Bush Raises $2.4 Million Near Seattle

President Bush (search) raised $2.4 million at the home of a prominent business leader.

The Friday night Republican party fund-raiser, at the lakefront home of former Simpson Timber Chairman Gary Reed (search), was closed to the public, in contrast to Thursday night's fund-raiser in Santa Monica, Calif., where California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared with the president.

The president left the area Saturday morning, departing Boeing Field about 8:25 a.m.

U.S. Rep. Jennifer Dunn (search), head of the Bush-Cheney Washington re-election campaign, said the Republican National Committee will bank the proceeds and use the money for get-out-the-vote efforts in competitive states.

Police in this posh suburb east of Seattle had braced for anywhere from 200 to 1,000 demonstrators and told them they'd have to stay in Medina Park.

Roughly 100 anti-Bush demonstrators gathered at the park, as did about a dozen Bush supporters.

Two demonstrators, dressed in orange jumpsuits with ankles shackled and hands cuffed in front of them, wore plastic masks depicting the president and Vice President Dick Cheney. They accused the Bush administration of committing war crimes in Iraq.

"The cardinal rule of international law is: don't start a war — and we started a war," said Steve Bomkamp, 54, an electrical technician from Seattle, who wore the Cheney mask.

Around 6 p.m., some 60 demonstrators tried to march closer to the Reed home but were blocked by police on bicycles and soon dispersed.

After landing Friday afternoon at Boeing Field in Seattle, Bush said European nations should end their subsidies of Boeing rival Airbus. He declared the United States is prepared to take action before the World Trade Organization to stop them.

Bush made the comments after meeting with Boeing executives and employees in a company hangar.

During a campaign stop earlier Friday in Beaverton, Ore., Bush surrounded himself with small business owners and touted his economic policies.

Ken Hankin, a 40-year-old laid-off Boeing engineer from Seattle, stood on a roadside leading to the main Medina protest. He said Friday evening that Bush administration tax cuts have made the rich richer while jobs for the middle class are disappearing.

"It's the Wal-Martization of America — creating very few who have the money" amid widespread job losses, said Hankin, who has been struggling to find a new job for 18 months.

Meanwhile, 32 Washington state business leaders denounced Bush's economic policies in an ad, sponsored by the Washington state Democrats, that ran Friday in the Seattle-based Daily Journal of Commerce. It was the first in a series of such ads.

The ad cited the country's trade deficit and the loss of both private sector and manufacturing jobs, including more than 100,000 jobs lost in Washington state.

The executives included Jim Sinegal, president and CEO of Costco Wholesale and a prominent Democrat.

Rick Bender, president of the Washington State Labor Council, also blasted the Bush administration's jobs record, saying most new jobs being created have low wages and few or no benefits.

"More needs to be done on this economy, but things are moving in the right direction, and Sen. Kerry's policies would reverse that," responded Yier Shi, a Republican National Committee spokesman.

Bush lost Washington by about 5 percentage points in 2000, but Dunn said she is confident the president can win the state this year.

A poll of likely voters in Washington state this week shows that the Kerry-Edwards ticket leads Bush-Cheney 51 percent to 42 percent.

Strategic Vision, LLC, an Atlanta-based Republican polling firm, surveyed 801 likely voters by telephone Monday through Wednesday, asking them who they'd vote for if the election were held that day. The margin of error was 3 percent.