Slog AM: A Debate Over an Ad About Harrell's Response to Abusers, More Details About the Jan 6 Attack, and Otters Take Over Singapore



lol, is this the same Gonzales that was all chummy with Creepy Ed the Ped all those years? wow.


you didn't give Lorena the full Kathy Lambert experience in response to her racist ad, because of course you didn't.

Over three dozen Black leaders in Seattle, Washington are calling for mayoral candidate Lorena Gonzalez to pull a “morally disgusting” ad.
"This ad is morally disgusting and traffics in anti-Black dog whistles that harm our community,” said Paula Sardinas, a former member of the State African American Affairs Commission and advocate for victims of assault.

stranger gon' stranger


Gonzalez's ad is disingenuous. As everyone recalls, when the first news of Ed Murray's past first broke, the reactions among politicians were understandably awkward. Do you go after a gay politician (remember how much clout Murray had as a member of an oppressed minority) or give him deference in the matter? Especially since it took months for the facts to come out and come into focus. A tightrope for sure.


Oh, and is that woman in the ad an actress or an actual sexual abuse survivor? Will we ever really know for sure?


Gonzalez's ad is disingenuous and desperate, but it isn't racist as her opponents laughably claim.

Apparently, this is going to be a Thing in Seattle now, where every time a POC politician is criticized during a campaign, supporters of said politician will call that criticism racist. They unjustly did it to Kathy Lambert, and they unjustly did it to Lorena Gonzalez -- with waist-deep irony because Gonzalez would have been the first to run to the racism/sexism trough had someone posted an attack ad about her. With Harrell being up as significantly as he is, he doesn't have to resort to attacks.

Grab your popcorn as everyone competes to one-up each other on the virtue signaling.


Apologies to raindrop for reusing her adjective, but I didn't read the existing comments before posting my own.


This ad casts her opponent as a scary black man sexual predator. It is as racist as Kathy Lambert’s mailer. Both should apologize and resign. There should be no place for racist dog whistles in 2021.


If there is any insinuation in that ad it would be that men are insenstive/indifferent to accusations of sexual assault because that is largely true. Another insinuation could be that politicians are craven opportunists who often put their immediate personal interests above principle, also largely true. In fact the first thought that came to mind when i watched the ad was that bruce harrell cares more about his career than what's right or wrong.

In any case it's a risky move to try and gloss over harrell's support for a guy who sexually abused a bunch of young men who were, i believe, almost exclusively black / not-white, by calling an ad racist for accurately describing those events. But i guess they have to try whatever they think will work.


One might recall that The Stranger let Murray write a piece defending himself after the accusations dropped. If Harrell's actions are to be condemned, shouldn't yours?


@9 - most of the city was falling all over themselves to defend Creepy Ed because he was a poor oppressed gay man. The whole thing was gross - especially the fact that it was ell known for quite a while yet the Times and others decided to sit on the info.


@6: Don't apologize - it's the first adjective that comes to multiple minds regarding Gonzalez's (and I'll use one of yours) DESPERATE mud slinging.


@8: Care to revisit Juanita Broaddrick's allegation to make your position consistent?


With Respect to Former Mayor Murray, early on, during the initial phase of the investigation

Harrell Said --- "Seattle voters “did not ask us to judge anyone for something that happened 33 years ago or maybe didn’t happen. We just don’t know.” He called for due process.

Gonzales Quotes Harrell " claiming he said --- , “people shouldn’t be judged by what they may have done in the past.”

Shame on Gonzales......


Juanita broderick's allegations that bill clinton raped her: credible, nothing i have ever doubted or questioned, esp given his history

Juanita broderick's allegations that hillary clinton went out of her way to thank juanita for being a good sport after hillary's husband raped her: give me a fucking break

Not sure why we need to constantly "revisit" this of all events in modern political history any time a politician is accused of sexual assault but i'll give you the same answer every time. it's not hard to believe her allegations against bill while also recognizing that she has become a grifting rodeo clown for republicans whenever they need to whatabout away their own accusations of sexual misconduct. It's possible to be both a victim and a craven opportunist.


I already voted to re-arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic and had hoped to never hear Ed Murray's name again.

Can't we argue about Dune instead? I feel like Villeneuve could have got a little further along in the story in 150 minutes.


if “people shouldn’t be judged by what they may have done in the past” is a misquote it's much more flattering than the actual quote that not only says we shouldn't judge him for what "may have happened 33 years ago" (clever use of the passive voice btw) but also implies the allegations could be a lie


I almost swallowed by distaste for Gonzales and voted for her, but this ad made me rethink it. It was a craven, desperate low blow. I really don’t want Bruce Harrell, but Gonzales’ ad was so fucking sleazy that I can’t vote for her.


