The tankers

These candidates are going down fighting.

NOW FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT part of our program—the tankers. These folks are destined to go down in the first election round, but, like other wild-eyed campaigners in Washington's crowded September elimination matches, they've got grievances to air or causes to promote—and maybe pratfalls to take—before they get rudely weeded out next week. What the hell, they paid their filing fees and are just trying to make a point—obtuse as it might be. A few memorable Election 2000 examples:

Prophet Atlantis, state Senate candidate, promises, "Free health care with mental health benefits [and] more clean pretty modular home parks!" Atlantis also says in a campaign statement, "Thank you Jesus Christ, J.Z. Knight, and Ramtha," and notes, "Being schizophrenic, I am overqualified for this job."

Meta Heller, candidate for governor, proposes, "We rid ourselves of the gas tax—a 1913 relic—and instigate a tax on all vehicles based on miles-driven and their weight. This could be phased in with a global-positioning device installed in each car—a computerized, sophisticated odometer that is tamper-proof."

Louis Bloom, candidate for state treasurer, observes, "Biblically challenged television preachers from Afghanistan to Spokane predict that the anti-Christ will be an Olympia Kiwanis woman. It's probably all nonsense. Have a nice day."

David Blomstrom, candidate for state superintendent of public instruction, calls himself "a fifteen-year employee of the Seattle School District, one of the nation's most corrupt school districts in one of America's most corrupt cities. Tired of living and teaching under the corporate jackboot, I revolted . . . I'm passionate about my cause and am passionate about stomping anyone who dares defile one of our most sacred institutions."

Robert T. Medley, US Senate candidate, is a "pander-free Democrat . . . who accepts no campaign donations or bribes in any form."

Will Baker, candidate for secretary of state, is a Tacoma activist who calls himself "the international man of diplomacy" and "the cat who won't cop out." Local officials have tried vainly to silence him—including arresting him for refusing to shut up at a council meeting. They're still targeting him for more criminal prosecution, he says, "so stay tuned."

Mike The Mover, perennial candidate—this time for public lands commissioner—thinks "Washington state needs to develop and propagate a hybrid species of Tennessee ash and hickory trees. Why? A worldwide demand for baseball bats is threatening the future of Major League Baseball . . . Think about it: How many bats have you seen shatter over the past few seasons due to inferior wood product supply?" He also has a plan to raise school money using state lands: "Grow hemp."

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