It begins: Recall efforts proceeding against socialist, anti-police Seattle City Council member Sawant

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SEATTLE, WA – The wheels are in motion to recall Seattle City Council member and self-described socialist Kshama Sawant, who has pushed for defunding the police, supported Seattle’s CHOP, and led Black Lives Matter protesters in an illegal nighttime invasion of City Hall.

Sawant, from the Socialist Alternative party, has been a member of the Seattle City Council since 2014, representing District 3.  Her “About” page on the Seattle.gov website states that she “ran on a platform of fighting for a $15/hr minimum wage, rent control and taxing the super-rich to fund mass transit and education.”

Although the website also boasts that Sawant “only accepts the average workers’ wage and donates the rest of her six-figure salary to building social justice movements,” things are apparently not what they seem when it comes to Sawant’s “average” salary and implied relationship with lower-income persons. 

Jason Rantz reports that Sawant, who has a net worth of $550,000, donates most of her salary to the Kshama Sawant Solidarity Fund, and that the “majority of the donations made its way back to Sawant via Socialist Alternative.”

The Seattle.gov website also states that Sawant has been a member of Socialist Alternative since 2006, and that she was a supporter of the Occupy Movement.

More recently, Sawant has been a prominent voice in the movement to defund the Seattle Police Department, joining last year with her fellow city council members in a call to cut the police budget by 50 percent.

In addition, she took three additional actions in 2020 that prompted one of her constituents to put forth a recall effort.

The official Recall Kshama Sawant website details these actions as follows:

  1. “Misuse of City of Seattle Council Office Resources to Promote a Ballot Initiative or Other Electioneering (Jan-February 2020)”
  2. “Misuse of Councilmember Sawant’s Official Position in Admitting Hundreds of Individuals Illegally into City Hall Afterhours (June 9, 2020)”
  3. “Using Her Official Position as City Councilmember to Lead a Protest March to Mayor Jenny Durkan’s Private Residence Whose Location is in the State Confidential Program (July 3rd 2020)”

In the first instance, Sawant used her official email account, constituent email list, and city-hosted website to push for the Tax Amazon Campaign, a move to increase taxes on large businesses to fund COVID-19 relief and the Green New Deal.

In the second instance, Sawant allowed throngs of Black Lives Matter protesters into City Hall after hours on the night of June 9, 2020, when the building was closed to the public due to coronavirus restrictions.  Supreme Court documents affirm that doing so “endangered the safety of city workers and other individuals.”

In the third instance, Sawant led a Black Lives Matter march in July 2020 to the home of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan.  Supreme Court documents confirm that Sawant knew at the time that Durkan’s address “was protected under state confidentiality laws.”

According to KOMO News, the Washington State Constitution allows for a recall of a politician if said politician “has committed some act or acts of malfeasance or misfeasance while in office, or who has violated his oath of office.”

District 3 resident Ernest Lou initially launched the recall effort in the summer of 2020.  The process moved forward with the approval of the King County Superior Court, and then on April 1, 2021, the Washington State Supreme Court unanimously found charges relating to those three actions sufficient to allow recall to continue.

Sawant’s supporters have taken to labeling those in charge of the recall effort as part of “[b]ig business” and “the right-wing,” stating on the Kshama Solidarity website:

“Big business and the right-wing are using the courts and their deep pockets to try to silence Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant with a recall campaign. 

“They are furious about her consistent support for the Black Lives Matter movement and the victories she has spearheaded with her socialist council office, including the Amazon Tax, the $15 minimum wage, and landmark legislation for renters’ rights.”

The Socialist Alternative website continues in this vein, asserting:

“Big business and the right wing are attempting to remove Kshama for her role in leading movements to win historic victories for working people and marginalized communities….

“It’s precisely because Councilmember Sawant has fought consistently and unambiguously for working and oppressed people throughout her seven years in office that the billionaires, the right wing, and the political establishment want to remove her by any means necessary.”

The website goes on to say:

“All three of the charges upheld by the Supreme Court attack Kshama for supporting protest movements – the Black Lives Matter and Tax Amazon movements – which is exactly what Seattle voters elected her to do….

“The Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of the recall campaign sets a dangerous precedent because it is an attack on the vital right to protest. If this recall is successful, it will open the floodgates for increased repression of our movements.”

