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Seattle Times Political Caucus

The Seattle Times Political Caucus is an online community aimed at adding diverse voices to our coverage of politics. How we'll use the Caucus will evolve over time. But the idea is to create a conversation with people of various backgrounds and political beliefs. As the election season unfolds, we'll ask participants to weigh in on key political questions and then post their comments here.

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October 31, 2008 4:48 PM

Your pick for governor

Posted by Katherine Long

Let's say you've just discovered that your best friend doesn't share your choice for governor of Washington in the 2008 election. Can you change his/her mind?We asked the Seattle Times Political Caucus: Who are you going to vote for in the race for governor of Washington, and why?

Read all of their answers here.

As with the presidential race, our online Caucus-participating readership leans farther to the right than the left. Seven readers urged a vote for Republican Dino Rossi, four for returning Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire to office, and we couldn't tell about three of them.

Tim Clark of Mountlake Terrace called Gregoire "a typical tax and spend liberal that we should have stopped electing about thirty years ago. (I thought we learned something under Carter, which is why I thought we elected Reagan. Guess America did not really learn the lesson it should have under Carter)."

Clark managed to bring Alexis de Toqueville into his argument; de Toqueville, in 1831, "said that America's experiment in democracy will end when enough voters realize that they can vote for free handouts to themselves. From that point on, the greedy voters will keep voting more and more free stuff to themselves, until the economy collapses and a dictatorship results.

"The fact is, the Democrats are the party of free handouts that Toqueville warned about so long ago."

Dean Olson of Beacon Hill is unhappy with Gregoire's administration ("She caused a third recount and lost the Sonics, plus spent too much. Where's the viaduct and floating bridge that we're paying taxes on now?") but he's also unhappy with Rossi for not captioning his ads, an omission that has bothered Olson about many of the candidates this political season (he has a cochlear implant and depends on the captions). And he's not happy that Rossi has disputed the scientific consensus on global warming. So Olson says he'll cast a protest vote -- for former vice-president Al Gore.

Hugh Coleman of Kelso is voting Republican in hopes the GOP will shake things up in Olympia. "For decades the Democrats have controlled Washington State government," he wrote."We still have floods, 80 year old ferry boats, and an energy approach that is pre FDR."

Jon Smith of Tacoma argues for Gregoire. "Dino Rossi is aligned with all of the wrong private-sector groups at a time when the economy has burst on the real estate/credit bubble," he wrote. "His denunciation of the State employees wage settlement with the governor's office ignores the fact that the Legislature ... has the authority to vote against the settlement, whether it costs $88 million or $88.08. He also ignores that most of the settlements were at 2% COLA for each of two years, about half what the Boeing machinists have agreed to."

Bob Clark of Monroe is dismayed by the state's worsening traffic woes under Gregoire, and thinks Rossi will do better. "Governor Christine Gregoire has done little besides lip service in this county to help either with the death and carnage on US Highway 2 or to do something about the almost impossible commutes on Highways 9 and 522! To make matters worse she and her Transportation Department have funneled large amounts of Snohomish County generated tax dollars into King County and ignored funding for a number of projects in our county."

Finally, Paul Graves of Queen Anne managed to talk his Gregoire-leaning fiance into voting for Rossi (he had no luck convincing her to vote for Sen. John McCain). Here is part of his pitch: "Governor Gregoire inherited a surplus and turned it into the largest projected shortfall in Washington history. She gave kickbacks -- in the forms of drastic pay increases and a tax-free monopoly on gambling --to her special interest friends. And now, when things are sour and we all want change, she is telling us that things are hunky-dory. She has spent lavishly without demanding accountability, has helped well-connected friends while short-changing the average taxpayer, and is arrogantly resisting change. In short, she is all the things I dislike about George Bush."

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