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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dino Rossi Supports Bush’s SCHIP Veto

posted by on October 30 at 11:06 AM

Dino Rossi isn’t a very definitive guy. Except when it comes to saying No to kids. I’ll get to that in a minute.

First, his wishy-washy-ness.

Yesterday, I asked his campaign if Rossi supported 4204, the ballot measure that would lower the threshold for passing school levies from a supermajority to a simple majority.

I got this response from his spokeswoman, Jill Strait: “While I can’t comment on how he will specifically vote on 4204, and he has yet to fill out his ballot, in general he is in favor of simple majorities for school levies as long as those votes happen in November elections, when the most voters are able to participate.”

Here’s Gov. Gregoire:

“I believe this is the right thing to do for our communities and our schools. This measure allows a majority of voters to say yes or no to funding local levies – and make decisions for kids in the community. If we can build a sports stadium with 50%+1, we should be able to fund schools.”

Asked by several reporters last week how he was voting on Prop. 1, the $17.8 billion transportation initiative. Rossi told us he was “leaning no.” He went on to explain that he was a no unless someone could convince him the package would ease congestion. “I haven’t filled out my ballot yet.”

Here’s Gov. Gregoire on Prop. 1:

“If I lived in the district, I would vote yes. This is not a perfect plan, but we have gone far too long in this state without investing in transportation projects that are critical to the safety of Washingtonians. For me, this measure is first and foremost about safety, but we also must invest in congestion relief in a fiscally responsible way. Our roads and transit in the Puget Sound region are critical to our quality of life.”

However, Rossi is definitive about expanding children’s health care. He’s a No.

It did take me a while to get an answer from him on the issue. (There’s a children’s health care expansion bill pending in D.C. that President Bush has already vetoed once—and now a new one is coming his way. If the bill fails it could undermine legislation passed in Olympia last session that expanded children’s health care coverage.)

Rossi supports Bush’s veto. His campaign told me this morning that expanding coverage to 300 percent of the federal poverty level, which is what the federal bill (and our state bill) does, is the “wrong approach,” explaining: “the majority of new children that are going to be coming on are either illegal or they currently have health insurance from the private sector.”

They do? There are 72,000 uninsured kids from families with incomes up to 300 percent of the poverty level ($51,500 for a family of three) in Washington State.

Gregoire does not support President Bush’s veto, and has leaned on the one member of Washington State’s delegation in Washington, Rep. Doc Hastings (R-4, Central Washington), to support the bill. (Hastings was the lone vote from Washington State against overriding Bush and he simply didn’t vote last week on a revised bill to expand SCHIP.)

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Geez, "No Opinions" Dino really isn't getting into the swing of running for office yet. It's a good thing somebody came up with a crazy idea like health care for kids to get him back on track!

Posted by J.R. | October 30, 2007 11:21 AM
Here’s Gov. Gregoire on Prop. 1: “If I lived in the district, I would vote yes."



Posted by tsm | October 30, 2007 11:22 AM

Nobody can be surprised by this from Dino, right? The guy's an Empty Suit. In fact, the Wikipedia definition for E.S. is a photo of Dino (or at least it should be....

Fact is, he genuinely doesn't know enough about any of the topics at issue (other than children's health care, which he is against) to offer an opinion. So he's really not hiding anything from anyone.

Posted by Frequent Flyer | October 30, 2007 11:28 AM

@2 - MSFT and Boeing told Gregoire to support RTID, or they wouldn't contribute $$$$ to the PAC backing her re-election bid.

That's why she's for it.

MSFT and Boeing of course want RTID/ST2 so the cubicle-monkeys will show up to work on time, and because if it fails there would be taxes on businesses as part of ST v2.1.

Posted by Waukishaw | October 30, 2007 11:29 AM

Before Valentino Rossi attempts to vote in a Washington State election, he ought to ask Dan Savage what happened when he tried to fraudulently vote in Iowa. It ain't worth it 'Tino!

Posted by elenchos | October 30, 2007 11:37 AM

Dino might be an empty suit, but it doesn't help anyone when Josh fights back against an assertion without documentation (a majority of the new SCHIP kids under the proposed expansion are illegal or already have insurance) with a response that doesn't counter that assertion at all (72,000 kids within the income guidelines are uninsured) - that could be 10%, 90%, or whatever of the new kids under the expansion. A response to what is likely a crap assertion, but still meaningless in this context.

Posted by Stats or opinion | October 30, 2007 11:45 AM


Microsoft tends to have flexible work hours and most people don't work in cubicles, so getting the " work on time" is not really an issue.

Microsoft supports ST2/RTID because it's hard to retain employees in a region choked by congested highways with no mass transit alternative. Because intellectual capital is their bread and butter, there is no issue more important than attracting and retaining good employees, and traffic is a major issue. They generally support all transit and roads projects, regardless of the funding mechanism. The same goes for Boeing and other major employers. If we don't plan for economic growth, businesses will start locating operations elsewhere. That's yet another reason that a no vote is ill-advised.

Oh, and there is no ST v2.1, and won't be until at least 2009. We have no idea what the funding mechanism will be. So asserting that you know what the tax mix will be on a future non-existent measure is intellectually dishonest. Which, to get back on topic, is another dictionary definition with Dino Rossi's picture next to it. Maybe he can use the same tactic in explaining his opposition to SCHIP. "Don't worry, it will all be fixed in SCHIP 2.1, which we'll vote on shortly after my election but only if you elect me."

Posted by Cascadian | October 30, 2007 12:14 PM

I like Gregoire's support for Prop. 1, but she needs to stop harping on 'safety' as the primary reason. Safety's good, as are infrastructure investments, system tweaks, adding light rail - but the most important reason to vote for Prop. 1 is so that on the morning of Wednesday, November 7th, you can hear a tiny 'pop' as the Sierra Club leadership's heads explode.

Posted by Greg | October 30, 2007 12:23 PM

Cascadian, if you're going to say people are intellectually dishonest when they make predictions about what the funding mechanism for ST 2.1 will be, don't make your own predictions about what year it will or won't arrive. Or, if you are allowed to predict the future, why can't anybody else?

Posted by elenchos | October 30, 2007 12:23 PM

It's hard for him to keep track of which lies he's told. A common problem for the GOP.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 30, 2007 12:24 PM

And there will be an ST2.1 - but MSFT and Boeing know they'll have to not just do heavy lifting for it (campaign donations to convince voters) but also pay part of the taxes.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 30, 2007 12:27 PM

I don't know for sure that there won't be a vote next year, but it's certainly not going to be February as Will in Seattle keeps asserting. If this compromise is shot down by the voters, then we'll have to put together a whole new compromise, which takes time. I don't see how that gets done in less than a year, much less a couple of months. That's ignoring the fact that the powerful political players in the state won't want a presidential-year vote, which makes 2009 or later even more likely. Thus, my "at least 2009" conjecture.

Microsoft has always supported infrastructure projects, so the idea that they're only supporting this one because it's a sales tax doesn't pass the slightest bullshit test. There's no guarantee that a new plan will have better funding, particularly since the debate has mostly been around the merits of roads and trains and not the tax source. For opponents and supporters alike, it's a secondary issue. But hey, go ahead and try to fund transit that way, and you'll see that 2009 is an optimistic guess for when we'll get to vote again.

Posted by Cascadian | October 30, 2007 3:59 PM

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