Politics Oct 1, 2021 at 4:00 pm

One City Attorney candidate thinks Seattle is "worse than a Cambodian refugee camp." The other thinks we should decriminalize sex work.



"I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to say,” Davison said. “I would need to provide impartial legal advice to whoever is elected.”

You can't do that if you vocalize support for someone? What a fucking weasel.


Also, regardless of whom you support, it makes no sense to not legalize sex work.


Absolutely no fan of Pete Holmes, which I may have mentioned once or twice here, but I sure hope the Stranger's gamble in backing Thomas-Kennedy does not backfire. I suspect their backing had at least something to do with the fact that she won the primary. I am still skeptical that she even wants the job but I guess she does not sound like someone who is rattled by her improbable success. Davison sounds like Sidran redux. Anyone remember Mark Sidran? A bit worrisome.


Both Harrell and Gonzalez would make good mayors. They are both capable and know city government, unlike the long streak of amateurs who tried to learn on the fly. The biggest difference in my opinion is zoning. Gonzalez mentions it as way to deal with the homelessness problem, and she is spot on. The main reason Seattle saw a big increase in homelessness is because rent skyrocketed. The main reason rent skyrocketed is because Amazon hired a bunch of people, and we failed to change the zoning to build enough places for them to live. Gonzalez is on the right side of history, Harrell is not. Bruce would have made a great mayor 20 years ago; now, not so much.

I'm not thrilled with the other choices, but will vote to the left each time. It is much easier to deal with crime from a social services side than the other way around. Once you start jailing people for petty shit, you spend so much money that you can't deal with anything else. Judges, lawyers and guards are expensive -- social workers are not. Thomas was the clear choice in Position 9 -- it is crazy she didn't get the endorsement of The Stranger -- so I guess I have to settle on Oliver.


@4 Indeed it does seem bewildering that we can maybe (probably not) come up with the money for a meager 2000 units of public housing but we can always afford to send people to jail. Hey I suppose that is housing!


Of course we should decriminalize sex work. What we shouldn't do is decriminalize EVERYTHING ELSE the city attorney is responsible for prosecuting, which is what NTK wants to do.


Decriminalizing sex work without proper enforcement and regulation has led to problems elsewhere, notably Amsterdam. It needs to be a plan, not a slogan.

Gonzales scored a point on the zoning issue. She needs to double down by also addressing the regulatory cost of housing. Neither is likely to actually happen because this is Seattle we're talking about. I'd put better odds on legalizing prostitution.


@7: Amsterdam is not the model of decrim, New Zealand is the model of decrim where rape is down and the prosecution of vice cops who rape sex workers is up. King County is no different that Amsterdam. A cop in Amsterdam can literally do anything to a sex worker and the prosecutors office will not file charges since they believe sex workers owe the police sex for free.

In King County we support the pro sex worker rape Nordic Model.

With Kennedy, we have the first opportunity in a generation to hold vice cops who rape sex workers with impunity accountable and actually give sex workers the support they need.


@2: Yeah, and get them to pay sales tax even better.


Social workers are only cheap if you can actually hire and retain a sufficient number of them:



Oh Hannah. Your first article was so promising. But this one much more closely resembles the typical Rich Smith shlock we get here every day. I guess the hammer came down.

Davison never said "Seattle" resembled a refugee camp. She was specifically talking about the conditions in the encampments. Right there in your article subtitle you're telling an outrageous lie. There's no way to weasel out of it. You're just straight-up lying, and you knew it was a lie when you wrote it.

And wanting to legalize sex work isn't even in the top 100 interesting/characteristic positions about NTK. It's funny that The Stranger is backing her but it's too meek to actually get behind her insane true positions, so instead tries to play them down. NTK wants to legalize sex work -- so do a lot of people. She also wants to legalize domestic violence. But that's not quite as interesting I guess.

The subtitle might as well be "one candidate said Jenny Durkan is worse than Pol Pot. The other brushes her teeth twice a day."


@12: Does the author of the post always write the headline? I've seen headlines change.

"It's funny that The Stranger is backing her but it's too meek to actually get behind her insane true positions, so instead tries to play them down. NTK wants to legalize sex work -- so do a lot of people. She also wants to legalize domestic violence. But that's not quite as interesting I guess."

As has been noted elsewhere, watching NTK's supporters avoid talking about what she's actually proposing greatly resembles watching Texas Republicans avoid talking about their abortion ban. In each case, they simply won't admit to what they're really supporting, thus telling us all we really need to know about it.

