Ah, clever -- remember how in 2004 Rossi lost to Chris Gregoire by a paltry 129 votes? When Al Gore made a stink about his tight margin, he was a "Sore Loserman," but when Rossi wore those shoes, some Republicans claimed the election was "stolen." At least that's the sentiment of the Building Industry Association of Washington, which paid $168,000 for the billboards, according to KXLY.
But now that the billboards have splashed all over Puget Sound media, the wisdom of the politics is in question. Will the billboards fire up more Eastern Washington voters, or will they annoy many more voters from Western Washington? There are a lot more of them, so it's hard to understand the builders' math.
And Gregoire is not giving up on Eastern Washington, as proven by her quick, highly visible trip to declare an emergency at the Valley View fire last Thursday night. But postings reacting to the Seattle Times' take on the billboards on David Postman's blog aren't so concerned about us. As one poster put it: "Yeah, those poor Eastern Washingtonians have it rough what with having those evil Seattle liberal[s] shipping most of their tax contributions east of the mountains to subsidize their less-prosperous neighbors' roads, state services, etc." Or: "I have no Problem With those to the east becom[ing] there [sic] own state so they can stop using my tax dollars."
With friends like these, Rossi may not have to worry about it being a tight race again this year.
Yes, there are more races for 2008 than just U.S. President and Washington governor. Of course all the nation's House members are up for renewal -- there are six running in the 5th District of Washington -- and even old Larry Craig's job is up for grabs in Idaho. Locally, the Spokane City Council is set until 2009, but both Todd Mielke and Mark Richard are facing Democratic challengers (Kim Thorburn and Brian Sayrs, respectively) in order to keep their jobs as Spokane County commissioners.