Despite call for Democratic unity, Banks fails again to win 43rd District’s support

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Despite a boldly partisan plea, Pamela Banks failed again Tuesday night to win the support of the 43rd District Democrats at the group’s fall election endorsements meeting.

“We need a Democratic city council member which I am and have been a lifelong Democrat,” Banks said in her statement prior to the endorsement vote. “And I need your support. I need your endorsement to win this race.”

Her fellow party members were not convinced. 55% of the 89 votes cast went to the “no endorsement” option in the District 3 race dealing Banks a second blow to her campaign chances from the state congressional district representing Capitol Hill, the University District, and Wallingford.

In May, Banks also failed to secure the group’s endorsement before the District 3 primary. Banks went through with her second place showing but incumbent City Council member Kshama Sawant claimed a commanding finish over her challengers.

The Sawant campaign's "no endorsement" flyer

The Sawant campaign’s “no endorsement” flyer

Though, as a member of Socialist Alternative and not a Democrat, Sawant was unable to speak Tuesday night, the Banks challenger and was a strong presence in the vote. Sawant greeted 43rd District Democrat members as they arrived at the meeting while a campaign worker handed out a “no endorsement” flyer.

Colin Maloney, a 43rd District Precinct Committee Officer, spoke for the “no endorsement” position prior to the vote and said the decision was the group’s opportunity to address “dramatic wealth and income inequalities” in the country. One member in the audience interrupted Maloney’s two-minute speech. “You aren’t speaking for no endorsement. You’re speaking for a candidate,” the man shouted before Maloney was allowed to finish.

Alison Holcomb, the Capitol Hill resident who helped shepherd in Washington’s I-502 pot law and considered a run against Sawant before taking a job with the ACLU, took a swing at the proceeding via Twitter following the vote:

At the meeting, Alison’s husband Gregg Holcomb asked that the District 3 endorsement be a voice vote but the motion was denied.

State Senator Jamie Pedersen was also on hand to try to give Banks a big “D” Democratic boost. Pedersen said his husband had given him a pep talk. “As I was leaving the house tonight, Eric, who rarely has opinions on anything political, said ‘You gotta tell those dang Democrats that they have to vote for the only Democrat in the race — otherwise, what’s the point!’”

Even with the new blow to the campaign, Banks continues to draw significant financial support though even her fundraising currently trails the incumbent Sawant in what has become the most monied district race in Seattle.

A poll of CHS readers prior to the primary showed that Sawant supporters were most interested in issues of housing affordability, the minimum wage, and civil rights in comparison to Banks supporters. Meanwhile, Banks supporters were more likely to more strongly value public safety, economic development, and neighborhoods. An examination of the primary results, meanwhile, showed that Sawant dominated Capitol Hill and the Central District, but she was clobbered by Banks in the more affluent precincts along Lake Washington.

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UPDATE: You can chat with the candidates Wednesday afternoon at the Miller Park Community Council’s Neighborhood BBQ and Council/School Board Candidate event, 3 to 7 PM at the Miller Park Community Center.

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25 thoughts on “Despite call for Democratic unity, Banks fails again to win 43rd District’s support

  1. While personally I feel like Sawant is more of a grandstander than anything, I will say one thing – she definitely calls out the city council on their limousine liberal ways, which is refreshing. The downside is I don’t know that she advocates for our district– she seems to have her own agenda.

    • “The downside is I don’t know that she advocates for our district– she seems to have her own agenda.”
      Her Citywide agenda would have been a better fit for one of the Citywide Council seats.

  2. This event was in a private space rented by the 43rd District Democrats. Why was Sawant or her staff even permitted to be on the premises? I am a Democrat in the 43rd District, and the party will no longer receive any contributions from me as long as they continue to outright allow promotion of candidates from a different party. If the Democrats opponent in this election was a Republican would what happened last night be tolerated?

    • I’m not a paid up member of the 43rd Dems, but I’m still allowed to go to their meetings. I just can’t vote. I would imagine the rules would allow a Repub candidate to attend, but not be allowed to speak, like Sawant. I don’t see the problem.

