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 I have to do is say what I'm going to do and the governor does it," he said with a smirk. For example, he recently scheduled talks to business groups in Sammamish and Kitsap County. The governor showed up in both places the following week, he said.

"Imitation is the greatest form of flattery," Rossi said. "Original thought is out the window."

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:

During the summer of 2006, Governor Chris Gregoire and her senior staff visited several communities across the state in a "Listening To You" tour, engaging citizens in a meaningful dialogue about the priorities, performance and accountability of state government.  She reached out beyond the lobbyists and special interests who traditionally have had the most access to state government decision makers.  As she put it:

"We can't set the state's priorities alone in Olympia.  I am reaching out to hear directly from the citizens, so they can help me set priorities and identify ways to measure whether state government is working better or not."

What Gov. Gregoire said last year sounds an a lot like something Rossi said last week:

"There are a whole lot of folks in Olympia who know absolutely everything and I served with these folks and so, quite frankly, I think some of the best ideas will come from the people who are living it every day."

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.

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Rossi is like one of those zombies you see only in the B movies only with a twist.
Like the movie zombies who you can kill or dismember, only to have them wake back up and put themselves back together prior to coming slowly after you, Rossi is nothing if not relentless.

The Twist is that Dino has figured out that some voters are willing to suspend disbelief, much as they might at a B movie, and buy into all the BS he spew. Dino the moderate, Dino the big thinker (with only two books in his house), Dino the nice man with principals, Dino a guy you can trust, and on and on.

Moderate? When in fact, Dino is rabid pro choice, anti stem cell, an activist against teaching English as a second language, anti union, and hatefully against all of the gender based civil rights laws passed since he left office.

Big thinker? It's time to make the challenge. Name even one original Dino idea. Just one. Take your time. Nothing? Now, look at his record and study the issues of the day and how he like a leach, latches on to a few and rides them for all they are worth. This in fact is what Dino is best suited for since he has no core beliefs that drive him toward seeking public office, save for the desire to make money, he is free to reinvent his priorities, based upon polling and without restrictions. It is this "personal flexibility" that makes Dino so attractive to special interests.

Dino the nice man with principals? In Dino, we have a guy who learned treachery in the real-estate business while working for a man who pled guilty to a vast scheme to defraud elderly investors and a lending institution and was sent to jail. In stead of fleeing, Rossi helped run the operation while his boss was in jail and then followed him from company to company. And Dino's top theme in 04 was? Less government regulation. Riiight.

Dino a nice guy you can trust? Here is a guy who grew up in low income housing and has nothing but disdain for societies safety net. In fact, one of his "greatest real-estate triumphs" came about when one of the NW's premier slumlords needed a partner in order to cancel all of the leases in a predominately low income apartment complex. You see, the leases could not be broken unless the building was sold. So Dino, while chair of Senate ways and means entered a partnership with two of the states most powerful business lobbyists with the seller financing the sale, and purchased the apartment complex. Immediately thereafter all leases were canceled, the renting population was culled and the building was resold for a significant profit. Now, some might say "gee that's exactly the kind of spineless guy we want as governor" but I would disagree. A guy who seeks profit by forcing low income families to give up the stability of rent fixed for an agreed term for a month to month deal where the landlord can hike rents or evict you at any time, while the landlord, Dino, reaps his profits from his lobbyist friends and the displaces families is not governor material at all.

by Particle Man on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 12:06:31 PM PST

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