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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Olympia

Shut out…

If you watched last night's mostly-staid "debate" in the Senate race, you saw three candidates.

But it turns out that a fourth was there, if only briefly.

While Sen. Maria Cantwell, GOP challenger Mike McGavick and Libertarian Bruce Guthrie staked out their positions in the KING-5 TV studio, Green Party candidate and former Black Panther Aaron Dixon was trying to get in and be heard as well.

Dixon, refused entry and subsequently arrested, called his exclusion from the statewide televised debate "a glaring example of how the two major parties work in cahoots with one another to continue their vise-like grip on our electoral system."

Guthrie -- a millionaire who was allowed to participate only afer a massive loan to his own campaign so he would meet the war-chest standard that organizers used to decide who to include -- would likely have agreed. During the debate, Guthrie said that Dixon and independent candidate Robin Adair should have been included. The debate was organized by KING 5, the Seattle City Club and The Seattle Times.

"What are the Democrats, the Republicans and KING-5 afraid of?" Dixon said in a press release afterward. "Why don't they fight for the inclusion of other political parties and progressive candidates so that we may broaden the debate?"

Dixon plans a press conference in Seattle this morning to talk about the arrest and on the "money-dominated state of American politics."

Short takes and breaking news from the Washington Legislature and the state capital.