DENVER: John Wright, acting head communicator for the Department of
the Interior, walked away with this year's Communicator of the Year
award at the National Association of Government Communicators annual
conference last week.
The conference was held over three days and attracted more than 100
spokespeople from various government agencies. Speakers included Linda
Edwards, former press secretary to then-Governor George W. Bush; Rene
Henry, director of communications for the EPA Mid-Atlantic region; and
Dick Wadhams, Colorado Governor Bill Owens' press secretary.
Edwards, who served as Bush's spokesperson for the final year-and-a-half
of his governorship, spoke of the difficulties of drawing the line
between being a state employee and working for a suddenly national
figure. While state law forbade her from working on Bush's campaign, the
line, she said, was not always so well-defined.
'Suddenly it seemed that every day there were these new studies coming
out that put Texas last or second-to-last in everything,' she said.
Subsequently, she devoted much time to dispelling the myth that Texas
was a 'third-world country.'