P-I endorses Gregoire

I’m sure it comes as no surprise, but the P-I has endorsed Gov. Christine Gregoire, and in doing so, makes a strong argument for sticking with the incumbent during uncertain times:

In Chris Gregoire, Washington has a governor who has served the state well during relatively good times. She is a good bet for a future likely to be less rosy economically.

Washington voters should re-elect Gregoire based on proven performance, capability and drive. Especially for uncertain times, she’s a much more proven leader than her Republican rival, former state Sen. Dino Rossi.

Rossi was a capable senator and is a capable campaigner. But his avoidance of questions about his social conservatism, his unrealistic transportation ideas and even his unwillingness to be labeled Republican on the ballot all warn there’s a lot about how Rossi would govern that most of us, including perhaps the candidate, would learn only after he took on the job.

It should be noted that in a largely positive editorial that lauds Gregoire’s experience, performance and values, this brief excerpt comprises the full extent of their criticism of her opponent.

It will be interesting to compare that to the Seattle Times’ inevitable endorsement of Dino Rossi, which I expect in both tone and content to be substantially more negative… because honestly, even given poetic license, there are fewer positive statements one can manufacturer in support of the Republican.


  1. 1

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The P-I has nailed it. The righties’ criticisms with Gregoire’s governance are based on philosophical differences, not her ability or effectiveness, and perhaps also on a lingering (and inappropriate) bitterness over the outcome of the super-close 2004 governor’s election.

    The P-I has also correctly identified Rossi’s weaknesses: His secrecy about his positions and agenda on some issues, and the impracticality of his campaign promises. The P-I editorial board has been extremely charitable in not dwelling on the serious questions about Rossi’s honesty raised by his past dealings with a criminal employer and the dishonesty of his campaign ads in the current election cycle.

    When you put it all together — the questions about Rossi’s motives, judgment, and integrity — the proper appellation is “unfit to lead.”

  2. 2

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    You forgot to highlight this:

    O She went along with an overly ambitious budget that won’t be sustainable next year, but the state has repeatedly been down this road of projected deficits (actual deficits are forbidden). In making cuts, the power of labor unions over her party will be a problem. She would do well to remember the importance of making hard choices.”

    It’s that paragraph on fiscal responsibility which the P-I attempts to marginalize & minimize “Projected Deficits” like they will somehow evaporate in the teeth of a recession. The P-I also highlights the key issue (power of Unions over her) that will certainly result in TAX INCREASES as opposed to desperately needed cuts in the number of State Employees (FTE’s). It’s salaries, benefits, paid time-off and record high staffing levels that are at the crux of the projected Budget deficit.

    The P-I unwittingly gave Rossi the stick to beat Gregoire with.

  3. 3

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Unfit To Lead?

    Speaking of questions about fitness to lead, this is AOL’s summation of a news story about Palin challenging McCain’s decision to pull out of Michigan:

    “Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says she’s disappointed that John McCain decided to stop competing in Michigan due to the GOP ticket’s lackluster poll ratings in the Great Lakes State. McCain apparently had not discussed the move with Palin, who says she learned about the decision in the newspapers.”

    (Quoted under fair use.)

    The issue here is not whether McCain was right in concluding Michigan is unwinnable and the resources would be better used elsewhere, or even Palin’s judgment in questioning that conclusion.

    Rather, the issue is that McCain did this without consulting his running mate or even informing her of his decision. The newspapers were the wrong place for her to learn about it.

    What we have here is a national ticket that not only isn’t on the same page but aren’t even talking to each other. How the hell can they expect to run a government this way?

    The only logical conclusion to be drawn from this episode is that McCain considers Palin to be nothing but window dressing for his campaign and has no respect for her leadership abilities — and intends to give her no role in his administration. Is that the kind of president we want?

    This is just one more piece of evidence for voters to think about. Putting all the pieces together, thoughtful and reasonable voters ought to conclude that McCain is “unfit to lead.”

  4. 4

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    The P-I also spun Gregoire’s lifelong career as a 39-year bureaucrat as somehow a positive. Everyone knows she is the bureaucrats bureaucrat….just look at the massive increases in the cost of her own staff over what Gary Locke spent.

