Super Scary-Wary Anti-Abolitionist Push Poll Hits the Field, Foreshadowing Contentious Races for Seattle City Council and City Attorney

Comments

1

Newsflash, Rich. Not all of us lefties who life here want to abolish the police/all laws in the city. Shit, most black people don't want that to happen. So how about your sit down and have a nice cup of Ovaltine?

2

With more poverty, more homeless and more people incarcerated in this country than any other in the world we must have abolitionists and worker control of work places asap.

It is time.

3

1 You neglect to understand the alternatives that are offered that would provide housing, health care, diminish poverty and provide community.

4

Basic human needs that human beings require in order to flourish that were described in the mid 20th century include: decent, safe shelter, air, water, food, health care, clothing, belonging, friendship etc.

This system is so behind in these needs it is truly third world.

5

Sure, abolish just about all crimes short of murder, great idea. I realize the city has already sort of done this but to actually vote for someone running on that platform is nuts.

6

I mean, if Slog wants to promote candidates as "abolitionist" in their headlines, maybe they shouldn't be surprised that the candidates' opposition refers to them as "abolitionist."

7

@2: The first two are incorrect.
@3: Anarchy is no solution.
@4: Always available with minimal effort.

Next?

8

If you want to see the true fear mongering just stay tuned to these pages (just read Rich's headline about a poll as an example) and the comment board. Certainly between now and Nov we'll be inundated with articles noting that a vote for anything other than the approved Stranger slate of candidates will be the equivalent to making Seattle some MAGA, Trump loving bastion of facism. The gaslighting will be strong because they know if people take time to learn the candidates true positions (abolish the police, no prosecution of any crimes, all the equity buzzwords that don't mean shit) people will overwhelming vote for accountability and public safety. Buckle up, should be a fun ride.

9

Here is a partial list of misdemeanor crimes in Seattle. Are you comfortable no longer prosecuting any of these?

Assault (Think – punching someone in the face once or repeatedly)
Assault with sexual motivation.
Assault domestic violence.
Interfering with domestic violence reporting.
Harassment.
Harassment-domestic violence.
Violation of a domestic violence protection order and other protective orders.
Menacing.
Aiming/discharging of a firearm
Reckless endangerment.
Unlawful intimidation with a weapon (including a firearm).
Failure to surrender a firearm when ordered by a judge to do so.
Possession of a firearm on public property where prohibited.
Altering identifying marks on a firearm.
Firearm noise suppression device (silencer)
Dealer illegally selling firearm.
Loaded firearm in a vehicle.
Unlawful discharge of firearm.
Unlawful carrying of pistol.
Carrying a concealed weapon.
Weapon at school.
DUI.
Indecent exposure-victim under 14.
Indecent exposure-sexual motivation.
Cyberstalking.
Stalking.
Stalking-sexual motivation.

10

The Bellevue Chamber of Commerce wishes the "abolitionist" candidates the best of luck.

12

At least 3 people in here did the "mention abolition while conveniently forgetting the accompanying investments in proven community, housing, and health based alternatives that reduce poverty and therefore crime" gimmick that was spelled out in this very article. Couldn't y'all at least be 2 trick ponies?

13

@12 that's great Dale except none of those programs have even been started right now much less proven effective at doing what you say they are going to do. So in between gutting public safety and building up these programs what is the plan? Why not start up a small version of these programs, see what works and then commit funding?

@11 but that is their stated position and their intent. Whether or not they can actually do it may be another story but they will certainly be doing everything in their power to make it happen. Quite humorous that candidates you don't like have all kinds of imaginary powers that exceed their office and thus should be dismissed but the candidates you support will def stay in their lane.

14

MUST
HAVE
FEAR

Fear is the Vote Killer ...

The Lies Must FLOW!

16

@15 at least she'll try to prosecute crime unlike NKT who will just fire everyone and do nothing for 4 years.

17

It would be nice to know how many people participated in the poll and what the results were, even if it is skewed.

18

@11 - they need to stop fucking saying it then. It gets picked up by the media, which is understandable because reporting on what politicians and candidates say is sort of what the media does, and then it ends up being used by the Repubs to make all Dems look insane. That winds up hurting us in all kinds of places that are not Seattle. If what they mean is "increase spending on social services and have slightly fewer police on the streets," then THAT Is what they ought to be saying. I get that "defund" is kind of a negotiating position among liberals and that Oliver and their ilk are trying to start a conversation with the aim of establishing a better system. But the way they are going about it is goddamned unproductive.

