Reports for November 15-19, 2004
Previous weeks' news: Nov.
8-12 -- Nov.
1-5 -- Oct.
Vance body-snatching EXCLUSIVE!
Not since the late Paul
replaced by The Beatles has so blatant a body snatching occurred
in plain public view. WSLC Reports Today has evidence that State Republican
Party boss Chris Vance has been replaced by a litigious
double! Learn more.
In today's Everett Herald -- Boeing
says it will meet 7E7 order goal
In today's Seattle P-I -- Boeing
still far from its goal of 200 7E7 orders
In today's Seattle Times -- 7E7
jet development will cost $5.8 billion
In today's Seattle P-I -- State
gets ready for recount -- Party leaders hint at hand recount of recount.
Victor may not be known for weeks.
In today's Spokesman-Review -- Election
was Gregoire's to lose -- Defeat in governor's race would be a
"death by a thousand cuts."
In today's Olympian -- House
GOP demotes DeBolt -- Rep. Bruce Chandler (R-Granger) wins Republican
Leader position "unanimously" by one vote. Sen. Tim Sheldon
("D"-Potlatch) wins seat on Mason board, but says he won't give up
his State Senate seat.
In today's Seattle Times -- Some
state workers updating their rιsumιs
In today's Yakima H-R -- Yakima
Co. board vents at State Legislature
In today's Spokesman-Review -- Court
rules against clerical workers -- Fire
departments' volunteers who don't fight flames don't get pensions.
In today's Bremerton Sun -- Bush
may scrap state's sales tax break
At AFLCIO.org -- Figures
hide record long-term unemployment
In USAToday -- Congress
aims to borrow $800B more from our kids
In today's NY Times -- Forced
to work off the clock, some fight back
...plus -- Regressive
ethics in the House -- Editorial: Republicans think they
have a mandate to eradicate Congressional ethics standards.
In today's LA Times -- Workers
stage rowdy rally outside LA hotel
In today's SF Chronicle -- Grocery
workers petition shoppers for support
Nov. 18 --
Either Rossi or Gregoire will be our next governor
In today's Seattle P-I -- It's
Rossi, by 0.0093% ...plus -- Democratic
suburbs abandon Gregoire
In today's Olympian -- Recount
Q&A -- Candidates can pay for a recount of a recount of the recount.
In today's Bremerton Sun -- Lantz,
Kilmer secure House seats -- Says loser Lois McMahan: "I'm sorry
for the people of the district because if they believe the lies, then
they'll end up with liars."
Also today -- Local
issues cited as national debate rages on AFL-CIO's future
In today's Bremerton Sun -- Decertification
petition (UFCW 367) withdrawn at Harrison Hospital
In today's News Tribune -- Nurses
go under cost-cutting knife -- Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup and
Tacoma General Hospital are laying off LPNs next month to trim operating
In today's Seattle P-I --
"vision" still has to paid for -- Virgin column: As the
Prosperity Partnership convenes its economic summit tomorrow,
it will be no trick to get Puget Sound business and government leaders to
rally round and cheer "Yea jobs! Yea education!" especially when
there's nothing -- not money, not political influence -- at risk. It's a
much different matter to tote up the bill for what those people are cheering
for -- and asking them to generate the same enthusiasm to pay it.
In yesterday's Columbian -- State
faces $1.7 billion shortfall
In today's Yakima H-R -- NASCAR
deal: Kick the tires again -- Editorial: The proposed NASCAR track
should offer new-car confidence, but it sounds more and more like a used-car
In today's Tri-City Herald -- Rules
miff child care providers -- Child care providers say new regulations
may force them out of business. Memo to child care providers: Don't
get mad, get a union!
...plus -- After
nearly 28 years, Simplot potato processing plant in Hermiston down to its
In today's Seattle Times --
alleges Boeing's Stonecipher was in on Air Force bid scandal
In today's Spokesman-Review -- Spokane
appeals L&I safety violations in fatal sewage plant explosion
In today's NY Times -- Assassination
of union leaders is an issue in trade talks -- Union
leaders have fallen by the hundreds in Columbia and practically all the
killings have gone unsolved. Now, labor groups and some members of Congress
are using free trade talks to prod the Columbian government to do more to
protect union activists and prosecute the killers.
...plus -- Controlling
health care costs -- Economists have two magic potions to control
skyrocketing prices while maintaining the quality of health care:
competition and incentives.