    A key issue will be if Gregoire can sell voters on the fact that 39 years as a Bureaucrat is a virtue during tough economic times.

    Tough sell…especially since Gregoire increased spending 33% or $8 BILLION on new employees, salary & benefit increases.

    The P-I knows darn well she will make no significant staffing cuts because she is beholding to the unions.
    State Government’s & Local Governments everywhere are cutting personnel & withholding salary increases…just like the taxpayers are experiencing.

    The P-I is all but admitting Gregoire will massively increase taxes.

    The P-I had to pull some sideshow issues into their endorsement to try to discredit Rossi.
    That is obvious too.

    This will be a 1 point race, either way, as I have predicted for a long time.

    The P-I’s endorsement is meaningless as their circulation has plummetted and only hardcore Leftist’s regularly read it any way.

  5. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @2 Cynical, the projected deficits are a fault of our Rube Goldberg tax system, not Gregoire’s leadership. There’s nothing new about our state’s boom-and-bust budget cycles — we’ve never had anything different. And what Gregoire is facing, every other governor whose administration has spanned a recession has also faced. It would be no different for Rossi; if he became governor, he could not make the budget cycle, or the state budget’s dependence on economic cycles, go away — unless he’s willing to spearhead comprehensive tax reform that includes replacing our state sales tax with a state income tax.

    Gregoire, like all governors, spent money when it was available to spend. Taking office on the heels of the 2001-2002 First Bush Recession, she had a long list of deferred needs in front of her: The unfunded voter-passed initiatives to increase teacher pay and reduce class sizes, restoring Medicaid for tens of thousands of poor kids who were cut off from basic health care by the preceding Republican-written budget (written by Rossi), and giving much-overdue COLA raises to state employees who hadn’t seen a pay raise for 6 years. The latter was not an act of generosity, or because of unions; state pay, never very competitive with the private sector to begin with, had lagged so much that the state was in danger of experiencing recruiting and retention problems that would cost it more money in the long run than keeping the employees it already had.

    Suppose Rossi had won the 2004 election and given tax breaks to his business friends and our state’s already-undertaxed rich people. If he had done that, over 1 million Washington schoolchildren would be getting a lower quality education; thousands of poor kids would be showing up at ERs for basic health care, pushing up your medical premiums; and unidentifiable state programs (because Rossi refuses to identify them) would be gutted or impaired. (What we do know is that Republicans consistently opposed transportation funding over the preceding decade, so we can safely surmise that our roadways would have deteriorated and congestion would have worsened under a Governor Rossi.) And, faced with the current recession-caused revenue situation, Rossi would either have to raise taxes or make further painful cuts in state spending, such as releasing felons from prison and/or kicking elderly indigent patients who can’t take care of themselves out of nursing homes to suffer and die on the streets.

    That agenda doesn’t reflect the values or desires of a majority of the voters of our state. That’s why they elected Gregoire instead of Rossi, and that’s why they’re going to re-elect her. As always, Cynical, once again you’re full of shit.

  6. 6

    Daddy Love spews:

    2 CYN

    Raise taxes? So what? Whoever is governor in the next biennium is going to preside over some tax increases. It’s what you do when you’re in a recession and revenues drop–you cut spending and raise taxes to balance the budget. Of course, it’s the legislature who does this, so blaming the governor is an exercise in self-deception.

    But my point is that because you know goddam good and well that either Gregoire or Rossi will raise taxes that it is the PRIORITIES of the candidates to which you should pay attention.

    Chris Gregoire’s priorities of boosting education and health care and cracking down on crime are in line with what we value in this state. Dino Rossi’s priorities are to enrich the BIAW because he fucking owes them big-time. We don’t need more Republican thuggery and crony politics here.

  7. 7

    Rick D. spews:

    Gee, that’s a relief I thought the Pravda Intelligentsia might endorse Rossi since the Queen has shit the bed over the last 4 years.

    Forget the 3.2 billion budget deficit and piss poor performance over her reign in office, PI, there’s politics to be played afterall….Just when I think Democrats can’t get any dumber, they surprise me yet again with their lack of intellect. Oh Well, you can’t spell Dunce without a DNC.

    I wouldn’t even use the PI to line a dog kennel…let alone subscribe to that substandard yellow “journalism”.

