Cutthroat Democratic politics in Washington State lands consultant in hot water

While it may not be Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, the unfolding story of a plot hatched by Democratic political consultant Lisa MacLean of Moxie Media and a confederation of labor unions and progressive interest groups to prevent a more conservative Democrat from making it through the August primary lacks neither drama nor intrigue.

Incumbent Democratic State Sen. Jean Berkey in Washington’s 38th legislative district (Everett) must have known she had crossed the Rubicon by voting in favor of furloughing state workers. She may have even perceived the threat from her left, but the idea that Democratic operatives and donors would conspire to support a candidate from the right in order to eliminate her must have been too far-fetched to be considered reasonable. Yet, that is exactly what happened.

Josh Feit at the Publicola blog wrote following Berkey’s third place finish in a top two primary:

Unions had vowed to take out Berkey in the primary this year after Berkey voted for state worker furloughs and, as banking committee chair, killed a move to repeal a $50 million loophole for big banks. …

In a squeeze play, Moxie Media, the Democratic consultant that did the ads against Berkey and for Harper also did mailers for the Republican in the race, Rod Rieger.

Et tu, Moxie?

MacLean is in the crosshairs of the Public Disclosure Commission and reportedly is hastily trying to reach a settlement to pay fines and avoid an injunction from doing business that could result from a hearing scheduled for Thursday.