Category Archives: Governor

Only a Comedian Has the Guts to Ask the Important Questions

Cathy Sorbo at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer is a comedian by trade and a columnist on Saturdays. She asked governor candidates Chris Gregoire and Dino Rossi the kind of questions the rest of us are afraid to ask. For example:

Favorite item to take home from hotels:

CG: Minitoiletries. Our family donates them to domestic violence shelters.

DR: Shoe polish mitt.

I have to admit, when I first read Gregoire’s answer I thought it said her family “detonates” the toiletries. That’s what my family does.

Sorbo also fed the questions to congressional candidate Darcy Burner. Dave Reichert declined to participate. What are you hiding Reichert? My guess is he didn’t want to answer anything about his toenails. I bet he let his kids paint O-B-A-M-A on them.

Updated — Rossi Today, Gregoire Monday

Information about Gregoire’s visit has been updated.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi will be in Silverdale today at the community center at 11:45 a.m. The local party is saying a reporter from the Washington Post might be there. That’s a reflection of how close this race appears to be.

Democrat Gov. Chris Gregoire will be at a Veterans event at the VFW Post 239 in Bremerton at 2:15 p.m.  Then, she’ll be in downtown Poulsbo at 3:30 at Poulsbo City Hall. Afterward she’s driving to the Bainbridge Ferry to go over to Seattle.

Washington In a Large of Group States with Budget Problems

The Los Angeles Times reports that 22 states are experiencing budget problems in a story that doesn’t mention Washington by name. Actually, the story cites a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities study that comes up with the list.

“States have been confronted with bad economic circumstances in the past, but never so many states, all at once,” said William T. Pound, executive director of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

There’s a reason Washington isn’t mentioned. It’s not on the list. That’s because this is a list that appears to include states that have made specific mid-year adjustments or called for special sessions to address shortfalls. Why Washington is not on that list, when the governor did a hiring freeze and other things, I’m not sure. I’ve called for clarification.

So that says something that you have 22 states mentioned as having mid-year budget issues and Washington is not in the list. I think what it’s saying is Washington doesn’t fall into a narrow set of criteria. It’s also saying there are not many states not being affected by the poor economy. By no means does it mean Washington isn’t having budget problems.

In fact, if you go to the organization’s press release, Washington is among 14 states that have looked ahead and guessed there will be future financial issues.

I’ve called the center to get clarification on the specific list of 22.

Two-Touchdown Lead for Gregoire

Oh yeah, I jumped on the notion that there might be a fair number of Obama supporters backing Dino Rossi for governor. We had evidence. One SurveyUSA poll showed Obama with a 16-point lead in Washington, but another one had Gregoire only up by a point. We had a local example of an Obama-Rossi voter. Couldn’t find a McCain-Gregoire puncher.

Now, the (Tacoma) News Tribune posts info from another poll showing Gregoire with a huge lead. While other polls might have Gregoire leading by a little, Elways puts her 12 points up. Writes Jason Hagey:

Voters were asked who they intended to vote for, unlike in previous polls where they were asked whether they were inclined to “definitely” or “probably” vote for each candidate.

Gregoire kept all of her “probables” from September and added 1 percent from the undecided column, according to The Elway Poll. Rossi lost 3 percent overall.

Jerry Cornfield at the (Everett) Herald got a response from Rossi spokeswoman Jill Strait:

If Elway had us down 16% before the primary and we ended up within two points, than an Elway poll showing us down 12% must mean we’re headed toward victory on Election night.

Real Clear Politics has a history of the governor surveys going back to October of last year.

When I looked at the SurveyUSA data, I was hoping to find any commentary on how Obama and McCain voters were leaning on the governor’s race, but those appear to be two different surveys. Elway goes into it, showing a negligible difference between crossovers from either party.

Rossi in Port Orchard, Most of it Recorded

Republican Dino Rossi spoke to the Port Orchard Rotary this morning and gave his regular campaign speech. I’ll have a story about it later and more details here. It’s a busy day, let me tell you, though I can’t tell you all the reasons why. Not yet.