  8. 8

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @4 I’m not a fan of amateur government, Cynical. Leading a government is not the same thing as leading a private business organization. Booth Gardner and other governors experimented with transplanting business executives into state agencies (to “bring a fresh perspective”) and those efforts almost always turned out to be embarrassing failures, because the required skill sets are totally different. Part of what government is supposed to do is listen to its constituents; the command-style leadership of business organizations doesn’t carry over into government, and when that’s attempted, the result is a government that doesn’t listen to the public it’s supposed to serve. Business concepts of economic efficiency also don’t translate well into government, because low cost and efficiency usually are not government’s primary objectives. For example, in fighting a war, you’re supposed to worry about strategic and tactical problems, not scrimp on providing vehicle and body armor to your soldiers and cut medical care to keep war-fighting costs down. FDR and Truman didn’t worry about what building the A-bomb would cost; they concerned themselves with winning the war. I’m not saying, of course, that costs or expenditures are irrelevant; but the problems of running a government are different from the problems of running a business, and anyone who has attended a graduate school of public management (as I have) or led a public agency knows this. Your criticisms are not only flawed but misplaced; you seem to have no concept of what a government is, or what the governor’s job is.

  9. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @7 “since the Queen has shit the bed over the last 4 years”

    First of all, she’s a governor, not a queen. That is, she’s a public servant (not a monarch) who was duly chosen by the voters of our state, all your whining to the contrary notwithstanding.

    Secondly, she has not “shit the bed” or however you want to put it. She’s done a fine job. You’re the one who’s full of shit.

    Third, there is no 3.2 billion (or any other) deficit. The state has a surplus right now. The anticipated revenue shortfall for the next biennium is a somewhat speculative projection which may or may not materialize depending on the performance of an economy that a Republican president is responsible for. It if does materialize, that’s no more Gregoire’s fault than any other governor’s, and Rossi would have exactly the same problem for exactly the same reasons if he were governor.

  10. 11

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    You spent your whole career in government…so I expect that kind of slant towards a fellow career bureaucrat.

    However, you have also been painfully honest about your frustrations at DSHS…one of the best examples of a bureaucracy run amock.

    As an expert on DSHS & all it’s problems, please list for me 3 major accomplishments of Gregoire in improving that monolith??
    I’d like to hear what you have to say.

  11. 12

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    The other thing Rog–
    Your answers criticizing the tax system in Washington all seem to funnel into an end-theme…
    We are undertaxed in Washington State!
    Somehow you believe that a new tax system will generate more & more consistent revenue…yet you fail to connect the TAX INCREASE dots.

    This election really comes down to:
    More Cost-Effective, Smaller Government vs.
    More Taxes

    No matter how you spin it.
    If businesses & citizens FEEL overtaxed, they ought to throw Gregoire out & put Rossi in.

    If they feel undertaxed, Gregoire is for you.

    Rog, I simply cannot believe a 39-year career bureaucrat who, as the P_I even points out, is beholding to the Unions will somehow balance the next Budget without major tax increases.

    I trust Rossi to do everything he can to be more cost-effective, eliminate excessive management & ineffective programs first.

    Gregoire is entrenched in a 24-year Democrat built Bureaucracy Rog.

    And that’s a fact.
    Show me once where she voted against the Union??
    She hasn’t..and you know it.

  12. 13

    Rick D. spews:

    “Third, there is no 3.2 billion (or any other) deficit. The state has a surplus right now.” ~ Roger Roadkill

    wow, are you kiddies still towing that ignorant response? That’s like me saying I went out today and maxed out my credit cards and therefore, i’m debt free “right now”.

    ……what a Dumbass

    I expected better from one of Goldy’s marionettes…I should know better though.

  13. 14

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Polling Place Behavior: Laws Or Etiquette?

    The Associated Press reports:

    “HARRISBURG, Pa. (Oct. 4) – Sue Nace thought election volunteers were joking when they told her she would have to remove her T-shirt to vote in the presidential primary last spring.

    “But it was no laughing matter to the poll workers-turned-fashion police, who said Nace’s Obama shirt was inappropriate electioneering — and made her cover the writing before casting a ballot.

