State auditor hopeful blasts Flynn

Kitsap County Auditor Karen Flynn has come under fire from the Republican candidate for state auditor, who has criticized her for not printing his entry in the county voter’s pamphlet as written.

“Karen Flynn has a problem with free and fair elections,” said Will Baker. “The government shouldn’t censor what candidates say in this forum.”

Flynn, however, maintains that Baker’s entry was inappropriate, since voter pamphlet descriptions are intended to discuss the candidate rather than referring to other people.

A similar statement he submitted for inclusion in the statewide voter’s pamphlet was forwarded to the FBI, according to Baker.

Baker’s statement, which Pierce, Sno-homish and King Counties all printed as written, centers around the responsibility of gubernatorial candidate Chris Gregoire and others in the coverup of the 2003 murder/ suicide case of Tacoma police chief David Brame.

It concludes with a link to Baker’s Web site and urges voters to call “60 Minutes” to generate interest in the story.

Flynn, who felt this content was inappropriate, delayed the voter pamphlet printing schedule to give Baker a chance to submit an amended message. This deadline has since passed.

Baker deliberately ignored the extended deadline and instead issued a press release criticizing Flynn.

“A lot of times it’s easier to just print something like this,” Flynn said. “Because to refuse it just gives it publicity that it does not deserve. But we didn’t want to turn our voter’s pamphlet into something worthless. To include this statement would be to decrease the pamphlet’s value, especially since it is paid for by the taxpayers.”

Flynn consulted with Prosecuting Attorney Russ Hauge before making her decision.

Baker is challenging incumbent auditor Brian Sontag, a Democrat. The Washington State Republican Party could not find a candidate to run against Sontag and accepted Baker, primarily because he had run for state office as Republican in the past and he agreed to pay his own filing fee, according to GOP communications director Suzanne Tomlin.

The Republicans learned of Baker’s arrest record after it was too late remove his name from the ballot.

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