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October 30, 2006

Should I be offended by this?

Posted by David Postman at 5:41 PM

From The Olympian's on-line chat with Supreme Court Justice Susan Owens and her challenger, Sen. Stephen Johnson.

Moderator: Justice Owens, you've been criticized for skipping a debate earlier this week in Seattle. Would you explain that decision? Given the quieter profile of this race, do you think its right to skip debates when the public might not have enough information to decide this contest? Owens: There aren't limited venues, we've been at many public forums, we've been together at many of these and they can see many of them online at TVW and the voting for judges Web site. I had been on the road and when I came home I saw some e-mails about this forum — which had been thrown together very quickly — and decided to use my veto power. I don't answer questions from bloggers, and that was apparently the moderator's only credentials. They didn't want to get a regular journalist to do it. I have other reasons, too. I'm working as a justice and we had a full slate of cases on Tuesday. So I said no — in my view it wasn't a big deal. I apologize for any inconvenience for anybody. But Sen. Johnson and I have been all over the state, together and alone, even when gas was at its highest price. I had hoped to hit all the counties.

Johnson: I think the problem was that people understood that the arrangements had been agreed upon. That's why Joel Connelly came in — I thought Owens had selected Joel Connelly from a list of names — that's the facts as I understand them. I think Joel Connelly felt it was settled. If not I don't think he would have shown up. I wish she had shown up.

Owens: I don't take questions from bloggers. I just don't blog and don't read them. Every forum we've been at has been moderated by an attorney or a credentialed journalist, and one by the state president of the League of Women Voters. I personally did not know who this other moderator was. My people might have agreed to that, but when I found out the reality, I said no.

(A thanks for the tip to Stefan Sharkansky, who takes his offense here.)

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