Shitty Lawyer is Shitty

When you’re an elected official in Washington State acting in the capacity of your office, you can’t decide who gets to attend your press conferences. They’re open to the public. But Rob McKenna doesn’t seem to realize that.

Yesterday morning, Attorney General Rob McKenna notified media across the state that he would be speaking about the US Supreme Court’s decision to uphold most of the Affordable Care Act. McKenna was one of 26 state attorneys general who sued to block the Affordable Care Act. But when Stranger reporter David “Goldy” Goldstein arrived for the press conference at McKenna’s downtown Seattle offices, a guard was waiting for him. Cameramen, radio people, and reporters were granted free entry. Goldy was prevented from entering.

“They are physically blocking me from entering,” Goldy told me by phone, seven minutes before the 11:30 a.m. press conference was scheduled to begin. A spokesman for McKenna, Dan Sytman, had told Goldy a few minutes before that Goldy wasn’t a journalist and then blocked him from entering. A McKenna staffer had also grabbed Goldy by the shoulders and turned him away from the door.

Of course this isn’t too surprising coming as it does from a man who doesn’t recognize the difference between campaign mode and serving the public. Still, we should expect better from our elected officials.


  1. 1

    rhp6033 spews:

    Yea, and he’s still got the wrong interpretation of Washington’s statute prohibiting the recording of private conversations. He’s arguing that if he gives a speech before a room full of people, it can’t be recorded unless he gets the permission of every one in the room. But that ignores the first words of the statute, which refer to it as a “private conversation”. By definition, a speech before a roomfull of people, in which anyone who wants to attend and listen is free to do so, is not a “private conversation”.

    Either he hasn’t actually read a statute since law school, or he is happy with lying about it’s meaning with a straight face. Which wouldn’t be beyond the expected for a lawyer, except that this is a public official who can arrange to put you in jail if you defy his smarmy and self-serving interpretation.

  2. 2


    Someone or some organization should SUE that moron McKenna!

    What he afraid of?

    I feel sorry for the people who’d vote for that fraud after this. But maybe they want shit like this.

  3. 3

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    Well, maybe McKenna can prove to be a better leader than an attorney.

    Rob McKenna on the Affordable Care Act – Do Not Repeal the ACA

    “We have to live in the world we find ourselves in,” McKenna told Hotline On Call on Friday. On Thursday, he held a news conference in which he argued that reversing the entire law would be akin to the Democratic effort to jam it through. “To completely blow it up I think means, I think, that we are committing the same sin, but in reverse,” McKenna said

    So, having failed to understand the law and how to manage the state’s AG office, McKenna is turning a new leaf as a leader.

    Campaigning for and wanting a repeal of the Affordable Care Act is a “sin”, says McKenna.

    Will the state GOP follow McKenna?
    Can Republicans in the state accept McKenna as their leader and learn “to live in the world we find ourselves in”?

    I for one applaud McKenna’s, the shitty lawyer, belated about face on the Affordable Care Act.
    Although, to be honest, I think he just followed our former GREAT AG and GREAT Governor, Gregoire’s, lead.

    Lastly, thank-you Goldy … once again.

  4. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @3 We’ll see how long Robbie’s “new” position on PPACA lasts after the GOP sends him to a re-education camp. Meanwhile, the Blethen Times endorsed him today. I’ll bet their reporter didn’t get physically assaulted by McKenna’s goon squad.

  5. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “But when Stranger reporter David “Goldy” Goldstein arrived for the press conference at McKenna’s downtown Seattle offices”

    P.S., McKenna’s “downtown Seattle offices” are public property paid for by us taxpayers.

  6. 6

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Carl, I think you should retitled this thread “Shitty Lawyer Is Shitty Campaigner, Too”

  7. 7

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I don’t see how McKenna can deny that Goldy is a journalist. He’s a reporter. He works for a newspaper. He’s not a partisan blogger anymore, because he has dissociated himself from this blog, except for posting the weekly Bible Study. Does McKenna have something against religion? If so, he should explain that, because voters in the Faith community have a right to know.

  8. 8

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    @4 Roger,
    I’m sure McKenna is right at this very moment demonstrating his leadership ability by contacting everyone of the current Republican congress people in the state and each of the Republican 2012 candidates for Federal office to get them on-board. After all, if McKenna were to win the election and become the first Republican governor of the state in over 30 years, McKenna would be the Republican leader of the state.

    Having staked out his new position on the Affordable Care Act, which is clearly in the purview of the Federal office holders, he surely is going to demonstrate greater effectiveness in this new effort than he did as AG, right?

    Hopefully our state’s reporters, like Goldy, will follow up on this.

  9. 9

    Michael spews:

    Wait… This was Rob McKenna acting as Attorney General giving a press conference in the AG’s Seattle office?

