Tag Archives: Dino Rossi

Rossi’s GOP Party Tries to Disqualify Students in Iowa

The GOP Party is Dino Rossi’s Party – right? That’s what he put on the ballot after his name in Washington State. So what’s this about Iowa GOP Officials trying to disqualify students from voting in Iowa at Grinnell College? Is this something Rossi condones?

You make your own decision. Here’s the link to the article on Huffington Post about “GOP Officials Trying to Disqualify Iowa Student Voters “

You pick your party and these are your people. Rossi is a Republican but has added GOP after his name on the ballot because he apparently isn’t so willing to readily acknowledge it and hopes voters are confused. But sometimes trying to change your party label still doesn’t let you run away from your friends.

Republicans, AKA GOP, in some circles still behave the same. Voter suppression seems more important to them than encouraging people to vote like the Democrats do. I don’t think the GOP picked up many future GOP voters with their tactics in Iowa at Grinnell College.

Call Rossi a member of the GOP or the Republican Party – it doesn’t change the fact that he would be a huge step back for Washington State while the rest of the country is moving solidly Democratic today.

Vote to re-elect Democrat Chris Gregoire as Washington State’s Governor. Let’s move forward with the rest of the country to solve our problems. Rossi represents the failed policies of Bush and Cheney and their failed free market philosophy that opposed regulating corporations and businesses, believing they could police themselves. They were wrong and it makes no sense to put a free market advocate in as Governor and expect that it would be good for our state.

If you haven’t yet voted today the polls in Washington State close at 8 P.M. Absentee ballots must be post marked today to count. Last pick up at most Post Offices today is between 5 and 6 PM.

Absentee ballots in King County can be dropped in ballot boxes until 8 PM tonight. Go to the polling place in your precinct to do that.

Rossi would give BIAW a State Supreme Court Seat

So how do you reward your biggest benefactor? How about a seat on the Washington State Supreme Court? The BIAW (Building Industry Association of Washington) has now spent some $7 million dollars through its so called independent PAC called “It’s Time for a Change” to try to elect GOP (AKA Republican) Dino Rossi Governor this year. This money has been spent both supporting Dino Rossi and opposing Governor Chris Gregoire.

In past years the BIAW has spent a huge amount of money trying to get their selected candidates unto the Washington State Supreme Court so that they can weaken state environmental and land use laws and regulations.

In 2004 they succeeded in getting Jim Johnson elected as a Supreme Court Justice by helping him out raise his opponent Mary Kay Becker by $539,000 to her $157,000.

In 2006 they threw their support behind their candidates Stephen L Johnson to run against Justice Susan Owens and John Groen against Chief Justice Gerry Alexander.

They funnelled their money through their independent PAC’s like It’s Time for a Change and ChangePAC so that they could avoid the new limits set for contributions to candidate committees to include the State Supreme Court races for the first time.

The BIAW set new state records in campaign spending in the Washington State Supreme Court races via their independent expenditures. Groen saw some $1,356,000 spent independently on his behalf and Stephen Johnson saw some $532,000 spent in so called independent expenditures. Despite this record spending and probably because of it, the BIAW’s effort backfired and alerted the state’s voters to their blatant attempt to buy seats on the Washington State Supreme Court.

Justices Owens and Alexander won re-election.

The BIAW is concentrating their efforts this year in trying to get Dino Rossi elected Governor and have spent over $7 million dollars so far in their efforts.

Judge Alexander will reach the mandatory retirement age before his 6 year term expires. He was 70 in 2006 and is now 72 years old. In three years he will be 75.

As noted in the PI,“the statutory retirement age of 75 will require Alexander to leave the court at the end of 2011, a year before his six-year term expires. The governor then would appoint a successor who would have to run for election in 2012.”

Sure its a couple of years down the line and there will be 3 more Supreme Court races up in 2010, but it is just another example of the power one has as Governor. If Rossi is elected Governor he will have at least one Supreme Court appointment for sure and you know it will be a payback to friends.

