Washington State House Republicans will hold a Twitter town hall
forum from 12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. Monday. State Rep. Dan
Kristiansen and J.T. Wilcox will answer Tweeted questions.
Use the hashtag #solutionsWA.
The party’s press release is below.
No word on when the counties will meet to replace Jan Angel in
the House. Josh Brown’s replacement on the commission might happen
Washington House Republicans to host Twitter town hall
Washington House Republicans will host the Legislature’s
first-ever Twitter town hall, January 9, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:15
p.m. Participants can ask House Republican leadership members Rep.
Dan Kristiansen and Rep. J.T. Wilcox a 140-character question using
the hashtag #solutionsWA.
House Republicans are not the only government entity to make use
of this communications trend nationwide. President Obama held a
Twitter town hall last July.
“This event will enable people to ask questions and provide
their ideas in the days leading up to the 2014 legislative
session,” said House Republican Leader Dan Kristiansen,
R-Snohomish. “This is a new platform for us. We look forward to
hearing from Washingtonians on the issues that are important to
According to Pew Research, nearly one in 10 U.S. adults uses
Twitter to share information. And, more than 50 million people in
the U.S. use Twitter to get news. However, just like all social
media, Twitter has its limitations. Participants and the responding
representatives will only have 140 characters to relay their
questions, answers and ideas.
“It’s our job as elected officials to involve the public at
every opportunity. This is why we use a variety of forums like
Twitter, which has a lot of active followers that we may not
otherwise hear from on statewide legislative issues,” said House
Republican Floor Leader J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm.
The public is encouraged to participate in the January 9 Twitter
town hall using #solutionsWA. Those unable to participate or have
trouble with #solutionsWA can visit the House Republicans’ Twitter
Visit www.houserepublicans.wa.gov for more information about
House Republican members, solutions and results.
Tom Huff, former state legislator in the 26th District, died
Sunday. He was 80.
The Gig Harbor Republican ran for the Legislature in 1994 to
fill the seat left vacant by Wes Pruitt, a Democrat. “People
deserve quality services from government at a reasonable tax rate,
but what we’ve gotten is unreasonable taxes with poor service.
That’s a disaster,” Huff said at the time.
Huff helped found the Washington Retail Association and was an
executive with Sears for 35 years before retiring in 1992. He was
known for being direct. “If a private business like Sears were as
wasteful as state government, Weatherbeater Paint would be a
hundred dollars a gallon and Diehard batteries would cost more per
ounce than gold,” Huff said.
Huff beat fellow Gig Harbor Republican Dennis Johnson in the
primary and in the general election netted 61 percent of the vote
in defeating Democrat Mary Ann Huntington, who later became a Port
of Bremerton commissioner of some renown.
The three-term representative was a fiscal conservative who rose
to the chairmanship of the House Appropriations Committee in his
In 1999 he had surgery for prostate cancer, which he said had a
sobering effect on him. “I think it’s just another indication your
life is valuable … and life doesn’t last that long overall,” he
said. “There’s only so many years to do things I want to do.”
In 2011 Huff was part of the state’s redistricting committee,
accepting a request from House Minority Leader Richard DeBolt.
He and his wife, Mary Ann, had four children and nine
During the brief bit of Mitt Romney’s speech I watched live last
night, (I was more interested in the Cougar game and will watch the
speech online before I leave work today.) I thought I caught a
glimpse of Arna Souza, the Bremerton local who went to Tampa as a
delegate. It got me wondering if with all the media there whether
our delegates netted any other coverage nationally.
Silverdale’s Donna Hamilton, wife of Kitsap County Republican
Party Chairman Jack Hamilton, was the clear winner, getting two
mentions. No one else in a brief Google search I did was
Donna Hamilton was referenced on a New York Times blog The Caucus in reference to Ann
Romney’s speech and in USA Today for her apparel
choice designed for TV coverage.
If you hear of anything else I’d be glad to post it here.
And by the way, if you want to see if Souza did show up on TV,
go to C-SPAN and watch there. It was around the time Romney
mentioned his father George Romney having a flower delivered to his
wife every day.
