Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Another Johnson files in Owens' race

Our Executive Director has written extensively over the last few weeks about the BIAW's attempt to buy the state Supreme Court. Today, however, a monkey wrench was thrown into their plans.

One of the BIAW's two candidates is Republican State Senator Steven Johnson, who is running against incumbent Justice Susan Owens. Of the three incumbents facing reelection this year, Owens is the most vulnerable, having raised the smallest war chest and having voted for marriage equality in yesterday's decision on marriage equality (which she will come under attack from the theocons for).

The BIAW has been working hard through its Walking for Washington program to promote Johnson and Groen (their other candidate, who is challenging Gerry Alexander).

But Michael Johnson's entrance into the race (he officially filed less than two hours ago) creates a big problem for them.

Johnson, a Seattle attorney, shares his last name with the BIAW's candidate, and will doubtless draw votes from individuals who have been contacted by Walking for Washington and urged to support the BIAW's two candidate slate.

PDC records show a lot of donations to Victims Advocates (a trial lawyer PAC) from Michael L Johnson of Seattle (Attorney at Law). I'm guessing that's the same Michael Johnson (and it is - confirmed). Other than that it appears he has no history of political giving.

My guess that Johnson's entry into the race is a tactical maneuver to stymie the BIAW's efforts to take over the Supreme Court. Of course, I could be wrong and maybe he intends to run a serious campaign - but I doubt it. Usually if you want to mount a serious bid to win elected office, you start early. Really early.

Whether Johnson has filed on his own or did so at the urging of concerned citizens who want to protect the integrity of our judicial system is unclear to me. But we're happy to see that somebody is making things harder for the BIAW regardless.

UPDATE: Former Supreme Court Justice Phil Talmadge agrees with me.

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