In the case of NTK's crazy proposals, we've already had years of not enforcing our misdemeanor laws against camping, against petty theft, against petty assaults, and against the drugs trade. The result has not been some paradise of social workers cleaning out the camps as they help homeless persons transition into permanent housing. Rather, it's been a total humanitarian disaster of epic proportions, with homeless persons dying of overdoses and assaults in our parks, sidewalks, and greenbelts. On that note...

@4: Ross, please stop repeating your false claim that Amazon drove homelessness in Seattle. There's a national opiod addiction crisis, and many of the already-homeless victims then moved to Seattle. This happened to coincide with Amazon's expansion, but that's merely a coincidence. Think about it -- have you ever known anyone who got priced out, and responded by moving into a tent on the sidewalk outside his former apartment? People who get priced out move to less-expensive places, accept longer commutes, or move to less-expensive areas entirely.

Repeating the false claim that Amazon drove homelessness justifies continuing the failed policies which got us here. It also plays right into the hands of CM Sawant, and her supporters here at the Stranger. Again, please just stop doing it.


@13 even if she didn't write the headline, the pattern continues throughout the article. Hannah either twists, or straight up lies about, the positions of the sane candidates, while cherry-picking innocuous or mundane details about the insane candidates to try and downplay their extremism.

She also seems to think the "who would you vote for in this other race" questions were really important, because out of hundreds of questions asked during the debates, there were only 2-3 such questions, but all 2-3 were featured in this article. I don't see why it's so illuminating that the insane candidates all vocally backed each other, while the sane candidates all said "I'll work with whoever wins." Like who cares?

I'm much more interested in the fact that Nikkita Oliver, after spending an entire year demanding that we "ABOLISH THE POLICE" is now saying that "abolish" actually means "cut funding by 10% over the next decade." WTF? Is anyone buying this crap? It's just more of the same -- these extreme positions are really unpopular, so the candidates have to do a motte-and-bailey approach where they'll say "abolish the police" to their loyal base, and then say "maybe 10% cut uwu?" in public debates where other people are watching. And The Stranger, in articles like this, backs them up by simply refusing to cover the more insane positions.

I have yet to see a Stranger article mention NTK's treasure trove of hateful, violent, utterly deranged tweets. You bet your ass if Davison or Nelson or Harrell had openly encouraged people to commit felonies or celebrated violence and arson, The Stranger would be writing an article on it every day of the week and constantly bumping it to the top. Instead the best they've got is Rich Smith's "Sara Nelson said she didn't fire anyone but she did release seasonal workers" article that's constantly pushed to the top of the homepage.


Lorena González for Mayor, Nicole Thomas-Kennedy for City Attorney, Nikkita Oliver for City Council Position 9 and whoever’s running against green-orange, small-penis howler-monkey Trump acolyte Kathy Lambert, who’s been fraternizing with Pat Boone political conservatives at Moose Lodge 101, with disappointing policy results, and should be given a hot Brazilian wax-job pronto-mundo.

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

All the wealth being generated in Seattle from the expansive business operations of Amazon Boeing and Google, for example, has accentuated economic disparities in concrete terms, with many citizens forced to camp in the parks due to escalating rents, and Seattle has become a beacon in the night for the poverty-stricken, adding to an already burgeoning homelessness predicament.

The transparency of Lorena González is a welcome antidote to business community stuffed shirt Harrell, and her fervent support for realistic homelessness policy like taxing these prosperous entities that populate the Seattle area to help economically displaced people with affordable housing and homelessness services makes her the stronger candidate.

Also her upfront support for City Attorney candidate Nicole Thomas-Kennedy shows real progressive cojones, and her statement “I want to support another democratic woman” should ring like freedom in socialist-progressive ears.

Thomas-Kennedy’s theory of not prosecuting the underclass for committing petty crimes driven by poverty, thereby perpetuating desperation and homelessness demonstrates a more highly-evolved legal and social perspective.

Generally if you vote the opposite of what the Seattle Times Advisory Ballot recommends, you’ll do well.

Seattle is really looking forward to replacing Mayor Durkan, the fluffy fire-crotch, with a true progressive like González, who wants to improve quality of life for everyone and confront rampant poverty with real-world policy decisions.

The homelessness tragedy is a direct result of unbridled capitalism, and must be addressed humanely and proactively.

Don’t listen to the conservative, Rotary Club corndogs and Blethen family bozos.

Let’s create a fresh and healthy humanitarian Seattle with Mayer González, council members Nikkita Oliver and Ksama Sawant , and true-blue progressive City Attorney Thomas-Kennedy, who has an expansive knowledge of socially-conscientious legal solutions as they relate to economic polarization and the application thereof.