At the event I had my little Flip Video camera, just like I did weeks ago when Gregoire was here. I was filming his speech when I was politely asked by a Rossi staffer not to. I had cleared it with Rotary before, but the staffer tried to offer a quiet explanation why they didn’t want it taped. I pulled out the “Do you know who I am?” card, because that always works so well with cops.

Actually, no I didn’t, but I made it clear that I understood (That isn’t to say that I agree.) why they’re reluctant. There are “political operatives” out there who record these things and love to post them on YouTube, out of context, etc. I also said I was with the newspaper. No change. So I said if he could get the Rotary official, because it was a Rotary event, to tell me not to video than I would stop.

A few minutes later the Rotary guy politely (I’m not being sarcastic in either case. Both requests were polite.) told me Rossi’s people didn’t want any taping. So I stopped. Charlie Bermant from the Port Orchard Independent was there and taping. He went to the back of the room and was chatting with the Rossi staffer, then returned and started recording again. I went to the back of the room and got the reluctant OK from Rossi’s people and continued on recording. So when we post the speech, which lasted somewhere in the ballpark of 20 minutes, parts will be missing.

Of course, this is a bigger deal here in lovely Kitsap because of James Olsen being prohibited from filming Eggs & Issues events. Different party, same general reasons.

Rossi Says Lawsuit Part of Opposition’s Doing Anything to Keep Guv’s Office

Republican governor candidate Dino Rossi stopped by our office Monday, hours after news broke that another suit had been filed by supporters of Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire.

Two former state Supreme Court justices sued, saying that Rossi’s interactions with the Building Industry Association of Washington in 2007 were illegal campaign fundraising efforts, because he was planning to run for governor.

We’ll have more Rossi video later this week and more from Gregoire. The governor is visiting the editorial board Wednesday. Here’s Monday’s Rossi video.


Organization Efforts For/Against Guv Candidates

I received the following from the Public Disclosure Commission. I had to tweak the chart formatting to make it look right here.

One of the ways that citizens, businesses, unions, organizations and political committees who want to support (or oppose) a candidate beyond the limited amount they may give directly to candidates is by making “independent expenditures” and “electioneering communications.” Independent spending usually takes the form of political advertising: yard signs, brochures mailed to voters, radio and television ads, etc.

Independent spending may not, constitutionally, be subject to any limit. Every citizen’s and entity’s right to free political speech means that they may spend as much as they choose to support or oppose candidates, so long as those expenditures are made independently of candidates and their campaigns.

$6.5 million has been spent this year on independent ads & electioneering communications to affect the governor’s race – this includes pre- and post-primary spending:

Gregoire $3,860 (for) $3,826,117 (against)
Rossi $321,554 (for) $2,350,346 (against)

Gregoire $3,160 (for) $2,055,351 (against)
Rossi $44,790 (for) $421,216 (against)

The Public Disclosure Commission tracks independent spending. Our tracked report is not limited to the governor’s race – it includes all state and local candidates and ballot measures. Access the on-line report under Spotlight On … at

Rossi’s Visit to Kitsap

Republican governor candidate Dino Rossi will be in town in early October to visit our editorial board, as will the current governor, Democrat Chris Gregoire.

It was mentioned in a comment on an earlier post that I missed a Rossi visit. I have no reason to doubt the truth of the comment, but I was not invited to that event. I’ve checked the e-mails I get from the Rossi campaign and that day he was to be in Gig Harbor twice, but there was no mention of his visit to Kitsap. I’ve looked at other sites to find evidence of the event and can’t find it.

My assumption, for now, is that it was a private function. I have called Rossi’s people and e-mailed them asking for confirmation that he was here. I have yet to receive a response. Rossi’s staff has confirmed that the event was a private one.

So, in the end, I stand by my earlier comment that “Rossi still hasn’t scheduled another visit to Kitsap for me to miss.” I can’t miss something (“miss” in a bad sense) something I’m not invited to attend.

Rossi Stops by Silverdale

Here’s a video of at least part of Rossi’s appearance in Silverdale. If you know of more, please send me the link and I’ll be glad to post it.

Unfortunately, I was unaware he would be here, else I would have done the video myself.