Kitsap County Republican Party Chairman Jack Hamilton will be a
delegate at the Republican National Convention, Aug. 27-30, in
Tampa. He will be joined by Gig Harbor’s Marlyn Jensen, who
challenged state Rep. Larry Seaquist, D-Gig Harbor, for his seat in
the Legislature in 2008.
Three other Kitsap residents are going as alternates: Donna
Hamilton (Jack’s wife), Arna Souza and Willard Swiger.
Jensen and the alternates go representing the Sixth
Congressional District. Jack Hamilton is going as an at-large
The state Democratic Party is expected to release its list
Kitsap Republicans will have a full slate of delegates and
alternates when they go to the state party convention on May 31 in
County party members met for a second time on Saturday and
completed the voting process that stopped prematurely on April 21,
when a nominating process ran into conflict with a commitment to be
out of the Klahowya Secondary School building.
State party officials informed county party leaders they could reconvene and get
approval from the state convention rules committee to seat the
five-dozen-plus delegates in total. If, for whatever reason, the
committee were to decline, the county would be represented by 14
people. The head of that committee, however, gave assurances
earlier that the full delegation would be seated.
Speaking of sitting, that the full delegate slate will be seated
doesn’t sit well with a “Daily Paul” poster with the
moniker staobrof who wrote, “Because of the unorthodox reconvening
and the rules violations, the state convention will have to rule on
whether Kitsap County’s delegates can even be seated at the
convention. From the strongarm tactics I saw at the convention, I
don’t think they should allow them to be seated.”
Hamilton, in his statement following the convention, makes no
mention of what appears to be a brief, but boisterous, moment of
dissension that was videotaped. Hamilton thanked those who attended
both events. “Your sacrifice of time, energy, and money are greatly
appreciated. In addition, your willingness to actively participate
in our political process (with all it’s warts and glory) set you
aside from most voters. As those of us who have spent far too much
time chasing dreams of political success know, you are no longer a
‘normal’ person,” Hamilton wrote.
The video, which apparently is against county party guidelines,
shows the videographer being told to stop taping. He eventually
yells that he’s being assaulted. There’s more attempting to get him
to stop taping while Kirby Wilbur, state party chairman, attempts
to talk to the rest of the delegates. Wilbur tells someone to “Sit
down and shut up,” but I can’t tell from the video who he was
As the delegates begin dispersing to their three different
caucuses the videographers get a variety of comments sent their
way. One woman says, “Hey video this,” then tells them to take
their anarchy somewhere I couldn’t decipher. Another convention
delegate tells the filmer “Hey, you’re cool man. Good job.”
A final critic offers a condemnation that makes little sense to
me, only because I’m assuming the videographer is a Ron Paul
supporter. “What part of the Communist Party do you belong to?” the
man yelled. That insult gets lobbed all the time at Democrats, but
not at libertarians.
Many commenters to the video operate under the illusion that the
party has to allow filming. It doesn’t. A political party is not
subject to state open meeting laws, because those only apply to
governments, and political parties are not governments.
The state attorney general has a page on this, which gives broad
explanations of when a meeting must be public. Note that “political
subdivision,” which is mentioned on the page, refers to a smaller
government, such as a city or county, that is subject to state law.
In fact, not all government bodies are subject to open meeting
laws. The Legislature wrote in exceptions for itself and for the
courts. Even the government entities that are subject to the law
are allowed exceptions, such as when they meet to consider a legal
action or real estate transaction.
Whether it’s a good idea to prohibit filming at a political
event is another question. Any time someone attempts to stop it the
resulting footage provides better public relations fodder than
anything the videographer might have otherwise caught.
Kirby Wilbur, state Republican party chairman, said he will meet
with county Republican leaders Friday evening to discuss reopening
the county convention to fill out the county’s delegate slate.
If county leaders want to try it, the state will support them,
Wilbur said. He doesn’t want the decision to come from him,
however. “I’m leery about the precedent of the state chairman
interfering,” he said.