Rossi in fact note the importance of the power of appointments as Governor. In an article in the Tacoma News Tribune, it is stated that Rossi“vows to change the “tone and tenor” of state government through the power of appointments. If he’s elected governor, Rossi says he will get to appoint 1,000 people “from Blueberry Commission on up.”

One of those positions would be a Washington State Supreme Court Justice.

John W Dean Calls McCain/Palin "archetypical authoritarian conservatives"

John W Dean, the former Nixon White House Counsel, has thrown his support strongly behind the need to elect Barack Obama to the White House and reject McCain/Palin.

Saying that Barack Obama “has shown without any doubt (in my mind anyway) that he is not only qualified to be president, but that he might be a once-in-a-lifetime leader who can forever change the nation and the world for the better.”, Dean gives insightful and cogent reasons to end Republican rule in the White House.

The following excerpt is from a column he wrote for FindLaw’s Writ entitled The Evidence Establishes, without Question, that Republican Rule Is Dangerous: Why It Is High Time to Fix This Situation, For the Good of the Nation”

The Republican Approach to Government: Authoritarian Rule

“Republicans rule, rather than govern, when they are in power by imposing their authoritarian conservative philosophy on everyone, as their answer for everything. This works for them because their interest is in power, and in what it can do for those who think as they do. Ruling, of course, must be distinguished from governing, which is a more nuanced process that entails give-and-take and the kind of compromises that are often necessary to find a consensus and solutions that will best serve the interests of all Americans.

Republicans’ authoritarian rule can also be characterized by its striking incivility and intolerance toward those who do not view the world as Republicans do. Their insufferable attitude is not dangerous in itself, but it is employed to accomplish what they want, which is to take care of themselves and those who work to keep them in power.

Authoritarian conservatives are primarily anti-government, except where they believe the government can be useful to impose moral or social order (for example, with respect to matters like abortion, prayer in schools, or prohibiting sexually-explicit information from public view). Similarly, Republicans’ limited-government attitude does not apply regarding national security, where they feel there can never be too much government activity – nor are the rights and liberties of individuals respected when national security is involved. Authoritarian Republicans do oppose the government interfering with markets and the economy, however – and generally oppose the government’s doing anything to help anyone they feel should be able to help themselves. “

The column makes interesting reading and puts forward a concise analysis of the current ongoing disaster that has been the Republican Party’s approach to governing our country.

I feel the same mentality exists in Washington State. GOP aka Republican candidate Dino Rossi has run a typical authoritarian conservative Republican campaign, such as Dean describes, against Democratic Governor Christine Gregoire. Ads supporting Rossi and opposing Gregoire are full of distortions and misrepresentations of Governor Gregoire’s record.

Rossi and his supporters like the BIAW and the Republican Governor’s Conference have run a divisive us versus them campaign that is bereft of detail on what he would do which lets the public fill in the details. The problem is that if he wins, what he will do will be very different from what people expect.

Unfortunately voters made a similar mistake years ago when they elected Dixie Lee Ray Governor. She also represented change. She only survived one term after voters finally got to know her.

Don’t be fooled by Rossi’s smile. He’s for change all right, just not what you might think.

For example, if Rossi is elected, he will be appointing a Washington State Supreme Court Justice to replace Judge Gerry Alexander when he reaches the mandatory retirement age. Expect Rossi to reward his big BIAW money backers with a BIAW approved candidate like John Groen that voters previously rejected.

Governor Chris Gregoire Deserves to be Re-elected

Democratic Governor Gregoire has been one of Washington State’s best Governors. Her problem is that she is not one to toot her horn but she has been busy making our state better and addressing the problems we face. If she has a weakness it is in communicating just how good a Governor she has been.

She has a good record of accomplishments to run on. For example during her 4 years we have seen action on a number of environmental issues.

Under her watch we have seen Washington State step up to addressing cleaning up Puget Sound – a long overdue action.

The state passed the Clean Car Act to join with California and other states in dealing with increasing fuel efficiency that the Bush Administration refused to address.

The state has enacted a bill to deal with toxic toys that the Bush Administration also refused to act on.

Legislation was passed to support local agriculture and to provide locally grown food to schools.

