Write to Your Legislator NOW

From afar I have been following the machinations of the State Senator Republicans (and the 3 Roadkill Dems including Rodney Tom) and the state budget. 

I can only say that, like Nick Hanauer, this is no way to show loyalty to your party.  I think if Senator Tom wants to be a Republican, he should go back to being one (he acts like one anyway).    I also think that these three men have done damage to their reputation within the Democratic delegation.  I certainly would not trust what they say in the future.

I also had been wondering why LEV had been so silent on the subject of the charter legislation and now it's obvious.  They knew this ploy was coming.  I'm sure that they were pushing it all along and hope that they will come out with the charter bill (in some form) passed.  I can only say I hope that if that happens, they take the $3M away from Pettigrew.  It would all seem like a bit much.

Interestingly, one of the Roadkill Dems, Kastama, is against charter schools.

The budget that the Roadkill Dems support would cut $30M from K-12 and something like $20M from higher ed.  It's the wrong direction for our state to be following.  

So folks, please.  Tell your legislators no to this Republican budget.  Ask them to hold firm to what the Dems have put forward.  Most of all, tell them that there should be no extra bills included within the budget.   Tell them we can't cut K-12 funding and then fund charter schools.


Anonymous said…
One of the more remarkable stunts pulled off by the amazing circus that is now performing in Olympia was the debate over whether to spend $3 million on the Readiness to Learn program, which would fund meals, school supplies, and drug and alcohol counselling, or to spend it on cash prizes for county fairs--cash prizes for, in some cases, adults.

Most Democrats preferred to spend the money on children. The Republicans and a few Democrats (Tom included, I believe) chose the cash prizes for county fairs. The debate is truly amazing. I highly recommend that everyone check it out. You can find it here:


Make sure to watch the video clip. The article just doesn't do justice to the absurdity of the debate. If you want to know how low things have gotten in Olympia, then check it out.

Anonymous said…
Rodney SHOULD rub the Dems faces in his barnyard shoe stuff. The Dems won't hold him accountable for being a traitor - they'll wag their fingers, and they'll make excuses, and then they'll make derisive comments about the pragmatism of people fed up with cowards and people fed up with the politically pathetic.

Will the Dems fight to reframe the debate from terms favorable to the 1%? Nope. Excuses, Blame & Fear will be what we little nobody people will get - Rodney is the gift that keeps on giving.

Kathy said…
Democratic Senators were asked to vote on a Republican budget that they hadn't seen.

Many bills were passed out of the Senate until 2am Saturday morning. Republican bills were consistently passed out with 25:24 vote. Many of these bills were not heard in committee meetings. There was also no opportunity for public comment.

Kudos to Senator Kohl-Welles. She argued against lack of transparency- and the unspeakable actions that undermine our democracy.

I agree with DWE. You must watch this. The press has not adequately written about lack of transparency and actions which have undermined our democratic principals. Dirty politics, for sure.
Anonymous said…
46th LD Political Junkie Says:

If you think individual voices don't matter right now, you are wrong. Want to stop the Republican plan for education spending? All roads to the final budget run through the 43rd legislative district.

Sen. Ed Murray aka "Rug Pulled Out From Under Him Friday" is the Senate Ways and Means head. Frank Chopp is Speaker of the House.

Contact them immediately. Tell them you reject reduced education spending. The Senate Republicans are claiming to preserve K-12 funding when they are actually cutting it.

Tell them you reject any attempt by 'Democratic' education funding turncoat Sen. Rodney Tom to horsetrade 'trial' Charter Schools for his budget vote. You better believe that Tom will try it, backed by Korsmo and Munn from LEV and the disingenous Stand for Children crowd.

It wouldn't hurt to see if some of the active 43rd LD education advocates could also push on Chopp and Murray. Like the other Seattle LDs, the 43rd Dems passed an anti-charter resolution, but Chopp and Murray may or may not be solidly against. I do not know.

