Speaking of bullshit polls, HA readers have spoken, and Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos was the clear choice for the incumbent Seattle Democratic state representative who most deserves a serious challenge. (You know… not counting Speaker Frank Chopp.)
Sharon Tomiko Santos (37th) 51 42% Mary Lou Dickerson (36th) 40 33% Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney (46th) 30 25%
Huh. Of course, Santos is my representative, which makes this kinda awkward. Personally, I get along with her just fine, and have always found her accessible. Plus, I have a couple of fond memories of her verbally beating the crap out of Cheryl Chow (in the hallway outside a school closure town hall), and Terry Bergeson (to her face at a 37th LD endorsement meeting). When she’s on, she’ on.
But at least as of lately, Santos hasn’t been on nearly often enough, her voice virtually silent during recent legislative sessions. Her lack of production aside, Santos has also earned her reputation as being less progressive than her district, serving as an advocate for payday lenders, and an opponent of environmental causes. And while she talks a very good talk on tax restructuring, she doesn’t seem to have the will or the way toward getting there.
But perhaps what most qualifies Santos for a serious intra-party challenge is her role in the House leadership, where she serves under Chopp as Majority Whip. No, challenging the Speaker himself isn’t all that viable, but challenging one of his lieutenants is, and even a close race, if not a win itself, would send a very loud message to Chopp and the rest of the leadership that we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.
So, sorry Sharon, nothing personal, but I can’t argue with my readers’ choice.