Dining for Darcy

Today is a big day over at Sound Politics! Goldy’s good friend Stefan actually influenced the press! The Seattle Times published a story on a new scandal that Stefan broke!

The story stems from an event described last Thursday by Andrew at NPI. The event, held at the Redmond Town Center, was a benefit called “Women in Leadership, Addressing the Challenges of a Changing World.” Christine Gregoire was one of the speakers…

The Governor ended her remarks by announcing a surprise, instant auction to raise money for Darcy Burner. She offered a dinner for two at the Governor’s Mansion in December and kicked off the bidding at $100. The winning bid ended up being nearly $4,000.

As a result of this post, perennial political candidate and HorsesAss participant Richard Pope filed this complaint with the Attorney General. Not surprisingly, Stefan picked-up on the complaint and suggested some form of “corruption.”

Today’s Seattle Times picked up on the “scandal” that…

…raised an uncomfortable question for Gregoire: Is she selling access to the publicly owned mansion?


The complaint, filed by a Bellevue attorney who lost two elections to Gregoire, accuses the governor of misusing the mansion in violation of state law that bars state employees from using state facilities “for the purpose of assisting a campaign for election.”

The complaint, which will be investigated, could break new ethics ground in Washington. The Executive Ethics Board has never been asked to rule on use of the mansion for political fundraising, said Susan Harris, the board’s executive director.

But Harris and Gregoire’s staff say the mansion does not appear to fall under the law cited in the complaint because the building is also the governor’s home.

“We’d look differently at it if she was not required to live there,” Harris said.

Holly Armstrong, Gregoire’s spokeswoman, said the governor has not held fundraisers at the mansion. When Gregoire holds private dinners, which is how she sees the auctioned-off dinner, she reimburses the state for food and her chef’s time, Armstrong said.

“It’s where she lives,” Armstrong said. “She can invite anyone over for dinner she wants. She just can’t use public funds.”

Pope’s complaint does raise an interesting question, because in some circumstances the State of Washington is in the landlord business. In addition to the Governor, who is required to reside in the executive mansion, university presidents, faculty in university housing, students living in campus dorms, and residents of state-owned care facilities are all people whose residence is state-owned. Do all these people give up their right to political speech while in their residence?

In other words, does the law (RCW 42.52.180) that prohibits use of state property for political campaigning by state employees apply to a resident (tenant) in their state-owned home? I spent some time this morning looking through the RCW, WAC, university housing handbooks, the Ethics Board FAQ, and Washington State case law. I found very little relevant material. Apparently the question has not been generally addressed in this state.

The issue ultimately comes down to whether RCW 42.52.180 trumps the constitutionally protected rights to privacy, free speech, and free association for citizens in state-owned residences. It seems unlikely—even for people who, unlike the governor, have options for their landlord—that the law could be viewed as applying to an individual’s residence.

If the Governor and her family are not allowed to privately invite guests into their home for the benefit of a political campaign then it logically follows that a university student (who happens to work for the state) living in a state-owned university dorm, cannot legally make political campaign signs or solicit campaign contributions while in their own room.

Nope…the rights granted in the U.S. Constitution take precedence here.

In the specific case of the executive mansion, there are already guidelines in place, as Andrew reports from his communications with the Governor’s office:

…the Governor is perfectly entitled to hold private events at the mansion. The office added that there is actually historical precedent for this—dating from the Evans administration, when the issue was first raised.

The mansion has hosted many private events in the past, the Governor’s office says, including non-political functions (like a reception for the Boys & Girls Club).

No funds from the state treasury are used to put on private events, and guidelines from the State Auditor’s office are carefully followed.

So, congratulations to Stefan for actually getting noticed by the press (he seemed to be in something of a dry spell). But, in keeping with his record during last year’s gubernatorial election contest, I’m guessing that Stefan will end up on the wrong side of this issue.


  1. 1

    Jim King spews:

    And JDB- “use and reimburse” is not the rental of a gym- it is making phone calls on a state line then paying for the calls.

    Or hosting a political fundraiser then reimbursing the state for the use of public resources.

  2. 2

    Jim King spews:

    @88- and that was an open public meeting, with notice given, and anyone could attend. And it wasn’t a partisan political fundraiser. So your point is?

    @89- There are prohibitions in our leases in the apartment building I live in, just off the capitol campus, because the landlord chose to include them- specifically, no political signs in the windows. This is not an abridgement of “free speech”- I do not have to live here and I do not own the property. Any landlord- public or private- can make whatever rules they wish, so long as they do not violate the law or impair existing contracts (new rules have to wait for the new lease). Those choosing to live in publicly-funded housing have to live with the rules and obey the laws- especially when they are not paying rent (like the Governor).

  3. 3

    My Left Foot spews:

    I like what Andrew at the Northwest Progressive Institute says about this:

    This complaint, filed by a sloppy lawyer and promoted by a smug party hack, is nothing more than an attempt to taint Governor Gregoire with bad press that she does not deserve.

    Here is the link for the entire text:


  4. 5

    Jimmy spews:

    Richard Pope, you of all people should realize this was a red hering. I am losing respect everytime you stray from the good hard work you do for the truth in things. Sometimes you stray and I forgive that becuase all in all I think you are ok, but this one is petty. This isn’t selling access. This is auctioning off your bolo tie, auctioning off your old political photos…
    A sense of obviousness surrounds this.

    People want to take you seriously. Not Stephan but you. Your choice…

  5. 7

    Janet S spews:

    Also, for all of you who think we should elect democrats to run the federal govt – who do you think is more likely to protect us from the nut cases who burn churches in protest over being called violent?

    We have a serious problem with fanatic Muslims. I haven’t heard one word from the US Muslims denouncing the behavior of those in the middle east. Jeff Saddiqi – do you read this blog? Do you condone those who would murder because their feelings are hurt?

    This is a coordinated attack on the West, meant to stifle our freedom of speech through fear. The dems in this country are more than willing to play along, which makes me fearful that they will get elected to a majority.

  6. 8

    John Barelli spews:

    Janet S

    “Why does Gregoire need the level of security that she has? The only threat I ever heard of was from some harmless whacko. She says she is of the people, but she sure keeps her distance from us. Same with Sims – why this need by the populist politicians for drivers and full time security?

    Well, beyond the difference that Governor Gregoire is a Governor and not a Mayor, (I don’t live in Seattle, and until recently, Gig Harbor’s Mayor drove her own Volkswagon, so you’ll have to talk to someone who votes in Seattle about Mayor Sims) there is also the point that all major public officials are more of a target these days.

    We have a serious problem with fanatic Muslims. I haven’t heard one word from the US Muslims denouncing the behavior of those in the middle east. Jeff Saddiqi – do you read this blog? Do you condone those who would murder because their feelings are hurt?

    My, you must not have been listening very hard. I have heard many, and had no problem finding lots of references. Here are just a few of them:






    (and before you ask, there were hundreds more.)

    Of course, I don’t expect that Fox News covered any of this, as they are more concerned with being “fair and balanced” than in bothering to actually report the news. Since Muslims publicly declaring that the violence against Americans is wrong and against the teachings of Islam doesn’t help drum up more support for the war or President Bush, it isn’t considered either “fair” or “balanced”.

  7. 9

    Richard Pope spews:

    Actually, the Office of the Governor DOES have an official ethics policy on “Use of Public Resources for Campaign Purposes”. This policy was issued on January 9, 1998, revised on July 15, 1999, and approved by the Executive Ethics Board on July 30, 1999:


    This policy was adopted when Gary Locke was Governor, and has not been changed by Christine Gregoire. Of course, Locke never auctioned off dinners in the Governor’s Mansion or otherwise used his official residence for political fundraising. So the policy says absolutely nothing about these activities, since Locke never even thought about doing them.

  8. 10

    JDB spews:

    Jim King at 49:

    If you were in Law School, you would get a D. Please state the “facility of an agency” that Gregoire is using at the Governor’s mansion?

    That’s right, none. That regulation is to prevent the SPI from using SPI resources, or the Governor from using DSHS resources to campaign. But the mansion is not a “facility of an agency.”

    The use of the mansion for political purposes is just fine as long as the state funds are not used. I have been to a Booth Gardner reception for Bill Clinton in 1992 during the primaries to try to convince undecided state delegates to switch over. I am sure there have been plenty of other political activities like this. Goodness knows, Bush is allowed to use the White House for fund raising.

    And I would not complain if Dino Rossi did this either. It is the Governor’s house. As long as the Governor does not use public funds for the activity, S/he can use it as s/he wishes.