Kitsap County Republicans met Saturday for its convention and
failed to elect the full slate of 64 delegates and alternates for
the state party’s convention, which starts on May 31 in Tacoma. The
convention ended at 4 p.m. with only 14 confirmed delegates.
Wilbur said earlier in the week he wasn’t inclined to let the
county reconvene, because he worried about setting a precedent into
the future and about the impact in Clark County and Chelan County.
Republicans there also failed to complete election of delegates.
Both, however had well more than half. In Chelan and Clark the
conventions ended because there was no longer a quorum of
That’s far different, Wilbur said, from what he described as the
“arbitrary” deadline exercised in Kitsap by Jack Hamilton, party
chairman. Hamilton said he had a firm agreement with officials at
Klahowya Secondary School to end the political event at 4 p.m.
Wilbur said county Republicans would only meet to elect regular
delegates, not alternates. Nor would there be any platform
discussions. He also said he would want agreement from backers of
presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and
Rick Santorum to agree to no challenges to the delegate slate once
the convention was closed. Additionally, if the county party lost a
quorum before all the delegates were elected, the convention would
close. The delegates elected by then would be the final tally.
If county Republicans do decide to meet again, the assurances
they have that the 50 new delegates would indeed be seated at the
state convention would come from members of the state convention
credential committee. Two members of the committee were traveling
with Wilbur Friday afternoon to Kitsap County as part of the
contingent here to discuss the county party’s options.
The odds are long that Kitsap Republicans will be able to meet
again to fill out its delegate roster for the state convention,
said state party chairman Kirby Wilbur late on Wednesday. County
Republicans met Saturday, but the convention ended with the
party only choosing 14 of the 64 delegates allotted for the state
Wilbur said the Republican National Committee offered some
guidance as to how the county convention could be reopened just to
finish picking delegates, but he said national officials were
cautious. Wilbur, himself, is concerned about consequences beyond
“I really, really do want to do something for Kitsap,” Wilbur
said. But, “I’m inclined to do nothing because of the Pandora’s box
I would open with the other two counties.”
Republicans in Clark County and Chelan County also ended their
conventions without completing a full slate. Both, however, were
able to pick more than half.
What made Wilbur consider making an exception was Kitsap’s count
being so low, but he said he is afraid of establishing a precedent
that could have an impact in the other two counties this year and
in convention processes in the future.
Another issue is whether county Republicans could muster up
enough attendance again to have a quorum. Estimates of Saturday’s
attendance run between 700 and 800 people. Even if it was as low as
600, it would mean at least 301 people would have to be in the
second meeting during the voting. Wilbur doesn’t relish the thought
of 285 people showing up and having nothing to do.
Wilbur said a final decision could be made Thursday.
The Kitsap County Republican Party, in addition to caucusing on
Saturday, will hold their annual Lincoln Day dinner on Friday.
Scheduled to speak to the group is Rev. Wayne Perryman, whose bio lists him as a
community activist and minister.
He is also a former talk-show host and has numerous videos on
YouTube, including some appearances on conservative national
Here is a story from The Sun in 2003. Perryman was born in
Bremerton, it seems.
Washington State Republicans, meeting in a fundraiser Friday in
Bellevue, took part in a pop straw poll of who they want for
president in 2012. Consider it a snapshot in time, where local
party leaders are today about a potential challenger to unseat
President Barack Obama.
The names on the list were alphabetical, but didn’t come in that
way. Kirby Wilbur, state Republican Party chairman, said the
results show there is no clear front runner. I welcome your
thoughts as to A. Who would be best able to beat Obama? and B. Who
do you think Republicans will eventually nominate?
Herman Cain 54 – 15.13%
Mitt Romney 52 – 14.57%
Mitch Daniels 51 – 14.29%
Chris Christie 39 – 10.92%
Tim Pawlenty 28 – 7.84%
Paul Ryan 22 – 6.16%
Newt Gingrich 14 – 3.92%
Rudy Giuliani 12 – 3.36%
Mike Huckabee 14 – 3.92%
Ron Paul 10 – 2.80%
Donald Trump 10 – 2.80%
Michele Bachmann 9 – 2.52%
Jeb Bush 8 – 2.24%
Sarah Palin 8 – 2.24%
Rick Santorum 7 1.96%
Bobby Jindal 6 – 1.68%
Jon Huntsman 4 – 1.12%
Other 9 – 2.52%
If you are wondering why Democrats held on so well in Washington
while across the nation they did not do well at all, the basic
answer appears to be that they voted here. Democrats in Washington,
despite the dire predictions for them nationally, mailed in their
ballots. A Portland pollster makes that case, as well as the one
contending that Washington is getting bluer.
