Heads Up Sawant Supporters: Big Business has Stupid Amounts of Money

If the Sawant-haters think their anybody-but-Sawant standard bearer can sweep the socialist from office by substantially outspending her, they have another think coming. Just weeks before the primary, Sawant has already raised nearly $200,000; across all the council races, only biz-favorite Tim Burgess has raised more. Sawant is also blowing the rest of the pack away with her sheer number of donations, 1,590, over 600 more than the next closest candidate.

But Sawant and her supporters shouldn’t get over-confidant about their convention-defying performance in the money game. Because our airwaves, Internet, and mailboxes could soon be crowded out by big league professionals from the unregulated sport of independent expenditures.

Take for example the race for Council District 5, where a crowded field of qualified candidates including Sandy Brown, Debora Juarez, and Halei Watkins have closely competed for cash and endorsements. Then, out of nowhere, the National Association of Realtors suddenly dumps $48,000 into an independent expenditure on behalf of little-known also-ran Kris Lethin.

Um… Kris who?

Lethin said he has basically no campaign staff or apparatus. “Even my brochure was made by a buddy and me over a weekend,” he said. He described his website as “rookie.” I’m almost embarrassed,” he said. “The other guys have got such fancy stuff going.”

Lethin said he believes his opposition to rent control and linkage fees may have helped win the realtors’ support.

Yah think?

So if the Realtors are willing to flush $48,000 down the drain of a hopeless no-name, just because he’s the most vocal opponent of rent control and linkage fees, how much money do you think they’re ready to put into defeating these policies’ most vocal proponent, Kshama Sawant?

District elections were supposed to help take money out of politics by enabling candidates to focus on doorbelling and community organizing and other forms of direct grassroots voter outreach. But when you count the IEs, District 3 could very well end up being the most expensive race in city council history.

Sawant has proven herself an incorruptible champion of working-class Seattleites, earning her near unanimous support from union locals. No doubt these unions will come to her defense. But Big Business simply has a shit-ton more money than Big Labor. All the more reason why Kshama needs your relentless support.

Open Thread 7.17

- The fake stories Stetzer describes are not being spread in good faith by innocent dupes. They are not innocent and they are not dupes. And the stories are not merely “fake,” but false. The biblical term for what he’s describing is “bearing false witness against your neighbor.”

– I’m just going to posit that if you call our first Black president “monkey man Barack”, and the first Black first lady “Gorilla face” avoiding being thought of as racist wasn’t a high priority, the mayor of Airway Heights.

even if you dispense with the ghoulish idea of Bush going to any sort of veteran’s charity, the idea that he cashed in on it is disgusting.

– This story of what this country did to Lois Chichnikoff Thadei and other Native American children of her era is just awful.

A believer in the power of social media to make change, Bland can be heard thanking the bystander recording her arrest as she’s taken into police custody — custody from which she was never released alive.

– I like Bernie Sanders. I might vote for him in the primary (although I did vote for Clinton 8 years ago, and am leaning toward voting for her again). Still I quite like the first 3 parts of this series on his history from a feminist perspective.

The Stranger’s Endorsements

I’m back! And man am I behind on the news. So here’s a post that doesn’t require much thought:

I don’t know if it’s a sense of obligation or history, or if they actually think they’re making a difference, but I really don’t think most newspaper endorsements make a lick of difference. They spend most of the time pretending to be neutral observers, and then think we should care when they have opinions on who to vote for? Please.

Of course alt weekly papers are different. They have an opinion and a point of view all the time, and if you’re reading them, you probably care what they have to say about candidates. So if you’re already reading The Stranger, you probably already know this, but here are their endorsements. Whatever problems you may have with them, their endorsements probably matter more than any other paper in the region.

Drinking Liberally — Seattle

DLBottleLots of political news these days, locally, statewide, nationally, and internationally. Want to talk about it? Then please join us for an evening of political conversation over a cocktail at the Seattle Chapter of Drinking liberally.

We meet tonight and every Tuesday at the Roanoke Park Place Tavern, 2409 10th Ave E, Seattle. You’ll find us in the small room at the back of the tavern. Our starting time is 8:00 pm, but some folks stop by even earlier for dinner.

Can’t make it to Seattle on Tuesday night? Check out one of the other DL meetings this week. The Tri-Cities and Redmond chapters also meet tonight. The Lakewood chapter meets on Wednesday. On Thursday, the Tacoma chapter meets. And next Monday, the Aberdeen and Yakima chapters meet.

There are 190 chapters of Living Liberally, including eighteen in Washington state, four in Oregon and two in Idaho. Chances are good there’s a chapter meeting near you.

