It was described by a friend as a "senior moment." The 84-year-old Bill Gates Sr. had backed his Mercedes up into another Mercedes (because even the people he parks next to are rich) near the Seattle Center, then walked off. The incident happened back in mid-August when the weather was still warm and the talk was still of his tax-the-rich imitative I-1098. There were some delays in the case and not everyone was forthcoming, so when talk of a cover-up began it was somewhat understandable. Now the charges have been dropped and despite the election being over and Gates' measure losing, there seem to be plenty of folks still running with the "it's all a damn conspiracy" narrative.
And when no witnesses came forth and Gates claimed to have paid the damages himself, the charges were dropped.
Even a week after the election in which the man's highly championed I-1098 measure lost big, conspiracy talk is still common on news sites that have reported the story.
"Rick D" on Sound Politics today wrote:
"This tells me we have some corruption going on in the Mayors office and the top of the SPD. If you're going to cover up the small stuff, you'll cover up the big stuff too. Lying scumbags the lot of them."
There's also "Smokie" who writes:
"Doesn't it make you wonder why the people who got hit didn't press charges on the accident? One must assume they were over-compensated in return for silence and refusing to charge. Should the headline be, "Gates pays for silence of accident victims."
It's likely that whoever Gates ran into walked away hoping that the man would make a steady habit out of hitting his or her car then paying for their silence.
Besides, conspiracy theorists forget that dismissing traffic complaints for friends of the city is par for the course in Seattle. Just ask former Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis, who just yesterday had his ticket dismissed for backing his car into a scooter and driving off.