  9. 11

    JDB spews:

    If one is to wonder about ethics, though, what is one to think about a person running for a non-partisan Judgeship, where one is to have a judicial temperament, filing a very partisan campaign complaint?

    Now that would seem much more questionable.

  10. 12

    John425 spews:

    Aaah- Fraudoire pours yet another quart of slime into the Democrat Cesspool of Corruption!

  11. 13

    RightEqualsStupid spews:

    Who cares? If the right wingers win, Darcy gives back a lousy $4k. And any republican from here on out will be bound by the same result. If the wingers looooose *which looks likely because Dickey Pope has one of the longest looooosing streaks in the state, why should he start winning now?* then Darcy keeps the money.

    This is like when they were going to “send the Governor a message” and defeat the gas tax. Oops that didn’t work out so well either.

    When will these assholes start worrying about the waste, fraud and abuse of the Bush regime….flying around the country on vacation at taxpayer expense? Or how about RubberStampReichert’s abuse of the franking rights he has?

    Let’s get some ink on those stories.

  12. 14

    LeftIsBest spews:

    “The PDC is NOT heavily staffed, which is one reason complaints usually take forever to be addressed (the other reason is that most complaints are just so darn PETTY that they are an embarrassment)- and burdening the investigators with responding to the piling on takes them away from the investigation.”

    Commentby Jim King— 9/14/06@ 10:53 pm

    It appears that Mr. King has two ethical standards he lives by. Perhaps this is why republicans are facing so large a defeat this November. They practice situational ethics.

    I agree Mr. King that most of these compaints, especially any complaint filed by Pope is indeed PETTY!

  13. 15

    Jim King spews:

    John- the only part of your argument I’ll accept is that she uses the resources of the State Patrol whenever she travels- and there is a specific determination that such use of resources is required by state law 24/7 and does NOT constitute a use of public resources for political activity. See the Executive Ethics Board’s opinion at http://ethics.wa.gov/opinions/98_09.htm

    As for your other points, you do not see the Governor’s state staff with her at political events, nor she does use state phones to make fundraising calls or for other political purposes. None of those have been found to be permissable- in fact, the exact opposite has been found to be the case.

    Nor does she need to use the mansion for her political expression- no other governor has. Nor is “incidental” use a factor- in Washington state, we look to “de minimis” use, and if a dollar value can be attached- even the price of a sheet of paper- it has been held to be NOT “de minimis”.

    We have very tight laws.

    Anyway, I sincerely doubt that this will ever go to court- the complaint was filed with the Executive Ethics Board. I even doubt that the Governor will let the Board rule, but will instead shift the dinner outside of the mansion and avoid an adverse ruling. The precedents and rulings in this state are just so unanimously against her she would be foolish to continue down this path.

    I do not believe she thought this through- that it was a spur of the moment thing. This Governor- as have been all former governors- is very scrupilous about observing these ethics laws. We do not allow many things that are normal in other states. We do not even allow ANY solicitation of partisan campaign contributions on public property- and that is interprted to man delivery, too. Not just in someon’e office, but on the pathways of the capitol campus (for instance).

    Everyone walks off campus to even talk about these things.

    So I xpect she will, as I’ve said above, move the dinner or return the contyribution, and ask the Board to find the complaint moot. Then it does become “no big deal” and we hold the high ground on ethics in this state.

    Anything less heads us down a very slippery slope…

  14. 16

    JDB spews:

    Richard at 72:

    You are getting close to the heart of the matter. If you read over Goldy’s reasoning, you would see why there is not a problem with a party having a convention at a public facility and asking for money from the attendees, or Governor Spellman having a bunch of Republicans over and passing the hat.

    The right of free association trumps. If you go to a convention, you are agreeing to associate with the people there. There is nothing coercive about being asked for money in those situations. Such situations are not the same as the Republicans setting up a phone bank and soliciting from people outside of those who have chosen to be there.

    Or think of it this way, if basic rights are too complex; you are not using the facility to fund raise, and that is incidental to its use. Whether you have the convention at the Yakima Convention Center or at the Westin Hotel, whether you have dinner at the Governor’s residence or at a restaurant, state funds and property are not being used for fund raising.

  15. 17

    Jim King spews:

    @55 To clarify one point Richard missed, the ban on use of public facilities predates Initiative 276. This particular provision has been held to be a codification of state common law. There were no significant uses of public facilities prior to adoption of I-276- the major scandal involving use of public facilities was the use of legislative staff in the 1980’s and early 1990’s.

    Richard is right on the use of public facilities that are normally open for rent or lease- there is a specific AGO on that, requested by Governor Evans during his tenure as President of The Evergreen State College- AGO 1979 No.3, available at http://www.atg.wa.gov/opinions.....9_003.html
    (and you’ll find reference to the common law basis of the statute there as well).

    And I wouldn’t disagree that the Governor could host a lunch in the Pritchard Cafeteria (the cafeteria is in the old library, now, not in th Legislative Building itself)- as long as no cash was being exchanged or financial contribution solicited.

    The cafeteria is routinely used for receptions and such after hours- as is the State Reception Room- but I cannot recall a partisan event at either- and a partisan fundraising event would clearly violate RCW 41.06.250 “No person shall solicit on state property or property of a political subdivision of this state any contribution to be used for partisan, political purposes.” Partisan political activity takes place in several locations just off the Capitol Campus, but not on state property.

    The references to precedent dating back to Evans was nothing other than a cute redefinition of the question- the precedent cited is the use of the mansion for private functions- not for political fundraising. Governor Evans was not using the mansion for fundraising, nor was Governor Evans the impetus for I-276.

    If, as JDB states @58, Governor Gardner had a reception for undecided delegates in 1992, but there was no fundraising taking place, it is a horse of a different color and yet another attempt to redefine the question. There is no precedent for a governor using the mansion for partisan fundraising.

    But JDB obviously flunked law school. The public facility being used is the mansion itself (duh!) and the law is not limited, as JDB tries to claim, but has consistently been interpreted as expansive. And it has consistently been held that it is not legal to use public facilities and then reimburse.

    And JDB- what federal law allowed Clinton or Gore or Bush or Cheney to do is irrelevent to what washington state law allows the governor to do. Not even effective misdirection, there.

    I’m still waiting for anyone to cite the source of the supposed requirement that the Governor live in the mansion, or of any instance in which a governor has previously used the mansion for partisan fundraising. Those two basic questions seem to have stumped all of the spinmeisters

  16. 18

    For the Clueless spews:

    Stefan? Nope he’s the Minnow. A little fish in a big pond. With each mindless knee-jerk scribble he diminishes himself and grows the pond ever bigger.

  17. 19

    Jim King spews:

    Richard- you can have more than one legal residence. For many years Ralph Munro maintained residences in Kitsap and in Olympia. Gary Locke had a residence in Seattle during portions of his governorship. You can be physially residing in one place while maintaining a legal residence for voting and other purposes in another. An Olympia residence for an elected official would be treated as a temporary residence, just as if you were active duty military. It doesn’t require you to forfeit the legality of your other residence.

    Members of Congress often have a legal residence in state, and an actual residence in or near D.C.- a similar scenario.

  18. 20

    My Left Foot spews:

    It seems to me the issue is much ado about nothing. Stefan must be giddy with childlike glee. His blog is hardly read, he has no radio show and he is generally (and quite correctly) dismissed as a conspiracy-seeing whack job.

  19. 21

    Ken In Seattle spews:

    A new nickname for Richard?
    Richard Petty Pope Esq

    It will work with the Nascar crowd.

    maybe not.

  20. 22

    Jim King spews:

    Barelli- my landlord, quite legally, restricts partisan political signs. No other signs are prohibited. So you missed that point. My landlord could restrict political entertainment, too- you seem to fail at grasping the concept that it is unconstitutional for government to abridge rights- rights that are against government action- but private persons are not so limited.

    State law restricts partisan political activity- the solicitation of contributions- but not other political activities- the solicitation of non-partisan campaign contributions, or of contributions for ballot issues, or of contributions for Greenpeace or the NRA. So you missed on that point, too. Government is not abridging constitutional rights when it passes laws saying that you cannot use public facilities and public resources for certain types of activities.

    You have no constitutional right to have the exercise of your rights paid for by the government.

    Quite frankly, on all the points you are claiming, state law, AGO’s, and the Ethics Board and PDC have all gone otherwise.

    So I guess nobody better rely on your advice if they want to stay out of trouble.

  21. 23

    JDB spews:

    Jim at 82:

    You are cutting very fine lines here. What is a dinner at the Governor’s residence more like, renting a gym, our using the phones of DSHS?

