October 22, 2007
The uninspiring King County Prosecutor's Race (I)

Today's P-I puts the King County Prosecutor's race in proper perspective:

the county's top Democrat, County Executive Ron Sims, has remained notably neutral for reasons that sound almost like a tacit endorsement of [Republican Dan] Satterberg, who is the chief counsel for county officials and departments.

"The prosecuting attorney is giving exceptional service," Sims said in an interview. He said he doesn't intend to "endorse someone for purely partisan reasons."

Satterberg is also endorsed by Mrs. Gregoire's consigliere Jenny Durkan, the lead Democrat lawyer in the election contest lawsuit. Every politician has multiple, sometimes competing, allegiances, and Democrat/Republican partisanship isn't necessarily the most important. Like Norm Maleng, Dan Satterberg's first loyalty is to the County Executive, whom he sees as his primary client. A bold and principled Prosecutor could establish him/herself as an independent force for accountable government. But that's not what we've had, or will have, if Satterberg is elected.

Sadly, Democrat Bill Sherman hasn't offered compelling reasons to support him either.

Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at October 22, 2007 01:58 PM | Email This
Comments
1. Stefan, though I disagree with you, I respect you for calling it as you see it.

The choice in this race is really about experience. Dan Satterberg has it, his opponent does not. Satterberg may not be the most partisan Republican, but from the debates I've seen him particpate in, he's a compassionate individual, and well-qualified for the job.

His opponent has been absent 12 of the last 18 months of his employment with the Prosecutor's Office, running for various political positions. He hasn't even finished a full Deputy Prosecutor's rotation, and yet he saw an opportunity in taking on Satterberg.

While the race may be uninspiring, that doesn't mean it's unimportant. I'm curious to see what other commenters have to say...

Posted by: Patrick on October 22, 2007 01:55 PM
2. Stefan -

Dan Satterberg wants to keep the Prosecutor's office professional and fair, and has made that clear by running an independent campaign with widespread (and impressive) support. In comparison, Bill Sherman has made it clear that his first loyalty is to the party next to his name.

While Satterberg may not be running on the typical platform pushed by most of the Republican Party's candidates, can you tell me a single Republican of late who has done that and won county-wide?

The only Republican who has won county-wide in a contested race in the last ten years was ...

Norm Maleng.

Dan Satterberg is right to embrace Maleng's legacy, and highlight the disparities in experience between him and his opponent.

Posted by: Jake on October 22, 2007 02:44 PM
3. Dan is a class act, just like his mentor. Having witnessed the I-912/KVI debacle when the San Juan County prosecutors and Mike Vaska abused their offices for political gain I think we should aspire to a non-partisan office like Norm ran and Dan is running, not lament it.

Posted by: Stanwoodsage on October 22, 2007 02:48 PM
4. Great assessment Stefan. People are making way too much of the partisan part of this election. Its not partisan. This is basically two democrats and Satterberg calls himself a Republican to earn points with the law and order folks. If he were a true Republican he would have put some County folks behind bars by now, since law enforcement is his job.

Posted by: Mike on October 22, 2007 02:49 PM
5. Hey Stefan! You're missing a real story here!

If you've followed the posts over at Postman and on HA (where I hang as a lone wingnut among the toilet-based glitterati taking on all comers and besting them at their own game), you'd see that there's a huge divide among the PAO employees with a significant bordering on overwhelming majority of them supporting Satterberg over Sherman.

And these people are self-described liberal Democrats! But they see a quantitative AND qualitative difference between the two that's significant for the future of the PAO office.

Certainly, partisans on our side of the aisle grumbled a lot at Norm Maleng and, by extension, Dan Satterberg, for what happened in 2004. Be that as it may, those types of cases are but a drop in the numerical bucket compared to the daily grind of successfully prosecuting defendants and locking them up, which the PAO is pretty good at doing.

Under a PA Sherman, however, we risk having that good job disappear because of how many senior and seasoned attorneys will leave the office out of disgust that the boss barely knows the difference between a plaintiff and a defendant, let alone his way to the gent's loo.

I'm now in personal contact with an individual on the inside of that office, and this person, a career pro, is deeply troubled. The professional employees were asked to remain neutral in this race, but are now seeing that their pledge of neutrality is being used against them in what's become a viciously partisan race.

Goldy's HA pimped hard to raise $$$ for Sherman, and Goldy himself brags on how often he and Sherman canoodle. Do you want a PA who's in Goldy's pocket? Or one you'll merely grumble about every once in awhile?

Peel back the veneer, and look inside...There's stuff happening that people aren't aware of yet need to be!

The Piper

Posted by: Piper Scott on October 22, 2007 04:32 PM
6. I sat and watched the canvassing board hearings that looked into Lori Sotelo's complaints of voter fraud. The two democrat members of the board made it clear they hated Lori Sotelo and were opposed to everything. Dan Satterberg seemed to have only a few motivations. He asked questions regarding what the law says, what it means, and how the canvassing board could impartially apply it. So, you had three members - two partisan democrats and one impartial and fair-minded individual.

Sometimes the best way to combat Democrat partisanship is not with Republican partisanship. You combat it with fair-minded competency. That's why I'm so glad I voted for Satterberg.

Posted by: AD on October 22, 2007 05:02 PM
7. How about an unispiring King County, in general?

King County, Wash., Fund Is Hit by SIV Turmoil
S&P May Downgrade Investment-Pool Rating;
City of Seattle Affected

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119310205429367896.html?mod=todays_us_money_and_investing

Posted by: howard on October 23, 2007 09:41 AM
8. How about an unispiring King County, in general?

King County, Wash., Fund Is Hit by SIV Turmoil
S&P May Downgrade Investment-Pool Rating;
City of Seattle Affected

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119310205429367896.html?mod=todays_us_money_and_investing

Posted by: howard on October 23, 2007 09:42 AM
9. I am an indie, so I suppose that I am not supposed to get it. I actually do vote for Micky Mouse and I have voted twice for Nader. I think I may vote for him again, anyone heard from him, is he still alive? I wouldn't even think of voting for Micky Mouse on this one as there are consequences. When I complained about the parties denying indies like me the chance to participate in primaries, I was told get over it, it is a party matter. The point is should the office be run in a non-partisan matter? A strong tradition of non-partisanhip is what is needed and that is what distinguishes this prosecutor's office from other big city prosecutor's offices. I understand that Ms. Sotelo may be a great person committed to her party and her ideals who just happened to get chewed up in the grinder that is partisan politics, but she really isn't the issue on this one. This is a partisan site which allows others to post. The prosecutor's office should not be a partisan site which allows partisians to roost. Now, because of the party system, it is what it is. So, get over it.

Posted by: WVH on October 23, 2007 11:29 PM
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