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Sausage Links, the Obama-Rossi endorsement edition

Most papers from around the region have endorsed Barack Obama for president. But when Democrats are supposed to be running away with this election, why are several of those same papers endorsing Rossi?

Newspapers from around the region have endorsed Barack Obama for president, most agreeing that the Democratic presidential candidate is prepared and able to bring a necessary wave of changes to Washington, D.C. But in Washington state, a wave of Obama "change" voters doesn't necessarily ensure state Democrats' safety. Some pundits, including myself, speculate that the Obama mantra could end up helping Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi.

The biggest Rossi endorsement came this past weekend, with the editorial board at the Seattle Times recommending Rossi would be better suited to fix the state's budget woes than Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire. The Tri-City Herald, the Yakima Herald-Republic, and Walla Walla Union-Bulletin have also endorsed the Republican. What's more troubling for Gregoire, however, is that all four pro-Rossi papers have also endorsed Obama, suggesting the Obama-Rossi voter could be a force to be reckoned with on election day.

Still, Gregoire has received a majority of state newspapers' endorsements, including recommendations from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Spokesman Review in Spokane, Tacoma's News Tribune, The Olympian, The Oregonian in Portland, and the Everett Herald. That bodes well for Gregoire, especially because the Spokesman Review is Eastern Washington's biggest newspaper. But the question is who voters in those cities — east and west — will attach to Obama's coattails, whether Rossi has successfully marketed himself as the change-we-can-believe-in candidate. If he has, it may be enough for him to win the governorship.

Here's a few odds and ends from this slow political news day.

Whoops: Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey said today he is "very sorry" that presidential candidate Ralph Nader's name was spelled incorrectly on each Clark County ballot. ...

Will of the editors: In a major blow to the candidacy of Democratic challenger Darcy Burner, Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert has received endorsements from all three major papers in his district — the News Tribune, The Seattle Times, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. ...

Willy-Nilly: In the wake of last week's KIRO 7 News investigation which revealed about 24,000 convicted felons in Washington state have received ballots for this year's election, Dave Ammons, the director of communications for the secretary of state, says his office is "doing the best" it can to see if the felons' voting rights have been restored, cautioning, however, that simply removing the felons' voting rights would almost certainly mean disenfranchising some people who can legally, in fact, vote. ...

And finally, a 25-foot piece of concrete guardrail fell off the Alaska Way Viaduct this morning after being struck by a truck. No one was injured, but the Washington State Department of Transportation has closed traffic near the Seneca Street off-ramp to repair the barrier. By the way, how's that Viaduct replacement plan coming along guys? ...

Clark Fredricksen is a Crosscut staff writer. You can reach him at clark.fredricksen@crosscut.com.


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