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

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July 15, 2008 3:34 PM

Republican gov group will have deep pockets

Posted by David Postman

Politico is reporting that by election day the Republican Governors Association will have raised - and likely spent - $30 million. That would be a record for the RGA.

RGA Executive Director Nick Ayers told Politico he hopes the money will allow Republicans to pick up a couple of governor’s mansions “in an election cycle when Democrats are expected to surge at the federal level.”

Eleven states are holding governor’s races this year; five of those governorships are now held by Republicans.

Political analyst Charlie Cook rates three as safe seats, and two - Indiana and Missouri - as tossups. Ayers said his organization intends to invest in those contests and use its cash to turn the races for Democrat-held seats in North Carolina and Delaware into tighter contests.

Delaware is rated by Cook as "Likely Democratic" and North Carolina has the longer-shot "Leans Democratic."
Washington is rated a toss up - the only Democratic seat rated that close. But the race doesn’t merit mention in the story. The RGA has said Republican challenger Dino Rossi’s race against Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire is a priority for the group.

And there is every reason to believe national party money will flood the state this year. So far the Republican Governors Association has given about $170,000 to the state Republican Party. The Democratic Governors Association has given $210,000 to the state Democratic Party and $250,000 to Evergreen Progress, a new PAC that is getting most of its money from labor unions.

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Posted by John

3:49 PM, Jul 15, 2008

Thought this was a slam dunk for Christine according to her
record being Gov.
Or did D.G.A. review her record and said send money now!

Posted by AD

10:40 PM, Jul 15, 2008

The DGA looked at her record and Washingtonians are, too.

Drastic 31% increase in spending. Massive tax increases. $2.7 billion (and growing) deficit.

It costs money to get your buddies the hook up!

Posted by bothell latina

7:32 AM, Jul 16, 2008

Amazing how make this sound like Republicans are somehow shady in donating money...then couched in the last sentence, you wrote that Republicans have donated $170,000 whereas national democrats have pumped in $460,000

Bias? wow.

If you were a news reporter, the news is that national democrats have pumped in nearly 65% more money than national republicans...

Rich national democrats trying to buy Gregoire race.

Campaign finance reform fails to stop half a million dollars from getting to Gregoire.

just some balance.

Posted by Bothsides

8:27 AM, Jul 16, 2008

Bothell Latina,

How dare you point out the facts..........

Thank you!

Posted by JimD

9:18 AM, Jul 16, 2008

"...And there is every reason to believe national party money will flood the state this year..."
Do you really think so, David?
McCain just started closing the popular vote spread this last week (if the polls show a lasting trend).
IF (big IF) he can start reversing the 100+ electoral college defecate he's currently stuck at, I wonder if the republican national wouldn't change strategy and dedicate more resources to pushing him over the line, instead of investing in down-ticket republican races like Rossi's...?

Posted by Particle Man

10:29 AM, Jul 16, 2008

This race is no slam dunk regardless of the fact Gov Chris has done a great job in her first term.

Rossi and his supporters will only have a chance to the extent they can keep the spin going in regard to all his baggage and the D's will spend a ton of money placing that baggage on display.

Posted by AD

7:02 PM, Jul 16, 2008

Chris Gregoire inhereted a $2 billion surplus, RAISED TAXES and STILL ends up with a $2.7 billion deficit? If that's a great record, I'd want to know how we're doing the measuring.

Oh, but Particle Man claims it's Dino Rossi, who worked with Gary Locke during a similar downturn to balance the budget without raising taxes.. Yeah, that' Dino Rossi. He's the one with baggage?

That's the kind of baggage we need in the governor's mansion!

Posted by JimD

8:06 PM, Jul 16, 2008

Gosh AD -- could you forget to call it a PROJECTED deficit a few more times please?
The state does not yet have "a deficit".
I know this it a hot topic you are compelled to bring up at every opportunity, but mis-stating the actual facts steals credibility from your legitimate point, doesn't it?

Posted by John

8:30 PM, Jul 16, 2008

"The state does not yet have "a deficit".

It's like trying to stop an incoming wave.

Come on, this is reality she has squandered our surplus that Dino was so graceful to give her. The only way out of the horrible bankruptcy of the State of Washington will be gasoline at $3.00 a gallon and to undo all her paybacks she did recently. This will never happen; I’ll be polite and call it the greatest transfer of wealth this state has ever seen.

Posted by AD

9:17 PM, Jul 16, 2008

JimD, well then let's also be sure to state that with each subsequent PROJECTION the PROJECTED deficit has INCREASED DRAMATICALLY. So if trends continue, we can infer that the ACTUAL deficit will be LARGER than the projected one!

Are you suggesting JimD, that the deficit will not materialize?? I'd like for you to clearly state that. :)

Posted by JimD

10:43 AM, Jul 17, 2008

Just using "projected deficit" would be fine with me.

I see no evidence that Rossi will reduce the state's deficit.
If anything, he'll make it even worse with revenue cuts he can't possibly balance with spending cuts.
This IS a legitimate comparison with what republicans have done at the federal level - attempting to starve government into spending cuts by living in perpetual debt.

