Capitol Hill’s longtime Olympia powerbroker Chopp faces Socialist Alternative in search of 11th term

unnamedAfter 20 years representing Capitol Hill’s 43rd Legislative District, Frank Chopp has built a reputation as a quiet operator in the Washington state Legislature. He’s a behind a scenes powerbroker who, following the House Speaker custom, sponsors no legislation and hasn’t sent out a press release in years. That would explain the humbly self-typed, black-and-white campaign materials Chopp, 61, came bearing when he sat down with CHS last week at the 15th Ave Victrola.

“I don’t go out there issuing press releases because I want to build a team,” he said. “I see my role as a community organizer.”

After handily beating Kshama Sawant in 2012, Chopp is once again facing a young, firebrand socialist challenger in this bluest of blues central Seattle district. Jess Spear, a 32-year-old Sawant protege, Socialist Alternative candidate, and climate scientist, brashly chose affordable housing as a main campaign policy issue, an issue that Chopp has worked on for decades.

Given his wide popularity in the 43rd and mastery of Olympia, Chopp has plenty of reasons to be confident going into November’s election. But the successes of his former challenger may give him some pause this go around. Instead of fading into obscurity after her 2012 loss, Sawant went on to unseat a longtime Seattle City Council member and immediately became the progressive torch bearer on the left-leaning council.

So far, Spear’s main criticisms of Chopp have centered around his corporate campaign donations, including donations he received from Microsoft, Wyerhaeuser, and Boeing. Chopp has raised nearly $96,000 to Spear’s $3,150, but Chopp said he will “surplus” most of his funds to other progressive candidates, as he’s done in the past.

Chopp was born and raised in Bremerton to working class parents. After graduating from the University of Washington he quickly immersed himself in progressive causes. He once lived in a geodesic dome in a Cascade parking lot to protest the bulldozing of affordable housing in the area. Chopp eventually came to lead a successful housing nonprofit that would become Solid Ground.

Chopp’s Capitol Hill credentials go back to the 1970s when he was among the earliest residents of 16th and Aloha’s PRAG House, which recently suffered from an unfortunate attic fire. In 1994 he was elected to the state Legislature and became speaker in 1999, where he’s stayed ever since.

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The 43rd district boundaries in 2012. The district now includes more of Fremont and Phinney.

Assessing the record of the House Speaker can be a tricky undertaking. Of course, Chopp is happy to take partial credit for all the Democratic victories that occurred under his watch, while the Republican-dominated Senate provides a convenient scape goat for all the things he wasn’t able to get done. What’s hard to deny is that few current elected officials have done as much as Chopp has for affordable housing — among the top issues on Capitol Hill.

When asked to lay out his boldest plan to address affordable housing on Capitol Hill, Chopp proposed bonding against the state’s hotel/motel tax and use the funds to build thousands of units around central Seattle.

“The best approach is to build equity, to own it,” he said. “The key is to capture any public land that is available for affordable buildings.”

One of his proudest housing accomplishments was helping to create the state Housing Trust Fund. Chopp counts over 70 projects in the 43rd district alone that have benefitted from the fund, including 12th Avenue Arts. Since 1987 the Housing Trust Fund has built or maintained around 40,000 affordable units, according to the program’s website.

Spear, on the other hand, is an adamant supporter of rent control as a method to bring affordable housing to central Seattle and has vowed to lift the state’s ban on it — something Chopp said he supports, but doubts it would get enough votes to pass.

While Seattle’s elected officials has taken the lead nationwide in raising the minimum wage, the state has lagged behind. With the endorsement of several major unions, Chopp hopes to push a $12 minimum wage plan through the house this year. Again, Chopp said the senate could prove to be problematic and that Republican opposition would certainly put Spear’s $15 minimum wage proposal out of the question.

“At the state level, there’s not the support for it,” Chopp said. “The cost of living is just not as high in other parts of the state as it is in Seattle.”

