For all the
criticism tough love I showed House Speaker Frank Chopp during the final weeks of the legislative session, at least the Democratic caucus isn’t totally and irreparably dysfunctional. From the Seattle P-I:
Sen. Pam Roach has been forbidden from dealing directly with Republican caucus staff because GOP leaders say she has created a hostile work environment.
In a letter sent to the Auburn Republican last week, Senate Republican leaders say Roach has shown a lack of boundaries with caucus staff, including making them listen to her recount “past perceived slights” by lawmakers, lobbyists and party leaders.
The letter says Roach asks staff to state that their loyalties lie with her and are subject to treatment that violates the Senate’s prohibition on creating an “intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.”
All contact with caucus staff must be between Roach’s legislative assistant and staff, and Roach must not contact caucus staff “in person, via phone, e-mail or through any other means,” according to the letter.
Roach was traveling in Honduras and could not be reached for comment Wednesday, but on Monday evening she sent out an e-mail blasting the leadership and saying she was being targeted for criticizing the caucus’s plan to recruit new members.
And man, what an email that was. In a fisking worthy of Effin’ Unsound, the News Tribune’s Niki Sullivan reprints the press release-ish email, adding her own emphasis and thoughtful interjections. As for Roach, her email earns the appellation of “instant classic” in what was already a vast and impressive oeuvre of id-inspired nuttery. My favorite excerpt…?
Minority Leader Mike Hewitt (R-Walla Walla) has verbally abused members in caucus, and has bent and exposed his backside to a female senator while screaming at her during a caucus meeting.
“He is a desperate man with personal problems,” said Roach.
But there was one other section of Roach’s email that particularly stood out to me, the one in which she mentioned the late State Senator (and infamous sexual hypocrite) Jim West:
“Five years ago, Hewitt joined then leader Jim West, in attacking me fearing I would go public with questionable e-mails that were uncovered. They fired my aide who discovered and reported them, then Hewitt joined West in a campaign to silence me with smear and intimidation tactics.”
Roach was exonerated.
“Now Hewitt, with his own closet full of skeletons, is resorting to the same tactics of intimidation and harassment,” said Roach.
Back in 2005, two independent sources suggested to me that it was Roach who originally tipped off the Spokesman-Review to West’s personal indiscretions, something folks at the S-R denied. But… well… you gotta wonder….