The Seattle P-I described her as follows: "Then voters elected Dixie
Lee Ray, the flamboyant and soon-to-be wildly unpopular Democratic
governor." May 17, 1999, p. B-1.
"We said she would be the best or the worst governor the state has
ever known - and we were right," said political consultant Blair
Butterworth, who ran the campaign that elected Ray in 1976 and then
mounted the campaign that defeated her in 1980. -- January 30, 1994,
"Ray's feuds with the news media, and particularly with the Post-
Intelligencer, became legendary. In 1978, she named a litter of 11
piglets born at Fox Island after various reporters. In 1979, she
treated reporters to sausages made from those piglets." January 3,
"Carter took a lot of guff. Then-Gov. Dixie Lee Ray -- Washington's
only really awful governor of the past half-century -- ridiculed
Carter for wearing a sweater during an energy speech." May 26, 2006.
Senator Warren Magnuson -- "Maggie"-- was a strong supporter of
Milwaukee Transcon efforts; perhaps the strongest. Dixie Lee Ray's
attitude toward the Milwaukee may have stemmed partly from a
resentment she had toward Magnuson:
"In a famous stealth maneuver ... Maggie tacked a "little amendment"
to a little-known environmental law (the Marine Mammal Protection
Act) and banned oil supertankers from Puget Sound.
Magnuson, a senator from 1944 to 1980, was Washington's provider.
his greatest gift was what he prevented from being built -- what you
DON'T see on Puget Sound.
The "little amendment" blocked efforts by then-Gov. Dixy Lee Ray to
transform the Sound into an oil superport, pipeline terminus for
Alaskan oil, and petrochemical center. Belittling the prospect of
spills, Ray had traversed Puget Sound on the bridge of an Arco
"Maggie had the power and smarts to rush the '77 supertanker ban
through Congress behind Dixie Lee Ray's back. She angrily denounced
him as a "dictator." June 7, 2002. Magnuson privately referred to
as ``Madame Zonga" after a tattooed lady he remembered on Seattle's
First Avenue during the 1930s. November 19, 1997.
She was vindictive on things like that. "In 1977, ... Secretary of
the Senate Sid Snyder -- owner of Snyder's Long Beach Peninsula
Grocery -- was at a briefing in the office of then-Gov. Dixy Lee
where he accidentally sat on the governor's poodle, Jacques. Not
after the Jacques incident, the governor issued instructions to
cordon off Long Beach Peninsula for use as a maximum-security prison
and impose a 65 percent tax on grocers. November 15, 2002.
"...We elected a non-politician, Dixy Lee Ray, to a solitary term as
governor in the '70s. She proved to be woefully unprepared for the
job ...". October 11, 2003.
"During the ship-building process, there was intense pressure on
state inspectors. A Senate report called for an investigation of
the "intrusion" into contract issues by former Gov. Dixy Lee Ray,
state transportation commissioners, some legislators including
Mardesich, and others.
"The report by attorneys Kenneth MacDonald and Mary Ruth Mann cited
the "puzzling consistency" with which Marine Power won most of its
contract battles with the state, "often contrary to expert
professional and technical advice, and to state interests." The
report said top department officials "repeatedly overruled" advice
the state's own naval architect to withhold progress payments, issue
cost-reduction change orders and insist on better design and
construction standards." January 8, 1986.
"The existing DOT system was approved in 1977, early in the one-term
reign of Gov. Dixy Lee Ray, when the highway lobby and the future
builders of the state's shoddy Citrus Class ferries had their way
in ... the governor's office." January 13, 1986.
"We let rail competition across the Northern Tier states slip away
six years ago, thanks to a disinterested Gov. Dixy Lee Ray and a
than aggressive port. Their lack of action spelled the end of the
Milwaukee Road." Editorial, April 27, 1986.
He will say that state voters first elected him after growing tired
of eight years of a government under Democrat Dixy Lee Ray and
Spellman that was "preoccupied by special interests ...". May 4,
Mr. Watanabe is quoted as saying he wanted to retire. But if
anything, his activities stepped up: first as a consultant to the
Port of Seattle, Peoples Bank and Burlington Northern, eventually as
a Burlington vice president.
Mr. Watanabe was a major source of money for Dixy Lee Ray's campaign
for governor in 1976. She named him to the University of Washington
board of regents after her election and made him chairman of the
state Economic Council and of the state Personnel Board. -- January
A columnist recalled: "Long before she entered the governor's race,
two of her close people, Taul Watanabe and Merle Adlum, invited me
lunch with her at the Harbor Club. It was a waste of lunch money.
They wanted me to write nice things about Dixy, but I was already
committed to her, because Dixy was a woman and because, hell, she
Dixy, and all the other candidates were dreary. Watanabe and Adlum
were trying to raise money to support Dixy's rather modest
She needed some income, she said, because she made $60,000 a year on
the lecture circuit and this would be wiped out during a political
campaign". -- January 4, 1994.
It is apparent that a BN Vice President was very close to Dixy Lee
Ray, and given her reliance on such advisors, and her antipathy to
Senator Magnuson, her opposition to efforts to save the Milwaukee
were, perhaps, inevitable.