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Postman on Politics

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

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July 10, 2008 8:46 AM

New ads from Gregoire and Rossi

Posted by David Postman

Gov. Chris Gregoire is airing a radio ad that tries to draw an ideological connection between her opponent, Republican Dino Rossi, and President George W. Bush.

But the ad pushes Rossi a bit further to the right than facts support. Rossi doesn’t help himself much on this front given that when it comes to the issue of abortion he refuses to say clearly what his position is.

The ad runs one minute and is airing statewide. It opens with a narrator, who asks:

When you hear the name Dino Rossi, what other name comes to mind?
You can listen to it here.

Gregoire’s answer is Bush, of course. The ad lists several issues, including children’s health insurance, stem cell research, global warming and abortion, where Rossi and Bush are on the other side from Gregoire.

On abortion, the ad says Rossi “wants to see Roe v Wade overturned to make abortion illegal.”

I can’t find anything that backs up that claim. It is clear that Rossi opposes abortion. But the evidence forwarded by the Gregoire campaign is less than convincing on the point of Roe v. Wade.

The campaign says Rossi’s opposition to 1991’s Initiative 120, which codified the U.S. Supreme Court case in state law, shows he wants the landmark act overthrown. Gregoire offers this quote from Rossi:

I believe in the sanctity of innocent human life, and that's one of the reasons I worked against Initiative 120.

The other piece of backup is a line from a Washington Law & Politics story from 2004 that says Rossi is “opposed to legal abortion.”

I don’t doubt that. Rossi’s record is in opposition to legal abortion. But that is not the same as saying he wants to see Roe v. Wade overturned. There are conservatives who oppose abortion, but have accepted Roe as the law of the land.

Rossi could clear up any ambiguity. But he won’t. His spokeswoman, Jill Strait, told me yesterday that abortion has “absolutely nothing to do with the Governor’s job description.”

Despite what Gregoire and her operatives would have people believe, Dino would have zero influence on Supreme Court rulings as governor. If Dino were running for a position that had anything to do with the makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court, he’d talk about the court’s decisions. Since he’s not, he’s going to focus on fixing problems in Washington rather than talk about red herrings.

I’ve struggled with another claim in the Gregoire ad:

And Rossi says there's no scientific proof that greenhouse gases cause global warming. He's in denial about the environment.
The Gregoire campaign backs up the claim by pointing to comments Rossi made in a campaign speech and in an interview with the Times. Both are summarized in this post I wrote in May.

What Rossi said in his speech was that there was an ongoing debate about global warming. In the Times interview he repeatedly refused to say whether he personally believed global warming existed. Not included in the Gregoire back-up, is this quote that appeared in the PI that same day as my post:

Rossi said there's no doubt the planet is warming but people will continue to argue about the cause.

And that’s what best sums up Rossi’s position, Strait told me. He doesn’t doubt global warming exists. But the Gregoire ad is a bit clever in claiming Rossi says there’s no proof that global warming is caused by greenhouse gases.

Strait says that “many people and scientists have differing opinions regarding the level of human impact on climate change.” Is saying there’s still a debate about the cause the same as saying “there's no scientific proof’?

If Rossi sided with the scientists who argue against greenhouse gases as the culprit then the Gregoire ad would be correct. But, as with abortion, Rossi won’t say where he comes down in the debate. That leaves his position open to interpretation and creates an opening the Gregoire campaign tried to fill with a few seconds of its one minute ad.

Rossi has a new radio ad up, too.

It’s also a one minute spot. It’s essentially a response to ads by Gregoire and Evergreen Progress, a union-backed PAC airing anti-Rossi ads. It features Rossi talking, unlike all the others so far which have featured narrators. Rossi says:

The incumbent must be getting pretty desperate this summer because her very first ads are attacks on me that just aren’t true. They’re so desperate, they even attacked my Italian last name.

That last line - delivered by Rossi with a chuckle -- is a reference to a state Democratic Party video that used the theme song to The Sopranos in an attack on Rossi.

On his campaign website, Rossi says:

It’s sad that an incumbent governor starts her campaign, not by talking about her own accomplishments while in office, but by attacking me.

