I first met Bill Sherman during his unsuccessful legislative run last year, and I came away quite impressed. So much so, that when I saw the somewhat disappointing field shaping up for this year’s Seattle City Council races, I urged Bill to throw his hat into the ring. Okay, I kinda begged him.
This was a race, I assured him, he could win… a suggestion that Bill literally laughed off, telling me had absolutely no plans to run for office again. He loved being a prosecutor, Bill explained, and only entered the 43rd LD race after Norm Maleng assured him he could keep his job while serving in the part-time legislature, a not uncommon arrangement. (For example, Luke Esser worked in the state AG’s office while serving in the state senate.) City Council, on the other hand, is a full time position, and Bill had no interest in swapping his “dream job” for a life on the council.
I mention this conversation as an answer to Dan Satterberg’s habit of smearing his opponent with the foul taint of political ambition. Satterberg points to Bill’s back-to-back campaigns as evidence of an opportunistic politician intent on using the PAO as a stepping stone to higher office, but in fact Bill had no plans to run for office, because there was no elected office he could serve while continuing his career as a prosecutor.
That is, until longtime King County Prosecuting Attorney Norm Maleng suddenly passed away.
I cannot assure you that should he win, Bill won’t someday run for higher office, but then, it would be wrong to demand such assurances from our candidates. Maleng himself ran for state attorney general once, and for governor twice, and I never heard anybody criticizing him for his political ambition. I have even heard Republicans imply that Bill’s 43rd LD campaign was a calculated effort to position him for a run at the PAO, a conspiratorial suggestion of Shakespearian proportions. What next… Bill poured poison in Maleng’s ear? Nobody expected Maleng to retire anytime soon, let alone die at such a relatively young age, and so I think it fair to take at face value Bill’s prior assurance to me that he had no plans to run again for public office.
We take the opportunities that come our way, and right now we have an opportunity to elect a Prosecuting Attorney who will prosecute voter suppression and intimidation as vigorously as he will prosecute voter fraud. Nearly two full days into our netroots fund drive we have already raised $2340 toward our five-day $5000 goal, but have only registered 34 new donors toward our target of 200. Please give whatever you can, even if it’s only five or ten bucks.