Everything You Need to Know About the Sawant Recall

Comments

1

“Working class people are not moving rightward,” Sawant added. “They are looking for a true left movement that will fight for their real, material shit.”

No, they're not. Sawant is toast.

2

Sawant is a nightmare populist. Hopefully, liberal democrats who can think for themselves, like those that voted for Harrell and Davison, can overcome the zealots and kick Sawant out.

3

She lost me when she led a torch wielding mob to one of my elected officials homes, even though I agree with her goals I will go to recall. No Paul gossert, no ntk, no Mjt.

4

If these items warrant recall is certainly up for debate, so why try to excuse them with such insipid and lame excuses? Either own your actions or don’t.

5

Sawant has come out against incentives for SPD hiring, including critical 911 dispatch jobs.

Evil as Trump

6

The recall is bullshit. None of the allege "crimes" comes close to warranting a recall. I am no fan of Sawant, but if you are going to run against her, do so at a regular election. This is a waste of money. I can't vote, but would vote against it on principal -- this is a corruption of the recall statute. Shame on the people behind this. Shame!

7

@3 I love how deranged anti-Kshama people are. "led a torch wielding mob" lol. Spoken with the genuine conservative hysteria of like someone who hasn't left their suburban manor in years.

8

For those of you who don't have access here is Sawant's rebuttal statement on the voter information pamphlet. You'll notice it is filled with her usual nonsense of demonizing anyone who doesn't support her and wild conspiracy theories to justify her claims of persecution.

The truth is simple. Sawant did each of the things she is accused of doing. She has never denied that. The Supreme Court certified that these things are sufficient to hold a recall election. Now the voters get to decide if she is worthy of continuing to represent them. There is nothing undemocratic about this process and the notion that district 3 if chock full of right wing Trump supporters is laughable. She may survive this because a lot of people seem to enjoy having her on the council as some sort of jester however that won't change the fact that her brand of politics is built on toxic, divisive rhetoric that only seeks to create chaos and disorder so that she can rebuild society on the marxist principles of Socialist Alternative. District 3 deserves better than that and I'm confident that should Sawant be recalled the SCC will find a worthy progressive replacement for her that is actually interested in working with others to find solutions to the city's problems instead of building "movements" that just promote her own brand.

Councilmember Kshama Sawant, City of Seattle Council District No. 3, Response to the Recall Charges

Vote ‘NO' on the right-wing recall. The charges against Kshama Sawant are dishonest, and the courts haven’t found her guilty of anything.

Kshama, an immigrant woman of color, is being attacked for participating in peaceful Black Lives Matter protests. This recall is part of the racist right-wing backlash attempting to criminalize protest nationally.

Big business and the right wing want to remove Kshama because she’s such an effective fighter for working people. Rather than appeasing the establishment, Kshama has used her 8 years in office to win historic victories like the $15 minimum wage and Amazon Tax to fund housing. Rather than taking home the $140,000 Councilmembers pay themselves, Kshama lives on an average worker's wage and donates the majority of her salary to social justice movements.

The recall is bankrolled by the corporate elite and 500+ Republicans, including Trump’s biggest Washington donor, George Petrie. Corporate landlords back it because they want to stop Kshama’s fight for rent control.

Kshama didn’t lead the march on Mayor Durkan’s house, and it’s no crime to stand with Black Lives Matter as Kshama did at the peaceful City Hall rally. Kshama didn’t break the law, but like civil rights leaders and socialists before her, she’s always prepared to put herself on the line for working people.

Ultimately this recall will be decided by you: will you vote ‘NO’ and stand with Kshama Sawant, one of the nation's most progressive elected representatives, OR will you side with big business and the right wing?

9

This should be interesting!

10

Standing with the "right wing" in Seattle means standing with moderate every-day ham-and-egg Democrats to actually accomplish something rather than posturing a bunch of socialist bullshit that can never happen.

11

@7: Hex on you 9773!

12

Thank you for reporting the facts at issue. It's a pretty low bar, but it's more than the veteran Stranger writers do these days.

