I've seen the argument posited that electing people like Kshama Sawant who are further to the left will help pull the dems/lefties/progressives/middle types to the left. I was wondering if the possibility of this effect and its consequences has been discussed at any length either in blog posts or comments.

Doesn't really matter, just curious.
It's positive that she can talk openly about being a Socialist.

It will be interesting to see what being a Socialist means in Seattle.

So far, I'm a liberal and nothing she has said -- which admittedly is not much -- is particularly shocking.

Being a NIMBY and desiring to protect my Single Family estate against the horde of renters, I loved it when she said that the community could decide whether we want more apartments.
It's also worth wondering how much this is a result of the Right relentlessly demonizing Obama (or other Democrats, who govern to the right of Nixon) as "Socialists". Maybe lower-info, middle-of-the-fence voters look at them and think, "well, maybe that's not so bad", or, at least, better than the alternative. Way to screw your own message, Tea Baggers.
Has anyone asked Sawant how she feels about giving Steve Ballmer and friends a bunch of bonds for 30 years of anticipated tax payments ? The ability to watch millionaires playing basketball seems like a good reason to further crush the Port of Seattle and short haul drivers.
It is also interesting that Seattle School Board Director-elect Sue Peters overcame a huge wave of money from her opponent, Suzanne Dale Estey and her wealthy ed reform friends. Her lead has gotten bigger every single day since election day.

And Dale Estey said this about the negative campaigning on her behalf (from an article in Parent Map), "She said experts had told her that the gains from negative publicity far outstrip the losses."

Seattle should lead the way in showing that the person and the issues matter, not the money.
Hrm, Sawant spun the MOU as a "done deal" despite the fact that it's not a done deal and there are further votes to be done when the EIS comes back, after the economic impact studies come back, and before any bonds would be issued.…
Reached for comment by Seattle Weekly, Sawant clarified her position, saying: “Richard Conlin did nothing to stop the stealing of the Sonics basketball team from Seattle by the NBA. I share Sonics fans’ desire to have their team back.”

“I don’t have a formal position on the current MOU, since it’s not something I would vote on as a council member. My understanding is that the deal is far better than the huge giveaways to super-rich owners of the Mariners and Seahawks, both of which were undemocratically rammed through by the city’s political establishment. NBA owners want taxpayers to foot the bill, and so opposed the deal in part because it sets a dangerous (for NBA) precedent that new arenas could be established without taxpayers getting stuck with the bill.”

“However,” Sawant continues, “there are a number of priorities I would want addressed should the MOU need to be renegotiated or replaced when it expires in 2017. … Many people are concerned that the current MOU will undermine port operations and local small businesses, and that the deal includes public handouts to private investors. I will oppose any potential undermining of good-paying jobs at the Port of Seattle, damaging local small business, and public handouts to private investors. I want a deal that allows sports fans to enjoy sports but ensures living-wage unionized jobs will not be lost. … I will oppose any regressive taxation used for arena construction or renovations. The tax burden needs to be shifted onto big business and the super-rich.”

“I would need to examine any proposal that came before the council concretely and listen to the different sides - maintaining an open dialogue with sports fans, port workers, unions, and local small businesses - something seriously lacking from Richard Conlin,” Sawant concludes.
Kshama Sawant is finished. She may collect her salary for another two years, but she has no political future.
That Forbes article was great.

Minard can add herself to the list of those who have deen "duped" but what can we expect from some bitch too dense to know who The Misfits are.

Good to see she's starting off by refusing to work toward her goals unless she gets her way or no way at all, with a swipe at the incoming mayor. That's a super smart way to set up an effective first term.
@9) Yeah, I agree. That was a kinda shitty comment.
I agree too, that was a kinda shitty comment, not plain shitty, and not very shitty, just kinda shitty. So we still love her!
The level of shittiness in this election is critical. Stay kinda Kshama, stay kinda.
@9, yeah..already off on the wrong foot and we know where that gets you in Seattle: unemployed at the time of the next election.

