Govt. spokespeople speak for their own

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.'

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