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Postman on Politics

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

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July 14, 2008 1:35 PM

Rossi begins out-of-state fundraising

Posted by David Postman

Dino Rossi will be in Houston tonight for his second out-of-state fundraiser in less than a week. The Republican gubernatorial candidate will be feted by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association, Rossi spokeswoman Jill Strait confirmed.

She said the event is in a private home and there is no set ticket price to get in.

Last Thursday, Strait said, Rossi was in Honolulu for a fundraiser hosted by Gov. Linda Lingle. Lingle may be an inspiration for Rossi. In 2002 she was the first Republican elected governor of Hawaii in 40 years - breaking a Democratic winning streak even longer than the party’s hold on the office in Washington. And Lingle won on her second try, after losing to the Democratic incumbent the first time by less than 1 percent of the vote. The incumbent was forced into retirement by term limits and Lingle and her Democratic opponent were running for an open office.

Rossi has been critical of how much out-of-state money has been raised by Gov. Chris Gregoire. Last month he issued a press release bemoaning “out-of-state special interests” he said were financing Gregoire’s campaign.

Gregoire has raised a lot more from out of state than Rossi has. She’s taken in more than $1 million from donors who list an address outside Washington. Gregorie has raised a total of $7.6 million.

Rossi has raised about $120,000 from out of state and a total of about $6 million.

Also: Gregoire has a big fundraiser on the schedule this week. Michelle Obama will be hear Thursday to headline a noon event for the governor. Eli Sanders says Gregoire is cashing in an IOU with the Obama campaign.

It may be too cynical to cast this as a purely financial transaction, but if you’re wondering how much Gregoire’s endorsement was worth to the Obama campaign the answer, so far, seems to be about $320,000.

That’s how much Michelle Obama will raise for Gregoire if the 1,600-person venue the campaign has reserved for Thursday is filled to capacity with people paying the required $200/head.

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