I would think you'd be applauding Gregoire for adopting this stradegy, since the deficit represents money still in your pocket.
This has become the fiscal MO for republicans of late, and until I see a credible plan from Rossi that details EXATCLY which departments and services he plans to cut, there's absolutely no substance behind the premise that Rossi can or will solve the deficit - just mindless platitudes about shrinking government spending.

We've heard these empty promises from republicans before, and look where we are now.
If Gregoire's approach to fiscal management has produced a 2.75 billion PROJECTED deficit, I can only imagine how much it would be in REAL-time, REAL dollars once Rossi starts cutting revenue with no effective means to balance-out spending.

Posted by Bothsides

11:42 AM, Jul 17, 2008

Well JimD, all Rossi would HAVE to do is reverse what Christine has done with respect to the states swollen payroll and pay increases. You leftists keep trying to link the state to the Fed, everyone knows the reason for the Fed deficit, it's the war, if not for that, we'd be balanced or close to it. So quit trying to paint the right as "tax and spend", that's the lefts MO and you know it, just look at Christine. This state is not at war, why can't she balance a budget, or come close for crying out loud.

Posted by AD

6:12 PM, Jul 17, 2008

"I see no evidence that Rossi will reduce the state's deficit.," JimD says.

The best evidence that Rossi will reduce the deficit without raising taxes is that he's ALREADY DONE IT BEFORE when he was Ways and Means chairman, by working with Gary Locke.

The best evidence that Christine will NOT reduce the deficit without raising taxes is that she ALREADY HAS raised taxes and STILL raised spending by 31% and is COMPLETELY RESPONSIBLE herself for the looming deficit.

Posted by AD

6:32 PM, Jul 17, 2008

Oh, and let's rid ourselves of this tired old liberal meme that cutting taxes always hurts revenue. For example, Bush cut the capital gains tax from 25% to 15% -- a HUGE tax cut. Revenues doubled, though. Not every tax is like that, of course. But there comes a point when the endless cycle of Democrat spending increases/tax increases takes its toll on growth.

Let's suppose Christine's next four years are like her first four--another 31% increase in spending. How much would she have to raise taxes to pay for that? How much will she have to raise taxes to pay for what she's already spent?

We could say she's spent like a drunken sailor, but that's just incredibly demeaning to sailors. Even they know when to stop. :)

Posted by JimD

9:09 PM, Jul 17, 2008

Bothsides wrote:
"...Well JimD, all Rossi would HAVE to do is reverse what Christine has done with respect to the states swollen payroll and pay increases. ..."

Has Rossi said he plans to do that?
Which employees will get a pay cut?
Which departments will lose employees?

Rossi won't say "who-what-how-why" - because he has no plan to do ANY of that.
The Governor isn't a dictator who can simply say "make it so."
He'll be working with a solid democratic representative branch anyway.
Ain't gonna happen.

Please show me some evidence that republicans of late have any fiscal discipline what-so-ever?
Bush decided to eat-up Clinton's surplus with tax cuts to the wealthy BEFORE the war.
He had no intention keeping a balanced budget.
Republicans never do - of late at least - because living in deficit land keeps a lid on spending.

This isn't a secret.
Many republicans BRAG about how effective budget deficits are at reigning-in spending.
Rossi isn't going to balance the budget.
All you have to do is realize he has no plan to do so.
Don't you think if he truly intended to correct the deficit, he'd be campaigning on the solid specifics of how he'd do that?

Posted by AD

10:07 PM, Jul 17, 2008

JimD, JimD, JimD. Please listen. You challenge: "Please show me some evidence that republicans of late have any fiscal discipline what-so-ever?"

Here's the evidence: in 2003 the state faced a $2.6 billion deficit. Dino Rossi worked with Gary Locke to balance the budget without raising taxes.


Eagerly awaiting your response, JimD!

Posted by JimD

12:21 AM, Jul 18, 2008

I appreciate the constructive reply, and understand why you think Rossi might be able to help pull a rabbit out of the state's hat this time too.
But this is different.
The unexpected fuel cost spike and crumbling credit markets have virtually destroyed the favorable conditions Rossi and Locke found convenient back in 2005.
The negative growth and hyper-inflation makes it virtually impossible to eliminate the deficit without rather draconian cuts to essential services (in which I probably include more than you, but are still considered essential by those who depend on them including police and fire, etc).

Since we can't grow our way out of this one the way we did in 2005, he has little choice but to cut spending enough to stop the bleeding, and deficit reduction becomes a long-range goal for an eventual future when revenue is on the up-swing again.
If Rossi wins, I guess us democrats could scream and shout about how he hasn't solved the deficit either.
But the reality for him, as for Gregoire, is a sinking economy that leaves us little choice but to ride it out without jumping into a precipitously short-sighted attempt to correct something we'll eventually grow our way out of, as we did last time.
I think you're ASSUMING Rossi will reduce the projected state deficit.
But he clearly hasn't presented any specifics on how he'd doesn't intend to due too much balancing.
He can't make the state more business friendly, eliminate the deficit AND not raise taxes until we hit more favorable conditions for that ambitious agenda.
And we ain't gona be there for at least a couple more years.
In the meantime, the deficit can be the leverage Rossi needs to lower our expectations from government and our quality of life, while wholesaling chunks of government work out to private enterprise (which will do a poor job while collecting a profit) and generally satisfy the best interests of the special interest most interested in getting Rossi elected - builders and contractors.
Welcome to Texas.

