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Seattle trip funded by governor's campaign

Gov. Kate Brown made time for an official gubernatorial office meeting with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee during a reelection campaign trip to Seattle.

COURTESY PHOTO - Gov. Kate BrownSALEM – Oregon taxpayers got a break paying for a meeting between Gov. Kate Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee March 23.

Instead, Brown's campaign donors partially footed the bill for the meeting on issues facing the Pacific Northwest.

Brown took a flight to Seattle March 23 for several campaign events and later that day met with Inslee for 30 minutes as part of her duties as governor, according to her calendar.

The two governors discussed issues facing the Northwest, said Chris Pair, the governor's communications director.

Topics covered their skill training initiatives, Future Ready Oregon; addressing climate change and maintaining regional infrastructure, Pair said.

The trip to Seattle March 23-25 was "a campaign trip," said Christian Gaston, the governor's campaign spokesman.

The meeting with Inslee was the only official gubernatorial meeting during the trip, Gaston said.

"No travel, meals or lodging costs for the governor were covered by taxpayer dollars," he said. "All the campaign events were private events."

The expenses had yet to be reported on the Secretary of State's campaign finance activity system as of Thursday afternoon.

Brown's calendar shows she had campaign events between 11 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. and at 6:15 p.m. March 23 and met with Inslee at 5:30 p.m. that day at Seattle's Edgewater Hotel. The following day, Brown had campaign events between 8 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. and after lunch, at 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. She flew home to Portland March 25.

Her campaign finance records show she received campaign donations from Seattle sources March 26. She received $2,500 from Vulcan Inc. of Seattle, $5,000 from Peter Goldman, an attorney with the Washington Forest Law Center, and $5,000 from Martha Kongsgard, president of the Puget Sound Partnership, and president of Kongsgaard-Goldman Seattle Foundation, a foundation that gives support to nonprofits addressing environmental issues.