Kudos to Senator Pedersen for this bit of throwing the GOP nonsense back in their face.
Sen. Mike Baumgartner, R-Spokane, and Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, introduced amendments to the transportation bill that triggered alarms for Sen. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle. Ericksen’s amendment sought to pay the 520 bridge replacement costs with toll revenues. “I wanted to stop the gigantic sucking sound” of 520 overruns, Ericksen said. Baumgartner’s amendment would have made Seattle’s property owners responsible for cost overruns on the downtown tunnel project. Baumgartner was unavailable for comment after the Senate showdown.
Pedersen decided to introduce to file his own amendment to make the property owners of Medina, at the east end of the 520 bridge, liable for cost overruns on the 520 project. “My objective is to get rid of those two (Ericksen and Baumgartner) amendments,” said Pedersen midway through Tuesday night’s showdown.
Ericksen withdrew his amendment. Then the Senate passed Pedersen’s amendment to put Medina on the hook for 520 overruns by a voice vote — in which senators shout as groups or stand in groups to show their positions without a formal roll call. The vote on Pedersen’s amendment showed that some Republicans wanted to have Medina pay for 520 cost overruns, or at least wanted to punish Tom.
In the end, neither provision was in the final Senate Supplemental Transportation Budget. It’s nice that a Seattle Democrat is willing to throw an elbow. And look, something good actually came out of it. If Seattle Democrats are a bit more willing to throw a punch now and again, that probably bodes well for future projects.
Also, it’s nice that enough GOP members were willing to throw Tom under the bus. Or at least Medina, and that’s somewhat less nice. Either they don’t like Tom as much as many Democrats (but are still willing to make him Majority Leader!), or they really can’t tell the difference between Seattle and the suburbs with their hate. In some ways their irrational hatred of Seattle is an irrational hatred of the Puget Sound region. As much as Tom may go out of his to demonize Seattle, Medina — and the whole of the Eastside and for that matter all of King County — are just about as hated by the people who hate Seattle.