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Dino Rossi


Member of the Washington Senate
from the 5th district
In office
1997–2003
Preceded by Kathleen Drew
Succeeded by Cheryl Pflug

Chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee
In office
2003–2003

Born October 15, 1959 (1959-10-15) (age 50)
Seattle, Washington
Nationality  United States
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Terry
Children Two sons and two daughters
Residence Sammamish, Washington
Alma mater Seattle University (B.A.)
Occupation Real estate
Website http://www.dinorossi.com

Dino Rossi (born October 15, 1959, in Seattle, Washington, U.S.) is a business man and former Washington State Senator and two-time candidate for Governor of Washington. In the 2004 election that would become the closest gubernatorial race in United States history, Rossi was officially certified as governor-elect before losing a second, hand recount to Democrat Christine Gregoire by 129 votes.[1] He also ran for Governor of Washington in 2008. After the 2010 victory of Senator Scott Brown in Massachusetts, there has been growing speculation that Rossi may enter the 2010 Senate race to challenge incumbent Patty Murray. Rasmussen polling shows Rossi ahead of Murray in February and March 2010 polling.[2][3]

Rossi began his professional career in the commercial real estate industry, and continued to invest in and manage income properties throughout his formal political career. After the 2008 election, Rossi returned to commercial real estate industry full-time.[4]

Contents

Background

Rossi is the son of John Rossi, an Italian-American Seattle Public School teacher at Viewlands Elementary in North Seattle, and Eve Mkclusky, a beautician. When Dino was born, he became the youngest of seven children raised by John and Eve.[5]

Rossi was raised in Mountlake Terrace and graduated from Woodway High School in Edmonds. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Seattle University in 1982. After graduation, with $200 in his bank account and a $200 car, he began in the commercial real estate business[6] . He became a commercial real estate agent, managing and owning real estate[7]. He is married, with four children, and lives in Sammamish, Washington.[8]

In 1992, Rossi ran for a Washington State Senate seat in a district representing suburbs east of Seattle, Washington in the Cascade foothills. After winning a divisive Republican Party primary, he lost the general election.

In 1996, Rossi ran again for the State Senate and was elected.

Career in the State Senate

Rossi served in the Washington State Senate from 1997 until December of 2003, when he resigned to spend full time running for governor.[9] During his time as senator, he gained a reputation for being a political consensus builder with a proven ability to build bipartisan coalitions.[10] When the Senate Republicans gained the majority in 2002, Rossi became chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee that writes the state’s two year operating budget. It was in this position that Rossi was widely credited for closing a $2.7 billion budget deficit without raising taxes.[11] He passed this budget with bipartisan support,[12] gaining praise from members of both parties, including the ranking Democrat senator on the budget committee. The budget chief for Democrat Governor Gary Locke said of Rossi in 2003, “The really good legislators move from one side to the other really effortlessly, and I think Dino did that.”[10]

Rossi successfully sponsored a number of bills as a state senator prior to his role as chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, including the “Two Strikes” bill that puts child molesters away for life after a second conviction.[13] In 1998, he sponsored the “Mary Johnsen Act,”[14] named for a Sammamish resident who was killed by a drunk driver. The bill required ignition interlock devices for certain convicted drunk drivers in the state of Washington. Rossi received the national finalist award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving for his work. He also sponsored the “Dane Rempfer bill”[15] that boosted penalties for those who left the scene of a fatal accident, named after a 15 year old boy from his district who was killed in a hit-and-run. However, it was his work on the 2003 budget that spurred others to recruit Rossi to run for governor.[16]

The 2004 gubernatorial election

Rossi made his decision to run in November of 2003, [17] but was already facing an uphill battle in terms of money raised, low name identification with voters and trends established by the two prior GOP candidates for governor. The sitting Washington State Attorney General and Rossi’s eventual opponent in the general election, Christine Gregoire, had already raised $1.15 million by December, only weeks after Rossi officially kicked off his campaign[18]. Furthermore, the previous two GOP candidates for governor had lost their campaign bids by 16% and 18.7% in 1996 and 2000[19].

