Sawant brings back $9K from NYC fundraiser criticized by challenger ahead of Saturday Town Hall campaign event


Our provincial City Council District 3 race is making eyes and checkbooks open nationwide. City Council member Kshama Sawant spent the weekend in New York City attending a conference and a campaign fundraiser where she spoke alongside journalist and TruthDig columnist Chris Hedges. The Occupy Wall Street organizers asked attendees to bring their checkbooks and “consider donating generously! Solidarity!”

The $15 per ticket event generated around $9,000 for Sawant’s campaign, according to her political director Philip Locker.

The trip didn’t go unnoticed back at home. In a Monday morning media release, Sawant challenger Pamela Banks chided Sawant for traveling to NYC instead of attending at Friday City Council meeting about the mayor’s proposed transportation levy.

“Actions speak louder than words—even for someone who speaks as noisily as Sawant,” Banks said in a statement. “She can talk a good game about equity, but you can’t make an impact for the people of Seattle when you’re raising money in Manhattan.”

The statement was the first real political sniping between candidates in the City Council District 3 race, which pits the Socialist Alternative Sawant against three Democratic candidates and one independent.

“The establishment opponents know that in a discussion of (issues), Kshama wins hands down,” Locker said.

When Banks announced she was entering the race in March, the former head of Seattle’s Urban League posistened herself as a representative who would be more available to constituents than Sawant.

As of Sunday, Sawant leads the fundraising race with $81,757 in total contributions and has foregone contributions from corporate donors. Banks is in second with $48,434 raised, closely followed by Rod Hearne.

According to city campaign finance records, 37% of Sawant’s campaign contributions have come from “outside the city limits,” while 22% of Banks’s contributions have come from outside Seattle. One third of Banks’s contributions have come from inside District 3, about double the percentage Sawant has raised from the area.

UPDATE: According to the city’s Ethics and Elections Commission, the “no address” category primarily includes donors not required to disclose their address because they gave $25 or less to a campaign. Those small amount donors account for 40% of Sawant’s contributors, which her campaign says includes people from District 3. Around 6% of Banks’ contributors are represented by “no address” donors.

Sawant will be holding a major campaign event this Saturday with with Hedges and former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, this time in Seattle at First Hill’s Town Hall. Tickets are $15.

Meanwhile, an effort to lessen the impact of the “donor class” on Seattle’s local elections is moving forward. The Honest Elections Seattle Campaign announced Monday it submitted more than 32,000 signatures to the city to get I-122 on the the ballot this November. The initiative would enact a relatively small property levy to fund a system of public campaign financing in local elections. The opt-in program would give voters $100 “democracy vouchers” that they would give to candidates to fund their campaigns.

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28 thoughts on “Sawant brings back $9K from NYC fundraiser criticized by challenger ahead of Saturday Town Hall campaign event

  1. I realize this seems trite, but when a business or in this case , candidates organization, tacks pole flyers all over residential neighborhoods (and letting them rot in place until someone removes them) expecting attention, for me at least, they have received it, and not the kind they want as it shows their disrespect.

    • I couldn’t agree more. Yesterday I cleaned a soggy torn Sawant flyer off the ground and picked up a small stack of wet door hangers off the top step of my buildings entryway.

      If the goal is to get noticed by taking a dump all over Capitol Hill its working. And ticking me off….

    • I don’t think they understand that getting attention is not the same as earning respect.

      I’d love to see an August surprise, but I’m guessing we will see a three way split of the non-Sawant vote, leaving us with a Sawant + another general.

    • And how is this different than any of the advertisements Poster Giant covers Capitol Hill poles with?

      Oh, because it’s by your residence? It’s okay everywhere else?

      Or, do you hate every venue, business, musical act that has ever enlisted the marketing services of Poster Giant?

      • Settle down.

        There is a difference between posting a bands upcoming performance or looking for a lost pet and a political candidate peppering the hill with their in-your-face advertisements.

      • Settle down? I’m fine bro. You?

