Who Hijacked Our Country

Monday, October 13, 2008

Lee “Willie Horton” Atwater Comes to Washington State

He may be dead (rot in Hell scumbag) but his ghost is all over the map.

It’s hard to believe that a liberal state like Washington might be sending a Republican to the Governor’s Mansion. The two candidates are running neck and neck. If you live within broadcasting range of Washington, you’re undoubtedly sick to death of their TV commercials.

Republican Dino Rossi is running against Democratic incumbent Christine Gregoire. The same two candidates ran against each other four years ago; it was possibly the closest election in American history. After several recounts, Gregoire won by a handful of votes. There's been a lot of bitterness and accusations and countercharges since then.

Washington isn't a swing state. I haven’t yet seen any TV ads about McCain or Obama. Instead we’re getting bombarded with jillions of commercials for Rossi and Gregoire.

But anyway, about Lee Atwater: Dino Rossi’s newest tactic is to exploit a massive bureaucratic fuckup that had nothing to do with the governor. The state government has lost the addresses of 1,300 paroled/released sex offenders. This is intolerable, and heads need to roll.

And now the Republican Governors Association has spent $2 million on a “Willie Horton” campaign to blame Christine Gregoire. Letters (with grisly photos) have been sent out to hundreds of thousands of Washington households. It’s a combination of fear tactics (“this swarthy predator is loose in YOUR neighborhood!”) and the Atwater School of Character Assassination.

Law enforcement is furious at the Republican Governors Association for this sleazebucket attack. A group of police officers from throughout the state has sent a letter saying:

“We are writing to express our collective outrage at the Republican Governors Association (RGA) for broadcasting misleading television ads that distort Governor Gregoire's record and slander the hard work we do every day….These attacks trivialize the work we do every day and exploit a parent's worst fears. And to what end? So that in less than thirty days a parent will be frightened into putting a check mark next to Republican Dino Rossi's name. These attacks are disgusting, unethical and desperate.”

The letter also mentioned that Gregoire has supported law enforcement “every step of the way,” she’s pushed for tougher sentencing for sex offenders, and that Washington’s crime rate is the lowest it’s been in fourteen years.

Here are some more links to this scandal.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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10 Comments:

Blogger J. Marquis said...

It's very strange. I was asking my wife "why would someone vote for Obama for president and then Rossi for governor"?

October 13, 2008 at 5:34 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Out of the blue the other day, someone close to me who rarely talks about or shows interest in politics and isn't especially fond of Democrats, referred to Rossi as a lying sleazebag.

Picking myself up off the floor, I hastened to agree. It occurred to me that if Rossi has managed to get on the wrong side of this person, he's in big trouble.

October 13, 2008 at 7:27 PM  
Anonymous JollyRoger said...

didn't I hear about some scandal involving Rossi that would effectively shut down his campaign if it gained any traction?

October 13, 2008 at 7:58 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

J: Just so they don't vote for Rossi and then vote for McCain while they're at it. Sick joke, I take it all back.

SW: That's encouraging to hear. I hope he's in big trouble.

JR: His main other scandal, that I know of, is with the rightwing builders' lobby. It's one thing for a construction organization to be conservative, but this group (I forget their exact name) is so far to the right they're off the map. They violated some campaign laws with their huge contributions to Rossi, and Rossi knew about it. It made the news but I don't think it's affected the race.

October 13, 2008 at 8:15 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

I have to wonder how much Rossi would be able to get done should he be elected... WA does seem too liberal to tolerate a hardcore like Rossi. I just hope Gregoire can beat him again this time. Washington is too great a state to have to deal with someone like Rossi in the governor's mansion. Sure, Gregoire is probably not perfect, but just about anything would be better than the scheiser Rossi.

Here in Oregon we have been inundated with the Gordon Smith and Jeff Merkley ads... and it's neck and neck, according to polls. The thought that Oregon might actually rid itself of Smith is heartening. Smith has tried a Willie Horton tactic too, in his ads about how Merkley supposedly was in favor of some sentencing thing that allowed a convicted rapist to go free and rape again, etc. The rape victim played a prominent role in the ads, it was all very infuriating to see it played over and over. And as the Smith campaign realizes Smith could actually lose this time, it is ratcheting up the nasty advertisements. I hope it backfires. Smith is not as bad as many of the Republicans in high places, but he has an irritating McCain-style way of voting with Bush and then talking endlessly about how he is bipartisan and works across the aisle, etc.

I know I can't wait until this election is over.

October 13, 2008 at 9:03 PM  
Blogger Candace said...

Wow. At least law enforcement backed her up. I'm surprised at the tight race - a second tight race, no less. What's the deal? She wouldn't happen to be a person of color, would she?

October 13, 2008 at 9:18 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: True, Rossi would be sort of hamstrung with 2 senators and most of the state legislature being Democratic. I don't know that much about him, but among other things he's "pro-life" and he wants to lower the minimum wage.

I don't know much about Gordon Smith, but it sounds like you'd be better off without him. And I too will be glad when this election is finally over.

Candace: No, Gregoire is white. She's basically pretty non-descript. I haven't really followed Washington state politics very closely in the 4 years I've lived here. National and local politics, but somehow Washington issues just haven't been much on my radar. There probably isn't even that much difference between Rossi and Gregoire, but I don't want a Republican governor.

October 14, 2008 at 12:33 AM  
Anonymous Bonnie said...

We've seen that ad at our house already. My husband immediately called it for what it was.

Additionally, one of my friends moved about two years ago. She changed her address around the beginning of this year. About two weeks ago she got a letter in regards to this (as far as what county she was in now, as she lives close to the border). When she called about this, she was told there was no address change on file for her and she got a new card with her OLD address on it. She's still calling and trying to get this straightened out. Several of her other friends have had voter issues as well.

While it's unlikely that this will cause problems for Obama in Washington, it could be trouble for Gregoire.

As far as how tight the WA governor races are--could it have anything to do with Gregoire's history as insurance commissioner. I'm sure their lobbyists are making sure the other side has plenty of money.

October 14, 2008 at 7:26 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

"There probably isn't even that much difference between Rossi and Gregoire ..."


Gregoire is definitely progressive — strong for public education, vital social services, etc.

Rossi is definitely business/developers uber alles, has it in for public schools (especially teachers and their unions), and a social regressive. Think California's Rep. Darrel Issa, with the same dismissive, combative attitude toward anyone or anything he deems liberal (meaning socialist).

The difference is night vs. day.

October 14, 2008 at 9:52 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Bonnie: That's right, I forgot that Gregoire was insurance commissioner. Big Business definitely wants Rossi.

SW: I actually haven't followed Washington state politics in the 4 years I've lived here. When we moved here from California we got immediately immersed in local politics; we live downtown in a small town we we're affected by the whims our self-contained city government. And the Bush-Kerry campaign was in its throes when we moved here. Somehow, Washington issues just sort of fell off our radar. Gregoire seems pretty nondescript to me, the extent I've followed things. I don't disagree with her on anything; she always just seems to be saying what she's "supposed" to say. Rossi is "pro-life" and he wants to lower the minimum wage. So yes, there is a difference between the 2 candidates; I should've worded that previous comment differently.

October 14, 2008 at 10:19 PM  

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