June 13, 2008
1st Game Changer of the Governor's Race
There are lots of things a candidate and a campaign can control to a degree in a given race. How the press chooses to cover a particular story is usually not one of those. Thus, while today's P-I story on the tribal cash pouring in to support Christine Gregoire is not necessarily a surprise given the details of the topic, the tone of the coverage means this story will leave a mark.
The lede starts out rough:
OLYMPIA -- Gov. Chris Gregoire is benefiting from more than $650,000 in campaign contributions from Indian tribes that hit the jackpot in 2005 when she killed a gambling compact potentially worth more than $140 million a year to the state.
Unlike 22 other states that collect millions from revenue sharing agreements for tribal gambling, Washington gets no money from tribal casinos under the compact that Gregoire renegotiated with the Spokane Tribe.
There is little good that can come of that in our PC state that seems to have a hypersensitivity to even the appearance of conflict of interest. And its not just the appearance:
"It's a payoff," said University of Nevada-Las Vegas professor William Thompson, who has been studying tribal gambling since 1988. "She shouldn't take any campaign money, nor should her political party, and it smells too quid pro quo for my liking."
One wonders if those tribal casinos would be willing to take wagers on that passage appearing in a campaign ad this fall.
Eh, probably not.
Regardless of the betting opportunities of the general public before November, the P-I even catches a Democratic legislator bemoaning the deal in question:
"Why would you give someone a monopoly without taking a cut?" asked Sen. Ken Jacobsen, D-Seattle.
But Jacobsen, the Seattle state senator, said there wasn't enough transparency.
"By the time anybody in the Legislature heard about it, it was a done deal. There are a lot of people, Democrats and Republicans, who were a little bit grumpy about that because, God, that's a lot of money we gave them without getting anything back."
Asked if there should there be a firewall between groups that negotiate with elected leaders, Jacobsen said: "When you start talking money, people are getting tempted," adding that even if there isn't outright corruption, it looks bad.
Yes, it does look bad. The local transparency-minded media loathes to see such appearances of back room dealing. And this is most definitely not the last the body politic has heard of this issue in the Evergreen State before November.
Cross-posted at The Next Right.
Posted by Eric Earling at June 13, 2008
07:22 AM | Email This
1. I was shocked as I read this story online, not because of the story itself, but that it appeared in Pravda-Izvestia (P-I). I won't be holding my breath waiting for the next of the obvious conflict-of-interest campaign exposes, that being state employees' court-enforced, dues-paying membership into unions who dump truckloads of money at the Queen's campaign throne.
2. The Seattle PI has actually been releasing some quality articles lately. I'm impressed, I have to admit.
Yowsers, I hadn't heard of the compact she was involved with. But, wasn't the payback for the first election donations? So, what is this kickback for?
The tribes have also been active electing mayors they want in cities close to them. I heard a story from a well-placed source that they were wooing a candidate and offering election tokens in exchange for a lucrative water and sewer deal that would have been disastrous for the city in question. BTW, there wooing helped elect this candidate and the individual is still in office collecting election tokens from every company that does business with this city. My last assertion is provable by review of the PDCs.
4. It can't be good for the Gregoire campaign when a story like this comes out. Most of us here have been saying this for sometime now, but when the Dem media puts it out there in such a way it makes you wonder who in the Gregoire campaign pissed off their PR department(in other words the PI)
5. So, where does Mr Rossi stand on all of this, would there be any changes attempted under his reign? I've not heard him speak out on this issue.
6. Seems to me, and correct me someone if I am wrong, that I recall hearing that the Tribes underwrote the expense of the third recount. Their reward: this monopoly on gambling and, BTW, indoor smoking.
7. "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
8. And the BIAW is just making innocent contributions of its own.
>And the BIAW is just making innocent contributions
>of its own.
So what's with all of this fear of the BIAW that the libs have? I don't get it.
