Now that the Washington State Supreme Court has certified the recall effort against her, Councilmember Kshama Sawant and the Kshama Solidarity Campaign are preparing for a nasty political fight.
Sawant told The Stranger that she's expecting quite the disinformation campaign from the Recall Sawant camp, one that will rival the "no holds barred attack" in the 2019 election. During that race, Amazon spent $1.5 million to defeat progressive candidates, and (mostly) failed. Still, that money paid for numerous racist and misogynistic Sawant mailers, many that included a false claim that she canceled nearly 50% of her council meetings.
The recall campaign already sent out a particularly colorful mailer denouncing Sawant. The flyer showed up in District 3 mailboxes last month.
Complicating matters for the Sawant camp is that the Recall Campaign will certainly lean on the Court's ruling in its messaging and in the ballot language itself, conflating the decision of factual sufficiency for a recall with the idea that Sawant is guilty of violating her oath of office.
Just because the allegations are factual doesn't mean they're legitimate, and due to the weird way recalls work, Sawant "wasn't able to testify" or defend herself against the charges, Sawant Solidarity spokesperson Bryan Koulouris said. But, how do you get that nuance across to voters in a pamphlet? Especially when you can't knock on doors in a pandemic?
Sawant Solidarity and the Recall Campaign have around six months to figure their messaging strategies out.
The Recall Sawant team has 180 days starting today to collect over 10,000 signatures in order to put the recall on the ballot. After that, the campaign must deliver the signatures to King County Elections, which has anywhere from 45 to 90 days to put the measure on a ballot. So, we could see the recall on the November general election, or—if Recall Sawant bides its time—on a February special election ballot. Regardless, Seattle's District 3 is in for a long campaign.
"This is a call to action," Sawant said. "We know if we allow this recall to succeed, we know that the ruling class will use this as a template to go against movements as a whole.”