"without providing any evidence"

Wait, The Stranger now requires evidence for accusations of acts of racism? Will this be a new standard going forward?


The political theater here is so transparent it hurts.


I hope to join the compassion brigade.



It is of course a little-known fact that opposing head taxes that exclusively target blue collar workers was a central plank in the manifesto of Mussolini and the Fasci Italiani di Combattimento. THE HISTORICAL PARALLELS ARE RIGHT THERE!


Thanks for reading his crap so I don't have to, Rich.


This guy is so full of shit. Button your shirt and go away, Rufo.


Nice job, Mr. Smith. Runs rings around Katie's stuff on this topic.


There is a point to be made that every political group out there engages in tactics along the lines of, "This one guy over here said something really dumb and offensive this one time so therefore all X are Y." Combing through every last utterance public, semi-public, and private if possible of any and every politician and activist of any prominence whatsoever is an online cottage industry. Helps keep the outrage factories stoked.

Best way to fight the trolls is the ignore them. Many thrive on attention. And the hacks, we will always have with us. Fact of life if you want to be a politician.

That being said, it could be that, in the marketplace of ideas, dude, your ideas just suck.


let's cut to the chase and call it what it is:

katie herzog is a fucking moron


Of course, one doesn't have to be an "activist" when they support the austerity status quo and their POV is well expressed by the regressive ST editorial page. So much for "new ideas", Rufo.


I wouldn’t vote for a member of the Discovery Institute either, but I appreciate his honest assessment of the homelessness/ vagrancy/drug addiction/mental health crisis playing out on the streets of Seattle. Stop shoveling the homeless advocates bullshit talking points and start being honest about the zombie apocoplyse shitshow. It is not just conservatives that are fed up with the endless enabling policies and excuses for why the city is turning into a shit stain. The meth lab trailers in the 90s were parked in Granit Falls, Arlington and Black Diamond. As the exurbs developed, they are busing them into Seattle. We should bus them back. Regional problems require regional solutions, not grandstanding and virtue signaling from a bunch of clowns. Throw the bums out of Council. All carrots and no stick is creating a magnet for riff raff. There is going to be a reckoning in 2019.


Agreed, Rich.


I've heard this idea to "round up the [mentally ill] homeless" and put them in camps/hospitals quite often in conversations with righties. Just seems like these folks have totally given in to the knee jerk lizard brain, even some who on an individual basis have gone way out of their way to help individual mentally ill or homeless people in need. I ask where the money is going to come from for this most expensive solution, lock down hospitals and concentration camps**, when we the people won't even remotely adequately fund the cheaper first option of individual housing assistance and out-patient social workers for the mentally ill people in our state right now. Their eyes glaze over. I guess maybe they would support paying more in taxes if the money was being given to Republican-allied corporations to run for-profit homeless mental hospitals and concentration camps.

I don't even know how to respond to something like Rufo's corporate donation plan. Laughable. 20 years ago the Republicans were still saying it was the job of the churches to help the unfortunate. Guess we've moved on.

I wonder if it was more the laughter of thousands rather than the aggressive mean words of 20 or 30 people that got Rufo to bail out.

**Of course, I'm totally leaving aside the nuts and bolts civil rights and due process issues involved in just "rounding them up" - whoever "them" is to who ever is doing the "rounding" up on a given day.


Rufo is a monied, pampered conservative think-tank beneficiary who swam in the same waters as James O’Keefe. Name ring a bell?

This was a set-up. This candidate and his white nationalist roots had been discovered and he was confronted with it shortly after announcing his campaign. In public. On social media. Like, lots of witnesses. And there were vigorous comments and WORDS thrown in his face that his views were not wanted here and would be challenged.

In response, his spouse — deliberately or not — doxxed a child’s school location in public on social media. When people contacted her employer to let them know what kind of marketing and PR genius they had working for them, the Rufos went on the offensive to change the focus of attention and narrative of the campaign.

They weren’t going to win so they self-immolated in the hopes of taking down his opponent in a firestorm of controversy.

With “friends” like Rich Smith — or The Stranger for that matter — who needs enemies? What a bunch of incompetent boobs...


“To me — an educated, right-of-center Millennial — this is the fundamental distinction between the liberal and conservative mind. In the crudest terms, liberals believe that the individual is powerless on his own and must be protected by the state, while conservatives believe the individual is completely autonomous and self-sufficient.”

