WA Caucus Debacle: "Esser the Suppressor" has Close Ties to McCain

Since prematurely calling Washington's caucus for John McCain, thus changing the narrative of Saturday's results, WSRP Chair Luke Esser has been making a name for himself nationwide... or rather, the nation has been making up new names for him. Over on TPM, Josh Marshall has taken to calling him "Boss Esser" in their expanding coverage of the caucus counting debacle, while BradBlog has endearingly termed him "Esser the Suppressor". Cute, but to us over at HA, we'll always lovingly know Esser simply as Rob McKenna's bitch.

As anyone who has followed his storybook career knows, Esser has benefited from a long and cozy relationship with WA State Attorney General Rob McKenna, the two having worked closely together to climb the political ladder. Esser joined then King County Councilmember McKenna's staff in 1996, and stayed on as a top aide even after Esser was elected first to the state house and then the state senate. Esser was paid for his help on McKenna's successful 2004 campaign for Attorney General, and was rewarded with a plum assignment as "Outreach Director", the perfect position in the AG's office for a lawyer with very little legal experience. Then, after Esser lost his senate reelection bid in 2006, McKenna used his pull as the highest elected Republican in the state to help oust then WSRP Chair Diane Tebelius and replace her with his pal Esser, who proceeded to do political work on the public's dime, while initially drawing pay checks from both the AGO and the state party. On resigning from the AG's office under public pressure, Esser took pains to detail his close affection and ties to McKenna, writing in his resignation letter: "... Rest assured that I will always be available if I can ever be helpful to you."

Well... considering Attorney General Rob McKenna is also Sen. John McCain's Washington state campaign chair, it looks like Esser was awfully damn helpful to his patron Saturday night.

I'm just sayin'.

[David Goldstein writes on WA state politics at HorsesAss.org]