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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 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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Posted by Patriot

2:57 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Where can I donate my $0.99 in instead of bidding on the toilets it would be the same outcome.

Posted by JG

3:02 PM, Aug 07, 2008

I would, but what with the record budget shortfall and all, I am saving my money for the tax increase.

Posted by Gregoire's Income Tax

3:44 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Suprise, surprise... Another attack on George W. Bush... er, I mean Dino Rossi... Even Barack Obama isn't running so hard against Bush... Desperate times (i.e. polls that show her neck and neck with Bush's twin brother) call for desperate measures.

Our state will truly be left behind if Gregoire is elected and enacts a State Income tax to pay for her $2.7 billion dollar deficit.

This time, I will be saving my $0.99... for the outrageous tolls expected to help fund Gregoire's 4-lane Highway 520 proposal. Unfortunately, my 99 cents would only pay for about 15% of a one-way trip over a congested bridge ... better find another use for the money.

Posted by Glenno

4:44 PM, Aug 07, 2008

24 days to go and she panicking,,,

She must be doing some polling on the primary and finding out the Dino might just win the primary...

Now that would dry up her cash quickly...

Posted by AD

5:26 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Could she do a mailer to raise money for the deficit she spent us into?

"The only way Washington will balance its crippled budget is with the help of supporters like you! We need 27 million supporters to take the next step and contribute $100 each to cover our massive $2.7 billion deficit!"

Posted by JimD

7:29 PM, Aug 07, 2008

"...Our state will truly be left behind if Gregoire is elected and enacts a State Income tax to pay for her $2.7 billion dollar deficit...."

Well...our state will be left behind if she's elected and enacts a ban on rainy days....but since she doesn't have the power to do that OR enact a state sales tax, there's plenty to better spend your time worrying about than ridiculous impossibilities.

Replacing the state sales tax with a state income tax has been floated for decades, and although I personally think it's more equitable for lower to middle-income folk, it never got off the ground in Washington State and probably never will.
What an absurd charge against the governor...lol.
Makes one wonder if the other complaints against Rossi are as similarly disingenuous.

Posted by Methow Ken

7:52 PM, Aug 07, 2008

IMO Glenno may be on to something:
The Gregoire campaign is likely having nightmares about Dino Rossi winning the primary. As some interesting historical election data that was discussed on SP.com showed, (R)s have tended to do better in the General than in the Primary. If Dino wins the Primary, the Gov might be well advised to start looking for a new job the day after.

GO DINO !!

Posted by TJ

9:08 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Counting Money, and Counting Votes, don't seem to be a strong issue here YET!

A Budget Defecit, Highway Defecit, Ferry Defecit, DSHS Defecit, etc, etc, etc, all going back to that simple Education Deficit.

"The want of money cramps every effort."
Jefferson to Washington, 1780

Posted by AD

11:27 PM, Aug 07, 2008

JimD, the worry is not that an income tax will be instituted instead of the sales tax, but in addition to it. Many cities and local government also derive revenue from the sales tax and they wouldn't be able to give that up if we added an income tax.

I know that Democrats, bureaucrats and politicians love the idea of all that nice cash they could get your grubby hands on with a new income tax. Certainly, with the huge deficit we have after Gregoire's went on a shopping spree to buy $2.7 billion worth of political chits, we have a revenue shortfall.

Families shouldn't have to pay for Gregoire's mismanagement of state government. Chris Gregoire should pay for it.

Posted by JimD

6:15 AM, Aug 08, 2008

AD,
The reason the sales tax has never been replaced with a sales tax (let alone as an additional state tax) is because there's no mandate or support for the scheme.
What makes you think that dynamic has changed, or will change in the future?
The governor alone couldn't make it so even if she wanted to.
The insinuation that she would or could, can only be viewed as another dishonest scare tactic from Rossi supporters aimed at those who don't know any better.

Posted by JimD

6:16 AM, Aug 08, 2008

correction:
"The reason the sales tax has never been replaced with an INCOME tax..."
(sorybouthat)

Posted by Roberta

10:12 AM, Aug 08, 2008

Jimd:
"The governor alone couldn't make it so even if she wanted to.
The insinuation that she would or could, can only be viewed as another dishonest scare tactic from Rossi supporters aimed at those who don't know any better."

Oh,really ?
You just flipped again Jim,

Past post on Gov.Rossi

"Roe Vs. Wade would be overturned in Washington State if Rossi was elected."

