"Sawant's team calls that voter suppression."
It's not. Any registered voter eligible to participate can do so. If Sawant's supporters are too lazy to vote, that's a different problem.
Aw, Rich is having a sad.
Sounds like Sawant and her minions tried to game the system in her favor and failed. Ooops.
And this ain’t “Right Wing” bullshit unless you believe that Capitol Hill is filled with Republicans. It’s not. But why let the truth get in the way of a good Stranger rant?!?
Recall campaigns are for losers who can’t unseat their adversaries through the scheduled electoral process, aka democracy. It’s a cheap shot to force a kooky vote in-between normal elections if Recall Sawant has the signatories... which they really should by now if so many people are desperate to yoink her from office. I mean even their opponent was helping to collect them.
Is Kshama perfect? No. But, I personally love the wrong way she rubs certain people. Is Henry Bridger a number two? Absolutely.
No, but other parts of District 3: Madrona, Leschi, Madison Park, and our very own local upper-middle class WASP heaven, the gated-with-private-golf-course enclave of Broadmoor, most definitely are. They've always been in the minority, and have always resented the fact that they've been perpetually outnumbered by the great unwashed liberal/socialist hoi poloi surrounding them. But, what they lack in votes they more than make up for with cold, hard, U.S. currency, which is the only reason this bullshit recall is even taking place, as the link below more than aptly demonstrates.
@4 The link you provided shows that lowly public servants working for the State have contributed more to the recall campaign than the employees of any other single employer. Are these the wealthy Republicans in District 3 you wanted to show us?
From Sawant's most recent C4:
410 Terry Ave. North
Seattle, WA 98109-5210
OS PAPER/2 PCKG TAPE/TP $82.56
410 Terry Ave. North
Seattle, WA 98109-5210
OS PAPER TOWELS $31.93
410 Terry Ave. North
Seattle, WA 98109-5210
OS 4 PACK TONER INK $202.76
I thought her campaign slogan was "Tax Amazon," not "Give Amazon Your Money, Rather Than Supporting Small, Local Businesses."
I guess you didn't note all the real estate companies, law firms, MSFT, AMZN, Google, Boeing, construction & development firms, for profit health care providers, et al, who are listed as employers as well. And let's not overlook the single largest employer listed "NOT EMPLOYED", to the tune of $170K, about 25% of the total contributions received by the campaign. In case it requires an explanation, this doesn't mean these people are unemployed, it means they're retired. Yep, lots and lots of old, retired people with lots of disposable cash to burn. You think THEY vote for Democrats & Socialists? Think again.
And did you forget the fact that anyone who lives anywhere can make a contribution? Hell, you-all always complaining about Sawant getting out-of-town contributions, why would you assume the recall campaign isn't doing likewise?
Perhaps THIS list will make things a bit clearer:
It's better for Bellevue if Sawant is still a member of the Seattle council, screwing everything up, but I would love to see her get dumped. So, I win either way!
Back in June Rich Smith derisively rejected my op-ed on police accountability (available here:
by claiming it was a bunch of speculation on numbers, and, I guess was of little interest.
Rich might of been right about my op-ed being of little interest, as The Stranger has shown no interest over the last few years in investigating Seattle's failed police accountability system.
And in a post-George Floyd environment surely the public don't care, is that right Rich?
Don't worry Rich, I won't prosecute you for plagiarizing something I never did. But that thing I never did, you did way better.
"Deliberately trying to avoid that option would be tantamount to voter suppression."
No, it wouldn't be, because if the recall election does happen, every registered voter in District 3 will receive a pre-paid ballot in the mail. If it's a special election, then that ballot will contain exactly one line. That line will have two fill-in-the-bubbles after it. One bubble will be for the Recall, and the other bubble will be against it. There cannot possibly be a simpler, easier ballot to complete and to return. So long as we use paper ballots, it literally cannot be simpler or easier to vote than this. This is the very opposite of voter suppression. This is voter empowerment.
Now for some humor value, derived from watching Rich work himself into a lather over some magnificently picayune details:
"If you add the 2,587 signatures from the solidarity campaign to 9,000 signatures from the recall campaign, you get 11,587 signatures, which is more than the 11,576 signatures Bridger claimed to have."
