In this week's paper, Anna and Eli review the allegedly deceitful attempts by a coalition of businesses to overturn Seattle's $15 minimum wage at the ballot box this fall. Today, the group turned in thousands of (not yet verified) signatures—they needed 16,510—according to the City Clerk's office.
But the labor-backed activists at Working Washington are already challenging the validity of the signatures with a complaint submitted today to King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg. Thus began a game of bureaucratic musical chairs: Satterberg referred the complaint to Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, who referred it to the Seattle Police Department. SPD spokesman Drew Fowler says he'll have to get back to me on if and who at the department would carry out such an investigation.
"Elections officials must closely scrutinize every signature submitted today in light of the corrupt practices by Forward Seattle's paid signature gatherers," says Working Washington in a statement, citing reports submitted to their website and a recording where a signature-gatherer allegedly claims that his petition is actually to raise the minimum wage. "Some of the paperwork they submitted today may not even include valid signatures from real people," the group says.
The charge raises a troubling question, if true: what kind of fake humans signed those petitions? We've asked Forward Seattle for their response to the allegations and will update if we hear back.