Rossi resists subpoena, says lawsuit political
A lawsuit alleging campaign finance violations is a political ruse meant to keep Republican candidate Dino Rossi off the campaign trail in the crucial final weeks of a hotly contested governor's race, Rossi said today.
OLYMPIA — A lawsuit alleging campaign finance violations is a political ruse meant to keep Republican candidate Dino Rossi off the campaign trail in the crucial final weeks of a hotly contested governor's race, Rossi said Monday.
In papers filed with King County Superior Court, Rossi asks a judge to quash a subpoena that would force him to testify under oath about allegations that he illegally coordinated fundraising with a major supporter, the Building Industry Association of Washington.
If the subpoena isn't quashed, Rossi asks Superior Court Judge Paris Kallas for a protective order to keep him from giving a deposition before the governor's race is over.
Election Day is Nov. 4, but absentee ballots in Washington's mostly vote-by-mail election are scheduled to be mailed Friday — the same day plaintiffs want Rossi to testify.
The legal showdown was prompted last week by two former state Supreme Court justices, Faith Ireland and Robert Utter, who support Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire in her re-election campaign against Rossi.
The former justices sued the building industry group, claiming that it worked too closely with Rossi in developing a multimillion-dollar political spending effort focused on the governor's race.
The suit seeks to halt the BIAW's political spending in the crucial last weeks of the campaign.
Rossi, a former state senator, is running neck-and-neck with Gregoire in one of the nation's most competitive governor's races. Gregoire defeated Rossi for governor in 2004 by just 133 votes, after three ballot counts and a failed Republican court challenge.
Rossi has said he did nothing wrong. The BIAW, which is despised by Democrats and their allies for its pugnacious conservatism, has made electing Rossi its top political priority.
In his Monday filing with the court, Rossi points to a recent letter from the state attorney general that questions whether the court is the proper venue for deciding the allegations.
Rossi also takes aim at the motivations behind the lawsuit.
Seeking to have him testify before the election "is a politically motivated effort to guarantee Mr. Rossi's unavailability to his campaign, to improperly employ the court system for political gain, and to unfairly sway voter sentiment in favor of Governor Gregoire," the filing said.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
UPDATE - 09:46 AM
Exxon Mobil wins ruling in Alaska oil spill case
NEW - 7:51 AM
Longview man says he was tortured with hot knife
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.