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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 15, 2008 at 4:23 PM

Governor’s race

Personality matters

As a first-time voter this year, I know I can speak for many when I say that personality in a candidate does matter [“Christine Gregoire: Smart, intense and struggling to woo voters,” news, Oct. 10].

Compared with Sen. Barack Obama, Sen. John McCain seems very intense, just as Gov. Christine Gregoire seems when matched with gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi’s good sense of humor and laid-back personality.

I know that my vote for governor should be based off their stance in politics and how they plan to help make our state better economically, but if Gregoire wants to get re-elected, especially with young voters, she has to present herself in a more relaxed and comfortable way.

This story mentioned a few times how Gregoire shows her “formal” side when she is in public.

Young voters don’t care about relaying the stats if the personality doesn’t come with it.

If Gregoire were to act more like she does when she is around her family, she would be a much more likable candidate in this upcoming election.

She would get my vote.

–Jacquelyn Komen, Seattle

Like drawing blood from a rock

Gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi’s latest attack ad features two women sharing their woes over increasing property taxes for citizens living on “fixed incomes.” What they fail to capture on camera is the true background behind why this is the case.

Washington state is one of the few remaining in the nation without an income tax. Therefore, money to provide services needs to come from other sources such as sales tax, gas tax, motor-vehicle tax and property tax.

Unfortunately, these are all examples of “regressive taxes,” meaning that the lower a person’s income, the higher the percentage of income she/he pays in tax.

Income tax, on the other hand, is an example of “progressive tax,” which means that the percentage of tax paid increases proportionately to one’s income.

Mere mention of instituting an income tax in Washington, however, has become known as political suicide for anyone who dares utter the words.

This results in the phenomenon of the citizens with the lowest incomes providing the broadest base of revenues for the state budget. Anyone with even a few firing brain cells should be able to figure out the answer to that equation.

And each time Tim Eyman [initiative guru] sits down at his keyboard to create his latest example of shortsighted “vomit,” the coffers of the state budget creep further into the red zone.

I hope the legislators and citizens of this state will wake up someday and recognize that this cannot continue.

Voting for Rossi, my friends, is not the answer to the problem. In fact, his “solutions” to the budget crisis will only make things worse — not just for the working class, but for all of us who depend on the working class to bear such a large percentage of the tax burden.

Ever try getting blood from a rock?

Gov. Gregoire’s “reckless spending,” as Rossi-ites refer, has been for “superficial” things like health care and education for our youth — investments that will lead to large payoffs in the future if we can be patient.

The best solution is to overhaul the tax structure in our state.

— Rebecca Resnick, Seattle

Actions speak louder than lies

Much has been written and spoken about truth in advertising during this election cycle.

This makes it hard for voters to know exactly what we can believe and who we can trust. With that as our conflict, perhaps our choices should be based on what each candidate brings to the election in character and experience. If that is the criteria, the only choice is Gov. Christine Gregoire. Her years of public service as our state attorney general and our governor, move her to the top of the list of qualified candidates.

In this, the most important election in my life, I would not consider voting for anyone other than Gregoire.

— Vincent Lachina, Seattle

Give us someone who cares

The race for governor comes down to this: caring or careless.

Gov. Christine Gregoire has proved she cares for all the residents of this state. No matter their color, socioeconomic status, religion, sexual orientation or age, her vision is simple: serve, protect and instill hope for a better future.

Gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi believes catering to business interests and letting capitalism reign free of “government regulation” is the end-all.

Wake up Rossi — we can only call that careless.

Roll back the minimum wage? Deny equal rights to committed gay couples? Grant more tax breaks to your friends in the building industry? Careless, careless, careless.

— Michael Wrenn, Seattle

Think of the children

During the past four years, under the leadership of Gov. Christine Gregoire, the state has made wise investments to ensure the well-being of vulnerable children. These include investments in foster care, early learning, reduced class size, health-care coverage and child-nutrition programs. One would never guess this from the distortions about her record that fill our airwaves.

Take foster care, for example. Thousands of children in Washington are placed in foster care each year. For most, this provides needed safety and stability. For a few, it does not.

Gregoire and the Legislature have dramatically increased funding (approximately $198 million) and oversight of foster care to address problems. She has been a leader in Washington and the nation.

When Gregoire took office, Child Protective Services (CPS) investigations were required within 72 hours of a report when a child was at risk of harm. Today, it’s 24 hours, and this quick action means fewer children have subsequent referrals to CPS.

The response time for lower-risk cases has also improved. There is much to do, but Gregoire has the knowledge, commitment and focus to keep on track to improve the well-being of all of the children who come to the state’s attention.

It is important to understand the facts to determine who will be the best governor for the most vulnerable children in Washington. The Children’s Campaign Fund (a nonpartisan PAC dedicated to electing champions for children) has endorsed Gregoire for governor because of her demonstrated leadership, commitment and capacity to protect all children and her proven track record.

— Marty Jacobs, Seattle

Comments | More in Election, Politics, Washington Legislature

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