In today's Washington Post -- Easy
fixes for Social Security -- Op-ed: Bush's determination to privatize
Social Security stems from ideological reasons. But in fact the projected
Social Security deficit is small enough that a major revision to the system
is not necessary. The deficit can be remedied with a few discrete changes in
the program, all of which are surprisingly easy to understand and accept.
In today's LA Times -- Workers'
comp rate cut just 2.2% -- Schwarzenegger's massive overhaul of the
system, which drastically cut injured workers' benefits, "has not
achieved its promise" to cut rates.
In today's SF Chronicle -- "Amend
for Arnold" campaign launched to promote constitutional change
...plus -- GOP
tosses ethics rule so DeLay can keep his job -- The "family
values" party can now keep its powerful majority leader, even if he's
indicted for corruption stemming from a fund-raising scandal.
Today from AP -- GOP
looks to repeal food-labeling law -- At the behest of the meatpacking
and food processing lobbies, "Made in America" and other
country-of-origin food labels are likely to be nixed.
Today from MSNBC -- Pizza
drivers seek national union -- Association
of Pizza Delivery Drivers (APDD) has yet to organize a shop. A vote at a
Domino's in Lincoln, Neb., failed this week on a tie.
...plus -- Prince
Charles complains about people trying to rise above their station
-- In the new Seattle Weekly -- Political
capital -- The conservative BIAW uses insurance revenue from municipalities to help
finance its political activity. BIAW spokeswoman on the election: "It
was a big 'F--- you!' to all the liberals out there." And on labor's
Retro reform efforts: "We are kicking their ass. How many years have we
whipped labor? ... But if they keep coming after us, the time is right to
take some swings at labor unions -- defund them."
In today's Olympian -- Rossi
leads by 19 votes; judge rejects Rossi attempt to throw out votes -- Click
here for the latest count in the governor's race, scheduled for
certification by 5 p.m. today. The Secretary of State is expected to
announce a mandatory recount shortly thereafter.
In today's Yakima H-R -- Let's
hope recount provision doesn't get in the way -- Editorial: The
2,000-vote yardstick (for a recount) to a statewide race that draws millions
of votes is unrealistically low.
Also today -- Janitors, backers target Bon-Macy's with health-care
In today's Tri-City Herald -- State's
budget shortfall hits $1.7 billion
In today's Olympian -- State
revenue forecast static; rising costs likely to wipe out funding increases
In today's Everett Herald -- Boeing
considers a new 747 niche -- Boeing executives are closing in on a
decision about putting a vastly overhauled jumbo jet on the market. The 747
Advanced would incorporate the engines and cockpit technology being
developed for the 7E7, and use the ultralight aluminum alloys that Boeing
considered for the Dreamliner but ultimately rejected.
In today's News Tribune -- Boeing
pays a high price for dishonesty at the top (editorial)
...plus -- Tacoma
shouldn't abandon economic tactics that pay off (Voelpel
In yesterday's Columbian -- Vancouver
proceeds with tax, fee increases
In today's King Co. Journal -- Kent
School District enters deal to make sandwiches for profit
In today's LA Times -- Kaiser
Permanente to help locked-out S.F. hotel workers (AP)
In today's Seattle Times -- Flight
attendants' union vows national strike if contracts nullified
In today's Washington Post -- Pulled
down by our own bootstraps -- Column: Bush
touts tax cuts, health spending accounts and Social Security reform as
giving you control over your own money and destiny, which resonates with
But the flip side of this approach is the undoing of well-established
mechanisms that spread some of life's risks, narrow the gap between rich and
poor and promote the sense that we are all in the same boat.
...plus -- A
new pattern is cut for global textile trade -- "If I didn't have
this job, we wouldn't have enough to eat," says a 20-year-old Sri
Lankan woman, one of 2,000 women who work at the a plant making pants and
shirts for American Eagle Outfitters, skirts for the Gap and bras for
Victoria's Secret. Her $40 monthly wage supports her family in a nearby
village where people walk trash-strewn lanes in bare feet. It buys the
electricity for the lone bulb in her shack, the food her mother cooks over a
wood fire on their concrete floor, and schoolbooks for her sister's
children. "There is nothing else here."
