Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Queen of Quid Pro Quo

A story in today's Seattle-PI titled "Tribes give big to Gregoire, avoid sharing casino cash," blows the lid off the connection between some $700,000 in "contributions" to the Democrats and Queen Christine's reelection campaign from Washington Indian tribes and Gregoire's killing of a 2005 compact on sharing tribal casino revenue that cost the state more than $140 million a year. "It's a payoff," one gambling expert calls it.

Ted Van Dyk has a great post about the scandal on the Crosscut blog. He makes some of the connections Ed Schweitzer did the other day about Washington Democrats being in the pockets of big-monied fat cats and doing nothing for the little guy:
Since my return to Seattle more than seven years ago, I have noted many changes in the state and local political cultures. The most disappointing has been the degree to which supposedly "liberal" governors, legislators, mayors and others accept as business-as-usual policies and practices which are shockingly self-interested and against the interests of a majority of their constituents.

At state level, there are the "tax expenditures" — loopholes and subsidies — extended to individual companies and entire sectors which have cut a huge hole in the state revenue base, which then is replenished with largely regressive taxes on those least able to pay. There are the almost automatic grantings of pay increases and other benefits sought by powerful public-employee and teachers' unions. And, of course, the allocation of massive public funds to cost-ineffective public works boondoggles such as the Allentown trolley and Sound Transit light rail.
It's a must-read.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely. It's time for change we can believe in in Olympia.

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