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Locke’s Whirlwind Coast-To-Coast Tour Nets Him $137,000

Gary Locke has been racking up the frequent flier miles and big bucks lately to bankroll his race for governor with out-of-state cash.

Locke, the Democratic nominee, is heavily favored to win the race. Several polls have shown him with leads over GOP candidate Ellen Craswell ranging to more than 20 points.

The Seattle Weekly even ran a cover story this week declaring Locke the winner. But the assumption Locke will win could help him lose.

Democrats are fretting voter turnout will be low. And campaign contributions to Locke’s coffers have been sluggish.

“He’s such an overwhelming favorite people are putting their money somewhere else where they feel it’s needed more,” said Sheryl Hutchison, Locke’s campaign press secretary.

So Locke went on a four-day hunt for cash in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and New York City last week. He raised about $137,000, Hutchison said.

Hillary Rodham Clinton feted Locke at the Washington, D.C., event, held at a downtown hotel.

Craswell, meanwhile, continues to solicit contributions largely the old-fashioned way. She’s made no out-of-state trips to raise money, and has filled her war chest with the help of more than 12,000 people making small contributions.

Ad untruths

The Locke campaign is fuming about the state GOP’s most recent attack ad. It hits Locke for a Seattle-King County Department of Public Health program intended to help prostitutes get out of the business.

“Gary Locke says ‘yes’ to a plan which would give self-esteem training to prostitutes and pay for a newsletter for those employed in the sex industry,” the ad says.

The $79,000 grant from the U.S. Conference of Mayors is paid for with federal tax dollars. The program is administered by a private contractor, and intended to fight the spread of AIDS among female prostitutes and the community.

The program provides counseling, condoms, safe-sex education, and encourages prostitutes to find another line of work.

Locke, the King County executive, says he doesn’t support prostitution. But he backs fighting AIDS.

He asked Craswell to pressure state party leaders to pull the ad after Thursday’s debate in Spokane. She refused.

Same old in Seattle

Seattleites won some and lost some in the PR wars last week.

Fortune Magazine named the city the best in the country to live and raise a family in, an accolade so familiar by now the city shrugged it off with snide, smug newspaper stories.

The Emerald City is routinely listed as one of the top places to live or work by various publications.

Fortune latched onto Seattle’s outdoor scene, gushing that Seattle is a place where people can kayak and bike and so on after work.

Good thing the writers visited before the end of daylight-saving time this weekend. Now, it will be too wet and dark to do much of anything except work and sleep.

Of course, that’s when Seattle’s legendary coffee drinkers hit their stride, boosting Seattle to the number one slot in the country for swilling java.

Until now.

The Associated Press reports Seattle was knocked from the top perch by Syracuse, N.Y., according to a survey for Maxwell House Coffee.

But after all, it’s colder in Syracuse.

Foreman shall return

Rep. Larry Sheahan, R-Rosalia, wants to move up in the ranks of House leadership and he’ll probably pull it off.

Sheahan is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and is finishing his second term. He’s campaigning to be elected House Majority Leader by his colleagues.

The incumbent, Rep. Dale Foreman, R-Wenatchee, opened up the spot when he lost his bid for governor in the primary. That cost him his House seat.

But odds are Foreman will be back in the public eye. He’s already talking about running against U.S. Sen. Patty Murray.

, DataTimes MEMO: West Side Stories runs every other week.

West Side Stories runs every other week.

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