13

Pro: The $15/ hour minimum wage and workplace scheduling protections for low wage workers. The are not trivial accomplishments, and they do provide significant benefit for those at the low end of the wage scale.
Minus criminal acts, I usually oppose recalls. The voters have spoken.
Con: The utter wretchedness of her public persona. She is the left wing incarnation of everything I loathe in the Republican Party Gone Insane. Kshama and DJT Jr. are flip sides of the same political discourse coin. She is a major figure in the coarsening of public life.
If I could vote, I would probably tip to the no side, reluctantly.

14

@6 Ross, I couldn't agree more.

I think it's a shame that there hasn't been more media coverage of what a horrible precedent this sets.

15

@6
Yes! Politicians are elected to a set term. Everyone knows this. Vote for of against them at the next election.
These recall votes - such as against Gavin Newsom - are a waste of taxpayers money, which should rightly be spent elsewhere, and not to serve the interests of a few pissed off voters.

16

@15 pat, Newsom is another great example.

Recalls have been weaponized. And the Repubs always bring bigger guns to a gunfight. This is our democracy collapsing.

17

@16 Or maybe Sawant is just a tiresome vain and thirsty zealot and people are sick of her. Maybe it's that, and this is our democracy working.

18

The recall is a decidedly democratic process. It is in our laws and has many checks and balances. That the state Supreme Court was unanimous in their certification is telling, since they have a number of liberal members (Yu and Gonzalez come to mind but there are others).

They did their job as justices and did not insert politics into it. Now opponents of the recall are entitled to minimize the three laws broken but don't claim they did not happen. This has been hard fought to date and assuradly the next several weeks will see things ramping up. We who support the recall are not all right wingnuts and certainly not billionaires. Sawant has earned her place in this upcoming election. We shall see what the people who vote of District 3 decide.

I am voting for the recall because she and her arrogance have been toxic and divisive, and she has helped our city fester. This arrogance among other things has displayed itself by her flaunting of legitimate laws. But I am already fantasizing how she will spin it if she loses and can't wait for the entertainment value of her in defeat. Conversely I do not want to see her grandstanding gloat if she wins, as she is wont to do regularly.

When you are canvassed or called by one of her minions, ask them some questions, like whether they are in town temporarily for the campaign along with other operatives, and if so, how many brownie points the Socialist party is giving them. The out of state money is telling as is the in-city predominance of the Recall funds.

19

For all her flaws (I can easily see how she alienates people and I agree she can be self-aggrandizing, hyperbolic and tiresome), Sawant has taken what I consider the correct position and vote on every issue the council has addressed since she's been in office. Every. Single. One. Thus for me to vote to recall her, in the absence of serious, provable criminal conduct, would be an act of self-sabotage, especially since I don't have the slightest clue who would take her place. We have council elections in each district every four years, and barring truly extraordinary circumstances that's often enough. Regardless of how one feels about Sawant, I would urge them to vote no on the normalization of recalls.

20

The recall is going to fail. And it won’t be that close.

21

Sawant is a bad actor. Swept up in her own ideolog, ego, hubris, arrogance and unrepentant as to actions which are patently illegal.

She should have had the common sense to simply resign.

Now its the citizen's turn to cast their vote on the reprehensible actions she undertook.

22

Despite the presumptuous headline and the usual Stranger snark, this is much more balanced than I would have expected. Nice work, Hannah.

23

It's regrettable it came to this, but I side with those who believe Sawant's actions merit recall. And her sanctimonious us-versus-them, "I-am-the-people's champion" rhetoric is obnoxious. It doesn't seem to occur to her that many people legitimately have mixed feelings about capitalism and socialism, that economic issues are not reducible to "they're the enemy!" formulas. People who recognize and acknowledge value in free market approaches are not necessarily cowards, traitors, sellouts, corporate apologists, and greedheads. Many people have positive experiences with private sector employers, appreciate the opportunity to start an enterprise, value the freedom to shop where they want to, and recognize the extraordinary diversity of types of businesses and people in business--and many have arrived here from countries where they've had no such freedom. The same person might have also have suffered wage theft, insane overwork due to cost-cutting, on-the-job discrimination, and have witnessed environmentally dangerous but profitable practices--and thus supports government regulation to enforce just, fair policies.

