As has been widely reported at Publicola, the P-I and elsewhere, the putatively nonpartisan King County Council deadlocked last night along partisan lines as they struggled to name a replacement to fill Dow Constantine’s vacated seat through the end of 2010.
Which raises a question. Were the Municipal League, the Seattle Times and other so-called civic “leaders” naive, stupid or just plain cynical in endorsing last year’s charter amendment that made all county offices nonpartisan? I mean, honestly… what the fuck did they think would happen in situations such as this?
It also raises the question of exactly what Republicans on the council are trying to achieve by blocking the appointment of State Sen. Joe McDermott, the obvious favorite of District 9 Democratic PCO’s. Are they hoping that an interim appointment would attract multiple legislators to the race (Rep. Zack Hudgins, for instance), thus creating additional headaches for Dems as they attempt not to lose too many seats next November? Surely they don’t believe a Republican has a shot at the seat?
Either way they may end up regretting their gambit and the hard feelings it is creating. When Rob McKenna vacated his seat after winning the AG’s race, Reagan Dunn was appointed unanimously. As prominent Republican Toby Nixon points out in the P-I’s comment thread, next time around, Democrats might not be so gracious:
The Republicans need to keep in mind that the time may come when Kathy Lambert or Reagan Dunn (just a couple of examples) are elected to higher office and the council will be choosing their successor — and the Democrats on the council will remember well what is happening right now.
So how’s that charter amendment working out for you, Toby?