Perhaps Capitol Hill’s biggest disappointment with Olympia came earlier this year when the legislators once again failed to pass a transportation package, sending county and city officials scrambling to prevent deep cuts to Metro bus service. Lamenting Republican opposition, Chopp said the best option for Seattle is for voters to approve Mayor Ed Murray’s proposed $60 car tab and sales tax hike in November. In the meantime, Chopp said he would continue to work towards implementing a 1.5% vehicle excise tax to sustain transit funding around the city.

After two decades in the Legislature, it’s clear Chopp has developed a passion for process. While his challenger may have more fire in her belly, Chopp said he’s confident in his ability to get things done.

“It’s all about trying to get the most progressive agenda though, but at the same time working with people,” he said.

31 thoughts on “Capitol Hill’s longtime Olympia powerbroker Chopp faces Socialist Alternative in search of 11th term

  1. With Mr. Chopp’s impressive record in advancing the cause of affordable housing over many years, it seems odd that his challenger would choose that issue as the centerpiece of her campaign.

    Ms. Sawant, so far, has not exactly been a very popular councilmember, except for with a very vocal minority, and I think this factor will result in less support for Ms. Spear…..that, and the fact that she looks about 19 years old.

    • agreed – going up against someone whose record on your signature platform has been outstanding shows unbelievable naivete. It’s not (just) that Spear’s ability in this arena is unknown, but that we would be losing a staunch and powerful ally in affordable housing.

      It would make far more sense to go against someone whose record shows weakness in the area she wants to focus on.

  2. Interesting, a lot of hate for Sawant who isn’t even runing. I don’t see how anyone can call Sawant a disastor when she’s really not done anything to effect the coucil at all. She’s not been the swing vote on any one policy, and thus has had no huge impact on what the council would/will do outside pulling the conversation to the left. It’s shocking how scared some people are of a government that is actually accountable to themselves, or the label of something other than a D. That then, would require actually looking at the candidates though.

    IS that what you’re scared of? Pulling the conversation to the left? I’ll take a young minority of a rich older white guy who’s insulated from the working class any day of the week.

  3. I have been, and continue to be, a Kshama Sawant supporter, and would vote to re-elect here in an instant. She was running against the biggest corporate shill on the council, and has been instrumental in the $15/hr min wage fight. She can be abrasive, and perhaps not as adept at pragmatically “getting the most good” done, but she will learn with experience.

    That said, I am still supporting Frank Chopp for re-election as 43rd rep. I believe in his progressive credentials. I think Jess has miscalculated the issues to champion against Chopp, particularly with affordable housing. And an experienced progressive Speaker-of-the-House, pragmatically speaking, will do a much better job advancing policy that will benefit the very people that Socialist Alternative policies appeal to most.

    I like Socialist Alternative policy objectives, but strongly question their effectiveness in advancing them.

    • Hi Brian,
      It’s excellent that you are, and continue to be, a supporter of Socialist Alternative’s Kshama Sawant; and that you voted for her.

      But it’s completely inconsistent, it’s totally “Hamlet-with-wooden-sword”-like, to then fail to vote for Socialist Alternative’s Jess Spear!

      Just like Kshama, Jess is a workers’ candidate, on a workers’ wage, fighting for the workers’ future.
      — for your future and mine, because we’re all part of the working class, the 99%.

      Furthermore, voting for Jess Spear is one small practical step you can take in defending your sisters and brothers around the world, such as those being drone-bombed to pieces today in Gaza.

      Because a victory for Jess Spear will truly be “a shot heard round the world”.
      Enthusing workers everywhere on the planet to take the battle to “their” oppressor governments.
      Because, “Hey, if our sisters and brothers can win in the US, in the belly of the beast, in the major city of Seattle, why can’t we in our own hometowns!”

      Jess Spear is a splendid candidate, with a splendid chance of winning — with your support, that is!

      And she’s earned her spurs in battle:
      — as director of Kshama’s victorious 2013 Seattle city council run.
      — and as director of $15Now spearheading (no pun intended!) the magnificent relative triumph in Seattle of the $15 minimum-wage struggle.