Ann Davison comes across as your typical ambulance chasing Trumpazoid cohort legal-beagle, and smells billable hours by dodging the moderator’s interlocution and stating, in typical Rudy Guiliani form: “I would need to provide impartial legal advice to whoever is elected.”

What a corny breach of intelligent political discourse.

Remember to support socialist candidates like Sawant, especially if she runs for mayor, and yes, sex workers should be held harmless and encouraged to unionize to enable collective bargaining and enforce employee rights.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), or Teamsters are a worthwhile option for these underrepresented Seattleites.

These social-welfare concerns regarding homelessness and sexual workers employee rights are good problems, in that they are manifestations of an economically robust, socially diverse Seattle that is in dire need of intelligent, informed Democratic-Progressive leadership, not the National Business Council Blethen family bozos, a white mafia if you will, who have Trump’s hairy red scrotum in their collective mouths.

Excellent reporting Hannah Krieg, welcome aboard and thank you for your incisive contributions.


@14 I noticed the same with Oliver's stance on rent control. Four years ago, they was all for it. Today, I can't find anything on their website about it. It seems as though rent control is proving as politically unpopular as police "abolition."


Frequently in this city, women sell their bodies for drug money. Hard drugs.

They suffer and are ignored by the city and elite and left to die from addiction or violence. I have witnessed this personally. They need help not stigma.

Politicians that take bribes from corporate entities and or the elites are bought and sold. Harrell is one of them. He should step down. This kind of stuff must be brought to a stop for the benefit of ordinary people.

George Floyd was brutally murdered out in the open by a man that was allowed to go on and on with his horrific career by the status quo. That is what began the BLM protests last year.
That is ONE reason we have to have change that will stop the prison industrial complex, stop the racism, classism and poverty that this economic system brings us.

Gonzales, Kennedy and Oliver present us with a fresher, humane approach that this city so sorely needs.


16 Rent control is a big issue right now with rallies in the last few weeks.


@15 right, people like Oliver put 100% of their energy and efforts behind these radical new ideas, and when the ideas turn out to be very bad and unpopular, they just sweep their dedication to those ideas under the rug and move on to the next new hotness.

Never once do they reflect and think "maybe if I was so incredibly aggressive about this thing where I turned out to be wrong, my judgment isn't good enough to be a leader."

Never once do the Seattle voters reflect and think "I supported this person who turned out to be incredibly wrong, maybe they're also incredibly wrong now?"

As long as you slap the label "progressive" on something, The Stranger will vocally support it and aggressively demonize and lie about anyone who opposes it. And half of Seattle will just eat it up. If that something turns out to be really dangerous and unpopular once actually implemented, it's just on to the next new thing, and nobody learns any lessons.


Good ideas are plentiful, money is not all that hard to find these days, then we go off and elect candidates who fail to execute on anything. I'm all for taxing Amazon, while we're at it we should also steal their leadership principles.


@18: Harrell isn't in public office, so you've left it unclear as to what he should "step down" from, exactly. Meanwhile, Gonzalez is President of the City Council, and yet, somehow, has not the tiniest bit of responsibility at all for any of the problems you're decrying?

NTK has said the only misdemeanor she wants to prosecute is DUI. She made no similar exemption for misdemeanor domestic violence -- although she did waffle about it when asked. She simply does not believe we should prosecute a man for hitting a woman. Are you OK with that?


@22 and it's not like DUI and domestic violence are the only two "bad" misdemeanors, either. The list goes on and on. NTK's entire campaign is premised on a collective lack of imagination where everyone simply believes her lie that all misdemeanors are the minor shoplifting crimes she loves to talk about.

My favorite example is gun crimes. Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit is a misdemeanor. Carrying a gun onto school property is a misdemeanor. Firing a gun on accident is a misdemeanor. Firing a gun intentionally, as long as it's not pointed at anyone, in a public space, is a misdemeanor. So I could sneak a gun into a school and start firing it randomly, and that would just be a handful of misdemeanors, which NTK would not prosecute. Sound like a world you want to live in?

The simple truth is that laws exist for a reason. We as a society have collectively decided that these crimes are misdemeanors, and that misdemeanors deserve an appropriate degree of consequences via the judicial system, because they are bad things that we don't want in our society. Why is this concept so hard for NTK, The Stranger, and half of Seattle to grasp?

