In spite of the Governor's insistence last November that there was no looming multi-billion dollar deficit, the tanking economy has made it clear that lawmakers have to cut billions as the state budget is a whooping $9+ billion in the hole — and growing. Tensions have been running high since the early days of the session, and have only gotten worse since Democratic leaders killed the worker-rights bill earlier this month. The bill was considered a sacred cow by organized labor. It would have prohibited companies from requiring employees to attend meetings or participate in activities related to political or religious matters — including labor issues. The unions point blank threatened to cut off campaign contributions to any legislator who voted against it.
Business interests strongly opposed the bill, and shortly before it was killed, Boeing lobbyists were pressuring Governor Gregoire to help stop the bill from being put to a vote.
Rep. Brendan Williams (D-Olympia), a left wing perpetual blowhard who naturally supported the bill, whined that he's "dismayed" that a pro-business faction (read: legislators who don't have their heads stuck where the sun doesn't shine) among House Democrats is "tilting" party politics to the right. Oh please... You can't even see to the right from where Williams sits.
Williams has a history of running his mouth over differences with House leadership. In 2007, he threatened to resign when Speaker Frank Chopp (D-Seattle) blocked an onerous home-warranty bill that the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) opposed. Why is no one surprised he didn't keep his word, and what does that say about Williams' character anyway?
"I understand there is an obligation to strike a balance between diverse perspectives in our caucus, but at the same time there seems to be an imbalance," Williams continued whining. "I think there is definitely some enormous concerns that progressive voices aren't being listened to."