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Originally published Saturday, October 4, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Al Gore coming to Seattle for Gregoire fundraiser

Former Vice President Al Gore is coming to Seattle Oct. 24 to help raise money for Gov. Christine Gregoire's re-election campaign.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Nobel Prize winner, former vice president and "Saturday Night Live" spoof target Al Gore is coming to Seattle on Oct. 24 to help raise money for Gov. Christine Gregoire, who already has shattered the state campaign-fundraising record she set in 2004.

Gore will give a luncheon speech at the Sheraton, according to the Gregoire campaign, with donations starting at $150.

The increasingly rancorous race between Gregoire and Republican challenger Dino Rossi could use some humor like Gore's 2006 appearance on "Saturday Night Live," in which he imagined he had been president for six years: Michael Moore was a Supreme Court Justice, we had too much gasoline and the country's budget surplus was a "perilously low" $11 trillion. ("And don't get any ideas. That money is staying in the very successful lockbox," Gore deadpanned.)

The 2008 governor's race, the most expensive in state history, now exceeds $19 million in contributions directly to the candidates ($10 million to Gregoire; $9 million to Rossi).

Independent groups such as Building Industry Association of Washington and union-backed Evergreen Progress PAC already have spent another $6 million attacking Gregoire or Rossi — and those groups and others are sitting on several million dollars more, likely to bankroll additional attacks.

Bob Young: 206-464-2174

or byoung@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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