Even the shoplifting crimes that NTK loves to talk about, in reality, are really bad things that we as a society should want to avoid. Just look at NTK's actual record as a public defender. Her most recent shoplifting case was a guy who had been arrested for shoplifting nine times in the prior year, and half of those thefts were him stealing liquor. On the case she was defending, he had stolen a pair of boots, and then mocked the staff on the way out because he knew he could steal from them consequence-free. These are the kind of thieves who actually get prosecuted in Seattle. Nobody gets prosecuted for stealing a loaf of bread.


The status quo response to the homelessness crisis in Seattle isn’t working. We have the most street homeless per capita of any city in the country despite spending billions. Where did the money go? If you want change, vote for competent people that understand the complexity, not the ideologues (Gonzales, Mosqueda, Oliver, Thomas Kennedy) that stick their heads in the sand and fuel dystopia for their own person gain. They are the left wing version of the tea party. I am a liberal Democrat, but the Seattle leftists have lost me with their failed response to homelessness.


Bruce Harrell for mayor! He is able to work with others and has a collaborative style. He pledges to be the mayor that listens to neighborhood concerns. Lorena has proven she does not. Bruce realizes the need for providing adequate public safety in all areas of the city. Lorena believes we should defund police.

In city attorney race vote Ann Davison. She is the only one who will keep misdemeanors as crimes. That person - walking out of the store with four cases of beer? Not a survival crime. Smashing a $3000 store window to steel the cash, computer and a coke? Not a survival crime - and can put a restaurant out of business. The person who smashed glass out of all the bus shelters along Montlake Blvd? Not a survival crime and just wasted our taxpayer dollars - should at least get a few 100 hours of community service for that. We cannot continue down this path.

Sara Nelson for city council- pragmatism over ideologue in this race. And we need a small business voice to keepp small businesses in downtown from shuttering!


@22: "She made no similar exemption for misdemeanor domestic violence -- although she did waffle about it when asked. She simply does not believe we should prosecute a man for hitting a woman. Are you OK with that?

We have the largest female prison population in the world (a shame to me, something to take pride in for you) and many of them are are there on domestic violence charges for defending themselves against men murdering them. Granted, many of them are minority women, which is not exactly your wheel house of concern.

Not that you care, but it's often women defending themselves from violent men that leads to the prison outcomes you support.

Davison shares your view that women defending themselves "must be held accountable" for not being murdered. You share her view they deserve hard time for not dying. Are you OK with the female prison population that has risen by more than 300% over the past 20 years, largely driven by the VAWA incarceration first domestic violence enforcement? Like Davison who hasn't learned the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony, is your addiction to more incarceration so great that you want to incarcerate the victims? That is the policy and Davison apparently support. She supports it out of ignorance since she has literally no criminal law experience. In your case I suspect something far more sinister. I suspect it's your personal experience that leads you to wanting women locked in filthy cages for refusing to be murdered.


@26: troll wants to pick a fight -- best ignored


@26 - Davison or NTK or any other City Attorney would have nothing to say about women being locked up from defending themselves against asshole husbands or boyfriends. Killing or stabbing or whatever the guy who's abusing you is almost certainly a felony and the City has no jurisdiction. Your issue there is with the County prosecutors who are putting these women in jail.

However, the abusers in those cases almost certainly started with misdemeanor-level assaults, and if those are not prosecuted, they'll often escalate. When we had clients charged with DV assault, standard procedure was to set the case for trial because the woman in question would almost never show up to testify (yes, I know that is not a just outcome for the victims, but a man accused of DV is every bit as entitled to a fair trial and to confront his accuser as anyone else).

My point is that these guys are very rarely stopped or held to account as it is, and de-emphasizing prosecutions is only going to embolden them. A lot of them are Grade-A motherfuckers and they'll do everything they think they can get away with and more.

Not endorsing Davison here as she is clearly both Trump-deranged and insane. But NTK's ideas on decriminalizing everything throws the baby out with the bathwater, and we'll regret it. I am not a bit happy with the choices in this election.


Love to cherry-pick some extreme edge case of crimes that most people would sympathize with and the use that to argue that all crime should be legal.


@32, you are wrong. The City Attorney has everything to do with prosecuting misdemeanor cases....why would NTK spend so much time on her website talking about not prosecuting them? And further, why does she spend so much time on her website talking about 'social issues' that the office she is running for has nothing to do with?


The mental gymnastics going on to justify voting for someone proposing to not only not do the job they were elected to do but who will actively work to undermine public safety and subvert the justice system is amazing. Normally I would laugh it off as ridiculous but the low information voters are soaking this shit up and buying into these lies. Of course the city atty's job is to prosecute crime. That is their primary duty. The council rarely follows the advice of the city atty anyway which is why we have so many lawsuits and btw most of those are farmed out to outside council because the city office doesn't have the expertise or bandwidth to manage them.