Some of the information is included in a story about the
county certifying the Nov. 2 election.
Moore Information of Portland, Ore.
sent out an analysis (posted below) suggesting that Dino Rossi,
Republican challenger for the U.S. Senate here, did better among
Republicans than any other Senate candidate in the country. He also
won the vote of independents by big numbers. He lost, according to
Moore, because incumbent U.S. Sen. Patty Murray did even better
among Democrats, and there are more Democrats than there used to be
and they didn’t get too depressed to vote here.
Of course, if you read our story from Nov. 1, this
may not surprise you at all. The last two paragraphs said this:
Turnout was markedly higher in 1998 and 2006. Carl Olson, Kitsap
County Democratic Party chairman, said his party’s get-out-the-vote
effort is tracking as well as it did in 2006, when turnout was 68.2
“My personal sense tells me there may be some surprises,” he
said, meaning Democrats may do better than expected. Whether the
party’s tracking of those who are solid or lean Democrat means they
voted Democrat again, he said, he doesn’t know.
While Democrats lost ground in Washington, what their voters did
by voting was prevent a party disaster. They maintained control of
both chambers in the state. Locally every Democrat incumbent had a
closer race, but they all won.
My hunch is this also explains why late votes, those counted
after those from election night, did not break Republican as they
have in past elections. Democratic margins, in fact, grew
Moore’s analysis, co-written with Hans Kaiser, also with Moore
In 2006 voters in the 23rd Legislative District received mailers
asking the question, “Beverly Woods went to Olympia and what did we
get?” Woods, a Republican, was first elected to the seat in 2000,
beat Democrat Sherry Appleton by 4 percentage points in 2002 and in
2004 she won handily over a candidate who did not campaign with
In 2006, though, she faced off against Democrat Christine
Rolfes, a former Bainbridge Island city councilwoman. Rolfes ended
up winning by 9 percentage points. A blog post just weeks after the
election at the conservative site Sound Politics had in its comment string a
conversation blaming Woods’ loss on her vote for a gas tax. Many
people have said to me the same thing, that Woods lost her base
when she voted for that tax.
However she lost, the mailer is the issue here, because it was
created by a firm that finds itself in hot water with the
Washington State Attorney General, Rob McKenna. Moxie Media is
being sued by McKenna for the company’s under-the-radar efforts to
oust a conservative Democrat in the 38th District in 2010. It’s the
under-the-radar part that could get them in trouble, because the
company allegedly created political action committees to
temporarily hide the liberal money (labor, trial lawyers, etc.)
that was pitching a conservative Republican who was not running a
strong race. The effort helped put the incumbent, state Sen. Jean
Berkey, in third place, virtually guaranteeing victory in November
for Democrat Nick Harper, who as of Tuesday had received nearly 60
percent of the vote.
Moxie is not the only organization to run afoul of Public
Disclosure laws in recent history. The Olympian’s Brad Shannon wrote, “The
action against Moxie comes in the same season that the
Republican-oriented Building Industry Association of Washington
settled charges of concealing funds it later used to promote Dino
Rossi’s 2008 gubernatorial campaign.”
Of the campaign the company writes, “After many failed attempts
by other Democratic campaigns to define State Representative
Beverly Woods as too conservative for her district, Moxie Media
ultimately helped defeat the three-term incumbent. We developed a
series of five mail pieces that positioned Woods as ineffective and
out-of-touch, helping to elect our client, State Representative
Christine Rolfes, who has held the seat since 2006.”
