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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Washington State Democratic Party

State Dems, in Spokane, call for rise in minimum wage

The Washington State Democratic Party on Saturday approved an 18-point party platform that will help guide the party for the next two years.

The party met for its biennial convention at the Red Lion Hotel at the Park in downtown Spokane.

Jaxon Ravens, the state party chairman, said delegates approved all 18 planks proposed by the party’s platform committee “with minor amendments.”

Among items in the platform is a call to raise the minimum wage. But it isn’t as specific as what was adopted by the Seattle City Council earlier this month: a phased-in rise of the minimum wage to $15.

The state party’s minimum wage position is: “We support an incremental increase in the state and federal minimum wage, with a living wage as the goal.”

Pelz stepping down as state Dem leader

Dwight Pelz, a former state senator and King County councilman, will step down as chairman of the state Democratic Party in February.

Pelz notified party officials Monday that he plans to resign after eight years as chairman, allowing the central committee to pick a new chairman at their February 1 meeting in Vancouver.

Pelz got his start in Washington politics with an initiative campaign to repeal the sales tax on food, and later trained as a community organizer. He was elected to the state Senate in 1990, and resigned in 1997 to take an appointment to the King County Council. Elected state chairman in 2006 to replace Paul Berendt, he was re-elected in 2009, 2011 and 2013.

During that time, Democrats won the major statewide races for governor and U.S. Senate. But last year they did lose control of the state Senate after a Democratic challenger failed to knock off incumbent GOP Sen. Don Benton in a Vancouver district, and two disaffected Democratos joined with the chamber's 23 Republicans to form the Majority Coalition Caucus.

In a press release, Pelz said he will be “taking some time off but not necessarily retiring.”

TNT: Demo convention attendance light

Many years, Washington's two political parties have their state conventions in the same place but on different weekends. This year, they had them in different places on the same weekend.

The Spokesman-Review opted for the Republican state convention in Tacoma. To read the Tacoma News Tribune's coverage of the Democratic state convention in Seattle, click here.

Democrats settle on delegate plan

Washington State Democrats will almost certainly select their presidential delegates for the 2012 convention through the caucus system.

At state Central Committee meeting over the weekend, party officials decided to hold their precinct caucuses on April 15 next year.  The plan must still be approved by the Democratic National Committee this fall, but that seems a foregone conclusion.

One, the state has cancelled its presidential primary to save about $10 million, so about the only other way would be some sort of random draw of registered voters.

B.,  the Democrats have used caucuses to award delegates for decades, whether the state has held a primary or not.

Third, the party pretty much knows who its nominee is going to be, so there's not likely to be any suspense to whom the delegates will be chosen.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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