Rep. Ed Murray is one of my state legislators. Here's why I think he might be vulnerable to losing his seat in November.
Ed Murray doesn't keep his word. I called his office a few weeks ago to encourage him to vote for the charter school bill. The aide told me that Murray supported the bill. One of Murray's colleagues in the House Democratic Caucus also told me that Murray had committed to support the bill. Just before last Wednesday's floor vote I called Murray's office again to reiterate my support for the bill. His aide reassured me he had no information to suggest that Murray's position would have changed. But Ed Murray voted against the bill. His NO vote didn't matter in this case, the bill passed anyway. Maybe Murray thought his vote was a safe way to pretend to be a hero for the teachers union. But still, my reaction was "What a duplicitous bozo. How can you trust this guy?"
The short answer is: I don't think you can trust him. This seems to be the way Ed Murray operates.
Last year as chair of the House Transportation Commitee, Ed Murray claimed to support accountability measures for Sound Transit, the runaway train agency, but then killed the bill in his committee. (It looks like he changed his position as part of a deal that would give him a future light rail station in his neighborhood)
A lot of people in Seattle are unhappy about Sound Transit's billion dollar cost overruns and lack of accountability. Other powerful elected officials have recently been thrown out of office for giving free rein to Sound Transit. Ed Murray could be part of the next wave to fall.
Monorail Car Tax Also a Bad Move for Murray
Ed Murray seems to have a fetish for protecting unpopular and badly managed transit agencies. He also introduced a bill this session to change the voluntary Monorail car tax that the voters approved, into a mandatory tax that the voters did not approve. Fortunately, the Senate Republicans, who apparently have more respect for voters and taxpayers than Ed Murray does, allowed the bill to die in committee.
Ed Murray has never had to run for his seat
Murray was appointed to his seat in 1995. He was "re-elected" in 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2002 with a Soviet Union-style 100% of the vote. He has never had to face an actual opponent. The district is so overwhelmingly Democratic that no Republican has run here since at least 1996 and possibly earlier. And the local Democratic machine has simply re-annointed Murray every two years.
It's probably tough to take out a committee chairman in a single-party district, but not impossible. In any event, the people of my district deserve a real choice in November and at the very least, a vigorous challenger could only teach Ed Murray to be a more responsive legislator. I hope to see Murray face some tough opposition this year.Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at March 15, 2004 11:29 AM