For one reason, she's increased state spending by $8 billion in four years. That's little more than a 30 percent increase. Compare that to past governors (via The Seattle Times). Can you say, "irresponsible spending?"
My disdain was reinforced today by a Seattle P-I article about how state Democrats have rejected a request by Republicans for inquiry into Gregoire's gambling pacts.
According to the article, "Republicans said they had concerns with 'the appearance of a conflict between the governor's role as both chief negotiator and campaign benefactor.' They asked Democrats to 'immediately convene a bipartisan task force to conduct a fact-finding investigation and answer questions that have been raised.'"
Where's the conflict, you ask?
Since 2004, the tribes have contributed more than $650,000 to the state Democratic Party and Gregoire, and, according to a David Postman editorial in The Seattle Times last month, "The Democrats’ filings with the Public Disclosure Commission show $276,000 raised in April. Of that, $250,000 came from the Tulalip Tribes and the Swinomish Tribal Community."
The race for her reelection remains tight, fundraising is ever-important and certainly the timing of Republicans' request is strategic. The latest SurveyUSA poll conducted exclusively for KING-TV in Seattle and KATU-TV in Portland shows Gregoire leading GOP challenger Dino Rossi 49 percent to 46 percent, which is slim considering the survey's 3.9 percentage point margin of sampling error.
My take on the inquiry is that if Gregoire has nothing to hide, it shouldn't be a problem. In fact, an unproductive, enforced inquiry would only embarrass Republicans if Gregoire has acted so responsibly. The request for investigation to an alleged conflict of interest is reasonable.
However, something reeks of inaccountability here. Maybe it's the $8 billion in increased spending. Maybe it's the zero revenue sharing pact and generous donations by benefiting tribes.