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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 22, 2008 at 2:45 PM

Rossi endorsed for governor

Where’s my laxative?

It was remarkable to learn today that laxative sales go up during a recession “because people are under tremendous stress, and holding themselves back” [“As economy sinks, laxative sales grow, smoking drops,” Nation & World, Oct. 19]. That explains the sudden clenching I felt when I read The Times’ endorsement of gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi for governor [“Rossi for governor,” Times, editorial, Oct. 19].

Remembering that The Times endorsed President George W. Bush in 2000, I searched The Times’ archives and found the following summary statement: “We [The Times] recommend [George W. Bush, Republican, for President] for integrity and civility in office, for a realistic balance between government and commerce, a fair tax policy, and a new, bipartisan era to confront the needs of the nation”.

I urge the editors to raise their hands, say, “Oops, my bad” and reconsider their current endorsement.

Rossi’s record, grossly negative campaign, questionable fundraising and religious fundamentalism all bear the stench of a Republican brand that has proved itself politically and morally bankrupt (and has rendered many Americans financially bankrupt).

Endorsing Rossi “because he can best be trusted to erase the state’s huge projected deficit without raising taxes” reads like your above endorsement for Bush in 2000, especially the part about “a fair tax policy.”

Please, don’t be fooled again.

— Ed Leach, Seattle

Keepin’ it green

As Puget Sound teeters on the brink of collapse, your endorsement of gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi is nothing short of appalling.

Sure, Rossi says he’s green, but he opposes taking the decisive action needed; that’s why he’s the darling of the BIAW [Building Industry Association of Washington].

Here’s an example of what we could expect from a Rossi administration. Back in 2006, Rossi backed Initiative 933 — an anti-environment, anti-neighborhood measure to force taxpayers to compensate developers who saw their profit margins “damaged” by environmental rules. I-933 was so bad that Gov. Christine Gregoire, all six living former governors and nearly every city council in the state opposed it. So did The Seattle Times, calling it “an expensive hoax on property owners and taxpayers.” Mercifully, voters defeated it by about 60-40 percent across the state (and about 67-33 percent in King County.)

It’s no coincidence that I-933 was funded by groups now dumping buckets of money into Rossi’s campaign, including the BIAW. According to your Oct. 17 story, BIAW PACs [political-action committees] are spending upward of $6 million to elect Rossi and others who would ax environmental protection measures

Let’s keep Washington green with Gov. Gregoire.

— Elsa Bruton, Olympia

You still at work?

When I read The Times’ endorsement for gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi for governor, I hoped I would find cogent and convincing reasons to vote for him. Instead, I found myself reading the same stuff that the Rossi campaign has been putting out all year.

What happened?

Did the editorial staff take the day off and have Rossi write his own endorsement?

— Mark Hudson, Seattle

You fell for it

I am writing to express my disappointment with The Times’ endorsement of gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi for governor. While you are certainly free to support any candidate of your choice, your failure to fully represent Rossi’s views in your endorsement do a disservice to your readers and to the citizens of our state.

Your editorial focused entirely on Rossi’s proposed economic agenda, and neglected to address his regressive social positions. While I agree that the state’s economic woes are of high importance, our next governor will also set the tone for a social agenda of equal magnitude.

Rossi’s arch-conservative views include: siding with big business at the expense of our environment, decreasing protections for wildlife and wilderness areas, seeking to overturn Roe v. Wade and restricting access to contraception and medically accurate sex-education information in schools.

He promises to veto marriage-equality legislation should the Legislature approve it, and to roll back the hard-won civil-union rights that gay and lesbian citizens have just recently attained.

The Rossi campaign has cleverly managed to divert attention during election season from his social views.

By ignoring these issues in your endorsement of his candidacy, you’ve allowed this dishonest campaign strategy to achieve its purpose.

— Jeff Natter, Seattle

He will take us down

I am a teacher in the Seattle Public Schools. I’ve taught for 30 years. I am writing to spread the word about gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi. He will take us back to the days when he was in control of the budget and cut the education budget by $1.2 billion. His current campaign calls for huge increases in the transportation budget with no new sources of revenue.

