Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Sen. Clinton to attend fund-raiser near Bellevue

Blaine County is shoring up its reputation as a fund-raising stop for heavy hitting politicos from around the country.

As part of a fund-raising campaign for her 2006 bid for U.S. Senate, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., will speak at a barbecue near Bellevue on Sunday, July 9, at 1 p.m. The event will be at Tom O'Gara's Silver Spring Ranch.

In a twist on political predictability, O'Gara hosted a 2003 fund-raiser for President George W. Bush's re-election campaign. Vice President Dick Cheney was the event's featured speaker.

Local Democrats are, nonetheless, excited about the visit.

"She has many supporters, although I can only speak for Blaine County," said Betty Murphy, chair of the Blaine County Democrats. "We're delighted she's going to be a visitor here."

Also during the 2004 presidential campaign, Teresa Heinz Kerry breezed through town to visit friends and raise dough for her husband's presidential bid. Heinz Kerry and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry own a vacation home north of Ketchum.

The fund-raiser was said to be the largest Democratic money-raising event the state of Idaho has ever had, raising more than $300,000.

According to a biography posted on the Internet by The Aspen Institute, O'Gara is chairman of the Cincinnati, Ohio-based O'Gara Company, focused on solutions for homeland security, counter-terrorism and low intensity conflict.

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