Dino Rossi, the 2004 gubernatorial candidate who may do it again next year, is in the news again - after a long drought, he seems to be appearing regularly now - with announcement of the Washington Idea Bank. Which is a project of the Forward Washington Foundation, which is, basically, Rossi and backers.
From the bank's web site:
When there is a lack of leadership in Olympia we see the business climate worsen, out of control spending and a return to huge deficits. The same people with the same failed policies operated this state. Therefore, ideas must come from regular Washingtonians who live outside of the Olympia "beltway."
The elected representatives in Olympia seem to have forgotten that ours is a government of the people and that our ideas must be part of the public debate. Whether Republican, Democrat or Independent, we all need to come together and make Washington the home of innovation once again.
The Forward Washington Foundation, a non-partisan, non-political educational foundation, is taking the first step by asking Washingtonians to submit their ideas of how government should work and where to focus its priorities.
In coordination with local civic organizations, Forward Washington will be hosting Idea Forums across the state, a schedule of which is available here. These forums will give all Washingtonians the unique opportunity to share new and dynamic ideas in a public setting.
So, the leadership in Olympia - which is to say, Rossi's former (and again?) opponent Chris Gregoire - has lost its way, has been spending out of control and needs to be reminded that this is a government of the people. But the "non-partisan, non-political educational foundation" will work to set things right.
Why the game? Why not Rossi touring the state at town halls, saying he's interested in running for governor and soliciting ideas for governing Washington if he does?
Secondarily, Adam Wilson at the Olympian points out, "et’s be fair here. The idea bank isn’t the first idea in getting citizen input. Rossi’s former and likely future rival, Gov. Chris Gregoire, made a point of signing a bill in April that creates the 'state government efficiency hotline.' You can call in and give suggestions, report abuse or even give kudos."