a campaign stop an “Idea Bank” forum in Longview yesterday, Republican gubernatorial candidate nonpartisan Forward Washington Foundation founder Dino Rossi “primed the pump” with his own ideas on how to turn around Washington’s fifth best business climate foundering economy. At the top of his list? Repealing Washington’s estate tax.
“It chases entrepreneurs out of our state,” he said. “It is better to die in any other state of the union than in Washington.”
He also called for reinstating the spending limit voters passed by initiative in 1993, which he said the Legislature repealed in 2005. He said the newest budget passed in Olympia had a 33 percent spending increase, which is unsustainable.
“I spent seven years in Olympia,” he said. “You’ll find a whole lot of people there who think they know all the answers. But the real solutions will come from people closest to the problems. We need an agenda that is people-driven, instead of coming from the top down.”
A “people-driven” agenda, huh? You mean like last year’s estate tax repeal initiative, I-920, which was rejected by voters in 36 of 39 counties, and by an overwhelming 62-percent to 38-percent margin statewide? Um… what exactly doesn’t Rossi understand about a 24-point landslide? “If he keeps talking like that,” one political wag quipped to me, “Rossi is going to become awfully familiar with the figure ’38-percent.'”
Rossi is pitching a solution voters have already rejected, to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. And apparently, he sees absolutely nothing inconsistent — or “top down” — about calling for reinstating a 1993 initiative at the same time he ignores the results of a ballot measure from 2006.
Talk about somebody who thinks he knows all the answers.
While sounding very much like someone on the campaign trail at Tuesday’s forum, Rossi said he is not a declared candidate for the 2008 gubernatorial race and won’t announce until December whether or not he will run.
Take your time, Dino. Take your time.