Pretty standard stuff — from the National Review:

This in response to Michael Hobbes widely-publicized piece on the unprecedented economic disadvantages of his generation. Sounds like Rufo missed his calling to the compassion brigades...


I'm with @20 - this is some sort of excuse to bail out before some uncontrollable oil or other hits the fire.

His four camps of public homeless advocacy though are pretty much spot on, minus the pegorative sneer.


@14 I get it. I'm sure she experienced all kinds of crap where she is from. Most of it perpetrated by white Christians since that is the majority in the rural areas. I bet Seattle seemed like paradise at first. But I get the feeling she is quietly coming to the conclusion the left here is even worse than what she grew up with.


Rich, come on.

"But in his withdrawal announcement, Rufo broadly blames 'the activists in this city' for the attacks—not particular people or groups advocating for a certain cause"

How you gonna ask someone else to look in the mirror when you can't even walk it like you talk yourself?


Rufo is a big boy, and doxing is just part of the game now in politics, but attacking his family is another matter. They should not have to suffer or worry because people don't like Rufo. I think the voters should have had the opportunity to defeat him, not extremist social media cowards.


@19 "where the money is going to come from for this most expensive solution"

it's just posturing as conservatives are certainly not going to fund the public mental health care network they dismantled in the 80's or go after big pharma for pushing addictive drugs or fund job programs or any partial solution that improve the lot of those that lost most everything. In fact, they just want the homeless to disappear. Having to look at the terrible consequences of their beloved austerity hurts their sensibilities, poor dears.


rich gonna partisan

it's outside of the realm of normal for statist partisans as we see so many, to encounter anyone entering politics who isn't hell bent on using government to take on as many social problems as can be listed. the irony that we have voices in our epistemology who are so clearly team-sports partisans acting like good-faith social critics. come on dude, i see and read your stuff, it's very mainstream left which is your right, but let's not pretend it's just happenstance disagreement over the particulars by a non-partisan free thinker.


‘Rufo is hardly "far right", by the way.’

Ha, ha, ha. He holds positions at BOTH an evolution-denying fake think tank, and at John Carlson’s fake think tank. Evolution-deniers and KVI darlings are about as far-right as it gets in our well-off college town, dear.


To those Social Justice Warriors who hounded him into resigning from the race, a thankful city thanks you for your public service! Keep up the good work.


@31 I mean, if fake work pays the rent, probably gotta have to call it real at some point


Clearly, we need to balance the threat posed by conspiratorial alarmism with the needs of the compassion brigade if we're ever to bring the homeless industrial complex under control.


I also agree with his assessment of the homeless service providers. I used to help serve lunch at The Millionairs club, and during a brutal (for us) cold snap, a young guy came in asking for a jacket. They told him we had to go across town to a place out by 23rd and Jackson to get a coat. I, being Lady Bountiful, gave him my coat (which is not nearly as noble as it sounds, for it was a ratty old thing, and I had a ride home in a nice warm car) which pissed off the person from the Millionaire Club (which is part of the reason I don’t serve lunch there anymore). She told me that “those people need to follow the rules” and that he “probably had a coat already”, which was possible. I totally understand getting worn down by some of the patrons, and not wanting to get a reputation where people can come to get coats, but I thought that given the circumstances she could have given him a break. There’s way too many fiefdoms.


@28 - So there's no difference between manslaughter and murder to you, eh?

It's sad snowflake conservatives get so triggered by reality. It's even more sad that they want us to play pretend with their fake narratives they create to help them cope and then get pissy when we dont.


@34 - that was cute, I lol'd.


@35: With respect to our local homeless-industrial complex, we have indeed reached the singularity, where even employees of John Carlson’s fake think tank can describe the situation accurately. Hopefully, continued implementation of the recommendations in the Pope Report will bear fruit.

@36: “So there's no difference between manslaughter and murder to you, eh?”

The difference between manslaughter and murder is intent, not evidence.


Language like "socialist revolutionaries, the compassion brigades, the homeless-industrial complex, and the addiction evangelists" is a straight up dog whistle to alt-right anti-semites. Nationally they paint George Soros as the face of the "international Jew" and paint his political and philanthropic activity -- and that of synagogues helping refugees -- as part of the grand conspiracy to destroy Christian, free-market America. Jewish Marxists want MS13 to invade, and then, something something something. It's gibberish but it works on the soft heads of alt-right goons.

