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Spin Control

Wed., Sept. 15, 2010, 5:36 p.m.

Rossi agrees to 2 debates, calls for more

Republican challenger Dino Rossi accepted a debate in Spokane and another in Seattle that Democratic Sen. Patty Murray had previously agreed to do. But in doing so, Rossi repeated his call for additional head-to-head matchups, saying voters deserve more.

Murray accepted debate invitations about three weeks ago from KSPS-TV/KXLY-TV for a mid-October debate in Spokane, and another from KOMO-TV for a debate in Seattle around the same time. Rossi, who had pressed for at least six state debates and one nationally televised one, held off accepting any until today. (Full disclosure: I've done several debates at KSPS over the years and have been asked to take part in the Spokane debate, although the format hasn't been set.)

Rossi called Murray's two debates and raised her four, issuing "an open letter to Washington voters" that said he was also accepting invitations from KING-TV and KIRO-TV in Seattle, the Greater Tacoma Rotary and KCTS-TV/Yakima Herald.

Murray doesn't appear likely to take him up on it. Deputy Campaign Manager Alex Glass said Murray was glad Rossi had accepted the two with statewide broadcasts, and that Murray will be in communities throughout the state during the campaign to talk with voters.

It's unclear whether a debate over debates will ensue. To read Rossi's letter, go inside the blog.

An Open Letter To Washingtonians –

The 2010 U.S. Senate race is one of the most important elections you will participate in this year.  One of the best ways to make an informed decision on who to support is for the two candidates to face each other and discuss the issues important to voters.   Unfortunately, Sen. Patty Murray agreed to participate in only two debates.

Sen. Murray is shortchanging you and the other voters of our state by denying them the chance to hear directly from her about her votes which have jeopardized the economy and put our fellow citizens out of work.  I believe you deserve to hear directly from those running for public office, which is why, in addition to participating in the two debates Sen. Murray has agreed to at KOMO-TV and KSPS-TV, I have accepted invitations from the following organizations:

KING 5 Seattle
KCTS/Yakima Herald
Greater Tacoma Rotary
KIRO Seattle

 I hope that Sen. Murray will join me at these events.  I hope that she will decide that you deserve more than sound bites and negative 30-second ads.  This election is about the direction our country is headed and you need to hear directly from both candidates as to how they plan to get the economy back on track and put people back to work. 

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The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.