January 11, 2013 at 5:35 PM
Rodney Tom under fire from Democratic Party activists over Senate coalition
Rodney Tom may be about to formally become the most powerful member of the state Senate, but he is increasingly taking heat from his own party.
Democratic Party activists in central Seattle’s 43rd district are expected to vote Tuesday to censure Tom, a Medina Democrat, for joining with 23 Republicans and one other Democrat to form a coalition that should narrowly control the 49-member Senate when the Legislature convenes Monday.
A proposed resolution calls Tom’s behavior “perfidious” (“deceitful and untrustworthy,” according to Merriam Webster). Among other things, it would promise not to provide any volunteer or financial support to Tom in his next campaign, and encourage the state party operation to deny him access to its voter database.
Perhaps most striking, the resolution vows that the 43rd District Democrats will withdraw support for anybody in Tom’s district that offers or even implies that they will offer material support to Tom’s re-election.
“We don’t believe that Sen. Tom is doing what is best for his district or his state,” said Scott Forbes, chairman of the 43rd District Democrats. “We believe that he is doing what’s best for himself.”
Forbes said he expects the resolution to pass.
The proposal in the 43rd district comes days after Democratic Party activists in Tom’s own district, the 48th, approved a resolution stating that Tom’s move had made him ineligible for “future endorsement and support.”
Tom said he doesn’t make much of the reaction from activists.
“I’m down there in Olympia representing my district. I think I represent it well,” he said, noting that he voted the same way as his district on all four initiatives on the ballot this year: same-sex marriage, marijuana legalization, charter schools and a two-thirds requirement for taxes.
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