A few names come to mind for organizing a push: longtime 43rd member Linda Clifton, who was a teacher. Kay Smith-Blum. Michelle Buetow, who lost to Harium Martin-Morris in November. All are on Facebook or perhaps Melissa has contact information for them? Unfortunately Brooke Brod, who works for Stand, is also well known in the 43rd and is probably working the backrooms hard.
Anonymous said…
I don't know what good is will do to push on Murray. He's not the problem If you watched the proceedings, he admitted he didn't have the votes for the Democratic budget but was still working on it and hoped to sell it except that the Republicans staged a well-organized coup the night before. Murray is with us.

His dad offered me a job out of high school and I respected that man. I emailed Murray about the health care issue and told him if he supported it, his dad would be disappointed in him. Murray is a good Democrat. And I"m no longer in his district. But, my senator, Frockt, also energetically spoke against the Republican usurping of the budget.

If you email, email Sheldon, Kastama, and Tom and give them hell. Good Roadkill Dems didn't betray because they are good conservative Dems. I hope Sheldon gets primaried next time around. I hope they all do.

The funny part of this is that Rutherford said he was for it because it was "reimbursement to fairs for last years events and they can't afford ... "

But the teachers who spent their money because the legislature agreed to reimburse them for their National Boards find their reimbursements eliminated. Hypocrisy anyone?

Of course, the best part is Swecker who home school his kid but thinks fairs did more for his success in life as a turkey farmer than did his parent's home schooling of him. Would someone explain that one, please.

"He's a fireman by day and raises sheep and turkeys by night." I guess without $3 million that wouldn't have happened. I wonder what 4H and fairs did before legislatures started giving them money for blue ribbons?

Check it out said…
Here is the link:

Anonymous said…
If the charter bill did pass, and with enough pressure it won't, we would take it to the state as a referendum, then the democratic process would come back into play.

Yes, Dora, that's true. Tom doesn't want it to go to a vote of the people and clearly, his actions show he doesn't care a lot about the people who elected him as a Democrat.

That can be used in any referendum about charters. I think when people realize they couldn't get what they wanted one way, they chose a sneaky way.
Anonymous said…
Just to add my two cents, you can read what Senator Adam Kline has to say, my take on it and as a bonus, there's a link to Munn applauding Tom's every move. See Senator Adam Kline: A bad day for the democratic process.

Anonymous said…

I don't want to see it go that way, go to a general vote, but if it has to, it will.

I'd rather we focus our money, energy and attention to what matters most, building on what we have and ensuring funding for all of our schools.

On that I know that we both agree.

Anonymous said…
My guess is actually that LEV did not know Rodney Tom was going to jump ship and join the Rs. After all, the R budget is not good for schools and makes LEV look like they don't have much influence on Tom, which they should since they have supported him.

My guess is that Tom got pissed off that his charter thing failed and that Pettigrew seemed to be giving up on the charters in favor of the $3 million for his schools. Did Pettigrew lose or keep the $3 million in the R budget? I think Tom was quietly talking to the Rs (his old friends) and then decided to go with them when he didn't get what he wanted from the Ds.

-from the 48th
dan dempsey said…
Must say in this battle of Dems and Repubs that I am hardly thrilled with either party over the last 2 decades when it comes to WA Education .... or much else.

I think both parties are getting off far too easy. Neither has shown any accountability for Education. ((WASL and the GLEs and EALRs "accountability?".... what a joke those were .... Thanks to Terry B and the Guv and legislature .... We spent enormous amounts more than on Iowa tests and received "diddy squat". This spending did not impact student learning positively ..... the fact that phony OSPI WASL results improved while College remediation rates increased .... says a lot about what occurred under Terry B and her drones.))

Whether we look at funding or direction when it comes to education these partys each merit a BIG "F" ... We can now award those justices in the WA Supreme Court with an "F" for their funding "F" as well.

The State Houses have adopted the Common Core State Standards and pushed for many "Race to the Top" reforms. The were huge bi-partisan mistakes. ..... {just follow the money ... this had zero to do with thinking about improving education}

The legislature either failed to notice or did not care that the CCSS requires local districts to spend at least $165 million on implementation and funding of the CCSS ..... This has ZERO to do with providing the education WA students need .... the education that has been inadequately funded .... now gets an additional counter-productive hit (- $165 million)

Since the Repubs don't do the job .... that hardly makes the Dems praise worthy.