Posted by Turbine

10:32 AM, Aug 08, 2008

It would take a change in the Washington State Constitution to get an Income Tax here. Which has been proposed in almost every session by Democrats. Governor Gregoire is supporting the McIntire bid for State Treasurer. He of course is a BIG proponent of the State Income Tax and Gates Commission sychophant. Just remember the State would never eliminate any taxes under any of the Democrats scenarios, only temporarily reduce them. Create a "Crisis" and prospose the solution she wanted all along. The Governor is very transparent.

Posted by JimD

1:53 PM, Aug 08, 2008

Roberta wrote that I once posted:
---------------------------
"..."Roe Vs. Wade would be overturned in Washington State if Rossi was elected."..."
---------------------------

I never wrote that or even insinuated that in any way, shape or form.
What I actually said was that Governor Rossi could create and encourage resistance to choice, particularly where our state government plays an affirmative role in accessing and facilitating that choice.
If you want to make a comparison, I guess you could suggest Gregoire could play an affirmative role in attempting to gain support for a income tax on top of our state sales tax.
But of course, she has NOT tried to do that in the past, is NOT proposing it now, and has NEVER indicated she would in the future.
And unlike Rossi's evasive answers to the choice question, Gregoire has not shied away from explaining in detail that she does not support a state income tax on top of our sales tax.
Again - the suggestion that Gregoire's re-election poses the threat of such an additional tax is ludicrous and blatantly dishonest - true to the "support" Rossi's fans are maligning his campaign with.

(The blog archives contain everything posted, and you might consider checking there before quoting from your apparently flawed memory.)

Posted by Roberta

3:12 PM, Aug 08, 2008

"..."Roe Vs. Wade would be overturned in Washington State if Rossi was elected."..."
---------------------------

"I never wrote that or even insinuated that in any way, shape or form.
What I actually said was that Governor Rossi could create and encourage resistance to choice, particularly where our state government plays an affirmative role in accessing and facilitating that choice. "

Jimd:
Excuse me, please post the link you said this.

Posted by JimD

9:06 PM, Aug 08, 2008

You're the one challenging it.
Go find it yourself if you don't believe me.
It's somewhere back there - several versions of the same thing (above) - and included several other reasons why I don't want Rossi or any other anti-choice politician at any level of government.
But nowhere did I say that Governor Rossi would - or even could - outlaw abortions in Washington State.
The suggestion is patently absurd and this pro-choice'er doesn't mind saying so.
That does not, however, make it irrelevent to his candidacy since the practical realiziation of choice is dependent on a political culture of choice across the broad spectrum of government

Posted by Turbine

10:22 PM, Aug 08, 2008

Spokesman Review April 25th 2007 . Article entitiled OUR VIEW: INCOME TAX MERITS

"The Chief reason for hte regressivity of the tax code is the Washington is one of eight states without an income tax. It's a tough sell, say leaders, INCLUDING GOV. CHRIS GREGORIE and Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, who SUPPORTED THE IDEA OF ADOPTING SUCH A TAX." That article was written after Gregorie and Brown met with the Spokeman Review Editiorial Board. You were saying JIMD ...She never supported a State Income Tax?

Posted by Roberta

12:14 AM, Aug 09, 2008

Jimd’s, views changes depending on who’s side he's attacking or supporting.


Posted by JimD

10:07 AM, Aug 09, 2008

The article does NOT say she supported an income tax ON TOP of a state sales tax, the issue I addressed my comments to:
"JimD, the worry is not that an income tax will be instituted instead of the sales tax, but in addition to it."
I replied:
"...If you want to make a comparison, I guess you could suggest Gregoire could play an AFFIRMATIVE role in attempting to gain support for a income tax ON TOP of our state sales tax. But of course, she has NOT tried to do that in the past, is NOT proposing it now, and has NEVER indicated she would in the future..."

Has she ever taken any "affirmative role" to actually propose a state income tax on top of a sales tax? No.
Is she proposing that now? No.
Has she indicated she would in the future? No.

Not only has she not proposed an income tax ON TOP of the sales tax, she's never made any sort of official proposal of a sales tax at all.
Regardless of Gregoire's (and other's) belief that a state income tax would be more equitable than our current tax structure, she's never proposed or supported any legislation to make it so, and recognizes the futility of doing so in her own words ("...a hard sell").
Those are the facts.

Claiming she has the authority to institute such a tax, or any possibility she'd even propose legislation to implement such a scheme (or that the political climate would support such a tax after decades of rejecting it, no less) is a red-herring deception with no basis in reality or even common sense.

