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Residents begin recall effort of Sen. Ericksen, say he can’t do senate work with D.C. job

Group of citizens file paperwork to initiate recall of Sen. Doug Ericksen

Michael Shepard speaks about filing paperwork with Whatcom County Auditor Debbie Adelstein to initiate a recall of Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, on Thursday, Feb. 9, at Whatcom County Courthouse in Bellingham. Ericksen has been splitting his tim
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Michael Shepard speaks about filing paperwork with Whatcom County Auditor Debbie Adelstein to initiate a recall of Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, on Thursday, Feb. 9, at Whatcom County Courthouse in Bellingham. Ericksen has been splitting his tim

A group of Whatcom County residents has started a recall effort against state Sen. Doug Ericksen, saying the Ferndale Republican can’t do his job as a senator while serving on President Donald Trump’s transition team in D.C.

Since January, Ericksen has served as communications director for the Environmental Protection Agency during the presidential transition. He’s taken heat from critics quick to point out that the senator has missed at least 75 percent of the committee meetings he was scheduled to attend so far this legislative session.

“We’re concerned about the senator having a job that has taken him out of our state and outside our availability as our representative,” said Michael Shepard, who filed the initial recall paperwork Thursday morning. “All that has made us feel frustrated and concerned about the ethical and constitutional grounds of his position (with the EPA).”

Ericksen, when reached by The Bellingham Herald Thursday afternoon, called the recall a “frivolous PR stunt,” and stressed that his Senate work is getting done.

The Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee, which Ericksen chairs, has passed 21 bills during the 2017 legislative session. Ericksen said that makes his committee among the Senate’s most productive.

“It’s a waste of time,” Ericksen said of the recall effort. “It’s too bad these people don’t want to work together for positive policy solutions instead of playing partisan games.”

In an editorial, The News Tribune in Tacoma calls for Ericksen’s resignation.

Shepard filed the initial recall paperwork with Debbie Adelstein, the Whatcom County auditor, Thursday morning. From there, a Whatcom County Superior Court judge will decide whether the charges meet the criteria for a recall, according to state law. If it does, supporters have ix months to gather the 18,061 signatures required for a recall election to occur.

Ericksen said he’s confident the recall charges will be thrown out.

The number of signatures needed and the time to collect them was corrected Feb. 10, 2017.

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