Republican Governors go after Tribes and Gregoire

A while back we wrote about the Building Industry Association of Washington’s television ads alleging that Governor Christine Gregoire’s approval of the state’s gaming compacts were an illicit payoff or kickback deal between Washington’s Indian tribes and the Governor.

Now we understand that (and we’re sure the Governor understands) that pretty much any deal she makes or position she takes is open to some sort of criticism.  That comes with the territory.  And it’s one thing to say “you know, that gambling deal was bad for the state”.  There are legitimate arguments for both sides.  But what we don’t get is the idea that Rossi’s supporters, in this case the Republican Governors Association, skip that debate and in their latest 30 second TV spot simply go into accusation and innuendo.  It just doesn’t make sense to simply say that there must have been a corrupt deal (or as the lastest ad says “payoff” and “quid pro quo” — their words not ours) when there is no evidence of that at all. 

In fact, as we have pointed out, even our state GOP leaders and the GOP attorney general have said the deal was above board.  But if the Republican Governors are going to run an ad saying that the tribes paid off Governor Gregoire without any sort of evidence, then it’s hard to see how anyone can take the ad as saying anything but the Tribes are corrupt as well.  And because the Republican Governor’s ad doesn’t say WHICH tribes they basically are tar and feathering ALL 29 of Washington’s tribes.

You know we have pointed out how there are going to be about 70,000 Native votes in play this November.  And the Republican Governors and Dino Rossi should know this.  But when the Republicans run a statewide ad saying that all of Washington’s Indian tribes are corrupt, all we can figure is that they are o.k. with telling Washington’s Native voters, “we don’t care about you.”  How else can we take the latest Republican Governors’ ad?  And what does that say about how the GOP Governors feel about Indian tribes in other states like New Mexico, Wisconsin, and Michigan?

At best, Rossi has to do better from a strategy stand point, IF he wants the Indian vote.  He actually came to the Seafair Pow Wow and campaigned for the Native vote, so it sounded like he was sincere.  And given that his narrow loss four years ago was because the Native vote made the difference, he should be sincere.  But you can’t really get away with telling Native voters that you will do well for them in office when at the same time you are running TV ads calling Indian tribes corrupt.

We think that if you simply don’t want or feel that you don’t need the Native vote, just do what most other politicians do and ignore Native voters.  That usually does the trick.  But spending millions on insulting Native voters seems to be overkill.  What are we missing?


One Response to “Republican Governors go after Tribes and Gregoire”

  1. […] of Washington and the Republican Governors Association – began running a series of television ads alleging that Governor Christine Gregoire’s actions in agreeing to the tribal gaming compacts amount to a […]

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