Sunday, August 24, 2008

Politics is a blood sport: You won't have Jim Dunn to kick around anymore

Last November, Rep. Jim Dunn, (R) 17th Legislative District made national news when he made an "inappropriate comment" to a Legislative employee at a dinner following a House Appropriations Committee Hearing in the Tri-Cities.

As punishment for the comment, House leadership stripped Dunn of his committee assignments and per diem. Dunn threatened to sue, but House leadership countered with the threat of revealing Dunn's past behavior with other female legislative employees, if the matter went to court.

I was the last woman to work for Representative Jim Dunn in Olympia.

I left Rep. Dunn's employment in September of 1999, after enduring months of nasty, boorish behavior that included some violence. Even with documentation up the gazzo, House staff would not re-assign me to another legislator, so I had to quit a job that I loved to escape the behavior.

I was not Jim Dunn's first target, nor was I by any means the last.

“We want to have zero tolerance for our members for inappropriate comments,” said House Republican leader Richard DeBolt."

Yeah, right. After ten years of covering up Dunn's boorish behavior, the legislature (Democrats and Republicans alike) "cracks down" on him, for one, single comment.

Obviously, I'm not an "unbiased" observer in this particular situation, so I'll step back and allow a colleague in Clark County to report on the outcome of the primary election. After all, it's his turf, not mine.

For an update on Representative Jim Dunn's bid for re-election, please see
Politics is a blood sport: You won't have Jim Dunn to kick around anymore.

And, now, a word from Jim Dunn's press secretary:

Last Friday, Rep. Dunn gracefully conceded to Republican challenger Joseph James, who had 31.86% of the votes. Tim Probst, the Democrat front runner, has 49.50% of the vote.

I hope the Republicans have learned a valuable lesson from this experience. Women are not toys to be placed in the workplace to amuse boorish elected officials.

For the record, I did not attempt to influence the outcome of Jim Dunn's re-election in any way - nor did I sue the legislature back in 1999.

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