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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Priya Sinha January 21, 2013 at 04:03 PM
The point here is that M. Tom ran on one platform for which the public elected him and then he did a 180 turnabout. Representatives are elected to be the voice of the people -- not to be the voice of whatever is convenient at the time.
Edwin January 21, 2013 at 04:20 PM
The point is Rodney TOm is also a career politician that switched parties from R to D to keep getting elected. Maybe he realizes if the budget is not balanced without raising taxes WA State is in trouble. I do not care which party he is in, it sure sounds like this will help restrict spending and get a more reasonable approach to our budget
Jerry Goldberg January 21, 2013 at 06:39 PM
Glad you printed all of this in your blog. The responses below by Edwin and Edward are part of the problem. There is clear manipulation and power grab here yet they want to criticize you for pointing it out because they consider the information partisan and biased. Who Cares?! This is exactly the issue that keeps either side from doing anything constructive. The entire legislature (State and National) is beholding to each other and to PACS - not the American people. They are more interested in increasing their power (both parties) and retaining their jobs than in actually DOING THEIR JOBS! We need to be aware of these conflicts of interest and vote against these unethical people like Tom and Roach and replace them with someone, almost anyone, who actually wants to be involved in Public service, not Personal service!
Thomas Imrich January 27, 2013 at 01:35 AM
This whole discussion seems irrelevant. What difference does it make about "party", or switching alliances, when the idea about good government is for representatives to do the right thing for the right reason. The question should be "is each legislator suitably studying and advocating for the most important and relevant issues", and "are they appropriately representing his or her constituency". It is inane to be just taking pot shots, about how they are or are not "gaming the system" politically. That should not be the relevant issue, or measuring stick of either effectivness or value.
Thinking Liberal January 28, 2013 at 05:36 PM
The point here is that Rodney Tom fooled the voters in the historically progressive 48th District by running as a progressive Democrat. He came out as a conservative Republican AFTER he was elected - a dirty political trick that shows his utter contempt for the voters, like me, who elected him. His cabal with the Republican caucus - and apparent collusion with pestilential Pam Roach - warrants investigation.
dexterjibs January 28, 2013 at 07:50 PM
Whats good for the Democrats (staying in power), isn't necessarily good for the citizens of Washington. So Trent and other Democrat libtards, if Rodney Tom was still a Republican and had done the same thing to Republicans, would you call him courageous, heroic or brave? And, how many times would you say he had the interests of the citizens in mind? You all are either partisan or disingenuious.
dexterjibs January 28, 2013 at 07:51 PM
Sen Pam Roach is awesome She is my Senator and I will vote for her all day long and twice on election day. Hopefully her and Rodney Tom do some good work for the benefit of the citizens and not a politcal party.
Jeanne Gustafson January 28, 2013 at 07:56 PM
I would remind the Republican party in Washington that leaders were extremely incensed by one of the party's members withdrawing from a Senate race recently, enough to spur widely reported allegations of bribery because she took another state job that was higher paying than a state Senate position. Seems to me like both parties abhor any apparent partisan affinity for the "other" side.
Pauline January 28, 2013 at 08:43 PM
In other words, we can talk about budgeting and deficits but we can't talk about ethics in politics. Got it. And I'm sure you would just look the other way if a DEMOCRAT in the state senate acted like Pam Roach, right?
Pauline January 28, 2013 at 08:51 PM
...and somehow that doesn't surprise me (the part about you voting for her unconditionally, not the part about her and Rodney Tom doing good work). Glad to see you vote twice too...now we know why Roach's supporters are able to keep her in office.
dexterjibs January 28, 2013 at 09:05 PM
Who ya talking bout?
Thinking Liberal January 28, 2013 at 09:58 PM
Dexterjibs, the tortured logic of your post entirely misses the point. Mendacity is mendacity is mendacity - though, in truth, you might need to look that up. I say this because in just four sentences you have evinced five errors of reasoning, and so I expect you to be unfamiliar with polysyllabic terms. I'd be happy to share these errors of reasoning with you, but I'd have to charge you.