      • According to the article her campaign staff was handing out a “no endorsement” flyer. You really believe that would be permitted if she was a Republican? That is a member of another Party trying to sway the outcome of a Democratic Party endorsement. It absolutely should not have happened.

      • I said “I imagine,” meaning that I was not certain if it would be allowed or not. I made a guess. Perhaps someone affiliated w/the 43rd Dems can provide a definitive answer.

    • If the candidate that will best push the State Dem’s agenda is not a Dem candidate then I fully support the 43rd in not endorsing Banks. It’s not like they came out and endorsed Sawant- but they aren’t going to give leverage to someone who is in it just to spoil the real gain Sawant has made.

  3. Arm chair lefty dems voting with their heart, for a fringe candidate. Remember, Savant’s party is actually far left — not Bernie Sanders brand of social democrat, but a party where they praise Vladimir Lenin on their website. Ironically, Sawant has said she will not endorse Sanders specifically because he’s running as a Dem. A majority of olocal Dems think that’s just fine, apparently.

    I think the main siginificance of this vote is a potential harbinger of disaster for Dems in the next state wide race. Remember a few years back when the Repubs picked a fringe candidate, Ellen Craswell, for their gov candidate? (Craswell wasn’t even as far to the fringe as Savant — she wasn’t associated with a party that supported a monster like Lenin.) I suppose our local Dems might say, but we’ll support a Dem, not a Leninist for governor! City Council, that’s where we support fringe candidates, not for serious jobs? Or, is this showing that Savant actually is pulling support from the Dem’s base? Well, obviously there are now quite a few liberals in Seattle who find it palatable to support a Leninsist. Sort of like when Repubs in Washington lined up behind Craswell (who at least was actually a Repub, if a far-fringe candidate) or maybe more apt, when Repubs in Louisiana a few years back found it palatable to support David Duke, a fascist, you know, to send “them” a message…

      • People often throw around Communist or “Red” words without knowing their meaning, ideological endorsements, and nuances.

        Sawant falls closer to a Trotskyist than a Leninist, but those who lean closer to the Leninist societal ideology would not hesitate to endorse.

        I for one believe that the Post-Capitalist era will be founded upon many Leninist principles. I also consider Vladimir Lenin to be among the greatest revolutionaries in history.

        As to comments about Stalinism, and attempts to compare them to Trotsky and Lenin…pure nonsense. Remember Stalin exiled and had Trotsky assassinated, Trotsky fought tooth and nail against Stalin, Lenin wrote many times warning the people of Stalin’s monopoly on power, and many believe Stalin had Lenin poisoned through his physician causing his health to deteriorate quickly (he also refused any toxicology test to be done on Lenin’s body). Stalin altered photos to attempt to play up a friendly relationship with Lenin, and had a great purge of the Bolsheviks of the October Revolution whom Lenin and Trotsky were part of.

        History is not Black and White, the victors often rewrite history, and the true villains are often heralded as the Hero’s. Just ask the Native Americans, the victims of the Contras, and those whom have suffered due to the War on Drugs if the United States Government are the good guys?

  4. There’s a great Nelson Mandela quote that helps explain what’s going on here. After apartheid ended, it was finally proven that Mandela had been a member of the South African Communist Party. Someone asked him why he did so, and if he was concerned that he and his movement were being used by the Communists.

    His response: “who’s to say we weren’t using them?”

    Democratic PCOs are not idiots. They want their party and their government to be more progressive – especially here in Seattle, where there is no excuse for any elected official to be anything other than a left-winger.

    So when they back Sawant, they’re not suddenly turning their LD organization into an affiliate of Socialist Alternative. They’re using Sawant to push the rest of their party and their local government leftward.

    That’s why the pleas of Banks supporters have fallen on deaf ears. They fundamentally misunderstood why Sawant appeals to Democrats. And that is why Banks is going to lose this November.

    • Quite so Mr. Debs.

      I’m a 43rd PCO and I’ve watched in horror as the 43rd responded to calls of endorsing a Dem purely because they wore a D in past cycles. We not only endorsed utter tools like Brad Owens, but the anti-choice, anti-marriage equality, and now Republican Mark Miloscia.

      I’m glad that many PCOs are willing to prioritize policy positions. Hopefully this draws better candidates. Many of us fundamentally disagree with Banks and thus no endorsement was logical.