    And no misdirection here, you are just avoiding the question. I do not deny that the public owns the Mansion. But because it is a residence, it is not the “facility of an agency.”

    Again, you avoid the important question, can the Governor invite and exclude people as she wishes?

    You cannot pass over this lightly. Think of it in terms of 5th Amendment analysis. Would the Governor rightly have a broad expectation of privacy in the Governor’s mansion?

    Of course she does. It’s her house. In exactly the same way that an apartment is the renter’s house. They have a right to invite people in or exclude people.

    As to your other examples, if I have legitimate business at the Governor’s office, or with the State Patrol Crime Lab, you can get in. You cannot make the same argument about the Governor’s residence.

    And once you realize that it is the Governor’s home, you can see why the argument you are making does not hold water. Now, because the Governor performs state functions, and because of security deeds, and because of the requirements of the job, certain services are provided, and the grounds are taken care of. But if she uses it for truly personal use (political use, if s/he is running an ebay business out of the basement), you have to pay the State back.

    As far as I know, that is how every executive mansion in every state is handled. That is how the Whitehouse is handled. It makes logical sense.

    You are so focused on getting the answer you want that you are avoiding all the preliminary questions you need to answer. D student material, and you know it.

    Offering dinner at your home is not using the facilities of an agency for fundraising.

  22. 24

    sgmmac spews:

    John Barelli,

    I would have a problem with Rossi doing it and I would have a problem with President Bush doing it. I expect our leadership to not put themselves into that “teapot.”

  23. 25

    Doctor JCH Kennedy spews:

    SEATTLE – The city of Seattle has agreed to pay settlements to two people who said their free-speech rights were violated during protests at the 1999 World Trade Organization talks. **SNIP** ACLU staff attorney Aaron Caplan says the settlements illustrate that officials must honor the rights of peaceful protesters even when the mayor has declared a state of emergency.

    California isn’t dead – it has just moved to Seattle.

  24. 26

    sgmmac spews:

    It is inappropriate for Gov Gregoire to sell (auction) her time and services for political fundraising. It is inappropriate for her to sell seats and meals at the dining table in the Governor’s Mansion.

    Whether we like it or not, she is the Governor and when she presides over that dinner, she does so in her official capacity, as Governor. That’s what the auction winner paid for, dinner for two with the GOVERNOR in the Governor’s MANSION.

    The Governor’s Mansion is taxpayer funded and taxpayer owned. Public areas in the mansion are ran by a non-profit foundation. Taxpayers paid for new carpets and I think a new refrigerator when she moved in. Yes, she has to live there, and she can certainly entertain there, as our Governor! It is totally appropriate for her to entertain Boy Scouts, High School winning football teams, winners of the special Olympics, whatever. When she does that, she is representing everyone in this state.

    There may well be a private kitchen and small dining room for the First Family in the mansion. She can entertain whoever she pleases there.

    When she auctions off two dinners to the highest bidders, she has sold herself, her time, and taxpayer property. Whether it’s ethical or not, it displays poor judgement. The chances of the PDC board finding it unethical is probably slim to none, since she APPOINTS them.

    The Republicans went beserk along with the Press over President Clinton doing stunts like this with the White House Lincoln Bedroom.

    Postman has this up on his blog and his take on it is pretty straight forward. Not that he approved my post there!

    If Rossi were Governor and he auctioned off two dinners at a BIAW fundraiser……………….

    How fucking loud would you be screaming??????

    They’d hear it in Paris, Gregoire made a boneheaded mistake and she needs to police up the winners and treat them to a dinner at a nice Seattle restaurant. She needs to keep the mansion for State official functions and personal friends.

  25. 28

    JDB spews:

    Jim King:
    I have no idea where you went to law school, or if you did, but last I looked, it would be you who failed if you tried to avoid a question and change a definition as badly as you just try to do.

    The WAC refers to the “facility of an agency.” Now you are talking about a “public facility.” Two very different things. Even so, I don’t believe the Governor’s mansion counts as a “public facility.” It is the residence of the Governor, and I know of no requirement that it be open to the public. As far as I know, the Governor can invite in, or exclude, anyone s/he wishes while in residence. There are no WACs, RCWs or Constitutional provisions that provide that it be open to the public.

    Even then, your statement that “And it has consistently been held that it is not legal to use public facilities and then reimburse,” is clearly false on its face, as the case of using school gyms for party county conventions makes clear, and the last half of Richard’s post at 72 makes clear. I have never been to a party function, either Republican or Democratic, where funds for something were not solicited.

    As it is, I’m still waiting for you or anyone else to cite to any WAC, RCW or anything else that says that the Governor may not engage in political activities at the Mansion. The Booth Gardner example is exactly on point. Governors are political creatures. Offering dinner at your home is hardly unheard of, and is hardly using the facilities of an agency for fund raising.

    Until you can cite to one WAC or RCW that declares the Governor’s residence a “public facility,” more or less, the “facility of an agency,” let’s face it, your argument is not even smoke, more or less fire. You can avoid the truth as much as the next shyster, but no one with any authority will listen to you.

  26. 29

    Daddy Love spews:


    what of she were a Publican and invites Karl Rove to raise $$ for Mike!

    Same thing. If she uses no public funds, she can have someone over for dinner for political reasons if she wants to. Didn’t you see Darryl’s mention of it being done many times, back to Dan Evans?

  27. 30

    Daddy Love spews:

    Yeah, they want to use in in 2008 ads against Gregoire. The truth doesn’t matter to them.

  28. 31

    kb spews:

    Hey Goldy, if you can ask “How drunk was Mike” in practically every other post, Stefan can bring up BS points on Burner.

  29. 32

    My Left Foot spews:

    13 David Wright

    I guess that what is OK for you WingNuts somehow is not OK for us liberals. Politics is tit for tat. Sadly, it is increasingly about sound bites and photo opps rather than issues and substance.

    Make no mistake, this is the legacy, along with smear campaigns (swiftboating) of George W and Karl Rove. These two myopic morons have tried, and very nearly succeeded, in usurping the entire constitution as well,

  30. 33

    RightEqualsStupid spews:


    Wow. What a wake up call for the shit head taliban wannabes running the GOP. A real fucking conservative tells it like it is. Are all you pretend, wannabe chickenhawk conservatives even just a little bit mortified about what you’ve done to Goldwater’s vision?

  31. 34

    Jim King spews:

    Darryl- the Constitutional provision only requires that those state elected officials reside in the capital city, and that those named offices and public records be kept there. You cannot cite case law that the governor reside in the mansion because it does not exist. If the governor were required to live in the mansion, then we had an illegal situation when Locke moved out because of the bat problem…

    What we have is the reverse- the state is required to provide the living accomodations, which is why we paid for an alternative residence for the Locke’s while the bats were dealt with. But nothing says that the Governor has to live in the publicly provided accomodations.

  32. 35

    Jim King spews:

    Okay, I’m still up. Richard, convention registration fees, dinners that are not fundraisers, etc., are probably not a problem if they are not considered “contributions”- and on a practical level, where a facility has been rented, there is probably not a violation whether the funds are contributions or not.

    But if I hand a check to a partisan candidate while we are having lunch in the Pritchard cafeteria, or even out on the sidewalk on the capitol campus- that is clearly understood to be a violation. The same at City Hall, the county courthouse, or wherever. We draw a very bright line in this state, and have done a better job than most in avoiding scandals because of that. But it only works if both sides respect that bright line, and not just turn a blind eye- or make excuses- for their side.

    Reading both sides excuse their side’s offenses while damning the other side has been the most unsettling part of this election cycle. There is going to be a very real need to, bipartisanly, crack down on abuses and tighten laws- I hope Jim Kastama is up to it.

  33. 36

    Jim King spews:

    JDB- The mansion is an extension of the Office of the Governor, it is a facility of that agency paid for with public funds.

    You ask “can the Governor admit or deny admission to whomever she chooses”- of course she can. As I pointed out, she can do the same with her office on the 2nd floor of the Leg Building.
    She cannot use either in violation of the law.

    As Richard Pope noted, Gregoire has a legal residence elsewhere in Olympia- a private residence, which she can use as she wishes.

    But if you have legitimate business at the mansion- or a the Governor’s office- you can get in. Who decides you have legitimate business and need to be admitted? Not you. The Governor (or her staff) does.

    But you say that the Governor’s use of the mansion for a political fundraiser is like renting a gym? To what depths will you go with your sophistry? No one else can use the mansion for a political dinner, just like no one can go in and use a phone at DSHS to make phone calls.

