Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

NOTICE: Inside Opinion has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Inside Opinion.
Visit the new section.

Tag: Dino Rossi


Need a reason to fill out that ballot? We’ll give you 10

One reason to vote: You get to wear this snazzy sticker.

This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.

Crunch time for voters arrives Tuesday. If you haven’t returned your ballot yet, remember that it must be postmarked by midnight on Election Day or put in one of many area drop boxes by 8 p.m. in order to be counted.

Not motivated enough this year? As a public service, we’ve come up with the top 10 reasons to return that ballot.

10. You get free license to complain if the candidates or ballot measures you voted for fall short on Election Day. There’s a little-known political etiquette rule that goes something like this: If you didn’t vote, then keep your yap shut.

9. Remember 2004. Even if you feel that your vote for president means little (the prognosticators tell us that Washington’s electoral votes are firmly in Barack Obama’s column), many down-ballot races and ballot measures need your vote. Read more »


Your vote counts – especially in this election

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

If ever there were an election in which the vote of individual Washingtonians counted, it’s the one happening today.

The most obvious reason is right at the top of the ballot, where Republican Dino Rossi is asking voters for the job now held by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray. Political analysts from coast to coast think this race could decide whether the Democratic Party – facing possibly catastrophic congressional losses – can cling to its control of the Senate by a finger-hold.

And the Senate contest appears excruciating close. Most recent polls have shown Murray ahead by a hair, a few have shown Rossi ahead by a hair, and it’s anyone’s guess how the late votes will break. Murray has exceeded expectations in the past, but Rossi in 2004 achieved a statistical tie running for governor against Chris Gregoire.

It’s easy to imagine this race turning on a few thousand ballots ­– or fewer. Given the stakes, a slight margin of Washington ballots could go a long way toward shaping the nation’s direction in coming years.

The fights for two or three of Washington’s seats in the U.S. House of Representatives might also be decided by small margins. In the South Sound’s 9th District, a Republican tsunami could conceivably help Republican Dick Muri edge out U.S. Rep. Adam Smith of Tacoma, further eroding President Obama’s base of support in Congress.

While the Murray-Rossi race has sucked up most of the media oxygen in recent weeks, a monumental battle over the state Legislature will also be decided today. As in the congressional races, the Democrats are mostly playing defense. They’ve enjoyed comfortable majorities in both the House and Senate in recent years, but those majorities will almost certainly be whittled down.
Read more »


As goes the state, so goes the Senate?

In case you’ve been wondering why you’re seeing so many ads in the Senate race between Patty Murray vs. Dino Rossi, check out the new installment of Nate Silver’s Political Calculus, posted last night on The New York Times.

Silver’s math-intensive analysis shows that Washington is more likely than any other state to decide whether the Republicans take control of the Senate. (And you wondered what math majors do for a living.)

With polls pointing to an ultra-tight outcome, the same advice goes for both Democrats and Republicans: Get the ballot in.


Murray-Rossi race the ‘linchpin’ for GOP’s Senate hopes?

Why are President and Mrs. Obama coming to Washington to campaign for Patty Murray, and why is so much money flowing into the U.S. Senate race between the incumbent Democrat and her Republican challenger Dino Rossi?

Chris Cillizza, who writes the Fix blog for The Washington Post, suggests its because both parties recognize that GOP hopes for taking over the Senate rest on Rossi’s victory.

If Rossi wins, Cillizza writes, it “could be the linchpin on the narrow hopes Republicans hold out for control of the chamber. Both national parties are pouring millions into the race – and

Read more »


Re-elect Patty Murray to the U.S. Senate

This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.

Dino Rossi is aiming to clear a high hurdle this year, far higher than the ones he missed in his 2004 and 2008 runs for governor.

Challenging an influential, three-term U.S. senator is not the same as vying for the governor’s mansion against a political equal, or even the freshman incumbent.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray has amassed considerable power and political skill since she was elected to the Senate 18 years ago. Voters don’t send such a forceful advocate packing without very good reason.

That Rossi’s come this close – recent polls put him neck and neck with Murray – is testament to his appeal, strong campaign and the resonance of his fiscally conservative message.

But Rossi fails to make the case that Washington would be better off without Murray.

Read more »


Murray’s attack ads stretch facts beyond recognition

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Every high-stakes political campaign is built on a certain amount of hyperbole.

Politicians are never as perfect – nor their opponents as flawed – as the caricatures crafted to win elections.

But license to exaggerate isn’t permission to spin attacks out of thin air. U.S. Sen. Patty Murray would do well to keep that in mind. Two of her recent attacks on Republican challenger Dino Rossi are contortions worthy of a Cirque du Soleil acrobat.

Read more »


Memo to Patty Murray: You misquoted me

For the record: I never asked Dino Rossi if if he thought Boeing workers should have a level playing field.

Patty Murray’s campaign has been making hay for more than a week now about Rossi’s response to a question I posed during the Senate candidates’ joint appearance at The News Tribune last week.

I have resisted weighing in until now. I have my own theories why Rossi answered the way he did, but it’s not for me to try to explain his answer. Only he knows what he was thinking.

But last night, I caught Murray’s new ad that includes footage of our endorsement interview – and puts words in my mouth.

Read more »


The Brady Campaign vs. Rossi: Who’s got the gun politics right?

Here’s an interesting take from the other side of the continent on Washington’s attitude toward guns. I personally don’t see much evidence that most Washingtonians are anxious to restrict firearms. If so, our laws don’t reflect the fact. “Assault rifle” bans go nowhere, even when Democrats own the Legislature.

The claim that Rossi would “allow the carrying of loaded, concealed handguns in Washington state by people legally barred from possessing guns in Washington, if they are able to carry elsewhere” is mystifying.

I don’t know of any other state with a more liberal policy on concealed weapons than Washington. Our law requires that applicants be issued concealed-carry permits if they are 21 years old and pass a background check. If there’s a state that lets people carry concealed firearms after flunking background checks, I want to know about it so I can avoid the place.


Washington, D.C. – Dino Rossi, the Republican candidate for the United States Senate from Washington has taken stands on gun violence prevention that are outside the mainstream of Washington voters by aligning himself with extreme gun views.

Like Tea Party candidates for federal office, such as Sharon Angle in Nevada, who suggests “Second Amendment solutions” to our nation’s problems, and Joe Miller in Alaska who thinks residents ought to be able to loaded carry guns in Wal-Mart, Rossi wants more guns in more places for more people. He even favors weakening the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), our nation’s top law enforcement agency on guns.
Read more »