I daresay many people try to work through economic complexities to arrive at some sort of middle-ground position. It's about fairness in addressing those complexities, not joining a network of hate-filled dogmatists who shout some "-ism" and blame "the rich" or "the corporations" or "the government" or "welfare cheats" or "libs" or "the Democratic Party" or "the right-wing." This hyperbolic tone is corroding American politics on all sides, and Sawant is merely one more self-important opportunist masking powerlust with ostensible concern for "the poor." I am poor, I live in Seattle, and Kshama Sawant is not my champion. She has a good chance to survive the recall, but I rue her simplistic blaming, demonizing tone. She's intelligent and capable, yes, but she remains a narcissist who hides behind "I'm for the people!" rhetoric--and the offenses which occasioned the recall effort are enough to vote her out. We'll soon learn who will win.

25

Sawant broke the law three different times. Although she may plead innocence and pretend she didn't know, she did know. Because in addition to those three times in the last year, she's also regularly broken the law in the past, again and again and again, forcing the city (with taxpayer money -- that's you!) to pay for her legal fees and penalties in court.

Sawant and her allies at The Stranger have tried to pettifogg the issue in every which way imaginable to obscure the fact that the recall is really quite a simple question -- should an elected officeholder have the ability to break the law with impunity?

Sawant clearly believes she does, which is why she keeps doing it. If she wins the recall, that belief will be validated. Voters will have said loud and clear, we don't care if our elected representative breaks the law. Go for it!

If Sawant is recalled, she will be replaced by someone hand-selected by the council, which is still dominated by progressives. That is to say, whoever replaces Sawant will have the exact same progressive views as her -- but won't recklessly violate rules and ethical codes. They may also be a more effective progressive policymaker, not a showboater like Sawant.

One would think The Stranger would support holding public officials accountable and working towards more effective progressive policymaking. But what The Stranger really loves is loud, obnoxious flamethrower types.

26

I just don't like her belligerent "us against them" ways. She's pretty much the Trump of Seattle and it's bad for everyone. It's crazy how many wealthy Socialists we have in this country that can spare money for a campaign in a district and city they don't even live in.

27

CM Sawant was previously warned about (but not punished for) using city resources to support her pet political causes, and she did it again anyway, resulting in this recall effort. Two of the three charges of malfeasance are for her abusing her official powers, including the very Trumpian act of holding a rally on public property with no precautions against the spread of COVID. She also led a bullying, threatening mob to the protected address of a political rival, making her thirst for payback personal. Here's hoping the good citizens of District 3 remove her from their office, which she has so needlessly abused.

Even if they don't, though, her time in office may be curtailed. When she was first elected to office, in 2013, campaigns were inexpensive, and the term was four years. Her most recent campaign was the most expensive Council campaign in Seattle's history, and now she's effectively on a two-year cycle. As noted above, if she successfully dodges accountability this time, she's likely to commit even more abuses, and we now know District 3 has far more than enough citizens who are willing to sign for her recall. Eventually, Socialist Alternative's party bosses in Brooklyn may decide to allocate their limited capital towards more profitable investments.

@6, @14: For this recall effort, you may thank yet another brilliant political calculation by the Stranger, who legitimized it when they stumped hard for Mayor Durkan's recall. You might also note the Recall Sawant petition was reviewed, and approved, by no fewer than ten (!) judges, including (at CM Sawant's explicit request) the entire Supreme Court of Washington state. This is constitutional democracy in action, and the result will be valid, whether you happen to like that result or not.

@6, @15, @16, @19: The entire point of having the recall mechanism in Washington state's laws and constitution is to avoid giving an office-holder carte blanche until the next election. Elections should be about policies and policy-makers, not judgments on whether the current incumbent is even fit to hold the office. For the latter, there are recalls.

