The Seattle P-I’s Joel Connelly fisks the BIAW’s lastest anti-Gregoire ad campaign, and suggests that Dino Rossi might not be so wise to cozy up to such dirty and dishonest bastards.
The BIAW is the type of outfit that a wise candidate seeks to keep at arm’s length.
It has opposed environmental and climate change legislation. Without a scintilla of evidence, the BIAW has charged that mainstream green groups “silently approve” acts of arson by the Earth Liberation Front.
In an example of the outfit’s crudeness, the BIAW’s official newsletter declared that Gregoire was “a heartless, power-hungry she-wolf who would eat her own young to get ahead.”
How does that jibe with Dino Rossi’s efforts to attract women voters?
[…] How can Rossi promise transparency while playing footsy with an outfit that uses fronts to disguise the source of dollars behind nasty political ads?
How can his conservation credentials be reconciled with support from an organization that likens the environmental movement to Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party?
Which stands by the BIAW represent Rossi positions? What about its opposition to formation of a Puget Sound Partnership, its attempt to emasculate the Growth Management Act, or its opposition to protection for orcas? Or its denial that climate change is real?
One thing that seems clear is that there are really two Dino Rossi campaigns this year: the official campaign, that will attempt to present Rossi as a smiling, good-natured moderate, and the BIAW’s deceptive smear campaign that will attempt to tear down Gov. Gregoire on Rossi’s behalf, and by any means possible, even—as Joel points out about the current radio ads—shameless, facts-be-damned lying. (Funny how we don’t hear a peep from the amen editorialists at the Seattle Times, demanding Rossi pull these ads?)
On last night’s podcast (posted later today) I asked Joel if the BIAW’s deceptive charade was a violation of the spirit of our campaign finance laws, and he indicated that it was particularly egregious in light of Rossi’s emphasis on government transparency as a central theme of his campaign. While technically legal, the only thing transparent about the BIAW’s ChangePAC’s “independent” campaign is that it is a transparent lie.
And a well-funded lie it is. In fundraising letters the BIAW has promised contributors that defeating the “heartless, power-hungry she-wolf” Gov. Gregoire is their number one priority for 2008, and they always make a point of emphasizing that donors can legally contribute unlimited funds to their smear campaign. With millions of dollars of workers compensation rebates already flooding their coffers, and zero contribution and expenditure limits on their own political activities, we can expect the BIAW to conduct an unprecedented paid media campaign in both size and ferocity.
Having already spent $250,000 on radio ads by the first week in June, the BIAW’s anti-Gregoire campaign is surely budgeted in the millions. The lackluster slate at last week’s filing deadline suggests that the BIAW will largely stay out of judicial races this cycle, with the notable exception of BIAW “attorney” and (u)SP contributor Tim Ford’s overreaching bid for the State Court of Appeals. Sure, there will be a sprinkling of retro-rebate largess on AG Rob McKenna and a few other BIAW toadies, but their strategy seems clear: the BIAW is putting all its chips on the high-stakes governor’s race.
And if they win, man do they expect a huge payoff.