Green Jobs legislation was enacted to start Washington state on the road to new jobs and cleaner energy and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.

Gregoire has been active in dealing with climate change, including the Western Governor’s Initiative and the Washington Climate Action bill.

These issues cover just a few of the changes Governor Gregoire has helped to implement.

Meanwhile what can you think of that Republican Dino Rossi has done in the last four year’s to address these or other issues?

Besides smiling and saying he’s for change, what has Rossi done in the last four years on these issues? Nothing. He is running a blank slate campaign – he is talking in non-specific sound bites and ignoring the issues so no one really knows what he will do because he won’t tell us.

That blank slate campaign approach almost got him elected last time.It would be a mistake for Washington voters to repeat the mistake made with George Bush.

Maybe you want to go get a drink with Dino after watching his ads because he seems like such a nice guy but do you really want to trust someone with our state’s future who is running a blank slate campaign and refusing to tell the public want he will do as Governor besides cut the budget.

And even then he isn’t telling you what he would cut. The public deserves and needs more honesty from someone running for Governor. Too much is at stake.

Rossi’s smile in fact is only a campaign gimmick – a technique Rossi learned through his years in real estate. As quoted in the Seattle Times, “I’ve found you can do pretty much anything you want if you do it with a smile on your face,” Rossi said. “It’s amazing what you can get away with if you do it with a smile on your face.”

Voters deserve more than a smile. They deserve someone that will be straightforward and tell them what they believe and what they intend to do. Rossi refuses to do that.

Chris Gregoire has a strong public record and is not afraid to speak out about her positions. She has proved herself to be a competent and capable Governor.

I urge you to vote to re-elect Chris Gregoire as Governor of Washington State on November 4th… She has stepped up and done the job to help protect our environment and move our state in the right direction. She has earned our vote of support.

Rossi to Fight Supoena in BIAW Lawsuit

In a press release earlier today, Knoll Lowney of Smith & Lowney stated that:

Today, lawyers for gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi indicated that Rossi will fight the subpoena that requires him to testify under oath as to his role in the illegal fundraising campaign of the Building Industry Association of Washington(“BIAW”), which is currently being prosecuted by the State Attorney General. “

You can catch the current King 5 news report here on YouTube.

You can see last week’s King 5 news reports here.

Lowney noted that a separate lawsuit was filed last week by former Washington State Supreme Justices Faith Ireland and Robert F. Utter regarding Republican Rossi’s alleged collaboration with the BIAW’s massive fundraising effort to swing the Governor’s race in favor of Republican Rossi.

The BIAW has a war chest of $3.5 million which it is spending opposing incumbent Democratic Governor Christine Gregoire and supporting Republican Dino Rossi. Under state law contributions directly to candidates are limited to $1600 per election for state wide office.

No such limit apples unfortunately for so-called independent PAC’s which is what the BIAW is claiming their PAC’s like ChangePAC and It’s Time for a Change are. But independent means just that – there can be no collaboration between the candidate and the so-called independent committee.

The irony here is that the BIAW actually asked for an interpretation of what independent meant in 2004. The answer seems pretty clear. In a memorandum dated June 15, 2004, written by Susan Harris, Assistant Director of the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission she stated a no answer to the following:

Tim Harris, General Counsel for BIAW, has asked whether a candidate may solicit funds for a political committee (PAC) that would make independent expenditures in support of that candidate, if the candidate:
(1) has no say with respect to the spending of the PAC or other content of the message;
(2) would not encourage or approve the actual specific expenditure; and
(3) would not otherwise collaborate with any PAC officials regarding the expenditure?

Staff believes the answer to the question is no. Not all of the elements of an Independent Expenditure as defined in RCW 42.17.020(24)(a) could be satisfied.

….., the definition of “independent expenditure” includes a four part test in RCW 42.17.020(24)(a). Each of the four parts must be met in order for the expenditure to satisfy the definition. The circumstances posed by BIAW fail two of the four parts.
Specifically, subdivision (iii) requires that the spender not be a person who has received the candidate’s “encouragement,” and subdivision (iv) says the candidate and the spender may not have “collaborated for the purpose of making the expenditure,” when the expense pays for political advertising supporting that candidate or opposing that candidate’s opponent.