      Whereas the Boeing $8.7 Billion bagman Frank Chopp, Democratic+Republican apparatchik, the “House Speaker” who’s “mute” about both a $15 minimum wage and rent control, deserves not your vote but your opprobrium.

      In addition to voting for Jess Spear, you truly should make Socialist Alternative and $15Now your very own party — join it, build it, influence it.
      http://www.socialistalternative.org/
      http://15now.org/

      Dump the Elephant, Dump the Ass! Build a Party of the Working Class!

      All the best

      • What drivel. You can’t possibly believe that electing Spear would lead to peace in the Middle East. Statements like that are why far-left (and far-right) zealots have zero credibility.

        • Hey calhoun, you want peace in the Middle East? Then you ought to stop kneeling before the 1%-ers’ Republican and Democratic parties, and help create a huge working-class movement in opposition to them:
          Socialist Alternative and $15Now .
          Part of that arduous battle is voting for Jess Spear, as a workers’ representative in Olympia on a worker’s wage.

          Whereas the Republican-Democrats gave a Trillion dollars of our money to the banksters;
          They give $3 Billion a year in “military aid” to Israel;
          They give $1 Billion a year in “military aid” to Egypt.
          No aid at all for Detroit, though — in a city surrounded by water, they’re even conspiring to cut off a 100,000 low-wage workers’ access to water!

          So, who are the real extremists — us, or the capitalists and their Republican-Democratic catspaws?

          Dump the Elephant, Dump the Ass! Build a Party of the Working Class!

          All the best

      • I won’t call what you wrote drivel “socialistworld” (if that really is your name),

        However your writing style does suggest a blind allegiance to ideology, with very little of the practicality required to truly make peoples lives better. The pragmatism to recognize when you are not going to get everything that you, so you try to get what you can.

        I voted for Ms Sawant for one very specific reason: She was going to the City of Seattle a $15/hr minimum wage. Few would argue that that she wasn’t the driving force there.

        I will not vote for Ms Spear, because because regardless of whether you think she has “earned” it by getting Sawant elected, her platform is an unworkable mess, and she will not accomplish a single g*dd*mn thing in Olympia, when she needs to work with other progressives. Spouting Marxist bullsh*t (no matter how ardently you believe in it) will not advance your cause, nor influence people towards your point of view. And yes, we do live in a democracy, and the “best” ideas don’t always win. The ideas that win are those that have the most support, either by true popular support, or compelling argument. You have neither. Marxist slogans are no more “compelling” than right wing slogans.

        You should not kid yourself that Sawant won because she spouts a good slogan. Slogans are bullsh*t. Sawant won because she was associated with $15/hr. She won because we progressives knew that a Sawant victory would put the fear of god into city government, and get $15/hr passed. if she wants to stay on the council, she will need to find another (workable) progressive cause to champion. One the can be accomplished, not just used for propaganda.

        If she talks about the workers taking over factories or some such stupid nonsense, she will be laughed out of office, and be nothing more than a footnote; a walking-talking former demagog, and socialism will be set back another 10 years in Seattle.

        • Hi Brian,

          Let’s discuss, please:

          Actually, your two statements below are a contradiction in terms:
          “I voted for Ms Sawant for one very specific reason: She was going to the City of Seattle a $15/hr minimum wage. Few would argue that that she wasn’t the driving force there.
          I will not vote for Ms Spear, because …… her platform is an unworkable mess, and she will not accomplish a single g*dd*mn thing in Olympia, when she needs to work with other progressives.”

          Well, how did Kshama Sawant, Jess Spear and Socialist Alternative become a “driving force” in the $15 fight?

          Not by kneeling before some retrogressives-who-pretend-to-be-progressives in Seattle city council.

          Instead, by helping to create and give leadership to a mass movement fighting or it!

          Even though Kshama is the sole socialist in the Seattle city council, she, $15Now, the low-waged workers and the workers’ movement imposed their agenda on the mayor, the corporations and their council cronies.

          So much so that said cronies had no choice but to pass $15 into law.