I guess having the judiciary, the House, the Senate, the entire state executive branch, all of Seattle, all of King County, SEIU, AFL-CIO, the Teamsters, the WEA, and the huge percentage of government workers in this state is not enough for them to feel they have a secure lock as a blue state? They *still* have to have something that their State Democrat Party can wield over them that makes them feel afraid, insecure, and unsafe such that the State Democrats need more money extracted from their peeps? The union dues aren't enough??
Fill me in, Daniel K...explain to me one more time how you think the BIAW is evil?
10. And the BIAW is just making innocent contributions of its own.
You mean the BIAW has exclusive rights to build each and every building in Washington state? And they negotiated a backroom deal to get it done? Wow.
They are powerful.
I see your BIAW and raise you a WEA, an SEIU, an ASFCME, a Washington State Labor Council ...
11. Fill me in, Daniel K...explain to me one more time how you think the BIAW is evil?
Let me help Mr Dan since I doubt he can be honest.
The BIAW represents private businesses that create jobs, employ people and pay taxes to the state. Something that actually boosts the economy. Since Danny K and the Democrats like nothing they can't buy or control they abhor private business. All business is good for is extracting taxes.
With the lack of an Initiative like the non-tribal gambling issue in 2004 which tribal interests spent a ton of money on, I have been concerned how big a factor the tribes might play in this race. I am glad the PI has shown the light on a funding source that may have quietly pumped millions into Gregoire’ campaign.
How can you negotiate a deal that nets the tribes millions of dollars and then turn around and accept hundreds of thousands in contributions? Is this much different than the current collective bargaining arrangement the Governor’s office has with the state employees union?
As for the BIAW (who by the way first reported this story right after the deal with the tribes was cut), an organization that represents and industry continually hamstrung by the likes of Gregoire, supporting Rossi is a no-brainer. At least it is done above board with money their members give voluntarily (i.e. not union dues).
Look, the leftist hacks (Daniel K) are genetically pre-disposed to approve democrat hypocrisy.
There is no question that Chrissy is a wholly-owned tribal subsidiary; if it had been a GOP governor who'd sold this state out of hundreds of millions with no justification whatsoever, his howls of outrage along with the other fringe leftists would drown out every other issue in this campaign.
That Queen Chrissy has bent the taxpayers of this state over repeatedly cannot be denied; the only real question is this: will Rossi have the guts to use it? Or will he be afraid of even more massive tribal efforts to own the government of this state?
Queen Chrissy's actions here are despicable in every sense of the word. She might has well be getting a personal check from the tribes in the mail every week... but then, she knew that going in.
The monopoly enjoyed by the Indian casino industry can only exist so long as the state government prevents others from competing, so there is a powerful incentive to influence the state's leaders. Trying to influence them can easily shade over into something indistinguishable from corruption.
I don't begrudge the Indians their prosperity from the gambling, but I do think their monopoly is a dangerous thing.
It's good to see the PI publishing this kind of information. People need to think about it.
15. And there are those who do not recognize the smoking ban in all taverns, bars, drinking establishments etc isn't another quid pro quo. Puhlease, if the smoking ban were such a "crowd pleaser" that all of the major papers have made it out to be teh Indians would have voluntarilly adopted it by now in their establishments. Unfortunately the average Washingtonian, of the western variety, doesn't have what it takes to opperate a potato peeler or a pencil sharpener, is it no wonder they fall for the Democrats as having their interests at heart time after time.
The BIAW is the Building Industry. It is generally not union.
During the boom we have experienced, it has been the only organization that has represented the home builder, the framers, the plumbers, the electricians, the sheetrockers, the painters, the concrete workers, the ironworkers, the landscapers, the engineers, the architects, the planners, the dirt movers, the pavers, etc. Get the drift. Its members employ tens of thousands of white and blue collar workers.
They alone have been at the forefront to confront the bad business environment we have in this state. They have asked Boeing to sit with them to come up with a working L&I and Unemployment Program only to have the Democrats cut sweetheart deals with Boeing. BTW, I think Boeing deserves some breaks due to sheer volume of extra money they give the state, but so do the BIAW. It should be a joint venture.