Posted by AD

1:45 AM, Jul 18, 2008

It takes JimD a lot of contorting and stretching to try and make it seem like 2008 is oh so so so much different from 2003. Well, the collapse of the tech bubble combined with 9/11 and airline woes hit this state HARD and created an extremely challenging economic situation. But Rossi and Locke worked together to get our state through it.

The big difference is not how much more horrible the economy is today -- that's a huge stretch (we haven't even had negative growth this go round). The big difference is between Christine and Dino. Dino has a record and has worked with Democrats to solve these problems before. Christine was ignorant to history and got us mucked up in it again.

Posted by Save Washington

11:06 AM, Jul 18, 2008

We Washingtonians have our problems but we can work with Gov Gregorie on fixing them. Dino will live up to his name. We cannot let Dino Rossi and his cronies take over this state. It will be come another Texas, California, Ohio. Washington is ripe for the pickin because people are thinking about themselves. Think about what we will lose if we let Dino and his cronies get in. He will sell us out. Don't let him play the race card and fearmonger tatics it is come.

Posted by Jimd

6:13 PM, Jul 18, 2008

Well..we certainly are in a period of negative job growth and fiscal decline at this moment.
But the fact remains that Rossi has not proposed any concrete, specific solutions to reducing the state's projected deficit.
Until he does so, my only option is place blind faith in his wisdom and best interests of the state.
And frankly, there's nothing there that makes me willing to believe he would act in the interests important to me, compounded by the arrogant and slippery way he's handled his campaign fundraising to date.
I won't say I wouldn't trust him to walk my elderly mother across the street, but I won't go so far as to trust him with the governor's office either.
Gregoire - for all her faults - is a known.
Rossi is not only an unknown, but pretty damn arrogant and combative with the press about staying that way.
Too secretive and sneaky for me, thank you.

Posted by AD

11:16 PM, Jul 18, 2008

JimD, the jobless rate is much more volatile than GDP. But if you're going to use that as your measure of the economy's health, it's STILL obvious that the slowdown in '01 and '02, which precipitated the last round of budget deficits, was MUCH worse. Job losses in those years were most severe in aerospace and tech -- two pretty big industries for our state. For more than a few months WA was the number 2 state in the NATION for high unemployment. So even by your OWN standard, those times were worse.

You say Dino doesn't have a plan. Are we to suppose you're to be swayed by the words of politicians? I'm not asking you to judge him by what he SAYS. I'm asking you to judge him based on his RECORD -- what he's ACTUALLY DONE.

And what he's actually demonstrated he's capable of is: working with democrats to balance the budget. That's his skill set.

Posted by Jimd

11:07 AM, Jul 19, 2008

You make a very good case, AD.
And I'll go so far as to say your evaluation would be right-on, if not for the fact that Rossi's present belligerence and lack of forthright comment on how he would solve the problem may be a better predictor of his future bi-partisan skill set, than his past performance in a lesser role as a more co-equal team player.
In other words, I'm not convinced the skill set demonstrated last time measures-up to task ahead.
When will he start demonstrating this non-partisan respect for his political opposition?

And on the economy and jobs, you're right - the fuel and credit crisis is a different set of dynamics plaguing our state's economy than simple job loss.
Indeed - the pressure to relieve all manner of regulation to grow our way out of this is a perfect match for Rossi's business-friendly conservatism.
My concern is that he would move us too far away from the northwest culture of aesthetics and quality of life that makes us such unattractive a place to live - albeit it expensive.
Analogous to the sudden urge to line our shores with oil wells, Rossi's affiliation with those who want their horizons unleashed is part of a perfect storm that could lead to precipitous development we've previously deemed undesirable.
Holding our state hostage to new revenue from less-regulated development is something worth taking a stand against, in my opinion.
How do you feel about that?

Posted by BillJ

7:15 PM, Jul 19, 2008


“Gregoire - for all her faults - is a known.
Rossi is not only an unknown, but pretty damn arrogant and combative with the press about staying that way.
Too secretive and sneaky for me, thank you.”

You’re a closet McCain supporter, we can agree on something.

Recent entries

Jul 18, 08 - 04:04 PM
Rossi on KING 5's Up Front

Jul 18, 08 - 07:29 AM
Sutherland, horsesass, the Times and Mike Lowry, too

Jul 17, 08 - 11:39 AM
With Gregoire and Mrs. Obama

Jul 16, 08 - 11:22 AM
The search for young conservatives

Jul 15, 08 - 03:34 PM
Republican gov group will have deep pockets







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