On Tuesday the Tacoma News Tribune noticed a spread in Fortune magazine that played up Washington as a business haven. One of the major selling points: the fact that the state has no income tax, something the ad found worth mentioning twice. (Read it for yourself here.)

Of course, that bragging point would be rendered obsolete if I-1098, the high-earners income tax, passes in November. Democrats are relying on that initiative to get out the liberal vote and shore up their defenses in what's shaping up to be a grueling general election for the left.

The state Department of Commerce was behind the ad, which quotes Governor Chris Gregoire extensively. "It's especially important in today's business climate that state government does whatever it can to support private sector job growth," she says in the ad.

Which begs the question: If the Governor appears in an ad that hypes the state's lack of an income tax, how does this click with her party's I-1098 strategy?

Department of Commerce spokeswoman Penny Thomas says that Fortune did most of the work putting that spot together, from hiring the writer to selling the ads for it. However, the Department also provided some background information and reviewed the finished piece for factual accuracy.

Given the fact that Gregoire signed the petition to get I-1098 on the ballot, and the nuanced official position she has taken since then—she's "certainly intrigued and open for taxpayers to debate the issue," her spokesperson says—her appearance in this ad may be a little surprising.

The I-1098 campaign, which pointed out that Gregoire had signed the petition, would not comment on Gregoire's appearance in the ad.
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