Locally, that translates down to "rich developers' (they mean the Jews) conspiring with "the media" (they mean the Jews) and politicians (you know who) intentionally creating urban blight as part of some convoluted scheme to instigate the socialist revolution or something. Why would any real estate developer sink millions into building huge commercial projects, and also work to spread crime and fill the streets with junkies? They wouldn't, unless it was part of the Marxist plot to wreck the white nuclear family and its holy free-market social order. Rufo attacks NPR and the NYT because it triggers the reaction he wants from the kind of voters he knows he needs.

Socialism + compassion + profitable homelessness + promote heroin? It's as stupid as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

But here's Christopher Rufo. Saying straight up to Seattle's alt-right, speaking to them in their 4chan language, and promising to champion their police state agenda. One dog whistle here one dog whistle there, sure, that does't make you an alt-right racist. But with Rufo, it's all the dog whistles, all the time. And now he's so, so sad when people cal him racist to his face. Please.

Also: Rufo knew the only chance a right winger had in Seattle was an energized Trump base and a demoralized left, with young people voting in record low numbers. And then come the midterms and it's exactly the opposite. A blue wave was the writing on the wall, and was Rufo's cue to find an excuse to quit.


@39: Yes, you really hate the term, “homeless-industrial complex,” but since the problem it describes obviously exists, you’re reduced to throwing charges of anti-Semitic bigotry at anyone who dares use it. How pathetic.

Homeless service providers exist to take money from the city to help end homelessness. These providers spend a lot of time and effort lobbying our City Council for more money, even as the problem they supposedly exist to solve just gets worse and worse and worse. Hence the aptly-descriptive term, “homeless-industrial complex.” If you don’t like it, work to change that dismal reality.


@40 You haven't shown shit, little less the existence of a "complex". Don't take the propaganda running in your head for reality.


Rufo's 100% right. "The real battle isn’t being waged in the tents, under the bridges, or in the corridors of City Hall. Rather, there’s a deeper, ideological war that’s currently being won by a loose alliance of four major power centers: the socialist revolutionaries, the compassion brigades, the homeless-industrial complex, and the addiction evangelists. Together, these four groups have framed the political debate, diverted hundreds of millions of dollars towards favored projects, and recruited a large phalanx of well-intentioned voters who have bought into the 'politics of unlimited compassion.'"

The fascist left seeks power and control over the people, their money and not solutions to the problems facing not only Seattle but across the country. Face it, the left has become what they claim to abhor and it's not in the best interest of the country, it's what they deem through their sanctimonious actions and views that they know it all and want to impose that hammer and sickle on those that don't march in lock step with their narrow minded and totalitarian mindset where freedom goes to die. It's the left and NOT Mr. Rufo that needs to look in the mirror because of their hyperbolic and irrational intolerance to those that have different opinions and real solutions they so often claim to care about solving.

We need MORE people like Rufo leading the way to get Seattle and other leftist cesspools out of the gutter and actually move towards progress and not the continually permissive, yet destructive, feel good, do nothing, unaccountable money pit policies.


@28: the difference here is it is hard for a woman to prove she has been assaulted, because usually there are no witnesses. And the woman, being assaulted at the time, doesn’t have presence of mind to whip out her cellphone, start recording or take pictures/ video.
This guy has had proof, as in it’s been on the internet.


Joe Fain is a rapist according to the Stranger and his accuser never provided evidence or went to the police


@41: Oooh — touchy! Here’s the “tell”:

“So, where is that money going to come from if we don’t have the courage to take it?”

Behold the ingrained entitlement mentality of the homeless-industrial complex.


At least the comments slung at him were done online. Imagine being on a city council in a small town where the people can say that stuff to your face as you wait to pay for your groceries.


Big Homeless? Come on. Because Big Tent is taken? Oh, wait. I guess it is. How about Big Box!!! Dang the google says Big Box is taken. Big People Choose To Be Poor Because Life Is Always Fair? Ouch!

The military industrial complex is a combination of 1) Huge, wealthy corporations, owned by wealthy investors and institutions. 2) Powerful military leaders 3) Powerful politicians congress, who are easily manipulated by making sure every defense spending increase adds a few jobs in their district, and every defense cut takes away jobs in their district. See what all these things have in common: wealth and power.

