A 'special' squabble in Washington governor's race

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by ROBERT MAK / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 5:15 PM

The latest squabble in the governor’s race raises the question of which is worse:  Causing a special election, or a special session?

Last week, Republicans blamed Democrat Jay Inslee for causing a special election by resigning his seat in Congress early.

This morning, the Inslee campaign held a conference call and blamed Republican Rob McKenna for causing a special session in Olympia.

Cliff Notes’ version of the Democratic claim:  McKenna held an Olympia press conference in the middle of the special session to lay out positions on the state budget, which slowed budget negotiations and spilled over a day into another special session.  “It just wasn’t helpful,” said State Sen. Ed Murray, Seattle Democrat and chair of the Ways and Means Committee, who asserts key Republican negotiators weren’t available for three days after McKenna’s event.

Reader’s Digest version of the Republican claim:  Inslee didn’t do enough research to realize that by resigning in a redistricting year, the state would still be required to hold a special election in November to fill Inslee’s seat for the month of December.

Folks paying only slight attention to the squabbling could easily get confused over who caused what, and how much the consequences of each might cost. 

Inslee communications director Sterling Clifford opened this morning’s conference call criticizing McKenna: “To really participate in a standoff that forced an unnecessary special election…”

Of course, he meant special “session.”  (It’s Inslee who Republicans are blaming for a special election.)

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