    But you go so far as to bring in another violation of law that shows you do not have a clue. You suggest she could run a business out of the mansion, and just reimburse the state. Our state laws do not allow public employees to use public resources then reimburse.

    It is clear that you are absolutely clueless when it comes to state ethics laws, and you draw distinctions that exist in your mind, but cannot be found in state law. You might wish to do some basic research- you could start with the FAQ on the Executive Ethics Board site- http://ethics.wa.gov/faq.htm

    It covers the reimbursement question, among others…

  34. 38

    Richard Pope spews:

    Jim King @ 74

    One can make the argument that a public facility becomes “private” for the period of time that a political group has rented it, and therefore RCW 41.06.250(1) does not apply for that period of time. That would seem to reconcile the 1979 AG Opinion being okay to rent a public facility for a political convention (where funds might be raised), but not okay for a free user of public grounds (i.e. college campus) to ask for partisan contributions.

    But what about First Amendment free speech rights? If The Evergreen State College allows “Save the Whales” to solicit donations on campus, how can a political party or partisan candidate be denied the same right?

  35. 39

    Janet S spews:

    Why does Gregoire need the level of security that she has? The only threat I ever heard of was from some harmless whacko. She says she is of the people, but she sure keeps her distance from us. Same with Sims – why this need by the populist politicians for drivers and full time security?

    For crying out loud, the mayor of New York rides the subway!

    Sorry, but all those guards and drivers and body guards are the outward sign of power. Gregoire and Sims are making it very clear that they are above the people and above the law. Screw the little people.

  36. 40


    Jim King,

    The requirement that the Governor live in the Governor’s mansion is based on the Constitution Article III, § 24.


    The governor, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, superintendent of public instruction, commissioner of public lands and attorney general shall severally keep the public records, books and papers relating to their respective offices, at the seat of government, at which place also the governor, secretary of state, treasurer and auditor shall reside.

    There is case law that upholds the requirement that the Governor actually reside in the executive residence, not just anywhere in Olympia. I beleive I read the case during the election contest. Unfortunately, I didn’t find a reference to it in my notes from that period.

    Maybe Richard Pope knows….

  37. 41

    Richard Pope spews:

    But will the dinner auction proceeds really financially help Darcy Burner, if everything else actually proves legally and politically legitimate?

    Under 11 CFR § 100.53, the entire amount received for the auction of the dinner (or dinners?) will be considered a contribution to the Darcy Burner campaign:

    Ҥ 100.53 Attendance at a fundraiser or political event.

    The entire amount paid to attend a fundraiser or other political event and the entire amount paid as the purchase price for a fundraising item sold by a political committee is a contribution.”

    I have read that one dinner was sold for nearly $4,000 in one place, and that it was actually two dinners sold for $3,500 each in another place.

    Darcy Burner is proving very popular with individual financial contributors, and already has quite a large number of maxed-out contributors — i.e. folks who have already given $2,100 for the primary, and $2,100 for the general, for the maximum of $4,200.

    Anyone who is willing to pay $3,500 or $4,000 for a dinner to help Burner’s campaign probably (1) has a lot of money to spare, (2) really likes Burner and wants to help her campaign out, and (3) may have already given Burner a lot of money already.

    So, unless Christine Gregoire was lucky enough to sell the dinner or dinners to someone who hadn’t really given very much to Burner already, chances are that the lucky buyer was either already maxed-out or became maxed-out by paying $3,500 or $4,000 for this fundraising item.

    In which case, Burner’s campaign will have to refund to the buyer every dollar by which the buyer’s total contributions exceed $4,200. Basically, an already maxed-out donor could bid the moon at the fundraising auction, and end up getting the dinner with Gregoire for absolutely nothing.

  38. 42

    Jim King spews:

    John- I also have a real estate background and real estate management experience, dating back three decades plus. You make this so much more cut and dried than it is. I have to be honest- I wouldn’t rely on your counsel in picking a fight with my landlord. The landlord is being neither arbitrary nor capricious in the restrictions, and it is THEIR property- partisan views are NOT a protected class, and the standard for upholding the reasonable restrictions of the landlord wold not be hard to meet.

    The Governor needs to back down, not keep crawling further out on the limb…

  39. 43

    SeattleJew spews:

    Gregoire’s judgement in this is poor. The logical consequences of this are frightful .. what of she were a Publican and invites Karl Rove to raise $$ for Mike!

    Bad taste at a minimum.

  40. 44

    My Left Foot spews:

    I am sure Stefan is hunkered down in his basement, screaming at his wife to stay of the phone waiting for ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC and FOX to call. He has his best polyester suit and K-mart tie at the ready for the television trucks that he just knows are coming. Now, if only someone would listen to him about the voter fraud and make Dino the guv’nor. Then, finally, he would be vindicated. The guy is a cartoon who thinks he is Brian Williams delivering the scoop.

  41. 45

    Jim King spews:

    Darryl- perhaps you should look into the private facilities just off the Capitol Campus where partisan political activity takes place. You’d find out how things are handled without violating the law.

    And you might cite any examples of university presidents using their official residences for partisan fundraising.

    You are making a lot of bets without having the facts to support your positions. I’ll wager you won’t find a single state park ranger doing partisan campaign work in their state-provided residence, and the same is true of other state and local employees. No one has to live in these facilities, and you agree to certain limitations when you voluntarily opt to live in publicly-owned facilities.

  42. 46

    John Barelli spews:

    John – I was specifically referencing the current riots committed in the name of the Pope accusing Muslims of being violent. All of your references are about 911. I want to hear them denounce the current instigators and their brainwashed following. These people come out of mosques and burn Christian churches. Where is the outrage from their fellow Muslims?

    Well, considering just how new that news is, it might be a bit tough. After all, expecting a formal policy statement to be issued immediately by an religious organization with no central governing board is a bit nonsensical.

  43. 47

    My Left Foot spews:

    Here is a quote from the article referenced @ 16

    “Trust and fear cannot coexist at the same time,” Barry said. Anyone who motivates our decisions by fear cannot restore the principles of a country founded in freedom. “I will support whoever is running our country as long as they abide by those principles and will run our country and not our lives.”

    Why don’t we have politicians like this now? Where is the next great leader?

  44. 48

    Jim King spews:

    Josef- understand. If there are any other “residences” that are analogos to the mansion, it is the residences of the presidents of the research universities. They are provided not so much as to provide a residence as to provide a venue for ceremony. To impress dignitaries and donors to the university.

    And the university presidents know to steer clear of partisan politics- it has never been an issue.

    In the case of the mansion, it once hosted the Inaugural Balls as well as other events. As our society has grown, we have thousands attending the ball, not 100, and the mansion has become somewhat of an anachronism. More than once it has been suggested that it be torn down. That it has been maintained as the governor’s residence has been more a function of historic preservation and security than anything else.

    Providing “palaces” for those who “govern” us seems to be an unnecessary remnant of our colonial past…

  45. 49

    Living in the 8th spews:

    I guess this is the better thread for this question. Is it true what Wikiepedia says, that Burner grew up in a republican household?

  46. 50


    Comment by Jim King — 9/17/06 @ 12:05 pm

    That it was most likely an inappropiate venue. I’m on the side of those wanting to have this matter – re: Gregoire auction – fully investigated.

  47. 51

    JDB spews:


    Wow, you get awfully personal when you are struggling to make a point, don’t you. Sucks to be on the losing end of an argument.

    Is the Governor’s Mansion not the home of the Governor? Does s/he not get to use it like her home?

    You avoid this obvious question and the failure of your own logic to deal with the Gary Locke situation you brought up because you cannot answer these questions. You know what the answer you want is, so you ignore the facts.

    And that is why your logic keeps getting more and more twisted. Now you state that “But you say that the Governor’s use of the mansion for a political fundraiser is like renting a gym? To what depths will you go with your sophistry? No one else can use the mansion for a political dinner,” which basically admits my point that the Governor can invite or exclude who she likes. If I legitimate business with the Governor and s/he refuses me entrances in her/his office, I can get a write of mandamus and be allowed in (an example, if the Constitution says that the leader of the House must personally present a bill to the governor for signature, and the Governor locked his/her door to prevent this from happening, you could get mandamus and force the governor to let you in, you could never do this with the mansion, as it is the Governor’s residence not his/her office.)

    This is why you cannot answer the Gary Locke situation you brought up. You are so focused on the answer you want for political reasons you ignore what the law provides.