'Insiders claim that multiple members of Congress helped plan the January 6th attack. There were “dozens” of meetings between protest organizers and federal officials, according to unnamed sources speaking to Rolling Stone.'

What better reason to squelch all investigations into the matter?


Didn't City Light experience another bout of utility poles mysteriously snapping along East Marginal Way a couple of years ago?


Gonzalez's ad is definitely racist! And I feel sorry for anyone who can't see that. A random white woman stating that she is being harmed by a black man that has no connection to her. All while knowing that the info in the ad is suspect at best. Why wouldn't they have someone directly connected to Murray in the ad instead? Because putting a white woman it in makes Harrell seem more dangerous. Poor defenseless white woman vs big evil black man. If you don't see this, do some digging into history. Black men have long been wrong accused by white women, with many incidents leading to death. Anyone remember Emmett Till?


Seems like the "woke" white people in Seattle may need a black history lesson.


@15: The "We just don't know" was omitted, which is clear deference to due process. Yeah, Harrell was misquoted.


@15 Harrell was advocating for due process, as were many members of the council. The Seattle city charter gives the council the power to remove an elected official only if they have violated the law while in office. Since the Murray accusations were in the past, the council could not play judge & jury in this situation. Gonzalez was just showboating. I wouldn't be surprised if she had known about the allegations already since she was Murray's personal attorney.


Accusations implies there are charges that may or may not be true. Citing something they said/did is not an accusation. Anyone likening this ad to emmett till is in no position to lecture anyone about black history.


If harrell ever recanted those quotes or changed his stance on murray’s case then I agree this ad is misleading, but so far none of harell’s fans are providing evidence that he had a change of heart after more evidence came out & instead are leaning hard on the emmett till angle. I would be happy to admit I’m misreading this if you guys can produce those receipts.


23 Sorry but “technically we can’t remove the mayor for raping a bunch of teenagers bc it happened in the past” is not a valid reason to defend him, it only means they can’t remove him from office


The important thing is a bunch of white people can come together to decide what is and is not racist


Only one of "harell’s fans" has mentioned Emmett Till and hardly leaning hard at that.


28 the entire critique of the ad is that it features a white woman using her privilege to unjustly defame a black man with sexual innuendo, but yes only 1 person had the grapes to make explicit the link to emmett till


Look, her candidacy is sinking fast at this point, and talking about her record on the Council is just about the only thing that could possibly make it tank even harder, so she has no options left but to sling mud at Harrell. Now she and her supporters are getting called on their manipulative twisting of his words, and of ripping his statement out of the proper context. They don't seem to like this last turn of events very much, the poor little dears.

Wheresoever can we possibly find enough popcorn?


This whole affair with Gonzalez's latest advertisement just points up what freaking hypocrites The Stranger writers are. If it was Harrell who was the staunch progressive in this race, The Stranger would be doing a complete 180 and attacking the Gonzalez's ad. You guys are a joke!


"I feel like Villeneuve could have got a little further along in the story in 150 minutes."

I actually liked the pace of the movie. The acting and cinematography were excellent. One of the many criticisms of Lynch's cartoonish effort was that the story felt compressed. Mr. Baume is right in that this version is best seen on the big screen.


Comment directed @14


31 sure but you understand that critique cuts both ways right


Wow Matt and the Gonzalez campaign had all weekend to huddle together to come up with a response and this is the best they can do?

“Sure, those tropes exist, but are they present in this ad?”

Hmmm let’s see.
Ed Murray, a white man, was accused of multiple instance of same-sex child sexual abuse against teenagers. In each accusation he allegedly used his position of trust, to accost the boys.

The ad has a pretty blonde woman who was violently raped claiming Bruce Harrell, a black man, makes her feel unsafe.

Is that racist? Do you have to ask? Fuck yes that’s racist.


@27: A worthy exercise for all races.


Whomever “wins” the election will be the real loser, since then they’ll have to be the mayor and get hounded out of office in four years and then possibly run out of town.


The most enraging aspect of the Ed Murray fiasco was that everyone totally lost interest once he was out of office.
Were any of the allegations found to be accurate?


The United States government has chosen to allow treason to stand and to do nothing about the traitors in Congress. This is how the fall begins. We're going to see it happen in our lifetime. Unfuckingbelievable. At least Trump and McConnell will be dead so we won't have to see their fucking faces when it happens.


