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Eye On Olympia

Rossi deposition — denies any early campaigning, while attorneys clash: “Shut the f—- up”…

From the second round of questioning:

Rossi was asked if he'd spent any money "on exploring the possibility of running for governor" prior to the date he says he made the decision, Oct. 11, 2007.

"No," he said. "That's an activity of starting a campaign if you were to do that, and I did not do that." (Note: the unofficial transcript that I link to below says "active," which I'm assuming is a typo for "activity.")

Questioner Knoll Lowney expresses skepticism that Rossi, who said he had no fundraising plan, could raise almost half a million dollars in the two weeks after he declared that he was running again.

Rossi said that he immediately went through donor records from 2004 and began working the phones. He said he was also helped by far-better name recognition compared with four years ago. Asked if his campaign fundraiser could have been lining up contributions prior to his decision, Rossi said "I have no reason to believe she was doing that."

The attorneys continue to feel no love for each other, with Rossi's attorney, Michael Patterson, noting for the record after an off-the-record break that "Mr. Withey just said shut the f--- up."

Rossi also repeatedly said that neither he nor his campaign coordinates their election activity with independent groups like the BIAW:

"My campaign staff knows that you can't coordinate with an independent expenditure because that wouldn't be legal, and which is why we don't coordinate with people who do independent expenditures, which is also why independent expenditures are dangerous things in a campaign because sometimes your own team can torpedo you with putting up an ad that you probably didn't want up there and causing a candidate more trouble than it's worth."

The final moments of the deposition are devoted to questioning of Rossi by a BIAW attorney. He asked Rossi if Rossi had told any BIAW officer or staffer that he intended to run again in 2008.

"No," said Rossi.

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