How many more? Eleven. Yes, eleven. (And, of course, that "9,000" figure was an estimate, not an exact number, making Rich's attempt at the maths even sillier.)
(Were I a betting man, I might wager that the National Rifle Association could be more trusted to submit valid signatures for a Communist-led gun-seizure Initiative, than CM Sawant and her supporters can be trusted to deliver valid signatures to the Recall Sawant Campaign -- and that all pigs, everywhere, will actually fly to other planets before either of those events takes place. But back to Rich math.)
Having gotten his knickers in a twist over a discrepancy of eleven -- count 'em, eleven -- signatures, Rich then takes a page from Charles Mudede, and simply starts making up facts:
"At the absolute least, the recall campaign had between 12,000 and 14,750 signatures ready to turn in on August 2."
Then we learn why Rich finds eleven (count 'em, eleven) so vexing. Thirteen and fourteen also confuse him, as well:
"That said, in an August 11 email to supporters, they claimed to have collected 13,000 signatures, so they could have turned them in then. But they didn't. Why?"
Because thirteen is less than fourteen, Rich:
'The Sawant Recall campaign FAQ page makes the same argument: "...it’s best to gather about 13,000 – 14,000 to ensure we have enough since some will be invalidated."'
@9: Rich was just jealous. ;-)
@8 But you still have to live in Bellevue. So no, no you don't win.
@7: "And did you forget the fact that anyone who lives anywhere can make a contribution? Hell, you-all always complaining about Sawant getting out-of-town contributions, why would you assume the recall campaign isn't doing likewise?"
You could just have the Seattle Ethics & Elections Commission web site make you some nice color-coded pie charts. They're easier to read than long lists of names, and you wouldn't have to speculate. Here, take a look:
40% of Recall Sawant's dollars come from District 3, with 17% coming from outside Seattle.
21% of Kshama Solidarity Campaign's dollars come from District 3, with 57% coming from outside Seattle.
Let's put that in context. CM Sawant is the only person ever elected to represent District 3. She has spent more time on Seattle's City Council than anyone else currently there. She has huge name recognition. The Stranger, long a strong voice in the physical center of what is now District 3, constantly supports her without qualification. Yet, dollar for dollar, she gets about half as much of her money from District 3 as does the campaign to recall her. More dollars to retain her come from outside the city than from all of the districts in Seattle combined. Despite Rich's dutifully obedient regurgitation of her campaign line ("...politicians who fight for tenants, workers, poor people...") his entire fretting over the timing of the election simply serves to admit she has no significant "ground game" -- in Seattle's most liberal of districts.
If CM Sawant was indeed the performer The Stranger and her other supporters claim, then the Recall Sawant effort would be little more than a risibly small distraction. Instead, after most of a decade on the Council, she's fighting a bunch of nobodies for her political career.
It's little wonder Rich is so very, very angry at them.
@2 you and Rich should just quit with the bullshit of calling everyone who disagrees with you Right Wing.
In the November 2020 election 75% of King County Voters cast ballots for Joe Biden. In Seattle that number is closer to 90% (or higher). Hell even in that scary rich enclave of Broadmoor 70% of the precinct voted for Biden. Yet to hear you, and Rich, and council members, Sawant and Gonzalez tell it there's some huge number of right wing voters in Seattle who oppose them.
Give it a rest man, it's Seattle there's only 5 Right Wing nutjobs in the whole city.
It is probable that some liberals and progressives disagree with you. It's probable that some liberals, and progressives want Sawant recalled, and it is probable that some liberals and progressives signed the Compassion Seattle petition.
Your purity tests do nothing.
Sawant is so fucking entitled that she believes that she has a right to control the campaign to unseat her. This is politics in the end, and if the recall group wants to have a special ballot, they have an absolute right to do that and anything else that is stratetically effective. It is ethical and legal. Not so much the voter suppression tactics of the Sawantists - notably dissapearing regularly the recall signs from the district. And since there is neither a waiting perior or proof of residency required for voting in Washington, the do anything to win ethics of her acolytes has me wondering how many of our unhoused suddenly end up voting in her district, not to mention her minions who arrive from out of state to work the campaign.