What is the homeless industrial complex made of? A handful of perpetually on the verge of insolvency non-profit aid groups, mostly run by professionals who could easily triple their salaries in the private sector, and low-level city elected officials who could easily triple their salaries in the private sector. Oh, and junkies? Flat broke junkies.

Plus... MARXISTS! And shadowy, wealthy puppet masters. And this is where a dumb, dumb theory reveals its true self: It's just the International Jew in the context of podunk Seattle.

The candidates who take Rufos place challenge O'Brien are going to be a rouges gallery of extremist weirdos that make those 20 Mayoral primary contenders look like the All Star Team. Why? Because the faction that hates O'Brien and believes this crap is paranoid, racist, and all around deplorable. Deplorable as in, you can't court their votes without getting some really bad stink on you. We all know the dog whistles, and if you sound on, we will know.

O'Brien could easily be challenged, and beaten, from the left. The 'homeless-industrial-complex' paranoid loons' heads would explode.

What's Nikkita Oliver doing these days? <---- KIDDING! Don't let it trip your trigger.


@48: Eisenhower warned us that when government spends without regard to need or performance, this needless overspending will create its own constituencies, which will then organize to keep the funds flowing. That is exactly what we see with homeless spending in Seattle: tens of millions of dollars spent per year in a futile effort to house a population which was originally a few thousand persons when the spending began.

Rather than tolerate any examination of how our ten-year plan to end homelessness resulted in a homelessness crisis, our homeless-industrial complex simply demanded more money to continue their failed programs. When we citizens objected, and got the EHT repealed, the homeless-industrial complex roared, “Where is that money going to come from?” A perfect statement of blind entitlement from a constituency created by wasteful spending.

“A handful of perpetually on the verge of insolvency non-profit aid groups,”

You’ve audited their books? How exactly did they fail to obtain stable housing for a few thousand persons when we spent thousands of dollars per person on that effort? Any ideas?

“Deplorable as in, you can't court their votes without getting some really bad stink on you. We all know the dog whistles, and if you sound on, we will know.”

Wow — you’re actually issuing pre-emptive threats! You are terrified CM O’Brien will be held to account for his misleadership on this issue, aren’t you? That’s good to know.

“What's Nikkita Oliver doing these days?”

Not that I was wondering, but whatever happened to her? I mean, I’m glad she spent last year’s general election ensuring Cary Moon would lose, but after that, I lost track of her. (All those people who believed she would Do Great Things must be really feeling stupid, eh?)


"terrified CM O’Brien will be held to account"?

What? Why? Because he might not get reelected? That's terrifying because...?

It's only terrifying if you believe the wack conspiracy theory of deliberately importing out-of-state heroin addicts to spread crime and urban blight, and then ???? and then profit! Dumb. Not even so bad it would be a good bad movie. It would make a very, very bad bad movie, not in a good way.

If O'Brien is replaced, he'll be replaced by another very similar center-left Democrat. Whether he remains and continues the same center-left Democratic agenda as he and the Council and the Mayor have been doing, or someone else comes in and carries out the same agenda, there's nothing to be terrified of.

Even if some Discovery Institute Weekly Standard alt-right goon who hates the "junkie plague" and all that hilarious nonsense were to (somehow) be elected, what exactly are they going to do? Be on the losing end of every single Council vote? 8-1, 8-1, 7-2, for the few times when Sawant is distinguishable from a regular Democrat.

Almost as loony as the goofy "homeless industrial complex" canard is the loony idea that Mike O'Brien's seat is worth more than a bucket of warm spit. One city council seat is just about nothing; one seat with a non-Democrat in it is worth less than nothing.


@50: ‘Almost as loony as the goofy "homeless industrial complex"‘

You can stop telling us how much you hate that phrase, and how powerless your empty rhetoric finds it; you’ve made that point admirably well already.

“If O'Brien is replaced, he'll be replaced by another very similar center-left Democrat.”

Yes, but his replacement would be a repudiation of the failed policies which created our homeless-industrial complex while exacerbating our homelessness problems. That’s worth pursuing, if only to make the point that failure has consequences.

“It's only terrifying if you believe the wack conspiracy theory of deliberately importing out-of-state heroin addicts to spread crime and urban blight,”

You’re the only one who has mentioned such a screwy idea. While I understand that’s just your frustrsted, angry reflex when finding your empty rhetoric utterly impotent, it doesn’t add anything to our civic discourse. (You’ll just have to trust me on this.)

