Is Gregoire’s integrity a political weakness?

There is a remarkable guest column in the Seattle P-I from the Colorado state trooper charged with driving Gov. Chris Gregoire around Denver during the Democratic National Convention… a first person evaluation of the Governor from a self-described Republican.  While he doesn’t necessarily agree with Gov. Gregoire on every issue, he was impressed with her both as a person and a politician:

Gregoire may be a strong advocate for her party, but she is not a “partisan” in the way the term has recently become defined.

[…] I’ve spent much of my 28 years in law enforcement as an investigator, interacting with thousands of people and making judgments on their truthfulness and character.

My conclusions after spending time as a “fly on the wall” with Gregoire is that she is a person of integrity who has the interest of her state at heart and puts that interest above her own.

I too have had the opportunity for a little face time with Gov. Gregoire, and I too don’t agree with her on all the issues (particularly tax issues, where she has failed to take the lead on moving toward a more progressive and sustainable tax structure).  And I have drawn the exact same conclusions.

Indeed, my biggest criticism of the Governor and the way she has run both her office and her campaign is that she has not been partisan enough. At times it feels as if she thinks that she is above politics, reluctant to dirty her hands in what at times can be a very dirty business… a reluctance that can be a terrible liability when facing an opponent who clearly has no compunction about about wallowing in the mud.


  1. 1

    glacial till spews:

    Call me a heretic, but I appreciate a political leader who relies on sound judgment to make decisions, and not just on whispered instructions from party bosses.

    OT: The Times has a scathing critique of Rossi’s transportation plan. I am growing less and less impressed with Rossi’s acumen – political AND managerial. Seriously, he took his cost estimates for his “transportation priority” campaign points straight from the materials RTID and ST developed to try selling their “Roads and Transit” measure last year. What a tool.

    Rossi is relying at this point on last year’s RTID and ST cost numbers. What a moron. I’m telling you – we have zero sense of the depths of his gullibility and outright ignorance when it comes to important issues like transportation funding and spending.

  2. 2

    Mark Centz spews:

    All I know is that I’m seeing Rossi’s ads all over my TV telling me how he’s going to fix all of our problems and lower taxes too, and not once have I seen a Gregoire ad. It’s getting a little late in the game, let’s see the gov get her message out on the airwaves.

  3. 3

    Two Dogs spews:

    In my experience integrity and competence will win over conservatives every time. Not that they will be persuaded to adopt your positions, but they will respect you as a person and will sometimes vouch for you in political situations when you need the support. But the amazing thing is that they are always surprised by my integrity and competence. Their propaganda has been so pervasive since the Nixon years that they really believe all liberals are bad people. The only way to overcome this is one by one, as is the case in the example you give here.

    Another thought — it is best, I think, to not make the same mistake of assuming that all conservatives are bad people. As Reagan used to say about anti-nuke folks, their heart is in the right place; they are just misguided.

  4. 4

    W. Klingon Skousen spews:

    re 3: It has been my experience that conservatives make important political decisions based on fluff and flummery — like the ‘family values’ of Valerie Palin.

  5. 5

    John425 spews:

    Gregoire & Integrity? Surely you jest! I wonder how much money the tribes poured into her offshore accounts when she gave them that sweetheart gaming deal.

  6. 6

    W. Klingon Skousen spews:

    re 5: Does your moniker refer to your place in line?

    Talk about sloppy seconds.

  7. 7

    Former Saab Owner aka SJ spews:

    Goldy ..

    Seems like we are coming to similar conclusions, though the answers we come up with for CG would be different.

    From all that I see, I believe that CG is a well meaning and a talented administrator. BUT, whenever I ask “What has she done?” I am told she did a great job of getting the kelp farmers off of Port Townsend to make a deal with the salmon farms or some such. All that may be real but for most voters it is invisible.

    OTOH, as you have pointed out for taxes, CG seems unable or unwilling to LEAD! There are many issues, less laden with difficulties than taxes, where she certainly could lead but she is either invisible or feckless.

    The result is she is perceived, perhaps rightly, as more of a chief of admin than a CEO.

    This, combined, with CG’s modest debating and campaigning skills, makes TV adverts the ONLY way most folks will make up their minds. If you wanted to sell something on TV, would you hire Dino or Christy as the talking head?

    I know it is too late, but for my own ego here are MY list of issues I wish she had the guts to speak out on:

    Tax reform .. I agree with Goldy and think there are ways of making taxes more palatable.

    Immigration … how in hell can she ignore this? Rossi, as a Reprican is very vulnerable

    Education … someone should get CG out of her NEA cocoon and explain that raising teacher’s salaries does not comprise educational reform.

    Transportation … Any observer from outside WASTATE would see this as chaos. We have no plans and certainly the gov. seems not to know this.

  8. 8

    rossi too spews:

    As I travel around the state, I see LOTS of congestion reducing road construction taking place. Even on I-405 and 167, the improvements are getting accomplished.