The work Moxie did for Rolfes was pretty straightforward. Sure,
some of it in 2006 was negative advertising, but there do not
appear to be any obvious efforts to hide who was behind the ads. A
search of Public Disclosure Records show that over three campaigns
Rolfes has spent $61,625 for Moxie Media’s help.
Rolfes said the recent news does have her considering who she
will employ in the future. “I had never seen them do anything that
wasn’t above board. I’m disappointed to see how that company worked
in another race,” she said.
Moxie’s work has showed up in other local races. In 2006 the
company promoted Kyle Taylor Lucas, who tried to best state Sen.
Tim Sheldon for the Democratic nomination for senator in the 35th
District. The company was paid more than $50,000 from three
different PACs, all of which had “Have Had Enough” in the name.
In 2006 the Harry Truman Fund, which supports Democrats, spent
about $17,000 for ads against Republican Ron Boehme, who ran
against Larry Seaquist in the 26th District.
In late October Bremerton Republican Trent England wrote on the Evergreen Freedom Foundation’s
Liberty Live blog, “I happen to know that Moxie works
for my own State Senator Derek Kilmer, who pretends to be a
Berkey-style moderate, but somehow still gets props from the far
left (draw your own conclusions about who is the real Derek Kilmer:
the one familiar to his Moxie pals, or the one he presents to
voters in his swing district?).”
It is true that Moxie shows more than $200,000 in receipts for
Kilmer’s campaign between 2004 and 2006. There were none, however,
Kilmer said he worked with John Wyble, who co-founded Moxie,
but left in 2008 and formed
his own firm, WinPower Strategies.
Kilmer took issue of England’s use of the word “works.” “Once
again Trent England hasn’t done his homework,” Kilmer said, adding
that the ads he pays for do not mention his opponents. “The way I
approach campaigns is like a job interview. “I’ve never gone into a
job interview and said ‘This is why you shouldn’t hire the other
guy,'” he said.
Democrats generally have condemned what is alleged to have been
done in the 38th. Berkey, for her part, is asking that the
Legislature not seat Harper, saying the election was tainted,
according to a (Everett) Herald story.
Rolfes, who did work with Lisa MacLean, the Moxie founder named
in the Attorney General’s suit,
said she hopes the discovery of what happened with Moxie is
evidence that the system worked. “The whole point of the Public
Disclosure Commission is to allow a forum for catching these kind
of indiscretions and unethical and possibly illegal acts,” she
Austin Jenkins wrote a piece on his own blog and later
republished on Crosscut about an election elsewhere in the state
that could be overturned.
A Democratic organization set up an organization that looked
Republican in order to get a conservative Democrat legislator out
of office. Apparently it worked, but the Public Disclosure
Commission is not taking kindly to how the group shuffled campaign
donations to hide the backers.
Jerry Cornfield at the (Everett) Herald gets to the questions of how
the candidates ended up in the parties they chose in the race
between U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. and Republican Dino
Cornfield points out that both had influences in their lives
that could have pushed them in different directions. From the
Patty Murray, 59, and Dino Rossi, 50, are not party ideologues
and neither engaged fully in partisan politics until comfortably in
Both come from large, middle-class families. Each has six
siblings; Patty and her identical twin, Peggy, are the second and
third eldest while Dino is the youngest.
Both grew up in small suburban cities Murray in Bothell and
Rossi in Mountlake Terrace. Their fathers are World War II veterans
and their families each hit by hardship that tested their will.
While there are parallels in their lives as youngsters, by the
time each reached college, their life’s journey was driven by very
different political values.
I continue to periodically point out stories worth reading in
the block of stories above, but this one deserves special mention.
It confirms to me that the embracing of any political philosophy is
not exclusively an intellectual exercise or a response to self
Sandra LaCelle, Kitsap County Republican Party Chairwoman, sent
this to us:
On September 13, 2010, at the Executive Board Meeting of the
Kitsap County Republican Party, the following resolution was
Resolved, that the Kitsap County Republican Party hereby
condemns the actions of Kitsap County Prosecutor Russ Hague and his
office for the continual harassment and frivolous legal attacks
upon the officers and members of the Kitsap Rifle and Revolver
It is a bold statement for reasons I will provide further
Rifle club members were out in force at Monday’s county
commissioner meeting addressing County Prosecutor Russ Hauge’s
lawsuit against the club. Some
of their comments will be included in a story Josh Farley is
working on. Their basic points were:
The club is all about safety.
