Well guys weâ€™re having our ups and weâ€™re having our downs.
On Saturday, when everybody was down I had solid information that things were really progressing. We felt pretty good that this was going to get done.
Then yesterday it seemed like things really fell apart. The issue grew more partisan, both sides started drawing their lines in the sand, and the cop-out of a letter was finalized. Whatever you think I have to say that Dino Rossiâ€™s insertion into this issue was probably more of a negative than a positive. The biggest issue of the day is figuring out a way in which the Governor and the Speaker can allow this to happen without looking like they were backed into a corner and capitulated. Rossi makes that issue even more glaring.
I think the hope to turn this into a positive is that Rossi will care more about the issue and less about his own campaign. If he made his point, then backs away he will has established the fact that he was in favor of this and that he cannot beat Gregoire up over it next year. 48 hours(or an eternity from now) his comments will be in the past and she could find a way to get around it. If he continues the self-publicity radio tour and tries to milk this into a major campaign tool then he makes it hard for her to do anything but hold her line.
People are correct when they assume that people are passing the buck. I think the big question this morning is where that process started. We can look at this letter and identify clearly that the state government is trying to simply take a pass and put things back on the city. What I am not sure is whether or not the city did the same thing only did it more subtly.
Frankly I havenâ€™t seen the type of resources or campaign out of the city that I would expect to see in order to get this thing done. I understand the whole â€œwe have a city to runâ€ argument but we are talking about a few days here. They should have had the foresight to see what was needed and allocate some resources to make this happen. It seems as if they may have simply called a press conference then sent Tim Ciess down there to â€œsee what he can do.â€ If that is the case then they are as guilty as the state when it comes to shirking this issue. They simply used Steve Ballmer and John Stanton as coverage for their inaction. A dangerous game if you ask me.
I think that for the time being we need to avoid finger pointing because there is simply SO much of it to go around. Keep up the positive pressure and maybe expand it, calling city and county officials and letting them know you want them to be more assertive in their support of this issue over the next 24 hours.
Where do we go from here?
I have been assured that, while unlikely, a special session will not be ruled out. We need to keep the pressure up for this session and not get too fatalist if it doesnâ€™t happen here.
There is some thought that the whole letter may have been â€œfloatedâ€ to gauge public opinion on support. If they indicated in a letter that they would support this next year and then got thousands of letters claiming they shouldnâ€™t do so then they could justify inaction. If not then maybe they will understand that the backlash is not significant. Continue the calls with the message being that â€œa letter is not enough.â€
SOS will be filing public disclosure requests this morning regarding the quantity of calls, and their contents so that we can throw in peoples faces the fact that they ignored 90-10 public outcry. Just filing this paperwork will probably worry a few people.
I cannot urge you guys enough to write letters to the editor supporting not only this state legislation but also just stating your thanks to Ballmer, Stanton, Sinegal, and Griffen for being a part of this. We want them to know that this is a PR win for them and that they should be in it for the long term.
There are still possibilities at both a county and city level to get this done in the next month. We need to push those as much as possible.
So donâ€™t give up hope but do feel pretty desperate. Keep the pressure on and I will continue to give you what updates I can from Olympia. The posturing on a minute by minute basis is fascinating. As Iâ€™ve said so many times, I wish I could share all the details.