In today's NY Times -- Regulators
plan to step up Union Pacific safety checks
In The Onion -- Republicans
call for privatization of next election -- "There's
too much talk about the accuracy and fairness of our national elections, and
not enough about their proficiency and profitability," said Sen. Rick
Santorum (R-PA). "Who bears the brunt of bureaucratic waste?
Taxpayers." Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) called for an end to "big
government overseeing the election of big government."
Nov. 16 --
Gregoire retakes lead;
Rossi sues --
With momentum shifting to Gregoire, Rossi sues to have certain King County ballots
In today's Seattle Times -- Gregoire
edges ahead as more King County ballots turn up
In today's News Tribune -- Eyes
on state voting law case; dispute tests counting of provisional ballots
...plus -- Rules
for "ballot chasing" need to be consistent (editorial)
In today's Seattle P-I -- Reshaping
of labor has some huge risks -- Virgin column: A drastic re-engineering
of labor (as proposed by SEIU President Andy Stern) has huge risks,
including splintering of the entire movement. But a lot of people in labor
see the alternative as muddling along and find that to be an even riskier
and less attractive course of action.
In today's Seattle Times -- Group
Health, SEIU in contract talks again
In today's Bellingham Herald -- Public
asks city council to spare services in budget crisis
In today's King County Journal --
County finances brighten; some jobs may be restored
In today's Seattle Times --
CFO pleads guilty in tanker deal scandal -- Before he was fired by
Boeing a year ago, Mike Sears was about to publish a management book called
"Soaring Through Turbulence," in which he
wrote: "The effect of these
high-profile scandals (like Enron, Worldcom and other corporate-ethics
disasters)... is not something you can underestimate. There is a credibility
gap -- a big one -- and it is our job as leaders of people to restore that
In today's Everett Herald --
to offer 777 cargo jet based on Everett-built 777-200 LR
uneasy over Wal-Mart's apparent interest in Stanwood
In today's Yakima H-R -- Hundreds
curt from mental health services
In today's News Tribune --
face pension bust
In today's NY Times --
at record levels, debt doubles at agency that insures pension plans --
Much of the loss is attributed to pension fund failures in the airline
In today's Washington Post --
safety rules got the shaft, workers union says
-- Rossi still has the edge; more votes to be tallied
In today's Bellingham Herald -- Political
parties move to "rescue" ballots in tight governor's race (AP)
In the Bremerton Sun -- New
governor will clean house (AP) -- Dems
watch, wait and update resumes.
In today's Seattle P-I -- Teachers
key to Democrat Weinstein's ousting of Mercer Island's Sen. Horn
Other local news:
In today's Yakima H-R -- Snokist
strike support -- Community Members for Snokist Strikers, made up of
outside union members, church groups and others, boost spirits of strikers.
...plus -- It's
time to move on Mexican immigration (editorial)
In the PS Business Journal -- Health-care
partnership snares Group Health --
GHC joins Starbucks, Washington Mutual and the state Health Care Authority
in a new partnership spearheaded by King County Executive Ron Sims that aims
to radically alter health-care delivery in the Puget Sound area.
...plus -- On
transportation, the buck stops with business leaders -- Editorial: State
DOT director Doug MacDonald has thrown down the gauntlet to the region's
business leadership, saying without its firm leadership, there will be no
movement in the Legislature on transportation.
In today's News Tribune -- Numbers
crunch Tacoma -- Government isnt
just by people and for people. It is people. When budget writers talk about
government services, theyre really talking about people.
In Sunday's Seattle Times -- Two-newspaper
group retains union's backing
In today's Everett Herald -- Airbus
merger with defense firm Thales rumored
In today's NY Times -- Teamsters
find pensions at risk -- Since 1982, under a consent decree with the
U.S. government, the fund has been run by prominent Wall Street firms and
monitored by the feds. There have been no more shadowy investments, no more
loans to crime bosses. Yet in these expert hands, the aging fund has fallen
into greater financial peril than when James R. Hoffa, who built the
Teamsters into a national power, used it as a slush fund.
In today's LA Times -- Tapping
an arsenal of retirees -- Post-9/11, engineers with experience, and
security clearances, are sought by defense firms.
At BusinessWeek.com -- What's
ahead for Social Security? -- Bush
has interpreted his reelection as a mandate to restructure the troubled
Social Security system. While Bush has not yet said how he'd do it, this
story offers an explanation of how today's system works and how Bush may
At MSNBC.com -- Social
Security reform to get new look -- Advocates think they are closer than
ever to achieving a goal of establishing personal retirement accounts that
partly replace Social Security.
