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Postman on Politics

Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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October 15, 2007 11:14 AM

Governor gets PR help

Posted by David Postman

Gov. Christine Gregoire is paying a PR firm nearly $20,000 to "evaluate the past communications structure in the Governor's Office ... to find out what is working well and what could be strengthened." It's the second time in two years that the governor has issued a contract to review her office's PR strategy.

Former gubernatorial communications director Anne Fennessy -- she worked for Gov. Mike Lowry -- and her Seattle firm, Cocker Fennessy, will also help recruit a new communications director and write a "communications plan" for the governor to follow from November through next July.

According to a sole-source contract with the governor's office, Cocker Fennessy is set to start its work today and will be paid $19,500 through Dec. 14.

Communications Directory Holly Armstrong recently announced her resignation and will leave the job early next month. Prior to her hiring in December 2005, Armstrong was paid $12,000 to do a similar review of the governor's PR operation. Armstrong's contract, though, did not include work in helping to recruit personnel as Fennessy will do.

Cocker Fennessy already does work for the Washington State Transportation and Ecology departments, the state ferry system, and the state's Puget Sound Partnership. Fennessy and her firm also support Gregoire politically. She, Rick Cocker, and their firm have given a total of $2,922 in cash and in-kind contributions to the governor's re-election campaign.

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