          A magnificent victory! — even though the cronies did manage to claw back some carve-outs for their corporate masters.

          An invaluable lesson: Create mass movements, and we can fight the capitalists and win better living conditions!

          That’s precisely the approach Jess Spear will take if she unseats Boeing’s $8.7Billion bagman Frank Chopp — with your help.

          Just as Kshama did in Seattle city council, Jess would use her legislature position as a platform, an amplifier, a bullypulpit, to help build and lead mass movements to fight for our class, the working class, the 99%.

          Let’s consider winning a $15 minimum wage throughout WA:
          Don’t be fooled by the Democrat leader liars when they say “Ooh! — if not for those rotten Republicans we’d have passed a WA-wide minimum wage ages ago!”

          Mere hypocritical cant — Frank Chopp has never presented even his $12 minimum-wage proposal to the vote in the WA legislature.

          Whereas Jess Spear in the WA legislature, with mass movements for $15Now blossoming, will very likely be able to force the Republicans and Democrats there to pass a WA-wide $15 minimum-wage law.
          Just as Kshama was able to in Seattle city council.

          The Democratic and Republican parties are both capitalist parties, parties of the 1%.

          They both bailed out the banksters — to the tune of over $1 Trillion.

          They both have murdered dozens of children via drone bomb.

          They both have funded to the hilt ($3Billion last year) Israel’s blood-soaked rampages.

          No bailouts for you and me, though.

          No funding for Detroit.

          Heck, there they’re even trying to deny our low-waged sisters and brothers water. Water, the liquid of life.

          The Democrats are the lesser evil?
          That’s all nonsense.
          Sure, the Republicans are evil.
          The Democrats are the more effective evil.

          (I mean the leaderships of both those parties, of course — certainly not their deluded-nitwit rank-and-file members!)
          :)

          If you’re working-class, one of the 99%, then it’s mere silly treason to vote for a Democrat or Republican — especially when there’s a workers’ candidate, on a worker’s wage, running: Jess Spear!

          So you don’t agree with Jess Spear on everything, or even on anything?
          Well, as far as voting for Jess Spear is concerned, any disagreements you might have with her are completely irrelevant.
          If you’re one of the 99% you’re honor-bound to vote for Jess Spear.
          Vote with your class, for your class!

          As for disagreements, discuss them with Jess, with Kshama, with their sisters and brothers.
          That way we can all learn from one another.

          What’s this nonexistent dichotomy between “Kshama’s programme” which you presumably agree with, and “Jess’s programe” which you mischaracterize an “unworkable mess”?

          All Socialist Alternative members have exactly one programme, a Transitional Programme, hammered out and democratically debated and voted upon at annual national conference, which they all then fight for throughout the country.

          Similarly, Socialist Alternative’s affiliates in other countries formulate their own.

          For example in South Africa, the Democratic Socialist Movement and the Workers And Socialist Party.

          Of course the specific slogans and perspectives for each position being fought for is appreciably different: $15 minimum wage for Seattle in Kshama’s case, $15 minimum wage for WA and rent control in Jess’s case, and so on.

          Your silly assertion that marxism is bullsh*t is, well, just that.
          Here’s a standing challenge for anybody:
          Name one, just one, area where you think marxism is wrong, and chances are we can show that it’s you who are mistaken there, not marxism.

          You’re absolutely right about the need to identify and fight for progressive causes that seem to be winnable.

          The $15Now fight is precisely one such.

          So will the fight to occupy and take ownership of Boeing, under workers’ management and workers’ and community control, become — if the Boeing executives try to shut down production and destroy thousands upon thousands of working-class livelihoods.

          See what our fighter grandmothers, our hero grandfathers, achieved 80 years ago with the immortal 1934 Minneapolis Teamsters’ Strike:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m44DLk-IX1s
          and
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEjq90JMuy0

          All part of a Transitional Programme, which we all develop together, for winning workers in their millions over to the socialist fighting banner.

          In Norse mythology, the “Rainbow Bridge” is what connects Midgard (Earth) to Asgard (their heaven).