    Until you deal with the realities of the facts, you are just making a laughing stock of yourself. A home is not an office. The Governor did not use a “facility of an agency” for fundraising. She simply offered dinner at her home.

    But while you are arguing foolishly, do you want to explain to everyone how a court is supposed to overturn an election without any proof of fraud? That one always breaks me up.

  48. 52

    Jim King spews:

    JDB- and do you want the cite for the case law where the court overturned an election without proof of fraud, and the Washington State Supreme Court upheld the lower court? Or are you just trying another diversion?

    Because our courts have overturned elections for incompetence, which is what Rossi should have argued instead of fraud.

    No, for the umpteenth time, the Governor does not have the right to use the mansion however she sees fit. It is part of her office, it is subject to the same laws.

    You haven’t gone and read the basics on executive ethics. You are now throwing writs of mandamus around as to how you will get into the Governor’s office when she doesn’t want to see you.

    You’ve reached the point of absurdity. Been spending too much time at Sound Politics, have you?

    By the way- the “leader” of the House does not personally present bills to the Governor for signature. Where do you come up with this stuff? What is clear, is that you have absolutely no clue, but a very vivid and delusional imagination.

  49. 53

    Richard Pope spews:

    Christine Gregoire’s legal place of residence is NOT at the Governor’s Mansion. Gregoire is registered to vote at her home at 3939 Fox Hall Drive, N.E. in Olympia, Washington, which is owned by Gregoire and her husband Michael. Gregoire and her husband last voted at this address on February 7, 2006:


    Also, I have found absolutely nothing in the Revised Code of Washington which states that the Governor’s Mansion is provided as the official residence of the Governor of Washington. There are only three statutory references to the Governor’s Mansion — one dealing with bonds for improving the building, and two dealing with historical preservation matters.

    Maybe I am missing something of course. But I haven’t seen it in the statutes yet. Yes, it is a custom that the Governor resides in the Governor’s Mansion. But there appears to be absolutely no law (at least that I can find) which provides for this.

    As for residing in the Governor’s Mansion being part of the Governor’s compensation for her official duties, this does not appear to be the case either.

    Salaries for the Governor, other statewide elected officials, legislators and judges are established by an independent citizen’s commission under Article 28, Section 1 of the Washington constitution. The current salary for the Governor is $150,995 per year, and there are no provisions for a residence being provided at public expense:


    If anyone can find any statutes which authorize and/or require the Governor to reside in the Governor’s Mansion, please let me know. Yes — it seems obvious, but I haven’t found them yet.

  50. 54

    John Barelli spews:

    Commentby LeftIsBest— 9/16/06@ 7:03 pm

    Sorry LeftIsBest, but I’m going to have to speak up for Mr. King here. His comment was in reply to mine, and he was saying that there was already an ongoing complaint investigation by the PDC.

    The point he was making (to me) was that my putting in an additional, nearly identical complaint would not make matters go faster, and could actually slow things down in the investigation of Mr. Groen’s campaign finances. This was a point that I had not considered.

    I’m happy to take Mr. King to task about many topics, but in this case, he was simply making a valid observation.

  51. 55

    Jim King spews:

    Okay, ya’ll, commenting on what you know little about-

    First, Darryl doesn’t know what precedent- he’s just repeating what the Governor’s staff told him- there IS a precedent. Just suck it up and spit it out, but DON’T ask any questions.

    Unfortunately for ya’ll, the only precedent, going back to Evans, is that the mansion can be used for private functions.

    Gee, whiz- the Legislative Building, including the State Reception Room, are used for private functions. They are not used for POLITICAL functions.

    I really don’t care what precedents ya’ll found from OTHER states- they are not applicable here. Our law does NOT allow this, even if reimbursed. We have a whole train of case law in this state backing that up. Public facilities cannot be used in campaigns in this manner. Just go look up all the PDC cases.

    And Daddy Love- fuck you- I don’t do asshole’s research for them- especially when they are too busy buggering their kids to do their own work.

    Now, no one has come back with any citation about the Governor having to live in the mansion. And not a one of you can cite any previous case of any Washington governor hosting a fundraiser in the mansion. You can’t, because she doesn’t have to live there, and no one- not Evans, not Ray, not Spellman, not Gardner, not Lowry, and not Locke- used the mansion for fundraising.

    You want to lay a wager that when she is calling folks for contributions- even for the Supreme Court races- that she goes to an off-campus location to do so? She isn’t dialing for dollars from the mansion- and she shouldn’t be using it for fundraising dinners, either.

    Ya’ll may want to reference the rules established to implement RCW 42.52.180- especially WAC 292-110-020 (8)- before laying that wager. It reads:

    “The governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, attorney general, superintendent of public instruction, commissioner of public lands, and the insurance commissioner are state officers in the executive branch subject to RCW 42.52.180. These officers are elected to office and hold office for a term of four years and until their successors are elected and qualified. Since these officers are elected to a term of office, they do not have working hours and may assist in a campaign at any time. However, if these officers do assist in a campaign, they may not make use of any facilities of an agency except as provided in RCW 42.52.180(2).”

    I would think “may not make use of any facilities of an agency” is pretty clear language.

  52. 56

    John Barelli spews:

    Commentby Jim King— 9/18/06@ 12:36 am

    “Barelli- my landlord, quite legally, restricts partisan political signs. No other signs are prohibited. So you missed that point. My landlord could restrict political entertainment, too- you seem to fail at grasping the concept that it is unconstitutional for government to abridge rights- rights that are against government action- but private persons are not so limited.

    Your landlord, quite frankly, is in deep kimchee if ever taken to court on that restriction. He’ll lose. Political speech is one of those things that courts hate to mess with. I’ll be happy to go back and check with the Washington Association of REALTORS® attorney on this, but this is basic real estate school stuff.

    That’s why most landlords are careful to make restrictions on all window signs. (I do some property management. This is my area of expertise, and this is an area where, if my client insists on being silly, I use the phrase “check with legal counsel”.) Sometimes (almost always) those restrictions are absolute, sometimes they restrict the size and duration of the sign. (Trickier, and I never recommend this without a lawyer in tow.)

    “Welcome home hubby” signs are treated the same way, but usually preparing that letter takes a while, as these things are often complaint-driven, and nobody ever seems to complain about them, so long as they don’t stay up all year. (I’m not the sign police.) Condo complexes usually have specific exceptions for real estate signs, but permit nothing else.

    Please understand that I agree with you on what is perhaps the biggest point here. It’s a bad idea. Legal or not, common practice or not, it gives an “appearance of impropriety” as we used to say in the military. I’m sure it was an honest, spur-of-the-moment thought, where the Governor (an attorney herself) felt she was on firm legal ground.

    But if your apartment rules were drawn up by the landlord, you might suggest that he/she has a good real estate attorney go over that part. “Get appropriate legal counsel” as we like to say.

  53. 57

    Doctor JCH Kennedy spews:

    Why don’t we send a couple to the Vatican while we’re at it?

    Commentby Daddy Love [????? How many members of the “Vatican” killed Americans on 9/11??]

  54. 59

    Jim King spews:

    Richard- The mansion, as with most other general state government properties, is under the control of the Department of General administration. The public and historic portions of the capitol campus- including those parts of the mansion- are paid for out of GA appropriations. The other portions, actually occupied by state offices, are paid for by those state offices through rental/lease payments to GA from their own appropriations. The foundation previously referred to subsidizes the GA funding of the historic and public portions of the mansion, but it is a GA responsibility.

    Now, the formal dining and reception areas of the mansion are within that defined area of “historic and public”- as are all of the areas on the public tour. Except as accessed by GA Visitor Services for tours, these areas are under the operational control of the Office of the Governor.

    Now it is after midnight, and I’m not going to take the time now to research whether the Office of the Governor, or the Gregoires personally, are paying the rent on the remainder of the mansion…

  55. 60

    the young rabbit spews:


  56. 62

    Jim King spews:

    Richard- if you research the history of the ban on soliciatation of partisan contributions, you’ll see that it was enacted as part of the civil service law, and the original intent was to prevent coercive solicitation- and in those days, that usually referred to those in a position to coerce forcing the support of a political party, as had been common in this state prior to civil service. As the law is limited to that, there has been no prohibition on solicitation for other purposes. The same dichotomy exists in the federal Hatch Act.

    But while that provision draws the distinction, the ban on use of public facilities applies to any electoral activity- partisan, non-partisan, or ballot issue.

    JDB- As for rights of association, free speech, whatever- you do not have a constitutional right to use public facilities for the exercise of your constitutional rights. Period. No trump involved there, your not even just barking up the wrong tree- you are in the wrong forest.