    Sounds like Cup Cake’s gonna lose another lawsuit real soon.

  10. 10

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @9 Here’s a legal memorandum by the law firm representing the Society of Professional Journalists containing information that might be useful to Goldy and The Stranger:

    “Cracking The Dam: A Guide To Journalists’ Right Of Equal Access To Information”

    p. 4:

    “The goal of this Report is to inform journalists … about the scope of their First Amendment right of equal access to information. … This Report aims to supply reporters with the legal precedent and constitutional theory that can be used to convince a public official that denying a reporter equal access to information violates the First Amendment.”

    p. 29:

    “The court, siding with the newspaper, stated: ‘Discriminatory governmental action aimed at the communicative impact of expression is presumptively at odds with the First Amendment. Above all else, the First Amendment means that the government cannot restrict freedom of expression on the basis of its ideas, message or content.’ The court went on to state that the First Amendment protects, ‘at a minimum, a [particular reporter‟s] right of access to information made available to the public or made available generally to the press.’ Other courts have made similar findings. In Southwestern Newspapers, the court said that the First Amendment likely prohibited a public official from denying a media outlet ‘access to news sources made available to other news media personnel.'”

    [Footnotes omitted]

  11. 12

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    There’s not much doubt that, given the right facts, a public official’s decision to bar a particular reporter or media company from “news events” is illegal and grounds for a federal injunction:

    “The mayor of Toledo, Ohio, cannot bar a local radio reporter from attending press conferences and must notify his station of upcoming news events, a federal judge said Tuesday.

    “U.S. District Judge James Carr in Toledo granted a temporary restraining order requested by WSPD-AM … that sought to have the court order Mayor Carty Finkbeiner to allow reporter Kevin Milliken and others from his station to attend press conferences.

    “The order also states that Finkbeiner and his spokesman, Brian Schwartz, must give WSPD-AM advance notice of news conferences, as they do to other local media.”

  12. 14

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    McKenna appears to be skating on very thin ice. His argument would have to rest on a claim that Goldy is still a blogger and didn’t become a journalist when he accepted a reporting job with The Stranger and cut his ties with HA. By that logic, any public official could bar any reporter from the official’s public news conferences based on the reporter’s employment or personal activities prior to becoming a reporter. That won’t wash in the courts. More lousy lawyering from McKenna. The best thing you can say about McKenna’s bid for governor is that he won’t be the state’s lawyer anymore. Governors can get way with shitty knowledge of the law because there’s no requirement for governors to know a damn thing about law. That’s what they pay state attorney generals for.

  13. 18

    Liberal Scientist is a a dirty fucking hippie spews:

    I am appalled by McKenna’s behavior here, though, alas, not surprised.

    This could be a lever to peel away the veneer he maintains – nerdy, moderate, competent technocrat – and begin to demonstrate to voters his real core – partisan hack, and not too smart to boot.

    I hope The Stranger has goldy’s back and really goes after McKenna, both in court and on their pages. Remember, don’t piss off people who buy ink by the barrel. And sue the fucker.

  14. 19

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @18 The Stranger’s lawyer appears to be on top of the issue. She threatened to slap McKenna with a court order. Goldy got into that press conference. But McKenna’s office wouldn’t satisfy her request to promise, in writing, that Goldy won’t be barred from any more McKenna news events. So I assume she’ll proceed to get that court order. Stay tuned.

  15. 20

    Michael spews:

    The Times recommends: Rob McKenna for governor
    The Seattle Times editorial board endorses Rob McKenna, Republican, for governor of Washington.

    In the non-shocker of the century The Fish Wrapper endorses Rob “Cupcake- Hey Goldstein, Fuck You” McKenna.

  16. 21

    Michael spews:

    OK, here’s what we do. We get a bunch of masks that look like Goldy made up, we go into McKenna events dressed perfectly normally and a couple of minutes into his speeches we whip out the Goldstein masks and put them on.

    Also, we need to have people dressed up like cupcakes doing ballet outside the events.

  17. 22

    "Baretta" spews:

    re 21: “Also, we need to have people dressed up like cupcakes doing ballet outside the events.”

    Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo – It would be a great Monte Carlo technique

  18. 23

    Breadbaker spews:

    The ad to the left of these comments tells me that it’s a “critical fundraising deadline” and I should “Help Rob McKenna.”

    I think I’ll click on it, in the hope that he’ll have to pay someone some of his hard raised cash for my click.

  19. 24

    who run Bartertown? spews:

    goldy has a record of being a sociapathic shit-head – no wonder the guards were waiting for him.

    poor goldy, what goes around comes around, eh?

    karma is a bitch, aint she goldy.

    you got owned.