          Well, in socialist ideology, the Transitional Programme is the “rainbow bridge” from this vile capitalist hell to the glorious socialist future of all humankind!

          Dump the Elephant, Dump the Ass! Build a Party of the Working Class!

          All the best

          • socialistworld,

            I am sorry, but you are incredibly naive. I few points:

            1. I never said Marxism was bullsh*t. I said Marxist “Sloganing” and blind unbending Marxist ideology are bullsh*t. It causes more harm to “Progress” (the root word of Progressive) by being unwilling to compromise, and belligerently insulting those who *should* be your natural allies with your slogans: “Dump the Elephant, Dump the Ass! Build a Party of the Working Class!” — As a Progressive Democrat, I have been helping get minimum wage laws, gay rights and women’s rights issues passed since before Jess Spear was old enough to genuflect to photos of Marx, Mao and Castro. You insult me, yet while I’ve helped get this done, you masturbate to Mao’s little red book.

            2. Kshama Sawant does not *own* $15/hr. She is a charismatic who was willing to step forward and lead. But she didn’t “convince” us to support $15/hr. She certainly didn’t spawn the creation of the Progressive movement in Seattle. She is articulate, and agreed with the existing base that the minimum wage is too low. What Sawant and 15Now and perhaps the Socialist Alternative brought to Seattle was organization. The willingness to plan and lead rallies. But she has been elected merely as a figurehead of a population that demanded $15/hr. If you took an honest poll (not “Socialist Aleternative’s” strong point) you would find a tiny fraction who believe in the SA agenda, as opposed to a more generic Progressive agenda. If you are lucky, you might out-poll the GOP.

            If Jess Spear were to get elected, Progressive would lose:
            * She would piss off other duly elected representatives.
            * She would *directly* cause the elevation of a * conservative* Democrat to Speaker of the House.
            * She would become the GOP’s poster child of “those crazy Seattle progressives”.

            You strike me as the kind of people who cheered when Ralph Nadar swung the 2000 election to GWB. Yeah, you sure showed the “Ass” Al Gore that you were a force to be reckoned with. However, while you are patting yourself on the back and taking (undeserved) full credit for $15/hr, you are being intellectually dishonest if you don’t take responsibility for all the negative that would happen with “success”. You don’t get to say “Well the Democrats lost because they weren’t progressive enough” if you become the tool of that loss. Because when you do, you sound every bit as stupid and naive as tea-partiers who think the GOP would be successful if only they would be more “conservative”.

            In much shorter terms: You are what we call a “wing-nut”. There are right *and* left varieties, and your only real accomplishment is ever forcing a larger counter-reaction that moves people in the opposite direction from what you were hoping.

          • Hey Brian,

            It’s quite true that Kshama Sawant and Socialist Alternative’s Seattle city council victory was not hers alone — you helped it too, by voting for her.

            What is at issue is your present renegacy.

            Riddle me this: If it was not JESS SPEAR of Socialist Alternative, but Kshama Sawant of Socialist Alternative, who was challenging the capitalists’ Frank Chopp, would you still persist in your silly opportunism by advocating a vote for him as opposed to her?

            It’s shameful to be a member of the working class and join a capitalist party like the Democratic Party or the Republican Party.

            You ought to save your personal honor and resign from it.

            Capitalism in our epoch is not progressive but extremely retrogressive.
            Wars.
            Unemployment.
            Starvation — one human being dying every 2 seconds of preventible causes.

            Being a party of the capitalist class, the Democratic Party is likewise not progressive but extremely retrogressive.

            I mean its leadership, every one of them, regardless of whether they prattle about being “Progressive Democrats” or not.
            Not by any means the Democratic Party’s rank-and-file membership, nor for that matter the Republican Party’s rank-and-file membership — they’re working-class but deluded; working-class fish trapped in a capitalist gill-net.

            “Genuflect before Marx”?
            Nonsense.
            We genuflect before no one.
            Certainly not before those such as Marx whom we love, admire, strive to critically learn from.