Since I Have to Vote for Elections Director, I’m Voting for Julie Wise

Julie Wise, not a politician

Julie Wise, not a politician

Last week I told you for whom I am voting for city council. (Awkwardly formal phrasing, but you try flipping that sentence around.) So with the ballots arriving this week I thought I’d also mention that I’m voting for Julie Wise for King County Elections Director.

Why? For the exact same reason why I opposed making the office elected in the first place: This is a position that demands a professional who knows how to run elections, not a politician who knows how to run for them. And with 13 years working in King County Elections, deputy director designee Wise is that professional.

Nothing against the two Democrats running for the office. I know and like Zach Hudgins, and from everything I hear, Chris Roberts is a great guy. But neither of them have any experience running an elections office, let alone the largest all vote-by-mail jurisdiction in the nation. For them, this office would be a mere stepping stone to something bigger—maybe Secretary of State. But for Wise, this is her career. And I feel a lot more comfortable with a career technocrat running this office than just another politician.

I cut my teeth as a blogger following the controversially close 2004 gubernatorial election, but we haven’t heard much in the press about King County Elections in the years since. That’s because it’s being run great. Let’s keep it that way. Vote for Wise.

Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza!

Mental Floss: Why is ginger a palate cleanser?

Obama’s Greek debt crisis solution.

White House: West Wing Week.

Thom: The Good, The Bad, and The Very, Very Phemicly Ugly!

Political Stars and Bars:

Young Turks: Beware of people preaching morality.

Liberal Viewer: FAUX News says Americans are jerks?!?

Maddow: Debate entry rules to limit participation.

Thom: The Koch brothers plot to kill our national parks.

Young Turks: George W. Bush speaks to wounded vets…and charges them $100K.

Forgotten Assholes of History: The Woman Who Helped Kill Lincoln:

Follow the Money: Droughts, lobbyists, and you.

Mark Fiore: Selective hearing of gun violence.

Pap: SCOTUS has fractured the Republican party.

The 2016 March of the Clowns:

Sam Seder with Cliff Schecter: How President Obama’s new rules on overtime pay will help any Americans.

Mental Floss: Misconceptions about video games.

Congressional Hits and Misses of the Week.

Harry Reid calls out Republican’s silence on Trump’s racist comments.

When not to correct someone’s grammer:

Liberal Viewer: FAUX News hawks fake “gag order” on Oregon bakery.

Rover-eye view of Mars.

Last week’s Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza can be found here.

Editorial Endorsements Are Stupid (but Here’s Who I’m Supporting for City Council)

HA doesn’t really do political endorsements because A) I think unsigned endorsements are kinda stupid, and B) it’s generally no secret who we individually support. But since I haven’t been writing much at HA recently, and I don’t have Slog at my disposal anymore to influence elections, I thought I’d take a moment to clarify my thoughts on a handful of city council races.

District 2: I’m voting for Tammy Morales
Nothing personal against Bruce Harrell… but I’ve got nothing personal for him either, and I’m hard pressed to think of anything he’s accomplished during his eight years on the council. He’s way too conventional for my liking, and yeah, okay, I’m a little pissed off at his pissiness towards Kshama Sawant. So I’m voting for Tammy Morales.

Morales is affable, smart, energetic, and not totally full of herself. (Also, she doesn’t live in Bellevue, ever.) Yes, I know Josh Farris speaks more directly to my issues, and I’m glad he’s running, but Morales stands the better chance of forcing Harrell to break a sweat. And I want to see Harrell sweat.

Kshama Sawant

Surpise! I support Kshama Sawant!

District 3: I’ve maxed out to Kshama Sawant
I rarely donate to political campaigns because I figure my blogging is contribution enough. But Kshama is more than just special. Never in my 12 years of closely following state and local politics have I seen a newly elected official achieve so much so quickly, sometimes by the mere threat of her presence. And as much as Sawant has dragged Seattle politics to the left, her defeat would be taken as a mandate to drag it sharply to the right. That’s why the business community is spending so much to defeat her.

So as an indication of how strongly I feel about this race, I’ve contributed the maximum $700 to Sawant’s campaign, and I encourage you to give whatever you can afford. Sure, my generosity is partially a reflection of my improved finances, but it’s mostly a reflection of how important I believe it is to our city, our state, and our nation to keep this particular socialist in office.

District 4: I slipped Michael Maddux a $20
I could think of lots of reasons to deny Jean Godden yet another term, but I only need to give you two: She’s been there too damn long, and she’s simply too damn old. That may not be nice, but it’s true. It’s time for her to move out of the way and give somebody else a chance.

As for Godden’s main opponents, I don’t hate Rob Johnson, but I don’t particularly like a lot of the people and organizations supporting him. And when the Seattle Times endorses Johnson by praising his “willingness to break from Seattle’s insular liberal orthodoxy,” that just gives me the willies. So if I had a vote in this district, I’d be casting my ballot for Michael Maddux, who clearly represents the progressive values of the district and the city. Also, he shows up at Drinking Liberally. So there’s that.

