The Seattle Police Officers Guild represents about 1,300 cops. HG
Incumbent city attorney Pete Holmes and challenger Scott Lindsay faced off at a candidate forum in Capitol Hill last night. After a two-hour marathon of mostly polite debates between candidates for mayor and city council, the sparks went off during the Holmes/Lindsay portion. Lindsay accused Holmes of not doing enough to keep low-level drug offenders out of jail. Holmes slammed Lindsay, who was former mayor Ed Murray's public safety adviser, for the city's use of inmate labor to clear homeless encampments. Lindsay called that "gross and untrue."
Amid the spats, Holmes apologized to the crowd for missing a portion of the night's events. He'd been down at the M. L. King County Labor Council, he explained, trying to get them to endorse his campaign.
But the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG), which is a member of the labor council, "has blocked my endorsement," Holmes said. "SPOG has blocked it because I am holding them accountable. I am going to make sure that we have both police reform and labor rights."
SPOG has a long-held reputation for resisting reform and change at the Seattle Police Department, though the group disputes that characterization. For candidates in progressive Seattle, not having their support is actually a badge of honor. That's clearly the message Holmes was going for here.
But is it true that SPOG blocked Holmes from getting another big labor endorsement? Not quite.
Continue reading »