            Maoism and Castroism are variants of Stalinism, the syphilis of the labor movement.
            Marxism is the antidote to it, as it is to capitalism.

            “Nader stole the Democrats’ vote and ushered in a Republican presidency?”
            Well, then it’s our fault for not having had the sense to vote for Nader in our crushing majority.
            Hegel said “A nation gets the government it deserves”.
            The corollary to that is “But once it stops deserving that government, it kicks it out”.

            We are beginning to stop deserving a Democratic or Republican government.
            That’s the core lesson, in embryo, of Kshama Sawant and Socialist Alternative’s magnificent Seattle city council victory.

            So, stop being a kneeling coward, leave the Democratic Party, vote for Jess Spear, discuss with her, Socialist Alternative and $15Now — and fight back!

            Dump the Elephant, Dump the Ass! Build a Party of the Working Class!

          • And if you think you can appeal to Seattlites with stories an 80 year old midwestern labor movement, then you don’t know Cascadia, and you don’t know Seattle.

            Educate yourself on the 95 year old Seattle labor movement.

            But there would be Armed Revolution if workers tried to take over Boeing. And I suspect you know that, which is why you have no credibility with reasoning human beings. And you are probably too stupid to realize that we (as NW progressives) would lose any such armed conflict.

          • I prefer real solutions that actually improve the lives of all citizens of Seattle, the state of Washington, the USA, and mother Earth.

            I oppose actions which *prevent* us from solving problems, and actions which have Zero chance of success, foment Violence, or are done strictly to Grandstand and generate Propaganda..

            A $15/hr min wage? Check. It is workable, achievable and does a lot of good.

            A worker take-over of Boeing? Stupid. Could never happen. Could even spiral into violence. If “Successful” would result in the loss of about 50,000 jobs in the Greater Puget Sound area. Would be great Communist Manifesto style Propaganda, though.

            As to your Q&A:

            I would *not* vote for Sawant over Housing Rights activist Chopp if I thought she stood any chance of winning. I would still vote for Sawant for city council. If you fail to understand the differences in those positions, then you really understand Nothing. The voters who elect Chopp are exclusively from the 43rd district in Washington State… an area that includes maybe 1/4 to 1/3 the city of Seattle. He shares the legislature with 97 other representatives, 90 of whom couldn’t care less what the people of Seattle want. The voters who elect Sawant cover the entire city of Seattle and include exactly the same people who vote for all 8 of the other council members.

            A vote for Sawant for City Council is a direct message to the other members, who have exactly the same constituents, that they need to address the reason why she won. Consequently, a vote for Sawant was seen as a vote for the $15/hr wage.

            A vote for Spear (or Sawant) for Representative would have been a message to exactly 2 other members of the 43rd delegation: Jamie Pedersen and Brady Walkinshaw. The rest of the state would first laugh at the 43rd, and then they would ignore us. In fact they may decide to ignore Brady and Jamie as well, concluding (correctly) that the 43rd was so far outside the mainstream, that Seattle specific concerns (like mass transit) could be back-burnered. This would have an extremely negative effect on the exact people that you supposedly care about; But you know, who cares if you get your propaganda win…

            I am not even confident, based on you and Khsama’s rhetoric, that Jess (or Sawant) would even caucus with the Dems in Olympia. That could throw control of the House to the GOP, which again would have extremely negative *real* *world* consequences for the poor of Seattle.

            So what are you guys looking for? Actual results? Then tell us how Jess Spear would be *more* *effective* than Chopp on Mass Transportation. How she will be more effective than Chopp on Low Income Housing. How she will be more effective than Chopp on a statewide Minimum Wage increase. Chopp supports all those things (as do the 43rd district citizens) and is in a position to actually move us towards them.

            If you aren’t interested in these actual concrete items, then all that is left are your propaganda wins.

          • Hey Brian,

            It’s absurd to assert that unseating the capitalists’ Frank Chopp, and replacing him with JESS SPEAR, Socialist Alternative fighter, could somehow “throw control of the House to the GOP”.

