10/18/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Glenn Beck To Get Key To City; Protesters Say "Change The Locks!"

The mayor of tinfoil-hat icon Glenn Beck's home town says he wants to give the Fox News carnival attraction the key to the city.

A number of anti-Beck protestors outside city hall in Mount Vernon, Wash., this week have been carrying signs reading "Change the Locks!"

In what may be one of the most politically tone-deaf moves this year, Bud Norris, mayor of the small farming community just north of Seattle, says he'll hand over the hardware to Beck on Sept. 26. Members of the local Young Democrats will be there to protest and welcome the Beckster back to Earth from Planet Fox News.

Western Washington is solidly Democratic, and Seattle's King County nearby voted for Obama last fall by a whopping 4-to-1 margin. Even in Mount Vernon's rural Skagit County, it was Obama by a solid 53-to-43 percent margin.

Norris said he knew Beck when Glenn was just 12 years old. He said he remembers the future right-wing crackpot as a tyke carrying a sandwich board saying "Vote for Norris for county commissioner." No word on whether pre-teen Beck labeled Norris' opponent as a racist.

Beck's popularity and alleged success "is built off a lot of ridiculous and hateful and divisive language. We feel that as a non-partisan position, the mayor should not be endorsing that at all," local Young Democrat President Marc Oommen told Seattle's KING-TV.

Norris' response is classic. He says his decision to recognize locally spawned loonie Beck isn't partisan at all, given that Beck has never formally declared his party affiliation.

"It's probably a judgment call and that's my prerogative. In general, I agree with Glenn Beck's delivery and everything, I enjoy watching him," said Norris. (No word on whether or not Norris was also a fan of the late Gov. George Wallace's speaking style.)

Norris says Beck, who reminds one of late L.A. televangelist/showman/paranoiac Dr. Gene Scott, will give a short speech, and that's it's the first city key he's awarded in six years. It could be the last.

It wouldn't be a total surprise if more than a few people locally and from Seattle showed up to give Beck a warm, town hall-type "greeting" by "presenting" him with their own remembrances -- locally grown, overripe tomatoes.