He has also developed a new FactCheck page to respond to attack ads against him. Gregoire’s site has a Help Fight the Attacks page.

Gregoire did begin her ad campaign with jabs at Rossi. Those followed anti-Gregoire ads, though, aired by Rossi allies at the Building Industry of Washington and others who fund the It’s Time for a Change PAC.

And the Gregoire/Democratic attacks may be having some effect in these otherwise quiet days of summer. Rossi’s ad is a defense of his record. If Gregoire had started soft, that may have allowed Rossi to use this time to remind people of his biography.

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Posted by Bothsides

11:29 AM, Jul 10, 2008

I heard this one yesterday, how pathetic. In a state that leans to the left so heavily, why on earth does Chris need to go to this level, could it be she can't run on her record!

Posted by John

12:53 PM, Jul 10, 2008

You needed to be elected to have a record.

"d's" should be whipping the Republicans by double digit numbers and have no need to place ads. ďdís are in shambles over BHO as their candidate and for Gregoire still in the way.
It is laughable to see them losing again.

Gob Bless America!

Posted by JimD

12:32 AM, Jul 11, 2008

I don't know, David.
Acknowledging there's some disagreement as to the causes of warming, combined with refusing to acknowledge what he does or does not believe contributes to warming -- sure sounds, by default, like someone who doesn't believe there's "scientific proof".
But Gregoire's ad wording isn't particularly clever, just accurate.
But good for you in trying to offer some balanced critique here.

By the way - his hostile, antagonistic tone in the earlier interview with you (referenced above) sounds a bit (sorry folks) gangster-like, to me at least.
If Rossi doesn't want to be perceived as a stereotypically hyper-defensive, Italian hot-head punk, he shouldn't respond like one to perfectly appropriate interview questions.

"Itís sad that an incumbent governor starts her campaign, not by talking about her own accomplishments while in office, but by attacking me."
LOL....oh really?
The key qualifier here for Rossi's special priveledge entitlement must be attacks from an "incumbent", since Rossi the challenger has done nothing but - and builds his whole campaign around - gratuitous attacks against the governor and little else.
Why doesn't tell us what HIS accomplishments have been the last two years.
Oh yeah...those are the financial dealings he refuses to disclose...never mind...

Posted by Marian

8:01 AM, Jul 11, 2008

This is the big dodge Rossi used 4 years ago, but it won't work twice. It is very important where he stands on women's rights. Agencies Rossi would like to lead make regulations directly impacting women's rights. Department of Health and DSHS are two that do. Rossi dodges becasue he does not support women's rights and refuses to be honest about his beliefs. Afraid to lose a vote? What does that tell you about his "values"? This guy is no friend of women voters

Posted by Wiz

9:55 AM, Jul 11, 2008

Hi Marian,

Your post confused me a bit. Are you referring to Rossi's view on a woman's right to choose? If so, what does that have to do with a Gov race?

Has Rossi done anything else to warrant your allegation that Rossi does not support women's rights?

Posted by jimvaughnforcongress

5:42 PM, Jul 11, 2008

I am amused at the comparison of Dino to President Bush and that the ad was placed by the Gregoire campaign.Personally, I am not a fan of George. The disaster he has created at the national level has created a situation where many Republican Candidates have divorced themselves from him in order to survive.

If I were to make a comparison, it would be that Christine Gregoire's term as governor has been just as disasterous for our state as George Bush has been for our country. For the past four years,the citizens of our state have taken a beating at the national and state level. As a result, I do not want to be associated in any way with her. In regards to accurate reporting our governor seems to think that if she puts something in print that makes it so.

I am a conservative, no-nonsense Democrat and have been compared to Scoop Jackson. In actual terms I consider myself a Blue Dog Democrat. The Blue Dogs are dedicated to a core set of beliefs that transcend partisan politics, including a deep commitment to the financial stability and national security of the United States.

Taken from the South's longtime description of a party loyalist as one who would vote for a yellow dog if it were on the ballot as a Democrat, the "Blue Dog" moniker was taken by members of The Coalition because their moderate-to-conservative-views had been "choked blue" by their party in the years leading up to the 1994 election.