One has to be brain dead to not vote. It requires a pen or pencil, and a tongue to seal the envelope. No stamp required. Registration is immediate, and doable online. If one does not choose to vote, it is because they won't. Not because they can't. And while I doubt that people in apartments are moving in droves in the cold months, if that were the case, the same would apply to the November ballot. Sawants tactics of name calling and a fictional narrative attempts to villanize the campaign to unseat her. But heck, that is strategy, sort of like when the recall folks decide to turn in the petitions. A difference is that the recall folks are not lying or cheating. While she persistently makes things up and her troops intimidate and steal signs with impunity.
It is aspirational to vote to recall her. Doing so per her screeds will increase one's net worth to a billion or more and give us nice water views to enjoy, since that is how she describes those supporting the recall. Cheaper than lottery tickets. Her enemies are the billionaires. Vote against her and be her enemy and become a billionaire in the process. I'm in!
@11 Bellevue is amazing! Clean streets, clean parks, pretty trails, free parking, low crime. Break the law and get arrested. It's a nice place to live.
@17 A walkability score of zero and having at least one neighbor who's a smug condescending asshole is bad enough. Also, parking is never "free" someone is paying for it. Remember, if a product is "free" most likely you are the product. Furthermore, that should read low levels of physical petty crimes. The big systemic crimes go unreported. Break the law and get arrested (unless you're wealthy and it's financial crime) fixed it for you. You're welcome.
@18 literally yesterday...
Junwoo Chon, 50, of Bellevue, faces as many as 20 years behind bars when he's sentenced Dec. 3.
Prosecutors said he used nonpublic information on up-to-date subscriber numbers to purchase Netflix "call options" that allow investors to buy a stock in the future but at the day's price in order to profit.
@19 Yep, that's it. We got him. White collar crime is over in Bellevue.
@12/14 I would expect the right wing conspiracy chants to go away anytime soon because honestly what else can she campaign on? Her usual screed of demonizing her opponent as a tool of big business won't work this time and we all know she can't run on her record of legislative wins and supporting the inhabitants of district 3 as she is mostly MIA except when there is a PR opportunity to be had for the "movement". So alas we'll be stuck with attacking the actual voters and labeling anyone who dares to express discontent with her leadership as enemies of the people. Unfortunately that strategy tends to work in Seattle where a lot of low commitment, low information voters cast last minute ballots.
On a side note I don't recall Rich et al complaining about voter suppression when King County just rammed through a massive tax increase on the Aug primary ballot. An election by the way that traditionally has the lowest turn out of any election (this year 34.4%).
@20 I mean, you said white collar crimes never go reported or prosecuted. I provided just 1 recent example and it just so happens to be in the city you dispute.
Why you mad?
If you have more information on these rampant white-collar, Bellevue-based crimes I am sure the FBI or SEC would love to hear about them.
@22 That's quite a bit of projecting you're doing. I'm not mad. I'm happy that they're being prosecuted. Any more recent examples?
I oppose the recall because I believe that process should be reserved for the worst of the worst, and the arguments being made for this one strike me as a random hodgepodge of trivial procedural complaints. The Durkan one is especially risible though it offers a cautionary tale: If you need to keep your personal life private, DON'T RUN FOR PUBLIC OFFICE. Jeezus that woman is dumb.
That said, I find the allegation that the recall campaign is engaging in "voter suppression" to be not only absurd but borderline offensive. It is no such thing. Regardless of when the vote takes place, everyone in the district will receive a ballot in the mail, and all they have to do is mark it and send it back (or drop it off at their handy corner drop box). The beleaguered voters of color in states like Georgia losing their Sunday church-to-the-polls tradition would be thrilled beyond belief to have such a convenient system and the Sawant people should perhaps ask Stacey Abrams what she thinks of this semantic appropriation. I suspect they won't like the answer.
The Stranger is Breitbart of the Seattle left. As the mouthpiece of a political campaign masquerading as a journalist, you are the one using right wing tactics, not the Recall Sawant campaign.
I always find it funny that people mad about Sawant always dogpile onto these articles screaming that she has so much "out of town" money. First, no sh** Sherlock, she's part of a national movement. People see what Sawant has done here and want to see it in their city. Second, the fact remains that Sawant has way more in-district contributors to her campaign than the Recall does. (You can check on the SEEC website.) Kind like how Sawant has been elected by a majority in her district three times in a row?
