Skip to comments.Protesters turn out for, against Gregoire's certification
Posted on 01/11/2005 3:57:22 PM PST by MissouriConservative
OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Hundreds of chanting partisans staged dueling protest rallies at the Capitol on Tuesday, many demanding a revote in the state's closest governor's race in history.
Police estimated more than 1,000 protesters massed on the Capitol lawn. A no-man's zone staffed by at least a dozen state troopers kept a larger pro-revote crowd separate from a pack of Democrat Christine Gregoire's backers.
Cries of "revote" and "revote or revolt" rang out as lawmakers inside the Capitol prepared to debate a GOP motion to delay certification of the governor's election for two weeks while the courts and lawmakers deal with reports of voting irregularities.
A similar move by Senate Republicans failed by a single vote on Monday, the opening day of the new 15-week legislative session.
The pro-revote crowd was decked out in orange attire popularized by protesters in Ukraine. One speaker after another demanded a revote of Gregoire's ultra-close contest with Republican Dino Rossi.
"If it's good enough for Ukraine, it's good enough for us," one speaker yelled.
"The crowd took up the chant, "The whole world is watching!"
The pro-Gregoire contingent didn't have microphones or a list of speakers, but hoisted signs and yelled their replies to nearly every Rossi rally speech or taunt.
When the Rossi crowd yelled "Revote!" the Gregoire people retorted "We won!"
A Rossi sign read, "Gregoire: You're fired," a la "The Apprentice" TV show. A pro-Gregoire sign said "Sore loser."
The 1996 GOP candidate for governor, radio talk show host John Carlson, said the noisy opening week rallies reflected the public's desire to be heard on this unprecedented election and aftermath.
The session opened Monday on a sharply partisan note as the still-unsettled governor's race spilled over into the Legislature in a prelude to an all-out court battle.
Majority Senate Democrats rallied around their embattled governor-elect, Christine Gregoire, refusing to let Republicans delay certification of her election. Gregoire won the third vote count - a hand recount - by just 129 votes out of 2.9 million ballots cast. It was the narrowest margin in state history.
Minority House Republicans planned the same gambit Tuesday - with the same outcome expected - during a joint House-Senate session just before lame-duck Gov. Gary Locke was set to give his final State of the State Address.
Gregoire will be inaugurated on Wednesday, even though Republican rival Dino Rossi and the state Republican Party are challenging the election in court, seeking a statewide revote.
Republicans said the gubernatorial election was riddled with errors serious enough to undermine voter confidence and to throw the outcome in doubt.
Monday's flare-up provided an unusual start for the 15-week session. The day typically is devoted to bland speeches, swearing in members and electing the majority's pick for officers.
In the Senate, maverick conservative Tim Sheldon was the only Democrat to vote with the solid bloc of Republicans on the two-week delay motion. Sheldon supported both Rossi and President Bush in the fall election.
Minority Leader Sen. Bill Finkbeiner, R-Kirkland, led the charge.
"Every day more issues come to light and more rumors abound," with reports of dead people and felons voting, lists of votes not matching voter lists, and hundreds of provisional ballots illegally run through voting machines, he said.
He conceded that suspending the election certification for even a few weeks would be "a monumental step that has never taken place in our state's history." But he said it's warranted.
Democrats urged the Legislature to butt out and let the court challenge proceed. Senate Judiciary Chairman Adam Kline, D-Seattle, said it would "stop the cogs of government" and greatly hurt Gregoire if she has to delay taking office.
"There is a time for partisanship and politics and there is a time for governing," said Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane. "We are a state that is governed by constitution and laws, not by chanting crowds, rumor of the day or, frankly, making it up as we go along."
The Legislature's best route would be to pass a strong election reform package, said Sen. Jim Kastama, D-Puyallup, chairman of the panel that will consider such legislation.
With Dems in charge, this is a distinction without a difference.
The people of Washington should be outraged and if Gregoire had any integrity she would have supported a re-vote.
Are we sure it didn't say "Gore Loser?"
Good for the pro-revote people in Washington.
Glad to see our side in continuing to fight back! (culturely, socially, and politically)
On the contrary, the antics of the King County elections board were perfectly described as making it up as they went along, both procedures and, in the end, the very ballots themselves.
I predicted it and I stand by it - the Gregoire crowd knows perfectly well they'll lose a re-vote and are going to brazen this out, acting sanctimonious the entire time.
Yep, King County was the epitome of the Keystone Cops and still got away with it. But they had help in the courts and on the election boards.
It will come to light and the roaches will scurry away.
The pro-Gregoire contingent didn't have microphones or a list of speakers, but hoisted signs and yelled their replies to nearly every Rossi rally speech or taunt.Duh ... it was a pro-revote rally!
The union thugs were there to protest democracy!
The re-vote crowds need to be much largerHow big do you think the pro-vote crowd was in reality?
Remember, this was the Seattle PI (literally, a 'press report') reporting this ...
Re the crowd size, I suspect that the size is underreported, but I don't know. If someone has direct knowledge, I hope they will post the crowd size here.
I WAS THERE.....there was a reported 1800+ and about 200 losers (Gregoire union thugs)......
state troopers kept a larger pro-revote crowd separate from a pack of Democrat Christine Gregoire's backers
I take it that it is a good sign that a liberal newspaper would say these things? I am not too familiar with the Seattle P-I.
I'm surprised that they would refer to a democratic support group as a "pack."......lol
Bill, you really nailed the dem behavior with that word, "sanctimonious."
2. I'm surprised that they would refer to a democratic support group as a "pack."......
1. Yes, very much so.
2. I was shocked! It's a subtle left hook, if you will, that I would never have expected them PI to make at "their own." I am sure the wording was intentional. Normally the papers around here villify the right with far more pejorative words than that.
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