Latest from The Spokesman-Review
Supreme Court Justice Jim Johnson swears in Dino Rossi to a state Senate seat.
OLYMPIA — Republican Dino Rossi is back in his old Senate seat for five months after being sworn in this afternoon in by Supreme Court Justice Jim Johnson.
Rossi was appointed by the King County Council to fill the seat vacated by Sen. Cheryl Pflug, who resigned to take a gubernatorial appointment to the Growth Management Board. Rossi held the seat before Pflug, retiring to run for governor in 2004
She was critical of that appointment Tuesday, saying GOP officials "strong-armed" precinct committee officers into putting Rossi's name on the list of nominees sent to the council. “I’m angry and appalled at the tactics of my former Senate Republican leadership, and I think they and Rossi shame themselves by trying to play Godfather.”
Pflug is supporting a Democrat, Mark Mullet, for the seat, contending he has the "business background, financial expertise and common sense" to hold the job.
State GOP Chairman Kirby Wilbur said there was nothing underhanded about the way Rossi was named to fill the seat; it was the same process that put her in the spot in 2003, after Rossi quit to run for governor the first time.
"For her to criticize this transparent appointment process, given how sneaky and deceitful it was for her to make a backroom deal for a cushier position as a bureaucrat, makes her a hypocrite - plain and simple," Wilbur shot back.
Rossi said he hadn't talked to Pflug since she left office, but has no plans to run for any elective office in the future. He can't run for the Senate seat because he's been moved into another district by this year's redistricting. He only qualifies to hold the seat until November, when the new districts take effect.
He said he will keep his day job in commercial real estate investment and concentrate on constituent services. He's been appointed the top Republican on the Senate Ways and Means Committee, a spot left open by the retirement of Sen. Joe Zarelli of Ridgefield.
Mike Padden, with wife Laura, waves to family and friends in the Senate chamber after being sworn in by Supreme Courth Justice Jim Johnson
OLYMPIA — Mike Padden took the oath of office Tuesday afternoon in the Senate chambers shortly after Spokane County certified the results on the Nov. 8 elections.
OLYMPIA – The Washington Supreme Court was asked to decide Thursday whether Internet poker is merely a 21st Century twist on a friendly game played at the kitchen table or “the crack cocaine of gambling.”
Online gambling is illegal in Washington, and should remain that way, assistant attorney general Jerry Ackerman said, because it can’t be regulated and monitored like casino gambling. Internet sites can’t prevent minors from playing, or cut off compulsive gamblers, he said.
But Lee Rousso, who is challenging the law, said the ban is “illegally protectionist” because it helps local gambling operations by banning out-of-state or out-of-country operations. Internet gambling sites are regulated, just not by the state, he said.
The justices seemed skeptical of the legal distinction the state makes between games played in a casino or licensed card room, and on the Internet.
For more on this story, go inside the blog