This is soooo exciting! For those who wonder whether Sawant will be able to have an effect on the Council - how could she not? Look at the effect her candidacy has had on the debate during this election! Clearly democrats are voting for her - perhaps tired of the Republican-light that our elected officials have demonstrated over the past several years. I hope our Seattle legislators are paying attention!
@9 & 10: Which shitty comment? The one about Murray coming to the party very late for a $15 minimum wage? Isn't that a statement of fact?

Frankly I find it refreshing to know that not the ENTIRE Council will be kissing Murray's butt for 4 years. Mayor Sawant in 2017!
@14 er Doug, inter-governmental bickering was exactly why the last four were wasted.
When I hear Kshama speak, I hear echoes of the New Deal and the Great Society. When I hear local establishment Democrats speak -- including most specifically the ones who style themselves "progressive" -- I hear echoes of backroom deals with the state's billionaires. If I knew the Internationale and could carry a tune, I'd be tempted to sing it right around now.
@14, I'm with you. It's refreshing to have a real leader instead of another pedantic corporate cipher.
@6, why do you think the SonicsGate guys lobbied their supporters to vote for her?

@14, driving people away from supporting your position is refreshingly "McGinn" of her, and not too much of a surprise that you like it. But, it's proven to be a losing approach to creating consensus to change in a legislative structure.
15… FTW!
@18: No one creates "consensus to change" by kowtowing to the establishment.
@20, … said Mike McGinn on his way out the door to Ed "gay marriage in Washington state" Murray.

Lasting change is built on convincing others through reasoned argument with those you do not agree with, and not on needlessly causing friction with those that lean your way and simply need support pulling them toward your position.

The election for mayor was exactly as Murray reasonably argued, it's not just your position but your approach to the people involved.
i just read that forbes article.

and wished i hadn't.

christ almighty forbes, even steve forbes would think that was shite.
@16 is correct.

Remember, the same people that tried to stop MJ being legalized and gay marriage being legalized are telling you to be scared of Sawant.

They only care about their checks from the local billionaires and millionaires to cut sweetheart no-tax deals.
@21: So you prefer style over substance. Got it.
The thing I fucking hate about socialists is their call to international action or their talk about revolutionary bullshit. Just state your policies, explain why they are better than others, and implement them. Don't pretend that you have validated some international movement. Represent your fucking constituents first, not some international movement. If Sawant wins, she works for Seattle, not the world.
@25 I agree.

And bragging like "We were calling for that before it became cool" is exactly not how to govern effectively. Good for her true believers but the more she talks like that the more she will turn off voters, even people who voted for her once. Unless she can cut the ME-ME-ME stuff she will lose and never even get to trying for a 2nd term.
@25 The thing I fucking hate about socialists is their utter obliviousness to the tens of millions of people directly killed by Marxist rulers in the last century. But Che's cool, that Lenin statue is totes cool, fuck the man, yeah socialism! Clueless, shameless fucking fools.
Oy. Not even the eyes of Seattle are on Seattle.
@27: What's the Bush/Cheney death toll?
@29 What the fuck does that matter? If a neocon was being pimped by Slog it would be just as bad. But for the record, probably a couple hundred thousand. Neo-cons are pikers compared to Marxists, and facts are facts.
Damn, what a classless act Sawant is for saying mean ole things about Richard Conlin the other night and mean ole things about Ed Murray today. She would have had 100% support, but now she's blown it.
@7 troll, thought you knew the socialist was going to lose. Take it as a hint that you're wrong about a lot of things.
Talking about what you intend to work toward on the Council is classless and mean? I guess everyone's gotten very used to Councilmembers not having any talking points at all. And everyone's forgetting that Murray said some fairly mean and decidedly nonfactual things about McGinn, and that Conlin claimed that Sawant didn't show any civic responsibility. But I guess avowed socialists are held to a higher standard than fake Democrats.
Anyone who finds these statements by Sawant alarming and offensive is too delicate a hothouse flower for the real world of politics.

The job of an activist politician is to fire up and focus the community to call for action and change, which includes lighting a fire under the ass of fellow politicians to move them to action. Owning your issue in the public forum is essential to prevent another politician from co-opting the issue for the purpose of gutting or destroying it.

Sawant is doing her job right as a candidate, which she very much still is. She has shown her ability to pivot, and she will surely do so when she takes office to move the council and mayor to agreement on common ground and to progress, even through uncomfortable means.

