In an effort to repeal Seattle’s historic $15 minimum wage, business-backed Forward Seattle has been gathering signatures for a referendum to put the ordinance on the November ballot. And how are they persuading Seattleites to sign their petition? By lying:
In the audio above, recorded June 27 outside the Target in Northgate, the signature gatherer can clearly be heard telling potential signers that Seattle’s $15 an hour minimum wage “hasn’t been legalized yet,” that the city council “didn’t officially vote on it,” and that the petition “raises it to $15 an hour.”
These are lies. In fact, the petition is for a referendum that would entirely repeal Seattle’s $15 an hour minimum wage, and replace it with nothing. That is what the businesses behind Forward Seattle have resorted to: paying signature gatherers to lie to voters about their referendum.
And it’s not just one rogue signature gatherer. Over the weekend I was forwarded this audio from an unrelated source, a compilation of various signature gatherers telling various lies about their petition. Potential signers are told that “they’re going to get to $15, just not so fast,” that “this is not to eliminate it,” and that the petition will “incrementally raise it to $15, not all at once.”
If I lied about Forward Seattle and the shameless lying liars who back it, they could sue me for defamation. But it is perfectly legal for them to hire people to lie about their referendum. Still, if these businesses are so willing to lie to me about their referendum, why should I trust them to tell me the truth about their goods and services? Politics aside, I won’t willingly do business with people I don’t trust, and so I will never spend my money at these businesses again.