“then ???? and then profit!”

How much salary did the head of the Low Income Housing Institute draw last year? (Hint: it’s not what someone earning Seattle’s median household income would call “low income.”)


Why doesn't anybody present some actual proof that any such thing as a "homeless industrial complex" exists? If it annoys you that we speculate about the (loony) origins of this (loony) idea, why not just tell us exactly what the basis is?

All I've ever heard is unverified anecdotes to the effect of "Well, let me tell you about that one time when this one service provider manager guy was a total dick to me! And my own behavior was of course totally beyond reproach!" Sure. Most of the time, when I'm an eyewitness to somebody being a dick, the other party wasn't really being a perfect angel. But it happens. So yeah, deficiently one time a service provider guy was a total dick to somebody.

Does that prove the existence of a conspiracy to shovel tax money at greedy service providers who deliberately underperform, because they don't want to reduce homelessness, since they depend on homelessness for their own existence. And prove that politicians are part of this conspiracy because it all somehow benefits them? Nope. No evidence of any kind.

It's obvious that politicians would be better off if the homeless situation improved. They would look better in the eyes of the voters. A politician beholden to rich interests or any powerful special interests would be motivated to reduce homelessness: that would be beneficial to rich developers, rich employers like Amazon, local neighborhood interest groups.

The only interest group i can think of who definitely benefits from failing to improve the homelessness situation is, Fox News, the KTTH and KIRO broadcasters. All the media who cater to non-Seattle suburbanites and Seattle's angry old conservative minority make a lot of money off reporting how Seattle is failing at homelessness and liberalism is failing and ending the drug war is failing and so on and so on. They would definitely lose money if there were fewer homeless people, less trash, lower crime, lower drug use, etc.

Also, known liars. So they benefit from reporting it in the most negative light, and we know they will say it even if it isn't true. Pretty strong case for a conspiracy there. It makes sense, and they have motive, means, and opportunity.

There is nobody else with any motive, means and opportunity to deliberately fail at addressing homelessness, to deliberately make it more costly than it needs to be, or to intentionally attract more homeless people here.

If you can't produce proof, why not? You guys have been making this same claim for over a decade, and you claim it's happening up and down city hall and across the city, in public and private organizations. It's highly implausible that a conspiracy so widespread for so long would be impossible to prove.

Maybe it is. Maybe it's all real, but for some sad reason you just can't produce the proof. Fine. Don't be surprised you get mocked and ignored. Most people don't believe things like this until they see proof. You should expect this reaction.


@52: 'Why doesn't anybody present some actual proof that any such thing as a "homeless industrial complex" exists?'

Certainly! Recall the definition of "-industrial complex": "...when government spends without regard to need or performance, this needless overspending will create its own constituencies, which will then organize to keep the funds flowing."

So, for which part do you need proof: that Seattle spends money on homeless service providers, that those providers have organized to keep those funds flowing, or that the money has been spent without regard to whether or not this spending solved the problem? Do tell us on which of these points your ignorance has proven most intractable. (If you can't find for yourself urls to Seattle's budget, or to the Poppe Report, then those can be generously provided to you in your need. The links to the advocacy for more money are in this very thread.)

Oh, and you might want to stop raving about "conspiracy" theories; you're the only one here using that word, and by using it so much, you're making yourself sound loony.


NGOs seek funding. You don't get grants unless you apply for them. That proves nothing. Homelessness is an endemic social problem The fact that it hasn't been magically "solved" proves nothing. Your opinion that the money hasn't been spent well is the same thing right wingers say about every government agency, except the police, who can waste all the money they want and Fox News rubes never complain.

You have zero proof that anybody intentionally underperforms with the intention of making homelessness continue or get worse. Everyone involved is making a good faith effort to make the situation better. You might think they aren't good at it and you might think you could do better, but you have no proof of that either, just your ego whispering in your ear that you're brilliant.

You have zero proof of any 'homeless industrial complex'.


@54: "You don't get grants unless you apply for them."

Boeing doesn't get military contracts unless Boeing bids upon them. So, by your logic, there's no military-industrial complex, either? It's not the contracts alone which makes the complex. Boeing employs lobbyists, who actively advocate for more military spending. That is what makes the complex.

