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.