Webster’s II New Riverside University Dictionary defines “encourage” as: “1. To inspire with hope, courage or confidence: HEARTEN; 2. To give support to: FOSTER; 3. To stimulate.”

One of the most fundamental ways a candidate could encourage a person to purchase political advertising supporting that candidate is to help make sure that person has sufficient funds to undertake an effective advertising effort. Assisting a PAC in fundraising fosters that committee’s ability to make the political advertising expenditure benefiting the candidate. As such, the PAC expenditure is not sufficiently removed from the candidate to qualify as an independent expenditure.

Collaborate” is defined in Webster’s as: 1. To work together, esp. in a joint intellectual effort; 2. To cooperate treasonably, as with an enemy occupying one’s country.

Staff is of the opinion that if a candidate solicits contributions for a PAC by, for example, referring potential contributors to the committee, putting a link to the PAC’s website on his or her campaign website, or referencing the PAC in his or
her own campaign literature, then the candidate and the PAC are working together for the purpose of making a political advertising expenditure. That collaboration disqualifies any resulting expenditure from the definition of independent expenditure.
Based on a reasonable application of the definition of independent expenditure that is consistent with the intent of the statute, staff is recommending the Commission find that if a candidate assists a PAC in fundraising and the PAC then undertakes political advertising supporting that candidate or promoting the defeat of that candidate’s opponent, that expenditure does not satisfy the definition of “independent expenditure.”
Examples of fundraising assistance include helping the PAC identify potential contributors, referring potential contributors to the PAC, and referencing the PAC on the candidate’s website or in his or her literature.

If the BIAW and Rossi had complied with this memo they would not be in court now. My guess is that the BIAW decided to ignore this memorandum, realizing they could spend millions of dollars supporting Rossi and the worst they would face would be a fine of a few thousand dollars. The cost of trying to skirt the laws and put Republican Rossi in the Governor’s seat would be a pittance compared to what the BIAW would gain by having their ally as Governor..

Maybe the Court should fine them the total amount of their illegal campaign spending. That would certainly get their attention.

Gregoire Wins First Debate with Rossi

I guess it all depends on whether or not you like to hear anecdotes and personal stories or whether or not you want to discuss problems and solutions for Washington State. Democratic Governor Chris Gregoire came to the first debate Saturday on KOMO TV to talk about issues. Republican Dino Rossi came to do his imitation of George Bush.

I know, that’s a low blow and very partisan. But do you really think Rossi is not going to be partisan if he’s elected Governor? The probability is that the Washington State Legislature will remain heavily Democratic. Rossi would have no choice but to work with Democrats if he wants to have any impact on legislation.

But you can expect that Olympia will probably grind to a halt on resolving many issues as Rossi tries to impose his free market, anti-environmental anti-regulation agenda on Olympia. He is certain to use his veto power to stop environmental legislation and land use legislation. Rossi will act to stop progressive change and try to maintain the status quo.

Rossi’s campaign for Governor is one of vagueness and undefined messages, just like last time. The less he is specific, the more he leaves for people to fill in the blanks. It almost worked for him last time.

Like Rossi’s message that he’s for change – that says nothing because change can be for the better or worse. Tornados and hurricances bring change – that doesn’t make them something to emulate just for the sake of change.

For Rossi change means less environmental regulation. His BIAW supporters who have spent over $2 million so far in independent expenditures want to see a gutting of land use regulations. Rossi and the Republicans are all for the free market approach and no regulation – which is what has brought us the current economic meltdown on Wall Street.

Republican’s and Rossi are misrepresenting what they claim is a $3 billion dollar budget deficit. As Goldy over on Horsesass.org says, we do not have a $3 billion dollar deficit. Just as Governor Gregoire says, we have an actual surplus in this budget year – something most other states don’t have.

There is a projected budget deficit for the next two year budget cycle – but there is no deficit yet because a new budget has not been prepared. Next years Legislature will prepare a new budget.