        “There is a difference between posting a bands upcoming performance or looking for a lost pet ”

        Your description leads me to believe that you probably don’t walk the streets of Capitol Hill very often because the situation isn’t as innocuous as your description.

        But, I’ll bite. What’s the difference?

      • Yup, you’re right, there is no difference.

        If a band makes a mess of posters announcing their upcoming gig, me being pissed off about it won’t prevent their gig from happening. But I probably won’t ever go see them.

        If a candidate’s supporters make a mess of posters and don’t clean them up, I’ll get pissed off too. And I won’t vote for them.

        Nope, no difference.

      • I support your logic.

        But on that note, the onslaught of political ephemera from other candidates will soon hit your door/neighborhood/mailbox. No one is above it.

    • I agree too. One of the City regulations on postering is that they be removed when the event advertised has taken place, or after 30 days, whichever comes first. I’m sure Sawant’s campaign has no intention of complying with this regulation…..no one does, but it seems especially egregious for a sitting councilperson to ignore a city regulation.

      Also, there is something sleazy about Sawant soliciting money (for a local campaign) in NYC, instead of doing her job here at home.

  2. Isn’t the real issue whether or not you want your City Council candidates, supposedly more responsive to neighborhhod issues due to the new disrrict format, funded by people in New York? More to the point, do you want your candidates traveling out of state to seek those dollars for local office? I don’t, even though I understand that some dollars will come in from out of town donors. Sawant sought these contrubutions, which doesn’t sit right with me.

    • Two sides to every story/candidate, Glenn.

      If that troubles you, hope this is doubly troubling:
      http://www.seattlemet.com/articles/2015/5/26/anti-sawant-fundraising-appeal-may-2015

      “And some of them gathered at a breakfast fundraiser last Friday morning to support Sawant’s opponent, Banks. The campaign reportedly delivered the motivating message to supporters that hefty out-of-state donations were going to be coming in from top-tier-donor counterparts from around the country who are antsy about Sawant’s growing influence in a prominent city like Seattle—and they don’t want her to be reelected.”

      • As I said, I understand some dollars will come in from out of town donors. I would prefer that none do, but that is not realistic, I guess. The candidates should focus their fundraising locally, not travel across the land seeking donations from those with no affiliation to Seattle. It seems both Sawant and Banks could find plenty of support in district 3.

      • The fact that out-of-state money comes in for local elections isn’t great. It’s been going on forever and probably nobody thinks about it much. I think what probably raises a few eyebrows for many people is that Sawant is doing it– since it would seem somewhat at odds with the holier-than-thou, idealistic tone of her usual rants.

      • yeah, I guess some people need to fly across country to rally everyday people for donations while others can sit here and wait for the money to flow in from wealthy out of state donors and corporations.

        tell me how Sawant having a fundraiser with other socialist guest speakers in NYC goes against any of her rhetoric or “holier than thou” whatever?

        there’s a direct contradiction between “not accepting corporate money” and having a grass roots fundraiser across the country?

        explain…

  3. Seattle Municipal code does not allow the fliers and they recommend self-policing by the neighborhoods. You can find this on the City website. I take down Sawant fliers whenever I see one since she is the biggest offender.

      • Free speech doesn’t come without rules. For example…one cannot spray paint whatever they want whenever they want.

      • The postering regulations (SDOT Director’s Rule 02-02, effective January 2003) are a reasonable compromise between those who would like a poster ban and those who want unfettered postering. Too bad the regulations are widely ignored…..with the result being a trashy, littered streetscape in some areas.

    • What’s even crazier is that it doesn’t even seem as if you have the right/authority to remove posters. From the municipal code:
      15.48.110 – Removal authorized.
      For the purposes of SMC Section 15.48.120, the following persons are authorized to remove any handbill, sign, or poster found affixed to any object, and to obliterate any of the foregoing that is not readily removed, in violation of Section 15.48.105:

      A.
      Any City officer or employee in the scope and course of his or her duties;
      B.
      Any volunteer authorized by the City official with jurisdiction over the property to which the handbill, sign, or poster was affixed or paint applied; and
      C.
      Whenever a pole or other facility is subject to joint use by the City and a franchisee, any officer or employee of the franchisee.
      (Ord. 121038 § 4, 2002; Ord. 117066 § 1(part), 1994.)

