A sampling of readers' letters, faxes and e-mail.
State out of control
Of two minds: An election divided down to the last man
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Editor, The Times:
In one breath Dino Rossi said, “a long drawn-out election would hurt Washington” and then asked for a second election. He says he wants to move Washington forward, but he wants to redo the election of Nov. 2 (“Rossi urges revote to fix ‘mess,’ ” Times page one, and “Gregoire declared governor-elect,” Times Web page, 12:24 p.m., Dec. 30).
He is willing to spend $4 million to have this new election because he is upset that the outcome shows he has lost. Back when he was in the winner’s seat, he thought this election was just great, not the “total mess” he claims it is now.
When Rossi was in the Legislature, he voted for the process we just completed — a machine recount and the hand count to obtain the final and most accurate results possible. Now that this process has shown him to be in the loser’s seat, he rejects it.
The vote has been checked, double-checked and triple-checked by hundreds of Democratic and Republican observers and counters all over the state. Rossi calling for a new election is not surprising, but it is impediment and farcical. Perhaps he should study Christine Gregoire’s stoic stance and graciousness exhibited during this last recount, and now concede?
— Janet Foster, La Conner
I think the state GOP needs to start looking at who might have really cost Dino Rossi the governor’s job. If state Republican Party Chairman Chris Vance had worked with Eastern Washington county canvassing boards trying to get them to re-evaluate rejected ballots, instead of working to suppress legitimate votes from King County, we might have a Gov. Rossi right now.
Vance took the usual GOP approach in trying to suppress votes. It was the wrong one for Washington state. He is trying to change that now, after all counties have been certified, when it is too late (“Counties opposing GOP call to reopen vote counts,” Local News, Dec. 29).
As far as his wild claims of fraud in King County go, perhaps he should listen to the Republican member of the county canvassing board. Dan Satterberg, chief of staff for Republican King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng, said the county election system has problems, but said, “I do not have any concerns about fraud. I think the people in charge here are very professional.”
Grow up, Vance; you lost and it might just be your fault.
— John Whittaker, Vashon Island
Following his lead
In regards to Dino Rossi’s suggestion for another election, I think Governor-elect Gregoire should give Rossi the same exact consideration he would have provided for her had the situation been reversed.
— Keith Prince, Seattle
Democracy isn’t free
I am appalled by the attitude being taken by the Washington state Democratic Party. The quote from “It’s Governor-elect Gregoire, but no Rossi concession” (Times Web page, 5:01 p.m., Dec. 29) made this attitude clear: “Gregoire’s spokesman Morton Brilliant said she would not be joining Rossi’s call. ‘It’s irresponsible to spend $4 million in taxpayer money on a new election just because you don’t like losing this one,’ Brilliant said.”
Irresponsible to spend our money to make sure that the person in the governor’s office is the real winner? Irresponsible to do the election again due to the major problems with this election?
Isn’t this the party that had two recounts done (one of which we are having to pay for) because it didn’t like the outcome? Isn’t that kind of like the pot calling the kettle black? The only thing that is crystal-clear in all of this is that the real loser is the voter. As long as the party has its chosen winner, who cares about the voter.
Please, both parties, put your pride aside and do what is right for the citizens of Washington… do it over.
— Kate Cummins, Spanaway
Best man loses
It’s about time the Republicans did something stupid! The Democrats proved their superiority in inferiority in the last election cycle and now the Republicans are closing in. Led by third-string candidate Dino Rossi and his play-caller Chris Vance, the Republicans are actually trying for a “do over” in the governor’s race.
I know it hurts, but the best move for Rossi and his fellow Republicans is to fold up the big tent and shine their light on the next election.
Contrary to the claims of the cliché-spewing Rossi, there is nothing under the rug. We know what the problem is. We don’t have the quality voting system that we thought we had on Nov. 6, 2000. It is, however, the one that we have. Like it or not, it has produced a winner. Christine Gregoire won — blemishes and all.
No one expected Rossi to win, and there were plenty of Republicans at the recounts to (verify) that he didn’t win. Rossi and the Republicans need to move on lest they run the risk of removing the Democrats from their special place as the “politically challenged.”
— David Hamilton, Bellevue
Willing to compromise
I propose that if Dino Rossi would like a “do over” in the governor’s election, we grant his request. All I ask in return is that he first convince the Republican National Committee to give us a “do over” in the presidential election. I would even settle for just Ohio.
— Samuel White, Redmond
The last guffaw
It’s a deal! Republicans hereby agree to concede the 2004 Washington governor’s race and “get over it” as many Democrats have suggested. In addition, we “narrow-minded” Republicans will agree not to cry, protest, plaster our gas-guzzling SUVs with “Re-defeat Gregoire” stickers, or threaten to move to Canada.
In return, the Democrats will agree to “get over” the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections.
At the very least, we here in the Evergreen State can agree that the system works: that is, both parties have the wherewithal to steal an election.
The only election reform I see as necessary is, perhaps, devising a system whereby our third-party chums have a shot at stealing an election as well!
— Jason Horn, Bellevue
To the news year
Days of odd anxiety
At the end of every year, newspapers everywhere give us their “year in review.” Well, maybe we readers should do a year in review of the papers. Seems fair, right?
Here are few awards I’d give out.
Most Over-hyped Story: Abu Ghraib. Hmm, yeah, yawner. Ninety-five percent of us just don’t care how terrorists are treated. Runner-up: President Bush’s National Guard service.
Most Under-reported Story, Nationally: The United Nations Oil-for-Food Scandal. Um, hello, editors and reporters? This is news. Hello? Hello?
Most Under-reported Story, Locally: King County’s land grab under the critical-areas ordinance. Thieves, one and all.
Most Shocking Story: Boston Red Sox, World Champions. Still weird to type that.
Least Shocking Story: “Viaduct tunnel to cost $4 billion.” Actually, that’s just the overruns.
Worst Phrase: “Fake, but authentic” (compliments of Rathergate).
Best Phrase: “Yeaaggggggh!”
Worst headline: ” ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ tops at box office.” Better headline: “Millions of gullible people burn money on two-hour lie.”
Best headline: Tie, between “Bush wins” and “Liberals head to Canada.” As Homer Simpson would say, “Woo-hoo!”
See you next year.
— Peter Fessler, Seattle