Gregoire calls BIAW ads “racist”

The Building Industry Association of Washington has run a television ad attacking Governor Gregoire over her approval of gaming agreements with Washington’s Indian tribes. The BIAW is investing heavily in the candidacy of Dino Rossi, Gregoire’s Republican challenger. As many of you know, Gregoire beat Rossi by just 133 votes in 2004. The BIAW ad implies that Gregoire signed compacts that were good for the tribes, bad for Washington, and that in return the tribes agreed to line the coffers of Gregoire’s re-election campaign.

Washington’s Republican Attorney General has defended those compacts from these unfounded allegations.

Indian tribes, to say the least, are offended by the BIAW ad.

The Seattle PI’s political blogger, Joel Connelly, has openly questioned the tactics of the BIAW, leveling charges of “dirty play”, distortion”, and “crudeness” against them.

In what can only be described as perplexing, the candidate that the BIAW is supporting – Dino Rossi – made a major appearance at Seattle’s Seafair Pow Wow in July, openly courting the Native vote and reminding the audience of his Indian heritage. It is hard to imagine, however, that Native voters will easily be able to look past the BIAW ads.

There is no question that in a close race, the Native Vote (there are 110,000 eligible Indian voters in WA) is crucial.

Tactics matter, so how the Rossi campaign handles the BIAW’s charges against WA’s Indian tribes will be closely watched by WA’s Native voters.

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