She’s mad as (bleep) and she’s not going to take it anymore.
Pam Roach, the feisty state senator from Auburn, has never been known for a slow burn. But this year it looks like she’s careening headlong into a full boil, like a lobster pot with the lid about to blow off.
And those shrieks in the background aren’t the death cries of scalded shellfish. They’re Roach’s fellow Republicans mourning the deal they made to give her a gavel so they could keep control of a closely divided Senate.
As far as Roach is concerned, the record is clear, and 125 years of Washington statehood will back her up:
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“I’ve been the most unfairly treated senator in state history,” she says.
Uh huh. More on that history stuff later.
The latest affront to her dignity was a letter this week from Lt. Gov. Brad Owen admonishing her for 16 years of “indecorous and inappropriate conduct” and a pattern of “abusive behavior.”
Of all the nerve! The lieutenant governor, the lowest-paid and most superfluous of all elected statewide office holders, dares to pass judgment on Pam Roach?
Doesn’t Owen have a trade mission he could be leading to Peru, or a school assembly where he could be playing his guitar?
Roach scoffs at Owen’s authority, calls him the “Kitzhaber of Washington” because of the $15,000 fine he got from the state ethics board last year.
Amen, sister. The Schnoz has snorted for years about Washington having an understudy chief executive on the public dole when several states get along just fine without one.
After all, when was the last time an American governor needed replacing?
She did them a favor: Owen laid out a litany of recent complaints against Roach. They include making unreasonable demands of staff, lording over public hearings without letting others speak and disrespecting people who gave testimony before her committee.
Shucks, all she did was publicly poke members of a grocery trade group by pointing out how they didn’t donate to her 2014 election campaign.
“Because you know what? I won!” she chided them.
Translation: Ka- boom! You’ve been Roached, suckers!
Naturally, when she talked to a TNT Capitol reporter Tuesday, Roach gave a levelheaded explanation for her exchange with the food-industry representatives.
“I was actually doing them a fricking favor,” she said. “I was doing them a favor hearing a bill I don’t like.”
Roach, incidentally, not only wields a gavel in one of the Legislature’s powerful policy committees, she also was named president pro tem of the Senate this year. That puts her next in line to Owen, who serves as Senate president.
That means she’s sort of a lieutenant lieutenant governor.
So be careful crossing the street, Brad, because “accidents” happen every day.
History lesson: Most poorly treated senator in state history? Roach makes a strong case.
Who else can say she once had to suffer a fellow senator lifting his suit jacket and flaunting his rear end in her face, just because she flipped him the middle finger?
But some other former senators also merit consideration, may they rest in peace:
• Reba Hurn of Spokane was the first woman in the Senate (1923-31). She was subjected to regular news stories about her dress and conduct, and was once awarded a diamond pin by her good ’ol boy colleagues for saying little and “acting like a lady.”
• Jim West of Spokane was roundly criticized in the late 1990s when all he did was call a lobbyist on the phone and threaten to kill him.
• Bob McCaslin of Spokane and several others were gathered on the Senate floor on March 7, 1998, when Roach went on a tirade because someone removed a bouquet of flowers from her desk.
We’ll still vote for Roach as the most persecuted senator ever.
Only because we’ll never cast a vote for anyone from Spokane.
It’ll be the best $127 million ever spent! The new Pierce County headquarters building on the South End, that is.
County Executive Pat McCarthy convinced County Council members that they’d be idiots not to approve it this week.
Here are some benefits the county left out of its sales pitch:
• It saves moneyand
it’s closer to the Emerald Queen Casino.
• It tastes greatand
it’s less filling.
• Downtown courthouse will be remodeled as a Tolkienesque Dark Tower. Perpetual lightning bolts and thunderclouds will hover at the top, as the Eye of Lindquist stares down.
• Pierce County Annex on South 35th Street can reclaim its lowbrow destiny and become the new Star-Lite Drive-In.
• Far easier to find the county human resources department. Oh wait, maybe that’s abad