Green Party candidate Dixon arrested outside debate
Green Party Senate candidate Aaron Dixon was arrested this afternoon after his campaign workers say he tried to get enter the KING-TV building to participate in a debate.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Green Party Senate candidate Aaron Dixon was arrested this afternoon after his campaign workers say he tried to enter the KING-TV building to participate in a debate.
Seattle police wouldn't confirm whether it was Dixon who was arrested. They said only that someone was taken into custody at 2 p.m. for investigation of trespassing.
Police spokeswoman Debra Brown said the person was asked to leave the lobby of the Seattle television station, but refused.
Republican Mike McGavick, Democrat Sen. Maria Cantwell and Libertarian Bruce Guthrie were at KING-TV to tape a debate that aired Tuesday night.
Dixon wasn't invited to participate because he couldn't show the minimum financial support to qualify under criteria set up by the Debate Advisory Standards Project, a nationally recognized group. The debate was co-sponsored by The Seattle Times.
After the arrest, about 35 Dixon supporters marched several blocks from the television station to the Seattle Police Department's west precinct. They then marched back to the television station, where they rejoined a crowd of political activists.
More than 40 supporters of Cantwell and McGavick camped outside during the debate, waving signs and yelling campaign slogans.
Dixon, 57, runs Central House, a Seattle nonprofit that provides transitional housing for homeless young adults and leadership training in local high schools. He was a civil-rights activist in the 1960s who organized sit-ins, and was the leader of the local Black Panther Party.
Guthrie qualified for the debate after he loaned his campaign $1.2 million of his own money. Cantwell and McGavick have raised millions in campaign contributions.
Ray Heacox, president and general manager of KING-TV, said in a written statement that the "issue of when to include a third-party candidate in a debate is one of the most difficult issues in covering politics."
"Our goal is to have a public discourse on the issues," Heacox said. "We invited all the Senate candidates to participate in the debate under the condition that they met any one of a number of criteria to establish their viability.
"It is unfortunate that Mr. Dixon did not meet any of those criteria. It is also unfortunate that he refused to leave the premises when asked to do so," Heacox said.
Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or email@example.com
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