It may seem strange for a party that talks a lot about tolerance and diversity, but those are qualities that the King County Democrats don’t want to see much of among their endorsed candidates. In fact, the local Democrats have a very specific set of rules for candidates seeking party endorsement.
The first step to gaining official sanction as a card-carrying party preferred Democrat is to successfully answer a questionnaire that includes making sure candidates are opposed to such non-liberal ideas as making it harder to pass taxes:
“Do you support a constitutional amendment requiring super majorities (i.e. 2/3 majorities) for revenue increases at the legislative level?”
Presumably, given the party platform, the correct answer is “NO.” King County Democrats are eager to ensure a Democrat majority that is willing to continue oppose the 2/3 majority rule for tax increases whenever voters approve it. Voters have approved the 2/3 majority rule in five separate votes (1993, 1998, 2007, 2010, 2012) only to be repealed by Democrats in the Legislature. In 2012, the last time voters’ approved the 2/3 majority, the initiative passed statewide with 64% yes vote and won the approval of people in 44 of the state’s 49 Legislative Districts. Despite the overwhelming endorsement of voters, Democrats must agree to oppose this policy if they want the party endorsement.
If candidates answer all questions to the satisfaction of the county Democrats, they are then scheduled for a vetting session by the Endorsement Committee. Candidates can expect to answer questions related to their support of the King County Democrats’ party platform, which includes the implementation of a state income tax. If candidates pass the vetting process, the Endorsement Committee recommends them to voting members of the Executive Board. Candidates who receive —quite ironically — a 2/3 majority of the votes earn party endorsement.
Thus, King County Democrats want to make it harder to get their endorsement than to raise taxes.
The pledge-allegiance-to-the-party-platform endorsement process encourages Democrat candidates to subscribe to a singular point-of-view – no diversity here, please. It discourages differing perspectives or creativity of thought. The following candidates have pledged allegiance to the King County Democrats’ party platform, which includes a denial of the voter-approved 2/3 majority rule and implementation of a state income tax:
- Suzan Delbene- currently seeking re-election to Congress in the 1st Congressional District.
- Shari Song- currently seeking election to the State Senate in the 30th Legislative District.
- Matt Isenhower- currently seeking election to the State Senate in the 45th Legislative District.
- Roger Goodman- currently seeking re-election to the State House in the 45th Legislative District.
- Cyrus Habib- currently seeking election to the State Senate in the 48th Legislative District.
The party litmus test reminds us of the old bumper sticker – “Vote Democrat, it’s easier than thinking”.