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Nominee Who Met GOP Resistance Gave Big Money to Dems
Posted By Christopher M. Matthews On September 28, 2009 @ 6:56 pm In News | Comments Disabled
A quick review of Jenny Durkan’s political contributions over the past decade may help shed light on why it took the Senate Judiciary Committee almost four months to approve her nomination for Western District of Washington U.S. Attorney.
Durkan donated $288,205 to Democratic candidates, causes and organizations on the state and federal levels from 1998 to 2008, according to election records from the Center for Responsive Politics and the National Institute on Money in State Politics.
Durkan gave $164,415 to Democrats on the federal level, including $2,300 to Barack Obama in 2008. She also gave $123,790 to Democrats in Washington, $37,275 of which went to the Washington State Democratic Party in 2006.
Durkan was nominated on June 4 as part of the first batch of U.S. Attorney nominees announced by the White House. But then, her nomination stalled. When it finally came before the Judiciary committee on Sept. 17, ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) invoked committee rules to delay consideration another week.
Sessions told Main Justice in an interview  that unnamed Republicans on the committee had questions and needed time for further review. The panel reported her nomination on Sept. 24 by unanimous consent. It’s unclear when the full Senate will consider Durkan for confirmation. Sessions declined to specify what issues arose in the GOP vetting.
The Seattle Times in June raised the question of whether Durkan’s Democratic ties would present ethical problems if she is confirmed as U.S. Attorney. The Times noted her close relationship to Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) and wrote:
Durkan long has been one of Gregoire’s staunchest allies — friend, confidante, attorney and counselor. Durkan was consulted by Gregoire’s campaign and represented the governor’s interests during the failed GOP legal challenge to her razor-thin 2004 victory over Dino Rossi.
Durkan comes from a powerful Democratic family in the Pacific Northwest. Her father, Martin Durkan Sr., was a long-time state senator in Washington. He died in 2005.
Durkan would replace Jeffrey C. Sullivan, who has been the interim U.S. Attorney since John McKay was forced out in the 2006 U.S. Attorney purge.
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