While we're waiting around for Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi's deposition in the Buildergate lawsuit — not that anything groundbreaking will be uncovered — I want to point attention toward a quote revealing a remarkable lapse in judgment on the part of Public Lands Commissioner Doug Sutherland. It's in yesterday's Seattle Post-Intelligencer story about the too-close-to-call race between Sutherland, the Republican incumbent, and Democratic challenger Peter Goldmark. Apparently Sutherland, who made a well-known, inappropriate comment to at least one woman in the past, committed another gaffe, again to a woman — who also happened to be the reporter writing the story. Wrong move:
When pressed on the issue, he displayed a flash of what got him in trouble in 2005, when he rubbed a female employee from her neck to her back moments after meeting her and then either said before a group of colleagues that he "could have felt ... up front" or "could have felt the other side." The woman later quit her job in a move Sutherland has conceded was likely caused by the incident, for which he apologized.
Speaking to a female reporter about forest certification, Sutherland made an unprompted analogy, "You have to do things in logical sequence: you wouldn't put your coat on to go outside, then put your underwear on. Well, I don't know what you do with your underwear." He laughed.
Talk about shooting yourself in the foot a week before the race is over.
Red scare: Is Barack Obama a socialist? Is he the "Redistributionist-in-Chief," as Republican John McCain says? Nope. Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat interviews a real socialist for his latest story, in which he's told that President Bush and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson — thanks to the $700 billion bank bailout — have "done more to re-popularize socialism than anyone."
Blue scare: House Speaker Frank Chopp dodged a bullet today — an ethics complaint which accused him of hiring a political consultant to shape Democrats' messages — after the Legislative Ethics Board threw out the complaint on a jurisdictional technicality. ...
Blacklisted: Want paid time off work so you can vote next Tuesday? According to Washington law, employers are required to give workers "reasonable time up to two hours" to vote. But if you know in advance that work and voting will conflict, you're required to have an absentee ballot. ...
Blackmail: The founder of Red Robin and Salty's restaurant chains, Gerry Kingen, has launched a new political action committee to hit Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire with attack ads about her compact with Indian casinos. To create the ads, Kingen hired Floyd Brown, the man who created the infamous "Willie Horton" ads which helped derail the Michael Dukakis campaign in 1988.
Backdraft: Politico reports Sen. McCain isn't making headway in Washington state, thanks in part to his long-running feud with Boeing. ...
And finally, does Gregoire overuse the word "literally?" See for yourself.
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