by Inlander Staff

Half-Baked? -- Republicans across Washington state cringed when they opened their voters' pamphlets to find that their candidate for state auditor was ... Will Baker? The self-styled activist and roadside flower vendor, jailed more than a dozen times since 1992 for disrupting council meetings in Pierce County, scooped up the GOP's last-minute nomination when no else stepped forward. Party officials failed to check his record first.

In his voters' pamphlet statement, Baker eschews issues and focuses instead on an obscure Pierce County "cover-up," ending with a plea for readers to call the TV news show 60 Minutes. Readers should really check out Baker's Web site,, where they can bone up on his conspiracy theories while the theme song from Shaft plays.

T-Shirt Wars -- Is there any T-shirt slogan that's acceptable at Bush rallies? According to the AP, last week at a Bush rally in Medford, Ore., three schoolteachers found one slogan that won't cut it. They wore T-shirts stating "Protect Our Civil Liberties." Who would be against that? Well, the three were threatened with arrest and escorted away, even though they had tickets.

"We chose this phrase specifically because we didn't think it would be offensive or degrading or obscene," said Tania Tong, one of the teachers.

Why would the Bush campaign think people with "Protect Our Civil Liberties" T-shirts are against them? Next time they should try something like, "John Ashcroft is Neato."

Oh, Canada? -- As we all know, in the final days of any election, the debate narrows down to focus on only those issues that matter most. You know, important stuff like what the bulge in President's Bush's suit was and the sexual orientation of Dick Cheney's daughter. Here in the 5th District, we have a flap of our own that the Washington State Democratic Party seems to be spending a lot of time on. That's right, where, exactly, did Cathy McMorris grow up?

The state Dems claim McMorris is whitewashing her past because -- gasp! -- she was raised in Canada. Whether it's relevant is questionable, but it is true. Between Kindergarten and her junior year in high school, McMorris lived in northern British Columbia. According to information provided to the Secretary of State for the voters' pamphlet, however, "Representative Cathy McMorris was raised on an orchard overlooking the Columbia River."

It seems if either party decides to scream about something loud enough -- no matter how disconnected from the decision at hand it may be -- they can make an issue out of it.

Publication date: 10/21/04

Spokane's Juneteenth Celebration @ East Central Community Center

Through June 20
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