In the November 2 election, over 2.8 million votes were cast for Governor. After the initial vote count, Rossi led Democrat Christine Gregoire by 261 votes.[20] Washington State law required a recount because of the small margin. After the second count, Rossi again led, but by a smaller margin of 42 votes. After a third count, done by hand, Gregoire took a 129 vote lead (expanded to a 133 vote lead after Justice Bridges' decision threw out 4 votes for Rossi). [1]

King County's election department was sued by the Rossi campaign for its handling of ballots, including untracked use of a "ballot-on-demand" printing machine.[21] Even before the election date, the U.S. Department of Justice threatened to sue Washington State for failing to mail military ballots overseas, generally assumed to be Republican votes.[22]

Republican leaders in Washington claimed there were enough disputed votes to change the outcome of the election and sued. On May 25, 2005 the judge hearing the lawsuit ruled that the Party did not provide enough evidence that the disputed votes were ineligible, or for whom they were cast, to enable the court to overturn the election.[23]

Rossi did not appeal to the state Supreme Court;[24] Gregoire was declared governor, by a margin of 133 votes.[2]

Between the 2004 and 2008 election

After the election and the ensuing court battle, Rossi returned to his work in real estate and wrote a book, Dino Rossi: Lessons in Leadership, Business, Politics and Life.[25][26]Along with former Seattle Mariner baseball star Jay Buhner, he also purchased a minority share in the Seattle Mariners’ single A minor league baseball team, the Everett Aquasox.[27] Rossi also established Forward Washington Foundation, 501(c)(4) a non-profit entity dedicated to promoting changes to Washington’s small business climate. [28] In 2007, the state Democratic Party filed a complaint with the Washington Public Disclosure Committee (PDC) asserting that the Forward Washington Foundation was too similar to a campaign to be exempt from campaign campaign finance laws.[29] Prior to her party’s formal complaint, Gregoire was feverishly fundraising and theorizing that Rossi would challenge her again, stating to donors that he was “campaigning aggressively."[30] The PDC dismissed in totality the allegations made by the Washington State Democrats, deeming each accusatory claim as “insufficient” and stating that the organization was indeed acting consistent with its mission statement, making it “a social welfare organization… and not a political committee”. [31]

The 2008 gubernatorial election

On October 25, 2007, Dino Rossi officially announced his intention to seek the office of Governor of Washington in 2008. Rossi's campaign was centered on many of the same issues he ran under in the 2004 election, namely controlling the spending of the state's legislature, tax cuts, and improving the business environment within the state.[32]

In 2004, Rossi was listed on the ballot as a Republican. In 2008, his affiliation was listed as "Prefers G.O.P. Party" as he had filed with the Washington Secretary of State.[33] [34][35][36][37] Washington law allows candidates to identify their party affiliation or preference in any way they please, provided that it is not profane.[38][39]

Rossi has said pharmacists should not be required to dispense a drug that is against their conscience or religious beliefs when asked about Plan B oral contraceptive. [40] Following a ruling by the State Supreme Court that an initiative that limited property tax increases to 1% a year was unconstitutional, Rossi urged Governor Gregoire to call a special session of the State's legislature to re-instate the restriction.[41]

As of September 2008, the Rossi campaign was reported to have raised $9 million while the Gregoire campaign took in $10 million overall.[42]

A poll in early October showed Rossi tied with Governor Gregoire in the race for Governor.[43]. A later poll by the Elway Group showed Rossi trailing Gov. Gregoire by 12 percent.[44][45][46]

On October 7, a lawsuit was filed against the Building Industry Association of Washington, for allegedly coordinating fundraising activities with Rossi in violation of Washington's public finance laws. Rossi's campaign spokeswoman dismissed the suit as a desperate attempt by Gregoire's supporters to win an election through frivolous legal maneuvering, a claim that was denied by the lawyer that filed the suit. [47]

Rossi was endorsed on October 18, 2008 by The Seattle Times.[48]

Dino Rossi was defeated by Governor Christine Gregoire in the 2008 election and formally conceded at noon on November 5, 2008.[49] Her margin of victory was 53% to 47%.[citation needed]

Post 2008 election

Following his defeat in the 2008 gubernatorial election, Rossi "unplugged from almost everything political" and became a principal at a commercial real estate firm called Coast Equity Partners in Everett, Washington. Rossi's role at the firm is to find investors for income producing properties in Washington and four other Western U.S. states.[50]

GOP victories in state-wide elections in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Virgina as well as widepread anti-incumbency sentiment have led to speculation that Rossi will challenge Patty Murray for the United States Senate.

