I’m oddly flattered. I just got off the phone with an executive at a very prominent Seattle-area business, who called to urge me to drop my “stupid little stunt” seeking an injunction to shut down the Alaska Way Viaduct, the 520 bridge, and other dangerous roads. “Executive X” warned that should my lawsuit succeed, the region would lose thousands of jobs, and cost companies like his millions. I replied that no court would issue such an injunction without overwhelming evidence that these structures present an imminent danger, and thus stunt or not, a successful lawsuit would be a great public service.
He was unimpressed, and needless to say, he declined to contribute to my legal offense fund.
Actually, I think he was just feeling me out, trying to get a sense of whether I am serious about pursuing a lawsuit, and whether or not I have the legal or financial resources lined up to follow through. (I am serious, but no, I don’t yet have the resources.)
In any case, it was a brief call, and the conversation quickly turned to Dino Rossi. Executive X told me that both he and his company contributed to the Rossi campaign because they felt that he would be more sensitive to the needs of the business community, and was less likely to play politics on important issues (I had to suppress a giggle on that latter point), but… that Rossi could not be assured of similar support come 2008. He said that he had few complaints with Gov. Gregoire’s performance thus far, and that many in the business community would take a wait and see attitude. He also expressed extreme disappointment that Rossi had allowed himself to be used to promote Initiative 912.
Executive X would not say if he has had any private conversations with Rossi about the transportation improvement package, and the initiative that would repeal it. While he believes Rossi is “aware” of the strong position his and other companies have taken in opposition to I-912, he’s not sure that Rossi “fully appreciates the potential political ramifications.” He wouldn’t elaborate on what those ramifications might be.
This was not a friendly conversation; he told me that my blog was “irresponsible” and “dangerous”, and that he feared that my efforts opposing I-912 were counterproductive… that I should leave the No campaign to the “professionals.” (Like I haven’t heard that before.) He also expressed doubt that I would keep my promise to protect his anonymity, and thus refused to provide many details.
Personally, I just think he was having a bad Monday morning.
But he made one thing absolutely clear: defeating I-912 is a big deal to him and other members of the business community… a big enough deal that he bothered to take a couple minutes out of his busy schedule to call up and complain to an irresponsible, dangerous, untrustworthy blogger like me.
So the question I have for Executive X and other business leaders is: “Where’s Rossi?”