Please learn to read. I was very clearly not referring to grant applications. I was referring to the classic entitlement mentality demonstrated by our local homeless-industrial complex, represented here by Tim Harris, founding director of Real Change: “So, where is that money going to come from if we don’t have the courage to take it?” The recipients of the contracts actively lobbied for more funds, in that case to be obtained by the EHT. Did you happen to look at the spending plan for the EHT? More money was allocated to salaries for the homeless-service providers than to addiction treatments for the homeless. That is a classic and defining symptom of a "-industrial complex": more government money for the contractors than for the condition the contractors exist to address.

'The fact that it hasn't been magically "solved" proves nothing.'

The fact that homeless service providers actively lobbied for more money, ostensibly to solve a problem they have actually chronically failed to solve, proves they are a homeless-industrial complex. Q.E.D. You're welcome.

"Your opinion that the money hasn't been spent well..."

...Is based on our ten-year plan to end homelessness ending in a homeless crisis. It is based upon filthy, crime-ridden encampments across our city. It is based on the numbers of homeless persons rising after thousands of dollars has been spent annually for each and every homeless person. It is based on the plain language of the Poppe Report.

"You have zero proof that anybody intentionally underperforms with the intention of making homelessness continue or get worse."

I have made no such statement, which is why I have provided no proof. You are the only one making that statement, just as you are the only one here wailing about "conspiracy" thinking. Enjoy your crushing defeat of your own straw man, and try not to tire yourself further by taking too many bows.

And please don't continue to believe that your crushing defeat of your own straw man somehow disproves the existence of our homeless-industrial complex.


"Boeing doesn't get military contracts unless Boeing bids upon them. So, by your logic, there's no military-industrial complex, either?"

No, that's your dumb logic. You think an "industrial complex" is any time the government spends money in a way you disapprove of. It doesn't really matter that you don't grasp the definition of an "industrial complex".

Rufo gets it, and he speaks well for Seattle's right wing: it's a "loose alliance of four major power centers: the socialist revolutionaries, the compassion brigades, the homeless-industrial complex, and the addiction evangelists." There's your loony conspiracy theory. Revolutionaries. One Socialist city council member equals a "coup d’état". He says socialists are "playing a deeply cynical game, using the homelessness crisis".

You won't admit it, but the rest of the gets-really-offended-when-anyone-points-out-their-racism faction definitely believes there is a conspiracy to exacerbate homelessness. This image of Kshama Sawant being simultaneously an ignorant clown and a brilliant power broker at the center of a powerful secret conspiracy precisely maps to Umberto Ecco's definition of "ur fascism": the enemy (the Jews, the Marxists, or Ruffo's socialist revolutionaries) is both "too strong and too weak".

You can deny it, but Rufo and co believe that the social service agencies have "a system of perverse incentives—these organizations get paid more when the problem gets worse". Rufo & co think they are not really trying to improve the situation; that they are in fact trying to make it worse because that makes them "winners" of more government grants.

Same thing with those who have given up the "just say no" tactics of the failed War on Drugs. Rufo and the rest of the far right thinks if you don't keep making the same mistakes as Nixon and Reagan, then you are deliberately trying to make the drug problem worse. That's a loony conspiracy theory. You deny it, Rufo admits it.

If the right wing believed any of this, they'd be willing to say the same of the police department. Don't SPOG and the SPD have a perverse incentive to make crime worse in the city? More crime, more reason to hire more cops, to pay them more, to build more police infrastructure and buy them more cars and guns and all sorts of gadgets.

Rufo's solutions are precisely the same as everything he decries. "• Immediately build emergency shelters with 2,000 beds." Well, that means somebody gets paid. Builders build. Vendors sell beds. Somebody has a "perverse incentive" to conspire to exacerbate the problem to manipulate the city into hiring more emergency shelter builders, to sell the city more beds. " Empower Navigation Teams"? He means more cops. Cops have a persevere incentive just as much as anyone.

"Provide on-site addiction, mental health, and medical services." That costs money. Mental health workers get paid to provide these services. How do they not have a perverse incentive to fail at their jobs? Same as the above.

Rufo's plan to change the rules of bidding for city grants and contracts to favor religious service providers and his arbitrarily preferred nonprofits at the expense of those he happens to disapprove of, like SHARE, changes nothing. The same perverse incentives he claims plague the current system would equally plague any other organization.

