Rumor about Clark County legislator fueled by mistaken photo
State Rep. Monica Stonier’s absence from the capitol campus on Friday prompted her opponents to assume she had dodged a vote about whether tax increases should require approval from at least two-thirds of all House members.
Soon, a photograph began to circulate online of what was thought to be her car, still parked in Olympia after the House convened that day.
One small problem, however: the car in the photograph wasn’t her car.
As the House voted on four rule changes proposed by Republicans, Stonier, D-Vancouver, was home sick with the flu, she said by phone today.
“When you work in a school you know better than to get other people sick,” said Stonier, a teaching coach for Evergreen Public Schools.
While she was home, someone snapped a photo of a Subaru wagon in a capitol campus parking space. That photo made the rounds on Facebook and some conservative blogs as proof that Stonier was skirting her legislative responsibilities.
But Stonier doesn’t drive a Subaru wagon, and that’s not her parking spot, House Chief Clerk Barbara Baker has confirmed.
Stonier drives a silver Toyota Camry to Olympia and parks in a different lot, Stonier said.
Stonier said she wasn’t afraid to vote on the House rule change, and that she probably would have voted against it. She said it was obvious that the proposal had no chance of passing in the House, which has a Democratic majority.
“I likely would have voted to reject this attempt to rig the system and get around the (state’s) constitution,” Stonier said. “The outcome was known days before it even came to the floor.”
Stonier said that although she is opposed to raising taxes, she made it clear on the campaign trail that she opposed Initiative 1185, which requires a two-thirds vote by the Legislature to increase taxes.
Republicans, worried that I-1185 could get overturned in court, had hoped to alter House rules to protect the spirit of the initiative. The proposed rule change failed 41-52. Five House members, including Stonier, missed the vote.