Dino Rossi shows the greatest flattery to Gregoire (his town halls copied hers)
Ironically, Dino Rossi called Gov. Gregoire an imitator last week in Vancouver:
All Gov. Gregoire has to do is put on a multi-city better government forum tour last summer and Rossi does the same thing.
Rossi's "Idea Bank" tour is a carbon copy, with some political sparkles added, of a project undertaken by Governor Gregoire last year. You may not have heard about it, and but Gregoire traveled the state last year, talking to citizens about the work state government is doing, and how it could improve. The only difference is that she wasn't so blatant about making it all about her.
The project has the horribly wonky name of "Government Management Accountability and Performance," and there was a citizen engagement portion that took the form of a series of public events last summer:
What Gov. Gregoire said last year sounds an a lot like something Rossi said last week:
But, of course his event in Hoquiam was accompanied by a quartet of Young Republicans. Not exactly a non-partisan, good government tour.
While Rossi only holds on sort of event in each town, on Gregoire's side there were three levels of events: totally open, public forums (like Rossi); citizen workshops (randomly chosen folks, like a jury) (not like Rossi); and a community leaders event (also, not like Rossi). Even though the opinions of people who like attending public meetings are important, Gov. Gregoire didn't want to stop there, she also brought in people who didn't like attending meetings (the workshop folks) and also the pillars of eac community. After the meetings, she also presented a report back to the communities she visited.
The main difference is that Gov. Gregoire's project was part of her governing, not campaigning. The point was to improve government efficiency, not necessarily get her name out there, which it seems is the major point of Rossi's campaign. Here are a couple of Inside Olympia episodes on the project, one from last summer and another from 2005.