PENDLETON - Numerous area residents received personal invitations over the weekend from U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith to attend a Bush-Cheney rally in Pendleton Friday featuring the vice president.

The taped phone message, sent to local people listed in a Republican data base, explained that tickets will be needed to attend the event at the Pendleton Convention Center.

Tickets are being distributed at the Oregon Wheat Growers League at 115 S.E. Eighth Street in Pendleton. Larry Bartee of Smith's Pendleton office said that everyone is invited to the reception and tickets are being distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. He was not sure how the people receiving the calls came to be entered into the data base.

Bartee urged those interested in attending to pick up tickets promptly, as he expects them to go fast. He added that the person getting the tickets must be able to provide name, date of birth, address and social security number for every ticket issued.

Bartee said he had heard the rally would take place any time between 8:30 a.m. and noon. According to the Associated Press, the rally is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m.

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