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Bipartisan effort rescues governor's seals


UPI News Service, 10/03/2011 

A Republican staffer reached "across party lines" following a car accident to save two California state seals belonging to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown.

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Brown's chief deputy press secretary, Elizabeth Ashford, had the seals in a suitcase in the trunk of her car at 6 p.m. Saturday when another driver allegedly ran a red light and crashed into her vehicle at a Sacramento intersection, totaling her car and injuring her, The Sacramento Bee reported Monday.

As emergency personnel were loading Ashford into an ambulance she told responders about the precious cargo she had been carrying.

"Listen, there's this suitcase in the back of the car," Ashford said.

Firefighters retrieved the suitcase and were in the process of putting it into the ambulance when Trisha Richins, acting director of member services for the Assembly Republican Caucus who witnessed the accident, offered to take the seals with her for safekeeping.

"She was reaching across party lines," Ashford said, "as they're loading me onto the ambulance."

The governor's office was to get the seals back Monday.

Ashford was taken to a local hospital, treated and released Saturday.

"I'm a little banged up, but I'm OK," Ashford said.


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