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Hes running for governor again, Im convinced of it.
You know, I said to Dino Rossi at a luncheon meeting in Port Orchard the other day, I rarely advise candidates, but I do make this suggestion to newcomers.
Once youve decided what office you plan to seek, you or someone in your family or at your behest should start clipping every item you see in newspapers and magazines about that office and the person who holds it or is considered a prospective candidate and keep a scrapbook. Then you can go into the campaign armed with material that will prove invaluable to you and impress the voters that youve been paying attention.
So, I asked, is anybody doing that for you? He smiled. Theres a lot of that going on, he said.
Okay, hes running for governor again. Im convinced of it.
He wouldnt be all over the state reciting his success story from a poor kid who thought everybody drank powdered milk to a millionaire in the commercial real estate business if he wasnt determined to take back what was stolen from him by King County.
While Im at it, I dont think King County elections director Dean Logan was a part of the cabal that managed to turn around the results after Rossi had won twice. Ive known Logan since he was a little kid and he was almost as much a victim of that dirty business as Rossi. He walked into a nest of vipers and couldnt get a handle on it soon enough. It cost him his good name and reputation, and he now lives and works in California.
Anyway, Rossi is much at ease talking to businessmen and women and this was the South Kitsap Chamber of Commerce. He didnt have any of his four kids with him this time although he sometimes has one tagging along. Daughter Juliauna (yes, its Juliauna) is 16 now and greeted him recently with Daddy, I have great news. Two boys have asked me to the homecoming dance. Honey, Rossi said he told his daughter. You have a traditional Italian daddy. Youre not dating until youre 25.
He is a movie buff, he said, and compared whats been going on in the state to various movies. When the Republicans held the state Senate by one vote in 2003, he chaired Ways and Means and produced a $23 billion no new tax budget during the biggest dollar deficit in state history. That was his Mission Impossible movie, he said.
When the state spent a record increase in 2005, that was Fistful of Dollars. A $4 billion increase in spending was The Money Pit. In 2006, the governor put out a supplemental budget. The Senates was higher than hers and the subsequent House supplemental was higher yet, followed by a conference committee budget that was higher than all three of the previous ones, Rossi said. That was For a Few Dollars More.
His motto as he was growing up, he said, was Never say never on anything. The naysayers said he would get nowhere, but at 25, I bought my first apartment building. When I ran for the state Senate, people said whod vote for some body whose name sounds like some kind of wine? They said I could never be elected governor, but we did that twice. The whole place erupted in applause.
Now, was U.S. Attorney John McKay of Seattle fired because he failed to vigorously pursue an investigation of the 2004 governors race? The Justice Dept. says no, but Rossi was personally urged to run by the president, who surely was disappointed if not disgusted at the outcome. Bush also wrote a letter to him at the request of Juliauna urging him to let the kids get a dog. He took a special interest in the Rossi family.
McKay conducted a half-hearted preliminary investigation after which he dropped the whole thing, despite cries of fraud from voters in both parties. He messed his own nest.
Adele Ferguson can be reached at P.O. Box 69, Hansville, WA, 98340.