Anybody looking for excitement in Olympia today better hope for some kind of street fight between Gregoire and Rossi supporters… because you’re not going to get any drama from the Legislature. Sure, Republicans might follow through on their childish threat to walk out of the joint session, but any chance they had of blocking certification of Christine Gregoire’s election vanished when the slim Democratic majority in the Senate held firm during a procedural vote yesterday.
With that out of the way, the final certification of the election results will fall to a joint session of the Legislature, where a more solid advantage in the House gives Democrats a comfortable majority. Gregoire will be certified on Tuesday, and sworn in on Wednesday… regardless of how much money the BIAW spends on paid media.
Good thing too, because we choose our governor based on who wins the election the first Tuesday in November, not on who wins the PR battle afterwards. This is not a parliamentary system where governments are toppled on losing a vote of confidence — if Rossi wants a new election, he’s welcome to it… in 2008.
So it’s onto the courts — the proper forum for contesting an election — where I expect Rossi’s BIAW attorneys will be less persuasive then his BIAW financed media campaign. For while the court of public opinion might be moved by unsupported rumor and innuendo, a court of law is inconveniently rigid about obscure technicalities like “facts” and “evidence.”
Rossi has spent weeks shamelessly accusing Gregoire, the Democrats and King County Elections officials, of “fraud,” “corruption” and “conspiracy,” but his attorneys — constrained by reality — have now translated these charges into “neglect,” “errors” and “omissions.” This sudden shift in word choice cannot simply be dismissed as a legal expediency… it is an admission that they never had the evidence to back up these baseless charges in the first place.
For this, Dino Rossi owes the public an explanation. And he owes Christine Gregoire an apology.