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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 25, 2008 at 6:15 PM

Governor’s race

What is he hiding?

I am very concerned about this upcoming governor’s race. It seems weird that Dino Rossi refuses to testify under oath about the role he played with the BIAW [Building Industry Association of Washington] and its fundraising.

What is he hiding?

What other “backroom deals” will Rossi bring to the governor’s mansion? I want to know more about his relationship with the BIAW so I can make an informed decision on Nov. 4.

The people of Washington state deserve answers.

— Marci Jaye, Seattle

Minimum wage is real for thousands

If gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi tried to raise his family on minimum wage for a month, maybe he would understand how hard it is to make ends meet. At least Washington workers have a higher minimum than many other states, but if elected Rossi would try to cut these wages of our state’s lowest-paid workers.

Why is this even a debate? Does Rossi seriously think that a person working full time and getting paid less than $1,400 a month is getting paid too much?

If Rossi gets his way to pay new workers his special “lower” wage, what’s to keep employers from just laying off nonunion workers getting the legal minimum wage so they can make more profit? Nothing.

— Tom Geiger, Seattle

She was the only one

My husband was badly injured and went through a very difficult Labor and Industries claim that lasted over six years. During this time the insurer refused to pay correctly for time loss, prescriptions, doctors visits and procedures, all of which he was entitled to by law.

Considering those six years, we didn’t want to have his settlement in installments. We tried to get a lump sum paid out, and were told “no way.” We contacted the insurance commissioner, and were told “we don’t regulate that.” The lawyers we hired didn’t help us at all.

So we researched our legal rights, then wrote a letter outlining our story and our rights and mailed it to everyone we thought could help: the governor’s office, insurance commissioner, attorney general, all senators and state representatives.

The only person who responded was Gov. Christine Gregoire. She took care of everything immediately. She didn’t stand to gain anything by helping us, she simply saw an injustice and made it right.

We hope it makes a difference to know that our governor doesn’t think this state is just a business; Gregoire cares about the people in it.

— Laura Shuff, Chimacum, Jefferson County

Let me get this straight

I’m having a good time with the local ads for gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi. My favorite is the one where he points out he never suggested dropping the minimum wage by $1.50 for working adults.

The Democrats have a TV ad with several adults talking about how this plan would hurt them, which is labeled false by the Rossi campaign.

Does this make sense?

Rossi proposes dropping the minimum wage for whom? Anyone under 21? I’m not clear on the cutoff.

But I am definitely clear on this: the second that legislation takes hold, how many employers are going to be hiring adults in mostly low-wage, service-oriented jobs when they can pay less by hiring teenagers?

Are clear-thinking Republicans being forced out of their own party? Apparently on the national stage many believe it doesn’t matter what Gov. Sarah Palin says as long as she is dressed in designer outfits.

And in Washington state, if Rossi has his way, poor families headed by adults will need to depend on the income of their minor children.

— Lynn Morrow, Edison, Skagit County

He’ll risk his reputation

Gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi stated last week that if elected governor, he may need to delay the implementation of his plan to overhaul the roads in our state. Many have decried this statement as breaking campaign promises before he is even elected.

I found this a refreshingly honest assessment from a politician in the midst of a heated battle for governor.

Rossi is risking his candidacy by acknowledging the potential delay, and his statement has two implications. One, it proves that he will fulfill his promise to balance our state’s budget — even at the expense of his own reputation.

Two, it certainly says something about his integrity. He could have easily ignored the issue until after the election, but he was willing to risk everything in order to be honest with the people of our state.

Such integrity and honor should be rewarded by voters on Nov. 4.

— Benjamin Menenberg, Seattle

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