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Postman on Politics

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

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August 7, 2008 8:58 PM

Rossi talks up his Native roots

Posted by David Postman

Dino Rossi’s campaign issued a press release yesterday about Gov. Chris Gregoire’s charge that a TV ad attacking her gambling agreement with Native American tribes is racist. The release includes a bit of ethnic political positioning.

“Dino Rossi is part Tlingit Alaskan Native and he has made clear that the issue isn’t about the tribes, who should be expected to negotiate the best deal possible,” said Jill Strait, Rossi spokesperson.

Rossi’s mother was Alaskan Native. He mentions those roots in his campaign, but in this case it is being used to help draw a distinction between allegations of wrongdoing in the negotiation of the gaming compacts and what Gregoire says is racism aimed at those tribal members.

Here’s the ad in question. It is not a Rossi campaign ad, but from It's Time for a Change PAC, which the BIAW controls. I watched the ad when it came out and it didn’t strike me as racist. It makes the old lady who stars in it look sort of goofy. And Republicans have made essentially the same charges about Gregoire and the tribes as they have about Gregoire and the labor unions. Watch this for yourself.

Rossi hasn’t made much of his Native heritage. But he said recently that if elected he’d be the nation’s first Native American governor. (There have been Hawaiian Natives elected governor of that state.) It’ll be interesting if that becomes a bigger part of his campaign. Rossi is already trying to model his campaign after Democrat Barack Obama’s message of change, so why not add an historic first to the effort as well.

Rossi's comments came at a pow wow held by the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation. He appeared at the annual event a few weeks back and opened by saying hello in Tlingit. He talked about his mother, and about working for Bernie Whitebear who, he said, “kept a lot of us Native kids alive” by providing food and jobs.

Rossi, according to a tape of the event, also made several references to the “tenaciousness of the Tlingit tribe.”

And, yes, that’s true I will be the first ... governor in American history ... that’s Native American.

Until now I haven't heard Rossi raise his heritage while talking about the gaming compacts.

Continue reading this post ...


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August 7, 2008 7:28 PM

8th District: Money update & web ads

Posted by David Postman

Two items from Emily Heffter about the 8th District congressional race.

Candidates in the close 8th Congressional District race released their fundraising numbers for the month of July today.

Rep. Dave Reichert, the two-term Republican incumbent, raised $115,474 during July, compiling $929,113 in cash on hand.

Democratic challenger Darcy Burner raised more -- $350,837-- during July, and reported having almost $1.5 million in the bank. But those figures don't include a large television ad buy Burner's campaign made this week. They won't say exactly what that cost, except to say it was in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Burner has been outpacing Reichert in fundraising throughout the campaign, but she's also been spending more.

ALSO: Reichert released two web video ads today that will start showing up embedded in web pages visited by 8th Congressional District voters. The campaign has the technology to track, via cookies and other tools, what people are looking at.

The two ads are launching the same week Burner kicked off her first television ad.

The bulk of Reichert's 45-second ads show him in an office discussing his energy plan and his view on taxes. The ads are linked to Reichert's Web page here and here.

The web videos will cost between $20,000 and $100,000, according to a campaign spokesman. That's less than TV spots would cost. The campaign may buy television time later in the campaign, she said, but they believe the web is a better way to reach the "tech-savvy" demographic in the 8th District.

Burner has released a couple of videos this campaign season and posted them on her web site. Most recently, she posted a video of campaign volunteers talking about why they were working for her campaign. This spring, she posted a video acknowledging her sometimes-criticized hairstyles. It shows her going into a salon to get her hair done by buzz-cut sporting Montana Senator Jon Tester.

"Hmm," she says in the video, "Maybe I should stick more to talking about the issues."


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August 7, 2008 2:12 PM

Gregoire says she needs money to catch Obama wave

Posted by David Postman

I wrote earlier today about Gov. Chris Gregoire's comments to The Stranger about her concerns that she may miss out on this year's Democratic wave.

Just a short while ago her campaign sent out a fundraising e-mail making the plea even more direct.

A Democratic tidal wave is sweeping the nation -- but Washington is dangerously close to being left behind. ...

What would happen with Barack Obama in the White House, and more Democrats in Congress and the Legislature, but a George Bush Republican like Dino Rossi in control of our state?

While the rest of the country moved forward, our state would be left behind.

One of the things I enjoyed about this solicitation was the pseudo-specific amount of money that needed to be raised in order to prevent that scenario from unfolding.

The only way Washington will be a part of this wave is with the help of supporters like you! We need 400 supporters to take the next step and contribute to our campaign by August 31.

That's a classic technique of direct mail. But it never fails to amuse me.

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August 7, 2008 11:44 AM

Gregoire: Not enough for Dems to elect Obama

Posted by David Postman

Gov. Chris Gregoire says that voters newly energized by the campaign of Barack Obama fail to understand that to get real change this November they need to also vote for her and other Democrats further down the ballot.

In an interview with The Stranger, Gregoire talked about the need to have Democrats in Congress, in governors’ offices and in Legislatures, to ensure that if Obama is elected he can actually get something done.

I think Senator Obama has brought out a new generation of voters that have not voted before. And some of these folks -- I know, because I’ve talked to them -- feel they’re engaged to voted for Senator Obama and then they’re done, failing to recognize the important of, he can’t do much of anything alone, if he doesn’t have a Congress he can work with, if he doesn’t have governors he can work with, if governors don’t have legislatures they can work with.

So I think our job is to convince these folks, it isn’t good enough to be engaged by saying, “I’m going to vote for president of the United States.” You’ve got to get engaged and look down the ticket and ask yourself, “Who are these folks and do I want to support them?” So I think that is going to be very important.

Continue reading this post ...


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Recent entries

Aug 7, 08 - 08:58 PM
Rossi talks up his Native roots

Aug 7, 08 - 07:28 PM
8th District: Money update & web ads

Aug 7, 08 - 02:12 PM
Gregoire says she needs money to catch Obama wave

Aug 7, 08 - 11:44 AM
Gregoire: Not enough for Dems to elect Obama

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