Thursday, February 13, 2014

Benton is confusing me.

When I was working for him at the state party, no one was more furious at the executive board for publicly airing their grievances than Don Benton.

I sat through the meetings, stunned and amazed that these same people, guiding the destiny of the GOP in this state, would take each issue, real or imagined, and publicize it to an unfriendly media who would then exploit it and use it against... well... the GOP.

It's like Don Benton has forgotten all about that.

I haven't.

Benton, of course, has every right to play the fool.  That's the nature of democracy.

But it's becoming increasingly obvious that, in taking his "Revenge Against Rivers" fit public, he is becoming the very thing that some 14 years ago he loathed.

And all this is a shame.

The multiple reports from the Senate F&O committee were more than adequate cause to expel Benton from the Senate.  Failing to take that action at the time has led to this.  Of course, courageous leadership could have forestalled all of this to begin with.

Failing to lead has resulted in this.

Failing to rein him in because of the fear of losing the MCC Majority, which had to be maintained at all costs... including extortion... has led to this.

"A coward dies a thousands deaths..."

At no time would Benton have left the caucus.  He had no where else to go.  Those running the show... Tom and Schoesler... apparently were incapable of figuring that out.

Benton, Roach and Homquist, my former LA colleague, are making themselves increasingly toxic.

With them in the mix, it's amazing that the MCC was able to accomplish anything...and the accomplishments they have achieved are, on occasion, wondrous... not the least of them being the ongoing death of the CRC rip off.

So, engaging in this playground bullshit might result in some level of short term gratification for these people.  But going public with hissy fits (And no one was more pissed off than I was over the betrayal of the Dream Act rip off... a scam that these 3 lacked the guts to vote on period, let alone vote against.)  accomplishes no more now than it did 13 years ago.

It, in fact, appears to me to be just the latest chapter in Benton's self-immolation tour.
 “I’m serving under the worst majority leader in 20 years,” said Benton, calling Tom “extremely manipulative.”
Pot, kettle, black.

Courage of your convictions, anyone?

I believe that Don Benton has done some amazing things up until the last couple of years.  He's tilted at leftist windmills; met with some success in that regard, occasionally fought hard for principle... occasionally disappeared on it.

And now, since it appears he's made the decision to leave the Senate (The buzz has been that this is his last term, even before the upcoming election) he now feels absolutely unfettered in his actions as a result.

The Leadership's handling of the Dream Act scam was a poor manifestation of strategy and vision.  Out-democrating the democrats is never going to be a winning hand.

The complaints of Benton and the others, however, might have resonated a tad more had they voted on the bill instead of making themselves scarce, and I condemned the GOPers who voted for this bill myself... since their votes were required for this illegal alien destination resort effort.

But the question becomes this:  is the loss of this bill reason to destroy the caucus?

Is it reason to publicly denounce Tom, who made any of Benton's multiple positions, both real and undercover,  possible when democrat Senator Tim Sheldon joined with Tom to make the MCC possible?

No.  It isn't. 

Without Tom and Sheldon, that damned CRC would be breaking ground right now.

That alone is enough to give Tom the widest possible latitude.

Without Tom, this county would be enslaved for the next 4-plus decades with ever-increasing tolls for a loot rail system that we do not want, do not need and cannot afford.

Without an MCC, Benton could not have stopped this from happening.

At this point, I've had enough.

I have defended Don Benton on this blog since its inception... several years and thousands of posts ago.  But I can't do it any more.

I've tried to understand.  I've killed off thousands of brain cells trying to "get" why this is happening... why he's being so destructive, not only to himself, but to others he owes, and to the rest of the Senate.

Whatever his problems are, he needs to take them out of the Senate, where his actions can literally impact millions.

The Seattle Times
Originally published Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 8:13 PM

    3 GOP senators taking names off majority caucus website

    Sens. Janéa Holmquist Newbry, Don Benton and Pam Roach have decided to remove their names from the website of the state Senate’s majority caucus, a sign of discord in the coalition of 24 Republicans and two Democrats.

    Seattle Times Olympia bureau

    OLYMPIA — Three conservative state senators have decided to remove their names from the website of the chamber’s majority caucus, a sign of discord in the coalition of 24 Republicans and two Democrats.
    Sens. Janéa Holmquist Newbry, Don Benton and Pam Roach said Wednesday they were still in the caucus but would no longer vote with it simply to preserve unity.
    Holmquist Newbry, of Moses Lake, already had removed her name, while Benton, of Vancouver, and Roach, of Auburn, said they soon would and could be joined by another member.
    The senators said they were particularly upset that moderate coalition leaders did not hold a caucus vote or committee hearing before agreeing two weeks ago to support a version of the state “Dream Act,” a Democrat-priority bill to allow financial aid for students illegally brought to the United States as children.
    “Conservatives were railroaded,” Benton said of the move, while Holmquist Newbry said it was a “major disappointment.”
    The unrest erupted in a tense coalition meeting late Wednesday afternoon in which Benton and others pushed for a formal rule requiring that major bills get a person-by-person vote in caucus before being brought to the floor.
    The proposed rule change is expected to be voted on Thursday.
    Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom said the caucus still is united around the most important issues — jobs, education and the budget.
    “Obviously, we’re not going to agree on everything,” said Tom, D-Medina, “but I think everybody has found value in what we’re been doing to move the state forward.”
    In other words, as GOP Leader Mark Schoesler said, “We’re all big kids. We agree on the big picture.”
    The Ritzville Republican said disagreement is inevitable in a caucus with members of widely divergent political views.
    The coalition was formed before last year’s session by the Republicans, along with Tom and Potlatch Democrat Tim Sheldon.
    But the upset conservatives said Wednesday the problems go beyond standard caucus infighting.
    “I’m serving under the worst majority leader in 20 years,” said Benton, calling Tom “extremely manipulative.”
    Roach said caucus leaders treat some members poorly while others are “elevated to special status.”
    Several leaders and allies refuted those criticisms.
    About Benton’s remark, Tom said, “We each have our moments.”
    “I think even the Bentons of the world understand we’ve done amazing things for the state of Washington,” he said.

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