      • Steve: Settle Down! Why are you so offended/defensive with others voicing their opinions about the political race? Isn’t this free speech? You must be an anarchist and probably don’t even live on Capitol Hill.

      • “Settle down,” great statement. Nope, I live, work, volunteer, drink, walk, pay taxes, shop, eat, bike, protest, all on Capitol Hill… Been here for some time. Not an anarchist. And yep, support free speech. But misinformation should be called out for the BS it is.

  4. I wonder if the people hanging Sawant flyers everywhere (on a Sunday no less) got paid $15 an hour to do so.

  5. AS A RESIDENT OF DISTRICT 3 FOR 69 YEARS IT IS VERY INTERESTING TO READ THESE POST ON THE DISTRICT 3 CANDIDATES??? PLEASE BACK UP AND GO TO THE WEBSITE “URBAN LEAGUE WATCH”??? JAMES “GUNSLINGER” KELLY IS NOW GUNSLINGING FOR THE CITY OF SEATTLE IN PAM ‘DOWNTOWN’ BANKSTER’S OLD CITY POSITION, WAS/IS PART OF SEATTLE’S DOWNTOWN ORGANIZED CRIME RICO-RACKETEERING GANG (PLEASE READ “ON THE TAKE BY” BY WILLIAM WEBSTER). ALSO GOOGLE SEATTLE URBAN LEAGUE SEATTLE SCHOOL DISTRICT SMALL BUSINESS SCANDAL???
    THE DOWNTOWN ORGANIZED CRIME MAGICIAN HAVE YOU LOOKING AT THE WRONG HAND IN THE WRONG DIRECTION??? THE URBAN LEAGUE’S FORMER BOARD MEMBERS NORM “DON’T GET SHOT AGAIN” RICE, BOB “WAMU VICE” FLOWERS, SEATTLE HOUSING AUTHORITY DIRECTOR ANDREW “VULCAN” LOFTON, AND SEATTLE HOUSING AUTHORITY LAWYER JAMES “THE WORM” FEARN , WERE/ARE DEEPLY INVOLVED IN THE RICO-RACKETEERING NORTHWEST AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM (NAAM IS A SCAM) FRAUD. THEIR HANDLER AND MOB BOSS IS NONE OTHER THAN KERRY “KILLED WAMU” KILLINGER??? PLEASE DO YOUR RESEARCH AND THEN DON’T LET THE FACTS BLIND YOU OR HURT YOUR FEELINGS??? WITH TODAYS INTERNET THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR BEING IGNORANT OR STUPID??? AS A SENIOR AFRICATOWN / CENTRAL DISTRICT / CAPITOL HILL / BROADMOOR / MADISON PARK / MADRONA / LESHI / SQUIRE PARK / JUDKINS REJECTED HISTORIAN, I ADVISE YOU TO RESEARCH ORGANIZED CRIME IN SEATTLE FROM SEATTLITE TEAMSTER PRESIDENT DAVE BECK TO WASHINGTON MUTUAL’S (WAMU) KERRY KILLINGER / BOB FLOWERS TO TOM “CORRUPT COP” BURGESS TO THE URBAN LEAGUE’S PAM “DOWNTOWN” BANKSTER??? FINALLY WATCH OUT FOR THE CORPORATE BANKSTER’S MEDIA “TRUE AND BALANCED” / “BIG LIE” ELECTION CAMPAIGN COVERAGE??? Omari Tahir-Garrett, VIETNAM VETERAN, WORLD TRAVELER, HISTORY TEACHER AND CANDIDATE FOR SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL POS. 9

    Website: OmariForCityCouncil
    Website: AFRICATOWN / CHINATOWN NEWS DIGEST