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TVW blasts Ferguson ad for AG

OLYMPIA – The Democratic candidate for state attorney general is being accused of violating TVW broadcast rules by using the government cable channel’s footage in his latest commercial.
The commercial for Bob Ferguson, which only appears on the Internet, features a brief video clip of his opponent, Republican Reagan Dunn, challenging a Ferguson allegation about poor attendance at King County Council meetings.
TVW broadcast the June 12 debate live from the Bing Crosby Theater in Spokane, and the full event remains available on the organization's website. But the network doesn’t  allow edited versions of any of its broadcasts to be used for campaigns, TVW President Greg Lane said…

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Accusations highlighted AG debate between Dunn, Ferguson

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Dunn v. Ferguson debate AG clip: “I was doing doughnuts…”

For all the attention on this week's debate between the two main gubernatorial hopefuls, it was really the showdown between two of the candidates for attorney general that was more exciting.

And above is the link that highlighted it all, an exchange that started with a question about the death penalty. Democrat Bob Ferguson opposes the death penalty, but pledged to uphold the law. Republican Reagan Dunn supports it. But that really wasn't what made the interaction interesting. What makes it a fun listen is the accusations thrown first from Dunn at Ferguson, then Ferguson at Dunn, and then Dunn's rather successful attempt to diffuse Ferguson's accusation with the line: “That was 25 years ago. I was 17, and I was doing doughnuts in a parking with snow. I'm sorry.”

Post debate: AWB endorses McKenna, Dunn

In a move that may shock no one, the Association of Washington Business endorsed Republicans Rob McKenna for governor and Reagan Dunn for state attorney general.

The business group, which functions as the state's Chamber of Commerce, co-hosted debates in Spokane Wednesday for both offices with McKenna facing off against Democrat Jay Inslee for the first time and Dunn against Democrat Bob Ferguson.

The AWB board determined that “McKenna is the best candidate to lead our state to better times” and Dunn is “the best candidate to represent business interests” in the AG's office.

It probably didn't hurt that McKenna discussed his support for charter schools, which Inslee opposes, and the AWB came out in favor of an initiative that is gathering signatures to put a charter school proposal on the November ballot.

The AWB generally endorses Republicans for the state's chief executive. But it didn't just endorse GOP candidates today. It endorsed Democrat Jim McIntire for state treasurer.

McIntire, it should be noted, is running unopposed.

Gov, AG debates today in Spokane

Just a reminder that the two likely finalists for governor and state attorney general will be debating this afternoon in Spokane at the Bing Crosby Theater.

Democrat Bob Ferguson and Republican Reagan Dunn are up first in the debates sponsored by the Association of Washington Business and Greater Spokane Inc. The attorney general candidates debate at 2 p.m.

Democrat Jay Inslee, the former congressman, and Republican Rob McKenna, the current attorney general, are on at 3:30 p.m.

Moderator for both debates is Austin Jenkins of Northwest Public Radio. If you don't have a ticket, both debates will be carried live on TVW, and on NPR stations around Washington. And Spin Control will be live-blogging the governor's race.

The AG's race probably has the less familiar candidates, especially in Eastern Washington…

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, click here to go inside the blog

Filing week is nearly here. Candidates take note

Everyone thinking about running for political office this year, take note: You have less than a week to make up your mind. Everyone talking about running and acting like they’re already a full-fledged candidate, take note: It’s not official until you file your paperwork and pay your fee.

Candidate filing week starts Monday morning, and ends when the office where that paperwork and fee must be deposited closes on Friday. Here’s a tricky part – because of budget cutbacks, some county elections offices close as early as noon on Fridays, others at 4 p.m., and some stay open until 5 p.m. Anyone planning to wait until the very last minute to build suspense would be wise to make a phone call to the appropriate office and check when that last minute is.

For some positions that’s the county elections office in the county seat; for others, it’s the Secretary of State’s office in Olympia. How do you know what goes where?

Go inside the blog to read more, or to comment.

Gov debate set for Spokane?

What may well be the first gubernatorial debate of the Washington election season could happen June 12 in Spokane.

Or not.

The Association of Washington Business, which has a long  history of gubernatorial matchups in front of its membership, wants to have Attorney General Rob McKenna and U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee face off the Bing Crosby Theater during the group's annual spring meeting.

But after it announced the debate this week,  the Inslee campaign said it was still working on the schedule and  hadn't yet committed to that event or any other debate, forum or joint appearance.  (Editor's note: an earlier version of this post said the debate was set.)

“It's on our list of things we wanted to schedule,” Jaime Smith, campaign spokeswoman said, adding she was aware the group has a long tradition of holding a gubernatorial debate but was baffled that AWB's announcement came before a formal commitment. “We've got lots of invitations.”

Jocelyn McCabe, a spokeswoman for AWB, said scheduling a debate is a bit like planning a wedding. You get the place, the date, the time first, then handle some of the other details like format and lining up media partners a bit closer to the event. It has Greater Spokane Inc., as a co-sponsor of the debate. The group needed to schedule its spring meeeting in Spokane and book the hall for the debate now. It told the Inslee campaign it would announce the matchup in early January. And did.

“We're having the debate,” McCabe said.

And if Inslee can't make it? They may be having a conversation with McKenna, because it requires at least two people to debate.

Also on the AWB's planned fight card — oops, debate schedule — will be state attorney general candidates Reagan Dunn and Bob Ferguson.

The debates will take place before either race is officially set, because the state primary isn't until early August. But that isn't a concern for the Inslee campaign. In fact, he's called for six debates across the state, divided geographically, and with some focusing on set issues, so to wait until after the primary for a half dozen debates would require cramming the debates pretty closely together.

McCabe, spokeswoman for AWB, said both campaigns would be given a set number of tickets to watch the debate along with the group's members.

Moderating both debates would be Austin Jenkins of Northwest News Network. The Bing has been the site of several memorable political debates for local offices.

Now it might  be the back drop for what is a regular feature of most hotly contested races: a debate over debates.

Dunn in the AG race

OLYMPIA — King County Councilman Reagan Dunn officially entered the 2012 race for state attorney general Tuesday a post opening up because current occupant Rob McKenna is running for governor.

Dunn, a Republican, was welcomed to the race King County Councilman Bob Ferguson, who got in the race in February. Being a Democrat, Ferguson had no reason to wait for the GOP incumbent to announce he was trying to move up. But won't those county council meetings be fun?

Dunn has lined up GOP endorsements from McKenna, former AG Ken Eikenberry and several former U.S. attorneys including Jim McDevitt and Bill Hyslop.

His announcement statemment, as well as Ferguson's “welcome” statement, can be found inside the blog.