    And, JDB- The law is full of references to the mansion as a public building. In fact, the Governor does not pay rent. The mansion is an extension of the Office of the Governor, and its costs are appropriated through the Office of the Governor- as a line item. It is not “buildings open to the public”- it is “public buildings”- and there are many places in our state buildings where the public cannot go, unless invited. Just try to walk past reception and into the Governor’s Office on the second floor of the Leg Building, and you’ll see what I mean.

    Or try to just walk into the State Crime Lab.

    Just because an area is not open to the public does not mean you can conduct partisan campaign- or any campaign activity- there.

    And that is where talk of board visits to the Mansion, or whatever, miss the mark. The prohibition is on “campaign” activity. While all fundraising might be considered campaign activity, not all partisan activity is campaign activity. If the Governor hosts a social gathering of partisans, that is different than hosting a partisan fundraiser- or auctioning off a visit as a partisan fundraiser.

    Lots of misdirection from the liberals…

  57. 63

    John Barelli spews:

    Commentby the young rabbit— 9/16/06@ 6:28 pm

    I see YO is back from those fine folks at Sound Politics. You really must get that caps lock key fixed there, YO.

    YO, in his/her(?) various posts and posting identities is always good for the same on-topic, intelligent, well-thought-out posts that we have all come to expect from the fine folks over at Sound Politics.

    We liberals are always astonished at the clarity of thought from the far right wing as shown us by such posters as YO (aka young rabbit). Please, keep enlightening us poor liberals about the positions held by the extreme right.

  58. 64

    Jim King spews:

    By the way, LeftIsBest- this complaint is with the Executive Ethics Board, not the PDC. As this is assisting a federal campaign, the PDC might not have jurisdiction- but Executive Ethics clearly does, as it is a state executive officer using the facilities of an agency in violation of state law.

    But I wouldn’t encorage any piling on with this complaint, either. It only takes one complaint to get the process started.

  59. 65

    Janet S spews:

    Darryl – by your reading, the Sec of State, Treasurer and auditor are all supposed to be living in state-funded residences. This is clearly ridiculous, so I have doubts in your belief that some case law requires that the governor live at taxpayer expense.

    I have no problem with a governors mansion. I just get a little tired of all these claims that the governor’s life is in danger, so she needs 24/7 security. As a taxpayer, I want to see proof. Same with Sims.

  60. 66

    Jim King spews:

    One last wrinkle on the Constitutional provision- that language may have been interpreted to mean that the “offices” must reside within the bounds of the capital city, not the individuals. There is case law on the location of state offices, but not on residences of the persons themselves.

  61. 67

    Richard Pope spews:

    I am not sure how Washington Constitution Article III, § 24 should be interpreted. The words “at the seat of government [Olympia], at which place also the governor, secretary of state, treasurer and auditor shall reside” would seem to indicate that these four officials should reside in Olympia.

    Governor Christine Gregoire, Secretary of State Sam Reed, and Treasurer Mike Murphy all have their own privately-owned residences in Olympia, where they are registered to vote, and appear to satisfy this requirement.

    However, Auditor Brian Sonntag is registered to vote at his residence in Tacoma:


    While the definition of “reside” is broad, a person can “reside” in only one place, and has to register and vote wherever they may happen to “reside”.

    So is Sonntag complying with Washington Constitution Article III, § 24 if he actually resides in Tacoma? If not, what are the consequences for failing to satisfy this requirement? (Hopefully, we don’t end up with the runner-up in the 2004 election, Will Baker, taking over this office.) And if Sonntag really resides in Olympia, then why is he still registered to vote in Olympia?

    I remember reading some cases decided under Washington Constitution Article III, § 24 concerning where the enumerated statewide elected officials (which also include superintendent of public instruction, commissioner of public lands and attorney general) had to keep their offices and records, but I don’t recall any cases dealing with their personal residence locations.

  62. 68

    John Barelli spews:

    “I would have a problem with Rossi doing it and I would have a problem with President Bush doing it. I expect our leadership to not put themselves into that “teapot.”

    Commentby sgmmac— 9/17/06@ 2:51 pm

    Here is where I agree with you. I thought it was “tacky” at best when President Clinton used the Lincoln Bedroom as some sort of political bed-and-breakfast. What is legal is not always what is best, and I thought he did was in very poor taste.

    Of course, I was never President Clinton’s biggest fan. I had to hold my nose to vote for him the first time, and voted third-party the second time.

    In retrospect, I’m almost sorry that Bob Dole lost. I disagreed with Mr. Dole politically on many topics, but I think he was honest and would have brought a dignity back to the office of President that we have lost. I sincerely doubt that we would be in the mess we are today, with the President we have today, had Mr. Dole been President on 9/11, and I think President Clinton’s antics cost my party dearly in various Congressional races.

    Additionally, he would not have been tempted to do those tacky commercials. (Campaign debts must have been high.)

  63. 70

    Michael spews:

    There are tight restrictions on what religious activities may be held by university students in university dorms, because they are public property.

  64. 71

    Richard Pope spews:

    My compliments to Darryl for courteous and informed discussion of this issue. And for doing some substantial research on his own.

    There is a difference with university students and university housing. Dorms and campus apartments are made available to a wide variety of people on the same terms. So there is no issue with a student — who pays for their lodging — using their dwelling unit for whatever they please.

    Same thing applies to rooms in university buildings, which are made available to a wide variety of groups on equal terms. If the math society can get a room in the student union for a meeting, then the campus Democrat club can get a room on the same terms, and even invite Senator Cantwell to give a campaign speech.

    Lots of public facilities are properly used for political purposes. Many school districts, community centers, and convention centers rent out their facilities to a wide variety of outside groups. Political events are appropriately rented out on the same terms and conditions.

    By contrast, the Governor’s Mansion is not rented to any outside group on an equal basis. For example, if Stefan and I wanted to eat in the Governor’s Mansion, we wouldn’t be able to purchase dinner tickets and have the state executive chef cook up a meal for us and serve it to us. Rather than being available to all, this public resource (dinner in the Governor’s Mansion) is controlled by the Governor.

    So laws such as RCW 42.17.130 and RCW 42.52.180 don’t apply to public facilities and resources that are regularly sold or rented to the public on an equal basis. Instead, they apply to public facilities and resources that public officials control. The idea is to prevent corruption, undue influence, and private gain from government officials using government resources to influence political elections.

    It would be different if Gregoire instead offered a meal in a government cafeteria or dining room that was open to the public. I believe the Capitol (i.e. Legislative Building) where Gregoire has her official office has a cafeteria on the basement level that is open to the public.

    I think it would be perfectly legal (perhaps politically tacky — but I will try to refrain from making this kind of judgment) for Gregoire to offer lunch in this public cafeteria as a political fundraising auction prize. Jim King will probably disagree with me on this one, but I think the facilities in the Capitol and surrounding grounds can be used for political campaign purposes in the same manner that any member of the public can use them. Maybe you can’t hand out campaign flyers in the cafeteria, but I think having lunch on the same terms as are available to the public would be an acceptable activity.

    The issue of executive protection and transportation (i.e. State Troopers) for the Governor is different. We have decided that the Governor should be protected in all instances. This means considerable public resources are expended for the Governor to attend political events of all sorts. But only the Governor, and not any members of either official or campaign staffs, are entitled to this WSP transportation and protection.

    Apparently, this type of political fundraising at the Governor’s Mansion would be acceptable in either South Carolina or Nebraska. But this is Washington, and our current generally accepted conventions are different. This kind of thing hasn’t been done at the Governor’s Mansion in recent memory.

    Gregoire may very well be right when she said this happened when Dan Evans was Governor. Evans served from January 1965 to January 1977. Political campaign use of public facilities was perfectly legal until Initiative 276 (i.e. Chapter 42.17 RCW) was adopted in November 1972. (I was two years old when Evans was elected Governor, and Darcy Burner wasn’t even born yet.)

    Section 13 of Initiative 276 (RCW 42.17.130, the predecessor to RCW 42.52.180) banned political campaign use of public facilities. Other provisions of Initiative 276 required campaign finance disclosure, required personal finance disclosure of candidates and public officials, and enacted a public records disclosure law for the first time im state history. If Evans did use the Governor’s Mansion for political purposes, this could have been one of the motivating factors for adopting Initiative 276.

  65. 72

    Doctor JCH Kennedy spews:

    “The mansion has hosted many private events in the past, the Governor’s office says, including non-political functions (like a reception for the Boys & Girls Club).” [………………………………………………………………………Speaking of Boys & Girls Clubs, has Al Franken and Air America paid back the 850 grand they stole from the Weiss NYC Club [poor black kids]?] Just “axing”………………………..

