Friday, March 16, 2007

Smart pickins, Dave

-- by Dave

So far, Republican Rep. Dave Reichert -- unlike his eastern Washington colleague, 'Doc' Hastings -- has managed to stay out of the national scandal that has erupted, in part, over the firing of the Seattle-based U.S. Attorney, John McKay, dismissed in a White House-based purge of ten "disloyals" who failed to do the Republican Party's bidding in manipulating "vote fraud" cases. There are no indications yet of interference from Reichert's office, as there was from Hastings'.

But Reichert has, in fact, become the default Republican in charge of offering nominees to replace McKay, and according to a Seattle Times report, he's picked three names: Interim U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Sullivan, former Republican congressman Rick White, and corporate attorney Michael Vaska.

But as Goldy at Horses Ass reports, one of the three -- White -- isn't really qualified to be a U.S. Attorney, since he's never been a prosecutor. Moreover, as one of Goldy's commenters notes, he currently isn't even qualified to practice law in Washington state:
I just spoke with the Clerk’s Office of the Supreme Court of Washington. Richard Alan White, WSBA # 13683, was suspended from the practice of law by order of the Supreme Court of Washington on August 12, 2003. The case number in the Supreme Court of Washington is 2000312. When I search this case number on the Washington State Courts records website, the Event Description says “Disciplinary Action” ...

... This “Disciplinary Action” case apparently involved several attorneys, since there are different cases for orders reinstated many of these attorneys to the practice of law (or at least un-suspending them, as the case may be).

The Clerk's Office also informs me that Mr. White's suspension was terminated by Supreme Court order on August 15, 2006, after slightly over three years of being suspended. However, Mr. White was not readmitted to the practice of law (i.e. "Active" status), but rather placed on "Inactive" status, which means that he cannot practice law at the present time, but is eligible to apply to the Supreme Court to be reinstated to the practice of law in the future.

I wonder if Rick White's going to be applying for reinstatement soon. But it won't be soon enough to save Dave Reichert some embarrassment over his spectacular inability to select appropriate candidates.

At this point, Reichert ought to step back, do the right and honorable thing, and resubmit one name to the White House for western Washington's U.S. Attorney: John McKay.

But then, as with McKay, that wouldn't be the loyal thing to do in the eyes of this White House. And for Reichert, well, we already have a pretty good idea what tops his priority list. After himself, that is.

Incidentally, Rick White's former district, the Washington 1st, had been Republican for some time but gradually trended more of a swing district. Finally, in '98, voters decided they'd had enough of White's incompetence and replaced him with the superb Jay Inslee, who has been a stellar performer ever since. These days, Washington's 8th -- Reichert's district -- is looking an awful lot like White's.

UPDATE: Goldy is also calling for McKay's name to be resubmitted, though as Tlazolteotl points out, McKay now has a nice Seattle U. teaching position and has said he wouldn't be interested.

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