Rufo and Jason Rantz and Dori Monson, and their followers, think they've hit upon this clever idea: perverse incentives. They don't think it through. Anyone getting paid to do anything has a "perverse incentive" to bleed the clock. In the end, all he's doing is touting his own ability to carry out oversight and accounting for contractors. Rufo has zero management experience, has never ran a business, let alone managed millions of dollars in social service project. The only reason right wingers think they would be better at managing anything is because they believe in a free market capitalist ideology, and therefore, they know how management works.

It's ironic how much Rufo blames "ideology", when he is as much an ideological warrior. Acolytes of Ayn Rand have the lowest opinion of human nature: nobody does anything except to profit. They can't envision compassion being a real motive for anyone -- there has to be something sinister behind it. They can't imagine your doctor actually wants you to be healthy -- they only see your doctor's cash register ka-ching the sicker you get.

The point of all this isn't to do a better job of addressing a social problem. It's to frighten the people, convince them they are surrounded by powerful enemies whose octopus tentacles encircle the globe, which justify a brutal police state. Boring old fascism sold by a cheap imitation of Paul Ryan.


@56: ‘You think an "industrial complex" is any time the government spends money in a way you disapprove of.‘

First, I have repeatedly defined what an “-industrial complex” is, and second, why do you believe I “disapprove of” Seattle spending money on helping to end homelessness?

‘It doesn't really matter that you don't grasp the definition of an "industrial complex".‘

What in my definition is wrong? What is the correct definition?

“There's your loony conspiracy theory.”

First, a “loose alliance” is not a “conspiracy”. Please learn to read what you claim to be quoting.

Second, what evidence do you have that I agree with Rufo’s belief in this “loose alliance”? Since you haven’t given any, and since the entire rest of your comment consists of attacks upon Rufo, I’ll do you the immense favor of ignoring it.

Finally, you really should learn not to see a “conspiracy” theory behind every statement you just so happen not to like. It really does make you look loony.


I was going to join the Compassion Brigade but I had bone spurs...


"What is the correct definition?"

What, indeed! If only there were some way to find out the answer. Perhaps in the future when we want to know something, the answer will lie at our very fingertips!

I know you think you've got a compelling idea here. I'm telling you it's gobbledygook but you can't hear me. Fine. Go sell it to the Seattle voters. Rufo failed miserably, drew no support, and bowed out as soon as he found an excuse. The next guy you find is going to be just as barely house-trained, white power skeletons just hidden enough to maybe get on TV.

The reason voters won't listen to you guys is that you think life is fair. Most people are aware it's not. You tell them homelessness is a choice, only people who deserve it are homeless, and they don't believe that assumption. Experience tells them life is not fair. You're not going to change their life experience with a lot of words. You tell them is wrong to be compassionate, and their lived experience tells them otherwise. People know the War on Drugs failed. They saw it fail. It happened in living memory. And here you are telling them, no, no, it didn't fail. We need to go back to "just say no", punish drug users hard, sent them a tough message! Everyone knows that didn't work.

Don't believe me? Well, get out there and fail again.

Rantz and Monson and Fox News will go on profiting off your frustration and fear. They don't want anything to change. Talk about your perverse incentives, it's the right wing media who have every reason to want things to get worse. They make far more money off homelessness and drug use than any little social service org.


"Go sell it to the Seattle voters."

The voters who resoundingly rejected the EHT, you mean? Those voters?

"The reason voters won't listen to you guys..."

The voters who resoundingly rejected the EHT, you mean? Those voters?

The city is already implementing the recommendations in the Poppe Report. That implementation will dismantle our homeless-industrial complex, by de-funding underperforming service providers, and sending the money to providers with proven track records of getting people off our streets and into stable homes. We should then have a system which can make homelessness rare, of short duration, and a uniquely non-repeating event in any given person's life. (There's no need to humiliate ourselves by surrendering to the abject, pitiable defeatism of saying homelessness is "endemic" and we can't end it.) If you have a problem with any of this, please do let us know what it is.

As for the rest, your lazy and dishonest assumption that I'm some kind of right-winger gets dismissed with the rest of your unsupported assertions. Thanks for playing!


"voters who resoundingly rejected the EHT"? The voters? When did the voters resoundingly reject anything?

"...I'm some kind of right-winger..."