When I attend a course that was designed to teach military officers to become high level staff officers they told the following story. There was a family sitting around a table in a general store on a hot August afternoon in west Texas. Picture pickel barrels, sacks of corn, bean, coffee and rice along the walls along with a variety of canned goods. The wooden floor was a dark grey from years of weathering. Above the table where the family was sitting a ceiling fan moved slowly.

Grandpa looked at grandma and said, "What do you say we go into Abileen for dinner?" Grandma looked at her son and said, "I'm game if you are." The son looked at his wife and said, "I'm game if you are."

Off the family goes to Abileen in an old station wagon, no air conditioning and dusty roads, fussy children the entire trip. Several hours later when the family returned to the general store and were sitting at the table. Grandpa looked at grandma and said, "Am I glad to be home. I never wanted to go to Abileen in the first place." Grandma is obviously upset at this point and says, "You are the one that brought it up." Grandpa replies, "Hell, I was just making conversation."

The point being that often times people go on a trip to Abileen when in fact they don't want to. The point the military made was that as a staff officer, we had a morale obligation to stand up and disagree if we saw that there was a problem. Unfortunately, in politics individuals are afraid to speak up when they disagree with the party line. As a result, partisan politics causes a lot of problems because differing opinions are not heard.

We have a lot of problems and if we do not stand up to our party during an election, how can the voters expect candidates to stand up for them when elected. Below is a speech that I gave last night. Normally, I focus on national issues. However, since Christine Gregoire was scheduled to speak after me, I focused on issues in our state. My intent was to challenge the party. In doing so, I hoped they would see who I am and what I stand for. In addition, they could see what I do not stand for or tolerate.

Copy of the Speech that I delivered on 10 July to 25th LDD

Hello, I am Jim Vaughn, I am a former US Army Major and a candidate for US Representative. I am a no-nonsense, Blue Dog conservative democrat that has been compared to Scoop Jackson.

Blue Dogs are dedicated to a core set of beliefs that transcend partisan politics, including a deep commitment to the financial stability and national security of the United States. Given the limited amount of time, I am going to focus on the economy.

We have a huge budget deficit, a recession in full bloom and now an enormous trade deficit. When the depths of this recession become a reality and we receive fewer dollars from the federal government, the standard answer in our state to fix a problem has been to raise or create new taxes. But this not the answer. We need to run our government like a business. We must hold government agencies accountable for expenditures and accurate reporting.

In regards to accurate reporting, I have concerns when our governor claims that Washington State is one of the five best states to do business in according to Forbes Magazine. My campaign contacted the author Kurt Badenhausen, at Forbes Magazine and questioned the rating in light of the B&O Tax. Kurt replied, "Thank you for the insights on the B&O tax issue. He went on to say that WA scores poorly in their rating of states on taxes..." In addition, the Olympia Business Watch this past May stated: We are the 14th highest state for business taxes in FY 2007. So much for accurate reporting.

I am also concerned that when the Senate Ways & Means Committee came out with its $2.4 billion deficit projection, Christine Gregoire's budget chief, Victor Moore, said "I'm not giving any credence to that number," Moore said his office will come out with its own projection later. Again, so much for accurate reporting.

These are serious times and we need leaders to acknowledge the situation and provide real solutions.

An article in today's Seattle Times states that Gov. Christine Gregoire says higher taxes are "absolutely" a last resort in her plans for balancing the state budget. But if any new taxes are needed, she says they should go to voters for approval. I say it's about time.

Currently, the residents of Washington State are paying over 50 different types of taxes, the latest being the internet tax and our state continues to focus on creating new taxes. This past March, the Washington State Senate Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on two income tax proposals.

Given the governors inaccurate reporting and past tax happy term, I do not trust or nor do I believe her. Now let's talk about "tax expenditures" -- loopholes and subsidies -- extended to individual companies and entire sectors which have cut a huge hole in the state revenue base, which is replenished with largely regressive taxes on those least able to pay. For example the B&O Tax where Boeing pays under $3K for $1m in sales and a small business owner like me pays $15K.

