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Postman on Politics

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

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June 26, 2008 10:07 AM

Gregoire mum on claim of Dems' ethnic slur

Posted by David Postman

Gov. Chris Gregoire has nothing to say about a Democratic Party video that used the Soprano’s theme song as the soundtrack for an attack on Republican Dino Rossi, an Italian-American. The president of the Italian Club of Seattle wrote Gregoire yesterday, saying the video was an obvious slur and urged her to call for the video to be removed from the party’s Web site.

The party agreed to change the music.

The letter from Italian club president Brian DiJulio was sent to Gregoire’s official office. Her communications director, Pearse Edwards, referred questions to campaign spokespeople, “given the political and campaign issues.”

The video was not produced by Gregoire’s campaign. It was done by the state Democratic Party, which said yesterday it will replace the music. For a while this morning, a headline on the Seattle Times Web site incorrectly referred to it as a Gregoire video.

Campaign press secretary Debra Carnes said the governor would have no comment on issues raised by DiJulio. “It’s not our ad, and that’s why it’s important we get a correction.”

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June 26, 2008 9:45 AM

Radio's Jenkins gets TVW gig

Posted by David Postman

Public radio reporter Austin Jenkins was named today as the new host of TVW's Inside Olympia. That's the channel's longest-running program, now in its 11th year, that features indepth interviews.

Jenkins is the Olympia reporter for the Public Radio Northwest News Network and also writes at Crosscut. Hosting Inside Olympia is a part-time job. The show will go on hiatus until the fall when it will return with a new look to go along with the new host.

Jenkins and I have been filling in on the program since Dave Ammons left to take a job with the Secretary of State's office. In January, I'll go back to hosting another TVW show, Olympia On Call.

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June 26, 2008 6:53 AM

Cantwell has Countrywide mortgage

Posted by David Postman

Politico reports that Sen. Maria Cantwell "has a mortgage with Countrywide Financial Corp. — the same company that provided special VIP mortgage deals to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.)"

Politico requested mortgage information from senators and as of yesterday only Cantwell had failed to respond.

Presented with public records Wednesday, Cantwell spokeswoman Ciaran Clayton said that Cantwell originally obtained the mortgage on her Edmonds, Wash., home from U.S. Bank but that U.S. Bank subsequently sold the loan to Countrywide.

It’s a common practice for mortgages to be sold after they’re originated, and the transfer often happens without any involvement by the homeowner.

Asked if Cantwell had any contact with Countrywide during the transaction, Clayton said, “Not that I’m aware of.” Asked if Cantwell received any special terms on the loan, Clayton said, “I don’t know the details.” Clayton said Cantwell’s Washington, D.C., condominium is financed through U.S. Bank.

Yesterday Gov. Chris Gregoire accused Countrywide of predatory and discriminatory lending.

UPDATE: Clayton just called. She says Cantwell received no special terms on her loan. She said the office did not see the written request for mortgage information from Politico and there was no intent to avoid the questions.

When a Politico reporter called, Clayton said she answered all the questions posed to her.

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Recent entries

Jun 26, 08 - 10:07 AM
Gregoire mum on claim of Dems' ethnic slur

Jun 26, 08 - 09:45 AM
Radio's Jenkins gets TVW gig

Jun 26, 08 - 06:53 AM
Cantwell has Countrywide mortgage

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