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Shelton Mason County Journal
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October 23, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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October 23, 2014
 

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Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014 - Mason County Journal - Page A-3 Large crowd attends senior-center forum Journal photo by Gordon Weeks General election candidates participate in a forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Mason County on Oct. 16 at Olympic Middle School in Shelton. They are state Rep. Drew MacEwen (R-Union), left, and his opponent, Tammey Newton (D-Allyn); Republican Dan Griffey of Allyn and his opponent, state Rep. Kathy Haigh (D-Shelton); and Sen, Tim Sheldon (D-Potlatch) and his opponent, Democrat Irene Bowling of Silverdale. Candidates accuse opponents of falsehoods Firearms, minimum wage among topics at forum By GORDON WEEKS gordon@masoncounty com A Shelton candidate forum that focused on firearms initiatives, the minimum wage and other issues cul- minated with two challengers accus- ing incumbent candidates of spreading falsehoods about them. About 100 people attended the fortma sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Mason County in the Olympic Middle School commons. The six participants were state Rep. Drew MacEwen (R-Union) and his opponent, Tammey Newton (D-Allyn); state Rep. Kathy Haigh (D-Shelton) and her oppo- nent, Republican Dan Griffey of Allyn; and Sen. Tim Sheldon (D-Potlatoh) and his opponent, Democrat Irene Bowling of Silverdale. The candidates have appeared alongside one another for weeks in community forums and debates, ex- pressing their views on school funding, guns and other topics. The fireworks came during the closing comments as Bowling and Newton accused their op- ponents' campaigns of spreading false- hoods about them. Bowling held up a glossy filer tiffed "Bowling's plans would cost our families too much." The flier states she wants "to boost gas prices by more than $1 a gal- lon and increase the motor vehicle tax that we fought so hard to reduce." "This is fearmongering," Bowling told the audience. "It's not true. It's a pack of lies." Sheldon did not respond to the alle- gation when it was his turn for a final statement. Then Newton accused MacEwen's campaign of asking polling questions over the phone that included the false assertion that 90 percent of her cam- paigu contributions came from outside the 35th District. Newton also mentioned a robocall from the Committee to Re-elect Drew MacEwen -- which she later sent to the Journal -- from Oct. 15 that said _ I Ir [ III i tLI .... _ r , i  / ch00'dimber Do you know soone who mokes o ddference t{ke Potti Case or ;3 t:en of the Yeor'e Newton had "quit the debate because she doesn't want to answer the tough questions." Along with Haigh, Newton left the stage before the lightning round of a candidate forum Oct. 14 at Olympic Middle School. The next day, Newton told the Journal she declined to partic- ipate in the round because she wasn't given the opportunity to provide "fur-  ther clarification or information" to her responses. She returned to the stage after the round but was not invited to give a closing statement by moderator Heidi McCutcheon of the Shelton Ma- son County Chamber of Commerce. "Is my opponent's record so weak that he has to publicly malign me over and over and over again?" Newton asked. MacEwen did not address the cam- paign charge during his time to make his final statement. In her introduction, Bowling pointed out her family moved to Kitsap County in the 1930s; her parents worked at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and oth- er relatives were loggers. Bowling started teaching piano at age 13. She has owned and operated Bowling Music Studios for 34 years. "I believe in the potential of people," see LEAGUE, page A-17 By GORDON WEEKS gordon@masoncounty.com General election candidates stressed their commitment to help- ing seniors at a forum Tuesday af- ternoon at the Mason County Senior Activities Center at the Pavilion in Shelton. About 200 people attended the fo- rum, which was co-sponsored by the Mason County Republicans, Mason County Democrats, the League of Women Voters and the center. Several .of the candidates men- tioned it was the largest audience they had faced in about a dozen fo- rums in the region. Members of the audience laughed when state Rep. Drew MacEwen (R-Union) said, "Look what happens when Demo- crats and Republicans agree to do something together." During introductions, audience members applauded when Terri Shaw, executive director of the cen- ter, said, "Seniors are not a special interest. They are part of the cycle of life." During their opening comments, many of the candidates emphasized their shared experiences with seniors. Silverdale-Democrat Irene Bowl- hag, who is running against incum- bent state.Sen. Tim Sheldon (D-Pot- latch), talked about helping to take care of her parents. Allyn Republican Dan Griffey, who is running against state Rep. Kathy Haigh (D-Shelton), spoke of the joys of recently becoming a first- time grandparent. John Komen, who is running for a position on the Mason County PUD Commission against incumbent Tom Farmer, began his opening state- ment with the words, "Hello, fellow seniors." Asked if they would support grant applications to improve the senior center, all six legislative candi- dates -- MacEwen, Haigh, Griffey, Bowling, Sheldon and MacEwen's Democratic opponent Tammey New- ton -- said they would. All six also said they would support the senior center's lobbying efforts to create a separate property-tax designation for senior centers. The candidates were asked how they would help prepare to meet the needs of an aging population ha the state. Sheldon said the state should cre- ate incentives for builders to create low-income housing and keep prop- erty taxes low so seniors don't get priced out of their homes. Home see SENIOR, page A-17