The county commissioners need to reign in Hauge and the
Department of Community Development.
They asked why this had to be filed in Pierce County.
If the club is closed people will go shoot in the hills.
They questioned the qualifications of the prosecutor’s key
They think this is a vendetta Russ Hauge is launching against
Marcus Carter. (The two have faced off in court before.)
James Sommerhauser, a regular at these meetings and a fixture in
the local Democratic party, said he belonged to the club for a
couple of years. He thought it was safe, but said if it wasn’t he
probably wouldn’t have recognized how. He said if the club didn’t
get permits it was required to, then the club would be wrong in
that case. He also pointed out that the prosecutor is a separately
elected official, so county commissioner control over what the
prosecutor does is almost non-existent. Josh Brown, county
commissioner, said that the primary interaction between the
commissioners and the prosecutor is over the prosecutor’s
That does not necessarily mean the commissioners have to remain
silent, but they’re not clear right now what authority they have to
do or say anything.
Jim Coutu of Gig Harbor made a point that may speak to why some
people who have no dog in the fight would have strong feelings
about the suit. “Lawsuits come about because people cannot come to
terms any other way,” he said. “This doesn’t feel like something
that wanted to get resolved in a proper manner.” Where that matters
is that the public knows of no problems between the county and the
rifle club. And then there is a pretty big lawsuit.
You may recall there is also friction between the county and the
city of Bremerton over the city’s financial
participation, or lack of it, in the restructuring of the loan for
the Harborside Condominium complex. We’ve been reporting it for
months. It may result in a lawsuit, but because we have been
reporting the conflict for some time that news won’t come out of
the blue like the rifle club suit did.
The Central Kitsap Reporter had a story in May when neighbors of the
range wanted the county to take action. It was kind of a “he said,
she said” moment.
From a political standpoint, addressed in Farley’s story posted
Saturday, there is so much to consider. I think Hauge
was absolutely correct when he said the suit “could not have come
at a worse time” politically.
In the Aug. 17 primary Hauge won what was a de facto straw poll
by 12 percentage points. While that doesn’t officially fall into
“landslide” territory, it is a pretty comfortable lead. Now this
issue is out there, less than two months from election day. The
only way this is a political win for him is if overwhelming
evidence comes to light between now and the day ballot are mailed
out. Courts do not move that quickly. And people mad at Hauge for
taking this action will not wait until election day to mark their
What if it turns out that Hauge is right? I know many people
will not consider that possibility, but I am not at liberty to rush
to judgment here. I have not read his filing and even from what I
little I have heard I have a lot of questions on both sides. But
again, what if it turns out Hauge is right?
Would Republicans then still have cause to claim that this
lawsuit is a “frivolous legal attack” and part of the “continual
harassment?” Though the party’s statement doesn’t specifically name
this most recent suit, in tone it seems pretty clear that the
county Republican Party has already judged this case before the
process plays out.
“Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
old Time is still a-flying.
And this same flower that smiles today,
tomorrow will be dying.”
– Robert Herrick
Three Republican U.S. Senate candidates are expected to take
part in a forum in Silverdale Friday evening. The public is
Clint Didier, Paul Akers and Craig Williams have confirmed they
will attend the event at the Silverdale Community Center. Don
Benton and Sean Salazar will not, because they have other
engagements planned. Dino Rossi has been invited and has not
indicated whether he will attend.
The candidates are running to unseat Democrat U.S. Sen. Patty
Murray, who is seeking her fourth term.
Washington State Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders will also
The event begins at 6 p.m. and is scheduled to last until 8:30
The Silverdale Community Center is at 9729 Silverdale Way, near
the intersection of Bucklin Hill Road.
South Kitsap state Rep. Jan Angel is backing State Sen. Don
Benton, R-Vancouver, in his bid to oust Democratic U.S. Sen. Patty
Murray in the November election. This might not carry the same
weight Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Clint Didier does, but neither
Palin or Didier live here.