    For Rossi to say that nothing is getting done is complete garbage. Either that, or he closes his eyes when he travels.

    His plan, as outlined in the Seattle Times, is a bit of fairy dust, smoke and mirrors. There will be no way he can fund roads from the general fund. And Dino…putting a toll on a new 520 bridge IS raising taxes, so you can drop the smarmy “I won’t raise your taxes” pledge in your ads.

    Back on topic: Gregoire does have integrity. I don’t believe it should be compromised, as Goldy suggests. But I’m from another era, when your word was your bond. Keep up the great work Governor!

  9. 9

    rhp6033 spews:

    Well, there’s partisonship, and there’s facts. Partisonship is generally loyalty to the party regardless of everything which is going on around you. In my mind, that pretty much defines the Republican Party right now. They have completely abandoned even their long-cherished “core” principles in the search for the “Permanant Republican Majority”.

    Facts, on the other hand, are non-partison.

    Over the next few weeks, Gregoire needs to be spending a lot of her money emphasising the facts, in contrast to Rossi’s bland generalities offering lots of “feel good” promises with no substance.

  10. 10

    W. Klingon Skousen spews:

    Did Democratic Governor Gary Locke have anything to do with that balanced budget that Rossi is so fond of taking credit for?

  11. 11

    Former Saab Owner aka SJ spews:

    8. Rossi too

    You say the transportation system look sgood to you, but YOU are not the issue.

    The red meat that Gregoire’s style has thrown t Rossi8 is weeks of indecision about the various Seattle projects and essentiually NO discussion abut the NS corridor or East-West.

    Rossi may well be a lousy person, BUT voters only see the ads AND remember the news they have read.

    I challenge anyone to find one thing CG has done that she can build on.

  12. 12

    Particle Man spews:

    Problem is Rossi is good at selling the sizzle.
    We are trying to sell voters steak.

  13. 13

    Daddy Love spews:

    Chris Gregoire still has the mindset of a good career prosecutor (and ex-Attorney General). It is a devotion to the issus and to the pursuit of what is right instad of politics-as-usual. That’s my way of saying I agree. The difference from Rossi’s sleazy snake-oil-salesman persona could not be more profound.

  14. 14

    Daddy Love spews:

    5 J425

    You must be a Republican, as you seem unfettered by any ties to reality or fact.

  15. 16

    rhp6033 spews:

    Okay, I’m walking on treacherous grounds here, but please understand that in making this analogy, I’m only comparing political strategy, not making a moral judgement. As much as I despise Rossi and his BIAW puppeteers, I DO NOT think they are the moral equivilent of the Nazis – those despicable excuses for human beings deserve to remain in their own special catagory, and their own special place in hell.

    However, their is an aspect of Rossi’s campaign for governor which mirrors the campaign tactics the National Socialists used to gain a significant enough proportion of the seats in the Reichstagg (but not, as many believe, did they EVER hold a legitimate majority in a free election).

    Okay, here’s the tactic. Take what your pollsters determine is a problem/aggravation expressed by voters. Choose one which is already being solved. Time your campaign to step in AFTER all the heavy lifting and big decisions have been done, but just in time to take credit for the accomplishments.

    In Germany in 1932, Hitler campaigned against reperations payments under the Versailles (sp?) treaty, arguing that all of Germany’s economic problems during the 1920’s were due to that treaty and the cabal of “elitists” (i.e., Jews) in charge of European banking. What was lost to most Germans at the time (even to most people who haven’t carefully studied German 20th century history) is that the WWI reparations payments had been largly postponed until they were excused entirely – right before Hitler came to power. The economic crisis of the Wiemar Republic, and it’s legendary rampant inflation, had been history for several years. Sure, the global impact of the economic recession in the U.S. was a concern, but the German economy was actually already on the rebound. Hitler managed to step in just in time to take credit for the hard work of diplomats, bankers, industrialists, and everyday workers.

    Likewise, Rossi wants to step in after the hard work of getting the nickle gas tax enacted and the road improvement projects in place, just in time to blame Gregoire for the taxes and to take credit for the improvements in traffic which occur as those construction projects are being completed.

  16. 17

    rhp6033 spews:

    Dang, first time I’ve had a chance to check my 401(k) plan since I’ve been back from a business trip to Japan. Down another 4K. So far this year, declining values have more than outstripped my current contributions into the plan.

    It would be nice if I could be more selective in my investments, but my 401(k) plan has only a very limited number of mutual funds from which to choose. If you want to be more agressive and ignore the “bond” funds, then you are only left with five choices – three U.S., and two “overseas” funds.

    I’m still waiting for that Republican economic miracle they keep promising me (seven years, eight months, eight days, and counting).

  17. 18

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    I was wondering what the new excuses would be once obama loses the election.
    It’s because he has too much integrity.
    At least it’s bette than the old one of the election being stolen.