Previous weeks' news: Nov.
8-12 -- Nov.
1-5 -- Oct.
Exclusive: GOP boss Vance replaced by
litigious body double
Copyright © WSLC Reports Today,
November 19, 2004
OLYMPIA State Republican Party Chairman Chris Vance
appears to have been replaced by a body double who vows to go to court to
ensure that gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi maintains his wahfer-thin
in the statewide ballot recount. Here's the startling evidence:
Nov. 12, Chris Vance said, "I hope (Democrats) are not emboldened by their success and
start suing everywhere about everything... John Kerry did the right thing by
not suing. Slade Gorton did the right thing (in 2000) by not suing."
On Thursday, Nov. 19, "Chris Vance" said,
"We're going to have observers everywhere, and we're not going to
hesitate to go to court if we think there's something going wrong."
The real Chris Vance had to have been replaced some time
between Friday afternoon, when he said not suing was "the right
thing," and Tuesday afternoon, when he went to court in an effort to
have certain provisional ballots thrown out in King County. The judge
rejected his motion.
Undeterred, the new "Chris Vance" now vows more
election litigation and even hints at civil unrest should the recount
determine that Democrat Christine Gregoire actually won the election.
"If this election turns over, I'm going to have a hard
time keeping Republicans calm," said
For more information on what that pointing-and-screeching
unrest may look like, see the plot
summary for the film "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1956),
in which imposters appear to have taken the places of the members of a small
town not unlike Olympia.
It's official: Either Rossi or Gregoire will
be our next governor
After more than two weeks of ballot counting, lead changes
and legal wrangling, we finally know who might be our next governor: Dino
Rossi. Either him or Christine Gregoire.
For now, the result stands at:
But before Rossi can begin spending his 261 votes worth of
political capital in Olympia, he must await the outcome of a machine recount
that is expected to take until Wednesday, Nov. 24 to complete. Secretary of
State Sam Reed predicts that the recount is likely to change several hundred
"If we're within a few hundred votes, we still don't
know who's going to win that race," Reed said Wednesday before the
"final" result was announced. "There has never been anything
close to this in terms of a major race."
How can the recount change votes? According to the Seattle
P-I, counties that use optical scan ballots will pick up votes the scanners
missed the first time. In the 14 counties that still use punch-card ballots,
another trip through the counting machine likely will break loose some -- you
guessed it -- hanging chads. But fear not. This state has laws requiring that
two of the four corners of the punch hole be separated. So no
"pregnant" chads get counted.
To the relief of refresh buttons statewide, the results of
the recount will not be released incrementally. Counties will release their
results when they are final. Some small counties may manage that task in
just one day, but King County is expected to take four working days.
In the unlikely event of a tie, Reed said the winner will be
chosen by chance, most likely a coin toss. At press time, no word on which
side -- heads or tails -- is the "status quo" call.
Local issues cited as national debate rages
on AFL-CIO's future
The following story appears
in today's edition of the New York Times:
Unions Resume Debate Over Merging and Power
By Steven Greenhouse, New York Times reporter
Linda Canny, a nurse with Group Health, a health maintenance
organization in Seattle, applauded her union when it dug in against her
employer's proposal to take away a much-coveted benefit: she does not have
to pay any health insurance premiums.
But Ms. Canny, a member of S.E.I.U. District 1199 Northwest, was
flabbergasted when another union representing Group Health employees
ignored her union's pleas and agreed to have many of its workers pay $520
a year in premiums.
"We really felt the rug was pulled out from under us when that
union agreed to health care premiums,'' Ms. Canny said, referring to a
local of the United Food and Commercial Workers. "We felt that was a
major step backward. Unfortunately, Group Health has really used that
Angered by such cases, the president of Ms. Canny's union, Andrew L.
Stern, has ignited a debate throughout the labor movement by arguing that
labor needs a sweeping overhaul, including the merger of many unions and a
vast increase in organizing, to reverse its long decline.