Finally, it's fun watching CM Sawant's supporters still huffing that the Recall Sawant campaign wasn't organized enough to get onto last week's ballot. Last week's voters rejected left-wing extremism in droves, and the chances she would have survived seem pretty slim. Her absence from the November ballot may yet save her from recall.

28

I wish I had a vote in this race, but I live outside of District 3, behind a broken bridge.
This Council Person's 'anti-evil-Landlord agenda' is why I am not a 'lower-than-market-rate' Landlord anymore. She helped many like me to lose equity and poisoned this sector of the economy without discretion. In her process of 'fairness to tenants' she has ensured that corporate entities will dominate Seattle's rental market vs. people renters can talk to.
She fits the claim of someone outside of politics, and all that implies. Inexperience is no excuse for her repeated 'misdemeanors' and mid-demeanor as a public Official and Officer.
Ms. Sawant is, was, and continues to be an embarrassment to Seattle City politics, and the Stranger (and others) banked advertising dollars promoting her brand of 'politics as un-usual"
Pretending to not know norms and limits of power and Office is IMHO one of the best reasons she never gained Office. I'd make the claim that her re-election was an Amazon induced mountain into a mole-hill election cycle.
Due to her many stentorious proclamations and behaviors, legitimate reasons for recall, otherwise overlooked in the average Office holder have been tabulated, signatures collected, an application made, examined, and accepted by the Courts. Make no mistake, this is our process in action, as planned, for just such an emergency.
I just wish there had been a method for this to deal with our last President.
As I would like to see Police Officers require years of training before turning them loose in public with firearms and qualified immunity, I'd like to see Politicians selected from a pool of people who arrive on the Ballot with a working knowledge of their roles, norms, and reasonable expectations to accomplish their goals. However, our brand of government (Democratic Republic) allows any citizen to throw their hat in the ring.
I know we can't fix that part of our government, but we can get our body politic focused on the citizens over personal grandeur (g'BYE Jenny), and her removal will serve as a sign to others:
Posers need not apply for Public Office.
-A Concerned Citizen

29

OOh, the typos.

30

Can't wait to get my ballot and vote to dump the egomaniac. It will also balance out self-declared "Libra" Hannah Krieg.

31

I think residents have to ask about all candidates, are they uniting the community or breaking it apart? Been a tough year on numerous fronts and I don’t see her as bringing us together. Her same old tired stories just haven’t worked and it is time for district 3 to get a person that looks out for all of us, not her own agenda.

32

@16: "This is our democracy collapsing."

Where were you during the Trump impeachment?

33

Voters tend to go along with the Seattle Times recommendations, which run traditional and conservative, and pander to mass tastes, which suit the temporal needs of the Blethen family, a white mafia if there ever was one.

The Sawant recall campaign is emblematic of everything that is dysfunctional about milk toast, rainy Seattle.

The fact that Sawant is serving on the Seattle City Council indicates that democracy is working, and we don’t need torch-carrying crowds of kooky, middle-of-the-road Seattleites to drum her out of office.

Everything is politicized these days, from what kind of latte you drink to what kind of pet you own or vehicle you drive, if you do drive or take mass transit.

Naturally, the picayune locals are soiling themselves because we have a bona fide socialist serving on the City Council, nevertheless, she was elected fair and square and should be allowed to serve her constituents without harassment from kooky moderate Democrats who crave conformity and mediocrity, which is how we got the turgid Durkan Administration.

There’s no telling how much time and energy has been wasted on this vindictive recall campaign, which is driven by the misguided bourgeois business community and their cranially-banally inverted acolytes.

These resources should be directed toward helping homeless folks get off the street with winter looming, and also let’s make the downtown area usable again with a thriving business district and sidewalk cafes, weather permitting.

Seattle is thriving port city, she just needs better leadership like Sawant, González, Thomas-Kennedy and Oliver, although that ship has sailed thanks to the intractability of moldy, mossy conservative Seattle voters, who despise talent and new ideas.

34

@33. I don’t think there is such a thing as a conservative that was elected recently. We have far far left and moderate democrats basically. It’s gone so far left that a middle ground is a conservative? That’s what is wrong with voting in the Seattle politics. We need balance and let’s hope new blood is fair and turns it’s head both directions?

