According to a statement released today by Christine Gregoire’s campaign, a $50 million yacht and $5.4 million mansion given to her by the state’s Indian tribes do not constitute a conflict of interest, and anyone that suggests they do is racist, and probably also sexist.
While recent headlines have been focused on over $650,000 in contributions to Gregoire’s campaign from the tribes, the personal gifts of the yacht and mansion were not previously public knowledge.
“This is a preemptive strike against all the hateful bigots out there that simply do not understand the normal and natural flow of politics,” said Debra Carnes, Gregoire’s campaign communication director.
In addition to the house and the boat, the statement from the campaign also revealed that the tribes have given hundreds of smaller gifts to Gregoire over the last few years, ranging from “a few dozen iPhones” to “thousands of pounds of awesome personal fireworks.”
“It is utterly preposterous to suggest that the governor would somehow be influenced by these gifts,” said the campaign’s press secretary, who asked not to be named. “It really is amazing the crazy accusations that people will throw around in an election year.”
The statement described the notion that massive gifts by the tribes create an appearance of conflict of interest as “delusional” and “so entirely implausible as to be laughable.” It also said that those making such accusations “are quite clearly jealous of the tribes and of women.”
“I rejected the gambling compact because I realized that realistically, what would the state do with $140 million a year,” Gregoire is quoted as saying in the statement, referencing her 2005 decision to turn down a gaming compact between the tribes and the state. “I mean really, Washington State’s economy is literally the envy of the entire planet. We don’t need the tribes’ money.”
Although she received the deed to the 9,000 square foot Sammamish estate just weeks before her decision to nix the lucrative agreement, and was given the 120-foot boat mere days after, the gifts were described by the campaign as nothing more than a friendly gesture.
“It’s a sad day in America when a sitting politician can’t receive a few million dollars worth of personal gifts from a group that stands to make obscene amounts of money as a result of her decisions without being accused of impropriety,” said Carnes.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story included a picture of the incorrect yacht.