November 9, 2007

Olympia News and Notes

By Randy Hodgins

Been a very busy week for me as the deadline for the UW North Sound academic plan recommendations approaches.  Hope to get a couple of items posted here on the blog before the Veterans Day Weekend kicks in.  Here are some items you may or may not have caught in the news the past few weeks.

  • Rep. Richard Curtis (R-La Center) has resigned his 18th district seat in the state House as a result of allegations that he had sex with a man he met at an erotic boutique while attending a meeting of Republican legislators in Spokane.  Curtis was serving his second term from the southwest Washington district.  No one has yet been appointed to finish his term.
  • As expected, Sharon Nelson, chief of staff to King County Councilmember Dow Constantine was sworn in as the newest member of the state House from the 34th district in West Seattle.
  • The House Republican Caucus has stripped Rep. Jim Dunn (R-Battle Ground) of his committee assignments and curtailed his legislative per diem in response to inappropriate behavior towards a female staffer at a recent legislative meeting.  So far, Dunn has refused to step down from his House seat.
  • Freddie Hatfield, the wife of state Senator Brian Hatfield (D-Raymond), died of cancer this month at a hospital in South Bend, Washington.  She had battled the disease for several years.
  • Andy McLauchlan, a former staff director for the Senate Ways and Means Committee in Olympia in 1989 and 1990 died of liver cancer on October 29.  On a personal note, Andy was my boss during those two years when I was a new budget analyst fresh from a five year stint in Sacramento.  He was smart, savvy and an awful lot of fun to work with and I will miss him greatly.  Andy was also a former staff member for Dan Evans when he served in the U.S. Senate and has been working in the shipping industry for many years.  He was 51 and leaves a wife and two young children.

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