Again; making ridiculous accusations about her intentions, and false claims ofofficial authority she doesn't have, taints your more legitimate arguments against her re-election.
If that's the level you will stoop to when the facts don't make a sufficient argument, just be aware that it taints your other arguments as suspiciously disingenuous also.

Posted by jIMd

10:15 AM, Aug 09, 2008

correction:
"Not only has she not proposed an income tax ON TOP of the sales tax, she's never made any sort of official proposal of a *INCOME* tax at all.

Posted by Turbine

11:33 AM, Aug 09, 2008

Reading is fundamental, she is quoted by the Spokesman Review editorial board as stating she was in favor of a STATE INCOME TAX, no qualifiers,no parsing, she favors it. She also realizes it would take much more education and convincing to get the public to go along with it. Are you saying she is not if favor of taking affirmative action to educate the voting public about the STATE INCOME TAX? Sorry, she said it, you are wrong.

Posted by Christina

1:46 PM, Aug 09, 2008


By Bryan Bissell - June 30, 2008 - 11:35am
Release Date: Jun 30 2008
Been There, Done That
Rewarding Campaign Donors With Political Favors
and Big Money nothing new for Gregoire

Bellevue, WA...Recent news stories in both the Seattle P-I and the Seattle Times have questioned whether Gov. Gregoire has handed out political favors to her campaign donors while in the governors' mansion. But the pattern of questionable pay-offs goes all the way back to her time as Attorney General when she negotiated the tobacco settlement.

The settlement turned a few well-connected trial lawyers into multi-millionaires. Many of those same favored trial lawyers turned around and donated large sums of money to both Gregoire and the Democratic Governor's Association (DGA). One such lawyer is Richard "Dickie" Scruggs, who received a 5-year prison sentence today for conspiring to bribe a judge.

Scruggs and his firm received approximately $1 billion (not a misprint) in fees from the tobacco litigation, in which then-Attorney General Gregoire was a key negotiator. In October 2004, Scruggs donated $200,000 to the DGA which was then running negative TV ads against Dino Rossi. The DGA is also a sponsor of negative ads that began airing today against Rossi.

"The more light we shine on Christine Gregoire, the more we learn about her habit of handing out political favors to campaign donors and supporters," said Luke Esser, Chairman of the Washington State Republican Party. "And Gov. Gregoire's habit of rewarding political supporters didn't just start recently. As Attorney General, Gregoire negotiated a tobacco settlement that made a few trial lawyers into multi-millionaires, who then turned around and gave big to her campaign. One of Gregoire's strongest financial supporters (and one of her ‘closest friends' in the tobacco litigation), Dickie Scruggs, was just sentenced today to five years in prison.

"As governor, Gregoire renegotiated a tribal casino compact that initially would have provided $140 million a year to the state into a deal that gave the state absolutely nothing. Not surprisingly, some of the tribes that benefited from the governor's actions are contributing generously to see her re-elected. And now, today, at the very moment that the incumbent is negotiating contracts with state employees, Gregoire is benefiting from huge contributions by some of those same unions, a clear conflict of interest for the governor. Every day more and more ethical questions are raised about Gov. Gregoire's behavior. These questions will continue unless Gov. Gregoire can break her habit of rewarding campaign supporters with political favors."

A 2004 Seattle Times article noted the connection between Scruggs and other trial lawyers involved in the tobacco settlement and Gregoire's campaign.
"Private lawyers who had worked alongside Gregoire on the tobacco settlement were even more generous....
Lawyers hired by the states to help take their cases to court received millions of dollars in fees from the settlement. Those lawyers and their firms already have contributed heavily to Gregoire's campaign, around $100,000 in direct donations.
On Oct. 8, the DGA got $200,000 from Richard Scruggs, a prominent tobacco attorney who also has made direct contributions to Gregoire's campaign. Scruggs said his firm made between $900 million and $1 billion in fees on the tobacco litigation."
It's not possible to specifically tie individual donors to the DGA to Gregoire's campaign; however, Scruggs said, Gregoire was uppermost in his mind when he made his contribution. ‘She was one of our colleagues and close friends in the tobacco wars, and I'd certainly like to see her get as much of it as possible, but it is not my call.'"
Even back in 2000, Gregoire was denying allegations of pay-offs from her trial lawyer friends.

"Nonsense," insists Fred Olson, Gregoire's director of administration. Critics, he says, are wrong to think the donations "must be a payoff, rather than what they are: a reflection that someone has a high regard for an elected official."

Gregoire will need to keep making denials so long as she continues to engage in such questionable behavior.

