Rodney Tom & Pam Roach: An unethical cohort?

Rodney Tom has done something unethical...and it involves, not surprisingly, Pam Roach.


I RECENTLY WROTE about Washington State Senator Rodney Tom’s deplorable about-face, in which he sided with Republican’s to form a Republican Majority in the State Senate. The stunt was a power grab: in exchange for his crossing party lines, Tom was appointed Senate Majority Leader. Now, Tom is teaming up with Republican State Senator Pam Roach from the 31st Legislative District to complete what can only be described as an act of questionably unethical behavior.

Senator Roach is no stranger to controversy: she has been either issued a warning or reprimanded during almost every year she has been in the Senate, including in 1998, 1999, 2003, 2008, and again in 2010 for, shall we say, unbecoming conduct.

Indeed, Senator Roach has been legally barred in the past from interacting with her staff and has been banned completely from the Republican Caucus. She has been accused of stealing employees’ emails, forcing people to quit, and for brandishing a handgun at a staff member. Given Roach’s tendency for the contentious, she seems a perfect candidate to team up with Tom.

Remember, Tom needed the support of all Republican State Senators, including Pam Roach, to successfully complete his turncoat maneuver. To placate Roach, and to get her to go along with his plan, Tom agreed to lift Roach’s ethical sanctions and to appoint her Chair of the Government Operations Committee. Unfortunately for Washington residents, the committee Roach now Chairs oversees elections, public disclosures, and…ethics in government.

I’ll say that one more time, this time with emphasis: Rodney Tom…appointed Pam Roach…the woman who allegedly brandished a gun at her staff members…Pam Roach…the woman who has been prohibited from contacting former staff members…PAM ROACH…the woman banned from her own political caucus for hostile behavior…as Chair of a committee that oversees ethics in government!

This latest act makes it abundantly clear whose interests Rodney Tom is looking out for: it’s not yours, it’s not mine, it’s his own. Rodney Tom is looking out for Rodney Tom. And that is the biggest act of treachery any elected official can make: to put his or her own interests before those of the public.


Trent Latta can be contacted at TrentLatta@gmail.com. 

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Karen Tennyson February 07, 2013 at 09:10 PM
I live in the 48th and feel betrayed by Senator Tom and have spoken with him several times about his lack of ethics. Because of his behavior, we are once again having to waste valuable energy countering social issues, i.e., parental permission for abortion, rather than focusing on the tough issues - the budget, education, family support KT
Lise Quinn February 07, 2013 at 11:03 PM
How does one start a recall on Rodney Tom?
Lise Quinn February 07, 2013 at 11:07 PM
OK, looked it up myself "Text of Section 33: Recall of Elective Officers. Every elective public officer of the state of Washington expect [except] judges of courts of record is subject to recall and discharge by the legal voters of the state, or of the political subdivision of the state, from which he was elected whenever a petition demanding his recall, reciting that such officer has committed some act or acts of malfeasance or misfeasance while in office, or who has violated his oath of office, stating the matters complained of, signed by the percentages of the qualified electors thereof, hereinafter provided, the percentage required to be computed from the total number of votes cast for all candidates for his said office to which he was elected at the preceding election, is filed with the officer with whom a petition for nomination, or certificate for nomination, to such office must be filed under the laws of this state, and the same officer shall call a special election as provided by the general election laws of this state, and the result determined as therein provided.
Lise Quinn February 07, 2013 at 11:09 PM
And we would have to meet the signature requirement: Signature requirement A petition for recall must include a specified number of valid signatures from registered voters determined as a percentage of total votes cast for all candidates who ran for the office in the most recent election contest. This amounts to: 25 percent for state officers, other than judges, senators and representatives; city officers of cities of the first class; school district boards in cities of the first class; county officers in counties of the first, second and third classes, 35 percent for officers of all other political subdivisions, cities, towns, townships, precincts, and school districts not otherwise mentioned; and state senators and representatives.
Lise Quinn February 07, 2013 at 11:09 PM
I say, let's get started!


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