Last week, Mr. Stern, president of the Service Employees International
Union, called on the A.F.L.-C.I.O. to adopt a 10-point plan, and the
debate he began could lead to the most far-reaching changes in the labor
movement in a half-century
Mr. Stern complained that unions were doing far too little to help
American workers because they were organizing too few workers and were
often undercutting one another in negotiations. He also complained that
many unions were too small to contend with giant companies, noting that 40
of the 60 unions in the A.F.L.-C.I.O. had fewer than 100,000 members.
Mr. Stern, who heads the largest and fastest-growing union in the A.F.L.-C.I.O.,
called for merging the 60 unions into fewer than 20, so that each would be
large enough to square off against big corporations.
Alarmed that labor's ranks are shrinking, he also proposed that the
A.F.L.-C.I.O., whose unions represent 13 million workers, be authorized to
set ambitious goals on how much money each union should spend on
"I'm totally focused on winning the fight on how to build a labor
movement that works for workers," said Mr. Stern, who has a
reputation as a maverick and strategic thinker. "It's hard to get the
job done the way things are organized right now."
He made his call for change a week after
President Bush won re-election, notwithstanding labor's all-out efforts to
defeat him. Many union leaders agree that labor badly needs to take steps
to reverse its decline, but they favor far less sweeping and painful
change than Mr. Stern advocates.
He has warned that unless the A.F.L.-C.I.O. embraces bold changes, his
union, with more than 1.6 million members, may leave the federation.
The director of the U.C.L.A. Labor Center, Kent Wong, said labor's
weakened state has had important repercussions.
"Unions put together a very impressive campaign to unseat George
Bush,'' Professor Wong said. "But the reality is when they represent
just 13 percent of the work force, even with their huge effort, they were
unable to prevail."
He suggested that if unions represented more of the work force, like
the 22 percent level it did three decades ago, the Democrats might have
won the election.
Mr. Stern's proposals have set off a fierce debate. Some labor leaders
have accused him of arrogantly seeking to dictate to others. Many accuse
him of favoring a top-down approach in which the A.F.L.-C.I.O. would tell
long-autonomous unions what to do.
Mr. Stern's plan would, for example, force unions to recruit members
only in their core industries, barring them from raiding those where other
Some labor leaders say Mr. Stern wants service unions to dominate the
A.F.L-C.I.O. at the expense of fast-shrinking manufacturing unions. The
president of the machinists' union, R. Thomas Buffenbarger, has even
threatened to quit the federation if Mr. Stern gets his way.
Some labor leaders complain that Mr. Stern's proposals to merge unions
would allow the big fish to swallow the little fish. His defenders say the
heads of some small unions, despite their puny bargaining power, oppose
mergers because they desperately want to cling to their positions, power
"Stern is absolutely right that the status quo isn't acceptable,
that it's a recipe for oblivion," Paul F. Clark, a professor of labor
relations at Penn State University, said. "But I don't see how the
consolidations he's calling for will get done. You'll find resistance
because a lot of union leaders don't want to give any of their power to
John W. Wilhelm, the longtime president of the Hotel Employees and
Restaurant Employees International Union, which merged last summer with
Unite, the textile workers' union, urged leaders of other small unions to
follow his example.
"The fundamental problem is that too many unions don't have the
resources to meet the challenges," Mr. Wilhelm said. "We're
dealing with global corporations in virtually every industry. I was very
proud of our union. We had 265,000 members. We were doing great stuff. But
we didn't have the size, strength and resources that we needed."
How far Mr. Stern goes with his push for change will depend on his
one-time mentor, John J. Sweeney, president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O.
If Mr. Sweeney, Mr. Stern's predecessor as head of the service
employees, pushes hard to sell the proposals to other unions, the
federation's executive council might adopt many of the them at its meeting
Last week, Mr. Sweeney said a new committee he heads would take a hard
look at proposals by Mr. Stern and others and would make far-reaching
"It will be a very serious effort," he said. "The labor
movement has through the years tried to change with changing times."
He said there might be resistance.
"We have to recognize and acknowledge the fact that individual
unions are autonomous," Mr. Sweeney said. "There may be some
differences of opinion about the degree of change."
Larry Cohen, executive vice president of the Communications Workers of
America, who is widely expected to win its presidency next year, has his
own proposals, which focus on expanding the right to bargain collectively.
He complained that many companies break the law in fighting unionizing and
that public employees in many states do not have the right to form unions.
