Are you sick of talking about elections? Me too! But I'm never sick of talking about the way politicians (liberal and conservative!) treat reporters in the age of Trump. The latest case study, which I initially missed, comes from Burien, where "Burien Proud, Burien First" candidate Darla Green kicked KUOW immigration reporter Liz Jones out of an election night party.
Here's Jones, who, by the way, is one of the finest immigration reporters* we have in Seattle:
KUOW attempted to enter the party at Angelo’s and interview candidates but candidate Darla Green denied access, declined requests for interviews, and prevented KUOW from seeking interviews from other candidates in the room.
Green, who conceded the Burien City Council race to incumbent Nancy Tosta yesterday was one of the most vocal candidates in favor of putting the city's sanctuary city ordinance to a repeal vote. That repeal effort was launched by Respect Washington, an organization funded primarily by a Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate group that publishes white nationalist literature. Earlier this year, a judge granted an injunction on the repeal effort, saying that it would cause, and has caused, real harm to Burien residents.
Nevertheless, candidate Debi Wagner, also an incumbent and a supporter and donor of the repeal effort, is doing well in her race. She's leading labor and immigrant rights leader Jimmy Matta by two percentage points and 141 votes. Earlier this year I asked Wagner, who made her name leading Burien's "Quiet Skies Coalition" in an attempt to tamp down on airport noise, if she was troubled by Respect Washington's source of funding. She gave me one flippant response before she stopped returning my e-mails.
Green wasn't the only candidate to block a reporter's access on election night. King County Sheriff John Urquhart, who is currently trailing challenger Mitzi Johanknecht, gave a Seattle Times reporter the wrong location for his election night party.
King County sheriff, upset about Seattle Times watchdog reporting on him, sent a Seattle Times reporter to a made-up campaign party across town from his real party https://t.co/4kk5EuYZeu
— Mike Rosenberg (@ByRosenberg) November 8, 2017
Woo #resistance! Everything is great here in solid blue Western Washington!
*Full disclosure: Jones is married to Anthony Hecht, The Stranger's CTO. This doesn't have anything to do with my opinion that she is an awesome immigration reporter, but there you go.