The Senate’s sudden firing of state Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson last week drew attention to the last time a governor’s appointee was fired through the confirmation process. That was the thwarted reappointment of Jolene Unsoeld to the state Fish and Wildlife Commission in 1998 by Gov. Gary Locke.
Unsoeld, a Democrat and former member of Congress, issued a statement Monday recalling the event. She noted that the way a decision is made can be as important as the decision itself. Her words serve as good advice to lawmakers:
“Today our nation as a whole, and certainly our political institutions, are polarized to an extent that has nearly paralyzed us from governing ourselves in a way that serves the common good rather than the victory of one group over another … In the long run, how we treat each other is as important as who serves as transportation secretary or who holds the current majority in the Washington State Senate.”