Speaker Frank Chopp’s control over his minions in the state House of Representatives is legendary among Olympia observers. And in passing his Democrat-only budget last week, he demonstrated his control over Washington’s most liberal troops yet again.
In stark contrast to a Senate budget which passed with strong bi-partisan support — only eight of the most liberal Democrat Senators voted ‘no’ — Speaker Chopp’s forced his budget-busting, tax-raising plan through the House with nary a GOP vote.
But the House Democrats’ budget plan received plenty of support from their most valuable constituents – the special interests which fund their campaigns. Liv Finne, from the Washington Policy Center, explored that connection in a recent blog post, asking a most germane question – how much of the taxes Democrats want to raise will go straight into the coffers of the teachers union?
This question should be at the forefront of discussions this week, as budget negotiations kick into high gear for a session that is supposed to end on Thursday. One can expect that the bi-partisan Senate proposal will be much closer to the final budget adopted than the Democrat-only House plan, but we can also expect that Speaker Chopp will be holding his breath until his face turns purple on behalf of his campaign funders.
At least he’ll be able to count on his minions to do his bidding whenever he finally decides to exhale, and announce the session over.