    “Now, a political fight over what voters can wear to the polls is headed to court in Pennsylvania — with the Republican Party favoring a dress code and Democrats opposed. …

    “The political showdown was triggered by a Pennsylvania Department of State memo advising counties last month that voters’ attire doesn’t matter as long as the ‘voter takes no additional action to attempt to influence other voters.'”

    (Quoted under fair use.)

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Washington, like most (or all) other states, has an electioneering law. In our state, it’s illegal to campaign for a candidate or ballot issue within 300 feet of an open polling place.

    While the wording of this law is cut-and-dried, its application to real-life situations is not. It doesn’t apply to homeowners living within 300 feet of polling places who wish to display yard signs, because that would infringe on their property and free speech rights. And no one believes it requires voters to remove bumper stickers from their cars before driving to the polling place.

    As always, how the law is applied depends on what problem it’s intended to solve.

    I worked as a pollworker in the 2006 election. Late in the day, a man drove up in a pickup truck, got out, and placed numerous McGavick yard signs along the sidewalk leading from the parking lot to the room where voting was taking place. This was on public property, a school building to be exact. This was a clear violation of the law for which that man could have been prosecuted — not that King County’s partisan Republican prosecutor would have prosecuted him. In any case, we couldn’t get his license number. What we did was report the incident to the Elections Division and, at the poll inspector’s orders, tear down the signs and throw them in the dumpster. Yeah, the signs were private property, but the poll inspector is by law the supervisor of the polling place and has the authority to enforce the law, and acted within her proper authority tby ordering the signs removed.

    In King County, poll workers are told not to have bumper stickers on their cars if they park on the premises. Unlike voters, who park for a few minutes, our cars are there all day. Poll workers, for obvious reasons, also are told not to wear campaign buttons, t-shirts, or other apparel items displaying candidate preferences or other partisan messages. Pollworkers are not allowed to have newspapers or magazines in the polling place, or TVs or radios, or movie players. We can bring reading material of a non-partisan nature; I usually take a Zane Grey paperback novel, or something similar, with me to keep me busy during the dead periods of the poll worker’s 15-hour shift. The rules are more stringent for pollworkers because we’re there all day, interact with voters, and are temporary employees of the county and therefore subject to supervision including an employer-imposed dress code.

    As a veteran pollworker, I don’t have a problem with bumper stickers on voters’ cars or campaign buttons on their clothing, or even t-shirts, because I don’t think it creates a problem as long as the voter doesn’t say anything.

    In the 2004 election, I was a Democratic Party observer in an outlying county at a small-town polling place. One of the voters came out verbally (and loudly) expressing his dissatisfaction with Bush. After he voted, I talked with him outside. I identified myself and explained that while I was sympathetic to his political views, what he was doing was against the law and not only could get him in trouble but reflected badly on our party. Hopefully, he thought that over, and won’t repeat that conduct in future elections, which was my purpose in talking to him about it.

    Laws sometimes look simple on paper, but almost invariably are difficult to interpret and apply in real life. It takes a certain amount of experience, judgment, and common sense to do that successfully. You have to understand what the purpose of the law is, and whether the particular conduct has bearing on that purpose. The purpose of the electioneering law is to keep organized campaigns from influencing or harassing voters at polling places. A campaign button on someone’s jacket doesn’t create a problem; lining the walkway to the polling place with a candidate’s signs does. So does subjecting other voters to verbal outbursts inside the polling place.

    Even if there were no law against it, common courtesy and social etiquette ought to prohibit the latter conduct. That’s another reason why I spoke to that individual about it. Often, what the law and what etiquette require are the same thing. Voters have a right to vote without being badgered or harassed; they have a right to go to the polling place without being proselytized by candidates or campaigns. In short, they have a right to be left alone in the act of voting. It’s as simple as that.

    So, in the Pennsylvania case, I think the Department of State is right and the GOP’s lawsuit is thrown out. A formal dress code simply imposes another barrier to voting, which of course, is the GOP’s objective. If such a thing is established how far should it go? Should we allow the GOP to command that dress shoes, ties, and suits must be worn to gain admittance to a polling place? The Department of State got it right by focusing on the essential purpose of the rule: As long as someone doesn’t pester other voters, a campaign button or t-shirt is no big deal. If you don’t like it, don’t look at it. Or ignore it. It doesn’t hurt anyone or anything. Organized campaigning is a different matter. In that case, the poll inspector can — and should — enforce the law, by calling the police if necessary. If poll supervisors do their job, we don’t need a formal dress code. If they don’t, having a dress code won’t do any good anyway.

