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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Olympia

Dino Rossi’s new job, the prospects for a state income tax, and a roundup of higher-education legislation…

 (The Spokesman-Review)
(The Spokesman-Review)

Lots -- LOTS -- to catch up on:

-The Everett Herald's Jerry Cornfield says that two-time GOP gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi's got a new job that's a return to his commercial real estate roots. He won't rule out running for office again ("Never say never") but offers these words of advice to prospective candidates:

"I tell them the only reason to run is to be in the right place at the right time to do some public good. I tell them if you want to see your name in the newspaper, I can guarantee you it'll be surrounded by words that you don't like."

-Crosscut's David Brewster suggests that Gov. Chris Gregoire take up the cudgel to forge ahead with a state income tax, something Gregoire has shown no interest in doing:

Several things may change the political calculation as time passes. The full extent of the cuts will become apparent, possibly leading to marches on Olympia and greater pressure for relief.


Any post-session post-mortem by the Governor and her political team would have to notice that her new-taxes-over-my-dead-body stance has gravely jeopardized her standing with the Democratic caucuses, who think she is more interested in protecting her political future than helping other Democrats to do the right thing. She might start calculating how much of her other top agenda items will get through if she sticks to her guns on taxes. And polling might start to show that Sen. Lisa Brown, the Senate Majority Leader who made a quite public case for a soak-the-rich state income tax, is capturing the liberal interest groups and closing off Gregoire's chances for a third term.

-Also in Crosscut, Daniel Jack Chasan writes about former Seattle City Councilwoman Phyllis Lamphere, a veteran organizer who's thinking about running an initiative for an income tax next year.

-And, for my higher-ed readers, here's Randy Hodgins' list of college-related legislation this session. It's written for UW readers, but there's a lot of crossover interest here for students, staff and faculty at WSU and other schools.

Short takes and breaking news from the Washington Legislature and the state capital.