Gregoire's stories of personal hardship not confirmed

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by LINDA BRILL / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on August 13, 2010 at 6:18 PM

SEATTLE - Governor Chris Gregoire had done her homework when talking about budget numbers during a press conference Thursday. Then, she turned to a more personal note.

Gregoire told the story of  "a 62-year-old woman who was laid off" and another story of "an unemployed man who is studying to become a nurse."

But, the Governor's office could not confirm the stories. The Governor did not know the identity of the people she profiled.

"I would be very surprised if any elected officials, Democrat or Republican, that makes these up any more," said political consultant Cathy Allen. She says searching out personal stories is an old political tradition.

Pres. Obama used 11-year-old Marcelas Owens of Seattle to promote his health care agenda.  But, a personal story can backfire. When presidential candidate John McCain introduced Joe The Plumber, it was later revealed that Joe wasn't licensed to be a plumber.

To prepare for her speech, Gov. Gregoire asked her staff to find some personal stories for her to tell. The Governor's office says they have every reason to believe the people and their problems are real. But, so far, no one has been able to verify that their stories are true.

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