"What we should focus on is strengthening bargaining power," he
In Mr. Stern's view, one factor undercutting bargaining power is that
in some industries 10 or more unions are active and often trip over, and
undercut, one another. He has proposed giving the A.F.L.-C.I.O. the power
to designate two or three unions in each industry to take the lead in
bargaining and organizing.
To show how well this strategy can work, S.E.I.U. officials point to a
contract approved recently by many workers at the Valley Medical Center in
Renton, Wash. Four unions represent workers at the hospital, and they
agreed that the service employees, which represents the registered nurses
and some other employees and is the largest union at the hospital, should
lead the talks.
The service employees obtained an agreement that its members would not
have to pay health insurance premiums, paving the way for similar
provisions in contracts for the other unions, many of whose members had
previously paid about $1,000 a year for family coverage.
"This shows that if you have a dominant union that's willing to
fight and sets a standard, management usually has to bring everybody
up," said Diane Sosne, president of District 1199 Northwest.
Shannon Halme, an official with a union for Valley Medical office and
clerical workers, said: "I don't think we could have gotten this by
ourselves. We flew on the coattails of what the nurses got."
Janitors, backers target Bon-Macy's with
The following press release
was distributed Tuesday by the Justice for Janitors campaign:
Janitors, breast cancer survivors and community leaders launch the Purple
Ribbon Campaign this holiday season to compel BON-MACY's to add janitors
and their families health and welfare to the list of "BON
The janitors employed at
BON-MACY'S will launch their Purple Ribbon Campaign with a fashion show
that highlights hardworking janitors and their families who have survived
serious health crisis thanks to BON-MACY'S for providing employer-paid
full family medical benefits.
However, now BON-MACY'S is
proposing to cut their janitors' health care benefits at the same time
that it proposes a three-year wage freeze for its Downtown and Northgate
janitors. Even though BON-MACY's pays wages less than all other union
janitorial firms in town, and significantly less than Costco (a nonunion
Janitors and the community
support BON-MACY's "Charge for Change" campaign to support
breast cancer awareness. But, they don't miss the irony that BON-MACY'S
can afford full-page ads about breast cancer awareness, while failing to
meet its responsibility to its own employees' health care needs.
As the holidays approach,
contract negotiations continue for over 40 hardworking janitors employed
at the BON-MACY'S Downtown, Southcenter and Northgate locations, who are
struggling to protect their affordable health care benefits-including
taking the Purple Ribbon Campaign to the broader community.
For more information, contact Rebecca
Saldaρa at (206) 850-0537.
Gregoire retakes lead; Rossi sues
In the latest
election tally, labor-endorsed Democrat Christine
Gregoire has regained the lead over Republican Dino Rossi by 158 votes in a
governor's race increasingly likely to be subject to mandatory recount.
Gregoire's chances of winning were greatly improved Monday when it was
learned that King County had about 10,000 more ballots than previously
expected, citing an extraordinary number of late returns from voters
overseas or serving in the armed forces.
Those new ballots mean you can toss out the
"models" from political wonks that predicted a Rossi victory
because Gregoire is strongly outpolling him in King County. Officials now
estimate about 21,000
votes remain to be counted, about half
of which are from King
and other counties Gregoire has won. That means the margin of victory is
likely to be within 2,000, forcing a recount that would delay the outcome
from Wednesday's deadline for auditor certification to Nov. 24, the day
before Thanksgiving. The election must be certified by the state by Dec. 2.
But the outcome may hinge on disqualified ballots
"chased" by the political parties and "rescued" by the
voters who cast them. This afternoon, a newly nervous Rossi and the
Republican Party filed
a motion in court today to stop the count of those ballots in King
After the Democrats' successful court challenge Friday to
get the names of 929 King County voters whose ballots were being
disqualified, a then-confident Republican Party Chairman Chris Vance was
unfazed with Rossi still leading by about 2,000 votes and "models"
projecting a Rossi victory. But he
warned, "I hope (Democrats) are not emboldened by their success and
start suing everywhere about everything... John Kerry did the right thing by
not suing. Slade Gorton did the right thing by not suing," alluding to
Gorton's 2000 U.S. Senate loss to Democrat Maria Cantwell by 2,229 votes.
But now Vance and the Rossi campaign are no longer leading,
they have done just what they urged against -- sue.
