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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Olympia

More evidence we’re in for a big-money cage match for governor…

Although reportedly trailing Gov. Chris Gregoire in fundraising last month, Republican challenger Dino Rossi recently celebrated a milestone: racking up as many individual campaign contributions as he got during his entire 2004 campaign.

To thank the 30,746th donor this year, Rossi led a sort of Prize Patrol trip to the door of an Auburn woman named Rhonda. (The prize: some balloons and Rossi's 2005 book.)

Along the way, Rossi tells the video camera: "Sixty two percent of our contributors now are people that are new to the campaign, people that did not participate last time," he said.

The soundtrack? The Beach Boys' "Help Me, Rhonda," which abruptly cuts out just before the final words of "Help me Rhonda, yeah, get her out of my heart."

Gov. Chris Gregoire, meanwhile, got the endorsement today of the Washington State Labor Council. At the group's annual convention, more than 350 union delegates voted -- unanimously -- to back her. They represent more than 400,000 Washington union members.

Here's Rossi's video clip:

Short takes and breaking news from the Washington Legislature and the state capital.