After last night’s debate at KOMO TV, I got a chance to ask both Dino Rossi and Gov. Chris Gregoire a question during their respective post-show press conferences. (Each candidate gave the press about five minutes.)
During the debate, Rossi dodged a viewer question about mass transit by saying his role as governor was to oversee the state’s highways. Mass transit alternatives like buses and light rail, he said, were local issues.
However, his transportation plan actually takes $650 million away from Sound Transit’s budget (putting the money toward state roads.) Sound Transit’s plan was approved by local voters.
I asked Rossi how that part of his plan—taking money away from a locally-approved transit option— jibed with his statement that local voters should be in control of transit solutions.
Rossi said the money was for HOV-lane connections between 405 and 520, and if local voters didn’t like that part of his plan, he would take it out.
I didn’t get to ask him if voters could also take out the $560 million in gas tax money that’s in his plan. Rossi has run TV ads lampooning the gas tax.
During Gregoire’s Q&A, I asked about the $3.2 billion deficit. Gregoire maintained during the debate that Washington state has a surplus, but as has been widely reported, the state is facing a $3.2 billion deficit.
Indeed, Rossi told the press corps that Gregoire was living in an “alternate universe.” He said it’s like she has $800 in her checking account now, but she’s ignoring the $4,000 worth in bills she has due in January.
Gregoire said the $3.2 billion deficit was a projection for 2011, but currently, based on the budgets she has passed, we have “money in the bank.” That is true: $500 million; plus cuts she’s proposed that will put the 2009 budget in the black to the tune of $800 million, her campaign says.
Gregoire differentiated this from the $2.2 billion deficit she inherited from the Rossi-Locke budget which, she said, was a literal deficit that “I turned into a surplus.”
Gregoire took the opportunity to blame the deficit projections on “the collapse that happened on Wall Street” and the “failed policies of George Bush” which Rossi supports.
I’m still mulling over the debate itself. Both candidates had their moments.
Gregoire used just about every question to attack Rossi for being “out of step with Washington values” by pointing to the 2003 budget which Rossi wrote as a state senator—cutting 40,000 kids off health care and raising fees on seniors in nursing homes. She got off her best line of the night by sticking to this theme of Rossi’s indifference to vulnerable Wahsingtonians when she noted that Rossi’s 2003 budget stepped on a voter-approved initiative for smaller class sizes. Rossi balanced the budget, she said, “by taking it out on the hides of our kids…That’s just not our values.”
Gregoire actually landed her best blow, though, when she directly addressed the day’s earlier dust up over her stem cell research ad, which The Seattle Times reported was misleading. She explained that Rossi was against embryonic stem cell research, which is the most useful field of stem cell research when it comes to finding cures for diseases such as diabetes and cancer and alzheimers. Rossi had opened the debate by seizing on the stem cell controversy, saying he supported stem cell research. But when Rossi tried to repeat the claim in his closing statement—obviously he senses that his socially conservative positions are out of synch with the independent voters both candidates are fighting for in this nail-biter—it rang hollow. His statement that “we have to cure some of these terrible diseases” sounded pretty lackluster in light of how Gregoire had reframed the issue.
Without a doubt, Rossi’s best moment came when he recited (almost comically) a seemingly endless list of police guild endorsements, including Seattle’s.
Although, Rossi’s best moments typically came through emotional appeals rather than when he got into the specifics. When he lowered his voice and talked about “cherishing” the teaching profession, explaining that his dad was a Seattle school teacher, he may have negated all of Gregoire’s wonky attacks about Rossi’s assaults on education funding.
AP reporter Rachel La Corte filed a basic recap of the debate which correctly captured Gregoire in her new-found attack mode:
Gregoire said it was important to point out the differences between herself and Rossi.
“We disagree on priorities, we disagree on values, from stem cell research to global warming,” she said. “Let’s move forward as a state. Let’s not compromise our values or our priorities.”
The debate covered several other issues, including transportation, the environment, crime and education.