Governor Gregoire is right – the main cause of this projected deficit is the national economic downturn caused by the Party that Rossi belongs to – the Republican Party of George Bush. Governor Gregoire is pushing for change that makes sense – like promoting green power and green jobs with renewable energy like wind and solar that will keep energy dollars in Washington State.

She has a track record and all that Rossi has is a slick ad campaign that says little about what he will actually do. And what he does say is full of problems – like building more roads. That is not an answer to congestion but a prescrition for more congestion. In the debate he specifically avoided discussing public transit, partly because he has opposed it in the past. He seems to favor more road building just like Tim Eyman does.

Rossi’s campaigns are very reminiscent of the campaigns George Bush ran – say as little as possible about what you will do and let folks use their imagination to fill in what he will actually do. We see what that got people who voted for Bush. We don’t need to repeat that mistake in our state.

Democrats Asleep at the Wheel Regarding Initiative 26

Democrats in King County have been asleep at the wheel and are about to crash unless they snap awake. The Republicans under Peter Von Reichbauer and Republican dollars have been busy trying to change the electoral landscape in their favor by putting Initiative 26 before voters.

Financial backers of both Dino Rossi and the BIAW are behind this measure.

Initiative 26 would be passed by a 2 step process. It is both on the August 19, 2008 Primary and the November 4, 2008 General Election ballots. It would amend the King County Charter to make the offices of King County Executive, King County Assessor and King County Council members nonpartisan.

The sleeper in all this is that it would also make the selection of the re-redistricting committee members nonpartisan. That means you would no longer have a balance between the two major parties but would have no idea of where these members stood politically. These members would draw the boundaries of the council districts.

Looking at who funded this measure to get on the ballot tells you who thinks they would benefit. As Josh Feit wrote on the Slog in March in a post entitled “Nonpartisan My Ass”:

“Proof that the idea is a GOP ploy: Citizens for Independent Government (the group pushing the initiative) has collected $145,000 and, according to finance records, more than 90 percent of the money comes from three donors: George Rowley, John Stanton, and John Hennessy.

Rowley, CEO of Rowley Properties, is one of the biggest supporters of Republican candidates and issues in this state. Dating back to 2002, his donations have included: $8,000 to Dino Rossi; $95,000 to the $172,250 to the Washington State Republican Party; $60,000 to the Senate Republican Campaign Committee; $28,000 to the King County Republican Central Committee, General; $125,850 to the King County Republican Central Committee; and $6,000 to John Carlson in 2000.

Telecom mogul Stanton has an equally impressive list of contributions to conservative recipients: $5,300 to Rossi; $255,500 to the Washington State Republican Party; $100,000 to the Senate Republican Campaign Committee; $30,750 to the King County Republican Central Comm Non-exempt; $25,000 to the BIAW’s PAC, ChangePAC; and $4,800 to John Carlson in 2000.

Nuprecon CEO Hennessy: $6,100 to Dino Rossi; $115,000 to ChangePAC (and ChangePAC 2004); $5,000 to the Washington State Republican Party; $10,000 to the King County Repub; and $3,400 to Carlson in 2000.


So the backers of I-26 are major supporters of Dino Rossi , John Carlson and the state Republican Party as well as the BIAW – the Building Industry Association of Washington which is behind Change PAC.

The Republicans know that voters in King County reject the politics of George Bush and Karl Rove, the divisiveness of politics like those Newt Gingrich supported and the corruption of politicians like Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska. So they want to hide behind a nonpartisan label and not tell the voters what their political beliefs are.

Initiative 26 isn’t needed. Any politician can now run as an independent on the ballot, particularly under the Top 2 Primary System. Republicans do not need to declare they are Republicans if they are so afraid of the label and ashamed of their party.

But Initiative 26 wants to also prevent Democrats running as Democrats by prohibiting them from being identified as Democrats on the ballot. They want to deny voters the right to know when they vote which party best represents the views of the candidate. Voters will be less informed as to the political philosophy that a candidate supports. This will allow more Republicans an opportunity to hide their true political leanings behind a non-partisan label and sneak into office with a barrage of money from the BIAW or the Republican Party or Chamber of Commerce.

