Rossi in Bremerton

Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi stopped by our office Thursday evening for a discussion of his race with incumbent Gov. Chris Gregoire. (Note: Those of you who hate the word “gubernatorial” have a friend in Kitsap Sun News Editor Jim Thomsen.) Rossi said he feels like this campaign is beginning where the last one left off, only not in a courtroom.

He was short on specifics, but it is early in the campaign and the governor hasn’t officially announced her candidacy yet, though her decision is at least as foregone as Rossi’s ever was, if not more.

Rossi talked at length about problems for Washington small business owners. He referred specifically to the state’s B&O tax, which charges business owners on their revenues, not their profits. Again, not much specific, but he did talk about possibly raising the exemption level.

One piece that didn’t make the story was reporter Andrew Binion’s question on how Rossi would fare working with Democrats. He said he did it well for seven years, working with the moderates on the other side of the aisle.

In three of the seven years he was in the Legislature, however, his party had the majority in the Senate three years, was one vote behind two years and five votes back in two more. Democrats this session own a 32-17 advantage. Even though he was dead even with Gregoire in the 2004 race, Republicans lost two Senate seats and three House seats in the same election. That’s not exactly evidence of long coattails.

Rossi said he’s heard from lots of people who were affected by how close the race was and how they could have found friends to vote for him. It’s much the same message he gave when he was in Bremerton in May, you know, when he wasn’t a candidate.

Editor Scott Ware’s questions are on the video and focus on Rossi differentiating himself from Gregoire. The candidate believes his record with the budget in 2003 and the governor’s record in 2005-08 show contrasts. If that doesn’t convince voters to switch from Gregoire to Rossi, there’s a transportation plan coming and Rossi used the word one reporter at Tuesday’s legislative preview labeled the new buzzword for adding freeway lanes — “congestion.” Yeah, that word’s getting thrown around a lot.

I asked about the long-term outlook for ferries, wanted details about what he’d do about B&O taxes and and asked if tolls might be part of his transportation plan, but he wouldn’t go deep. I couldn’t even get him to begin a philosophical discussion about tolls. Meh, it’s early.

Rossi is not endorsing a presidential candidate yet, saying he told them the best thing he could do for them in 2008 was be on the state ticket.

3 thoughts on “Rossi in Bremerton

  1. Rossi just demonstrates that he has old complaints, no cures and can’t see that Washington citizens have passed his complaints…and him…. to work with a governor who listens and works hard.

  2. Mr. Rossi spoke with our group on Thursday and not only had some real common sense solutions to some of our states biggest issues, but seemed honestly committed to serving the citizens. We have since endorsed him in his run for governor.

    As for Ms. Hinton’s comments, Christine Gregoire has not accomplished much of anything in her role as governor. How many years do we need to give her to get results?

    I think it’s time we elect Dino Rossi for Governor…again.

  3. I tend to believe, but could be wrong, the only things a Gregoire Administration has done is pander to unions and not accomplish things like – I don’t know – take the Rossi Budget funding replacement for the Steel Electrics and get that done sometime before the end of her term. Or do anything more than study education finance. Or cut and/or flatten taxes. Or hold government accountable.

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