Posted by Christina

Posted by JimD

9:25 PM, Aug 09, 2008

Turbine wrote:
----------------------------------
"Reading is fundamental, she is quoted by the Spokesman Review editorial board as stating she was in favor of a STATE INCOME TAX, no qualifiers,no parsing, she favors it. She also realizes it would take much more education and convincing to get the public to go along with it. Are you saying she is not if favor of taking affirmative action to educate the voting public about the STATE INCOME TAX? Sorry, she said it, you are wrong."
----------------------------------
Reading comprehension seems more difficult for some.
The article said she "supported the IDEA of adopting such a tax."
Yet - she has not taken any affirmative action to propose it so far, is not proposing it now - and I dare say - would be committing political suicide to do so in the future.

There's a big difference between agreeing that a particular idea is worthy, and actually taking some affirmative, political action to pursue it.

No, Turbine. I do not believe she intends to take any affirmative action to educate the public about the benefits of a state income tax....lol.
Otherwise, don't you think she'd have left more tracks of this devious plan you accuse her of, than a second party summary of a wistful reference in an obscure newspaper article from early last year?
Come on...get real here.

Your accusation has no basis in fact - let alone any political viability - and rests solely on your vivid imagination of some grand conspiracy involving McIntire....etc.

Not that a state income tax wouldn't benefit middle and lower income working folk, since the concept of progressive taxation assigns a larger burden to those better able to afford it.
Small and medium earners pay through the nose in sales tax while carrying the burden for those who earn more than they spend on retail in Washington State.
Never the less - republicans and fiscal conservatives have fought tooth and nail since the mid-60's to make sure Washington's upper-income folks keep their gravy ride on the backs of the middle and lower class with the regressive state income tax.

When Gregoire gets behind a specific plan and starts selling it, she'll be "supporting" a state income tax.
In the meantime, she'll commit that kind of political suicide in your dreams.

Posted by JimD

9:39 PM, Aug 09, 2008

correction:
"Never the less - republicans and fiscal conservatives have fought tooth and nail since the mid-60's to make sure Washington's upper-income folks keep their gravy ride on the backs of the middle and lower class with the regressive state *SALES* tax.

Posted by JimD

10:49 PM, Aug 09, 2008

Christina posted"
-----------------------------
"This spokeswomen sounds like our Jimd.
http://nakedloon.com/politics/2008/08/08/gregoire-gifted-yacht-mansion-by-tribes-denies-conflict-of-interest/ ..."
-----------------------------
LOL..that's a very good parody of the hysterical slander heaped on Gregoire.

Are you not aware that Naked Lampoon is satire, Christina?
And the folks they're making fun of, is you ;-)

Posted by Christina

8:31 AM, Aug 10, 2008

JimD

"Are you not aware that Naked Lampoon is satire, Christina?
And the folks they're making fun of, is you ;-)"

This was funny considering the never-ending negative attack ads by her and her special interest groups. The article I posted above this was in more funnier don’t you think?

Posted by Turbine

9:44 AM, Aug 10, 2008

Did you read the last line of the Spokesman review article JimD? " We argree that the public needs to be better educated on this issue . And we look forward to leaders such as GREGOIRE and Brown leading that discussion." Please show us where she refutes or walks away from that characterization by the SR Board? Her support for McIntire who is the biggest State Income Tax supporter in the Legislature for State Treasurer over the retiring State Treasurers pick is very telling. You are defending the indefensible. She is for it, just too lazy to do anything about it and she will front others to "take the arrows". Typical.

Posted by JimD

6:19 PM, Aug 10, 2008

I sure lots of folks would like her to "lead the discussion".
Has she in the past? No.
Is she now - a YEAR AND A HALF that article was published? No.

Now seriously -- do you honestly think she's going to start anytime soon?
Especially if she's looking for a third term?

Lots of people are "for it" - including a few brave republicans by the way.
But successful people choose the battles they think they can win, Turbine.
And many better politicians than Gregoire have lost the state income tax battle these last 40 years.
It's not a matter of being "lazy".
It's a matter of what's politically viable.

This discussion has gone from...
>She'll just put it into effect...to
>She's going to educate the voters and lead the charge to change the state constitution...to
>She's for it but is too lazy to take action.

Why don't you just take the final step and admit that a state income tax under Gregoire isn't going to happen, and all your hullabaloo is just another hysterical, slanderous scare tactic from someone who either knows he's blowing smoke, or is profoundly ignorant of Washington State's long-standing political reality.

Posted by Turbine

6:39 PM, Aug 10, 2008

So ask her JimD, you being a big time Democrat Contributor and all ( it must be under an assumed name) . Just ask her if she would sign a State Income Tax Bill if it was brought to her from the Legislature. Failing that, she has stated she would support it, you were wrong , admit it and move on.
Alll of the grandstanding isn't going to change the facts.

