WASHINGTON -- A day after winning the Republican nomination for a Washington state U.S. Senate seat, Mike McGavick flew to the other Washington to attend a series of fundraisers, including a $1,000 per person reception sponsored by the National Mining Association.
In a flurry of events aimed at kicking off the general election campaign against Democratic incumbent Maria Cantwell, McGavick was also guest of honor Wednesday at a $500-a-person reception hosted by the GOP senatorial campaign committee and a $1,000-per-plate dinner at a Capitol Hill restaurant.
The afternoon reception featured White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten and Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C, chairwoman of the GOP campaign group, while the dinner was headlined by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. Many Republican senators also were invited.
The fundraising didn't stop there. McGavick was scheduled to appear Thursday with Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, at a $250-per-person lunch near the Capitol.
McGavick's spokesman, Elliott Bundy, said the fundraising blitz was needed to balance Cantwell's huge advantage in campaign cash. As of Aug. 30, Cantwell reported more than $5 million in the bank, to just $2.8 million on hand for McGavick.
Cantwell has raised more than $16 million since taking office in 2001, while McGavick, a former Safeco Corp. CEO, has raised $7.4 million to date.
Cantwell's campaign declined to comment, but a spokesman for Washington state Democrats blasted McGavick's fundraising spree.
"Washington, D.C., is hopelessly broken and Mike McGavick has the solution: gas up the plane and go see his lobbyist pals back East," said Kelly Steele, spokesman for Washington State Democrats.
Calling McGavick President Bush's "hand-picked candidate," Steele said "McGavick's first move (as the GOP nominee) is to head to D.C. for his final marching orders from Bush and the special-interest lobbyists bankrolling his campaign to rubber stamp their failed agenda."
Asked for a response, Bundy was prepared: "I would say thank you to Kelly Steele and the Democratic party and Sen. Cantwell's campaign for proving our point. They are running a typical Washington, D.C., campaign. It's an attack-and-avoid campaign."
Washington state residents "are sick and tired" of such partisan politics, Bundy said, "and with every word (Democrats) say they prove our point exactly."
"We're active in over 150 campaigns this election cycle," she said, noting that the group's next event is for Democratic Rep. Alan Mollohan of West Virginia.
Bundy also said there was nothing special about a trip to Washington to raise money, and said McGavick has made no promises to the mining industry.
Comment: Well, the obvious is blinding clear. But until control of the Senate returns to the States, this will only grow.