Gregoire has made the health of Puget Sound a cornerstone of her campaign and as governor has signed several environmental bills into law, including the creation of the Puget Sound Partnership, a state agency responsible for determining the current health of the sound and setting priorities for meeting the goal of a healthy sound by 2020.
“We need a plan that is bold and is leadership-driven,” she said. Rossi “has no plan to do anything about Puget Sound and no plan on global climate change.”
Rossi said that his plan to improve the state’s transportation system will lower emissions. He didn’t offer any other specifics on Puget Sound or other issues but said he would be a “very good environmental steward.”
It’s worth noting: Rossi said he would be a “good environmental steward” because his grandmother had taught his family to “leave the campsite better than how you found it.” It was a sweet anecdote he repeated several times. Gregoire got fed up with the touching story and belittled it by tying Rossi to his financial patron the BIAW (perhaps $1 million this election to oust Gregoire), the business lobby that Rossi voted with 99 percent of the time as a state senator.
I do wonder what Rossi’s environmentally conscious grandmother would think of the BIAW’s agenda. The BIAW spent last legislative session fighting against environmental regulations such as the carbon cap plan and a bill to make carbon emissions a factor in land use decisions.
Funny how goldy waits until the AP tells the seattle times they copy/paste on the debate then he gets his copy and paste.
He’s another NOBAMA wait for the wind then post.
The times can’t even send a reporter.
Are they one subscriber away from bankruptcy?
I think so.
Did that mean-spirited fraud Rossi ONCE, ONCE refer to Gregoire as the Governor and not “the incumbent” or “my opponent”?
right wing idiot @ 1
It was JOSH FEIT who wrote this post.
Gotcha dumbass troll!!! hehehehehe
Hey this was a good post.
Everybody chip in a few more bucks for Josh in the sidebar.
No differences, all* of you are mindless clones from the same cesspool.
* Including NOBAMA
You have to be kidding libs chip in bucks.
Your leaches and have no Bucks of your own.
4 – Typical reality-denying wingnut – can’t handle the truth that he’s a DUMBASS!
The Real Mark spews:
Josh, pretty good post — though it looks like you must not have gotten your copy of the HA Style Manual. Next time, try injecting profanities, crackpot speculation and outright lies so that your writing will blend better with the other HA writers.
Goldy, you used to show glimmers of actual writing like this. What happened? Do we need to pool our funds and check you into a 12-Step Kos Kool-Aid Detox program?
Shades of Reagan…
The Gov needs to put out some ads just ripping into Rossi’s cute little anecdotes. Just have them compare his words to his actions. Don’t let him hide behind his words.
Josh, I’m about to give you something the bloggers here covet more than anything: My approval.
Good job on the article. It’s refreshing to read something here that thoughtful, yet balanced.
Atta boy, and congratulation on earning a compliment from me!
One thing Rossi said was dead on…get rid of those who were in Olympia and caused much of this mess we are in. 27th District, State Senate…Vote for Larry Faulk, get rid of Senator “Lack of Leadership” Regala.
Like the evil hand of Soros, Ayers, Khalidi, etc…
Have you cracked the terrorist plot that Obama and Ayers has hatched former journalist?
Maybe one of your right wing buddies has already done it. Post some links for our entertainment…
Keep them right winger. Give them to McSame. That geriatric is going to need all the help he can get considering the nutcase that’s only a heartbeat away from the desk he covets..
Proud To Be An Ass spews:
I missed this debate, so thanks, Josh, for the insightful recap.
Proud To Be An Ass spews:
stammcell research failure spews..”A quote from Michell Malkin or some other objective news source….”
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, hilarious, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHa….good one marvie. Is munchkin malkin going to go through Josh’s garbage and post his SSN# on the internet tubes? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA….you are hilarious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Librull from Muscogie spews:
This is really good. Not only are we taxpayers going to bail out our billionaire assholes, we’re going to bail out the billionaire assholes in other countries as well. Conservatism is dead and fucking stinking. Anyone who continues to vote Republican is a hypocritical fool.