I am also disgusted when I read in the Seattle PI that the Indian tribes' payoff $650,000 to the state Democratic party, and $49,000 directly to Gov. Chris Gregoire, in return for Gregoire's 2005 killing of a gambling compact which could have brought more than $140 million in annual revenues to the state. The compact Gregoire renegotiated with the Spokane tribe brings no revenue to the state. Obviously the our governor is not concerned about being fiscally conservative because $140 M is a great start on paying down the $2.5 B Deficit.

I am angered at politicians that are more concerned about getting money from special interests rather than representing the voters. Casinos are not people. Corporations are not people. Special interest groups are not people. Yet the governor gives away our tax dollars for her own political gain. An incident, which took place on Thursday, December 16, 1773, which sparked the American Revolution and remains to this day one of the most iconic events of the era. This event is known as the Boston Tea Party. History is repeating itself and the citizens of our state are faced with taxation without representation.

Not only are we taxed to death in this state, we continually see or tax dollars wasted. For example, why are we paying TransCore $18.7 million dollars to collect the tolls on the Narrows Bridge, when we pay people on L&I, Welfare and Unemployment to sit at home? This is one of hundreds of examples of fiscal irresponsibility that I can cite.

As a conservative Blue Dog Democrat, I will not play partisan politics. I will represent the citizens of our state and stand up to my party when I disagree. I stand for the person, not the party. I vote for the issues in-lieu-of party politics. I will do what is best for our citizens and our country. When I am elected the voice of the people will be heard.

When I am elected, I am concerned that my battles in Washington DC to obtain federal dollars for our state will be similar to the problems we experience with foreign aid where the dollars sent do not result in food, medical supplies for the poor and needy, but get siphoned off by the corrupt leaders in the 3rd World countries.

As a former Major in the US Army, running for US Representative and as a Democrat, I say to our Governor Gregoire, forgot who you represent and you lost my vote.

To the 25th LD, you have a choice to endorse me as a candidate that cares and will fight for the people, or endorse Darcy Burner who is another Christine Gregoire. In doing so you send a clear message that you either care about the people or that you are going to continue to play partisan politics and ignore their concerns.

Posted by John

8:27 PM, Jul 11, 2008

That's a heavy slab of mud your throwing there Marian
Will you please tell that to Dino's wife?

Posted by JimD

9:44 PM, Jul 11, 2008

I resist agreeing with those i usually COMPLETELY disagree with completely on this blog....but this time they're right.
What is your evidence - any evidence - that Rossi is no friend to women's "rights"?
Economic conditions for poor working women, yes I'd agree.
But women's "right's"?

Please state your case - any case - to support this accusation against Rossi.

Posted by Kiana

11:33 AM, Jul 12, 2008

There is an abortion procedure called dilation and evacuation in which the abortionist goes in with forceps, grabs a leg, twists and twists until the leg tears off and is pulled out. Next, the abortionist goes in grabs another limb, grabs and twists until the arm or leg is torn off, and then repeats said procedure until nothing is left but the baby's head. His/her head is then smashed and removed.

If Rossi is against this--and Gregoire is already on record as strongly being for this kind of human mistreatment, hence for this particular hideously cruel and gruesome procedure---then I am incredibly proud of Rossi for recognizing that innocent humans should never be treated this way.

Posted by Kiana

11:37 AM, Jul 12, 2008

..and btw, marian, I AM a 'woman voter' as you put it, and I consider Dino to be a better friend to women on many fronts than Gregoire.

Posted by John

4:47 PM, Jul 12, 2008

Very graphic, I know the time is coming when this horrible
Procedure will be banished from our society, last winters march in Olympia was heart warming to see so many of our youth protesting this act of murder.
Not sure if this is what she talking about if so then God Bless Dino.

Recent entries

Jul 11, 08 - 01:52 PM
Dems haven't booked Burner airtime yet

Jul 10, 08 - 10:44 AM
Pro-Rossi signs say Seattle stole '04 election

Jul 10, 08 - 10:23 AM
Soprano's band says Demo ad offensive

Jul 10, 08 - 08:46 AM
New ads from Gregoire and Rossi

Jul 9, 08 - 01:28 PM
Gregoire releases tax returns, but nothing from Rossi







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