References

  1. ^ Jaime Holguin (2005-06-06). "Wash. Governor’s 2004 Win Stands". Associated Press. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/06/06/politics/main699934.shtml. Retrieved 2005-06-06. 
  2. ^ http://bradyforillinois.com/2010/01/22/profile-illinois-state-sen-bill-brady-runs-for-the-gop-nomination-for-governor/
  3. ^ http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/edcetera/2010926833_dino_rossi_and_the_scott_brown.html?prmid=op_ed
  4. ^ Jerry Cornfield (2009-05-03). "Rossi’s in town, and all business". The Everett Herald. http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20090503/NEWS01/705039892. Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  5. ^ Ralph Thomas. "Family's struggles early in life forged Rossi's political identity". Seattle Times. http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20040928&slug=rossi28m. Retrieved 2008-10-18. 
  6. ^ "Rossi hopes his American Dream takes him further". Seattle Post Intelligencer. 2004. http://www.seattlepi.com/local/197161_rossi28.html. Retrieved October 28 2004. 
  7. ^ "Campaign 2004: Rossi clarifies professional status". Seattle Post Intelligencer. 2004. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/192888_rossi29.html. Retrieved July 18 2008. 
  8. ^ "Election 2004 voters guide". Spokane Spokesman Review. 2004. http://www.spokesmanreview.com/elections/2004/candidates/candidate.asp?ID=65. Retrieved October 29 2006. 
  9. ^ Paul Queary (December 6 2003). "Rossi quits Senate for governor's race". Associated Press. http://www.seattlepi.com/local/151356_rossi06.html. Retrieved December 6 2003. 
  10. ^ a b Ralph Thomas (May 12 2003). "Budget writer thrives in legislative hothouse". The Seattle Times. http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20030512&slug=rossi12m. Retrieved May 12 2003. 
  11. ^ James Harwood (March 31 2004). "Presidential Politics Overshadow Rise of State Level Stars". The Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB108068797363569516.html?mod=googlewsj. Retrieved March 31 2004. 
  12. ^ David Ammons (April 3 2003). "Senate GOP pushes budget through without new taxes". The Associated Press. http://www.seattlepi.com/local/116050_budget05.shtml. Retrieved April 3 2003. 
  13. ^ Template:Title=Senate Bill 5509
  14. ^ James Vesley (December 29 1997). "Take A Deep Breath Now, And Try To Start Your Car". The Seattle Times. http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19971229&slug=2580563. Retrieved December 29 1997. 
  15. ^ Jim Brunner (March 31 2000). "Crime laws bear names of young victims". The Seattle Times. http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20000331&slug=4012908. Retrieved March 31 2000. 
  16. ^ Ralph Thomas (November 4 2003). "GOP finds candidate for governor: Dino Rossi". The Seattle Times. http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20031104&slug=rossi04m. Retrieved November 4 2003. 
  17. ^ KOMO Staff & News Services (November 3 2003). "State Senator Dino Rossi To Run For Governor". KOMO News. http://www.komonews.com/news/archive/4109156.html. Retrieved November 3 2003. 
  18. ^ Brad Shannon (December 16 2003). "Gregoire leads money race". The Olympian. http://cache.zoominfo.com/CachedPage/?archive_id=0&page_id=549942874&page_url=//www.theolympian.com/home/news/20031216/frontpage/2045.shtml&page_last_updated=12/17/2003+1:13:09+PM&firstName=Randall&lastName=Rappe. Retrieved December 16 2003. 
  19. ^ "Washington State General Election Results, 1996, 2000". Office of Washington State Secretary of State. http://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/results_report.aspx?e=20,17&c=&c2=&t=264&t2=2&p=&p2=&y=. 
  20. ^ Seattle Times staff (November 18 2004). "It's Rossi by 261; recount is next". The Seattle Times. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002094147_gov18m.html. Retrieved June 23 2006. 
  21. ^ Seattle Times staff (April 26 2005). "More mistakes revealed in ballot counting". The Seattle Times. http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=logan26m&date=20050426. Retrieved May 8 2007. 
  22. ^ Seattle Times staff (January 10 2005). "Feds threatened suit over military ballots". The Seattle Times. http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=military10m&date=20050110. Retrieved May 8 2007. 
  23. ^ Postman, David (June 6 2005). "Rossi will not appeal election ruling". The Seattle Times. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2002319056_webverdict06.html. Retrieved June 23 2006. 
  24. ^ "Rossi won't take fight any further: Future could hold challenge". The Associated Press. 2005-06-07. http://wenatcheeworld.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050607/NEWS03/506070343. Retrieved 2008-08-07. 
  25. ^ David Ammons (2005-10-05). "In between campaigns, Rossi turns writer". KGW. http://www.kgw.com/sharedcontent/APStories/stories/D8D3MU8O1.html. Retrieved 2007-07-17. 