PARIS — The financial crisis that began in the United States spread to many corners of the globe. Now, the American bailout looks as if it is going global, too, a move that could raise its cost and intensify scrutiny by Congress and critics.
Foreign banks, which were initially excluded from the plan, lobbied successfully over the weekend to be able to sell the toxic American mortgage debt owned by their American units to the Treasury, getting the same treatment as United States banks.
The libs are over the edge again need to check Fox must be good news for America or for Dino.
I really hate to say this……
Justice Mary Fairhurst and the other Liberal nags
with women looking like that no wonder the Liberal guys are gay.
17 – Hehehe… That’s the elephant in the room. The plan that Paulson has cooked up has such scary dictatorial powers and puts the American taxpayer on the hook for so much money NOT EVEN NEWT FUCKING GINGRICH supports this shit.
Dino, hit the nail telling her about cuts.
You would have thought she would know Dino’s her opponent not President G.W.Bush.
She didn’t get the memo “Politics is Local”
If Obama wins, he will be bankrupt with all the buyouts.
When Mccain wins, the transfer of this buyout will come to light, Halliburton is holding all of it for President McCain.
The Real Mark spews:
THE POST @ 16 IS A SPOOF
Note the lack of my Roger “Roadkill” Rabbit Gravatar — “The Symbol of Comment Quality!”TM
These HA seen this today.
Jim Vaughn spews:
Dubious math and lies or is it stupidity. Gregorie’s statement that Dino’s plan will take $1Billion away from education is way off base.
Our laws specifically state in Article IX, Section 2: “The Legislature shall provide for a general and uniform system of public
6. Once the Legislature has established what is considered to be 100% funding of basic education needs, it cannot reduce that funding level due to state revenue problems.
Gregoires comments leaves me to deduce that either Gregoire does not know the basics for financing education in our state (probably the case given the budget disaster she has created) or she does know and this is another one of her lies.
Blue Dog Democrat
Below is portion of a speach that I gave to the Democratic Party at the 25th LD Meeting. Here is the real Gregoire from a Democrat.
Hello, I am Jim Vaughn, I am a former US Army Major and a candidate for US Representative. I am a no-nonsense, Blue Dog conservative democrat that has been compared to Scoop Jackson. Blue Dogs are dedicated to a core set of beliefs that transcend partisan politics, including a deep commitment to the financial stability and national security of the United States. Given the limited amount of time, I am going to focus on the economy.
We have a huge budget deficit, a recession in full bloom and now an enormous trade deficit. When the depths of this recession become a reality and we receive fewer dollars from the federal government, the standard answer in our state to fix a problem has been to raise or create new taxes. But this not the answer. We need to run our government like a business. We must hold government agencies accountable for expenditures and accurate reporting.
In regards to accurate reporting, I have concerns when our governor claims that Washington State is one of the five best states to do business in according to Forbes Magazine. My campaign contacted the author Kurt Badenhausen, at Forbes Magazine and questioned the rating in light of the B&O Tax. Kurt replied, “Thank you for the insights on the B&O tax issue. He went on to say that WA scores poorly in their rating of states on taxes…” In addition, the Olympia Business Watch this past May stated: We are the 14th highest state for business taxes in FY 2007. So much for accurate reporting.
I am also concerned that when the Senate Ways & Means Committee came out with its $2.4 billion deficit projection, Christine Gregoire’s budget chief, Victor Moore, said “I’m not giving any credence to that number,” Moore said his office will come out with its own projection later. Again, so much for accurate reporting. These are serious times and we need leaders to acknowledge the situation and provide real solutions.
An article in today’s Seattle Times states that Gov. Christine Gregoire says higher taxes are “absolutely” a last resort in her plans for balancing the state budget. But if any new taxes are needed, she says they should go to voters for approval. I say it’s about time.
