News Clips— Tacoma candidate booked

THANKS TO A SLATE of mayoral hopefuls right out of Mad Magazine—with a special nod to Omari Tahir-Garrett, the candidate out on bail for allegedly assaulting the incumbent—Seattle may lay claim to one of the state's nuttier primary election lineups. But give Tacoma a chance: The ever-hopeful Will Baker, trying again to become that city's "mayor with mojo," has been arrested anew.

The self-described "International Man of Diplomacy," who was once collared by the cops for failing to shut up at a City Council meeting and was tossed from his apartment for complaining about living conditions, was again nabbed for outspokenness. He was jailed the other day for criminal trespass while collecting campaign signatures outside the Proctor Street post office.

The 38-year-old community activist and sometime flower vendor says he firmly objected when a postal supervisor told him not to solicit on government property. Police were called, and the would-be mayor was booked; a trial is set for Aug. 30. Baker says the arrest shows that he's "the cat who won't cop out when there's danger all about." (This cat apparently owes many thanks, if not royalties, to Isaac Hayes.)

Peacenik Baker has dubbed one of his opponents "Miss Machiavelli" and calls the five challengers "interchangeable longtime Tacoma News Tribune candidates" seeking an office "synonymous with election manipulation."

Baker blames the TNT and his opponents for stifling his free speech. This being a Tacoma election, he naturally blames the county auditor, Cathy Pearsall-Stipek, for everything else. (Auditors are historically targeted in Pierce County, and not without cause: Critical election rulings by three of the five past auditors were overturned by the courts, and two of these same office-holders went to jail for criminal acts.)

By the way, TNT stands for "Tell No Truth," Baker says. One thing he is not seeking is—surprise!--the paper's endorsement.

Rick Anderson

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