            Ooh, really? How?? As if Jess Spear is going to vote there for Republican reactionaries!!!

            Kshama Sawant’s article/interview (published today) below answers — in inimitable Kshama style — some of your other points:
            http://becausefinanceisboring.com/post/90708548204/this-is-class-struggle-interview-with-kshama-sawant

            Dump the Elephant, Dump the Ass! Build a Party of the Working Class!

  4. I can never support someone backed by Sawant, who told Boeing workers they should just take over the factories and make planes themselves, if management did not yield to their demands on pay raises.

    If you don’t believe me here http://www.kirotv.com/news/news/seattle-city-councilmember-elect-shares-radical-id/nbxbC/

    Sawant and her politburo are a train wreck in the making for Seattle. If you say “well she’s just 1 person, an giggly oddity that is C.Hill” well then another is elected and another..pretty soon you have the whole standing committee and no one wanting anything to actually be built, expanded or “done” in this town.

    Just say no to commies.

    WOLVERINES!!!

  5. Rent Control has been disastrous for New York and San Francisco, we don’t want to repeat that mistake in Seattle. If we get rent control, say goodby to about 75% of the middle class.

    • Rent control has been a disaster?

      Only if you are a property owner who fails to get as rich as you think you “deserve” to be.

      Rent control will destroy 75% of the middle class?

      Excuse me while I clean up the milk that just shot from my nose…. No but seriously. Please map out for us, via a chain of cause-effect-cause-effect how you imagine rent control would destroy the middle class. Or how you think rent control *did* destroy the middle class in NY. I have paper towels ready.

      • Yes, If you tell someone there will be a price maximum not reflective of the market, they have no incentive to build new rental units and furthermore gives even more incentive to convert to for sale condo units.

        • Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that your strawman is true (even though rent control is not something that is outside the control of the law makers making the rules, and the max-rent-prices can be tied to any economic indicators that they want), the question remains:

          1. How is it the “rent control” is the thing that destroys the middle class? If people buy condos instead of renting, are they no longer middle class? Did the move up a class or down? Are you asserting that rent control is more destructive to a middle class person than an inability to find a livable wage job?

          To get back to Prost’s original assertion, does this mean NY and SF have lost most of their middle class? And if so, are they all poor now? rich? Can you think of any reason beyond “rent control” for this class migration.

          I think the homework on this is sloppy. I think think someone said:
          1. “I don’t like rent control”
          2. “The middle class is disappearing”
          3. “Therefore rent control is destroying 75% of the middle class”.

          There is a huge logical black hole there.

  6. The Washington state democrats have created a state with most regressive tax policy in the nation, a court order to actually fund education but won’t, standing by while Seattle transit is ripped apart, and creating a city with 10-20 percent rent hikes. But oh yea demand a special session to give another 8.7 billion to Boeing to be made up by people that actually live here. Please stop helping us Mr. Chopp and retire. You are old and in the way (and not in a good way). I respect your youth as an activist but your compromise solutions of the last 20 years have run us into the ground. Have another expensive lunch with your “activists” buddies from the glory days and open your eyes to the complete corporate shit hole you created here.

    • That is some brilliant research Dave. The Washington Democrats have created the “most regressive tax policy in the nation”. I am surprised you would even choose to live in a state as blue as this, when there are so many non-regressive GOP controlled states out there…. You know, Texas, Kansas, Mississippi, Louisiana. Places where the Schools are first rate, and nobody that wants a job lives in poverty.

      I pretty sure I heard that every time the Washington GOP has tried to increase school funding, or replace our regressive sales tax with a less regressive income tax, the only thing blocking it has been those pesky Democrats.

      Or maybe I am misunderstanding. Perhaps you are saying that the Socialist Alternative have enough statewide support that single handedly, Jess Spear will undo all of the damage done by Frank Chopp, and win over House of Reps with her winning smile and can-do work ethic. Got it.

    • You want to see a “complete corporate shit hole?” Get rid of Chopp and let the Republicans take over. Seriously — priorities here, guys.

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