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January 02, 2005

Dear Governor Gregoire...

First of all, congratulations on your hard-won victory.  You won fair and square, and you should be proud.  I'm really glad you hung tough in a difficult situation.  I wonder what you learned from this experience.  Here are a few insights I think you ought to take into the Governor's mansion with you:

1) The left wing of the party is your best ally in a time of need.  As David Postman's front-page story in the Seattle Times documents, it's not the centrists or the DLC that funded the hand recount.  It was  the grassroots base.  If you play to our values -- responsibility, compassion, fairness -- we can be great political friends to have.

2) Be bold.  I'm not talking Rossi/Vance shoot-your-mouth-off-to-the-media type bold.  The progressive base thinks our state has real problems -- underfunded schools, crumbling infrastructure, unaffordable health care, a deteriorating natural environment.  We know that these problems need big, smart solutions.  And we know that the biggest asset of an executive is the bully pulpit.  Our state needs you to be a bold, risk-taking, charismatic leader.  Don't pull a Gary Locke on us, trying to keep your head down and hoping for a cabinet position in 2008 if a Democrat takes back the White House.  Get out there and be the change, for a change.  A strong "hundred days" agenda would go a long way towards setting the right tone. [I feel a follow-up post coming on -- Ed.]

3) Be nice, cooperative and hit back hard.  Go out of your way to be nice to your political opponents.  We like gracious winners.  We also like bipartisan cooperation -- but we expect you to compromise on the means, not the ends.  There should be no "compromise" when it comes to protecting our right to a clean and healthful environment, providing quality education to our kids, and great healthcare to us all.  And we expect you to hit back against people who attack you. Nobody likes a wimp -- and the Republicans are going away mad.

4) Think about how to strengthen the Democratic Party.  The fact that the Washington State Democratic Party couldn't come up with $730,000 in a pinch shows how weak it's become.  As the putative leader of the party, you should make rebuilding the party's infrastructure and grassroots organizing base a top strategic priority.  There are lots of people out here waiting to help you, some of them are even part of the party structure already.


Jon Stahl

Posted by Jon Stahl on January 2, 2005 at 07:04 PM in Candidate Races | Permalink


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The fact that the state party doesnt have $730,000 in its checkbook right after the election is a good thing.

And, you may have noticed that you've never seen in print what the total amount that was raised. It was around $2 million dollars, so obviously the party has a massive appartus built to do this and is not broken like you claim. In fact, they only sent out one piece of direct mail cause they raised so much money they didnt need to send another one.

Posted by: Dan | Jan 2, 2005 10:50:13 PM

Actually, it's my understanding that it was "affiliated" groups like MoveOn, ACT, Howard Dean and others that raised a large part of the total -- I guarantee you that the Washington State Democratic Party doesn't have the infrastructure in place to raise that kind of money from its own lists that fast.

Posted by: Jon | Jan 3, 2005 5:08:15 PM

I would like to point out that there are still candidates facing possible threats to their victories. So if Christine makes it past these threats, we donors would much appreciate the use of the returned moneys from the WA state recounts to be used to support these candidates. One of these is Hubert Vo in Texas. He won and is now threatened and we should be vigilant and supportive.
For the future, we should work hard on judicial positions and election board positions in every state! We have been stopped in our efforts to get fair elections by highly suspect partisan judges who have stooped to breaking the law because they have no fear of being prosecuted fairly.
This is outrageous and criminal and we need to work on stopping these criminals from breaking the law with impunity.

Posted by: Pat | Jan 10, 2005 9:57:07 AM

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