  66. 73


    Richard Pope,

    “There is a difference with university students and university housing. Dorms and campus apartments are made available to a wide variety of people on the same terms. So there is no issue with a student – who pays for their lodging – using their dwelling unit for whatever they please.”

    I buy this argument for things like cafeterias on state-owned property (e.g. By George on the UW campus), museums, etc.

    Your ‘equal basis’ argument does not apply to many circumstances, like dorm rooms, state owned nursing homes, University president’s homes, and other occupations where state-owned residences are provided (light-house occupants and fire watch-tower personnel come to mind from the past). All of these things vary in their degree of ‘equal basis’, but are not just generally open to anybody as are public facilities. In fact, all of these residences constitute “private property” and establish a renter–landlord relationship between individuals and the state. The private property rights of renters in their residences (whether the landlord is state or privately owned) is well established in case law. The Governor’s mansion is no exception (in non-public, non-state office portions anyway).

    Likewise, I find little merit in your dorm-room ‘rent’ argument. The governor’s rent is simply picked up by the state because the authors of the constitution required residence. There are other examples of occupations where a residence comes as part of the job—and state employees in such jobs do not give up their rights to engage in political activity in the privacy of their residence.

    Finally, the “Use of Public Resources for Campaign Purposes” is a document applies to employees (including the governor) in the governors office. It is almost certain that it does not apply to the residence part of the executive mansion. If so, it would be almost impossible for the Governor to do anything political.

    The residence part of the governor’s mansion has a private phone line, and you can bet that Gregoire speaks to her campaign staff on that phone every morning and every evening. You can bet your bottom dollar that she isn’t finding a pay phone somewhere to call donors to ask for money. Likewise, she no doubt invites her staff over to the residence and plans campaing events and fundraisers over dinner. No doubt she regularly socializes in her home with friends and acquiantances who end up giving large donations to her campaign.

  67. 74

    John Barelli spews:

    Jim King (various posts) asks the question, would we be screaming about this if it were Gov Rossi.

    The answer is, probably yes. And we’d lose. And then about half of the folks here would bring it up every month or two as another of those things the evil Republicans did.

    All of the folks over at SP would defend it as being obviously another of those Democrat-raised non-issues.

    Instead, we have a Democrat Governor, so in this case, Mr. Sharkansky and his bunch get to have the fun yelling, and we get to call it a Republican-raised non-issue.

    As it is the Governor’s home, I have no doubt that the courts will give the Governor great latitude in her use of the private areas of that home, and I’m sure Governor Gregoire will be very careful to ensure that all costs are properly documented and reimbursed. There may even be some incidental taxpayer costs.

    It could be considered something like the President’s use of Air Force One to go to a campaign rally. From a practical standpoint, the President cannot just book a flight on United to go places, so he reimburses the government for the cost of first class tickets for people traveling for the campaign.

    The Governor is in a similar, although lesser situation. It is probably cheaper for the taxpayer for this dinner to occur at the mansion than it would be to pay for all the extra (non-reimbursable) security at a good restaurant.

    Mr Pope and the folks over at SP will have some fun with this for a while, the court will find that it is an acceptable use of the private areas of the mansion, and it will be forgotten, except for the occasional post over at SP of all the evil things they think Governor Gregoire has done.

    One last bit. This is not the first Governor’s mansion ever used in fundraising, and this same argument ends up being switched depending on which party holds the governorship.

    http://www.scheadlines.com/release.asp?relID=370 (Republican)

    http://nadc.nol.org/AdvisoryOp.....%20131.htm (Democrat)

    I found a bunch of others, both Democrats and Republicans. In all of the cases, the opposing party protested, even in cases where they had done the very same thing when their party was in control. In no case I found was the Governor ever forbidden to use the facilities of the Governor’s mansion for fundraising purposes.

    Eventually we’ll probably have another Republican in the Governor’s mansion. When he or she runs a fundraiser there, we’ll probably complain.

    And nobody else will care.

  68. 75

    Doctor JCH Kennedy spews:

    The recent remarks made by Pope Benedict XVI on Islam are threatening to ignite the entire Muslim world. Op-Eds published in the Arab newspapers slammed the pope even after the Vatican’s apology. The most extreme opinion was voiced by Hani Pahas in the London-based Arabic-language daily newspaper Al-Hayat, who wrote “the pope’s comments may lead to war; we fear that the pope’s statements may lead to a war that we, Muslims and Christians alike… [……OK….War it is. Break out two Tridents, unload all tubes on Muuuuuuuslim civilian targets, and the war is over before dinner tonight. It is that simple.]

  69. 76

    My Left Foot spews:

    sgmmac @ 22,

    I hate to point out the obvious (well, not really), How, just exactly, is this any different that Bush coming to WA and raising money for Sheriff Dave? What, one event is planned, the other spontaneous? They both are “selling” their time and “product”. How is it different?

    She is entitled to have ANYONE she pleases in her home. She is REQUIRED BY LAW to live there. What part of this don’t you understand?

    You know you can’t answer the question, honestly anyway.

  70. 79

    John Barelli spews:

    Jim King

    There are prohibitions in our leases in the apartment building I live in, just off the capitol campus, because the landlord chose to include them- specifically, no political signs in the windows. This is not an abridgement of “free speech”- I do not have to live here and I do not own the property. Any landlord- public or private- can make whatever rules they wish, so long as they do not violate the law or impair existing contracts (new rules have to wait for the new lease). Those choosing to live in publicly-funded housing have to live with the rules and obey the laws- especially when they are not paying rent (like the Governor).

    Yes, your landlord can make restrictions as to signs posted on your rented property but he may not make those restrictions simply on political signs. It’s an “all or nothing” situation. That’s why some landlords send letters to military families requesting they remove their “welcome home hubby” signs. (Of course, the smart ones seem to take a week or two to get those letters mailed for some reason.)

    Additionally, your landlord may restrict your use of the property for certain types of entertaining, but he may not restrict only that entertaining that is of a political nature.

    Essentially, the state can restrict Ms. Gregoire from having any dinner guests, (rights of the landlord) but may not say “you can only have non-political dinner guests” (rights of political expression and free association.)

    If the Governor would be permitted to raffle off a dinner at the mansion to benefit Washington homeless, then her rights of political expression and free association give her the right to raffle off that same dinner for a political candidate. Her Constitutional rights will trump the RCW.

    Courts are loathe to limit political speech and expression. So long as she makes it clear that this dinner is from her personally, not from the State of Washington, I think she’ll find herself on firm ground. She’s made that pretty clear already, although I expect that if she makes the claim in court, somebody on the far right will try to say otherwise.

    And while providing a “palace” for elected officials may seem anachronistic, at least one of the reasons for a special dwelling is as important as ever. The world is a crazy place, and being a prominent public figure has become a dangerous job.

    In the end, she may well decide to move the dinner in order to get this tempest back into its teapot. Still, don’t be too surprised when that same dinner guest is invited to some other function at the mansion, simply as a courtesy. I imagine that the folks howling about this have annoyed her enough that she will insist on giving whoever wins this a personally guided tour, and may even invite them to spend the night.

    Again, not for winning the raffle, but just to tweak her critics’ noses. After all, there is nothing in the RCW about that.

    In the end, the only folks really making a big deal of this are the folks over at SP and the other folks on the far right that have never quite gotten over losing the election. This seems more one of those “look, we can get her on this” issues, rather than any sort of actual ethical breach.

    They would have no problem with Governor Rossi doing the exact same thing.

  71. 80

    sgmmac spews:

    My left foot,

    There is no difference in Bush or Gregoire traveling. They both have airplanes, limo’s, SUV’s, and security. They are both entitled to it by virtue of their position.

    Gregoire’s boneheaded mistake was in auctioning dinner at the Governor’s Mansion. Had she auctioned dinner at the ritziest place in Seattle or Olympia, she would have been fine…..

    The Governor’s Mansion is the people’s mansion.

  72. 81

    My Left Foot spews:

    It is, for all intents and purposes, her personal residence. She can have any guest she wishes. End of story.

  73. 82

    David Wright spews:

    Like your campaign to to get a shareholder lawsuit filed against McGavick, this has less to do with the legal merits of the case than with getting “dirty laundry” aired in the press during the campaign season.

  74. 83

    Daddy Love spews:

    Bullshit. They’re claiming it’s illegal–it’s not. End of story. Complaints about what is “appropriate” is the province of opinion. Yours is noted, but not terribly important.

