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Originally published Sunday, March 4, 2007 at 12:00 AM

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The odd world of Val Stevens

Sen. Val Stevens increasingly has put her extreme views on display in outlandish, disappointing and, in one case, potentially dangerous...

Sen. Val Stevens increasingly has put her extreme views on display in outlandish, disappointing and, in one case, potentially dangerous ways.

Thursday, Stevens argued on the Senate floor against the domestic-partnership law for gay and lesbian couples. We support the legislation but understand some people disagree with it. Stevens went beyond disagreement, recalling her attempts last year to amend a gay-rights bill to exempt such activities as bestiality and necrophilia, vulgarly implying they had something to do with gay rights. Shame on her. Earlier in the week, she surprised school district officials from Snohomish and Skagit counties by declaring she disagreed with the state constitution's provision declaring education funding the state's "paramount duty."

And last summer, she told non-tribal residents of the Tulalip Indian Reservation they didn't have to cooperate with tribal police. She suggested, if they are pulled over, they don't even have to roll down their car window but should hold up a card that reads, "You don't have authority over me. I'm calling a law-enforcement officer from my own government."

Talk about irresponsible leadership. Imagine her suggesting an American in Canada doesn't have to cooperate with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Snohomish County Sheriff Rick Bart, also a Republican, was so concerned about Stevens' message, he publicly countered with advice citizens cooperate with any law-enforcement officer who pulls them over.

There is room for conservatives in the 39th Legislative District and in the Legislature. But the extreme degree of Stevens' views and the outlandish, tactless way she plies them is incredibly disappointing.

In 2004, we endorsed Stevens, who was first elected to the Legislature in 1992. Her challenger, Democrat Susanne Olson, was a high-school teacher who decided to run when she was concerned Stevens would have no opposition. We thought she was too inexperienced.

Stevens is proving, however, experience isn't everything.

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