That means he would cut education again.

This state cannot afford to have a governor who sacrifices our children’s futures. We need an educated work force to meet the needs of the state’s future work force. Washington cannot afford Rossi.

— Joanie Mass, Seattle

We’re on a road to nowhere

I was quite dismayed to see that your editorial board has endorsed gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi, as he simply is not qualified. People who vote for him will be voting against their own interests and will be backing big business. Didn’t we have enough of that trickle-down theory on the national level these past eight years? We do not need that here in Washington state.

The basis of your endorsement is that he will deal with our state deficit without raising taxes. That is a Republican manner of looking at a financial situation. Look where that has gotten our country.

Taxes not raised on a state level are simply made up by increased homeowner and sales taxes elsewhere. Thinking we do not all need to pay for our fair share of the infrastructures and services is silly.

No matter how “likable” Rossi appears to be, he’s a lacky of big business and I for one have had more than enough of that these last eight years.

— Matt Shaw, Seattle

Let her keep tackling

As Island County Commissioner, I often worked with Gov. Christine Gregoire when she was director of the state Department of Ecology. She did not hesitate to take on the toughest problems facing people of this good state.

Two of the more contentious were water and water rights and Puget Sound water quality. She brought all the players and interested parties together and got them to talk and consider solutions until an agreement could be made. Feelings often overflowed into the discussions but she never wavered in her determination to find an equitable solution. Her leadership and sharp intellect served us all well.

These qualities were shown again when, as our attorney general, she successfully concluded negotiations with the tobacco industry that netted billions from the U.S. I recall saying to the executive director of the Washington State Association of Counties that I thought she was doing a really good job. He countered that “She is the best attorney general we have ever had.” And I, too, came to believe that to be true.

As governor she has brought that same leadership and incisive thinking to the highest office in our state. She has tackled the tough jobs and served the people well. I will be proud to vote for her to be returned for a second term.

— Dwain Colby, Camano Island

No more equal rights

I was crushed, but not surprised, that Dino Rossi won the endorsement of The Seattle Times. I am willing to concede that he could do a good job with the budget, though Gov. Christine Gregoire has proved that she can be tough as well.

I recall it was under her watch that a large deficit was erased. But socially, Rossi does not represent the majority of this state. He has said that he would consider proactively rescinding the domestic-partnership law. He even refused to address the constituency at a gay and lesbian community business meeting.

If he didn’t support equal rights based on race or gender I suspect that The Seattle Times would write him off in a nanosecond, regardless of his other positions. It just proves that gay and lesbian people can still be publicly maligned without penalty. The support of the editorial board of Rossi without qualification makes them complicit with Rossi’s views.

The editorial mentioned other reasons to vote for Rossi besides the budget issues, but the idea was basically change for change’s sake.

I hardly think that changing from Gregoire is analogous to the change from President George W. Bush. I think there are many other reasons to vote for Gregoire, such as education, industry support, minimum wage and the environment.

But The Seattle Times is completely myopic in their approach. Perhaps the editorial should have mentioned some concerns as well.

— John Sutherland, Seattle

She’s doing it better

In your endorsement of gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi, you claim that “when he says he’ll cut spending, you can believe him.” I strongly disagree.

I find it hard to believe anything Rossi has said in this campaign. He hasn’t provided one substantive proposal to tackle any of the state’s problems, and when it comes to cutting spending, Rossi refuses to pinpoint a single item he would cut. He just says, “I’ll balance the budget without raising taxes.”

That’s an attractive promise to make, but no one should believe him until he explains exactly how he would do it.

Gov. Christine Gregoire has already started to cut spending and has also vowed not to raise taxes.

To save $90 million, Gregoire has ordered state agencies to implement a hiring freeze and to eliminate nonemergency out-of-state travel, equipment purchases and services contracts. In addition, she just announced another $240 million in immediate budget savings.

Combined with the money saved in the rainy-day fund Gregoire created, these actions alone will cut the projected budget deficit in half.

When it comes to balancing the budget, Gregoire is the only candidate we should trust.

— Alex Hart, Seattle

Comments | More in Economy, Election, Environment, Politics, Washington Legislature

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