Yeah, like Rufo's utter shock and dismay when people started calling him on his racism. It goes like this: maybe you're not a white supremacist, maybe you're not anti-immigrant, maybe you don't want a fascist police state, but all the fascists think you do. The thing Rufo didn't get was that when you dog whistle to them, we all hear it too. We know. When you make their arguments in their language with their paranoid, conspiracy-laden symbols, we see you. When you court the support of deplorables, you become a deplorable. You don't get to play that game and not get any on you.

You don't sound at all confident that the glorious end to the "homeless industrial complex" is nigh. You sound like one lone desperate guy crying out for attention. Kind of like Rufo's campaign.

"If you have a problem with any of this, please do let us know what it is."

Yes. Life is not fair. Bad things happen to good people. Accepting the reality of social inequality, not to mention the reality drug addiction, means rejecting the "War on Drugs" mentality. You can't win a war on drugs, or a war on homelessness. Thinking of any of this like a war that you can win if only you fight extra hard is why right wingers go on clinging to failed approaches.

There is no "homeless industrial complex". There's no evidence of any such conspiracy and it's obviously a localized version of the "International Jew" designed to appeal to the same class of deplorable wingnuts.


'"voters who resoundingly rejected the EHT"? The voters? When did the voters resoundingly reject anything?'

Yeah, why didn't the EHT go into effect? Any idea how that happened? (Nope, didn't think so...)

'You don't sound at all confident that the glorious end to the "homeless industrial complex" is nigh.'

That's because I don't share your utterly hopeless defeatism. Nor do I care one whit about Rufo, who I didn't even know was a candidate before he quit. (If only you knew how to find it, you could nearby read my comment, wherein I speculate Rufo was never a serious candidate anyway. But that would make your obsessive focus on him here look really, really silly, now wouldn't it?)

"You sound like one lone desperate guy crying out for attention."

This from the author of 5,000+ long-winded Slog comments. Priceless!

(But, why would I be "desperate" when the Council and the City both did exactly what I want with homeless policy?)

"There's no evidence of any such conspiracy..."

YES!! Conspiracy lunacy FTW!! Keep on talking conspiracy all by your lonesome, it's the best way to make everyone think you're totally sane and believable. (Trust me on this.) Speaking of which:

Any word on the status of your inquiry into how many of the anti-EHT signatures were fraudulent?


Uggggh, shut up! Nobody is listening. You're convincing nobody.

The same people who spend every day blaming Amazon and the tech bros for literally every single thing they don't like rushed to sign petitions protecting Amazon and the tech bros from a tax so small they couldn't even feel it. Because Fox told them to, because at Fox, money talks, and Amazon has money. QED.

O'Brien has every reason to go on being confident he will sail to reelection, again, with no effort. Again. So ends the story of Christopher Rufo.


@63: “So ends the story of Christopher Rufo.”

Rufo was a nominal, vanity candidate. His work for two right-wing fake think tanks effectively made him unelectable in Seattle — even if he’d had any real support here. This headline post announced his withdrawal.

And yet, here you’ve made comment after comment attacking him, attacking anyone who might vote for him, threatening anyone else like him who might run, threatening anyone else who might vote for such a person. Pre-emptive threats would not issue from someone confident Rufo, or any candidate like him, would lose.

“Because Fox told them to,”

In the city where every neighborhood and district voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton — in a city where she received more than ten votes for every one her major-party opponent received! — tens of thousands of citizens lined up to sign Referendum petitions, simply and solely because “Fox told them to.”

“O'Brien has every reason to go on being confident he will sail to reelection, again, with no effort.”

But what if Fox tells citizens of District 6 to dump O’Brien? Won’t they vote by the thousands, just as citywide they signed by the tens of thousands? What’s to stop Fox from telling them to? (Or, do the residents in District 6 have some double-secret immunity to Fox News’ dastardly commands — an immunity which will magically come into existence the moment you inform us of it here on Slog?)

Because other than Fox, there’s no reason to believe CM O’Brien faces anything other than a cake-walk, right?

“Last week, at a town hall meeting in Ballard, men and women turned red in the face shouting O’Brien down. He was one of two original sponsors of a proposed $500 per employee tax on large businesses to build more housing.”

No, the same citizens who signed the Referendum petitions to recall that law — thus forcing CM O’Brien to repeal the very law he’d sponsored! — they simply won’t make any trouble for him, now will they?

“A petition for O’Brien to step down from the council has gathered more than 2,500 signatures.”

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