"How much has Amazon stolen from its workforce?"

My father, in his infinite wisdom, once told me that, "When you start having to worry about your pay check, it's time to find another place to work". Seems to me that anyone who works for Amazon, other than doing a slacker performance while they look for a better job, needs to have their head examined.


@20, You're absolutely correct, no doubt about it. And I've definitely noticed how receptive other races are when white people try to give them any advice. You're so correct.

@27, Why not? Other races do it all the time.



It's more than that. Millions of US citizens WANT the government to collapse. Their vision of government (strict, authoritarian conservatism) is hugely unpopular. Other than GWB's second election, you have to go all the way back to 1988 to see a republican win the popular vote.

They're unpopular and they know it. That's why they've been working for so many years on disenfranchisement, voter suppression, gerrymandering, etc. And even with all their dirty tricks in play they still can't get their people elected as much as they need.

So now, instead of allowing their fellow citizens--the MAJORITY of citizens--to run the country, they'd rather overthrow it by force and install a dictator.

It's not merely that half of government are the actual traitors, it's that they've got the full support of an enormous chunk of the population. They didn't sneak in there under cover of darkness... the traitors have been placed their by their legion of supporters.

That's why there will be no prosecutions. Too many people, not the majority, but too many WANT the government to be overthrown and turned into an autocracy. It IS scary. I can't imagine why anyone would want to be ruled by an emperor... but there it is.


1) Predictably, Gonzalez's ad backfired more than it helped. 2) Members of Congress who helped plan the January 6th riot should have their alleged involvement investigated, and, if found complicit, they should be expelled from Congress. Start with Paul Gosar: a sleazy hate-monger. 3) How can Steve Bannon defy subpoenas, even if temporarily? Is Congress that toothless? 4) Good job by Joe Biden for sticking with the budget negotiations. He's being insulted and disdained from all sides, but a credible agreement is in sight, and he deserves credit for cultivating common ground. 5) I happily and gratefully received my booster shot today, and I urge any and all to do likewise. It was painless, easy, and free. Thank you to all concerned. 6) Last, I agree with the posters here put off by The Stranger staff's tendency to demonize those they deem "tough on crime." It's difficult to find the mean between personal and societal responsibility as causes of crime. Listening to alternative and opposing views is usually healthy and helpful; stereotyping anyone deemed conservative as cruel, clueless, or crazy shuts down honest discussion and only breeds repressed resentment, not compassion.


@38 we'll never know because he case was ultimately settled before it went to trial and the victims paid courtesy of Seattle taxpayers:

The primary accuser later passed away from a drug overdose no doubt purchased with his settlement funds. It's a complete tragedy and I for one have no doubt Murray was guilty


@38 - No, none of the allegations against Murray were further investigated, found to be accurate or inaccurate, or adjudicated in a court of law. The primary 2017 accuser, Delvonn Heckard, withdrew his lawsuit against Murray just before he was due to give his first sworn deposition in the matter, claiming (via his counsel) that he needed to focus on his recovery from a substance abuse disorder rather than provide testimony under oath in support of claims he had made only months earlier. He subsequently died. No other party has brought any civil or criminal action against Murray alleging sexual misconduct.


@46 - The settlement you reference is for a separate claim by the plaintiff, alleging that Murray and the City bore liability for Murray's efforts to discredit Mr. Heckard after his initial allegations. The allegations of sexual misconduct were not at issue in that suit.


@48 thanks for clarifying. I don't think the accusers had the ability to pursue other action against Murray beyond what I reference due the statute of limitations expiring long ago which is why they went this route. Still too bad they settled before we could hear the evidence and stories in court


People are forgetting how the campaign has gone. Harrell is running negative campaign ads that are complete bullshit ( So now Gonzalez goes negative in response. This is to be expected.

The fact is, Harrell was a corporate lawyer, most of his life. There is nothing inherently wrong with that, except that it makes you think like a corporate lawyer. When shit hits the fan, you protect the corporation. That is your job.

Except your job as a public servant is not that. You owe the administration nothing. Not a fucking thing. Your only obligation is to the public and the truth. Yet in this case, his first instinct was to protect the organization, AKA Murray. He did NOT say "let's get all the facts", but instead said "Seattle voters “did not ask us to judge anyone for something that happened 33 years ago or maybe didn’t happen. We just don’t know.". WTF? He dismisses events that happened 33 years ago (or maybe didn't happen). Yes, we don't know, but shouldn't that be your emphasis, with the clear implication that if it did happen, he should be removed? No, he implied the opposite. Even if it did happen, then it doesn't matter, because it was so long ago. It is a corporate lawyer response, and it suggests that he would have the same instinct with his organization.

