by Goldy, 05/24/2010, 12:48 PM

Politico reports that Dino Rossi is preparing to jump into the U.S. Senate race, and has made his first hire:

Former Washington gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi has enlisted GOP strategist Pat Shortridge to serve as general consultant for his likely campaign against Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, a Republican consultant tells POLITICO, in the clearest sign yet that Rossi is poised to announce his candidacy.

Shortridge, who is based in Minnesota and serving as a senior strategist for Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio, did not confirm or deny that he’s signed on with Rossi, telling POLITICO Monday morning: “I don’t have any comment on that. There’s a time and a place for everything.”

According to a DSCC press release, Shortridge was also a top lobbyist in Enron’s Washington office, where he lauded Enron as “a terrific company, very innovative, very free-market-oriented,” just months before it collapsed in scandal and indictments.

“It’s no surprise that Dino Rossi’s first hire in his Senate campaign is a former lobbyist for Enron,” said DSCC Communications Director Eric Schultz. “Rossi’s consultant is likely well-trained in defending shady deals, questionable business arrangements, and other ethical lapses. At least Dino Rossi acknowledges the baggage he brings to the race and is building a campaign accordingly.”

Kinda fitting.

UPDATE:
The Seattle Times reports a second hire, Tom Goff, who served as Mike!™ McGavick’s field advisor during his failed 2006 challenge to Sen. Maria Cantwell. I’m quaking in my boots.

28 Responses to “Rossi picks Enron lobbyist to run campaign”

1. KMQ1 spews:

So you piss off your base by wavering for months on end, your opponent in the primary secures an endorsement by Palin, and you have virtually no cash in the bank. Interesting!

This sounds very much like an ebay strategy… watch from the sidelines until the very last possible moment, observing how the bidding goes and just before the close swoop in to poach the prize. Sometimes that actually works, especially if the other bidders don’t take into account that someone could enter at the last minute.

It also gives very short time for the media to ask questions since apparently he is his own worst enemy.

The good news is that a loss here will take him out Washington politics for good.

2. Troutski spews:

Funny. A two time election loser, very shady financial deals, and probably one of the most disliked Republicans since Ellen Craswell. Now a significant Enron connection.

3. goldycrat spews:

So? You have a problem with Enron?

It’s sort of like Nixon appointing Carswell to the Supreme Court:

Nebraska senator Roman Hruska, trying to give his support to an unsupportable candidate, said “Mediocre people deserve representation, too.”

4. MikeBoyScout spews:

Diddler must be salivating over his prospects of beating a perceived heavy weight establishment candidate with teabagging anti business-as-usual swagger.

5. rhp6033 spews:

At least Rossi’s got the inside track toward the General Election, under Washington’s “top two” system.

If this were still a “primary” state, Rossi might find himself facing a significant hurdle in getting the Republican nomination. The final years of the Bush administration alienated much of the GOP “moderate” base, leaving the crazies as a much smaller percentage of the diminished whole. The truly wingnut candidates might not be nearly as electable to the general public, but they are posing a real threat to more mainstream Republicans such as Charlie Crist in Florida.

So Rossi’s got a problem. He’s tried very hard to maintain a mask of “moderation” in the last two elections, and it’s been the task of Goldy and others to reveal that he’s not nearly as moderate as he would like Washington voters to believe. But now he’s got to reverse course and try to get the Wingnut vote, even though Sarah Palin has already endorsed Clint Didier. (Palin appears to be trying to leverage her appeal among the truly wingnut into chits owed by newly elected “Tea Party” Republicans, which she will presumably call in for payment during the Republican Convention.

But Sarah Palin’s endorsement power has already run into trouble in South Carolina. She annointed Nikki Harley in the four-way race to get the Republican nomination for governor in South Carolina. But Harley’s now embroiled in yet another S. Carolina sex scandal. Blogger Will Forks reports that he once had an “innapropriate physical relationship” with Harley “several years ago”. Presumably this was while Harley had been married, as she has been married for 13 years and has two children by that marriage.

Of course, Harley has categorically denied the allegation, and Palin’s response was characteristically “Palin”, attacking the accuser as well as the “liberal media”:

“South Carolina: don’t let some blogger make any accusation against your Nikki if the guy doesn’t even have the guts or the integrity to speak further on such a significant claim. And don’t believe anything a liberal rag claims or suggests unless the reporter involved has the integrity and the facts to report to you so you can make up your own mind.”

But this isn’t a faceless accuser, or a liberal reporter making the claim. The blogger making the claim is an established Republican operative, who was Mark Sanford’s press secretary (a tough job, if there ever was one). And until this point, Forks has been a Haley supporter. Forks claims that he only came forward because the story was already leaked to news organizations.

So if this story has legs, and Haley drops low enough in the polls so she can’t even win the Republican primary, then one has to wonder about the value of a Palin endorsement. It’s pretty clear that she’s throwing out those endorsements like candy to children in a parade, without an in-depth research into the specifics of the localities and personalities involved.

