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Eye On Olympia

“You don’t know Laurie Dolan. You should.”

So begins a lengthy cover story on former Spokanite Laurie Dolan in the latest issue of Sitting Duck, a quirky, tabloid-format free newspaper in Olympia. The profile is the longest story in the newspaper. (The next-longest? A review of “Cannibal! The Musical.”)

Dolan, well-known in Spokane for her work with School District 81 and her runs against GOP state senators Jim West and Brad Benson, has for the past two years headed up Gov. Chris Gregoire’s policy-advisor staff in Olympia. It’s a low-key but important job, and Dolan remains a highly-placed touchstone for Gregoire on Eastern Washington issues.

But back to Sitting Duck. The full text of the story, regrettably, doesn’t seem to be posted online. But here are a couple of excerpts from the “exclusive interview with one of the most important women in Washington,” written by Jennifer Zahn Speiler:

I was fifteen minutes early when I arrived at her office in the Insurance Building, which is directly accross from legislative chambers on the Capitol Campus. An assistant said Dr. Dolan had stepped out to grab a sandwich, but before I could sit, she appeared with a take-out bag in hand and immediately invited me into her office, where she offered me a bottle of water. For someone with daily access to the state’s chief exec, Laurie Doland is surprisingly unpretentious. I got the feeling she would have gladly shared her lunch with me, had I asked.

and this:

After I had said goodbye and was strolling across the campus back to my car on that crisp fall day, I reflected about how it was perhaps fortunate that Laurie Dolan had not won elected office; forshe has remained above the fray of politics — which is, after all, a filthy business. She exudes an unmistakable presence of character and rectitude — enough to maybe make you feel a little better about the people who are in charge around here.


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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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