Is Dino Rossi running for governor? He says not. In fact he looks a reporter straight in the eyes and tells him that his actions as a non-candidate now — traveling the state and promoting his policy agenda — “are very different” from his actions as a declared candidate in 2004… traveling the state and promoting his policy agenda. Yet it’s the exact same policy agenda, and indeed, the exact same stump speech that he delivered as a declared candidate. The only difference is that back in 2004 his campaign was held to all the contribution limits and public disclosure requirements of any other candidate, whereas now he claims his bullshit foundation can launder unlimited contributions in secret, and with impunity.
This is more than just an issue of whether Rossi has found some technical loophole that allows him to skirt our campaign finance and public disclosure laws simply by not officially declaring his candidacy. This about Rossi lying… to the public and to the press. He looks the reporter straight in the eyes and lies. And I hope my friends in the media remember this as the campaign progresses.
Last time around Rossi got a free pass from many in the media, who repeatedly failed to press him when he refused to give direct answers on questions about abortion, stem cell research and other defining issues. Rossi, holding one of the most conservative voting records in the Legislature, was allowed to pass himself off as a moderate. Rossi, a man with a history of running such mean-spirited campaigns that several of his primary opponents refused to endorse him, was allowed to pass himself off as a nice guy. Rossi, a man who lies to reporters, was allowed to pass himself off as honest and credible.
The public has a right to know who is funding Rossi’s non-campaign. And the media has an obligation to relentlessly press Rossi to disclose his contributions.