Eye On Olympia

MONDAY, JUNE 16, 2008, 10:58 A.M.

Demo convention: the abbreviated version…

Ahh, sunny Spokane. Here's how things went this weekend at the state Democratic Party convention:

-There was general agreement on the party platform.

-Gov. Chris Gregoire blasted her presumptive Republican challenger, former state Sen. Dino Rossi, as someone who "pretends he is an outsider who has never seen Olympia, Washington," criticized the state budget that he (and Democrats) wrote, and said the difference between Rossi and unpopular president George W. Bush is

"Nothing. Absolutely nothing."

-More re: the governor: This from the S-R's Jim Camden, covering the convention for us:

There's no doubt who this convention is designed to boost.

Sure, there are cardboard cutouts of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the grand hallway, and paraphernalia for candidates of all levels. But the Washington Democrats, like their Republican counterparts two weeks ago, are focusing on the governor's race as they gather for their convention.

Want proof? Chris Gregoire's signs out number every other candidate's in the grand hall.

Her volunteers are walking around in white t-shirts with her name plastered across their chests.

Her smiling face adorns every identification tag, turning every delegate, alternate and guest into a walking campaign sign for Gregoire.

-Longtime State Rep. Jim McIntire got the Democratic nod as one of two Democrats running for state treasurer. (The other is ChangMook Sohn, who for years has been the Legislature's chief economic weather forecaster.)

-Compared the Republican version a couple of weeks ago, the Tacoma News-Tribune's Niki Sullivan reported:

it's a bit more laid back: There aren't as many security guards and we can walk wherever we want (even on the floor!) without supervision. Music (mostly 90s rock, it seems) is often played while candidates approach the stage.

Another difference: There are a lot more bloggers covering the event -- including partisan bloggers. I'm still getting used to sitting at the press table and having my next-door neighbor clap and cheer during candidate speeches.

-Democrats also endorsed former lawmaker and current union president Randy Dorn in his quest to unseat state Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson.

-Meanwhile, in Idaho: The state Republican convention proved more colorful, with delegates ousting the current party chairman, who promptly said he planned "to largely withdraw from politics" and also booting three Ron Paul delegates. More on the former.

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