I-26 takes away voter choice and allows for big spending campaigns by special interests to mask a candidate’s true politics. We have a system that works. The voters have put Democrats in charge of the County Council and this is the Republicans campaign to try to regain control by not telling the voters the political party that the candidate belongs to.

Vote No on Initiative 26 Part 1 on August 19, and November 4, 2008! Part 1 asks”Should either of these proposed ordinances to place a charter amendment before the voters in November 2008 be adopted?”

In case question one wins you have a second chance If you want to retain some ability to id candidates by party. Vote for the King County Council’s alternative to I-26 in the second part of the ballot question.

Part 2 reads “Irregardless of whether you voted yes or no above, if one of the proposed ordinances is adopted, which one should it be?” Vote for the Council-proposed alternative.

Just Where is Rossi on Global Warming?

Listening to Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi’s answer to a question on where he is on global warming leaves one wondering just where he is. It seems he really is nowhere. He says “There’s still a lot of debate going on on this” and that “there’s going to be a big debate the next 2 to 3 years” and that he “doesn’t think anyone should panic”

Seem’s he hasn’t even talked with John McCain who says “the facts of global warming demand our urgent attention.”

You can see an interesting contrast on McCain and Rossi ‘s take on global warming on a YouTube clip posted by the Washington State Democratic Party.

See it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6uJQoUIGqk

Rossi’s position on climate change really hasn’t changed since he was in the Legislature. As Craig Engelhardt, Sierra Club lobbyist noted in the last gubernatorial race:

Rossi voted against efforts to fight global warming: Rossi voted against a bill to create a privately funded Washington climate center that would research simple and innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Washington. The center would have also helped identify what types of impacts climate change could have on Washington and what we can do about it. (SB 5674, 2001)”

David Postman in his blog yesterday has a misleading headline saying “Rossi warms to climate change” but then presents Rossi’s doubletalk saying it’s important to have clean air but his spokesperson says that he would have vetoed one of the bill’s the Legislature passed earlier this year to try to reduce global warming. As Postman reports:

Rossi opposed “this year’s major legislative action on global warming. House Bill 2815 set up goals for carbon reduction, but does not fund those efforts. Gregoire signed the bill and has called it a major accomplishment.

Rossi, according to spokeswoman Jill Strait, would not have signed the bill. Strait said Rossi believes “we should focus on rewarding people, not punishing them.”

“The bill she just signed aims to use the power of the government to force people to cut vehicle miles traveled down to the level of 1980 in just ten years, and that is only the first step. Dino’s vision is based on personal freedom and engaging Washington’s creative economy. His plan provides incentives for people to use new, clean technology. “

The only problem is we’ve seen the free market approach that Rossi proposes. It does not respond to issues like global warming unless there is a personal cost attached to it. The cost of global warming is being passed on to the commons. The oil industry and coal industry and auto industry are extracting profits from their business interests but do not currently pay for the true costs of their industries. Besides pollution itself and dirty air affecting health we now have increased global warming which will affect everyone but which the producers who profit from their sales of coal and oil pay very little or nothing to mittigate.

The industries are operately in a profit motivated system that is passing the cost of their pollution onto the commons. The costs for pollution cleanup and global warming consequences are not being borne by industry but by the general public. The profit motivated free market system obviously does not adequately addreess the true costs to society of global warming and pollution.

This is where it is necessary for government to step in and change the rules because the consequencces are no longer just local or insignificant. A tax on carbon is one way to add the costs into the equation to address the true system costs of burning fossil fuels for energy. Investing this money in alternative renewable non-carbon energy systems is one way to correct the injustices and flaws in a free market system that puts individual profit above the common good.

It is obvious that Dino Rossi is not going to change the system to address global warming. The free market system has failed but Rossi continues to support the myth that individual consumers freely making choices will somehow do the right thing.