35

@33: Good to see one of our house Sawant-bots is scared. (Recall the days when "Sawant for mayor" was routine in pollysexual's comments? Good times.) In fact, voters in Seattle do not normally follow the Seattle Times' endorsements, and haven't for a long time. In the 2019 general election, the Times made endorsements in all seven City Council races. All but one of their endorsed candidates lost.

Now Seattle's voters have gone contrary to the Stranger's endorsements, and we start to see what the far left in Seattle really thinks of their fellow citizens. It ain't pretty:

"...torch-carrying crowds of kooky, middle-of-the-road Seattleites..."

"...the picayune locals are soiling themselves..."

"... kooky moderate Democrats who crave conformity and mediocrity..."

"...moldy, mossy conservative Seattle voters, who despise talent and new ideas."

"...misguided bourgeois business community and their cranially-banally inverted acolytes."

(I'm guessing auto-correct added a "b" there, after "cranially". Classy!)

Between now and Recall Election Day, I sincerely hope each and every one of CM Sawant's supporters finds the time to communicate their true thoughts, like the ones quoted above, to as many of District 3's voters as possible. Please, don't hold back!

36

Ooh #27 and #35 “Ten Sores on Your Ass ‘tensor’”, #28 “Nincompoop Marc” and #30 “Rocks in Your Head ‘rockyboy’”,

You must be the “second coming” of the “3 Stooges”!
:)

Instead of your amusing nonsense, we criticize Kshama Sawant and Socialist Alternative for their abandonment of the core socialist principle of working-class political independence when they in 2019 endorsed a bourgeois-party candidate (Bernie Sanders of the Democ-RAT Party) for an elected public position (president).

To commit that silly political somersault, Kshama and Socialist Alternative broke their political solidarity with our International organization the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI).

So in the US we, the Independent Socialist Group, parted company with both Kshama and Socialist Alternative.

Despite their above profound errors, Kshama and Socialist Alternative remain effective and enthusiastic fighters for all our class — Women and Men, Black and White, Gay and Straight.

As seen by the great $15 Minimum Wage victory in Seattle now reverberating nationwide, the historic Seattle Amazon Tax victory, and the ongoing battles for Police Accountability, Rent Control, and free construction worker car-parking.

So, every worker is both honor-bound and duty-bound to vote “Hell No” against this rightwing racist recall attempt by the billionaires and their republican-democrat hireling politicians.

Critical Support for, and Unconditional Defense of, Socialist Alternative’s Kshama Sawant!

Vote “No” — Smash the billionaire scoundrels’ recall attempt!

Together let’s defeat the rich Wall Street scum in this and all other battles — for a livable planet, a fulfilling life, the socialist future of all humankind!

https://independentsocialistgroup.org

https://www.socialistworld.net

37

@36: You seem to have omitted a few key details, comrade. To remediate your proper revolutionary edification as you advance in the struggle:

"The People's Front of Judea and the Judean People's Front both had their origin in the Social Democratic Party of Judea, which later became complacent with working within the Roman provincial system for incremental gains, forgetting its revolutionary origins.

"The PFJ and JPF began in the left faction of the SDPJ. Soon, this faction began agitation for armed resistance, while the party's dominant faction claimed that revolutionary conditions had not yet been met. The left faction split off from the party, denouncing the remaining SDPJ as social fasces-ists. However, not a few years later, internal divisions emerged in the nascent People's Front, laying the groundwork for the future split into the PFJ and the JPF.

"Those in what would become the People's Front of Judea argued that the revolutionary class would be the proletarii, those with little to no property, allied with the urban slaves. The PFJ advanced the view that the material conditions of these classes necessitated their eventual action against the Roman provincial order, whereas the rural peasant class represented more reactionary interests. Meanwhile, the Judean People's Front argued that as Judea lacked the urbanization of Rome, the PFJ's revolutionary theory had to be adapted to the real material conditions of the province. The JPF thus focused on the radicalization of the Judean peasant class, though debate over the extent of their inclusion of wealthier peasants remains heated, especially in consideration of accusations of some of their leaders' links to wealthier peasant family members.

