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

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July 31, 2008 3:02 PM

Union ready to spend big to unseat school chief

Posted by David Postman

The school worker’s union where Randy Dorn has worked for nearly a decade has spent $60,000 to prepare ads backing his campaign for state school chief, and opposing the incumbent, Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson.

Dorn is executive director of the state Public School Employees union. The 26,000-member union is a part of the Service Employees International Union. A SEIU political committee accounts for the entirety of the $62,500 raised by “Citizens for Washington.” The group has filed with the Public Disclosure Commission to make independent expenditure in the SPI race.

A report filed Tuesday shows that Citizens for Washington paid $60,000 to produce radio ads. Half that would be in support of Dorn, the other half would be in opposition to Bergeson. Adam Glickman, spokesman for SEIU, wouldn’t comment on the effort. I don’t know if the radio ads have already begun. If you’ve heard them, let me know.

Dorn’s union is making his election a priority. PSE and SEIU have donated $6,400 directly to his campaign. The top item at the PSE website is:

Dorn outlines superintendent campaign message

Chris Vance, the former Republican Party chairman, is a consultant to PSE and also general consultant to Dorn’s campaign. Dorn is a former Democratic lawmaker. The state Democratic Party has endorsed Dorn and given him $10,000.

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