6. rhp6033 spews:

At least Rossi’s got the inside track toward the General Election, under Washington’s “top two” system.

If this were still a “primary” state, Rossi might find himself facing a significant hurdle in getting the Republican nomination. The final years of the Bush administration alienated much of the GOP “moderate” base, leaving the crazies as a much larger percentage of the diminished whole. The truly wingnut candidates might not be nearly as electable to the general public, but they are posing a real threat to more mainstream Republicans such as Charlie Crist in Florida.

So Rossi’s got a problem. He’s tried very hard to maintain a mask of “moderation” in the last two elections, and it’s been the task of Goldy and others to reveal that he’s not nearly as moderate as he would like Washington voters to believe. But now he’s got to reverse course and try to get the Wingnut vote, even though Sarah Palin has already endorsed Clint Didier. (Palin appears to be trying to leverage her appeal among the truly wingnut into chits owed by newly elected “Tea Party” Republicans, which she will presumably call in for payment during the Republican Convention.

But Sarah Palin’s endorsement power has already run into trouble in South Carolina. She annointed Nikki Harley in the four-way race to get the Republican nomination for governor in South Carolina. But Harley’s now embroiled in yet another S. Carolina sex scandal. Blogger Will Forks reports that he once had an “innapropriate physical relationship” with Harley “several years ago”. Presumably this was while Harley had been married, as she has been married for 13 years and has two children by that marriage.

Of course, Harley has categorically denied the allegation, and Palin’s response was characteristically “Palin”, attacking the accuser as well as the “liberal media”:

“South Carolina: don’t let some blogger make any accusation against your Nikki if the guy doesn’t even have the guts or the integrity to speak further on such a significant claim. And don’t believe anything a liberal rag claims or suggests unless the reporter involved has the integrity and the facts to report to you so you can make up your own mind.”

But this isn’t a faceless accuser, or a liberal reporter making the claim. The blogger making the claim is an established Republican operative, who was Mark Sanford’s press secretary (a tough job, if there ever was one). And until this point, Forks has been a Haley supporter. Forks claims that he only came forward because the story was already leaked to news organizations.

Source: Another sex scandal in S.C.?

So if this story has legs, and Haley drops low enough in the polls so she can’t even win the Republican primary, then one has to wonder about the value of a Palin endorsement. It’s pretty clear that she’s throwing out those endorsements like candy to children in a parade, without an in-depth research into the specifics of the localities and personalities involved.

7. rhp6033 spews:

Sorry about the duplicate post @ 5 and 6 – something happened in the course of editing the post.

8. N in Seattle spews:

One presumes that Rob McKenna is sporting a great big shit-eating grin today.

9. IAFF Fireman spews:

Goldy,

If you and the rest of the nutcase left wing weren’t worried about Dino, then why have you all spent the past month bashing him? You guys are worried, and you should be.

10. rhp6033 spews:

MSNBC, reporting unnamed “Republican sources”, says that Rossi will announce his candidacy on Wednesday.

Finally! Let the games begin!!!!!

11. Michael spews:

So, Benton decided he couldn’t win it then? Dino’s lost 2 state-wide elections, lost one for state rep. & didn’t finish his one term in the state senate. I can’t believe he’s in this thing. On the other hand, it does help keep the media focus off Benton and some of the crazy shit he believes to be true. Maybe I’m the only one, but I’m still seeing Benton as the guy to beat.

12. Doc Daneeka spews:

My guess is that Dino will let the French guy who lives off federal relief payments, and the pudgy bald guy who look like Colonel Sanders chase after the ‘baggers while he pretends to steer the middle. In a top-two primary system Rossi can probably afford to wave off the “energized fringe” if he can draw enough “unaffiliated” voters. The risk of that strategy is that those kinds of voters don’t turn out in the August primary in sufficient numbers. But I’m guessing that Rossi has polls showing he can pull it off, but only if he goes on the attack against Murray right away.

It’ll be interesting to see Rossi try to stage manage a smear campaign without mussing his helmet hair. But if he wins through to the general he may end up with a diminished image as a result. Polls in May are one thing. But workable strategies to knock off a successful and well funded incumbent are another thing entirely. I don’t rate his chances very highly.

13. rhp6033 spews:

I’m wondering if Didier and Benton will go after Rossi, or simply see who can shout insults about Murray the loudest. If they both start dissing Rossi, and he responds, Rossi might antagonize the wingnut base enough so that they decide to sit out the election.

14. Josef (aka Vote Dino, Get Marummy Too) spews:

The only reason why in G*d’s name to put up with this circus for the next six months is Mary Lane Strow.

Enuf said.

Go enjoy yourselves, boys and girls, it’s Marummy Time!

