Looking to catch up with your favorite gubernatorial candidate on the stump? Try a country club. I've just completed a whirlwind tour of Eastside country and golf clubs courtesy of Democratic incumbent Chris Gregoire and Republican challenger Dino Rossi.
Last Friday, Sept. 19, I was at the Glendale Country Club for the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club meeting. Rossi was the featured speaker. He regaled the mostly friendly crowd with his oft-repeated rags-to-riches story. How he started out in business with $200 in his pocket and a $200 car and made his first million in commercial real estate shortly after he turned 30.
Rossi's bottom line: "I'm running against somebody who's been in state government for 40 years now, never really had a private sector job in her adult life. That doesn't make you evil, doesn't make you bad. It just gives you a very narrow, Olympia-centric view of the world. I come from the commercial real estate business. I actually come from the world of a 100 percent commission. I come from the world of no salary, no benefits, if you don't work you don't eat. I understand the free enterprise system. I've actually signed the front side of a paycheck."
On Sunday night, Sept. 21, I caught up with Gregoire at the "Eastside Democrats 2008 Fundraising Dinner." This event was held at the Golf Club at Newcastle. Featured speaker Ed Schultz, a liberal talk-radio host, noted the club is located on Six Penny Lane. He joked the name should be changed to Six Millionaire Lane.
Gregoire fired up the suburban Dems audience with talk about access to the morning-after pill, medically accurate sex education, and health care for all: "When it comes to health care, sure we want all kids to have health care. But you know what, it's also about making sure everyone has health care. We shouldn't see health care as a perk or a privilege for the rich or the few. It is a right for every single American."