Letters to the Editor

Elections: Union spending on judges is nominal

Re: “Calling foul on Supreme contributions,” (TNT editorial, 8/3).

You correctly state that Washington’s system of choosing Supreme Court judges by election is seriously flawed. Especially in the present situation, where the billionaires who bought the voters’ narrow endorsement of charter schools (outspending their opponents 16 to 1) are now trying to buy their own Washington Supreme Court Justice, Greg Zempel, who has apparently already promised his judicial vote for their support.

Another group, the cynically misnamed Judicial Integrity Washington, started by another billionaire, spent a further $100,000 for radio ads supporting Zempel.

But in erroneously equating these enormous amounts with the nominal contribution of the teachers union, you fell all too readily into the easy editorial claptrap of decrying “a plague a’ both your houses” (Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet).

Let’s see, the billionaire’s astroturf group, the alleged Stand for Children Washington, has already spent $116,000 to buy the election of its favored candidate. The teachers union? All of $2,000 to incumbent Barbara Madsen, only 1.7 percent of the amount the billionaires spent, but to the Trib it’s apparently a huge amount..

The Trib. has stretched too far here.