The notion of a right wing, big business conspiracy spearheading the recall movement has understandably been called into question, especially given the preponderance of leftist thinking in Seattle, as well as original petitioner Ernest Lou’s description of himself as “a moderate Democrat and a ‘bleeding heart liberal.’”

Recall Sawant chair Henry Bridger recently described recall supporters as “retirees, hard workers,” and as “Democrat or liberal.” 

As it turns out, large numbers of individual contributions of $700 or more have overwhelmingly gone into pro-Sawant coffers, whereas with recall effort contributions, 74% of donors contributed $25 or less. 

In addition, records actually show that most (65%) of financial supporters of Sawant against the recall come from outside Seattle, as opposed to only 35% of recall supporters.

As of April 22, according to the Seattle Times,  the recall effort has 180 days to collect sufficient valid petition signatures from District 3, which would amount to 10,739, or 25% of votes cast in the general election of 2019.

If a recall election is held, it would either take place during the November 2 general elections, or during special election at a later time.

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Seattle council member who wants to defund the police demands investigation into “threats” she never reported

January 28, 2021

SEATTLE, WA- After receiving a series of threatening emails, Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant demanded the city take this issue seriously, stating she was “extremely concerned” with the potential for violence from the sender of the emails.

According to reports, Sawant never actually contacted the Seattle Police Department (SPD) about the threatening emails. Instead, she released a press release demanding an investigation and implying that the city would not conduct such investigation.

However, had she reported the threats to law enforcement as she was supposed to, the investigation would have already started and maybe even ended. Jason Rantz, host of “The Jason Rantz Show” on AM 770 KTTH said:

“The council member is using the spurious claim to portray herself as a victim of a city disinterested in supporting her, while using the threats to rally supports behind her. She’s transparently political, all in the name of fighting off a threat that she doesn’t seem to take too seriously.”

Sawant said that she received a number of threatening emails from an account belonging to a Seattle Fire Department staffer. She went as far as to publish four on her council blog page, careful to block out the staffer’s name. 

The employee tied to the account denies that they sent the emails, which allegedly began on December 17, 2020. On December 31, 2020, the Seattle Fire Department emailed Sawant to explain they heard about the issue and were investigating, but the emails continued. The last one being sent on January 18, 2021.

On her council blog page, she wrote in her press release:

“The most ominous of these emails arrived yesterday, January 18, titled, ‘Time to announce your expiration’ and concluding, ‘The time is here and you will not have a place after tomorrow council woman. Announce your resignation now or else.'”

Sawant then released a press release reprinting a letter to various city officials. The reprinted letter went to Mayor Jenny Durkan, whose home Sawant led a mob to for a political speech culminating in vandalism by her supporters.

The reprinted letter went to Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz, whose department she is trying to defund by 50 percent, but now hopes will spend limited resources tracking down an emailer she chose not to report, and others. According to Rantz:

“Sawant demanded a ‘thorough investigation into this matter immediately’ after baselessly claiming a ‘possible link between these emails and the far right protests planned for Biden’s inauguration.’ Without President Donald Trump in office, Sawant and others with pivot future attacks on unnamed right-wing threats.”

Sawant said in her press release:

“I believe these emails must be taken very seriously given the current political context with an emboldened right wing nationally, the specific threatening content of the emails and the fact that they originate from a City of Seattle email account.”

SPD confirmed to the “Jason Rantz Show” on KTTH that Sawant never reported the threats directly to the department. In fact, they only learned about them after Sawant’s comments went public.

A department spokesperson confirmed that there is now and active investigation, which started as soon as they learned of the concerns. Rantz said:

“When researching an unrelated story, a council spokesperson told me that council members ‘are encouraged to work directly with SPD when called for, which is the normal practice for anyone.'”

He added:

“An hour later, the spokesperson clarified her statement, claiming it’s, ‘the council office-staff who typically make a determination as to how to proceed.'”

On Twitter, Sawant’s account has retweeted a stream of sympathetic followers, who demand an investigation that they do not realize she stymied by keeping the threatening emails from the police.

Sawant said that while she received the threats, it wasn’t really about her at all. It was about a movement she attaches her brand to. She said in her press release:

“While the threats are directly at me personally, I and others recognize that they are in fact directed against our entire government. They are attacking me as a means of threatening all who dare to fight for workers’ rights and against racism, sexism, and oppression which stem from the capitalist system.”

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