On Monday, my vigil to get David Irons to publicly state his position on I-912 ended when the Seattle P-I managed to coax a tepid statement opposing the anti-roads initiative. So I followed up by demanding that putative state GOP leader Dino Rossi answer the same question. (“Et tu, Dino?“) Well… a letter to the editor in today’s Seattle P-I summarizes the issue so nicely, I thought I’d push the limits of the fair use doctrine, and repeat it here.
Rossi must have opinion about gas tax
The great, unasked question: Where does Dino Rossi stand on Initiative 912 to repeal the gas-tax increase?
Rossi’s whole campaign focused on improving Washington’s business climate. Business interests strongly oppose I-912 because it repeals funding for long-overdue transportation improvements. This suggests Rossi would oppose I-912.
But his failed legal quest for an election do-over was repeatedly invoked by I-912’s talk-radio sponsors to motivate their signature-gathering troops and “send Democrats a message.” This implies Rossi’s support. I suspect Rossi still refuses to declare a position on initiatives, just as he did during his 2004 campaign. With I-912, he risks alienating one of his two bases: business or anti-tax conservatives. So what’s the point?
Your Monday editorial answers that question: “When mobility, traffic congestion and thousands of local jobs are at stake, we’d hope for stronger leadership.”
We know Rossi will run for public office again. In the meantime, he appears to have become the de-facto leader of this state’s Republican Party. Isn’t he the one person with the best chance of saving the 2005 transportation investment should he speak out against the job-killing I-912?
Thanks David… well said. I’ll be looking for Dino’s letter to the editor in reply.
In addition to demanding that Rossi publicly state whether he supports I-912, I also posed the same question to Irons’ colleagues on the King County Council. Three have responded thus far: Dwight Pelz and Julia Patterson are opposed to I-912, and
Raymond Shaw Reagan Dunn supports it. No surprises there.
Patterson was the only one of the three to provide an explanation, and I think it is worth sharing, as it makes clear to residents of South King County some of what they will lose should the gas tax repeal pass.
I will be voting against I-912 because I support all the South King County transportation projects that the 2005 state transportation package funds. I believe we need the additional lanes on 405 between Renton and Tukwila, the improvements to the 405/167 interchange, and the completion of the HOV lanes on SR 167. All are funded in the 2005 state transportation package, and will not be completed if I-912 passes. These projects are important to the residents of South King County and will help reduce congestion and keep our economy strong.
This, of course, is exactly the type of effort to educate voters that we need from our elected officials and other civic leaders if we are to have a hope of defeating I-912. It’s the type of bold leadership one would hope candidates like Irons and Rossi would display if they really want to prove that they deserve the public’s trust.
And one final note. While
Shaw Dunn didn’t provide an explanation, his prompt and terse response to whether he supported I-912 did prove that he is an attentive HA reader… and has a bit of a sense of humor to boot.
He’s the new kid on the block, and I don’t much care for his politics thus far, but this certainly scores him a couple of points in my book.