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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Olympia

Oh, Harold, we miss ya…

Former Sen. Harold Hochstatter, a Moses Lake Republican famous for perplexing quotes and obscure references, has compiled a list of dozens of his best statements, and we're once again reminded how much we miss his ability to spice up a Legislative debate.
We'll let him take it from here:

-"Being in the minority is like falling off your horse and catching your foot in the stirrup. You are present for lots of action, but can't affect the outcome."

-"I've had it with the stakeholders. I represent the bagholders, the working stiffs who can't attend endless meetings, but end up paying the bills."

-"If you say `Jesus' at school, you had better be cussing."

-"I am one of those people who are always treated unfairly. My life has been an unbroken chain of undeserved kindnesses."

-"In minutes now, the gavel will bang and the budget will be done. But no other institution balances its budget with a hammer. That hammer falls on the brows and knuckles of my constituents, on their hopes and dreams, on their families, businesses and churches. It falls on their children, their future."

-(on expanding gambling): "Like financing the propagation of the Gospel with a tax on prostitution."

-"A God that makes sex, wine, love, laughter, and friendship won't have any trouble entertaining me for an eternity."

Hochstatter printed up 500 copies of the little book, dedicating it to the lawmakers who served alongside him.
"I'll miss you all intensely," he wrote, "but it just wasn't funny anymore."

So where is Harold now? He's filling in as interim pastor at the Orient Community Church, north of Kettle Falls. That job's normally held by another senator, Bob Morton, who's off doing battle in Olympia. It's a small church, with a congregation of about 50, and a dozen or so at Tuesday night Bible study.

Hochstatter said he misses the Senate debate, but not the bureaucracy. "It was a source of frustration. I didn't see that I was doing any good, he said. "Maybe I can do something eternal up here. Things that really do matter."

Short takes and breaking news from the Washington Legislature and the state capital.