@24 I think Rich Smith did a pretty good job explaining why this is voter suppression, and true, it's one of very few kinds of voter suppression the Recall could get away with in a place with in a place with our system, which I agree we're very lucky to have. But intentionally securing a lower turnout is.. by definition, voter suppression. They're trying to have fewer people vote. And as Rich pointed out, not everyone DOES get a ballot; renters with outdated addresses don't get a ballot, and the housing crisis in this city means renters (particularly youth and people of color) move around several times every year; i know I have. That's part of it.
Also, the suppression happening here IS targeted at people of color, especially the Black community of the Central District, which historically has gone to Sawant every election. These communities went out in FORCE for Sawant in 2019, and to be honest for me it goes beyond suppression of votes; the Recall is seeking to invalidate the majority decision that D3 made in 2019 with a turnout in the winter that will largely be wealthy white people, as special elections almost always are. I don't think I can know what Stacey Abrams would or wouldn't think about this specific situation without asking her, but trying to overturn the vote of a high-turnout 2019 election of primarily working people, young people, and people of color with a low-turnout winter recall vote of wealthy white people I don't think would sit right with her.
@27 if someone has moved they can update their address very easily or worse case request a ballot. It's all online so not voting is completely on the voter which is why this is not any form of suppression. If Sawant is as popular and loved as you and Rich seem to think she is there should be no problem getting people to come out and vote to keep her office.
Its debatable BIPOC communities have been out in force for Sawant. Most of her followers seem to be disaffected, larpers who believe someday the masses will see the error of their ways and rise up with them to overthrow capitalism and install Kshama as our beloved leader (newsflash - that will never happen). I guess we'll see in Feb.
@28 I mean it's not actually debatable. the precincts in her district with the largest Black communities (as well as Vietnamese communities and East African communities) had wildly high voter turnout in 2019 and Sawant won them by the largest margin. It's literally just verifiable fact.
The weird thing is, as much as you think Sawant supporters are just crazed lunatics who hero-worship her for no reason, you're the one who can't accept that their view doesn't reflect reality. Give y'all hard, cold, verifiable fact that you can check for yourself on the SEEC website and instead you insist that it's "debatable" because of how her followers "seem to be" to your perception – because you decided to view them that way.
Lastly, your nonsensical perspective on voter suppression just shows me you've never talked to marginalized communities about voting. Talk to me when you've explained to a 28yo working mom who just moved that she'll have to bus to the DMV downtown or the KCE location in Renton to turn in her voter registration because she doesn't have a WA drivers' license. You insist that people like these are fringe cases, but they're not. That's why literally tens of thousands of people still don't vote even with our mail-in system, which is still better than a lot of other places.
Wild to me that people in this city call themselves progressives when their "personal responsibility politics" sound like they come straight from Reagan. Y'all are incapable of an ounce of self-reflection.
@30 there is no demographic data available for election results. Even if you go by the district map her largest support was the core of Capitol Hill and First Hill. Hardly the core of the BIPOC community. In Mt Baker and the Cental district it was pretty evenly split between her and Egan. You’re just pushing some narrative that she is a friend of the BIPOC community.
You can also register to vote, change your address and request a ballot online so spare me the poor mom sob story who can’t make it to the DMV. It literally can’t be made any easier to vote than the way Seattle does it. If you really think it’s that hard than your poor mom prob isn’t going to find time to vote in a general election either.
I love the bellyaching of these entitled Communists. They seem to think the rules should only work in their favor and that their opposition should be bending over backwards to meet their demands.
News flash for the Sawantistas: The recall campaign doesn't owe you SQUAT. They can run their campaign and strategize however they see fit.
Cry about it.
Sawant's Bolshevik tactics are tiresome. So much like that last president we had. It's always "Us against, "Them"' with her. Support her 100% or you are a capitalist, right-wing swine!
And what's this about voter suppression? She's taking it out of the Civil Rights fight that we are seriously fighting in parts of this country and using it to support her own cause. She's good at that. Now, what was I saying about the Bolsheviks?
So much inane Stranger kvetching, so little time.
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