Rodney Tom

Understanding Rodney Tom would teach Democrats a lot –

The new majority leader’s decision to work with Republicans sends a message to Democrats. But don’t count on the message being received. Democrats Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon have joined a coalition of Republicans in the Washington state Senate to form a majority. Will it mean an impasse on state K-12 education funding?

When you prevent a popular lawmaker like Ed Murray from being the new Senate Majority Leader, don’t expect bouquets from the Seattle media — especially if you’re a Democrat who wins the coveted position with Republican votes. So, when Rodney Tom ascended to the Senate’s top job, he was called “two faced” by online columnist Joel Connelly. The Seattle Times’ Danny Westneat called him a Seattle basher. Even worse, he called him rich. And The Times’ Ron Judd, always a subtle touch, dismissed him as Benedict Arnold. In Seattle’s liberal and left wing blogosphere, “betrayal” is one of the milder words flying around.

But when Rodney Tom walked away from the Republican Party seven years ago, the media reaction was different. Quite different.

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