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August 7, 2010 at 8:13 PM

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Didier video attacks Rossi's record

Posted by Jim Brunner

With time running out before the Aug. 17 primary Republican Clint Didier is going for Dino Rossi's jugular.

He's released a web video assaulting Rossi's role in writing the 2003 state budget as a state senator.

The ad tries to portray Rossi as some kind of freespending liberal, at least by Tea Party standards.

"If we think he'll do any better in the U.S. Senate then we're the ones who are dreaming," the ad says.

The piece is pretty blatantly misleading on one of its main contentions.

It claims Rossi didn't cut spending to deal with a budget deficit - that he instead "raised taxes" - referring to a five-cent gas tax increase approved that year.

But the gas tax isn't even part of the general state budget that Rossi was charged with crafting. The state gas tax is dedicated to a separate roads budget. Rossi did vote for the nickel increase that year, along with many Republicans -- it marked the first time the gas tax had gone up in a decade.

And the budget Rossi helped write - he had to compromise with then-Gov. Gary Locke and Democrats who controlled the state House - did cut make cuts to state spending.

Here is how the Times described that budget in 2008, when Rossi last ran for governor:

"Rossi's biggest political achievement came in 2003, when as the Senate's chief budget writer he played a key role in tackling a record $2.3 billion state budget shortfall. He did it by aggressively courting several Democrats and persuading them to go along with an array of deep spending cuts."

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