Commerce Secretary Locke Needs No Introduction To Corporate America

WASHINGTON — Gary Locke may be new to the Commerce Department, but corporate America knows the former Washington governor well.

Companies spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to help elect him.

An Associated Press review of his campaign finance reports show Locke donors included home-state companies Microsoft and Boeing, two companies whose issues Locke will almost certainly encounter as a Cabinet secretary.

Fortune 500 companies and other businesses gave at least $800,000 to the Democrat’s campaigns for governor, including at least $500,000 for his easy 2000 re-election.

Washington is among several states that let businesses donate to gubernatorial campaigns. Locke’s donors include a wide variety of businesses, from Northwest Airlines and Coca-Cola to drug makers like Pfizer and Merck, oil companies such as Texaco, and banks including Wells Fargo and Washington Mutual.