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  Rossi announces ‘Washington Idea Bank’
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ContributorRalphie 
Last EditedRalphie  May 23, 2007 04:03pm
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CategoryAnnouncement
News DateWednesday, May 23, 2007 10:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionRepublican Dino Rossi, now expecting to announce in December whether he’ll seek a rematch with Gov. Chris Gregoire next year, on Tuesday announced a “Washington Idea Bank” for ordinary citizens to offer their thoughts on how to deal with the state’s challenges.

The former state senator, a real estate investor who lives in Sammamish, said the Internet-based brainstorming site will be augmented by about a dozen idea-gathering sessions around the state in June and July.

If it all sounds like precampaigning for a new gubernatorial bid, it isn’t, he said in an interview.

Rossi said the concept of an idea bank was brought to him by Lou Guzzo, a veteran news executive who was an adviser to Gov. Dixy Lee Ray, a conservative Democrat who served from 1977-81 as the state’s first woman governor. The project will be directed by Rossi; Guzzo; Mathew Manweller, a political science professor at Central Washington University; and Ted Dahlstrom, director of Rossi’s Forward Washington Foundation. Rossi said the project, roughly based on one launched by the governor of Georgia, should result in Olympia and local officials and communities picking up on the best ideas. He called it a nonpartisan project and said he’s looking for local civic organizations to co-sponsor the tour this summer.

Democratic state chairman Dwight Pelz said the project is a sign that Rossi “absolutely” is running for governor.
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