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Meet the candidates

Thu., Sept. 2, 2004

Here are the Democratic candidates for the office of attorney general. Look for profiles of the Republican candidates, Mike Vaska and Rob McKenna, in Friday’s Spokesman-Review.

Deborah Senn

Personal: 55; married, two children.

Education: Raised in Chicago, graduated from South Shore High School in 1966. Bachelor’s in history (1970) and master’s in political science (1976) from the University of Illinois. Law degree, Loyola University, also in 1976.

Professional: Worked for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency as a law student and after graduation. Represented consumers in utility cases, and spent a year as a TV reporter in Anchorage. Became counsel to a telecommunications committee in the Washington Legislature from 1985 to 1989, then worked as a lobbyist, representing the Service Employees International Union, the Northwest Women’s Law Center and the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She is now a lawyer and expert witness, specializing in asbestos and insurance cases.

Political: After an unsuccessful run for state Senate, Senn was elected state Insurance Commissioner in 1992, serving from 1993 to 2001.

Key issues: Senn said she would defend home ownership, by targeting predatory lenders. She would also focus on prescription drug problems and aggressively go after high-tech crime, including identity theft, junk “spam” e-mails, and so-called spyware: programs that can secretly monitor keystrokes or computer activity. She said she would like to investigate this summer’s surge in gas prices, and that she’s committed to continuing the Hanford cleanup.

Money raised/spent: $475,882 raised as of Aug. 17; more than $158,000 spent.

Top contributors: Big donors included law firms, chiropractors and unions for teamsters, teachers, electricians and food workers.

Mark Sidran

Personal: 53; married, no children

Education: Raised in Seattle, graduated from Franklin High School in 1969, from Harvard in 1973, and from the University of Washington law school in 1976.

Professional: Worked for 10 years as a deputy criminal prosecutor for King County, handling juvenile court cases. Spent four years in private practice, handling civil litigation.

Political: Elected Seattle’s city attorney in 1989, earning a law-and-order reputation in three terms. In 2001, stepped down to run for mayor of Seattle, losing to Greg Nickels.

Key issues: “High on the agenda is the enforcement of consumer protection laws,” he said, including Internet fraud and identity theft. He said he would also target companies using unfair business practices, to protect consumers and keep the marketplace fair for legitimate businesses. As attorney general, he said, he would also push for compromise in the prickly area of reforming liability laws.

Money raised/spent: $559,020 raised as of Aug. 17; spent more than $220,000.

Top contributors: Big donors included WSU regent Bill Marler, Avista Corp., lawyers, Puget Sound Energy, the Boeing Employees Credit Union and Spokane auto dealer Chris Marr.


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