Ken Schram: Don't punish the people over a nutcase

When is a state senator not a state senator?

When she happens to be Pam Roach.

Last week the State Senate settled a $1.75 million claim that had been filed because of alleged abusive behavior by Roach.

There will be no financial payout, but the settlement continues a ruling that limits what type of interaction can occur between Roach and Senate staff.

It's another political setback for the contentious Roach, who had been kicked out of the Republican state caucus because of what was described as abusive and violent behavior.

The only reason she was allowed back into the caucus was because Republicans needed her vote during a budget battle in the last legislative session.

There's no question that Roach is sometimes a contentious and divisive force in the senate.

But that should be a matter for the folks of her 31st District to deal with.

Voters there have sent her in Olympia since 1990.

She's up for re-election in 2014.

Senate Republicans may not like how she does her job, but she has been elected to do it.

By limiting and/or handcuffing how Pam Roach goes about serving as a state senator, the real impact will be felt by those she is supposed to represent.

Pam Roach may well be a nutcase, but there's got to be a better way to keep her in line so that the people of the 31st District don't suffer the consequences.


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