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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

October 31, 2014 at 6:31 PM

Former Bellevue councilwoman charged in theft of campaign signs

A former member of the Bellevue City Council has been charged with third-degree theft in King County District Court for allegedly stealing two yard signs supporting the pro-gun rights Initiative 591.

Margot Blacker, who served on the City Council from 1990 to 1997, told police she took the signs as retaliation for the theft of yard signs supportingĀ a competing initiative, I-594, which would expand background checks on gun sales. Blacker has donated $225 to that campaign.

Blacker told police investigating the Oct. 13 theft that she was certain backers of I-591, which would prohibit expanded background checks, had taken some of the yard signs she had posted around the city.

A motorcyclist witnessed the theft and reported the suspect’s description and licence-plate number to Bellevue police. The Coalition to Protect Our Gun Rights, which supports I-591, said it would press charges. Last week, before charges were filed, Alan Gottlieb, chair of the coalition, urged the Bellevue City Attorney’s office to show leniency in the case.

Gottlieb suggested that Blacker apologize and make a donation to a community organization that supports victims of domestic violence.

He also called on the I-594 campaign to return Blacker’s contributions or donate the money to a charity.

Blacker did not return calls seeking comment.

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