      • What is it that you fundamentally disagree with her about? She is a progressive Democrat by almost all definitions. Really, what issues bother you most?

      • Yes, what is wrong with Banks? the PCO says they fundamentally disagree with Banks. How so?

        It may be that they are a bit intimidated by Sawant.

      • The most troubling aspect of Banks for me is her lack of specificity about what she would actually do as a councilmember. If you look at her website or her mailers, it’s all about her bio and endorsements (including SPOG, ahem). I want to see concrete proposals and policy positions. Her inability or unwillingness to do that gives me pause.

        Among things I disagree with is her position on rent control, linkage fees, and city income tax (opposed on all). She waffles on the tunnel and Shell rigs at the port, which I find troubling at best.

        In other years or against another candidate (Rasmussen, Clark, Conlin, Godden, Harrell). I would’ve voted to endorse Banks. But not this yr against Sawant. I don’t always agree with Sawant or like her style, but she’s the far superior candidate on my issues.

    • Or to put it slightly more succinctly, most of Sawant’s supporters are Democrats. The Democrat leadership can’t support a candidate that the majority of their constituents aren’t planning to vote for.

      They can’t back Sawant, but they can’t back Banks either.

  5. FYI
    PAM “DOWNTOWN” BANKSTER IS NOT A SMALL OR BIG “D” DEMOCRAT??? SHE IS A “COLORED 5TH COLUMN” KKK REPUBLICAN FORMER DIXIECRAT??? CHECK OUT HER RICH REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTE COUNT??? THEN CHECK HER POLICE GUILD / DOWNTOWN / GENTRIFICATION (POOR AND ETHNIC CLEANSING) / ANTI-BLACK FINACIAL SUPPORT BASE???

    THIS URBAN LEAGUE “WOLF IN SHEEPS CLOTHING” WILL GET OVER WHELMING SUPPORT AND ENDORSEMENT FROM BIG / LITTLE “R” REPUBLICAN ORGANIZATIONS AND VOTERS??? JUST “FOLLOW THE BIG MONEY” DONATIONS??? CAPITOL HILL / AFRICATOWN / CENTRAL DISTRICT VOTERS MIGHT BE CONFUSED BY THE URBAN LEAGUE’S JAMES “GUNSLINGER” KELLY (MACHINE GUN KELLY WANNABE) FEMALE CLONE……. BUT THEY ARE NOT DEATH, DUMB AND BLINDLY STUPID ABOUT MISS “BANKSTER”???

    HARRIET TUBMAN AND DR. KING I KNOW THESE “CAREERIST CIVIL RIGHTSTERS” HAVE LOST THEIR WAY FOLLOWING THEIR “POLICE GUILD GUIDES”??? BUT, DON’T WORRY IT IS STILL TRUE THAT WHEN THE LIGHTS ARE TURNED ON “ROACHES SCATTER” AND RUN FOR COVER??? Omari Tahir-Garrett, VIETNAM VETERAN, WORLD TRAVELER, HISTORY / ANTI-COLONIAL SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER AND CANDIDATE FOR SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL (2018)

    WEBSITE: OmariForCityCouncil
    WEBSITE: AFRICATOWN / CHINATOWN NEWS DIGEST
    WEBSITE: prison2president

  6. Sawant is all about Sawant, 24/7. She doesn’t want, and can’t, do anything for the District given her inability to work on the Council with anyone but Licatta, *some* of the time. She’ll spend all on time trying to get to Washington DC. Not even a Democrat to boot. What is the 43rd thinking? You’ll get the Council member you deserve. Count me out. I’m voting for the Democrat.

  7. Voting is a right and privilege that I feel very lucky to have, so I make it a priority. I have now seen enough election cycles to know that, sometimes, your only option is to choose the least bad candidate. This District 3 election is one of those cases. The two candidates here are extremely poor, and I have no respect for them. Sawant is very self-involved, and every time she speaks, she has that horrible blend of whining and condescension that sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard. She has no real plan for making our district better. I could never vote for her. Banks is a weak candidate who also doesn’t have a plan. They both suck, but Banks is more tolerable.