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It’s been more than 3 years: Can we please do away with the whole “-gate” thing, revived recently in Alaska with Troopergate and now in Washington with buildergate. Please: A little rhetorical imagination.

Having said that, David Goldstein of Horse’s Ass seems to have got hold of a juicy thread that more or less fits the pattern: An initial piece of hard, albeit small, evidence, a run of denials and a slowly emergant extended story as the string is pulled.

In this case, that initial chunk comes from a seemingly unlikely place, the minutes of a Master Builder’s Association meeting of May 21, 2007, which includes these sentences: “Doug moved into discussion regarding the request from BIAW to use excess money from the ROII refund to fund the BIAW’s war chest. . . . Doug, Joe and John reported that they had received a call from Dino Rossi. John stated that he reiterated the board’s sentiment to Rossi, stating that it was to early, and the association had building issues that needed to be resolved.”

Talk of managers of an independent political committee coordinating with a candidate? As a strictly legal matter, this may be iffy. Rossi didn’t formally announce his candidacy for governor until later in the year, for one thing. The level of “coordination” involved here also doesn’t seem very strong.

Politically, though, it constitutes ongoing evidence of just how close Rossi and the Building Industry Association of Washington are, and that may not sell well.

Every bit matters in a close race.

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