McGinn's failure was that he had no real leverage with the city council in the form of a strong, activist base, influential public leaders or effective special interests groups. You have to bring power with you to the office; it doesn't just appear with the title.

Sawant has been building a strong base and movement, both of which will serve her well to move and motivate other city council members, the mayor and the state.

So, stop fretting like a naive newbie to politics when the rhetoric packs the most moderate of nudges and punches. Politics isn't for those who are completely averse to conflict and disagreement.

The result may beautiful, but the work may require blood, sweat and tears to yield it.
You could say this is the 1% is bringing this on themselves. Things are off kilter and Dems don't seem to get it. Our governor just gave away the entire state to Boeing.
There are plenty of leftists who are still grounded in empiricism and a desire for actual results. Sawant is pure ideologue, from everything that she has shown so far. Being able to ramble on and on and fucking on about corporatism and the 1% doesn't make you capable of getting the streets paved and the public transit running properly.

I am not optimistic.
Every time Sawant insists in clear terms that she wants to get something done, and other people aren't doing it, a bunch of commentators jump on about her "abrasiveness."

Seriously though, all I hear is someone who is ACTUALLY INTERESTED in getting things done, actually passionate and emotionally involved in causes, not just playing a fun political game. I think y'all are just shocked that someone in floppy Seattle politics actually cares and are not sure how to process.
@30, then what does @27 matter?

There are ways to be a Socialist and types of Socialism that don't involve Stalin and Pol Pot and murder. Scandinavia comes to mind.

But, even if the mass murder of tens of million of real americans in the name of Marx is Sawant's nefarious plan, it's going to take a couple years to get there. I'm pretty sure.

If I'm wrong though I'll be happy to admit it to you in the Gulag.

Sawant is right to demand $15 now. It is long overdue. Murray's gradualism could lead to no increase. He also wants to exempt small business and needs to be called out on that. As far as getting along: Kshama is attempting to represent workers and the poor. The Council now largely represents developers and other business interests. There will be a clash. If there is no clash, that would be a bad sign. We need to keep the pressure on, build action in the street etc. to back up proposals Sawant makes in the Council. Otherwise her good ideas will come to naught.
As far as Socialism causing death???!!!---classic case of projection. Capitalism " came dripping with blood and dirt from every pore"( Marx). It was based on slavery and extermination of the native population of the Americas, followed by colonialism, 2 world wars , holocaust, Hiroshima etc. As Martin Luther King Jr. said " The greatest purveyor of violence in the world is my own government." The U.S. has killed more since WWII than any other power. Today capitalism is responsible for mass malnutrition, continuing wars, ecological destruction etc. Stalin came to power by crushing the workers Revolution in Russia , killing thousands of revolutionaries . He and his successors instituted State Capitalism which while claiming to be Marxist was really based on the drive for profit, just like the West. It resulted in exploitation, imperialism etc. Read the Communist Manifesto and decide whether Marx was describing Stalinism!
Sawant won't bring socialism to Seattle---that will take an international workers' revolution. But she has and will shake up Seattle politics. Having her on the Council will make it easier to organize for progressive changes. Everyone who cares about the welfare of people should be excited by this prospect. Now the left needs to organize movements to back up good policy proposals she will make--otherwise she won't be able to accomplish much
In all of the thread of conversation above....or did I miss it?... I didn't detect one word about what folks were going to do to support her. So....... what y'all gonna do besides talk of her projected failure.
@42 I'm not doing anything to support her, because I oppose her.
@1:No:they are cut from a different Moral cloth.Fuck them (the Demolicans).We need to be geographically distinct from those motherfuckers.No compromise with Our Enemies!!! ---- (L)
The (American ) Socialist Alternative (party) is the US section of the Global 44-member Committee for a Workers' International (the CWI).It is almost forty years of age--probably older than you.Here is the CWI's Website --

Youre still here spewing your far right wing garbage?

Someone ask him what his opinion is of nonwhites if you want a laugh (ask about blacks in particular...let him rant). Im guessing hes this newspapers designated "stormfront recruiting troll".

Please wait...

and remember to be decent to everyone
all of the time.

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