  14. 16

    Rick D. spews:

    No wonder Goldy’s cyber-panhandling, he’s losing his website a month from now.

    McCain/Palin in the Whitehouse/ Rossi in the Governors mansion and Goldy off the web…an early Christmas present.

    You gotta love this country!

  15. 17

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Rickie Dickhead @13: Saying the sky is green when it’s blue doesn’t make it green, idiot. There is no deficit. The current budget is in balance. The “3.2 billion” is a projection of a future budget, in other words, a guess. It’s relevant to planning the future budget, but is not a deficit in the current budget, in fact has nothing whatsoever to do with the current budget. That’s a fact, and your flailing won’t change that fact. God, you’re an impenetrably ignorant fuck.

  16. 18

    Rick D. spews:

    @ 17~ hey Dumbfuck, if you run up your credit cards today, are you in debt today? The answer is Yes, even though you haven’t received the invoice yet. Some ignorant asses might think not, but it isn’t reality.

    Obviously none of you kiddies have run a business in your lives…otherwise, you’d know that simple concept.

  17. 19

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @16 “Goldy off the web”

    How do you figure that? Are you a supporter of Melanie Morgan and her organization, Move America Forward, whose stated agenda includes “restricting liberal media”?

    Let me explain something to you, dickhead. We liberals will say what we want, publish what we want, and read what we want. If you don’t like it, go fuck yourself. If Morgan shows up with armed stormtroopers to shut us up, we’re going to open fire. Got that, turd blossom?

    Now go fuck your goat.

  18. 21

    Rick D. spews:

    @ 19~ Goldy resorting to cyber-begging (which he’s doing) won’t help any. tick tock Goldy, tick tock

  19. 22

    K spews:

    Roger @ 3- you didn’t mention the truly surprising thing in the story:
    “Palin, who says she learned about the decision in the newspapers.”
    She read a newspaper! Which one?

  20. 23

    reformed republican spews:

    Looks like Rob McKenna is suing the republican party for cheating on campaign finances in favor of Dino. Can the republicans run a campaign without lying and cheating? Dino, the BIAW and the republican party shoudl never win another election until they clean house from all these crooks.

    If a republican partisan like the AG McKenna files a lawsuit against his own party, then you know he has no choice and the facts speak for themselves.

  21. 24

    Trigg # 1 spews:









    Figgy Faggy Triggy

  22. 26

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @11 You haven’t seen any more embarrassing lawsuits against DSHS since she became governor, have you? As attorney general, she was DSHS’s legal adviser, not manager, and had no control over DSHS operations. When she became governor, she acquired the power to fix that problem, and did.

    Gregoire has also saved taxpayers money and improved services to the public by reorganizing and streamlining programs. One area that especially needed attention was excessive workloads for caseworkers responsible for licensing daycare providers and protecting children from neglect and abuse, and she has done something about that.

    DSHS spends the bulk of its budget on medical care of poor people, especially children and the elderly. The largest single item in the DSHS budget is Medicaid payments to nursing homes. Health care for poor children is the second largest item. Gregoire restored funding for tens of thousands of children. You can argue that’s merely spending taxpayer money, but I will argue that’s money well spent and serves the citizens of our state.

    Rossi, by contrast, kicked 40,000 poor kids off basic health care and wanted to impose a $250 bed tax on nursing home patients. (And he claims he won’t raise taxes? Bullshit!)

  23. 27

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    No, I’m a highly skilled Democratic Party hack and liberal propagandist; and the fact you feel it’s necessary to respond to me proves it!

    Btw, are you new here? As the official HA greeter, it’s my responsibility to inform you of the ad hoc HA posting rules:

    1. This is a liberal blog.
    2. Anyone can post here (except JCH).
    3. There is no censorship.
    4. As liberals, our mission is to verbally kick the living shit out of you fascist traitors.
    5. No mercy for wingnuts!
    6. Our terms are unconditional surrender; there will be trials.
    7. klake is a nazi.

