Washington State Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna was speaking to a group of fellow Republicans Wednesday night when he spotted a man with a camera.
He stopped speaking to confront the videographer.
“Hi, who are you?” McKenna asked. “Who are you with?”
Zach Wurtz told him he was with the Washington State Democrats.
McKenna told him he had not given him permission to record.
Wurtz reminded him that he was a public official speaking in a public venue at an event that was open to the public.
That seemed to cause all kinds of confusion for the Young Republicans inside the North Bellevue Community Center, who tried to block his camera, then finally called the cops.
Publicola, a Seattle news site, said that Wurtz was being paid by the Democratic Party to record the meeting.
And he was fully prepared for any type of confrontation.
Wurtz showed me a copy of the Bellevue Parks & Community Services Department facility use request form which states:
“The applicant agrees that, during the use of the Parks & Community Services facility [Name of Group] will not exclude anyone participation in, deny anyone the benefit of, or otherwise subject anyone to unlawful discrimination or harassment.”
He also showed me a letter he had from his attorneys at Perkins Coie that stated: “Please be advised that the individual carrying this letter is present on your property to gather information on behalf of the Washington State Democratic Party on matters of public interest. This individual’s presence and activities on your property—including filming political activities—constitutes core political activity robustly protected by the First Amendment … and [the] Washington State Constitution…”
The cops arrived and Wurtz left on his accord after telling them he was simply there to listen to McKenna speak.
But McKenna had already left, proving that he is unable to speak to the public if it doesn’t meet his strict standards.
And that tells us that he would only govern for the people that meet his strict standards.
UPDATE: The Seattle Times is covering the incident.