Enough for now. When Postman first came on board, I wrote a lengthier dissertation on this same issue which he chose to not post. I assume it was due to length but he never responded when asked.
17. This blog deserves a "Sewer of Corruption" series headline. Maybe, Stefan has a monopoly on the headline. :-)
18. The numbers are actually HIGHER. The PI apparently searched "Indian" on the PDC records. If you search for "tribe" and "tribal" the unique direct contributions are closer to $70,000.
19. Hey, it's OK! She's a DEMOCRAT. They don't have to have any ethics standards. Only Republicans do...
20. McGann is a good reporter, and as straight down the middle so far as most anybody you'll see in the Seattle media. He's given both Republicans and Democrats cause for heartburn since he's been at the P-I.
Quid pro quo corruption.
How many hundreds of millions go into the Tribe's coffers without as much as a nickel of profits taxed to the state fund?
We are short on tax revenues, yet the state whores out to the Tribes and gambling interests.
Washington State Government! SOLD TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER! The Tribes.
Crook of the highest magnitude. Why isn't his bi$$h going to jail? Because her Democrats on the Supreme court would let her go!
22. Yet AGAIN I ask how does Mr Rossi propose to change this. Surely all you supporters can elucidate on his position on this, or is it like his transportation plans not really discernable?
23. Don't forget about the ban on online poker, now a class C felony in this state, to help protect the tribal monopoly. Another payoff.
24. And yes it is on both sides of the isle - there are just as many Republican crooks in office as there are Democrats. They all know what is going on and they protect each other. Think I am stretching things a bit? satisfy yourself by looking at teh number of Republicans thrown out of office in '06 on the heals of scandal - Democrats don't throw the theives out of office, they need to be convicted and forceably removed once their corruption has found it's way into the general population. So long as the public does not know though, and this is key, BOTH SIDES protect and cover up for their corrupt associates even those from teh other Party.
Answer: Rossi will be an ethical Governor.
Yes, it really is that simple.
26. I understand QUIET, Mr Rossi and supporters wont be dumbshit enough to rock the boat amongst my native tribes. We are a powerful lobby as well as an even MORE POWERFUL VOTE.
27. And yes it is on both sides of the isle - there are just as many Republican crooks in office as there are Democrats. They all know what is going on and they protect each other. Think I am stretching things a bit? satisfy yourself by looking at teh number of Republicans thrown out of office in '06 on the heals of scandal - Democrats don't throw the theives out of office, they need to be convicted and forceably removed once their corruption has found it's way into the general population. So long as the public does not know though, and this is key, BOTH SIDES protect and cover up for their corrupt associates even those from teh other Party.
One story in one paper is not a game changer. The game shocker would be if the story was picked up throughout the print media and make the TV and radio news. It is even worthy of national attention, and certainly would if Gregoire was a Republican.
All this story has done so far, is to lend some credibility to the PI's argument that they can do some real journalism. But another "real" part of journalism is what follows a breaking story like this, in the willingness of the rest of the media to further investigate and report it.
Will the Seattle Times report it? Will it show up in the local TV news for all the different networks? Will KIRO radio and NPR cover it? For each news outlet that does not cover a major story like this, we can come to a pretty clear conclusion regarding that outlet's bias and political preferences. And for every outlet that chooses not to report it, that is one more segment of our society that will be left uninformed.
29. Tonto, are you hearing any sounds from the Rossi teepee?
No kimo-sabe all is quiet?
I have never set foot in any of the tribal casinos in Washington, even though there are 3 within 30 miles of my home. The primary reason is that I don't waste my hard-earned dollars gambling, with a secondary reason being I don't patronize businesses that are granted tax-free status. Queen Chrissie's acceptance of tribal campaign contributions in exchange for huge tax breaks for casinos reeks of corruption. I'm in favor of a boycott of all tribal casinos until this stinking mess is cleaned up.
