September 22, 2008 in City

Debates, forums ahead for candidates, issues

By The Spokesman-Review

Ask your questions

Voters are being asked to submit questions for a pair of upcoming televised debates in Spokane.

Gov. Chris Gregoire and GOP challenger Dino Rossi, and U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and her Democratic opponent Mark Mays have agreed to participate in debates in October sponsored by The Spokesman-Review and KSPS-TV. Some questions in each debate will come from area voters.

Questions for either set of candidates can be sent to: Debate questions, c/o Newsroom, The Spokesman-Review, Box 2160, Spokane WA 99210; or e-mailed to Include your name, address and a daytime phone number; debate organizers may contact you for further information.

If political years have seasons, this one has reached debate season – and not just because the first presidential debate takes place Friday evening.

Voters who are still trying to decide how to mark their ballots will have several chances to see candidates for all levels of office in a wide array of debates, joint appearances and forums in and around Spokane.

Tonight, 14 legislative candidates will appear at the Spokane Alliance forum at 7 p.m. at the Spokane Convention Center. They’re being asked to address the alliance’s priorities, which include high standards while allowing multiple options for high school graduation, good and affordable child care, and tax inequities between different income levels.

On Wednesday, Spokane Public Radio will host a forum on Initiative 1000, the aid in dying proposal on the Nov. 4 ballot. The panel will include a supporter, an opponent and ethicists to speak on issues the initiative presents. It starts at 6:30 p.m. at The Bing Crosby Theater, Lincoln and Sprague, and will be taped for broadcasts on Oct. 6-9.

Friday at 6 p.m. is the first presidential debate, with Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama discussing foreign policy at the University of Mississippi. It will be carried live on most broadcast and cable news networks, television networks and on the local affiliates of National Public Radio, KPBX and KSFC. Other presidential debates are Oct. 7 and Oct. 15. The vice presidential debate is Oct. 2.

On Oct. 9, Washington’s gubernatorial candidates, incumbent Chris Gregoire and GOP challenger Dino Rossi, will debate in Spokane in an event sponsored by The Spokesman-Review and KSPS-TV. The debate will be taped earlier in the day, aired at 7 p.m. on Channel 7 and broadcast on 790 KJRB.

That same evening, U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and her Democratic opponent Mark Mays, along with the four candidates for Spokane County commissioner, will answer questions from area youth at the Chase Youth Commission and Teen Advisory Council. That forum starts at 6 p.m. in the Spokane City Council Chambers and will be broadcast multiple times later in the month on Cable Channel 5.

On Oct. 16, Mays and McMorris Rodgers will face each other again in another televised debate sponsored by The Spokesman-Review and KSPS-TV. It too will be taped in advance, aired at 7 p.m. on Channel 7 and broadcast on KJRB.

On Oct. 22, the four Spokane County commissioner candidates will appear together in a debate sponsored by KSPS-TV. It’s at 7 p.m. on Channel 7, but unlike the other debates on that station, it’s on a Wednesday.

More forums and debates are likely to be scheduled in coming weeks. The newspaper will update its list of campaign events on the Elections 2008 Web site as schedules are announced.

Jim Camden can be reached at or (509) 459-5461

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