19

I don't support "abolition" of police or ending the prosecution of misdemeanors either, particularly violent ones. But if you favor even a 10 or 20 percent redirection of criminal justice resources (which I do), it makes the most sense to support the candidate who promises way more than that, as deal-making and compromise in politics are as inevitable as death and taxes. Elect radicals and you'll likely get genuine moderate reform. Elect self-described moderates and you likely won't get much of anything.

20

"Change Seattle, an independent expenditure supporting Sara Nelson's bid for Seattle City Council against Oliver, paid $15,000 to a Texas-based oppo firm for "research consulting" at the end of last month."

Davison is a Texas Republican (literally from Texas and a Republican). Did she have anything to do with hiring this group? Do we know when she plans to bring Governor Abbott in to campaign for her in Seattle?

I'm not sure how Davison will enforce the law when as DA Holmes pointed out, she literally doesn't know the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony. Say what you want about NTK, she at least knows that. Although, when it come to representing rich athletes in contract negotiations Davison is clearly the expert.

Does Davison plan to start prosecuting murder and rape as the Seattle DA? That used to be a King County thing, but since she apparently knows nothing about the duties of the position perhaps she can step in for Dan Satterberg.

21

The abolitionist go-to line is always "we're abolishing police/prison/justice, but don't worry, we'll replace it with something much better!"

But we already tried partially defunding the police, and we haven't replaced it with anything better. There's an article in the Seattle Times today about businesses in Pioneer Square that are considering shutting down because they can't get police to come out anymore and have to defend themselves multiple times a day. Where's the army of social workers and mental health experts we were promised?

It's a tired line. But abolitionists like Rich Smith, Nikkita Oliver and Nicole Thomas-Kennedy will always scream and shout that their opponent's don't directly address it in every single criticism. Like grow up you fucking children.

The other trick they use is misrepresenting what they're trying to abolish. When the Seattle police were defunded, we were told that most of the work police do can be replaced by social workers and counselors. As it turns out, that isn't true, and most of the actual work the police were doing (before we defunded them) involved violent crime prevention, which is now surging. Similarly, they'll always choose the most innocent, innocuous possible example when arguing that we should abolish prison or misdemeanors. NTK talks about how society doesn't gain when we prosecute a "freezing homeless man who stole a coat from Goodwill" as though that's at all representative of your typical misdemeanor. Oliver talks about pot-smoking black teens as though that's at all representative of your typical prison inmate.

And that's it. That's the two tricks. Strip them of those two weapons and their arguments completely fall apart, and all they've got is finger-pointing, hysterically accusing the other side of being right-wing MAGA Republicans, which Rich Smith does in literally every article he's ever written in his life ever.

22

@19 you're putting words in NTK's mouth. You say "redirection", but redirection to what? Her campaign slogan is "abolish misdemeanors." There is no "redirection" implied. What good is supposed to come from redirecting resources away from criminal justice? Misdemeanors are bad. The vast majority of misdemeanors are harmful to society. Failing to prosecute them is harmful to society. The only way NTK can defend this position is by pretending that actually most misdemeanors are good, harmless fun. Which simply isn't true.

@20 Davison was a Democrat when she lived in Texas and for the vast majority of her time in Seattle. And she obviously knows the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor, I'm not sure lying about her words is going to get you anywhere. It's NTK who needs to learn what a misdemeanor is because she seems to think we're running around prosecuting people for wearing shirts inside-out.

23

@21: "When the Seattle police were defunded, we were told that most of the work police do can be replaced by social workers and counselors."

Pay for the SPD is up 58% over the past 10 years. Can you provide an example of this "defunding" you refer too?

Because if not, funding doesn't appear to be the problem with the SPD, does it? It can be argued that some of the money we use on social services is a waste, but we spend many times that on the police and apparently get even less in return. Who do you plan to shift the blame to for their failure to do their job despite being the best paid police department in the US?

I'm guessing you will blame the city counsel, but there is even money on you blaming the DA for their refusal to do their fucking job.

24

@21: Before you post some previous promise to cut the budget that never actually materialized, let me help you out with a recent update:

https://evergreenstategazette.com/seattle-council-shifts-15m-saved-by-officer-departures-to-community-based-programs/

As you will see, $ 15 million savings related to the departure of police officers into community-based programs. Despite none of that money being transferred yet I know you will declare it all a failure, but the bigger point is that there was never any actual cut to the police budget. They simply shifted a tiny percentage of their $400 million + budget from officers who were leaving to community programs. Not a single officer received a pay cut and not a single existing program was cut either.

