Senator Benton Announces Bipartisan ‘Philosophical Majority’ Coalition

by lewwaters

Winning a 5th term in the Washington State Senate, Don Benton today released a Press Release announcing the expected Bipartisan Senate Coalition many have hoped for some time now.

For Immediate Release                                                                       For Interviews Contact:

Dec. 10, 2012                                                                                     Sen. Don Benton (360) 786-7632

Benton announces formation of Senate bipartisan coalition

Unprecedented commitment to work together made possible by Clark County senator’s election

OLYMPIA…Sen. Don Benton, whose re-election to the state Senate was certified Friday, today announced he will be part of a new Majority Coalition Caucus that will lead the state Senate during the 2013 legislative session.

“There’s much for the Legislature to address this next year, starting with state government’s finances, and jobs, and more reforms in state government, and the best way to get there is with the ‘philosophical majority’ we’ve established today,” said Benton, R-Vancouver.

As the Senate’s new deputy Republican leader, he was among the Republican and Democratic senators gathered at the Capitol to make public their unprecedented plan to not only work together but govern together once groundbreaking changes are made in how Senate committees operate.

The formation of the new bipartisan Senate majority hinged on Benton returning for a fifth term in the Senate. His election victory will give Republicans 23 seats in the Senate once legislators convene on Jan. 14, enough that the 23 Republicans and two Democratic senators – Sen. Rodney Tom of Bellevue and Sen. Tim Sheldon of Potlatch – will hold a majority in the 49-member Senate.

“This will be the first time in history that our state Senate has seen a power-sharing coalition such as this, and we are confident that we will be able to work closely with one another to get Washington back on track fiscally,” Benton said. “Our intent is to put policy ahead of politics and cooperate at a level that is almost unheard of, especially when you look at the bickering going on in Washington, D.C. I’m proud that my election allowed this breakthrough to happen.

“I have served with Senator Tom and Senator Sheldon in the Legislature for many years, and when I led the charge late in the 2012 session to form a bipartisan coalition in the Senate, they were right there with me and critical to our success. I’ve been in regular contact with them since the November election; they have been wishing me well and watching the outcome of my race closely, knowing what it could mean for our state,” Benton said.

The most remarkable thing about the new majority coalition, Benton said, is its commitment to evenly divide control of the Senate’s 15 policy and fiscal committees between Democrats and Republicans.

“This is our chance to show what true shared power and bipartisanship looks like in our state – something they couldn’t even dream about in the ‘other Washington’,” said Benton. “We have worked out an agreement through which the Democrats will chair six committees and the Republicans will chair six committees and both will co-chair the remaining three committees.

“The coalition caucus of 23 Republicans and two Democrats will, however, determine what bills come to the floor of the Senate for a vote, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to serve another term under these conditions. I am grateful to work with Senators Sheldon and Tom, who understand that we need to work together to do what’s best for the people of Washington.”

Additional Contact: Eric Campbell (360) 786-7503 or Eric.Campbell@leg.wa.gov

Please visit Sen. Benton’s Web site: http://www.senaterepublicans.wa.gov/benton

The intent of such an unprecedented cooperation between Senate Democrats and Republicans was made known by Moderate Democrats Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon earlier, contingent up Benton’s reelection, defeating a strong vitriolic assault by the Democrat Party on behalf of Tim Probst.

The earlier announcement was met with scorn by Progressive Democrat Representative from the 49th Legislative District, Jim Moeller.

Our state has been under the stranglehold of Progressive Democrats like Moeller long enough and I welcome this coalition to give the minority more of a voice and move our Senate towards the center on important issues.

More information at the Olympian: 2 Democrats to work with GOP to control state Senate

8 Comments to “Senator Benton Announces Bipartisan ‘Philosophical Majority’ Coalition”

  1. This is great news for our citizens. Too often good ideas have not been heard because they were not even allowed out of committee.

  2. I’ll believe it when I see it. I expect that Democrats will boycott the process. They’d rather be a minority than work with Republicans. It would be nice to be proven wrong though.

  3. If nothing else, Craig, it will expose Progressives like Moeller as pure phonies in their calls for bipartisanship.

    I expect fur to fly, but this coalition is now the majority adn even though I do not expect them to always agree, it has to be more than we see today.

    The main question I have is will it hold?

  4. The senate will probably be strong and hold together working through the issues. However, that being said, the house will be stonewalled by the speaker pro tem Representative Jim Moeller. One thing may become very clear here, who is and who is not on the side of ALL the people who live in this state. Another round of check in the game that is getting rather long and drawn out as we all wait for the checkmate moment which will send him home permanently.

  5. Craig, the leftists can “boycott the process” all they like. In fact, there’s a reason their militant homosexual leader is bailing to run for mayor of Seattle.

  6. Would that be Ed Murray or Jim Moeller, Kelly? Or did Frank Chopp finally have enough of the state legislature leadership that he has been in power for HOW long……

  7. Rational politics, who ever would have guessed, give em brilliance Sen. Benton, we’ve had more than our share of the “other” side of the if/than expression.

  8. What I wish for Clark County? A real, new slate of legislators to replace some that have grown attached to living perpetually for the next election to go to Olympia. Sorry folks, but after this election is over, I sure would like to see som new and fresh faces replacing the barnacles that seem to want to stay more than a decade…

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