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The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

October 10, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Democratic state House hopeful backs GOP theory of 5th District shenanigans

So the last elected state senator in the 5th Legislative District, a Republican, has endorsed the Democrat to succeed her. And now the underdog running for the state House in that district, a Democrat, has endorsed the Republican for the Senate seat.

Confused yet?

North Bend educator David Spring, who’s running against Republican Chad Magendanz for state representative in the East King County district, on Wednesday released a blistering, 12-page memo detailing what he called “evidence of corruption” involving the last elected state senator , Cheryl Pflug, the Democrat Pflug has endorsed to replace her, Mark Mullet, and Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire.

Spring alleges, as several Republicans have, that in return for a high-paying job in state government, Pflug purposefully resigned after the filing deadline so as to leave the GOP with the inexperienced Brad Toft to take on Mullet, a member of the Issaquah City Council.

Pflug, a moderate Republican, did resign just days after the filing deadline to take a $92,500-per-year job with the Washington Growth Management Hearings Board. And she did endorse Mullet, a Democrat, to replace her. But she has dismissed the corruption allegations as ridiculous.

Spring apparently disagrees.

“This report details 20 facts which taken together prove beyond any reasonable doubt that this was a million dollar bribe which was arranged more than 3 years ago by Governor Gregoire and Senator Pflug,” he wrote in the memo, which was sent along with an endorsement for Toft.

Among Spring’s assertions are that the Hearings Board position was held open for a year before Gregoire picked Pflug to fill it, that Pflug never raised money for the Senate campaign she apparently was considering, that she graduated law school only a week before getting the six-year appointment (the position requires a law degree) and that Pflug and Gregoire went on a trade mission to Vietnam in 2010.

It adds up, Sprin, g says, to a $1 million bribe (the reward in salary and retirement benefits of six years on the Hearings Board) for Pflug to help Democrats take the state Senate seat, which could determine control of the chamber.

Cynara Lilly, a spokeswoman for the Mullet campaign, called the accusations “groundless.” And Pflug said of Spring’s memo, “It’s so silly that it’s hard to respond to.”

Comments | More in homepage, State Legislature | Topics: 5th district, Brad Toft, Chad Magendanz


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