FYI, for those of you who think my coverage of Goldmark v. McKenna has been a bit one-sided, I have repeatedly attempted to communicate with the Attorney General’s office, but to no avail:
From: David GoldsteinDate: June 17, 2010 3:51:36 PM PDTTo: “Janelle (ATG) Guthrie” , “Dan Sytman (ATG)”Subject: Re: Questions RE: DNR caseJanelle & Dan,Not even a response to tell me that you’re not going to respond? Your office has talked to other journalists, why not me? Is it something I’ve said?DavidOn Jun 16, 2010, at 8:54 AM, David Goldstein wrote:Janelle,Having not heard back from you, I’m resending my questions while copying Dan, just in case you weren’t in the office.Since time is of the essence on this story, I would at least appreciate knowing if the ATG intends to promptly respond.Thanks,DavidBegin forwarded message:From: David GoldsteinDate: June 15, 2010 2:12:29 PM PDTTo: “Janelle (ATG) Guthrie”Subject: Questions RE: DNR caseHi Janelle,I was hoping the ATG might answer some questions regarding the recent controversy over its refusal to appeal the DNR case.1. Is there precedent in WA for a state agency or political subdivision successfully exercising eminent domain to to condemn Common School Trust lands?2. Are there other cases in which the ATG has declined a lawful request for legal representation from a state officer? Does the ATG take the position that Washington is a state in which the Attorney General can overrule requests of state agency clients?3. Isn’t it always the duty of an attorney to represent a client on appeal so long as the appeal is not frivolous?4. Does the ATG consider the DNR’s claims to be frivolous, and if so, why did the ATG pursue these claims in Superior Court?5. Since the appellate court reviews cases “de novo” as a matter of law, what difference does it make that the Superior Court ruled against DNR?6. Are other agencies nervous that an appeal could result in a ruling that no one can condemn Common School Trust lands?7. Has the AG or his staff discussed this case with representatives from the Okanogan PUD or the WA PUD Association? Whom? When?Thanks for your time. If some answers take longer than others, I’m happy to take them one at a time.David
Frankly, I find this snubbing as surprising as it is rude. ATG Communications Director Janelle Guthrie and her staff have always been very friendly and responsive — she even emailed me her condolences when she heard my KIRO show was canceled — but now, crickets. As for Dan Sytman, you’d think he’d show more empathy for one partisan hack from another, considering our shared history as budding talk radio hosts who had our respective dreams crushed by the suits at Bonneville.
Besides, with so little media left for the media relations folks to relate to, this just strikes me as bad strategy. Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer, and all that.
By comparison, Goldmark Communications Director Aaron Toso not only replies to inquiries from apparently hostile parties, he even dives into their comment threads. I remember when Janelle used to do spontaneous stuff like that, but apparently the spark has gone out of our relationship.