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Postman on Politics

Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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October 30, 2007 8:57 AM

Who told Dino about telldino.com?

Posted by David Postman

I wondered last week when it was that Dino Rossi officially became a candidate when it turned out that his new website, telldino.com, had been registered Sept. 8, six weeks before his announcement.

If the website was registered with Rossi's consent he would have had to file a declaration of candidacy with the Public Disclosure Commission a month earlier than he did. Rossi advisor J. Vander Stoep says telldino.com was his idea, that he suggested to campaign manager Afton Swift that the domain name be registered, and it was done without Rossi's knowledge.

He sent me an e-mail last night saying Rossi told him he would run again on Oct. 11. But long before that, Vander Stoep said he was thinking about the "what if" possibilities of a second campaign and a possible Rossi Administration.

I

knew from my experience that Dino is critical of the incumbent for always coming down on the side against public disclosure of records. I also learned during the transition in 2004 that the incumbent has been part of the team running the state agencies for a generation and that his election would be treated by many of those people as a hostile takeover. With that, I suggested to Afton Swift that a friend of Dino obtain the "telldino" web name in case he decided to run. The idea was to create a vehicle so that citizens can go over the heads of the agencies and tell the Governor directly about their concerns with state government. My thought was that Governor Rossi would use this idea. I didn't tell Dino that the site was obtained. There wasn't any reason to tell him prior to his deciding to run.

The fact is that he learned of the idea -- and the web name -- as he was preparing his kickoff speech. Dino said "we shouldn't wait -- we should create this website now to find out more about what is going on inside state government."

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