Tuesday, October 7, 2008

P-I, Columbian Endorse Gregoire

Over the past couple of days, two of the largest daily newspapers in the state have released editorials endorsing the re-election of Gov. Chris Gregoire.

The Seattle P-I wrote:
"Rossi was a capable senator and is a capable campaigner. But his avoidance of questions about his social conservatism, his unrealistic transportation ideas and even his unwillingness to be labeled Republican on the ballot all warn there's a lot about how Rossi would govern that most of us, including perhaps the candidate, would learn only after he took on the job.

Gregoire is a known, trustworthy performer. She led state agencies well for years, and has done the same for the whole state. Gregoire has made improvements and smart choices in perhaps every area of major responsibility, many long neglected."

The Columbian wrote:

"Now Democrat Gregoire is engaged in another knock-down, drag-out against the same foe: Republican Dino Rossi. This time, though, she carries a new weapon: a four-year record as governor by which she is judged. That record reveals Gregoire to be a tough, no-nonsense, hard-working advocate, especially in the areas of public education and health care.

Gov. Gregoire has served well, particularly in matters affecting Clark County, and The Columbian today endorses her for reelection. Such was not our recommendation four years ago when we endorsed Rossi in a battle of two candidates who were seasoned politicians, but first-time applicants for the governor’s chair. Now, though, Gregoire is armed with a dossier that shows significant progress."

The Seattle Times will announce its endorsement in the Governor's race on Oct. 19th, although this observer believes there is no chance the Times will endorse Gregoire. The publisher of the Seattle Times, Frank Blethen, has lobbied vigorously and donated money on behalf efforts to repeal the estate tax. Gov. Gregoire led the fight to reinstate the estate tax in our state, with the proceeds dedicated to education. [Note: Washington's estate tax exempts estates valued at less than $2 million, meaning only the wealthiest residents would have to pay.] Meanwhile, Dino Rossi supports a repeal of the estate tax, in spite of the fact that an initiative to repeal the tax was defeated 38-62% when it was on the ballot in 2005. Still, it seems unlikely Blethen will be able to overcome his bias in support of tax cuts for the rich when considering the Governor's race. [Another Note: The Blethen family also owns the Walla Walla Union Bulletin and the Yakima Herald-Republic, so don't expect a lot of objectivity there, either.] -- Dennis

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