  26. ^ Ralph Thomas (2008-09-18). [seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008075525_rossirecap.html "Dino Rossi's four years of political exile"]. Seattle Times. seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008075525_rossirecap.html. Retrieved 2008-10-08. 
  27. ^ Greg Bell (2007-04-09). "Buhner, Rossi buy into Aquasox". Associated Press. http://www.seattlepi.com/othersports/310980_aquasox10.html. Retrieved 2010-01-02. 
  28. ^ Steven Gardner (2007-05-10). "Rossi Stumps in Kitsap – for Budget Responsibility". The Kitsap Sun. http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2007/may/10/rossi-stumps-in-kitsap-151-for-budget/. Retrieved 2010-01-02. 
  29. ^ David Ammons (2007-06-26). "Democrats Submit Complaint Over Rossi’s Foundation". Associated Press. http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2007/jun/26/democrats-submit-complaint-over-rossis/. Retrieved 2010-01-02. 
  30. ^ Joel Connelly (2006-07-26). "Dino Rossi Circles over Gregoire’s head". The Seattle P-I. http://www.seattlepi.com/connelly/279233_joel28.html. Retrieved 2010-01-02. 
  31. ^ Template:Cite letter
  32. ^ Joel Connelly (2007-10-28). "Gregoire's rematch with Rossi shapes up as a doozy". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/connelly/337157_joel29.html. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  33. ^ "2008 General Candidates Who Have Filed". Washington State Secretary of State. http://wei.secstate.wa.gov/osos/en/candidatefiling/Pages/Candidateswhohavefiled.aspx?officecodes=3001. Retrieved 2008-09-26. 
  34. ^ David Postman (2008-06-11). "GOP: New brand, same old style". The Seattle Times. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004470167_postmanblog11m.html. Retrieved 2008-08-24. 
  35. ^ Curt Woodward (2008-08-21). "Wash. Republican gov candidate to skip convention". The Associated Press. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/6420ap_wa_governor_conventions.html. Retrieved 2008-08-24. 
  36. ^ David Postman (2008-06-23). "FOX News on Republicans shying away from party brand". The Seattle Times. http://blog.seattletimes.nwsource.com/davidpostman/2008/06/fox_news_on_republicans_shying_away_from_party_brand.html. Retrieved 2008-08-24. 
  37. ^ John Laird (2008-08-17). "Independents are loving 2008". The Columbian. http://www.columbian.com/opinion/news/2008/08/08172008_Independents-are-loving-2008.cfm. Retrieved 2008-08-24. 
  38. ^ "RCW 29A.32.032 Party preference.". Washington State Legislature. http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=29A.32.032. Retrieved 2008-09-26. 
  39. ^ "Judge: 'GOP' for short is fine on Wash. ballot". Seattle Times. 2008-09-26. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1134ap_washington_governor.html. Retrieved 2008-10-08. 
  40. ^ David Postman (2007-11-16). "Rossi backs druggists' choice on Plan B". The Seattle Times. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004017470_postmanblog16m.html. Retrieved 2007-11-21. 
  41. ^ David Ammons (2007-11-20). "WA gov: Quickie 747 session won't be '3-ring circus'". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/6420ap_wa_property_taxes.html. Retrieved 2007-11-21. 
  42. ^ Joel Connelly (2008-09-30). "Gregoire tops $10 million". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/seattlepolitics/archives/150091.asp. Retrieved 2008-10-08. 
  43. ^ Joel Connelly (2008-10-03). "Wash gov. poll: Chris and Dino tied". The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/seattlepolitics/archives/150477.asp. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  44. ^ Chris Grygiel (2008-10-23). "Washington state pollapalooze". The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/seattlepolitics/archives/152313.asp. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  45. ^ Chris Gygiel (2008-10-23). "Poll:Gregoire leads Rossi 51-39". The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/seattlepolitics/archives/152135.asp. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  46. ^ Joel Connelly (2008-10-23). "Gregoire Up in Elway Poll". The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/seattlepolitics/archives/145212.asp. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  47. ^ McGann, Chris (2008-10-07). "Lawsuit targets Rossi's relationship with builders". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/382082_rossi07.html. Retrieved 2009-02-10. 
  48. ^ "The Times recommends Dino Rossi for governor". The Seattle Times. 2008-10-18. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/editorialsopinion/2008279880_edit19rossiendorse.html. Retrieved 2008-10-18. 
  49. ^ Andrew Garber (2008-11-05). "Rossi concedes defeat to Gregoire". The Seattle Times. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008354769_webguvrace05m.html. Retrieved 2008-11-05. 
  50. ^ "Dino Rossi, 2-time gubernatorial candidate, has a new job". The Seattle Times. May 3, 2009. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2009166324_apwarossijob.html. Retrieved May 4, 2009. 

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