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

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April 7, 2008 8:02 AM

GOP says Gregoire uses state money to boost campaign

Posted by David Postman

The state Republican Party wants an investigation of Gov. Chris Gregoire for “repeatedly using public funds to campaign for reelection.” Party chairman Luke Esser filed a complaint Friday with the Public Disclosure Commission alleging:

Gov. Gregoire has spent over a hundred thousand taxpayer dollars on political polls, focus groups, campaign rallies and public relations contracts awarded to political donors, all of which are clearly campaign activities.

Gregoire officially kicks of her campaign later this morning. But she has been raising money for her re-election campaign since 2005, her first year in office.

The complaint cites three specifics:

  • A poll done for the Washington Learns Commission with wording “identical to the questions asked by nearly every political campaign survey.”
  • The governor’s six-city listening tour last year that included town hall meetings and focus groups with voters;
  • The governor’s hiring of a PR consultant for nearly $20,000 to examine the governor’s office communications strategy. The contract went to a donor and supporter of Gregoire’s.

Gregoire spokesman Aaron Toso called the charges “old news.”

Gov. Gregoire is interested in listening to the people of Washington state, it is unfortunate that Mr. Esser would rather have his governor ignoring citizens.

If you want to watch Gregoire's kickoff speech ,there will be a webcast here at 11:00.

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