Spin Control

WA Lege Day 1: Motion to block Harper fails

OLYMPIA -- An initial effort to keep a Snohomish County senator-elect from being seated in the Senate failed Monday afternoon as a parliamentary procedure failed on a 23-18 vote.

Sen. Jim Kastama, D-Puyallup, tried to keep all newly-elected senators from being sworn in while the Senate considered a motion not to seat Nick Harper, who easily bested a Republican challenger in a Democratic leaning district. The real controversy goes back to the primary, when incumbent Sen. Jean Berkey was eased out of the Top Two system by a shadow campaign waged by Moxie Media.

The Public Disclosure Commission has recommended criminal prosecution against Moxie for gathering campaign funds and deliberately hiding their source. That's not enough, Kastama said: "They will pay a fine. It will be the cost of doing business...If not now when. When is bad enough."

But Sen. Tracey Eide said while Moxie's actions were "deplorable", Harper isn't responsible. "Being blamed for something that a thrid party is done is wrong...It is like blaming your child for something the neighbor kid did."

Kastama's motion failed, and Harper was sworn in at 1:35 p.m. Any further efforts to undo the election will bump up against the fact that he's duly elected and seated.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Spin Control
Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

Follow Jim online:



Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
Customer service:
(509) 747-4422
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Back to Spokesman Mobile