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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

March 19, 2009 at 6:20 PM

Here’s why Gary Locke got $19K from Microsoft’s PR firm

The most surprising thing about Gary Locke’s financial disclosure today wasn’t that he made more than $1 million last year, mostly from lawyering and serving on Safeco’s board.

It was that he also made $19,250 consulting for Waggener Edstrom, the Bellevue-based PR firm known mostly for its longtime association with Microsoft.

Locke, the Commerce Secretary nominee and former Washington governor, is tight with Bill and Melinda Gates, so it makes you wonder.

But it turns out to have nothing to do with Microsoft.

WaggEd’s Tim Smith said Locke was “until recently” on an advisory council the firm created in 2007 to help launch its public affairs practice. Smith

characterized the payments as an “honorarium” for his service on the council.

The council was formed to “provide strategic counsel to Waggener Edstrom’s Public Affairs practice and its clients on a range of issues impacting business, government policy and public debate,” the firm’s 2007 announcement said.

Other founding members included Daniel W. Caprio, Jr., a fellow at The Progress & Freedom Foundation; Larry Irving, former assistant secretary of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration; and Lance Tarrance, founding partner of RT Strategies public opinion firm and former President of Gallup China.

Comments | Topics: commer secretary, Gary Locke, Microsoft

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