Skip to comments.Battle rages amid Wash. (State) inaugural plans
Posted on 01/11/2005 12:39:48 PM PST by NormsRevenge
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The wine has been ordered, the tuxedos have been rented, and the menu has been set. But at the state Capitol, there is something of a damper over Wednesday night's inaugural ball for Washington's new governor.
Democrat Christine Gregoire will take the oath of office knowing that the Republicans are challenging the outcome of the excruciatingly close election in court. Her GOP opponent, Dino Rossi, is calling for a do-over election.
Ultimately, the outcome of the dispute over the next few weeks could turn the inaugural ball into an empty exercise.
"The last shoe hasn't dropped," said independent pollster Stuart Elway. "You'd have to say there is a cloud hanging over it."
Judi Hoefling just wants everyone to come to the ball.
"We'll have the best foods of Washington, the best wines of Washington. It's a fabulous event, regardless of who the governor is," said Hoefling, a member of the ball committee. "I hope people will just come and enjoy it."
Because the election was not certified until Dec. 30, after three seesawing vote counts, ticket sales for the privately funded ball were initially slow, and the organizers came right up against the deadlines for putting down deposits with the caterers and bands.
"We were getting down to the wire, to go or no-go. For a few days we were saying, 'Whoa, can we even do this?'" Hoefling said.
But sales quickly picked up after Gregoire's narrow 129-vote win over Rossi in the hand recount, and Hoefling said they expect 3,500 people - about 1,000 short of a sell-out - to attend the swank event. Some Republicans who bought the $75 tickets in the belief that their candidate had won want a refund, but that is not possible.
Democrats want a night to party and celebrate their victory. But with the uncertainty of what the courts will do, their excitement is slightly in check.
"It's awkward, there's no question about it," said Ann Flannigan, vice president of public relations at the Washington State Employees Credit Union, who is attending her third inauguration.
"When the election happened in November, Democrats started going through the five stages of grief," she said. "Right when we got to the fifth stage, acceptance, our candidate won."
Lance LeLoup, professor of political science at Washington state university, said: "There's no doubt about it, this is a damper."
After watching Rossi lose by 129 votes out of 2.9 million cast, many Republicans do not want to dine and drink in the glow of the Democrats' come-from-behind victory.
Debby Swecker, wife of Republican state Sen. Dan Swecker, served as Rossi's campaign chair in Thurston County and had already picked out a "quite ritzy" dress, with a long, black skirt and a sequined top.
But instead of wearing that outfit under the Capitol's rotunda, she will be staying at her Rochester home with her husband, barbecuing salmon and catching up on her reading. She has 10 complimentary tickets but cannot find any takers.
Other Republicans she has talked to are depressed to see the rush of party planning - the four 30-foot banners that hang from the Capitol's rotunda, the new valances being hung in the state reception room. All these, she said, are reminders of a party that they think should be in honor of Rossi.
Swecker's husband, the senator, said he was boycotting all inaugural ceremonies Wednesday, even when the Legislature convenes in joint session to inaugurate Gregoire.
"I feel like the election was mishandled and the governor-elect is not the legitimate governor-elect," said. "So I'm not going to lend my service to the ceremony."
AP writer Rebecca Cook in Olympia contributed to this report.
Gregoire should be tarred and feathered for her illegal gotten gain.
I would expect, and hope, that all Rs would boycott this sham by the crooked qween.
A come from behind victory that took 3 recounts and many "found" and manufactured votes.
If any Republicans attend the swearing-in, when the time comes, they should, if they have any guts, stand up and walk out.
Undoubtedly some, and especially those in the LSM, will call this "childish" or "irresponsible", or "mean-spirited". But I say to that, first, they're going to say that anyway, so what have you got to lose, and, second, it's time to take to the barricades in fighting this outright, brazen theft. If that means fighting fire with fire, then get on with it.
Just because he won the first two counts those guys jumped the gun and assumed the King County Democrats were going to allow it? Silly.
And a refund, "not possible?" I can walk into a WalMart and get one in 5 minutes is the product I bought turned out to have been switched on me. It this technology beyond the geniuses in Olympia? Or did they just not get permission to authorize it from King County? They can always raise taxes to cover it, you know. They're going to anyway.
Yes, it's too late. By a party-line vote, Gregoire will be certified as governor.
"They can always raise taxes to cover it, you know. They're going to anyway."
Check the news. They've already started with the property tax.
They could always round up a few homeless and donate their tickets to them. I am sure the new guv would welcome her new constituency with open arms.
Meanwhile what news on the ReVote rally in Olympia? The Clark Co. rally was great! Good response and very little opposition.
And the crook needs to be loudly razzed everywhere the beast appears in public, while the legal challenge moves forward.
It is moving forward, isn't it?
Implies the only motivation is that the election was close. Lying by omission.
I was at the Clark County rally, as well. Must have been 200 people there in support of a re-vote.
Currently in progress. Here's the thread, should have an update later from CyberCowboy777.
Thank you, NR. Now eat some hot soup and get warm!
Now the RATs know what it feels like when they did the same to Bush supporters on election night two times when Bush won but the RATs wouldn't concede that night.
Pre-trial conference in Wenatchee on Friday to set down the ground rules. Trial to begin in 5-15 days.
Oooooh. I like that idea. I'd give 'em to felons, too. Too bad you can't give tickets to corpses. Then, she can have all of her best voters (homeless, felons, and the dead) at her ball.
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