Seattle news bytes: The mudslinging begins for Washington’s governor race

The nation has only five closely contested races for governor in 2012, with Washington No. 1 on the list

The Republican Governors Association on Wednesday became the first to air what is expected to be a barrage of negative, mudslinging TV spots in Washington’s 2012 gubernatorial campaign.

The somewhat unfocused spot hits at Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee for his votes in Congress.  It takes the nice-guy but over-matched approach that Mitt Romney used on President Obama at last week’s Republican National Convention.

The RGA is one of the great money machines of American politics.  It raised and spent more than $131.5 million in the 2010 election cycle, with seven-figure donations from the likes of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. (parent of the Fox News Channel).

It has already committed $4.2 million to the 2012 race here, in which Republican Rob McKenna is seeking to break a 28-year Democratic hold on the Washington governor’s race.

The anti-Inslee spot will be seen often:  The RGA has bought $400,000 worth of time on KING-TV during the next week, and is also airing the spot on KIRO.  The RGA will be back on the air Sept. 18, and is expected to spend at least the $4 million by November. [read more…]

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