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Postman on Politics

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

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October 19, 2007 5:04 PM

Gregoire asks GOP to help her raise campaign cash

Posted by David Postman

Gov. Christine Gregoire is flying east this weekend on a campaign-funded trip that culminates in a D.C. fundraiser Monday night. She will first fly to Philadelphia for the fall policy conference of the Democratic Governor's Association. (If you look at the conference schedule there doesn't look to be a lot of policy talk scheduled. Go Bears!)

Gregoire Communications Director Holly Armstrong said the trip will be paid for with campaign funds, not taxpayer money. She referred other questions to campaign officials who I have not yet been able to connect with.

Gregoire's finance team is casting a wide net for D.C. donors. They've even invited a Republican locked in a debate with the governor over children's health care. Every member of Washington's Congressional delegation, including Republicans, were invited to not only attend, but to be "special guests" at the fundraiser and get their names on the invitations.

Todd Young, chief of staff to Congressman Doc Hastings, R-Pasco, forwarded me this e-mail that came earlier this month.


From: Thomas Giordano
Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2007 7:29 PM
To: 'Tom Giordano'
Subject: Governor Gregoire of Washington in DC

To The Washington State Congressional and Senate Delegation:

My name is Tom Giordano, I work with Stephanie Berger on Governor Gregoire's national finance team. We are writing to inform you that Governor Gregoire will be in Washington, DC on the evening of October 22nd for a fundraising event.

We would love to have each of the members of the WA delegation to sign on as honorary "special guests" for the event's invitation and would love any and all of your bosses and staff to attend the event.

Please let me know if we can list the Representative / Senator on the invitation for our event.

Thank you all — Have a great evening.

Best,

Tom

The e-mail came the same day Gregoire wrote a letter to Hastings lobbying him to support an override of President Bush's veto of a children's health-care bill. Gregoire said in the letter that she realized that Hastings was under "partisan pressures" to support the president." A fundraising letter she sent to supporters the month before said it was "shameful" that Republicans oppose health care for children. Hastings responded to Gregoire's lobbying with a letter back that said "partisan attacks and using SCHIP for fundraising appeals won't help the poorest children in our state and nation."

Young told me the timing of the two messages was the "ironies of ironies."

"The exact same day they're putting out a two-page letter to the news media on S-CHIP they're inviting us to help raise money for her re-election. The one thing they have in common is its all politics. This issue to her has been about politics and re-election."

D.C. lobbyists were also cold-called, via e-mail, to participate in the fundraiser. They got this e-mail:

From: Thomas Giordano Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2007 10:30 AM To: Subject: Governor Gregoire Event in DC

I hope this email finds you well. My name is Tom Giordano and I work on Governor Christine Gregoire's national finance team. I wanted to contact you to see if you were interested in being involved in the Governor's re-election campaign and participating in a fundraiser we are planning for the Governor in Washington, DC on October 22nd.

As you know, Governor Gregoire is the top targeted incumbent Governor this cycle. You may be aware of Governor Gregoire's strong leadership in the settlement of the tobacco litigation as Attorney General of Washington and in 2004, the Governor won by only 129 votes and we are preparing for the GOP to be aggressive and unforgiving. Right now, we are looking at a likely 2004 rematch against an opponent who feels incredibly slighted by the Superior Court's ruling putting Governor Gregoire in office -- so we know the GOP will not hold any punches to win the seat. To prepare for this we are working to raise a significant financial base to keep one of our best and brightest in office.

We would love to have you and your firm involved in this event. I look forward to hearing from you.

Best,
Tom


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