With Election 2019 coming to a Primary peak as ballots hit mailboxes across District 3, things have gotten a bit chippy with complaints and ethics violation threats flying.
- Aggressive doorbelling complaints: The strategy of “aggressive doorbelling” that very well could propel incumbent Kshama Sawant through the Primary and help her keep her D3 seat on the Seattle City Council is also, apparently, one of the most controversial elements of this summer’s election — at least, if you measure controversy by the CHS inbox that is. CHS has received multiple reports and complaints about Sawant campaign workers inside apartment and condo buildings across the Hill and District 3. “Kshama Sawant broke into my apartment building,” is the subject line on the latest. “When I opened my door, there was a tall, blonde man in a red vest who asked me if I wanted to learn about Kshama Sawant. I said no and asked him how he got into the building. ‘Oh, we have other supporters in the building.’ Shutting the door, I told him that I had voted for Sawant and was not interested in speaking,” the complainant writes. For the Sawant campaign, bringing its messages to renters with good, old-fashioned human contact is key. “Our campaign’s experience has been that rent control is a bold policy measure that’s overwhelmingly popular among working people in District 3, and is especially relevant to apartment dwellers,” a campaign spokesperson tells CHS. “Renters are more likely to be low-income, younger people, and people of color, and often less represented in elections. With the million-dollar corporate PACs ready to flood the election with misinformation, it’s vital our volunteers reach out to every registered voter.” The rep also points out that Sawant also fought for legislation requiring landlords to provide voter registration forms to new tenants.
- Ethics complaint quashed: Another D3 challenger has sloughed off a round of criticism. Capitol Hill Pride, the tiny group of original organizers of the Broadway Pride weekend street festival who lost their permit for the event in the face of criticism from city officials and the neighborhood’s business community, took a swipe at Egan Orion this week with an ethics violation complaint against the D3 challenger. Orion, whose PrideFest took over the street festival making him the seeming arch nemesis of Capitol Hill pride organizer Charlette Lefevre, was accused of making “false misleading statements” over “saving” the festival. The complaint also nicked Orion for information in his campaign marketing materials. “Additionally, Egan is also falsely claiming and implying on his website and in media his position as Executive Director of the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce is active when in fact the chamber closed during his directorship due to lack of funds / bankruptcy in May of this year,” the complaint read. The Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission took only days to respond. “We have reviewed your complaint and have determined that it does not merit any further investigation,” they write. “Even taking your complaint on its face and the facts you allege as being accurate there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the conduct would constitute a violation of the Ethics Code.” “I have no response to this claim except to say the city asked us to step in to maintain the event after the previous organizer violated the terms of her permit,” Orion said of the dismissal. “We are proud of the work we’ve done on PrideFest Capitol Hill and thank Charlette for her many years of service to the community.”
- Also on the ballot: CHS has mostly been D3 obsessed, but don’t forget that there are a few other important issues on the August ballot:
- King County Council District 2: For the first time in more than a decade, Gossett faces challenge to represent CD, Capitol Hill on King County Council
- City library levy: Library levy — at a bargain table price of only $43 per Seattleite per year — heads for August ballot / Capitol Hill Community Post | Our libraries need us, and we need them: Vote Yes on Prop 1
- County parks levy: 2020-2025 Parks, Recreation, Trails and Open Space Levy on kingcounty.gov