  75. 84

    Daddy Love spews:

    David Wright @ 13

    Like your campaign to to get a shareholder lawsuit filed against McGavick

    Oh, from teh guys who think that a guy who owes maria Cantwell money is influencing her votes? Sure, I’m sure Safeco thought that $298 million could never influence McGavick at all, and that he really worked so hard for them during those months he was running for the Senate that the money was totally worth it. It stinks to high heaven in a way that your trumped-up GOP bullshit doesn’t. But coming from teh party of permamnent corruption, I imagine you’re so used to the scent that you don’t notice it.

  76. 87

    Janet S spews:

    John – I was specifically referencing the current riots committed in the name of the Pope accusing Muslims of being violent. All of your references are about 911. I want to hear them denounce the current instigators and their brainwashed following. These people come out of mosques and burn Christian churches. Where is the outrage from their fellow Muslims?

    In fact, why aren’t Muslims outraged by their co-religionists bombing orphanges? Is it really okay to force captives to convert?

    I’m tired of Islamic fanatics intimidating and threatening those in the civilized world. I’m more tired of Democrats and western Muslims staying silent. You are only empowering them.

  77. 90

    John Barelli spews:

    Jim King

    It will be an interesting argument. The Governor will likely contend that the residential portion of the Governor’s mansion does not fall under the “facilities” definition. It could be argued that use of the Governor’s mansion is part of her pay, much like the parsonage is part of the pay for a minister, or military housing is part of the pay for active duty military.

    The court may also look at this as being an incidental use, necessary for the Governor to be able to avail herself of her Constitutionally guaranteed freedom of political expression. They may also consider this to be the least expensive method that she could use. Her Constitutional rights will trump the RCW.

    Essentially, she must use state facilites any time she campaigns. State troopers, state vehicles, state communications facilities and various state employees must travel with her. All of these have been found to be permissible, even though the RCW seems to specifically forbid that use.

    I will be interested to hear the arguments, but I expect that the courts will find in Ms. Gregoire’s favor. And the folks over at SP will consider that yet another bit of evidence that the courts are too liberal. Until, of course, we find ourselves with a Republican Governor. Then it will be ok.

  78. 91

    JDB spews:

    Richard at 76:

    Good point about a public facility being private for a time (after all, I think the Republican Convention can exclude anyone they want from their convention, even when using a publicly funded facility, as can any other user of that facility).

    But that basically answer your complaint about the Governor’s mansion (and shows an question that Jim King avoided). Where does it say that the Governor’s mansion is a public building? I would bet (and would do the research, but it is too late), that there are statutes or administrative code that requires the Legislative buildings and the Temple of Justice, or, for that matter, agency buildings to be open to the public. However, as far as I can tell, the Governor’s mansion is the residence of the Governor, and she may invite in and exclude whoever she wants whenever she wants. I find absolutely no WAC or RCW that requires it to be open to the public (I agree, I found the same three RCWs you found).

    Let’s face it, the law is realistic, and a residence (whether the Governor’s mansion, or a college president’s home or a house that a ranger is required to live in), is different from an office. I would not be at all surprised if there is a law making it unlawful for people to have sex in government facilities, but do we really expect people living in a residency provided by the public as part of their job to be celibate?

  79. 92

    LeftIsBest spews:

    Does the media understand just how big a loooooser Pope really is? Does the media realize this fool is someone every attorney in town considers a laughing stock? How many frivolous petitions has Dickey filed ? I’ve lost count. He’s the Tim Lieman of politics. I understan he’s in some record book for most losses in a political election. He’s been through a messy divorce that probably impacted his state of mind and may be the cause of his strange behavior but really, is this all you right wing liars have? A 4000 dinner? That’s the cost for the fuel in one of Bush’s jet rides to Crawford for his five out seven days vacation! Get real.

  80. 94

    Jim King spews:

    Uh, what law says the Governor HAS to live in the mansion? That’s just another lie put out by her staff.

    And just what is the historic precedent dating back to Evans? Did Evans hold a fundraiser for himself or some other candidate at the mansion? Given the first lie- about having to live in the mansion- this assertion is hardly to be taken at face value.

    And think about the hypocrisy of ya’ll- because you know you’d be screaming loud if Rossi had won and then broke precedent (and the law) and used the mansion for fundraising.

    Actually, it is very doubtful that any prior Governor auctioned off a dinner at the mansion to support a political campaign. Our state has tougher ethics laws and prohibitions than most- or the feds- on use of public facilities and resources for politicking, and the Gov would be better off to just say she was overtaken by the exhuberance of the moment and that the dinner will be with her and hubbie at some private facility.

    Otherwise ya’ll can apologize to Pope after he wins this one.

    As an aside- the attempt to get around this by pointing to the non-profit foundation makes two mistakes- the foundation does not own any portion of the mansion (it simply underwrites some of the costs of upkeep) and as a 501(c)(3) the foundation cannot be making campaign contributions, either.

  81. 95

    Daddy Love spews:

    Jim King

    what is the historic precedent dating back to Evans?

    You’ll have to ask Darryl , dude.

    you know you’d be screaming loud if Rossi had won and then broke precedent (and the law) and used the mansion for fundraising.

    Wrong. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve already said that it’s legal and it would be no big deal. This is a tempest in a teapot, and you screaming louder doesn’t make it more important.

    If you have a citation from (as Darryl mentioned) RCW 42.52.180, WAC, university housing handbooks, the Ethics Board FAQ, and Washington State case law that would persuade us, please do a littel fucking homework and cite it. Your opinion sounds uninformed.

    And i’m not hlding my breath for Richard Pope the Loser to ger anywhere with this.

  82. 98

    JDB spews:


    Richard Pope at least realizes it is not as cut and dry as wants and is asking hard questions. If you were doing the same, you would have spotted the fallacy of your logic when you mentioned this:

    “the state is required to provide the living accommodations, which is why we paid for an alternative residence for the Locke’s while the bats were dealt with.”

    So, since I’m sure the State just rented a private facility when Governor Locke was out of the Mansion, and suddenly was able to do whatever he wanted? Or did a private residence suddenly become a public facility?

    You have to realize that a residence is different an office. The Governor’s mansion is the home of the Governor. Until you grasp the important legal implications of that fact, your analysis is faulty. You are trying to get the answer you want at the expense of the truth.

  83. 99

    Richard Pope spews:

    Jim King @ 63

    Thanks for the reference to that 1979 Attorney General Opinion. It does raise one disturbing issue. It refers to RCW 41.06.250(1), which provides in relevant part: “No person shall solicit on state property or property of a political subdivision of this state any contribution to be used for partisan, political purposes.”

    Unlike RCW 42.17.130 and RCW 42.52.180, RCW 41.06.250(1) contains NO EXCEPTIONS whatsoever.

    So RCW 42.17.130(1) and RCW 42.52.180(2)(c) allow public facilities to be rented to political organizations and candidates on the same basis as they are rented to other groups. Many public agencies, such as schools, community centers, and convention centers, are rented to groups in general, and certainly can be rented for political campaign purposes.

    But the express language of RCW 41.06.250(1) would prohibit any solicitations of funds for “partisan, political purposes” in these same facilities, even if they were otherwise being rented out for a political campaign purpose. You can go and campaign and politic to your heart’s content, but you had better not ask anyone for so much as a penny?

    How can this be? Both the Democrats and Republicans held their 2006 conventions in the City of Yakima Convention Center. While many delegates paid in advance, many of them had to pay their registration fees at the entrance — which was also on public property. Was this a NO-NO? Both parties had dinners in the same facility in the evening to raise funds. Was it a NO-NO to collect the fees for the dinner on public property? And I am sure numerous efforts were made during these events — in both parties’ conventions — to ask people to give money to their respective partisan causes.

    And what about partisan fundraising dinners and other events that are held on public property? There was a fundraising dinner for one of the congressional candidates at the Mercer Island Community Center a few months back. Surely a fair rental value was paid for the facility (on the same basis as any other user would pay), but what about RCW 41.06.250(1)?

    There must be something that “gives” with RCW 41.06.250(1). However, the 1979 Attorney General opinion held that the funds solicitation prohibition for partisan purposes on public property was absolute. Ironically, that same AG Opinion said that public property could be rented out for political party conventions — but failed to expressly address the issue of whether any money could be collected at these same conventions!

  84. 100

    Mike Barer spews:

    My Goodness, when I was on Democratic State board, I went to a couple events at the governor’s mansion and did not think twice about it. Richard P. Win an election and maybe I’ll listen to you!