The Big money decides where to draw the line and the Repubs line up a little to the right of it and the Dems a little to the left of the line and they are each far away from what is needed as they are too close to that big money line.

The WA Supremes apparently realized that the constitutional rights of many students were being violated ... but decided that was OK.... at least for another six-years. .... In NY State a similar lawsuit was the driver for tax reform because in NY State the violation of the constitution and education are taken seriously. ...... In WA we just squabble about which pathetic party is doing the best for our kids.

Its not just about money ... it is about direction. Neither party cares to do much thinking .. Thinking must interfere with listening to big money.

The WEA is not even worth mentioning.
Write Your Senators and Legislators. said…
I'm glad I copied this off of Rodney Tom's facebook page. It has since disappeared.

Write your senators and legislators. I believe Tom is carrying water for the League of Education Voters and will reintroduce charters to pass the budget.

Kelly Munn from League of Education Voters wrote the following:

Kelly Ann Munn: I think there is political issues here that we do not fully understand. I don't think the budget will actually be cut...I think this is more of a policy fight. I could be wrong. But I know Rodney, he doesn't want to take money away from anyone...but he does want some policy change and that is very, very difficult to do right now if you are in the middle.
Yesterday at 12:34pm · LikeUnlike

Kelly Ann Munn: So...I'm saying that I think this is not a budget fight that is real, its a policy fight. I could be wrong. I hope not. And, I do admire that Rodney is doing what he believes in, as you well know, he will be much maligned for this....but what is the most important, is to watch how this plays out...what REALLY happens after this. It could actually be better for the states children...we don't know that right now.
Anonymous said…
Fortunately Munn's comment has been saved for perpetuity. See Munn to Tom on Facebook

Kathy said…
Here is another good article related to lack of transparency:

dan dempsey said…
As we look at this bill as being among other things a tool to introduce charter schools ... CHECK out ED WEEK.

Published online Monday March 5 came an article that has links to a number of studies on Charter schools and several of the studies are very recent.

Here is the link to:
Studies Find Charters Vary in Quality, Creativity
By Jackie Zubrzycki

Twenty-one years after Minnesota passed the nation's first charter school law, researchers still disagree on whether such independent public schools are any more effective than regular public schools.

There is one point on which critics and proponents can all agree: There are plenty of good charter schools out there, and plenty of bad ones.

Much less is known, however, about how innovative charter schools turned out to be.

Now serving more than 2 million students in 41 states and the District of Columbia, charter schools were conceived to be incubators of innovation. The idea was that this new breed of public school could foster fresh thinking on schooling by freeing educators from many of the regulations that govern—and, some would say, hamstring—regular schools. The quid pro quo was that charters would have to yield student-achievement results as good as or better than those of regular public schools.

etc. etc. etc.
Anonymous said…
46th LD Political Junkie says:

Dear N, Respectfully, you are incorrect. Sheldon Tom and Kastama have had their moment, but Chopp and Murray will be the keys to ultimate budget approval.

The 46th is stronger on education issues than the 43rd. Note that Melissa couldn't get Chopp to talk to her about charters. The 43rd is stronger on social services with Murray and Chopp's interests. Pederson has made his name serving his gay constituents. That is why I suggested talking to active Democrats in addition to Melissa in the 43rd who know education issues. I don't want to see the 43rd trading on education and charters in order to get a budget deal done.
Anonymous said…
Kelly Munn's facebook post is really revealing. It does make it appear that LEV is expecting Tom's chess move to result in the Dems caving on the charter bill. Whether they KNEW he was planning to do that, though, I am still not sure. It is a pretty slimy attempt at a power play if they did. And it would be very alienating to all the other dems who are supposed to be their friends.

-In the 48th
Anonymous said…
Protest planned today in Olympia at 5:30!


Mad as heck!
Anonymous said…
We can push all of them. Murray's in our camp so if pushing him makes you feel good, do it. Push them all! Especially the roadkill caucus. Both Chopp and Murray know what we need and aren't straying off the reservation. They have a lot to lose and they have a constituency that is in our camp. I think a better place to put your efforts are on the group from the roadkill caucus that supports our side. They can put leverage on each other that might make a difference.