    Any questions? No? Then bend over so I can sodomize you with a broomstick again.

  24. 28

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @24 (continued) Governor Gregoire will do what every other governor has always done, and what the state constitution requires her to do: She will balance the budget, no matter what the revenue is. Trust me on this, she will. There won’t be a deficit.

    Do you want to have a discussion about how she should balance the budget? Good, let’s. First of all, when you anticipate the next biennium’s revenue will be less than the current biennium’s expenditures, you get ahead of the curve by making immediate cuts. She’s doing that.

    Second, you don’t make final budget decisions until you see what the actual revenue will be. Revenue projections change monthly and can fluctuate wildly. Gregoire doesn’t have to make those decisions for another 6 to 8 months, and shouldn’t.

    Third, when there isn’t enough money, you set priorities — something Republicans seem temperamentally unable to do. Gregoire’s priorities are neither secret nor murky: She’s always made it clear that education is her top priority. So, if cuts must be made, they will be made elsewhere.

    If a revenue shortfall materializes, a significant amount of it will be in dedicated transportation revenues, because a recession means fewer people driving to work and fuel conservation by drivers means fewer gas tax dollars coming into state coffers. So, some transportation projects may have to be stretched out or deferred.

    Traditionally, some of the gap is made up by increasing some fees and raising sin taxes on alcohol and tobacco. I wouldn’t be surprised if Gregoire does that. Everyone else does. Particularly in inflationary times like these, it’s not out of line to raise fees for state services when the costs of providing those services are going up. That’s what businesses do, and government has to do it, too.

    Governor Gregoire, who understands the cyclical nature of our state budgets, established a Rainy Day Fund over Republican objections. That fund won’t solve the entire projected shortfall, but the hundreds of millions of dollars in that fund are going to come in handy next year. If Republicans had gotten their way that money wouldn’t be there and the budget problem would be much worse, possibly requiring cutting into vital programs.

    Rossi, by contrast, is promising expensive goodies without saying how he’ll pay for them. For example, he has promised to build an 8-lane 520 bridge for $1 billion less than a 6-lane bridge costs. That’s nonsense. Rossi can’t keep his irresponsible promises, and it’s irresponsible for voters to believe them.

  25. 29

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    No. I don’t take orders from you. Furthermore, I’m a propagandist, and propaganda is what I do.

    If you don’t like it, learn how to use the scroll wheel on your mouse or find yourself another blog. Try Stefan’s. He needs more readers for his sucky little blog or it’s going to dry up and blow away.

    You can make yourself useful by whining about me on his blog. All of his readers hate me. I consider that a good thing. Someone (I forget who) said you can judge a rabbit’s character by who his enemies are. Stefan’s readers are the kind of enemies I want to have. They’re all America-hating fascist goatfuckers like you. When I piss off people like that, I’m doing things right.

  26. 30

    Spike spews:

    In case youse guys are interested in tax facts, in 2006 (the most recent data) Washington was 19th in taxation.


    Washington: 3948 per person, 19th
    Wisconsin: 4,002, 17th
    Minnesota: 4363, 14th
    Low: Alabama at 2782, 51st
    High: D.C. at 7764, 1st

    Let’s all move to Alabama for the good life, eh? To my eye, it looks as though we are just about where we ought to be.

  27. 31

    WheresHilary? spews:

    There is no deficit. The state is required to balance its budget. The projection is for a $3.2 billion shortfall from the previous budget year…DUE TO THE NATIONAL ECONOMY. Quit calling it a deficit you dopey GOPs

  28. 33

    Concerned Democrat spews:

    I’m very concerned about Rossi winning. The big question I often hear is “where’s the Gregoire’s campaign?” The perception among supporters of hers that I know is that her campaign has been entirely too low key. I’ve also heard complaints about sloppy organization in her campaign, e.g., someone forgetting to order signs in time for a major union event.

    Goldy, I hope you’ll ask some questions . . . and light a fire under the campaign. I’d also encourage you to focus more attention on this race than national politics; too many people have been distracted. That could translate into a loss that we all will deeply regret.