Posted by JimD

8:13 PM, Aug 10, 2008

Wrong again, Turbine.
She's reported to have said she supports "the IDEA of a state income tax'.
Nothing more, nothing less.
Simply supporting the idea or concept is NOT the same as supporting a tangible plan or actual piece of legislation.
There is not now, nor has there EVER been any state income tax proposal for Governor Gregoire to "support".
And if there is in the future, she would NOT sign it unless it had the political viability of majority support by the state's electorate, which I'd expect about the same time pigs sprout wings and take to the air.
Your politically naive imagination does not change the fact that your conspiracy-laced hypothetical is red-herring and total non-starter.
But please, keep harping on it as a substitute for more tangible complaints about the governor - which must be in short supply given your need to create this just-plain silly one out of thin air.

Posted by village idiot

9:41 PM, Aug 10, 2008

She has said many times "I support a State income tax"

This means to any open-minded person if she could she would.

Posted by Turbine

11:08 PM, Aug 10, 2008

Since you are not going to find the link here at the Times, there is a You Tube Video of the Gregoire and Brown Visit to the SR Editorial board. It's linked at Sound Politics. Watch Secgment 2, She flat out says she is for an Income Tax. Ouch..thats gonna leave a mark.

Posted by JimD

2:05 AM, Aug 11, 2008

What income tax proposal is she for?
One that has never existed during her term and does not exist now.
I don't know how much plainer it can be put.

You're of course free to believe she'll go beyond the conventional lip service expected on the concept of progressive taxation, actually get the constitution changed and successfully convince the electorate to support a specific piece of income tax legislation.
But any astute political observer knows this simply isn't going to happen.

Her progressive tax philosophy is certainly a valid reason not to like the governor - as is her appearance which is characterized as queen-like...or any other reason you don't like her.
But suggesting even the possibility that we'll ever see a state income tax under Gregoire - let alone that she can unilaterally enact one as governor (where this discussion began) - is a deception intended to scare those ignorant of the political reality and the legal limitations of her power.

Posted by Turbine

8:25 AM, Aug 11, 2008

So you continue to set up strawman arguements and then knock them down. Well that ought to keep you busy for the remainder of the election cycle. Meanwhile everyone else can go to the video and watch the Governors "performance" and judge for themselves. She is for a State Income Tax, she would sign it into law if it was brought to her, but she will not risk any political capital to do the right thing. She will however, encourage others to do the hard work of educating the public for a change she wants , but will not work for. You are wrong about the Governor and State Income Tax JimD and So is the "Truth Squad" From the TIMES.

Posted by EnviroGuy

9:08 AM, Aug 11, 2008

Well said Turbine.
Voters will hopefully take the time to assess Gregoire's statements and judge for themselves.
Gregoire saying "it isn't the right time" and people need to be more educated on an income tax is much more an Advocate position than someone against it.

JimD pretends to be a truck driver. Yeah, right.
Look back at the times of all his posts.
Hardly long-haul trucker hours JimD.
JimD==Gregoire Minion.

Posted by The Truth

3:41 PM, Aug 11, 2008

"JimD pretends to be a truck driver. Yeah, right.
Look back at the times of all his posts.
Hardly long-haul trucker hours JimD."

The story I seen on this subject is, his employer installed GPS/Auto pilot on his truck. His only duties are to off load the cargo

Posted by JimD

1:01 PM, Aug 12, 2008

I run western state, irregular random dispatch and drive about 7-9 hours a day - the maximum the law allows over an eight-day log book.
I have quite a bit of time to play on the internet when I can find a wi-fi signal on a break, and never fingerprint freight - not that I couldn't use the exercise ;-)

Posted by A Concerned Citizen

1:47 PM, Aug 12, 2008

A few years ago, Bill Gates, Sr. chaired a special committee tasked with reviewing the state's byzantine tax structure and making recommendations for improvements.

Their conclusions were that a state income tax would remove the regressive nature of our current system while eliminating the massive waste involved in having so many highly-specific taxes.

Republicans and the BIAW love to talk out of both sides of their mouths when it comes to a state income tax. They rightfully complain about the difficulties of working through the onerous "system" we have now, but are loathe to do anything real to correct the problems.

Gregoire is right - their is no real public support for an income tax at this time. Consequently, the Gates' commission report was effectively DOA when it was issued just a couple years ago.

If we want change - we must CHANGE.

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