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Safeco CEO quits, may run for office

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review

Seattle Mike McGavick, chairman and CEO of property and casualty insurance provider Safeco Corp., announced Monday that he plans to step down as chief executive next month to consider “the possibility of public service.”

McGavick has been mentioned as a possible Republican challenger to U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., next year.

McGavick, who served as chief of staff and campaign adviser to former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash., will leave his post effective Aug. 31, retaining his duties as chairman of the board.

“This decision allows me to give full consideration to the possibility of public service,” McGavick said in a statement released by the company. “I leave with deep gratitude to the people of Safeco and great optimism about the company’s future.”

Safeco said a search is under way for McGavick’s successor.

Dino Rossi, who lost a hand recount of last year’s governor’s race to Democrat Christine Gregoire, said Friday that he will not run against Cantwell. He said he did not want to disrupt his family and is focusing on working for the state from home.

Boeing revises 737, lands 30-plane sale

Seattle The Boeing Co. launched a new version of its narrow-body 737 jet on Monday, as it completed a 30-plane sales agreement with Lion Air, a low-cost Indonesian carrier.

The 737-900ER, formerly known as the 737-900X, will carry more passengers and fly farther than existing models of the single-aisle plane.

Boeing said Lion Air’s order, which included purchase rights for another 30 planes, was worth $3.9 billion at list prices, though airlines typically negotiate substantial discounts.

The new plane will be the same size as the current 737-900, but will carry an additional 26 passengers, boosting the maximum capacity to 215 in a single class.

Aerodynamic and structural design changes, including stronger wings and improvements to the leading- and trailing-edge flap systems, will increase the plane’s range to roughly 3,680 miles.

The 737-900 flies up to 3,160 miles. The 737-800 flies up to 3,380 miles.

The first 737-900ER is scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2007.

Justice appeals ruling on tobacco profits


The Justice Department on Monday asked the Supreme Court to allow it to seek $280 billion in past profits from tobacco companies.

An appeals court had barred the government from seeking the money in a major blow to the long-running federal racketeering lawsuit against the cigarette companies.

The request came at the deadline for the administration to decide whether to appeal the February ruling, by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, that the government could not use a federal racketeering law to seek the huge penalty.

The $280 billion is the most ever sought in a civil racketeering trial. The government has described the sum as an estimate of money the companies earned illegally through fraudulent activities such as marketing to children and denying doing so.

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