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Monday, October 23, 2006


posted by on October 23 at 16:12 PM

Stefan Sharkansky is omitting some pertinent details over at his blog.

He reports that Washington State Supreme Court Justice Susan Owens has dropped out of the debate tonight with her opponent, Republican State Senator Stephen Johnson. That much is true. (The debate is being put on by the Seattle Downtown Republican Club.)

But then Sharkansky writes:

She’s concerned that with me as a moderator it won’t be a “level playing field”. But her campaign knew that I was a moderator last week when they agreed to do it. We also let the Owens campaign suggest the second moderator and we went with their pick of P-I columnist Joel Connelly, whose newspaper endorsed Owens and who has personally criticized some of Johnson’s supporters for their campaign against Owens. We hope Justice Owens changes her mind and joins us, as the forum will be held with her or without her.

What Stefan leaves out is this: The reason Owens got to choose a second moderator is because the original second moderator, me, was kicked off the panelóby the Johnson campaign. Owens had only agreed to the debate after Sharkansky and the Republican club told her I was one of the moderators, and would provide balance to Sharkansky.

When our Owens endorsement came out last week, Johnson’s camp threw a tantrum, and I was taken off the panel at his request.

It seems to me, Owens has every right to be wary of a debate where she first had agreed to be there knowing who the moderators were, but then had them switched up on heróby the Johnson camp.

RSS icon Comments


What a dirty trick

Posted by Phenics | October 23, 2006 4:24 PM

Stefan also leaves out that he is a contributor to the Johnson campaign (see the comments in his own blog)

Posted by fine tooth comb | October 23, 2006 5:05 PM

has anyone seen this website yet?

idiot republicans.

Posted by LiberalLisa | October 23, 2006 5:17 PM

Sharkansky lies, water is wet.

Posted by John | October 23, 2006 5:23 PM

But didn't she get to choose the second moderator, Connelly, after you were taken off?

Am I missing something?

Posted by huh? | October 23, 2006 6:16 PM

The point is that a contributor to your own campaign is not a "moderator". A moderator has no stake in the outcome.

Just remember, Republicans are dirty and dishonest by nature.

Posted by Fnarf | October 23, 2006 6:28 PM

Why the fuck was Sharkansky a moderator in the first damn place?

Posted by Carl Ballard | October 23, 2006 6:47 PM

One question - how did it come to pass that Stefan Sharkansky was given his own column in The Stranger?

Posted by Sean | October 23, 2006 6:50 PM

Hypocrisy alert!

Whatever happened to your command that all candidates should show bravery no matter how tough the least that's your line when you're dishing it out. I thought you liked gotchas. Still pouting that you got bumped from the spotlight?

Posted by Yes, Josh has his flaws... | October 23, 2006 7:16 PM


Take a valium pill, guy.

I was pointing out that Sharkansky wasn't giving all the details. There's certainly a case to be made that Owens should have still participated. I do think, however, that she had every right to be wary when Johnson got to call the shots. Sharkansky was oversimplifying the situation.

Meanwhile, she woud have been up against a partisan like Sharkansky and an "objective" journalist like Connelly who isn't likely to be hotly partisan against Johnson.

Should she have still shown up? Well, it certainly would have given her the moral high ground.

Pouting that I got bumped from the spotlight?
Dude, it's TVW.

Posted by Josh Feit | October 23, 2006 7:34 PM

Response, Sharkansky? I know you're reading...

Posted by Curious | October 23, 2006 7:59 PM

Josh, Joel Connelly is just as much an advocate and partisan as you, Dan Savage, David Goldstein, and Stefan Sharkansky.

Posted by Luigi Giovanni | October 23, 2006 9:15 PM

Josh, like you, Dan, David, and Stefan; Joel only wears one hat.

Posted by Luigi Giovanni | October 23, 2006 9:22 PM

Josh, why did she back out so late? Why didn't she request a different moderator like Johnson? Why didn't they both request two non-partisan reporters who cover the State Supreme Court?

Posted by luigi Giovanni | October 23, 2006 9:40 PM

This city needs more Moderates.

Posted by Gomez | October 24, 2006 8:14 AM

"This city needs more Moderates."

Agreed. Unfortunately, neither party will allow it. Seattle D's and R's play out of the same dirty playbook and neither party is very accepting of anyone that does not tow the extremist party line.

Posted by Party-less in Seattle | October 24, 2006 10:02 AM

The above comment by "Party-less" is a display of ignorance beyond mendacity. Whoever they are, they most likely do not live in Seattle.

Posted by bobbyp | October 24, 2006 10:54 AM

Josh -- I didn't write about every detail yesterday afternoon only because I didn't have time to draft a comprehensive post. I posted a long write-up last night (click on my sig at the bottom of this comment). I do say that Johnson made a mistake to reject you as a moderator. And I believe I made a mistake to agree to replace you after you had accepted my invitation. However, You are not correct to say that the moderators were "switched up" on Owens. Phil let her campaign suggest some people to take your place and Connelly was on the short list. We all agreed to Connelly on Thursday afternoon.

Posted by Stefan Sharkansky | October 24, 2006 2:02 PM

Too bad the debate didn't go off with both candidates there and with both Josh and Stefan on the panel. That would have been worth tuning to TVW at the appropriate time (3:00 a.m.?) to watch?

Posted by Richard Pope | October 24, 2006 8:29 PM

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