Seattle Will Pay for Sawant's Legal Defense Against Recall Petition



"If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you before any questioning if you wish."

Where's the new attorney in the public defender pool?


I suggest a moratorium on Seattle municipal recall petitions and let the Durkan and Sawant finish their terms in peace.


Let's recall Juarez. And then finish the recall of Durkan.


I'm pro-Sawant but I dont understand why recalls arent considered part of the democratic process like regular voting is? People say let them finish their terms, but if the electorate feels the person shouldn't finish their term, isnt that the (state) constitutionally protected right of the electorate just like voting?

Moreover, we are forced to pay for the abhorrent behavior of our mayor and police so why not the abhorrent behavior of everyone else in government? Should apply to everyone or no one.


@4 The theory behind giving elected officials like 4 year terms or whatever is that the political process should be shielded from the passions of the ignorant mob, to some extent.


Recall procedures like this are characteristic of states, mostly in the west, where the Progressive movement was influential 120 years ago. Like ballot initiatives. State governments were much more flagrantly corrupt, unresponsive and under the thumb of plutocrats back then.


The recall process in Washington state entails considerable effort. Those arguing for the recall must make a credible, provable accusation, before a judge, of malfeasance or misfeasance in office committed by the officeholder. Then the recall committee must obtain a substantial number of registered voter signatures (typically 25 or 35 percent of those who voted in the last election of the officeholder, depending on the particular type of election). The signatures must then be vetted to make sure enough of them are of actual, registered voters. Only then can the recall actually get on the ballot. The website Ballotpedia offers a clear, concise description of the rules. So, recalling an officeholder is rarely a simple or easy matter, and this serves as a check and balance against trivial overuse. Often judges refuse to allow recall elections, and, even if they do, those doing the recalling must then go out and get all those signatures. And that's after hiring an attorney to make the case before the judge. So while many talk about recalling this or that official, it requires significant commitment of time, money, and energy. Personally, I'm glad we have the power to recall. Right, left, or center, I want officials accountable to the voters. Of course, the process can be overused, but I'd prefer that to our not being to recall anyone.


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@4: "I'm pro-Sawant but I dont understand why recalls arent considered part of the democratic process like regular voting is?"

In this headline post, the persons decrying recall have themselves won elections, and abhor the idea of themselves getting recalled. Simple as that.

(It's fun, watching The Stranger encourage the effort to recall Mayor Durkan, and simultaneously oppose the effort to recall CM Sawant.)


I support funding a council members defense against a recall but imagine the nashing of teeth and incredulous offense the Stranger would take if the mayor did the exact same thing.


Another reason recalls are treated differently (RECALL DURKAN!) is that they are usually funded by opponents who lost to the incumbent and their suburban funders who aren't eligible to vote in the election of said incumbent.

Obviously we need more (RECALL DURKAN!) discussion.


@12: I wasn't aware the identity of the recall proponents or funders had a bearing on whether the charges of malfeasance were valid. Isn't that for the voters to decide?


"As we learned from animal farm...."some pigs are more equal than others""