Bernie Sanders has good taste in Seattle City Council candidates.
After both Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren excoriated Amazon for dropping $1 million in an effort to buy the city council earlier this week, on Thursday the Senator from Vermont did a tweet in support of four candidates the Stranger Election Control Board has endorsed for city council: City Council Member Lisa Herbold, Tammy Morales, City Council Member Kshama Sawant, and Shaun Scott. Here's the tweet:
Bezos and Amazon dumped over $1 million into Seattle’s elections to defeat @d1forLisa, @TammyMoralesSEA, @VoteSawant, and @ElectScott2019—progressives who want corporations like Amazon to pay their fair share and end the city’s homelessness crisis.
We must defeat this greed. https://t.co/wzppnpk0i0
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) October 24, 2019
Is that an official endorsement? It looks like an endorsement. I wrote to Sanders's campaign to ask, and I'll update if I hear back. But for now let's call it "praise" for the most progressive candidates running for council.
The candidates have welcomed the praise to varying degrees. In a statement, Herbold said she wasn't surprised that "the unprecedented level of corporate spending in Seattle's district races are attracting the attention of presidential candidates." Morales thanked Sanders in a Tweet, saying "our local government is not for sale." Sawant thanked Sanders on Facebook for "standing with us against the wrath of the world's richest man," adding that "this isn't about me, it's about us," echoing the presidential candidate's campaign slogan. In an email, Scott, who caucused for Sanders in 2016, called the senator's support "a seminal moment for Seattle politics," adding that Sanders "recognizes something that all sensible Seattleites already knew: that we should have politics free from corporate influence, and governance for the many, not the money."
Support from Sanders could be, as many endorsements from politicians are, ultimately meaningless.
However, for those who lump national and local politics together, the small-E endorsement from Sanders could be clarifying. The Seattle Times Editorial Board, for instance, has tried hard to tie Sawant to Trump, despite the fact that Trump donors have only given to one campaign in District 3, and it isn't Sawant's. Now Sawant can use Sanders's tweet as a shield, if she wants to, and they can all use the tweet to help raise money, if they want to.
Given the popularity of Sanders in Seattle, they may want to. In 2016, Sanders won every county in Washington and ended up winning the Democratic caucuses with 73% of the vote statewide. This year Seattle-area residents have donated over $1.3 million to Sanders's campaign, putting the region in 5th place among his top 5 contributors. The Seattle zip code that has given the most to Sanders (over $76,000) is 98103, which includes parts of Districts 4 and 6.
However, Warren also appears to enjoy broad support in Seattle. Warren has also weighed in on Amazon's attempt at a corporate takeover of the council, and some Sanders supporters have become Warren stans this cycle. Will she be "with Bernie" on this one, too?