What keeps getting lost in this discussion is the notion that by refusing to prosecute any misdemeanors NKT is effectively becoming the judicial system in Seattle. There is no need for public defenders or judges because she has unilaterally made the decision for us that these people aren't guilty. Of course those who are actually victimized by these "crimes of poverty" can just fuck right off in NKT's world. That is bullshit and pretending it isn't is downright evil. The city atty should advocate on behalf of victims of crime and the overall populace for public safety. There is nothing stopping them from recommending diversionary tactics or for the judge to find differently but to leave all the power in the hands of NKT is crazy and dangerous. I can only conclude that people advocating for NKT to take over this office are just agents of chaos like the Joker in Dark Knight. I look at NKT and think of the line from the Joker to Harvey Dent "Do I look like a guy with a plan?" I think we all know the answer to that question.


@32: Instead of constantly insinuating that NTK is lying when she claims she will, and therefore could, stop prosecutions of misdemeanors, you could instead, you know, actually read Seattle's City Charter on the powers of the Office of City Attorney. It says, in part:

"The Law Department shall consist of a City Attorney who shall appoint the Assistant City Attorneys and City Prosecutors, who may be removed at will."

"The Assistant City Attorneys and the City Prosecutors shall perform such duties as shall be required by the City Attorney."


So, a City Attorney NTK could, in fact, simply fire any City Prosecutors who dared to prosecute a man for beating a woman, if she had so defined prosecuting a man for beating a woman as "not part of their duties." Your repeated claim, that NTK does not know these powers of the office she seeks, is therefore refuted entirely. Please stop repeating your false claim about NTK.

@34: You make an excellent point. NTK has claimed she would have absolute discretion to end all misdemeanor prosecutions, for any reason she cares to give. While Seattle's Municipal Charter says she can fire City Prosecutors for disobeying her order not to prosecute, Washington state's constitution and laws may not give her (or any other elected official) carte blanche to not do her job. Years ago, then-Attorney General Rob McKenna decided he would effectively veto certain decisions of other elected officials, by denying their offices the legal representation which, under Washington State's constitution, only the AG could provide. The Commissioner of Public Lands sued him in Washington State's Supreme Court, who agreed the AG could not so deny his office legal representation. The Court issued a Writ of Mandamus (a fancy legal term for "just do your job, already") to AG McKenna, who then had to hire a set of outside attorneys to provide the legal representation he'd refused the Commissioner. (https://law.justia.com/cases/washington/supreme-court/2011/847045-opn.html) If this same judgment were handed down to City Attorney NTK, then Seattle's taxpayers could literally pay twice for the job she'd refused to do.

@27: Oh yeah, of course he was baiting me. After I'd revealed he'd used multiple accounts here without admitting he'd done so, he'd accused me of running multiple sock-puppets here. Now he's insinuating I'm sexist, racist, and misogynist. Combine that with his elaborately long-winded failure to answer my very clear question, and I conclude his latest round of accusations, like his earlier one, admits far more about him than they say about his intended target.


@36 I agree the constitution may not give her authority to not do her job but the problem I foresee is who would possible hold her to account? If she wins you'll most likely have Gonzales as mayor with Oliver joining the council. There will be no one in city government who will look to oppose her and I have little faith you could count on Ferguson or Inslee to get involved. So while the state constitution may forbid her from carrying out her intended decimation of the office there won't be any practical impediments because no one will care. At best you'll have to wait until public safety is eroded and then file a citizen lawsuit citing the city charter mandate to protect public safety but that would take time and still be a long shot.


@37: Yes, someone would have to sue the city for failing to prosecute misdemeanors, and seek a Writ of Mandamus against City Attorney NTK, to force the city to prosecute misdemeanors again.

Of course, if that were to happen, she would have to recuse herself from overseeing the city's defense of that lawsuit. So, the one duty the (now-banned?) Prof. Hysteria @32 claimed was actually her job could not, in fact, be her job.

Just the sheer number of ways in which NTK's supporters are dead, flat wrong continues to amaze.


"I want to support a Democratic woman".

The Democratic Party will not have sustained success for their cause if they cannot articulate why their policy is good for the people... Instead they always have to revert to three things: the opponent's sex organ, race, and the opponent is rich.


Yeah, I thought I would send an email directly to NTK "Eat shit laced with covid" in her own words sent to acting police chief Diaz, but realized I was not willing to sink that low. This for City Attorney? Seriously?

Please wait...

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