Monday, October 6, 2008

It's Criminal What Dino Rossi Is Saying About Crime

Dino Rossi and his surrogates continue to attack Governor Gregoire for being "soft on crime." The Republican Governors Association recently ran full-page ads in several daily newspapers to that effect, and Rossi has been making these claims on the stump all year. Not only are these ads deliberately untruthful, they represent an obvious attempt to inoculate Rossi against one of his greatest vulnerabilities. After all, it was Dino Rossi, when he was Chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee, who led the charge to save money by releasing thousands of felons from supervision.

You don't have to take my word for it. Check the record yourself. The 2003-05 Senate Chair Budget saved more than $40 million by letting prisoners out early and reducing the supervision of felons [see p. 37]. The result? The state simply stopped supervising 14,000 felons after they were released from prison. As any CCO will tell you, these felons represent a risk to society and somebody needs to keep an eye on them. But for Dino Rossi it was more important to enact more than $100 million in new tax cuts for wealthy businesses like Microsoft than to keep our communities safe [see pp. 51-54].

Meanwhile, Gregoire has presided over the lowest crime rate in 14 years. She has created a DNA registry for anyone convicted of a sex crime, required sex offenders to wear electronic ankle monitors, increased sentences for sex offenders, and invested in a new prison to make sure we aren't forced to release criminals early or to send them to private, for-profit prisons in other states.

The truth is, it's Dino Rossi, not Chris Gregoire, who agreed to stop supervising thousands of released felons. Maybe that's why his campaign is making so much noise trying to distort Gregoire's record. He's afraid otherwise voters might notice HIS record. -- Dennis

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