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Monday, July 2, 2007

Seattle Times Trashes Dino Rossi’s Shadow Campaign

posted by on July 2 at 10:03 AM

The lead editorial in this morning’s Seattle Times picks up on the complaint filed by the Democrats last week against Dino Rossi’s “non-profit” organization, Forward Washington. The Seattle Times says the group—which got non-profit status because it pledged not to engage in partisan political activity … like Rossi’s own pending run for governor…— “does not pass the smirk test.

Here’s a bit of the editorial:

Forward Washington calls itself “a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to increasing public awareness of issues affecting the future of Washington state, its citizens and its economy.”

Rossi is traveling the state, collecting thoughts for an idea bank with hopes of presenting them to the 2008 Legislature. The latter does not pass the smirk test because Democratic leaders in the House and Senate are unlikely to provide a political soapbox to present these ideas.

Rossi’s group could well be legal, but falls in a gray area. The group is keeping Rossi’s potential gubernatorial candidacy alive through speeches and travel.

Rossi’s fair defense is that he hasn’t decided he is running for governor in 2008. That is completely up to him — the when, the if.

But Forward Washington could become a precedent for future candidates and un-candidates. In the presidential campaign, Democrat John Edwards faces similar questions about anti-poverty groups promoting his campaign.

J’accord! I made the Rossi/Edwards comparison on Slog two weeks ago.

I’m glad to see the Seattle Times making a pronounced effort to hold Rossi accountable. It seemed to me the MSM gave him a free ride in 2004.

UPDATE The Seattle Times editorial demanded that Forward Washington release the names of its contributors (and the amounts contributed.) The Seattle Times reasons that Rossi’s group is hiding partisan donors behind the guise of running a non-partisan group. (Campaign groups have to reveal donors, non-profits do not.) The Seattle Times writes: “Rossi’s group…falls into a gray area…The group is keeping Rossi’s potential gubernatorial candidacy alive through speeches and travel…The Public Disclosure Commission…should decide whether such a group is legal…or if such activities violate the spirit of our laws, which is more likely.

I just talked to Ted Dahlstrom, the spokesperson for Forward Washington to ask if the group would reveal its donor list. Dahlstrom said: ” We have not violated any rule. We have no plans to disclose our list.”

RSS icon Comments


Good work Josh. Stay on him.

Posted by ivan | July 2, 2007 11:18 AM

That's "d'accord," short for, "Je suis d'accord!"--I agree!

Posted by Eric F | July 2, 2007 11:32 AM

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