But go on, share stories about officers who make $2-400,000 a year with overtime who are now homeless and can't afford formula for their starving babies because of all the drastic budget cuts that have left them desolate.

25

@13 If you're asking these questions, I'd encourage you to do some actual research into these policies/ideas, either from the candidates' websites or from other places that discuss alternatives to police. I think you'll be surprised to find it sounds more like what you're proposing and less like they're gonna boot the police on day 1 leaving the city in the hands of a bunch of programs that didn't exist the day before. That sounds unreasonable, which I think may have been the point.

26

@24: "from officers who were leaving"

And why, pray tell, do you explain why SPD has lost ~300 officers over the past two years and the force is critically understaffed?

27

@25: Name an alternative to police who have, or could have, pulled over a drunk driver on I5 or stopped a madman in downtown Seattle from slashing people (which has happened a few times).

Oh yeah, you'll probably find a study of a Norwegian village that has no cops in a very homogeneous society and think that can be fitted into big cities with varied populations and social upheaval.

28

Watching abolitionists run from the consequences of their policy preferences is like watching Texas Republicans run from the consequences of their anti abortion law. You can tell both are terrible policy choices because neither group wants to defend what they're advocating.

29

They took it easy on mayoral also-ran Oliver, if you ask me.
They supposedly a lawyer, yet somehow broke.

Their idea of justice is having people paint ttheir feelz out.

They repped a kid before a judge as ahaving been reformed and kid goes out later that week and carjacks someone at gunpoint, while wearing a No Youth Jail t-shirt, no less.

I mean, they could have posed questions like, "if you are physically assaulted or held-up at gunpoint would you prefer the suspect be given jail time or 3 hugs and 10 hours of therapeutic painting?"
LOL

30

@28: Yep, Nicole Thomas-Kennedy and Greg Abbott are essentially cut from the same fabric but with different designs.

31

Nobody is fooled by the council two-step about defunding the police.

They said they wanted to defund the police. Then they patted themselves on the back for doing it.

Now that the results have turned out to be disastrous, the council says "oh we didn't defund the police, we just didn't replace officers who left." But at the end of the day it's the same thing. If I promise to get rid of my car, and then my car breaks down by the side of the road and I just abandon it, that's basically the same thing. Especially if I intentionally sabotaged my car to make sure it broke down. And the council knows it's the same thing because they were bragging about defunding the police before the consequences started piling up.

33

@25 maybe, just maybe, they should say exactly, succinctly, and precisely what they mean instead of having to interpret what they say through some kind of weird dance number involving other websites, and tea-leaf reading.

Meanwhile, adults will assume that they mean exactly and precisely what they say.

If you don't want them to be judged by the words they use, they should use other words, that mean what they actually want to do. Otherwise, everyone will think that they really do mean what they're saying.

Which shouldn't surprise you, because only crazy people say one thing and mean something entirely different.

34

@19 sorry - I won't vote for people who profess extremist positions, ever.

The whole "ask for the stars and maybe you'll get the moon" rhetorical mechanism you're proposing is how people have to operate is risky as hell, because occasionally you really do get extremist idiots who mean precisely and exactly what they claim. And then everyone looks immensely surprised when they do exactly what they said they'd do.

Shocking, I know.

35

"supports ending the prosecution of low-level domestic violence cases."

"Encampments, defunding, and DV—oh my!

"To briefly address these points..."

You didn't directly address the point about DV. That seems a little strange, as your own reporting shows the poll's question about NTK and DV is completely accurate:

'Thomas-Kennedy said she would want to prosecute DUI cases, since "they're the one thing that it's been shown that prosecuting them does reduce them."

'She described domestic violence, however, as a "thorny issue." While she's not "running on a platform of decriminalizing domestic violence," she thinks the prosecution process and punishment in those cases can often do more harm than good.

'"We're talking about the lower-level stuff, we're not talking about the more serious stuff," she said, offering an example of prosecutors charging people with "DV malicious mischief" for punching the wall in an argument with a partner, "which is not uncommon."'

