Seattle, Washington - A cease and desist order was issued by the Superior Court of King County August 31st after a liquor store manager began registering voters for George W. Bush and the republican party. Angry over Hemp-Fest participants allegedly registering voters for John Kerry last weekend, the store manager Vicente Delgado felt he had every right to do the same thing for the opposing party. State officials felt otherwise.
"The liquor stores of Washington are state owned and operated. As a state operated facility, we cannot support or endorsed a political party or candidate of that party," they said.
They also told us the Mr. Delgado was giving away a free bottle of Tequila to everyone who registered, and this would be considered, in the eyes of the law, as an act of coercion. Mr. Delgado assured officials that he used his own money for the Tequila he gave out.
"Mr. Bush has been very supportive of our community. This was just my way of thanking him. Many of my friends, (most of them illegal) work for members of the Republican Party. They may have turned a blind eye to our legal status, but they will never turn their ‘greenbacks' on us. Mr. Bush was working to allow more of us into the U.S. to do the jobs that most Americans are not willing to do, like being CEO of Enron, and other nasty jobs."
Hemp-Fest is a local celebration and has no state or local governmental ties.
Proponents for the legalization of marijuana demonstrate at the festival each year. "We had officials there registering people to vote, but they were not giving out ‘samples' to those who signed up as a democrat for John Kerry. We just want people to get out and vote," said Moonunit Benson, spokesperson for Hemp-fest. "If they want to register people to vote for George Bush, why don't they hang out at the gun club or something," she added.
Local republicans working on the Bush campaign said, while they understand and appreciate Mr. Delgado's wiliness to help, associating Mr. Bush with a liquor store is probably not a good idea considering his battles in the past with alcohol.
"It's kind of like naming a driving school after Stevie Wonder, not a good mix."