There are only so many gimmicks that Murray and Chopp can generate.

On another topic: Nick Hanauer. It occurred to me over the weekend that he doesn't give a hoot about charter schools. He's probably just looking for a reason to support McKenna over "cap and trade" Inslee. As a venture capitalist, I can't see him firmly in an Inslee camp. I think the charter school thing is a smoke screen.

Anonymous said…
Today in Crosscut, David Brewer points to his new BFF Hanauer as The Future.

Today on Seattle Schools Community Forum, I pont to Hanauer as Not The Future.

Just wanted to keep things even.

Anonymous said…
After emailing my state reps and getting nothing back except to see them vote for the teacher eval bill even though they all stated they support fully funding basic ed and supposedly teachers, I see now, I should have saved my time and effort drafting up my letters because they are going to vote what benefit them politically. None of this is about helping my kids and certainly nothing that will help support classroom instruction or learning. So my kids will take all these standardized tests not because it helps them learn, but because some righteous politicians think it makes them look like they fix the education problem.

It's pretty depressing as a voter and taxpayer and one who generally vote democratic. There's no place to turn to anymore. You get the icky feeling after talking to these folks. I used to go to community meetings and see Frank Chopp, Tim Burgess, DeBell, etc. to hear them talk and I used to think, wow, they talked like the care. Not anymore. Just more white dudes climbing up political ladders. Stupid me!

You think if SCPTSA was smart and really care, they do things like rallying all local PTAs to come out and March with community groups in Rainier Beach to help support the take back of their streets so kids and adults can walk safely in the neighborhood. That would be something and wouldn't even cost any fundraising money. Just a great opportinity to support Seattle schools as a WHOLE. If LEV really care, they would do the same or look at what alternatives they can offer RB kids when their local community center and pool are closed. Kids need safe places to go. Charters aren't going to do that. My kids are not allowed to walk to the local library after school because it's not safe. It affects their outlook. Our older parents who used to take buses to the ID and Harborview clinics now are nervous at bus stops and walking in the neighborhood. I know we have a bit of a siege mentality because of safety concern. But I guess this doesn't matter to politicians and all those who say they are here to help our kids. Gotta get the new sport franchise first and get those standardized testings done and maybe a charter here and there, and problems solved.

Adequate policing, after school teen programs, chess clubs, summer school programs, more counselors, more employment support, better health care and safe transit access.... all too much to ask and been there before. Yawn, lots of expensive, doesn't work social programs right?

-just one more powerless voice and vote
Anonymous said…
Sorry to sound so depressed today, but I find that the situation in South Seattle has not gotten much press except an occassional report of shooting and beating, but little follow through. Certainly no meaningful actions from the big kahunas from city hall, city council or the police chief or from state legislators and civic leaders the like of Gates, and Ms. Munn. It seems like so many people are SO focused on improving our schools (even state legislators who don't represent us), but pay little attention to improving the situation in our communities where these schools exist. The neighborhoods are trying to come together, but the power to dole out money to supply extra police and community programs exists outside the community. Problems that affect the community affect the schools. For some reason, we can't get that point across.

-feeling powerless
Feeling powerless, I see that Councilman Harrell is having a series of meetings in all police precinct areas. Look up the schedule, go to the one closest to you and be loud.
Anonymous said…
McGinn still has his neighborhood meetings - I think anyway - there should be good turnouts at those as well. Mike tries to listen and do something but he's been attacked a lot lately. He came with good intentions but politics seems to be wearing him down. Still, if those neighborhood meetings continue. we must show up.

Anonymous said…
@ just 1 more powerless 3/5/12 5:06 PM

the critical flaws in your ideas:

They don't work for the old guard - focus on getting something done leaves unemployed all the Big Kahunas who have Big Degrees and Big Credentials and Big Titles and Big Paychecks ... making dumb processes or making big tomes.

They don't work for the new kids on the block - how are the Kipp-Koop-Krime syndicates going to line their pockets?

Where's the win-win here? If you're not going to employ 2 or 4 or 600 Cap Hill, Queen Anne, Wallingford ... paper pushers, what good is it?

This isn't like the 30's, when the Democratic Party and the unions learned how to deliver the bacon!


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