Using phrases like "sleazy" and "payola," the ever-irascible Democratic State Party Chair Dwight Pelz held a conference call with reporters today to rehash the Democrats' story line on Republican US Senate candidate Dino Rossi. (The occasion, according to Pelz: There are 60 days until Election Day, and he wanted to remind voters of Rossi's "ongoing connections to corporate lobbyists.")

The spin: Rossi came out against Wall Street reform after Wall Street lobbyists feted him with a fundraiser and Rossi opposed killing a corporate tax break to fund teachers and Medicaid—which Pelz linked to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce fundraiser for Rossi. (The Chamber opposed the bill, which brought $500 million to Washington State, too.)

Also in Pelz's Rossi recap: The former state senator's business deal (while he was a state senator) with registered Building Industry Association of Washington Olympia lobbyists, David Ducharme and Richard Ducharme. Rossi, who also put up $10,000 for a bank that the Ducharme's co-invested in, bought an apartment building with the pair.

However, the reporters on the call, myself included, were uniformly skeptical of Pelz's general theme. For example, I wanted to know if Rossi had actually ushered through any legislation that related to his deal with the Ducharmes. Others wanted to know why Sen. Murray wasn't guilty of the same type of politics as usual Pelz was accusing Rossi of, pointing out that her top contributors are lobbyists and her former chief of staff Rick Desimone has lobbied for Boeing, one of Murray's top contributors ($74,000 this cycle, including $10,000 from Boeing's PAC).  Murray has continually gone to bat for Boeing on the tanker deal.

Pelz didn't have a response to my question, but he did point out that Rossi voted with the BIAW 99 percent of the time.

I'll give Pelz the quote of the day, though. His rejoinder on the Murray-Boeing relationship: "The Boeing company didn't just cause a Depression in America," he said referring to Rossi's position on Wall Street reform.
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