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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

Democrats continue to poke McKenna over 9-1-1 calls

State Democrats are trying to get the most mileage possible out of an incident last week that prompted King County Young Republicans to call 9-1-1 to report -- ohmagawd! --a Democrat in their midst.

The whole thing started on July 7 when the Young Rs rented out the North Bellevue Community Center to hear a speech from Rob McKenna, the attorney general who would be governor. Dems sent a person with a videocamera to record the event for posterity, and likely for slicing and dicing to use in various anti-McKenna campaign ads.

The videographer was asked to leave, he refused, saying it was a public meeting in a public place. McKenna refused to speak, someone from the Young Rs called 9-1-1 for assistance. The dispatch operator asked if the videographer posed a threat to people in the room, or had weapons or drugs. When told no on all points, the dispatcher said it could be as much as an hour before they could free up an officer to get there. Someone from the Young Rs called back twice to ask when would the cop get there.

By the time an officer arrived, McKenna had left, the meeting was pretty much over and there wasn't much for her to do.

To keep poking McKenna, State Democrats posted the transcripts of the 9-1-1 calls on Wednesday, which they say show the Young Rs were invoking the name of the state AG in an effort to improperly roust their videographer. On Thursday they sent out links to various media sites that bit on Wednesday's release.

Minor spats over opp-research videographers aren't new. A Democratic cameraman was tossed from a Seattle Police Union meeting with Dino Rossi during the 2008 gubernatorial run. The video showed up rather quickly on YouTube, complete with a sound track.

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