Position 8: I’m voting for Jon Grant, if only to make a statement
This is without a doubt the toughest decision for me. First of all, I weirdly like and respect Tim Burgess (yay universal preschool!), even though he’s consistently the most awful vote on the council, and perhaps the biggest dick on the council when it comes to disrespectful treatment of Sawant. Second, I kinda like all three of Burgess’s serious opponents, if in different ways. Third, Burgess is almost certain to win reelection. So if I’m going to cast what I perceive to be a protest vote, then I’m going to cast it for Jon Grant, who is running almost entirely on tenants rights and affordable housing… issues Burgess kinda sucks on.

Position 9: I’m supporting Bill Bradburd (but secretly voting for Lorena Gonzalez)
The whole thing with Sally Clark’s sudden retirement followed by Lorena Gonzalez’s instant campaign stunk of Ed Murray trying to maneuver a political ally onto the council. But every time I’ve spoken to Gonzalez or have seen her speak, I’ve come away more impressed. I’d really like to vote for Bill Bradburd, what with his focus on affordable housing, but I’m not sure I trust his neighborhoody NIMBYist instincts. So, yeah, I’m voting for Gonzalez (who’s going to win anyway) and hoping she proves a disappointment to Ed.

The Others:
Mike O’Brien and Sally Bagshaw are going to win reelection regardless, and I haven’t paid close enough attention to District’s 1 and 5 (there’s just too damn many candidates!) for me to pick a definitive favorite in either. So if you vote in those districts, I’ve got nothing to offer.

There you have it. It’s not an endorsement, per se, because that would be stupid. I mean, who am I to tell you how to vote? Still, there’s no harm in telling you how I’m going to vote. Take it for what it is.

Drinking Liberally — Seattle

DLBottle

Join us this evening for some hot political conversation over a cold, cold beer at the Seattle Chapter of Drinking liberally.

We meet tonight and every Tuesday at the Roanoke Park Place Tavern, 2409 10th Ave E, Seattle. You’ll find us in the small room at the back of the tavern. Our starting time is 8:00 pm, but some folks stop by even earlier for dinner.

Can’t make it to Seattle tonight? Check out one of the other DL meetings this week. The Long Beach, Tri-Cities and West Seattle chapters also meet tonight. On Wednesday the Bellingham chapter meets. And the Bremerton, Spokane, and Kent chapters meet on Thursday.

There are 190 chapters of Living Liberally, including eighteen in Washington state, four in Oregon and two in Idaho. Chances are good there’s a chapter meeting near you.

Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza!

Thom: Reaganism…a failure from Kansas to Greece.

White House: West Wing Week.

Mental Floss: 24 unexpected things aboard cruise ships.

Songify the news:

If fast food commercials were honest.

Farron Cousins: Republican controlled states fail on EVERY measure

Minute Physics: How do bikes stay upright.

The 2016 Clown Brigade:

Thom: You too can buy a politician.

Jon: Some good news for conservatives.

What does the Waterkeeper alliance do?

Maddow: Impeachment of Governor LePage considered by Maine legislators.

Mental Floss: Why do Americans use Fahrenheit?

Thom: The Good, The Bad, and The Very, Very Parvisciently Ugly!.

The Supremes:

Young Turks: Catholics are super sad gay people can get married now.

If Mexicans toasted the 4th Of July the way Americans toast Cinco De Mayo.

VSauce: Who owns the moon?

Maddow: Court forces anti-gay holdouts on marriage equality:

Thom: The Good, The Bad, and The Very, Very Doxasticly Ugly!

David Pakman: Unemployment dips to 5.3%, debunking Right Wing ‘labor participation’ myths.

Palin Around with Irrelevant:

Cold war reenactment.

Mental Floss: Misconceptions about the U.S..

Last week’s Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza can be found here.

Wooooooooooooo

Oh hey they’re temporarily reopening the waterfront.

But today, citing the need for access and especially because it’s tourism season (which you’ve definitely noticed because crowds of confused people, maps-in-hand, have nearly taken you out numerous times in the last week) the City of Seattle has re-opened the waterfront for a temporary summer vacation, so to speak.

“A temporary, park-like pedestrian promenade from University to Madison streets will be open with wayfinding, seawall project information, and activities, accompanied by approximately 70 new parking spaces adjacent to Waterfront Park. Seawall construction will continue from Madison to Yesler streets adjacent to Colman Dock,” reads a release from the City.

Enjoy it while you can suckers! One question: park-like? OK, I lied: another question, 70 new parking spaces? Why not more park-like stuff? Another another question: can we just ignore the thing underground keep the park-like pedestrian promenade? Whatever! I’m going to walk it this weekend! It’s going to be awesome. It’s totally going to be park-like!