The Seattle Police Officers Guild ran a full-page ad in Sunday's Seattle Times urging voters to "RESCUE THIS CITY AND RESTORE INTEGRITY BY VOTING NO ON HOLMES."
The ad buy represents the guild's first real showing in this year's city elections. SPOG spent $8,600 to run the ad, according to a filing with the state Public Disclosure Commission. The union has not officially endorsed Holmes' opponent Scott Lindsay and has not donated directly to any candidates this year. "No one has really asked for our endorsement," SPOG President Kevin Stuckey told me in September.
The relationship between the union representing Seattle Police Department officers and incumbent City Attorney Pete Holmes has gone sour as the city's negotiations with the union have stalled. SPOG has been operating under an expired contract for nearly three years and has returned to social media to remind local politicians of that fact. The ad claims Holmes is "ANTI LABOR."
As city attorney, Holmes has argued the city should be able to implement some police accountability policies without bargaining with SPOG. He said last year the city should open some parts of its negotiations with SPOG to the public but later backtracked on whether that's legal. Holmes also advised former mayor Ed Murray to use an executive order to equip all officers with body cameras, rather than wait to bargain with the union over body cameras. SPOG quickly filed an unfair labor practice complaint about the executive order.
Holmes has spun the tension with the union as a positive thing, a sign he's willing to hold officers accountable and accelerate reform. SPOG and some other labor leaders, meanwhile, claim Holmes is "hostile to workers' rights." (Paradoxically, several high profile reformers have also turned on Holmes in the race.)
While it doesn't mention Lindsay, the ad recycles some of his talking points, including this year's budget hole at the City Attorney's Office and decreases in the number of cases filed by Holmes' office. Holmes has defended the decline, including in domestic violence cases, saying some DV cases are being re-filed as felonies and sent to the county prosecutor.
Lindsay has raised about $133,200, nearly as much as Holmes' $136,800. Only Holmes is participating in the city's new democracy voucher program.
SPOG representatives did not return requests for comment Sunday.