I take that back. If his only appearance here was what’s reflected on the video and waving to folks from the car at the Whaling Days parade, well then I don’t feel that we’ve missed much. When he comes to Kitsap to give a campaign speech of some kind, I’ll be there.

Thanks, by the way, to James Olsen for providing the link to the video.

Gregoire Visits — Here’s the Plan

I covered the governor’s visit today, with help from our Bainbridge Island writer Tristan Baurick. At some point I’ll post videos, one a shorty and the other the seven minutes of her speech after she concluded thanking those who introduced her. I’m hoping to get that done tonight (Friday), but that might not happen. Batman might interfere.

Governor in Towns Friday

The governor, Chris Gregoire, who is also running for governor, will be on Bainbridge and in Bremerton Friday talking about cleaning Puget Sound.

She’ll hit Bainbridge at noon, Twanoh State Park in Mason County at 2 p.m. and the Harborside Fountain Park in Bremerton at 4 p.m.

The Seattle P-I has this.

The press release follows.

Governor Gregoire to embark on Puget Sound boat tour

Two-day tour to make seven stops,
Highlighting her commitment on Puget Sound clean up

WASHINGTON STATE – Gov. Chris Gregoire is embarking on a boat tour of Puget Sound, making seven stops in Puget Sound communities on July 24 and 25. The tour will highlight the governor’s commitment to, and the importance of, cleaning up Puget Sound. Gov. Gregoire created the Puget Sound Partnership, which brings together local communities, businesses, tribes and environmental groups to restore Puget Sound by 2020.

During the tour, Gov. Gregoire will visit some of the communities whose economy and environmental health is dependent on the Sound and speak with local leaders, supporters and members of the business and environmental communities.

What: Puget Sound Boat Tour

When: Thursday, July 24, and Friday, July 25


July 24
·        Tacoma
o       Time: 9 a.m.
o       Location: Thea Foss Waterway behind the Glass Museum
·        Des Moines
o       Time: 10:30 a.m.
o       Location: Des Moines Beach Park
·        Seattle
o       Time: 2:30 p.m.
o       Location: Golden Gardens Park Bathhouse
·        Edmonds
o       Time: 4 p.m.
o       Location: South County Senior Center, on the water two blocks from the Port of Edmonds

July 25
·        Bainbridge Island
o       Time: 12 p.m.
o       Location: End of the Public Dock @ Waterfront Park in Eagle Harbor
·        Hood Canal
o       Time: 2 p.m.
o       Location: Twanoh State Park
·        Bremerton
o       Time: 4 p.m.
o       Location: Fountain Park

Proud, but ‘Shameless’

I received an e-mail from the Gov. Chris Gregoire re-election campaign with her statement against what she called a “tasteless attack” by the state Republican party. I had to do some searching to know what she might be talking about. According to the AP story, it’s probably this:

Here’s Gregoire’s response:

“I was proud to welcome Michelle Obama, who clearly loves our country deeply, here to Washington state this morning. These shameless attacks by the state Republican Party have no place in our politics. If John McCain is serious about running a “respectful” campaign on the issues, he and Republican leaders like Dino Rossi will denounce this tasteless attack ad and tell the state Republican Party to pull the plug on it immediately. After eight years of the most divisive, fear-driven politics this country has ever seen, I agree with Senator Obama that it’s time to turn the page and bring Americans together.”

Washington Has a Giant Neon ‘Open’ Sign

I’m thinkin’ of sellin’ the shop to Supercuts, Goob.

The governor governor’s office is hosting a small-business forum that begins early in the a.m. in Bremerton. I’ll be there and will send a note or two on it, as well as write a story.

In July 2007 Forbes Magazine ranked Washington as the fifth-best state to do business.

You use its products every day–when you take a cross-country flight on a Boeing jet, when you sip your morning Starbucks coffee, when you order the latest Harry Potter book from and when you use the Microsoft operating system on your PC. Washington state is home to these companies and more, befitting the state’s tagline, “Innovation is in our nature.”

The governor celebrated:

“Our top five ranking in the Forbes survey confirms that Washington is moving in the right direction and that our state is a great place to do business, work and raise a family,” said Governor Chris Gregoire.

