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November 9, 2010 at 4:30 PM

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Instead of Chopp, Speaker Miloscia?

Posted by Andrew Garber

State Rep. Mark Miloscia, D-Federal Way, surprised a lot of House members on Tuesday when he sent out a press release criticizing caucus leadership and announcing his bid to become the next Speaker of the House.

The prevailing view among several veteran House Democratic members is Miloscia doesn't have a chance to bump House Speaker Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, who has led the caucus since 1998. It's the first time anyone can recall a House Democrat publicly announcing a run for the job since Chopp became speaker.

"Anybody can run if they are seconded by someone. I'm not sure he's got that lined up. I would say there's not an undercurrent to have someone else be speaker," said Rep. Jeff Morris, D-Mount Vernon. Morris is in contention to be the next House majority leader.

Reps. Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish, and Deb Eddy, D-Kirkland, also said they didn't think Chopp was in any danger of losing the job.

"With 57 votes in the Democratic caucus and many of those returning members, I think it is more than likely Speaker Chopp will continue to be the speaker," said Eddy, who supports keeping Chopp in the top spot.

Miloscia, who was elected in 1998 and is chairman of the Audit Review and Oversight Committee, said in his news release:

"We need change. Our Democrat leadership has proved incapable of offering true hope to the people of Washington State and the vision and plans needed to address the growing problems we face during the greatest crisis in 80 years. Not one significant piece of government reform has passed the last two years...This failure cannot continue."

Miloscia, in a telephone interview, said he didn't know if he had support in the caucus to become speaker.

"Frank is very well-liked. He's a good person. He's everybody's best friend down there. And he did way better than expected managing all the elections. But I'm looking at other measures ... What's Frank's plan to save the state?"

You can read his news release on the jump.

News from the Office of State Representative Mark Miloscia, 30th Legislative District, distributed today to statewide media
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 9, 2010

Contact: Rep. Mark Miloscia at miloscia.mark@leg.wa.gov, 360-786-7898; 253-414-8714

Rep. Miloscia Announces His Bid for Washington State Speaker of the House


Federal Way, WA---State Representative Mark Miloscia, Chair of the House Audit Review and Oversight Committee, announced his intention to run for Speaker of the Washington State House of Representatives.

"We need change. Our Democrat leadership has proved incapable of offering true hope to the people of Washington State and the vision and plans needed to address the growing problems we face during the greatest crisis in 80 years. Not one significant piece of government reform has passed the last two years. The projected budget deficits have increased to $14 billion and the suffering and job losses for people have worsened. This failure cannot continue."

Rep Miloscia, representing suburban Federal Way and parts of Auburn, Algona, Milton and Pacific, was recently elected overwhelming to a seventh term in the swing 30th legislative district, in contrast to a string of close elections wins by many of his Democrat colleagues.

"It is not enough for Democrats to win close elections; we must actually improve people's lives. We only won because the voters recognized the Republicans also offered no solutions. The truth is that Democrats are failing the middle class and the voters don't believe that government works for them. The people of this state have sent a clear message that a new direction is needed from our state leadership. Unlike our Governor ("I don't have a path forward, to be honest..") and the current leadership, I do have a plan that will involve more legislators and citizens engagement, take us in a new direction, and bring responsibility and prosperity to our state."

For the past two years, Miloscia has been highly critical of the Democrat's leadership's proposed solutions, mostly consisting of gimmicks, big tax hikes combined with "a hope and a prayer." Miloscia stated that the voters last week completely rejected the proposed Democrat Leadership's solutions to our crisis (Income Tax, Eliminating 2/3 Vote for Taxes, Building Bonds, Soda Tax, etc) and party leaders are struggling to come up with something new. "I didn't come to Olympia to watch the destruction of our education and human service systems. I came to chart a new path."

Rep. Miloscia has been a major champion of government reform, accountability, and ending homelessness during his six terms of service. He has proposed a ten point "Responsibility and Prosperity Plan for Washington" that will bring both accountability and prosperity to businesses, governments, families, and working people.
"We have too many legislators and people in this state, of both parties, whose reform ideas have been stifled. Reform starts with expanding responsibility to more legislators, individuals, and groups then hold them accountable for results. My 35 years of performance experience will make a difference. It is time for a change."

Miloscia's detailed plan includes such initiatives as reforming legislative processes so that all good reform ideas get a vote, expansion of quality audits; passing six year sustainable budgets; eliminating all earmarks and nonessential government programs; collaborating and partnering with local governments and schools to improve quality and eliminate unfunded mandates; increasing living wage jobs; and reforming our K-12 system and eliminating school dropouts.

Rep. Miloscia, an Air Force Academy graduate, former B-52 pilot and former executive at Tacoma Goodwill Industries, currently works as substitute school teacher in both the Federal Way Public Schools and the Catholic Archdiocese. In addition, he serves as a National Quality Examiner for the prestigious Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, a program designed to improve organizations to world class performance levels.

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