Not for a sexual assault mind you, but what if someone in his administration lied about a proposal. During Murray's tenure, SDOT head Kubly lied about what could be accomplished with MoveSeattle. He knew -- before the vote -- that we would come up short. Did Murray fire Kubly? Fuck no, he lied, right along with him. This would have been the big scandal, if not for Murray's sex scandal. So assume for a second that Harrell hires someone in charge of building new places for homeless people to live. They set a goal (say, 20,000 units by his first term). Then, let's say they come up short, and it turns out the guy (or gal) was misleading the public the whole time. What is Harrell going to do -- turn corporate lawyer, or public servant?

That is what the ad is about. This is both a critique of his corporate lawyer attitude, and his negative ad. It practically screams "Harrell -- tough on homeless, soft on people in power". Yeah, it is a little bullshit -- join the club. Neither ad is racist, and if anything, Harrell's ad plays more to racist fears than the one Gonzalez ran. Look at the person under the caption "We Feel Unsafe". Sure looks White to me. I'm pretty sure the person talking is a woman. A White woman. Harrell is complaining about the same bullshit that his campaign has been running for quite some time now. OK, not his campaign, but rich guys who donated to his campaign. Has he asked to remove the ad, because it paints an unfair picture of his opponent, and has racist undertones? Of course not.


@50 Ross, I think that's generally a good comment about Harrell, except you're off your rocker to suggest that the Harrell ad example you cited is worse than the Gonzalez ad...

The Gonzalez ad is disgusting - it's designed to give the impression to low-information voters that Harrell is a rapist. That was the objective, and it's very underhanded.


@40 xina and @43 Urgutha Forka: Agreed, seconded, thirded. BRAVO for nailing it and beating me to it. Everyone involved in the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol should be in federal prison for life. No exceptions. To say that this whole four decades long plot for the race to the bottom leaves me sick is an understatement. If I have any takeaway, it's that I never had children and future generations who would suffer worse than I have in my lifetime. I can just see my parents cringing in their final resting places.


@50: You're completely ignoring the context in which then-Council Member Harrell made his remarks. The Stranger was pushing, angrily, hard, and repeatedly, for the Seattle City Council to impeach Murray. (,,

Then-CM Harrell noted this was well beyond the impeachment power of the City Council, which is limited to acts the Mayor may have committed while in office. All of the allegations against Murray were for acts he'd supposedly committed as a private citizen, decades before, some of them in another state. CM Harrell was completely correct when he said voters had not sent Members to Council to decide such things.

(Please note my first citation was to an editorial written by CM Sawant, which contains the line, "Our city cannot have one set of rules for those with power and influence, and a different set for everyone else." The Recall Sawant movement seems to agree with her.)


As a Gonzalez supporter I'm disappointed in this ad for two reasons. While she appears to have avoided the overt racial cues that often characterize ads like this -- she didn't darken Harrell's skin or exaggerate any of his facial features -- still, she should be well aware (and I presume she is) that the negative juxtaposition of a young white woman with a Black male will always read as racially coded in the U.S. of A., regardless of the context or intention. Plus, the fact that the woman in the ad has no direct connection to either Murray or Harrell begs the question: Why not have a BIPOC woman in that role, if you really want to play down the racial angle?

But laying all that aside, this ad is an unnecessary and unwelcome distraction from what truly matters in this particular race. Yes, Gonzalez is the clear choice in my opinion because she is right, and Harrell is wrong, on the three key local issues of equity right now -- taxes, zoning and police reform. She needs to stay laser-focused on being the progressive champion we need for those causes and say a firm no to any more consultant-driven dog whistles. Otherwise she doesn't deserve to win.


54 "Why not have a BIPOC woman in that role, if you really want to play down the racial angle?"

Or maybe not a woman at all but a BIPOC man, since that would better represent Murray's accusers.

Fact is M. Lorena slipped up and let us see who she really is. An ideologue with no agenda, no record, and no plan who is willing to do anything, and throw anyone under the bus to become mayor.


Now that the racist Gonzalez campaign is crashing and burning, I hope the focus shifts to her partner in ideology Theresa Mosqueda. Neither of these people deserves to be re-elected. You couldn’t have a more inept group of elected officials running the city. I would rather pick random people to lead Seattle City Council than watch the existing clown show drive the city off a cliff.