The free market system gave Americans SUV’s and minivans to the exclusion of small cars and public transit. The free market mantra gave corporations the incentive to make mistakes as they attempted to maximize profits making large cars. They were wrong and now people are buying Honda and Toyota hybrids and companies like Ford are money losers.

We’ve had 8 years of Bush denying global warming on the national level and it would be a big mistake to put someone in as Governor who really doesn’t see the problem and seems to be willing to say what he thinks the public wants to hear in a last minute election year conversion. The best gauge of what Rossi will do is to look at what he has or hasn’t done regarding global warming to date. The record suggests that it would be a mistake to think he’s going to do anything. Election year conversions are just another slick ad campaign gimmick.

Latest Fundraising Totals for 2008 Washington Statewide Office Candidates

As of the latest reports filed with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission for the period though Dec 31, 2007, and first available after 1/10/2008, Democratic Governor Chris Gregoire, has raised over $4,665,352 for her re-election campaign, has spent $1,554,766 and has $3,110,586 in cash on hand.

Because of the prohibition of raising funds 30 days before the legislative session begins and during the session, Governor Gregoire’s fundraising stopped as of Dec. 10, 2007. She will be able to resume fundraising after the session ends. The same prohibition on fundraising also applies for other state incumbents running for office.

Republican Gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi, who lost to Gregoire in 2004, is re-running and is not subject to the prohibition on raising funds since he is not a state official. He reported receiving $1,707,197 in contributions and in kind donations and spending $393,626 as of Dec 31, 2007. He has $1.303,571 in cash on hand as of Dec 31, 2007.

Rossi’s previous figures were revised as the result of a Public Disclosure Commission dismissal of a complaint that his Forward Washington Foundation was really a campaign committee for his run for Governor.

Lt Governor Brad Owen, a Democrat reported raising $16,635, spending $6917 and having $9717 on hand as of 11/30/2007. No Republican has filed yet with the PDC.

Attorney General Rob McKenna, a Republican has raised $712,950, spent $318,155 and has $368,252 in cash on hand.
Democratic Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg , as noted at Riddenbaugh Press and first reported by the Tacoma News Tribune, is considering running as a Democrat against Rob McKenna.

Secretary of State Sam Reed, a Republican, has raised $230,899, spent $62,023 and has $168,875 on hand. He has no announced opponents at this time.

Democratic State Legislator Jim McIntire is running for State Treasurer. The current State Treasurer Mike Murphy, a Democrat, is retiring. McIntire has raised $61.795 and spent 14,494. Allan Martin is the Republican candidate. He has raised $29,480 and spent $2733.

Commissioner of Public Lands Doug Sutherland, a Republican has raised $170,808, spent $18,655 and has $ 152,153 in cash on hand.
Former Democratic Congressional candidate Peter Goldmark from eastern Washington is challenging Sutherland for this seat. Goldmark has raised $99,644 , spent $30,655 and has $69,025 in cash on hand.

State Auditor Brian Sonntag, a Democrat, has no opponent at this time. He has raised $27,432, spent $4054 and has $23,398 on hand. His last report was 11/30/2007.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, a Democrat, has raised some $40,236, spent $12,046 and has $28,189 in cash on hand. No opponent has filed yet.

Superintendent of Public Instruction, Terry Bergeson has raised $61,573 and spent $8,488.
Richard Sendler of Richland Washington has raised $8,625 and spent $8,027.

Three Washington State Supreme Court races will also be on the November 2008 ballot. Supreme Court Justices are elected to 6 year terms. No fundraising has been reported for these elections yet.

Position #3 is held by Mary Fairhurst.

Position #4 is held by Charles W Johnson who was first elected in 1991 to the Supreme Court.

Position #7 is held by Debra L Stephens who was appointed in December by Governor Gregoire to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Justice Bobbe Bridge.

Governor Gregoire to Announce Climate Action & Green Jobs Bill as Priority

At the Priorities for a Healthy Washington Legislative Workshop held in Seattle on Saturday, it was disclosed that Governor Gregoire was going to announce on Monday that the “Climate Action & Green Jobs” bill would be a Governor’s Request Bill. This action will elevate the visibility and importance of this legislation and add to the momentum to get this this bill passed this year.