  18. 20

    rhp6033 spews:

    Another sign of things going into the toilet:

    My paycheck stub (waiting on me from when I got back from a business trip to Japan) included in the envelope a letter regarding our employer-provided health insurance. It says that the prescription drug benefits are getting too expensive, and we will be seeing changes announced at the end of the month. It doesn’t say what those changes are.

    But it did include a seperate page entitled “health tips”, which advocated not using pain medicine for chronic pain for conditions such as back injuries and arthritis, and instead to use “tai chi and meditation”, joining a “pain support group”, excercise, getting more sleep (no explanation of how a person in chronic pain can get more sleep), and even using alchohol (in moderation) to reduce the affects of pain.

    I’m thinking that the announcement at the end of the month is going to say something to the effect that “make do without” prescriptions. Last year they already went from a very good plan with a $10.00 co-pay to a plan where the insurance company tells your pharmacy to ignore any prescriptions from your doctor that don’t fall within their “approved” lsit. It encourages the use of a “mail order” pharmacy, but then you don’t find out the insurance company has cancelled your order until you call a week or two later to find out why it hasn’t arrived, only to be told to consult with “your doctor”, who hasn’t the slightest idea either.

    In the meantime, my Korean and Japanese colleagues are complaining that health care in their countries was relatively easy to obtain, universal, cheap, and (according to them) was at least as good, if not better, than in the U.S. They can’t understand why in the world we would accept such a convoluted system.

  19. 21

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Interesting the only person who you could find to say Gregoire has integrity is some guy who drove her around for a few days.

    Is this Trooper going to vote for her??
    Even though he lives in Colorado, he can register at Joel Connelly’s 700 sq. ft. retreat with the other 4 voters who live there!
    All he has to say is his “heart” is in Washington and he may live here someday.
    Isn’t that how it works Connelly???

  20. 22

    LibGuy spews:

    I see that the governor has done just what we expect of ourselves everyday. She has gone to work, done an excellent job, and hasn’t bragged about it.

    Because she’s done what is right.

    Oh, and @rhp6033, remember the Bolsheviks were anything but the majority (the name translates as such), but they portrayed themselves as such through their propaganda.

  21. 23

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    I think this will be another 1 point race.
    Rossi does have momentum…no doubt.
    Look at the fund-raising.
    McCain’s “surge” will help a lot.

    But ultimately, it will be Gregoire’s $8 BILLION of increased spending creating a $2.9 BILLION Deficit for the upcoming biennium with absolutely no plan on the table for dealing with it that will lead swing voters to conclude she will raise taxes.

    Rossi will win.

  22. 24

    rhp6033 spews:

    Actually, its the Republicans and the McCain camp that are relying upon voters to be ignorant to run the election. Rossi is counting on the 20% who don’t understand that “GOP” means “Republican.” McCain is campaigning for “change” even though he knows damn well that his campaign is the antithesis of change. Rossi is trying to get people to believe that he can build an eight-lane bridge across Lake Washington for less money than a six-lane bridge can be built, and ignores what is going to happen on I-5 when four lanes of traffic from the eastside hit the I-5 bridge.

    There are lots of other examples, but I’ve only got so much time today.

  23. 25

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    24. Marvin Stamn spews:
    25. Marvin Stamn spews:


    Damn, it’s great being a troll and being impersonated.

  24. 27

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @5 “I wonder how much money the tribes poured into her offshore accounts when she gave them that sweetheart gaming deal.”

    That’s easy to answer: None. Gregoire doesn’t have any offshore accounts.

    What Gregoire does have is a ton of smarts and determination — the classic American values. The daughter of a single mother working as a fry cook, she worked her way up from a social worker job to attorney general, then governor. She has a resume of accomplishment and success that some of our presidents (hint-hint) would kill for.

    And your resume is — ?? Besides armchair critic, I mean.

  25. 28

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @27 Well, Marvin the Stupe, if you are in fact being impersonated (awfully hard to tell), Goldy should put a stop to it. It’s, you know, like shooting at a dummy propped up in the enemy trench, a waste of ammunition. We’d rather expend our ammo on the real Marvin.

  26. 29

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    30. Roger Rabbit spews:
    @27 Well, Marvin the Stupe, if you are in fact being impersonated (awfully hard to tell), Goldy should put a stop to it. It’s, you know, like shooting at a dummy propped up in the enemy trench, a waste of ammunition. We’d rather expend our ammo on the real Marvin.

    Thanks for your support.
    Luckily for me, you and your buddies couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn.

  27. 30

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    30. Roger Rabbit spews:
    @27 Well, Marvin the Stupe, if you are in fact being impersonated (awfully hard to tell), Goldy should put a stop to it.

    I predict goldy won’t put an end to it. He’s not that kind of person.

    (awfully hard to tell)

    Simple for goldy using IP addresses.