Politics & Government

Dino Rossi: Self-made millionaire hopes to take experience to D.C.

TACOMA, Wash. -- A story Tim Eyman tells about the first time he met Dino Rossi goes like this:

The Republican state senator approached the anti-tax activist with a suggestion: “Why don’t you threaten to do a referendum on any tax or fee increase that passes this legislative session?’”

Eyman told Rossi it would be impossible to bring all those potential taxes to the ballot.

“He replied, ‘Well, the Democrats don’t know that,’ Eyman said. “And he just started laughing.”

Not long after that 2003 conversation at a King County Republican Party fundraiser – which Rossi said might have happened, but he doesn’t remember it – Eyman promised what he called a “voter veto” of any taxes. Months later, the Legislature passed a budget that avoided tax increases.

Rossi, who played a key role in writing that budget, was a dedicated fiscal conservative long before a 2010 campaign in which seemingly every candidate is a fiscal conservative, responding to an economic collapse, an anti-tax movement and concern in the broader electorate about spending, bailouts and debt.

Challenging Sen. Patty Murray, Rossi sounds much the same as he did in his pair of unsuccessful campaigns for governor. The real estate salesman from Sammamish is once again selling himself, his business acumen and most of all his work to balance the 2003 state budget.

He told a voter at a recent campaign stop that he’s going to tackle the deficit “exactly how I did it in Olympia, but on a much grander scale.”

Read more: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2010/10/17/1385476/news-brief-17senrossis.html#ixzz12d9cWFdb