The Climate Action & Green Jobs bill is one of the 4 bills the environmental community has selected as their priorities for the 2008 Legislative Session starting Monday. The other 3 priority bills being pushed by the environmental community deal with “Local Solutions to Global Warming“, “Evergreen Cities” and “Local Farms – Healthy Kids

from the Priorities for a Healthy Washington’s Legislative Proposal:

“The Climate Action and Green Jobs bill creates a structure and timeline for implementing the state’s global warming pollution reduction goals, and creates a program to prepare Washington workers for good jobs in the clean energy economy, providing pathways out of poverty for lower-income communities.

Accountability: The bill would make the Washington State Department of Ecology responsible for achieving the state’s emissions reduction goals. It would direct Ecology to develop responsible limits on all major sources of global warming pollution in the state.
Opportunity: The bill would create a competitive grants-based training program, to be funded and implemented in 2009, that will train and transition workers to clean energy jobs.
Regional solutions: The legislature would affirm the state’s participation in developing a regional market-based pollution trading system—like the one Washington is now helping to develop with numerous other western states and Canadian provinces.
Responsibility: requires reporting by those that are responsible for the greatest amount sources of global warming pollution.”

Gregoire’s Director of the Department of Ecology, Jay Manning, was the workshop’s lunch time speaker. Manning praised the environmental community for its successful efforts in developing the Priorities for a Healthy Washington’s Agenda and noted that being selected as one of the 4 priority bills gave a piece of legislation credibility in Olympia.

Over the last 6 year’s the success rate of passing the Priorities for a Healthy Washington’s 4 bills each year has increased, going from one bill passed the first year to seeing all four bills passed last year. Part of this success Manning noted was because of the environmental community’s accepting that sometimes compromise needed to be made. It’s willingness to be flexible has elevated the credibility of the environmental community in Olympia.

Manning noted that while the ideal solution to act on global warming was a national response, in the absence of action by the Bush Administration, it is necessary for the states and local cities and counties to do what they can.

Manning said that unlike other states, Washington State with its immense hydro power resources does not have a major CO2 problem from coal plants. Instead 50% of our CO2 emissions come from cars and other vehicles. This is why he said the state is appealing in Federal Court the recent decision by Bush’s EPA Administrator to deny Washington State and other states the ability to implement the California fuel emissions standards proposed as part of Clean Car Legislation enacted in some 16 states.

One goal will be to reduce the vehicle miles traveled (VMT)in the state. This includes trying to make fewer trips, driving less, increasing density and better planning to concentrate development with localized services, infilling undeveloped areas, and stopping building more roads.

Another component will be to continue to expand strong programs to reduce waste which Washington State leads the nation in. Recycling and waste reduction programs reduce the production of greenhouse gases.

There is a potential threat, Manning said, that there could be an further attempts by the Federal government to limit state action on global warming. He said the current efforts by state and local governments are concentrated on the West Coast, New England, and Wisconsin and Minnesota. He said that the recent West Coast Climate Initiative held in Portland Oregon had some 370 people in attendance and another 400 on the phone.

It is obvious that Manning and Governor Gregoire are already working hard on dealing with global climate change by trying to get Washington State to take action to reduce the production of greenhouse gases. This is not something you would have seen from Republican Dino Rossi if he had been elected.

And if you are concerned about global warming Republican Dino Rossi is not someone you want to see become Governor in the future. The Sierra Club lobbyist in Olympia, Craig Engelking, noted that when Rossi was in the Legislature he “voted for a bill that would have said Washington’s environmental standards could not exceed federal minimums.”

That means that if Rossi was Governor now he would not be appealing the recent decision by the EPA to deny Washington State the ability to implement California’s Clean Car standards, which exceed the Federal standards.

In addition, Engelking said “Rossi voted against a bill to create a privately funded Washington climate center that would research simple and innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Washington. The center would have also helped identify what types of impacts climate change could have on Washington and what we can do about it. (SB 5674, 2001)