on the bill.) The bill had overwhelming support out of committee, but the majority coalition blocked it from the floor. What we didn’t know at the time was that Democrats got the question to the floor while Republican Sen. Janea Holmquist Newbry was off floor feeding her baby. She came back to the floor to cast the coalition’s 25th vote against the bill.
After that incident I emailed Port Orchard state Rep. Jan Angel’s press rep the following:
We’ve paid some attention to how bills sponsored by state Sen. Nathan Schlicher have seemed to meet political reality. In one case he sponsored a bill that had Republican cosponsors, including from the committee. But at the last minute was pulled from committee executive session schedule. When another senator essentially forced a vote it went down on party lines. Yesterday another bill he sponsored was refused a floor vote by the Senate Majority Coalition after it had sailed through committee.
A cynic would suspect politics are at play.
A cynic would also assume that the same kind of politickacracy has been dumped on Jan Angel. I was hoping you might suggest some examples that come easily to mind.
Angel returned the request and left a voicemail message.
Angel said in her first session she had four good bills introduced, but only one passed. In the second session she introduced six bills and only one passed. She’s had three pass this year.
“This isn’t at all unusual for a freshman in their first session and for me in my second session and the fact that when you’re in the minority party, it’s difficult,” she said.
Angel said she got a bill out of committee unanimously, but it got killed on the floor, similar to what happened with Schlicher’s bridge toll bill.
“Have I had those things happen this session? You bet I have,” she said.
Angel has had three bills pass this session.
As Schrader writes in his story, proof that politics are at play is elusive. Leaders from both majorities deny it.
In an earlier story by John Stang of Crosscut about the bridge toll vote, there was a comment from Rodney Tom, a Democrat who leads the majority coalition, about Schlicher getting his one vote. “It is a Senate tradition that every senator — even those in the minority — gets one bill passed,” Stang wrote.
Schrader wrote that six senators, including Schlicher, have had just one bill pass. Not on that list are Republicans Sharon Brown or John Smith. Like Schlicher, they are appointed incumbents. Unlike Schlicher, both of them have five bills passed this session.