Good news for Tacoma voters. They'll have the option of picking at least one political candidate who can prove he's not insane. All the others can only claim to be.
A Pierce County court last week ruled Tacoma City Council candidate Robert Jesse Hill was mentally competent to stand trial for felony intimidation of a judge, roundaboutly confirming he was sane enough to run for public office. But while that saves him from a tour at Western State, he's still being held in jail on $25,000 bail.
Hill, you may recall, comes from a long line of Tacoma political prisoners, having carried on his city council campaign while behind bars. A perennial candidate, he is pro-masturbation and anti-establishment, weighted down by a lengthy court record that includes stalking a porn star in Seattle.The News Tribune says a judge agreed that Hill, 41, aka "The Traveler," understands the legal proceedings against him and is competent to assist in his own defense and therefore, presumably, in his own campaign, too.
However, he should have another evaluation prior to leaving jail, because, says a doctor's report, he's at risk "for future dangerous behavior and for committing future criminal acts jeopardizing public safety and security."
He's also got a half-dozen court appearances to worry about. The most recent is for allegedly intimidating Tacoma Municipal Court Commissioner Randy Hansen, telling the judge that he, Hill, "had intimate knowledge" about the judge's family. Hill also allegedly left threatening messages about Hansen on a local blogger's phone, prosecutors say.
Hill's attorney, Robert Quillian, concedes that Hill "rubs a lot of people the wrong way," but that he has a "valid campaign going" for City Council, "something that is of great concern to him and his mother."
Hill hopes to become a member of the city council whose meetings he has interrupted over the years, sometimes by singing from the podium, waving signs promoting masturbation, and exposing himself to council members.
They have a sense of humor about that kind of politicking in Tacoma, however. In the 2008 election, Hill drew votes from 51,587 county voters who thought he would make a good sheriff.