Jeanne Gustafson January 28, 2013 at 11:50 PM
I was referring to Cheryl Pflug in the 5th District, dexterjibs.
employee January 29, 2013 at 01:05 AM
So, i still think its not ok for elected officials to berate staff in public settings. I still think Pam Roach should be kept on a probationary status until she can show that she knows and respects the rules set forth. She does not take the rule seriously, and until she does, should be kept from speaking to staff.
Publius January 29, 2013 at 03:22 AM
Well I know how butt-hurt the Dems are about this whole turn of events. They were looking forward to an unabated blood orgy of spending and payoffs to their various backers. Now they will be forced to 'reach across the aisle'. That is going to be hard and so I expect a fair amount of whining. Single party rule isn't healthy (no matter who is in charge). It would be nice to have a real discussion about the insane increase in spending in the state over the last decade. Inslee hasn't even warmed up his chair and is walking back from his no tax increase campaign pledge. Sounds familiar, wonder how much coverage that will get...
dexterjibs January 29, 2013 at 04:12 AM
Thinking libtard? Look at you cheeky monkey. You are so cute using big words for the first time after looking them up. Forunately for you, I do know what the meaning of mendacity is. So this is your lucky day. So, instead of charging me to refute my reasoning, why don't you just be a man and tell me the error in my logic. Of course, I know you can't. Heck, even Trent Latta doesn't have the gonads or mental capacity to refute my logic. Nice try, though libtard.
Thinking Liberal January 29, 2013 at 05:15 AM
dexterjibs? So now you want something for nothing? Aren't you acting like one of those "Takers" you so loathe? Knowledge doesn't come cheap. Try communicating like a grown up rather a petulant brat - and a bully.
Kendall Watson January 29, 2013 at 05:29 AM
Folks, please take a break from the personal invective. As a moderator, I view "libtard" as a borderline-offensive comment, similar in some sense to "teabagger". I'll let it stand, but it's best to avoid these charged terms. Thanks.
Pauline January 29, 2013 at 04:01 PM
If you want people to take you seriously it might help if you didn't pepper every comment with the term "libtard".
dexterjibs January 30, 2013 at 03:29 AM
Whats wrong ThinSkin Liberal? What is good for the rest isn't good for you? You hurl insults at me and question my intelligence but you can't take insults from me? Well, I am sorry little buddy if I hurt your feelings. I didn't realize you were such a tender little girly guy. And again, you didn't explain where my error in logic was. I win!
employee January 31, 2013 at 03:33 AM
No, dex, you dont win, you just prove how tea party/john birch people deal with civil discussion. Its not a vote winning solution. I am sure we will hear more whining about how "real 'mericans" think, but i think your radical right wing spot light will fade, along with its political influence as more people seek a truthfull answer to our problems. Thanks for providing comedy along the way.
employee January 31, 2013 at 04:05 AM
Where are the Pam Roach PR people? I am certain that they follow this, but the fact that they dont comment or add Pam's side of the story makes me believe that they have an issue they dont really want the voters to be discussing. Poor Pam Roach, shes just a Republican gal trying to make a living dealing with people that are below her status. My simpathy for someone used to getting what she wants from the "hired help and servants". Has she got dexterjibs on her "good servant" list?
employee January 31, 2013 at 04:33 AM
Another document obtained by the AP showed the state has spent more than $125,000 on investigations and defenses of cases involving Roach. A suggested change to the policy would allow the Senate to seek reimbursement from any member whose violations of the policy cost the state money. However, the document notes that since the committee that oversees the policy is expected to be reconfigured once the majority coalition officially takes power when the legislative session begins on Monday, that suggestion may never become public if the newly configured committee "finds this provision politically unappealing."
employee January 31, 2013 at 04:35 AM
Whats wrong, thinskined republican? Got your facts all tangled?
Edward A. January 31, 2013 at 06:53 AM
That threat is hollow. Dexterjibs constantly calls people names (usually questioning someone's manhood or sexual orientation, or using the word 'libtard'). Patch is littered with it. I recall being reprimanded recently for calling him a troll, which he clearly is. His intention is to bring down the intelligence level of the conversation. I am not in favor of censorship, but the threat of moderation annoys me because it is so unevenly applied. It's like getting a stern lecture from a permissive parent. He knows he can push the boundaries, because you guys have let him for so long.
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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