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Posts published in “Day: November 27, 2006”

Buyer’s market

The next time you see an institution talking about conducting a year-long, nation-wide, expensive search to fill a high-paying executive post, remember Baker.

The Baker City Herald reports today on the city's efforts to fill its city manager position, which came open when Jerry Gillham resigned on September 1. After a busy period shortly before the deadline for applications hit on November 15, the city totaled them up and found the position had . . . 91 applicants.

One of the reviewers remarked, "I think there's a pretty solid group of 20 at the top."

Probably is.

WA: Whither the GOP

The quite serious subject of where the Washington Republican Party goes from here is given a thoughtful treatment in "Make or Break Time for the Washington GOP," a Matt Rosenberg post on Sound Politics. It isn't the final word on the subject, but it constitutes the best opening shot we've seen yet.

The situation is serious indeed, and he stakes are high. One of the comments to Rosenberg's post notes acidly, "WA is now a one party state. There are many such states in the US, and the one thing they have in common is that the out-party (the GOP in WA) can sometimes win the executive's office, but the statehouse is lost basically for a generation or more."

That's often true. Washington Republicans should look east to the plight of the Idaho Democrats for a vision of their future if they fail to reverse what has now become a decade-long slide. There, Democrats have been out of control of either chamber of the legislature for 46 years.

Of course, it doesn't have to be that way. Washington and Oregon have each provided more rapid shifts in recent decades. The current Washington issue is that the switch looks structural. It was shown up starkly in a Seattle Times article and, especially, a map published today. The map shows the east King County legislative districts, seven or eight of them (depending on how you count) which only a decade ago were nearly all a lock for Republicans, and now are - with the partial split exception of District 41 - solidly Democratic. Much of that happened on November 7, but the trend has been building, accelerating, throughout this decade. It's not a momentary lapse; this has been in the works.

If that means the suburbs as well as the central city of Seattle have gotten off the fence and landed on the Democratic side, then you can just about say: game over. Between those places and the other Democratic bases in the state - most of the rest of the Puget Sound area and most of the Olympic peninsula, plus part of Vancouver and central Spokane - there isn't enough votes everywhere else to counterbalance. The Seattle suburbs were the key.