'Barefoot Bandit' takes on mayoral candidate Jenny Durkan
The "Barefoot Bandit" served his six-year sentence, but aspiring pilot Colton Harris-Moore has found a new mission: He is using Twitter to lash out at Seattle mayoral candidate Jenny Durkan, who sent him to prison and took away his movie rights as U.S. attorney.
Harris-Moore delivered a tweetstorm of name-calling anti-Durkan rants, accompanied by the kind of unflattering pictures that decorate direct mail hit pieces crafted by political consultants.
It came close on the heels of another.
Such hyperbole is not likely to do Durkan harm. Clinton received almost 90 percent of Seattle's presidential vote last November
Nor is Harris-Moore accurate. He labels Durkan a "career politician," although she's making her first run for office.
Harris-Moore is a booster of former Mayor Mike McGinn, who is seeking a comeback in the crowded field seeking to succeed Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. A flattering picture of McGinn decorates Harris-Moore's Twitter page. Another tweet:
In his Twitter profile, Harris-Moore is identifying himself as a pilot -- although his federal probation officer recently nixed a GoFundMe appeal to may his way through flight school -- as well as an "aspiring entrepreneur" and "former fugitive."
Jenny Durkan is usually imperterbable, whatever the high stakes case she is litigating. But there is a slight indication that the Barefoot Bandit is getting under her skin. She refers to Harris-Moore as "this person," and said in an interview Friday: "I hate to give him any press."
Durkan has certainly gotten under Harris-Moore's skin.
"I came up with a creative way to keep him from profiting off his crimes," she said. "The $1 million movie rights went to his victims and not to him. He forfeited his intellectual property rights. His story rights belong to the United States government."
When 20th Century Fox cut a $900,000 check for movie rights in December of 2015, it was made out to the U.S. Marshall's Service. The money then went to repairs on three planes and a yacht damaged during Harris-Moore's crime spree.
The Barefoot Bandit's GoFundMe campaign collected $1,500, but the probation folks ruled that his victims have not yet been made whole, and that he still owes $129,000 in restitution.
If Durkan wins, do not expect Harris-Moore, now 25, to stand down. The Barefoot Bandit may have his own political ambitions, beyond his native Island County. On June 9, he tweeted:
What does Jenny Durkan think of the "aspiring entrepreneur" and "former fugitive?"
"He is highly intelligent and, when motivated, can accomplish a fair amount," she said.
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