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September 26, 2007

My skepticism on the slippery slope to cynicism

Posted by David Postman at 1:50 PM

Incumbent Gov. Christine Gregoire has nearly $3 million in her re-election account but says she's not a candidate. She won't announce, she says, because that would politicize her work with the 2008 Legislature.

Doesn't the $3 million politicize it? What about the recent fundraising pitch that says "The Republican party's opposition to children's health care is shameful and represents the fundamental difference in values that our next election will be fought over"? Is there a Republican member of the Legislature who will be more willing to work with Gregoire next year because she has not spoken the words, "I am a candidate for re-election"? (Never mind of course that her fundraising letter talks about "my campaign for re-election." Those letters don't go to Republicans, so they'll never know.)

Meanwhile, Republican Dino Rossi has resigned as president of his non-profit but is taking a lump sum payment as severance that will give him what he would earn through the end of October. That's just about the time he says he'll decide whether or not to run.

Why resign, announce it two weeks later, then take a payment that will fund his efforts almost until the day he's expected to make a decision about the governor's race? Rossi's speeches on behalf of Forward Washington sound a lot like his campaign speeches of 2004. But Rossi says he never asks people to vote for him or donate to his campaign, so he's not a candidate. I'm not convinced Rossi will run. But I don't see how his relationship with Forward Washington has changed in a meaningful way.

These are word games. You can debate about whether these examples are equal, and I know you will. But the fact is, both putative candidates would be better served by acknowledging reality.

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