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Linda Thomas
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The Chairman of the Washington State Democrats sent out an email saying two top Senators, Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon, are no longer considered Democrats.

Top Democrat state senators are 'not invited to our party'

It's not often Democrats turn on each other, but they have in Washington state.

"Senators Tom and Sheldon have betrayed the Democratic Party. They were elected as Democrats. Senator Tom even accepted $25,000 from the Party in 2010," Dwight Pelz, chair of the state Democrats, writes in an email blast."

In an astonishing power grab, Tom and Shelton teamed up with Senate Republicans and gave them control of the State Senate.

Rodney Tom has been paid off for his treachery. He was given the position of Senate Majority Leader, the most powerful position in the Senate. This just shows how he'll place his own political ambitions over the people he's supposed to represent.

Call out Tom and Sheldon for the traitors that they are. Join us and co-sign our letter telling Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon that they are no longer part of the Democratic Party.

We've already seen what Rodney Tom's Senate will do now that they have a taste of power. Senate Republicans have voted for extreme bills attacking choice, workers' comp, the state's family leave act, minimum wage, and more.

This power grab has real consequences on people's lives. As your Democratic Party, we are ready to take action.

On February 2nd, Party leaders passed a resolution formally censuring Tom and Sheldon. The resolution also denied them any support in the future.

This means no Party support, no money, no access to the data that is so important to their re-elections, and no right to call themselves Democrats.

Senator Tom is the Majority leader from Bellevue. Senator Sheldon, from Potlatch, has been elected to serve in the state legislature nine times.

Both are astonished the state Democratic party chair is calling them out, and implying they should be more partisan and divisive.

They call Pelz's accusations "small-minded" and "petty" in an email response to me.

"The state party charged us with not reflecting 'Democratic values and being 'disloyal' to the party. Why? Because in December we openly recognized the fact that neither Democrats nor Republicans in the state Senate possessed the 25 votes needed to effectively govern," the senators write.

We understand that it is the role of political parties to put politics before all else, but as elected officials and leaders, we have a higher responsibility. We have to get things done.

As the two Democratic members of the Senate's new Majority Coalition Caucus, we find this accusation of "disloyalty" to be small-minded, petty and factually untrue. We have never betrayed our core beliefs, and regardless of what some self-important potentates in Olympia and Seattle pronounce, we are still proud Democrats.

We have served our respective legislative districts for many years now. The people in our local communities know us and know that we are committed to representing them. We work for them, not a political party.

If you look at the choices made by voters in our districts, we are right in line on social issues, taxes, the need for education reform and a responsible budget. The messages our constituents have sent are very clear: Fund and improve our education system, balance the budget without new taxes, and get our families back to work.

Exactly what part of encouraging job creation, creating a quality, well-funded education system and producing a sustainable, balanced budget is a betrayal of Democratic values?

When political partisanship flies in the face of what the majority of our constituents want, we side with the people, not the party...As far as our loyalty is concerned, we are loyal to the principles we have always held and to the constituents who have sent us to Olympia.

"We are not switching sides. We always have, and always will, be on the side of the people we represent, and side with them over any political party," Senators Tom and Sheldon conclude.

By LINDA THOMAS

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About Linda
Linda is the morning news anchor and features reporter for KIRO Radio. This is her local news blog, with an emphasis on social media, technology, Northwest companies, education, parenting, and anything else that grabs her attention.

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