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0 comments | July 13, 2007 | 5:03 PM | posted by Ryan

On July 10, David Ammons, the AP's state political writer and has covered the statehouse since 1971, interviewed outgoing Washington Education Association President Charles Hasse and incoming President Mary Lindquist. The video can be viewed HERE at minute 26:55.

Ammons asked Hasse and Lindquist about Davenport at minute 26:55 and evokes a number of interesting comments all by Hasse (Lindquist was silent throughout the discussion of Davenport.).
  • Ammons opened by lofting a softball at Hasse and Lindquist. He indicated the legislature was responsible for of HB 2079 saying, “realizing that [the U.S. Supreme Court decision] was afoot, [the legislature] passed a law saying, essentially defining the way you do things as fine.”

    While the question was not factually accurate—it ran contrary to information published in the Seattle Times, “Teachers union pushes political spending bill”—the question may be understandable if Ammons had to be nice to the WEA’s top officials to get them to talk.

  • Hasse describes how Davenport was in the works at the time he became WEA president in 2000. The WEA had a “good case” and “bad case” (better known as best case and worst case scenarios.) scenarios laid out but Hasse admitted that the trial court ruling was “worse than anything we had imagined in a worst case scenario because the judge said we had deliberately violated campaign finance law.”

  • Hasse revealed the WEA’s next steps in Davenport at 30:20:

    “The U.S. Supreme Court said ‘no, the state can in fact regulate labor unions in this way. It is a constitutional law.’ But they didn’t say it is a good law, they didn’t say that we had violated it, nor yet did they say that we had deliberately done so, so those issues now go back to the state court.”
  • Ammons asks at minute 31 what Hasse thinks of EFF.

    Hasse begins graciously, but then reverts to old worn out attack on EFF members and donors.

    The response is simple: Unlike the WEA, which forces teachers to pay the union to keep their job, EFF accepts only voluntary contributions.

  • The final point I’ll make here, Ammons asks Hasse whether the WEA is glad, in a way, EFF is out there. Naturally, Hasse replied that he would say he is glad we are out there, but he doesn’t expect EFF to go away and that we have had no impact on the WEA’s membership levels.

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