Others were critical, though my quick research netted not the results I sought. There was the argument that Washington is, indeed, good for a certain kind of business, the big kind. Boeing. Microsoft. Starbucks. If you’re Cafe Fraiche or some other small biz, not so good. We’ll see where the discussion goes in Bremerton.

The discussion is called “Washington Is Open for Business.”


Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire and Barack Obama at Feb. 8 rally in Seattle. Seattle Post-Intelligencer photo by Joshua Trujillo. See it here.

Many times people will bring up subjects such as what’s in the title because they’re bored and they have a hard time seeing beyond their own state’s borders. That’s not what is going on here.

I brought it up because I heard former speaker of the California State Assembly and San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown suggest it the other night.

On one of the late-night shows on election night (My attempts to pinpoint which show failed.) Brown said Obama (should he get the Democratic nomination) might want to pick a woman as a running mate, either the senator from Missouri or the governor of Washington.

So I thought I’d do some checking to see if there’s evidence that anyone else of any repute has made the same suggestion.

Ann Medlock writes at Huffington Post:

“Obama/Gregoire 08. I’m looking for a downside and I can’t find it.”

I’m sure someone here can.

Gregoire at Small Biz Talk in Bremerton

The governor will be in Bremerton May 22 at a small-business roundtable called “Washington is Open for Business.”

The location is to be announced.

The invitation, which comes from the governor’s capitol office (as opposed to her campaign office) indicates the event is designed to “learn about challenges faced by small businesses and discuss solutions.”

The governor will host a similar forum May 20 in Longview, May 28 in Everett and May 29 in Wenatchee.

The roundtables are intended for business owners and managers of companies with fewer than 20 employees, businesses owned by minority groups, and startups and sole proprietorships looking to expand. Feedback and suggestions gathered at the roundtables will be reported to Gov. Gregoire and used to develop recommendations for action.

To register, go here.

Richardson to Stump for Gregoire

From the Gregoire campaign:

SEATTLE – New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson will speak to more than 1,000 supporters of Gov. Chris Gregoire at her fundraiser kick-off event on Monday.

Gov. Richardson and Gov. Gregoire have both fought the other Washington on issues like education and children’s health care. They have also worked together on issues relating to environmental clean-up and climate change.

What: Gov. Bill Richardson to headline Gregoire fundraiser

When: Monday, April 28 @ 12 noon

Where: Westin Hotel
Grand Ballroom
1900 5th Ave.
Seattle, WA

Dino Winning the Money Race in Kitsap

Statewide the incumbent governor, Democrat Chris Gregoire, is leading the money race against Republican challenger Dino Rossi. According to a new feature at the state’s Public Disclosure Commission, though, Rossi is pulling in more bucks in Kitsap County than Gregoire, $127,900 to $90,500.

There is an acknowledgment at the top of the feature that the state doesn’t quite have the boundary lines down perfectly. I would guess it would not make that much difference, not enough to affect who the money leader is here.

If you go to the main PDC site and then Search the Database you can search for a candidate’s contributions by city or zip code. So if you gave Finn a few fins or Seaquist some sawbucks your name will be public record, which could entitle you to be on the receiving end of colorful mailed advertising. That is, unless this:

Use of lists of individuals or directory information provided on this site for commercial purposes is prohibited under RCW 42.17.260(9). In the absence of a statutory definition of ‘commercial purposes’, the Attorney General of Washington views the prohibition as being broad in its application, given that “(t)here is nothing contained in the Act that distinguishes between different types of commercial purposes.”

prohibits that. I know political things feel like commercials, but I haven’t checked whether political activities are commercial activities. I invite anyone here to do the research. I’ve got another story I’m working on. Too busy, I tell you.

Missed the Bus

I wasn’t on the governor’s bus this morning and it was entirely my fault. I went to the wrong hotel with the same name. When I arrived at the right hotel I saw the bus leaving, so I followed it to Port Townsend. I kept looking for state troopers to pull me over, wondering whether I was a stalker or a reporter. As if there’s a difference.

Here’s a bad photo of the scene inside. Gov. Chris Gregoire speaks to supporters inside the Public House in Port Townsend.

Here was the scene outside. These ladies weren’t likely to find 129 friends on this bus. The governor did stop by and chat briefly.