Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ferguson attacks Dunn on criminal justice

In the race for Attorney General of Washington, King County Councilman Bob Ferguson is attacking Reagan Dunn (also King County Councilman). Isn't it always weaker candidate who attacks? Just trying to get some attention. And Ferguson is attacking Dunn on law enforcement - one of Dunn's strengths - saying that Dunn voted against funding sheriff deputies. I am sure Dunn welcomes a debate on his home turf.

Chris Widener at Red County explains that Dunn defended law enforcement at every turn; Ferguson did not. Here is an excerpt:

...  The principle implication made by Ferguson is that Dunn was the one responsible for the 2011 budget that cut 28 Sherriff’s deputies and 16 prosecutors. The truth is, Dunn was one of only two councilmembers to vote against the proposed budget because it cut funding for public safety. When asked about his decision to vote against the proposed budget, Dunn said, “I cannot vote for a budget that does not first protect public safety before funding non-mandatory programs.” The subsequent moves made by each of the two Attorney General candidates were different and quite telling. Ferguson’s proposal was to increase sales tax in King County by two-tenths of a percent during a time of stymied economic growth. Only if it passed, bringing county sales tax to 9.7%, would Ferguson be willing to keep those deputies and prosecutors on the streets. Of course, this proposal, as Dunn predicted, failed at the ballot box and accomplished nothing.

Dunn, on the other hand, proposed four alternative plans that did not raise taxes and would have sustained King County’s law enforcement, prosecutors, jails and courts. None of these were passed by the Council. In a last-ditch effort, Dunn offered an amendment to the budget that would have restored nearly all of the Sheriff’s deputies and prosecutors. Ferguson would have been the swing vote to pass this amendment but voted no anyway. He then voted to approve the budget and make the draconian cuts to the criminal justice system.

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