Opinion

School district joins big election winners

By Bob Roegner, Inside Politics

Now that the dust has settled from the 2007 elections, political types are trying to figure out what all you voters actually said and what it meant.

So who are the winners and losers? The big winners, of course, are school districts as the simple majority won over supermajority. The Federal Way School District was an even bigger winner.

Not only does simple majority signal better times for addressing district needs, but the district also won a huge victory in court on its lawsuit for fair funding.

This latter issue also makes Dave Larson a big winner. He was the leader on fair funding, was re-elected with over 60 percent, and was chosen president of the Federal Way School Board. A nice trifecta that may finally allow him to put the “Inconvenient Truth” controversy behind him.

Another big winner might be superintendent Tom Murphy, who will also have a more cohesive school board to work with. Now he can enjoy focusing more on a long-term vision that will benefit the district.

Along the same line, the Federal Way Education Association was a big winner as all three of their endorsed candidates (Larson, Suzanne Smith and Amye Bronson-Doherty) won.

Speaking of unions, the Federal Way police officers went two-for-two, having backed both Jack Dovey and Dini Duclos for Federal Way City Council.

At the courthouse, the Democrats retained control of the King County Council and the Assessors office, although they missed a golden opportunity to take an additional council seat when they couldn’t find someone to run against Republican Jane Hague.

In addition to saving Hague’s seat, Republicans held the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office by electing Dan Satterberg in the wake of Norm Maleng’s passing.

Also, Republicans out-flanked Democrats on Initiative 25 to designate the Director of Elections as an elected position rather than appointed. This will be on the fall ballot as a charter amendment.

Initiative 25, when combined with the Democrats’ miss on Hague, gives a slight election win to the Republicans.

A Democratic winner was King County Executive Ron Sims. That may surprise some of you who were upset with his opposition to Prop. 1, but think about it.

He correctly read the public mood on Proposition 1 and made big points with environmentalists in the process while staying consistent on his global warming position. He also endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton for president who, if she is elected, would need a high-profile West Coast environmental Democrat in her cabinet. That sounds like a pretty good month for the County Executive.

At the state level, the Democrats were probably the winners. They won on trial lawyers over insurance companies, and simple majority for schools. Even though Prop. 1 lost, it won’t cause much political damage.

The biggest winner on this issue was our own District 30 state Sen. Tracey Eide. She has worked on simple majority for about a decade, and put much of her political capital on the line in last year’s election campaign by saying she would get it done if she was re-elected — and she came through.

Republicans had an

unnecessary self-inflicted wound when Rep. Richard Curtis resigned over a sex scandal. That was bad enough, but he is in a swing district that now looks to be in play rather than safe.

Those are just some of the winners and losers from the election season. You may have your own favorites. If so, send them in.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner, a former mayor of Auburn, can be reached at bjroegner@comcast.net.

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