"The JPF further split between the main party and the JPF (Maoist) in 12 AD. Another faction split into the Judean Popular People's Front, disagreeing with the main party's stance against religion, arguing that the Jewish religion was a traditionally imperialized religion, separate from the traditionally imperialist religion of the Romans, and that it was thus racist to denounce it, taking criticisms of the religion as criticisms of the imperialized people who followed it. The JPPF allied with the Zealots and eventually blended into their movement. The JPPF was further alienated from the rest of the movement when a member of the JPF (Maoist) assassinated a religious leader who had a controversial relationship with the Romans and the people's favorite opium.

"Meanwhile, the People's Front of Judea experienced its own schism, as a small faction split off into the Popular Front of Judea, claiming to follow the revolutionary theory of Josip Broz Tito. At first glance, this appears to be an anachronism, given that Marshal Tito was not born until some 18 and a half centuries later, but the historical record is unimpeachable here and so we are left with some competing theories to explain this revolutionary development. Refer to earlier posts on Time Lords and automobiles manufactured by the DeLorean Motor Company."

(https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/30yfs7/what_led_to_the_split_between_the_peoples_front/)

TL;DR: Splitter!

38

Speaking of the Seattle Times, which earlier posts note has been on a roll with the recent election:

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/editorials/voters-should-recall-kshama-sawant/?amp=1

39

@28- Sawant has done more than anyone else to make landlords vow to never rent to low-income people. Every one of these “pro-tenant” measures increased dramatically the risks involved in providing affordable housing. At this point a landlord has essentially no ability to even make sure that the rent will be paid. I don’t see the private sector having much interest in the lower end of the marke, where most of the risk is. I certainly hope that the City Council has a plan to pick up the slack.

40

@17: Down, Muffy, down. Don't you get dizzy from chasing your tail?

41

@10: Oh, I see. And that's why you troll from the false security of your Bellevue tree fort, fathin' fer yer FREE DUMBS! Who's got the top bunk tonight, you or Elmer?

42

@1: Why so scared, Swifty? You live in Bellevue, remember?
Do educated, competent women leave you that flaccid?

43

@33

All those impressive SAT words but yet you cannot spell "milquetoast".

When you are this holier-than-thou I have no problem being a pedantic fuck.

44

Unless she literally unlocked the door to city hall, the only one that matters is the trip to Durkan's home. Was she a leader or a hanger on? If the latter then it's not on her, but we need to elect leaders.

45

@44: "Unless she literally unlocked the door to city hall, the only one that matters is the trip to Durkan's home."

She literally unlocked the door. She used her card key to do so. She's Seattle's Very Own Trump of the Left, and like him, her need for a self-aggrandizing public rally outweighed any and all considerations for public health and safety.

As the Stranger itself once reported, the march to Durkan's home was planned by none other than Sawant's own Socialist Alternative:

"The event was organized by Socialists [sic] Alternative and the Democratic Socialists of America. Sawant was invited as a speaker."

(https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2020/06/30/44005217/mayor-durkan-calls-for-investigation-of-kshama-sawant)

Since then, the Stranger has shoved that inconvenient fact up its Memory Hole, leaving Democratic Socialists of America holding the bag. Once it's admitted that Socialist Alternative was involved, Sawant's claim to have known nothing about where the march was headed can be seen for the blatant lie that it is. There is simply no way Socialist Alternative would have planned that march without her input, which included Durkan's personal address.

Durkan had delivered a humiliating defeat to Sawant, getting the EHT repealed even as Sawant was publicly celebrating having enacted her precious "Amazon Tax." Sawant and Socialist Alternative then made the political personal, by leading a vandalizing mob to Durkan's family home. One of Durkan's predecessors as US Attorney for Western Washington, Thomas Wales, had been brutally murdered in his own Seattle home, by an assailant who has never been publicly identified; that is why Durkan's address was protected. Sawant and SA were clearly telling Durkan they knew where her family lived, and knew Durkan would see it as a personal threat to her family's health and safety.