15. rhp6033 spews:

Some thoughts on a potential Murray campaign add:

Background Picture: An unflattering portrait of Rossi (the same way Reichart did to Dave Ross):

Voiceover:
Dino Rossi represents represents everything that has been wrong with the Republican Party over the past decade.

Rossi’s career has been in real estate, politics, and banking. In real estate his mentor was convicted of crimes related to the business. In politics he quit before completing his completing his first term of office.

Background Picture: Fade to picture of bank with “Closed by FDIC” notice on door.

Rossi was a principal investor and co-founder of a bank which ultimately failed and was seized by the government at taxpayer expense.

Background Picture: Fade to picture of homes with foreclosure notices on doors & “bank owned” signs:

Voice over:
Through one of his real estate companies, Rossi profited off the rescession by buying a foreclosed building at pennies on the dollar, and recently was the headline speaker at a seminar which advertised that it would teach others how to do the same.

Foreground Picture: Fade to flattering portrait of Patty Murray, hard at work:

Voice Over:
We need people who fight for the ordinary people of Washington State. The ones who have suffered through this economic crisis. What we don’t need is someone who profits from their misery, and identifies with those who do likewise.

Endnote:
“I’m Patty Murray, and I approved this message”.

16. YLB spews:

I remember Stefan the Minnow being a bit miffed at Enron. Wrote one or two anti-Enron rants. Must have lost money when they melted down.

Now his favorite politician is tainted with the Enron stench.

How sweet the justice.

17. ArtFart spews:

Maybe there’s really some backwards-logic play on the part of the GOP leadership to attempt to line up both the teabag knuckledraggers and Dan Evans moderates behind Didier. The former group has no doubt somehow associated Enron with the government (simply because they associate anything bad with the government), and the moderates will simply see this and the forclosure/banking/Mastro issues as the final nails in Rossi’s coffin, and grudgingly get behind Didier rather than jump ship entirely. Played right, it might just be the only Hail Mary pass with any chance of garnering enough votes to beat Murray. This would of course mean that Rossi would be either too dumb to see this coming, or enough of a whore to swallow his pride and take one for the home team.

18. YLB spews:

@14 – Josef can you drop this sad obsessive hangdog/puppy love affair with Mary Lane STROW.

She’s married now you fool!

19. YLB spews:

OMG! I nearly broke a rib reading this:

http://josefisanidiot.blogspot.com/

I gotta call 911! hahahaha…..

20. Roger Rabbit spews:

Looks like the GOPers are deploying all their spitballs for this gunfight. It’s gonna be fun!

21. Roger Rabbit spews:

Spill, Baby, Spill

Sarah Palin and the rest of the “drill baby” crowd look pretty stupid right now. Not that they were ever smart. The U.S. has 5% of the world’s oil and consumes 25% … at some point 80% of our consumption will have to come from somewhere else. Oh, and btw, the largest oilfield found in the Gulf so far is the 1 billion barrel Thunderhorse discovery. The U.S. consumes 7 billion barrels a year, so do the Rabbit Math, a billion-barrel field supplies U.S. consumption for 52 days.

22. Proud To Be An Ass spews:

Run, Dino, run!

23. newshoes spews:

The oh so tired ‘guilt by association’ means that you’ve got nothing of substance.

Since we’re playing, however let’s not forget that by voting for Patty Murray, you’re voting for the status quo (liberal bingo phrase) and you’re voting for impoverished, communist slave labor that made her tennis shoes.

Oh and let’s not forget she grinds up minority babies into a fine powder and snorts them. She hasn’t denied the allegation, it must be true! That’s science!

Wait for it. All facts and science are on my side (liberal buzz phrase part deux)

24. MarkS spews:

@9

We bash Dino Rossi because it’s so damned fun.

25. All Facts Support My Positions spews:

What is amazing is how few Republicons remember the damage their right wing slime machine did when they controlled government. You would have to hate America to ever cast a vote for a single Republicon. Unless of course you are a billionaire, or an oil tycoon, or a defense contractor, or perhaps a fake christian…… I can’t wait to see all of Rossi’s slimy deals exposed to the light of day with all his associations with his convicted friends.

26. Josef (aka Vote Dino, Get Marummy Too) spews:

@18

She’s my Facebook friend, so I know. Happy for her that she’s got her life together.

Quite frankly, I’m ten years younger… AND DUMBER!!!!

27. Roger Rabbit spews:

@14 Too bad you didn’t fuck Zits when you had the chance. She’s married now. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean anything …

28. Richard Apley spews:

I would like to know when Dino is going to keep his promise to the people of the state of Washington. He promised after his last loss for Governor that he would get OUT of politics. Now here he is again running for office. Come on now Dino how are we suppose to trust someone to keep their word if you can’t even keep your word to the people of this state? I do not trust you now, I did not trust you before, and I will never trust you. Leave us of the state of Washington alone and just fade into obscurity most of us are tired of you and your two-faced politics.