About Those Subpoenas...


City Attorney Tom Carr appears to have stuck foot in mouth, and once wasn't enough. As we noted yesterday, Carr has ordered the Seattle Times to turn over reporters' information and sources on a police corruption case; at the same time, he's the governor's pick to lead the so-called Sunshine Committee on a supposedly impartial review of the state's open records law, through which reporters gain much information to inform the public.

Now, not only is gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi calling Carr's subpoenas "outrageous" and asking Mr. Eclipse to step down from his Sunshine role, even the governor's office says it is "troubled" by the source-seeking.

And if his asking for privileged reporters' info wasn't surprising enough, Carr indicated to the Associated Press yesterday he did it just as a legal move, doubting he'd get the source names anyway.

Not done yet, Carr now says he originally "tried to ask" the Times for the information and got turned down - he therein "believed" the Times refused his request so the paper could test the new shield law. Reports the AP:

In reality, the first communication on the topic was a letter from the City Attorney's Office to The Times Nov. 7. While [assnt. city atty. Paul] Olsen did write, "I would be interested in discussing with you the best way to establish the bounds of the reporters' participation in the matter," he also included the draft subpoenas and written questions asking the reporters to name sources, and he said he was going to serve the subpoenas within a few days. "Tell us what you know now, or tell us in court," is how [Times ExEd Dave] Boardman said he interpreted the letter. He described as preposterous the notion that The Times was trying to get subpoenaed so it could test the shield law, and he said The Times stands behind everything it publishes.

What's that you're singing, guvner? "You're not my Sunshine, my only..."

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