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Politics Northwest

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

January 11, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Friday politics: Dems may lead some state Senate committees, Murray and assault weapons ban

Good Morning.

State Sen. Rodney Tom,
D-Medina-but-he-prefers-Bellevue

The Legislative session is a go on Monday. Political observers are gearing up for a lengthy outing. For Democrats in the state Senate, it might feel longer than normal, because two Democrats, Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon, joined with Republicans to stage a power shuffle.  Under the unusual arrangement, Tom becomes Senate majority leader and Democrats were offered a chance to to share chairmanships with Republicans. Initially, Democrats seemed unwilling to join the agreement. But now comes word that some Democrats want to lead a few committees. Tom, by the by, is the object of both wrath and thanks  for his decision to team up with Republicans.

State Sen. Ed Murray’s latest task. The individual who had to be most disappointed by the legislative coup was Murray. The Seattle Democrat was elected Senate majority leader by fellow Democrats, only to lose the post to Tom under the new arrangement. Murray has a new project. He committed this week to introducing a Washington state assault weapons ban. 

Asked about his latest legislative project, Murray, who led the way on gay marriage over many sessions, said: “Yes, I like bills that take years to pass,”  adding that, “and supporters are always mad at me because of the time it takes.”

Vice President Joe Biden, working the issue nationally, says he will offer his recommendations on guns by next Tuesday.

One-upmanship: Politico had a couple of stories this week on pro- gun and anti-gun membership, one describing an anti-illegal gun group that says it has attracted 400,000 new members since the Newtown shootings, while the NRA boasts it has signed up 100,000 new members.

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0 Comments | More in homepage, Politics Northwest, State budget, State Legislature | Topics: anti-illegal guns, assault weapons ban, gun membership

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