Senator Ericksen Recall Decision

March 2, 2017

42nd District Citizens Undaunted by Recall Decision

Bellingham, WA.

The citizen-led recall of Washington State Senator Doug Ericksen, D-42, was dismissed in court this morning with a finding of “insufficient grounds”.  In her decision, Whatcom Superior Court Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis confirmed that there is no standard expectation of service against which Washington State senators can be judged.  Senators are not required to do anything, and therefore cannot fail to meet the standard.  

“The performance of Sen. Ericksen in his duties as senator has to mean something,” Montoya-Lewis said. “But there’s no standard that’s laid out in the statutes. There’s no description. There’s no case law that indicates what ‘discharge of his duties under his oath of office’ means.”

Petitioners were disappointed to learn that the remedy of recall is not available when a senator so clearly and intentionally neglects the business of the senate and the work of representing the people of his district.

“It is astonishing to learn that our state senator can just decide not to do his job and there is literally no remedy available to us until he is up for re-election.  In my mind, showing up to work is a bi-partisan value”. Said Elizabeth Hartsoch of Riveters Collective.  “Finding sponsors for legislation to close this loophole is a clear path forward for us.  As is identifying a responsive and collaborative leader willing to take Senator Ericksen’s seat in the next election”.

Stephen Gockley, counsel for the petitioners, introduced evidence showing that in addition to his extensive record of meeting absences, Senator Ericksen has inappropriately claimed per diem payments of $120/day on days when he was demonstrably not working on senate business in any way.  He also argued that while occasional absences from meetings or votes are normal for senators, it is unprecedented for a senator to acknowledge a complete disengagement from senate business by declining per diem on so many days.  A timeline of Senator Ericksen’s 2017 legislative session attendance and per diem claims is available on the Riveters Collective website.

“I’m proud of this citizen led effort and the amazing response we’ve had by constituents”.  Said petitioner Michael Shepard.  “Nearly 3000 people have signed petitions, provided evidence, made calls and participated in this recall effort. We will continue to be engaged, seeking accountability and effective representation for the 42nd district.”

Petitioners intend to continue holding Senator Ericksen accountable, beginning with attendance at his town hall meeting on Saturday.


Senator Ericksen’s Attendance Record

Press – Doug Ericksen Recall

Here you will find press regarding 42nd District Senator Doug Ericksen and controversies surrounding his dual jobs in both Olympia and at the EPA in Washington, DC. Media coverage has grown to the national level. Keep up the good work! If you know of articles or letters not listed here, please let us know and we will add them. The following links are listed by category in chronological order.

Articles and Editorials

1/25/17 Cascadia Weekly

1/31/17 Seattle Times

1/31/17 Bellingham Herald

2/1/17 Seattle Times

2/1/17 Lynden Tribune

2/1/17 KOMO4 

2/1/17 Tacoma News Tribune 

2/1/17 Seattle PI

2/2/17 Bellingham Herald

2/2/17 KUOW

2/2/17 The Olympian

2/2/17 Washington Democrats (press release)

2/6/17 Tacoma News Tribune

2/6/17 Washington Post

2/8/17 Seattle Weekly

2/8/17 Tacoma News Tribune

2/8/17 The Stranger (mention in SLOG)

2/8/17 Lynden Tribune

2/9/17 Northern Light

2/9/17 The Stranger (mention in SLOG)

2/10/17 Bellingham Herald

2/10/17 KGMI

2/10/17 KOMO4

2/10/17 Q13Fox

2/10/17 The Olympian (this is an AP story)

2/10/17 The News Tribune (AP story)

2/15/17 Seattle PI

2/15/17 Bellingham Herald

2/15/17 KAFE 104.1

2/22/17 Cascadia Weekly

2/22/17 Real Change News

2/27/17 Q13 Fox

2/27/17 Spokesman Review

2/27/17 Lynden Tribune

3/1/17 Whatcom Watch

3/1/17 – Cascadia Weekly

3/1/17 – Bellingham Herald

3/1/17 Lynden Tribune

3/2/17 KPUG

3/3/17 KPUG

3/3/17 Q13 Fox

3/3/17 Bellingham Herald

3/3/17 All Point Bulletin

3/3/17 KISM

3/4/17 Seattle PI

3/4/17 Centralia Chronicle (AP Story)

3/4/17 Bellingham Herald

3/4/17 KPUG

3/4/17 Northwest Citizen

3/5/17 Crosscut

3/7/17 New York Times (brief mention of Ericksen on EPA staff and climate change denier)

3/8/17 Cascadia Weekly

3/8/17 Bellingham Herald

3/8/17 Lynden Tribune

3/9/17 KGMI

3/16/17 Seattle PI

3/16/17 The News Tribune

3/16/17 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Letters to the Editor

1/26/17 Seattle Times

1/26/17 Bellingham Herald Online (listed for week of 1/26)

1/29/17 Bellingham Herald – three letters printed in Sunday paper. Working on getting online link.

2/1/17 Lynden Tribune

2/1/17 Northern Light

2/1/17 Cascadia Weekly (archived issue, 2 LTE)

2/2/17 Bellingham Herald Online (listed for week of 2/2)

2/15/17 Cascadia Weekly (archived issue, 1 LTE)

2/15/17 Northern Light

2/22/17 Cascadia Weekly (archived issue, 2 LTE)

3/1/17 Cascadia Weekly (archived issue, 2 LTE)

3/8/17 Cascadia Weekly (archived issue, 3 LTE)

3/15/17 Cascadia Weekly (archived issue, 2 LTE, plus correction from Doug)