The race for the Kitsap County central district commissioner
seat will be contested.
Republican Abby Burlingame will challenge Josh Brown, Democrat,
in his bid for re-election to the Kitsap County Board of
Burlingame, 30, is a North Kitsap High School grad who lives in
East Bremerton and has cut hair for the past decade at A Barber
Shop in Silverdale. She also studied public policy and law at
Seattle Pacific University and said she is one Spanish class shy of
finishing her bachelor’s degree program.
She interned during the 2009 Legislature for state Sen. Bob
McCaslin, R-Spokane Valley and her name appears as a research
assistant on papers prepared by the Washington Policy Center.
Her chief interest in running stems from her belief in local
government, she said. Burlingame said local governments will
continue to feel the brunt of budget concerns in the coming years.
She said she not certain the county is well positioned to handle
the budget challenges ahead, given the projects the county has
Burlingame said she built a house when she was 23, a house she
sold when she went through a divorce. She is single with no
The State Department’s Protocol Gift Unit must document every
gift, no matter how small. Data from 2009, Obama’s first year in
the White House, has not yet been compiled. Records show some of
the more offbeat items received by his predecessor, George W. Bush,
include a black Mercedes mountain bike from German Chancellor
Angela Merkel, a shoe shine kit and CD, “Spirit of the Bush,” from
the Governor General of Australia, and the book “1,001 Reasons to
Love America” from the Sultan of Brunei.
Other gifts to Bush that caught my eye: Official Dallas Cowboys
gear from the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia, a bull moose antler
sculpture from the Canadian Prime Minister and 12 bottles of
Georgian dry red wine from His Excellency Mikheil Saakashvili,
President of Georgia, “handled pursuant to Secret Service
State Department gift officials must log the date of the gift,
who it came from and the protocol under which it was accepted. The
standard response is, “Non-acceptance would cause embarrassment to
donor and U.S. Government.”
As it turns out, in some cases, they really shouldn’t have.
According to the blog, the President of Indonesia, thoughtfully,
donated to President George H.W. Bush a Komodo dragon. “Perhaps
worried that the venomous, flesh-eating lizard wouldn’t play nice
with First Dog Millie, Bush donated the dragon, named Naga, to the
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden,” the blog says.
And talk about gifts that may have missed the mark by a hair,
the president of Azerbaijan gave Clinton a carpet that was a
portrait of the president and first lady Hillary Clinton. The
carpet shows the first couple inside a heart-shaped medallion. “I
wanted to convey their lives as one beating heart,” the artist
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, considered a front-runner in 2008
to be John McCain’s VP nomination and a contender for the GOP
presidential nomination in 2012, will be the keynote speaker at
the state Republican
Party’s convention a state Republican Party event in
The party’s press release follows.
Chairman Luke Esser of the Washington State Republican Party
announced today that Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) will deliver the
keynote address at the 28th Annual WSRP Gala Dinner & Auction
to be held Saturday, April 24 at the Bellevue Hilton.
Governor Pawlenty is currently serving his second term as the
39th governor of Minnesota, a term that concludes in 2011.
Pawlenty’s career of public service includes experience as a city
councilman, ten-year member of the Minnesota House of
Representatives, four years of which he spent as House Majority
Pawlenty also served as Chairman of the National Governors
Association. During the 2008 Presidential Election, he served as a
national co-chair for Sen. John McCain, and since then he has
remained a national figure in Republican politics.
“Governor Pawlenty is a rising star in GOP politics for several
very good reasons,” said Esser. “The Governor believes in common
sense conservative principles, and has balanced his state’s budget
three times without raising taxes, despite facing record budget
“It is precisely that track record of success and respect for
taxpayers which has earned Governor Pawlenty a reputation as one of
the most innovative, energetic, reform-minded and accomplished
“We are excited that Governor Pawlenty has accepted our
invitation to speak at our annual spring dinner and auction, and
look forward to hearing his vision for how the GOP can win in 2010,
and effectively govern after our electoral successes.”