Washington Place is not for political gain
A cruise line has told guests that Gov. Linda Lingle will attend a reception for them at Washington Place.
NO, Washington Place is not being turned into the state-level equivalent of the Lincoln Bedroom or Camp David as a vehicle for luring political donors. The activity -- meals, not overnight stays -- is upfront, the money goes into nobody's political coffer and the governor is not for rent, despite a recent cruise company's overboard bluster. Perhaps clarification is needed.
In a news release last week, Regent Seven Seas Cruises said guests aboard a 115-night world cruise departing San Francisco on Jan. 6 have been offered "a rare treat" a week later in Honolulu: "a private evening reception featuring Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle at her ceremonial residence, Washington Place."
Lingle adviser Lenny Klompus told the Star-Bulletin's Richard Borreca that the governor had been invited to attend the event but has not promised to be there. While Washington Place is the governor's "official residence," according to the state's Web site, she lives in a two-story home behind Washington Place built five years ago for Hawaii's chief executive.
The fees for private events, ranging from $500 for nonprofits to $3,500, go to the Washington Place Foundation to help with research, preservation and restoration, said Glenn Shigeta, director of the mansion, which is listed as a National Historic Landmark.
Lingle sometimes attends such Washington Place events, but not always, Shigeta said. Whether or not she does, state law forbids the structure from being used for political meetings or fundraisers.
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