Currently, the residents of Washington State are paying over 50 different types of taxes, the latest being the internet tax and our state continues to focus on creating new taxes. This past March, the Washington State Senate Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on two income tax proposals. Given the governors inaccurate reporting and past tax happy term, I do not trust or nor do I believe her.
Now let’s talk about “tax expenditures” — loopholes and subsidies — extended to individual companies and entire sectors which have cut a huge hole in the state revenue base, which is replenished with largely regressive taxes on those least able to pay. For example the B&O Tax where Boeing pays under $3K for $1m in sales and a small business owner like me pays $15K.
I am also disgusted when I read in the Seattle PI that the Indian tribes’ payoff $650,000 to the state Democratic party, and $49,000 directly to Gov. Chris Gregoire, in return for Gregoire’s 2005 killing of a gambling compact which could have brought more than $140 million in annual revenues to the state. The compact Gregoire renegotiated with the Spokane tribe brings no revenue to the state. Obviously the our governor is not concerned about being fiscally conservative because $140 M is a great start on paying down the $2.5 B Deficit.
I am angered at politicians that are more concerned about getting money from special interests rather than representing the voters. Casinos are not people. Corporations are not people. Special interest groups are not people. Yet the governor gives away our tax dollars for her own political gain. An incident, which took place on Thursday, December 16, 1773, which sparked the American Revolution and remains to this day one of the most iconic events of the era. This event is known as the Boston Tea Party. History is repeating itself and the citizens of our state are faced with taxation without representation.
Not only are we taxed to death in this state, we continually see or tax dollars wasted. For example, why are we paying TransCore $18.7 million dollars to collect the tolls on the Narrows Bridge, when we pay people on L&I, Welfare and Unemployment to sit at home? This is one of hundreds of examples of fiscal irresponsibility that I can cite.
Josh, could you please point me to where I can find Gregoire’s transportation plan clearly laid out? I have an issue with Rossi’s vision of a future made of more highways and cars instead of transitioning to a mass transit system in high density areas. But at least Rossi makes his plan easy to find online! I want exactly to know what Gregoire proposes on this vital issue.
Get your facts straight about Rossi you dumb ass retards..this website is named after you!
Have you checked to see who GREGOIRE received $$ from? Check it out…if you are to say anything about Rossi you’d need to say it about Gregoire as well!
Stop bashing the BIAW, they are not the only ones who contributed to his campaign.
While Rossi did not forget the ferries he forgot a huge part of our transportation system, the railroad. I’m not talking about Sound Transit here, I’m talking about freight rail and intercity passenger rail (Amtrak Cascades). Both of these fall under WSDOT‘s authority. There was a lady who asked about better train service from Spokane to Seattle and Rossi sidestepped the issue by putting it as a local issue where it is not in this case.
Amtrak Cascades (Portland-Seattle-Vancouver) is mostly funded by the state and has seen significant ridership over the years. There is demand for more runs but capacity on the tracks are limited, resulting in delays. Many runs are sold out a week in advance. Also a lot of truck traffic can be taken off the road if freight rail capacity were increased. If only the state were more committed to investing in rail.
You do not seem to be aware of the fact that Federal law prohibits taxing Indian gambling. The State of Washington can only negotiate “revenue-sharing” when there is something given to the tribes in return. Most frequently, states give the tribes a statewide monopoly on the types of gambling that take place in their casinos. If the state taxes the tribes it would likely have to close down all of the “card rooms” that exist off of Indian reservations. It is not $140 million dollars in free money like you make it out to be. On the downside, you are putting people out of work and destroying a source of local taxes.
In addition, Gregoire is correct in claiming that states that negotiate revenue-sharing tend to allow casinos to maximize their profitability rather than restricting their impact on the public good. Connecticut, the state which derives the most revenue from “revenue-sharing” provision of Indian gambling compacts, allows monstrosities like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohegan_Sun
Also, it should be noted that most states do not negotiate revenue-sharing.