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September 8, 2006
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Volume 34
Issue 36
 
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Ads attack Supreme Court Justice Chambers for marriage equality opinion
Ads attack Supreme Court Justice Chambers for marriage equality opinion
Chambers endorsed by SEAMEC, ERW

by Devin Glaser - SGN Contributing Writer

A political advertisement airing on local radio stations is attacking Justice Tom Chambers for his vote to overturn Washington's ban on marriage for same-sex couples. The ad, which began airing the first week of September, warns, "Marriage is under attack in Washington State".

Chambers, who has been endorsed by the Seattle Metropolitan Elections Committee (SEAMEC) and Equal Rights Washington, was one of four judges who voted that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional. In his dissenting opinion, he stated that marriage is a "fundamental right" for all citizens.

Individuals funding the ads have close personal ties with Supreme Court candidate Jeanette Buragge's campaign, who is running against Chambers in the upcoming election.

John Johnson, co-owner of Sabra Ventures, has contributed approximately $50,000 to the ads. Johnson told the Seattle Times, "I'm just trying to hold Tom Chambers accountable."

Johnson claims that Burrage took no part in the airing of the advertisements, although his nephew, Trevor Johnson, was Burrage's campaign director when the ads were first aired. Additionally, the contact number from Burrage's campaign website matches the number listed for Johnson's business.

Burrage is no newcomer to controversy. As a King County Superior Court judge, Burrage told female attorneys who wore pantsuits in her presence that they should wear skirts. When one of the women inquired as to what would happen if they failed to comply, Burrage threatened the women with sanction.

The King County Bar Association has previously rated Burrage as "not qualified" on five separate occasions. After declining to seek their rating again, Burrage told the Yakima Herald Republic, "I've played that game."

There are two candidates in this non-partisan election, so the winner of the September 19th race will move on to the general election alone.

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