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  Rossi talks up his Native roots
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ContributorRalphie 
Last EditedRalphie  Aug 08, 2008 01:00pm
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News DateFriday, August 8, 2008 06:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionDino Rossi’s campaign issued a press release yesterday about Gov. Chris Gregoire’s charge that a TV ad attacking her gambling agreement with Native American tribes is racist. The release includes a bit of ethnic political positioning.

“Dino Rossi is part Tlingit Alaskan Native and he has made clear that the issue isn’t about the tribes, who should be expected to negotiate the best deal possible,” said Jill Strait, Rossi spokesperson.

Rossi’s mother was Alaskan Native. He mentions those roots in his campaign, but in this case it is being used to help draw a distinction between allegations of wrongdoing in the negotiation of the gaming compacts and what Gregoire says is racism aimed at those tribal members.

Rossi hasn’t made much of his Native heritage. But he said recently that if elected he’d be the nation’s first Native American governor. (There have been Hawaiian Natives elected governor of that state.) It’ll be interesting if that becomes a bigger part of his campaign. Rossi is already trying to model his campaign after Democrat Barack Obama’s message of change, so why not add an historic first to the effort as well.
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