32. Nativeson: More importantly, are you hearing any peeps from the Gregoire teepee? Nope. Rossi doesn't have to say a thing. He didn't make the deal, the Queen did.
33. Shouldn't he have a position on what he'll attempt to do as Gov to rectify this Oh so terrible fiasco? No kimo-sabe he will not 'rock-the-boat' like I said and he will not do or say ANYthing to jeopordize our Natives support and/or all others who rely on us. But nice try at an answer - you are more brave than he.
34. Jacobsen says they didn't get a cut of the monopoly profits? That's not true. Gregoire got her cut, she just kept it to herself.
Don't forget that under Gregoire, WA banned internet gambling as well. That way more money goes to the tribal gambling.
We knew she was in the tank with the tribes, but this is so blatant that she might want to consider changing her first name to an Indian name. Maybe Sacajawea Gregoire, or something like that.
What a freakin' crook.
Can't say I'm surprised.
37. How does she ever decide which master she is serving on any given day? Of course we know the one master she refuses to serve: the citizen.
Throw her out. Then, to teach the democrat party a lesson--throw them all out (except Brian Sonntag and Tim Sheldon, who may well be the only two democrats in Olympia you could trust).
Every business in this state must send a cut of their revenues to the state coffers in the form of a B&O tax. Some of us pay much higher rates of B&O than everyone else, even. It isn't fair. But that the tribes can take in endless amounts and send nothing while the rest of us foot the bill for this ride, NO FREAKING WAY. BOOT HER CROOKED, ANTI-BUSINESS HIDE OUT NOW! In fact, why wait---someone ought to launch a recall effort right now.
39. Nativeson: Could you elaborate a little on all those "other folks" are who rely on the tribes? Just curious.
40. Even Goldy thought it was a bad idea for Gregoire to sign the deal with the Spokane Tribe. http://www.horsesass.org/?p=2478
Guess who said this on January 30, 2007:
“I’m not so sure what the governor is delighted about. The proposed compact ups the ante for tribal gaming, giving the Spokanes 4,700 cash-fed slot machines and high-stakes betting. Under federal law the other tribes have the right to reopen their compacts to demand equal terms, and if history is any guide, they will.
The compact is great for the Spokanes but it’s a bad deal for Washington state, which is already in the midst of a gambling epidemic. And my sense is that this compact is bad politics for Gov. Gregoire and her fellow Democrats. Just two years ago voters overwhelmingly rejected Tim Eyman’s I-892, which would have legalized slot machines statewide. (Spokane County voters rejected the measure by an even larger margin.) And Republicans are poised to make hay with the issue.”
42. Goldy says a lot of things, most of which cannot be repeated here, what is your point Pope?
Fresh material for Dino Rossi campaign ad. Do it right and you'll make a further dent in Queen Christine's (of dubious ethics) razor thin lead, now within the margin of error.
The only way she would return some or all of the money is if this would be perceived to be too much of a liability for the election, not because it would be the right thing to do.
Keep it up Gregoire, and your democrats won't even be able to save you this time.
This is an absolute disaster, when she hands the tribes 140 million in savings and gets $600,000 back.
what the Hell is this woman doing in the highest office in this state?
45. Well. it's the Sunday edition of the TIMES/PI and not a word of follow-up on the Gregoire TRIBE BRIBE scandal. I guess the print media got the "word" from "Chrissy on high" That she will not be questioned as to her official actions as Governor and the Direct Payment from Groups that she is in negotiations with. Here's an idea next Apple Cup between Washington and Washington State let the host team slip $250,000 to the Referee before kick-off and tell him that "There is more where that came from if the game turns out in our favor." As the visiting team (Or in this case the Washington State taxpayers) How would you feel? Vote this corrupt Governor out of office and let the purge begin.
Zero expectation that the Seattle anything papers would ever call foul on any of their crooked liberals.
Those rags are not fit to line bird cages, kitty litter boxes, or puppy bins.