(https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2021/05/24/57632886/defense-attorney-challenging-pete-holmes-vows-not-to-prosecute-almost-all-misdemeanors)

Travis Berge was not prosecuted for beating his domestic partner, even after he publicly bragged about having beaten her. So he assaulted her more severely, and left her to her death. Any prosecutor should know this was not a surprising outcome. Refusal to prosecute "the lower-level stuff" (misdemeanor DV) can lead to "the more serious stuff," (felony DV) and even murder, as the total lack of any serious consequence gives the abuser confidence in the validity of his abusive actions.

Rich, it reads like your anger really originates from the poll giving wholly accurate information about candidates you favor. Please feel free to show that reading is not correct.

36

35/Tensor

Rich, it reads like your anger really originates from the poll giving wholly accurate information about candidates you favor. Please feel free to show that reading is not correct.

You're a long, long-time reader of the Stranger. You cannot remotely be surprised by this. Though its been happening for a while, with Chase's breathless cheering Pravda-esque bulletins from Pike/Pine during CHOP, its been clear for at least a year and half that the Stranger has given up on actual journalism and is an opinion blog now.

37

@36: Indeed, The Stranger's heyday of actual news coverage ended a long time ago, with their wholehearted embrace of the obvious loser McGinn, and his failed policy of opposing the SR-99 tunnel. They seem never to have recovered from supporting such failures, and have repeatedly doubled down on failures ever since: Nikkita Oliver, Cary Moon, CM Sawant, NKT -- their dismal list just keeps getting ever longer.

I can deal with them blegging for actual journalism whilst delivering mere opinion, but doubling down on the dishonesty, as Rich does here, makes for a sad performance at a once-proud local alt-weekly. I hope they'll entertain us with some wailing and gnashing after the November elections and then the Sawant recall, but I can't see myself bothering with them after that.

38

The biggest indictment of the Stranger is that it can’t seem to generate interest enough for more than 40-50 comments including the invariable miracle cure spam. And of the legit comments, half or more are from the same 4 people.

How many actually READ the Stranger?

39

@35: For the 100th time, combining your failed broken window policing fantasies with an incarceration first DV strategy supported only by your cherry picked anecdotal evidence is a recipe for more DV, not less.

The good news is that despite your inability or unwillingness to accept evidence based research, we actually have a lot of good data on preventing and reducing DV. This excellent NIH DV study is a good place to start. After suggesting many proven and effective ways to reduce DV, it concludes with "Only the criminal prosecutions against the perpetrators cannot reach the desired effects."

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4768593/

If your goal the goal is to reduce DV, you will follow NTKs model supported by the NIH and other science based organization that suggest effective non-carceral solutions.

If, however, your goal is to increase DV, increase incarceration and continue to grow the exploding black female prison rate that is a direct result of the same failed DV policies you propose ad nauseam based on nothing more that one off anecdotes that you cherry pick to support your view, then sure, keep going with that.

A good place to start addressing DV would be within the police, who you never mention and as a group has by far the greatest problem with DV:
https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/09/police-officers-who-hit-their-wives-or-girlfriends/380329/

Right now the police largely get a free pass on DV because they are protected by the criminal system they are a part of. they are often the very people chosen to give speeches on the topic at incarceration first DV programs like the SeattleU Domestic Violence Symposium that is essential a symposium for and by law enforcement with only a law enforcement perspective:

https://law.seattleu.edu/2019-dv-symposium

I wonder how many police officers give a speech on DV at this symposium, then go home and slap their wives and kids around with complete impunity? After all, SeattleU and the criminal system have their back regardless of their behavior.

40

@39: Oops, I'm calling your bluff. I read the mercifully-short paper you cited. Aside from being a treasure-trove of truly wretched writing (e.g. this alleged sentence: "In case of ex-wives false profess for a man begins a long battle as this at windmills."), it's a second-hand survey of other sources. That you had to scrape that far down to find something, anything, to agree with your claims, just shows how pitifully weak your claims truly are. Should incarceration be our only response to DV? No, and no one here has suggested such. But simply allowing abusers to walk free has some bad outcomes, as even your "excellent NIH DV study" somehow manages to admit: "Many perpetrators continue to harass, stalk, and harm the victim long after she has left him, sometimes even resulting in someone’s death. In one U.S. study, 70 per cent of reported injuries from domestic violence ocuured [sic] after the separation of couple."

Meanwhile, simple question: after Travis Berge beat Lisa Vach, and then bragged about having beaten her, should we have locked him in a cage? (Go ahead, tell us all about how much worse the outcome would have been had we done so...)