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Sen. Pam Roach voted out of Republican caucus | Roach calls caucus a 'star chamber'

The Senate Republican caucus voted Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn out of the caucus meetings for this Legislative session and the remainder of the year.

According to Roach both sides can revisit the issue when the 2011 Legislative session convenes.

The Seattle Times posted a story earlier on its Web site.

Roach said the issue stems from an incident between Mike Hoover, the Republican Senate attorney and herself during a 2009 caucus meeting. According to the senator there was discussion in the caucus meeting concerning whether a press release for another Republican senator should be sent out.

“I asked him, ‘What are we paying you for?’," Roach said during a phone interview today. “Was I outspoken to him? Yes.”

Roach said she later apologized to Hoover.

According to Roach, Sen. Mike Hewitt, R-Walla Walla, Senate minority leader, is behind the move against her. She stated the two senators were involved in an argument at a caucus meeting.

Roach said during a phone interview today, she was in trouble with the caucus because, “I have been vocal pointing out the failings of leadership. We have a myriad of problems in our caucus.”

The senator said being booted out of the caucus does not affect her ability vote on measures or her committee assignments.

“It’s uncommon, but it doesn’t affect the voters,” Roach said. “I work the district very hard.”

Roach said when the caucus voted to ban her, “(I) no opportunity to talk (and) I had no idea what was happening…. It’s not like a court of law. It is a star chamber.”

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