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Rossi raises funds at local luncheon
ARLINGTON Dino Rossi is raising funds for his next gubernatorial bid and he believes Arlington can make the difference.
The 2004 race came down to a difference of 129 votes, Rossi told Arlington residents March 5. We could pick up 129 votes just in Snohomish County.
Rossi met with supporters in the home of Bob and Maggie Iverson for a fundraising lunch, during which he listed his strengths in the upcoming election, and area residents shared their thoughts on the candidate.
I like his attitude of fiscal responsibility, said Shirley Johnson, who came with her husband from Darrington to hear Rossi. Hes opposed to the death tax and to a state income tax. When youre retired and living on a fixed income, taxes are a big thing.
Rossi drew cheers from many attendees when he accused incumbent Gov. Christine Gregoire of waffling on a pledge not to increase taxes, before citing a state Senate Ways and Means Committee report as evidence that Gregoire will have turned a $2.1 billion surplus into a $937 million deficit by the next budget.
Dinos balanced the budget before, said Arlington resident Grant Jensen, citing Rossis chairing of the state senate committee that wrote the state budget in 2003. He can do it again, without raising taxes. My main issue is transportation.
Rossi attacked Gregoire for the level of traffic congestion in the state, especially on Interstate 5 in north Snohomish County, accusing her of being responsible for our ferries sinking and our roads floating, by not distributing funds properly.
The most common refrain among Rossi supporters who were interviewed, however, was the character issue, as the fundraisers attendees responded warmly to his tales of his family, as well as his priorities regarding crime and business.
I want to make Washington the worst state to be a criminal and the best state to start a business, said Rossi, who objected to early releases for sex offenders and to the high rate of small business failures in the state.
Im convinced hes a man of integrity, said pastor Rick Long, of the Atonement Free Lutheran Church in Arlington. Hes got a record of fiscal wisdom and a conservative stand on social and moral issues.
His personality lights up a room, Jensen said. Hes well-rounded and knowledgeable.
The Iversons likewise described Rossi as personable, family-oriented and experienced.
Its rare in life that you get a second chance to do whats important, Rossi said. With your help, we call get that chance.