"Going to court to stop ballots from being counted is
disgraceful," said Rick Bender, President of the Washington State Labor
Council. "When things were going their way, Republicans said that suing
was the wrong thing to do. But now that the tide appears to have turned for
Christine Gregoire, they are singing a different tune and suing to stop
votes from being counted. This is a horrible and hypocritical decision by
Over the weekend, hundreds of Democratic volunteers in King County
contacted voters to warn them their ballots were being disqualified and to
explain that they can save their votes by filing affidavits attesting to
their ballots' validity. Republicans are doing the same thing, contacting
pro-Rossi provisional and absentee voters with signature or other technical
problems across the state.
On Monday, Democrats turned in more than 400 affidavits from King County
absentee or provisional voters whose ballots had been tentatively
disqualified due to signature problems. They expect to turn in another 200
affidavits today. Voters have until 4:30 p.m. today to submit documents
demonstrating their eligibility to vote.
Republicans, who were confident of a Rossi victory until last night,
appeared to be much more casual in their effort to chase ballots. In contrast to
the hundreds of Democratic volunteers going door to door to visit
disqualified voters, GOP boss Vance said
Sunday they had about "five or 10 people making calls" to
disqualified voters. Now with the race in doubt and Democrats turning
in hundreds of affidavits to rescue ballots, the Republicans' apparently
feel their only option to
reverse the Gregoire momentum is to sue and try to stop the counting of
Their suit centers on the fact that Democrats offered to
deliver voters' documentation to the auditor's office while the "five
or 10" Republicans were urging voters to deliver the documents
themselves in person. The Democrats say there is nothing in the law that requires voters to
hand-deliver their own documentation and, in fact, it is unreasonable to
expect these voters to "vote
twice" by having to fight traffic and parking to go to downtown
Seattle to make sure their vote counts.
Following are a few examples of the stories behind the affidavits
submitted by Democrats on Monday:
Four voters suffering from Parkinson's disease whose
ballots were disqualified because of mismatched signatures. Their condition
makes it difficult to sign their names and also makes it unreasonable to
expect them to visit the auditors office.
A disabled voter whose ballot was disqualified because of
variations in spelling between his registration form and his ballot
variations due to his condition.
College students who attend school out of state.
A housebound voter unable to make the trip downtown.
Numerous voters who were never told their ballots were in
question until informed by volunteers.
Rossi still has the edge; more votes to be
Rossi clings to a 1,920-vote lead over Democrat Christine Gregoire in the
latest tally for the neck-and-neck governor's race. The deadline for county
auditors to certify the results is this Wednesday, but the parties' legal
jockeying over provisional ballots and the possibility of a recount could
delay the outcome even further.
monitoring absentee ballot trends are predicting that Rossi will win by
about 3,000 votes, but their models assume no change in the trends of late
absentee ballot counts. In addition, they assume no substantial boost for
either side in the counting of provisional ballots. Gregoire's campaign
holds out hope that those provisional ballots, many of which were cast in
King County and other urban areas that lean Democratic, will give her the
boost she needs to prevail.
estimate there are about 41,600 votes remaining to counted. Following is the
list of counties where new tallies are scheduled to be released today and
the estimated number of remaining ballots for each (click
here for up-to-the-minute results):
11:30 a.m. --
Adams (25 votes)
Noon -- Clark
2:30 p.m. --
3 p.m. --
Kitsap (2,500); Whitman (600)
4 p.m. -- King
4:30 p.m. --
Walla Walla (2,000)
5 p.m. --
Snohomish (2,500); Chelan (500); Franklin (250); Douglas (200); Lincoln
5:30 p.m. --
updated election results -- as of 8 a.m. Monday morning -- in the Governor's
race and the races for state legislature within a 1,000-vote margin where
Labor Neighbor activities were conducted for WSLC-endorsed candidates. (Endorsed
candidates in bold; * indicates incumbents.)
Dino Rossi -- 1,347,865 (48.92%)
Christine Gregoire -- 1,345,945 (48.85%)
DISTRICT 26 -- House Pos. 1
Patricia Lantz * -- 29,492 (48.84%)
Matt Rice -- 29,148 (48.27%)
DISTRICT 28 -- House Pos. 2
Tami Green -- 23,525 (50.22%)
Bob Lawrence -- 23,315 (49.77%)
DISTRICT 49 -- Senate
Craig Pridemore -- 24,318 (50.65%)
Don Carlson * -- 23,690 (49.34%)