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Eye On Olympia

Archive for June 2005

The fat lady sang…

“P.S.: Dino is NOT running for King County Executive.”

— the closing line on the final email as the Dino Rossi campaign folded its tent this week. Rossi decided not to continue the legal fight to oust Gov. Christine Gregoire, saying that the “political makeup” of the court made it impossible to win there after the defeat in Wenatchee.
Rossi hasn’t said what he’ll do now, although there’s speculation that he might challenge Sen. Maria Cantwell. There had also been talk that he’d take on King County Executive Ron Sims, whose election department was vilified for its errors during the court fight.

The Democrats’ case, in a nutshell…

“They (Republicans) cannot show that the wrong person was elected.”

— Democrats’ attorney Jenny Durkan.

On drawing the short straw…

“Superior court judges throughout the state of Washington laugh when I walk down the street.”

— Chelan County Superior Court Judge John Bridges, who for months has had the dubious honor of presiding over the massive lawsuit involving the nation’s closest-ever governor’s race.

Closing arguments this p.m….

After two weeks, thousand of documents and several dueling professors, the battle in Wenatchee will draw to a close this afternoon.

Republicans will end with arguments that considering the slim 129-vote victory (out of 2.8 million votes) by Democratic Gov. Gregoire, errors so muddied the water that the judge should declare Gregoire’s victory void. Republicans want a new election.

Democrats will argue that, well, stuff happens, and that Republicans haven’t come anywhere close to the standard Judge John Bridges has called for: proof that the errors wrongly propelled Gregoire to her narrow victory.

The ruling will come Monday.

Logan’s on the stand…

Dean Logan, the man at the center of much of the election’s political storm is on the stand Wednesday morning.

Logan appears at the request of Democratic attorneys, who are trying to convince Judge John Bridges of two things: a) that the errors in November’s governor’s race weren’t nearly as widespread as Republicans maintain, and b) that the errors in pro-Gregoire counties were “more than offset” by errors in pro-Rossi counties.

Much of Republicans’ criticism has been directed at King County, where hundreds of “provisional ballots” were apparently fed into tabulating machines without first being checked to be sure that those voters were legitimate. The county repeatedly found ballots that were missed in the first tally, and last week, a staffer testified to falsifying a number in an election report.

So far this morning, Logan’s mainly testifying about his background — including why he took the job as the man overseeing King County’s election system.

“I have always been attracted toward the challenge of working toward public trust and confidence in the election system,” he testified.

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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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