September 24, 2018 Dena Jensen
Here comes post #30 for why Doug’s Got to Go. This is one for the category of the numerous noticeably unpopular votes that Republican State Senator Doug Ericksen has made as our representative for the 42nd Legislative District.
Public disclosure, as it serves transparency in government, is one of our Democracy’s most sacred assets. It is bad enough that Senator Ericksen voted to approve Senate Bill 6617 which would have immediately exempted members of the Washington state legislature from public disclosure law, but he participated in a process that rushed it through the legislature with no public hearing over a period of just two days.
This excerpt from a March 9, 2018 article by reporter Josh Lelety of the WNPA Olympia News Bureau that appeared in the Point Roberts All Point Bulletin, gives us an idea of the outcry over the vote from the public and a hint of the negative impacts that could have come from the bill, had Governor Inslee not vetoed it:
“By March 1, the governor’s office had received nearly 12,000 emails, 5,600 phone calls and more than 100 letters from constituents regarding the bill. In his statement, Inslee called the public reaction ‘unprecedented.’
“The response was the latest in an ongoing battle between the newspaper publishers and the legislature that led to the creation of the controversial legislation. Sponsored by senate majority leader Sharon Nelson (D-Maury Island) and senate minority leader, Mark Schoesler (R-Ritzville) the bill came on the heels of a January 19 ruling from Thurston County Superior Court Judge Chris Lanese that lawmakers are subject to the state’s Public Records Act.
“The decree stemmed from an ongoing lawsuit against the legislature by the Associated Press, the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association and other media organizations, who sued last year for lawmakers’ internal communications and records pertaining to alleged sexual harassment incidents.”