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Signature gathering to put Sawant recall on the ballot can begin

More confrontations between the groups will come over the summer ahead but the legal battle over launching the recall wrapped up this week as the court finalized ballot language voters could consider in the effort to remove Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant from office.

King County Superior Court Judge Jim Rogers has certified the ballot synopsis after final legal wrangling this week over phrasing, grammar, and how many times the word “allegedly” appears in the short passage’s final form posted by Seattle City Council Insight:

Shall City of Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant be recalled from office for misfeasance, malfeasance, and violation of the oath of office based upon allegations that she violated the city charter, city code, and state law when she:

(1) Used City resources to support a ballot initiative and failed to comply with the public disclosure requirements related to such support;
(2) Disregarded state orders related to COVID-19 by admitting hundreds of people into City Hall on June 9, 2020 when it was closed to the public;
(3) Led a protest march to Mayor Jenny Durkan’s private residence, the location of which Councilmember Sawant knew was protected under state confidentiality laws.

Organizers outlined four acts they say warranted sending the recall to the ballot. Most of the charges were from 2020 and relate to Sawant’s response to protests against police brutality and systemic racism. The court did not uphold all of the allegations made by the recall effort, ruling earlier that one of the acts outlined was legally insufficient.

Backers of the Recall Sawant campaign celebrated the milestone as an opportunity to raise more funds — and begin gathering signatures. The Kshama Solidarity campaign, meanwhile, has also been busy raising funds and phone banking for support for the veteran lawmaker and Socialist Alternative politician representing Capitol HIll and the Central District on the council.

CHS reported here the state Supreme Court decision allowing the recall to continue, the large war chests built by both sides in the political battle, and what comes next in the process. Recall proponents have 180 days to gather a little over 10,000 signatures — or 25% of the nearly 43,000 votes cast in her November 2019 race — in District 3 across Capitol Hill, the Central District, and nearby neighborhoods to put the issue on the ballot.

Only signatures from District 3 residents count in the tally and only D3 voters will participate in the yes/no recall vote. If the majority of D3 voters choose yes on the recall, the council would select a temporary replacement until the next general election in the city. The winner in that vote would finish Sawant’s current term through the end of 2023.

When a recall vote might ultimately take place is not clear. Henry Bridger, campaign manager and chair of the Recall Sawant campaign, said earlier this month the recall vote cannot appear on the August primary ballot and officials have told the campaign a special election can’t be held between the primary and the November General Election. The recall campaign backers also don’t want to appear on the General Election ballot, Bridger said.

After facing a deficit on Election Night 2019, Sawant clawed back to defeat Broadway Business Improvement Area leader Egan Orion by around 4% — or less than 2,000 votes — and currently sits as the longest serving member of the city council.


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Bob
Bob
25 days ago

Looking forward to signing!

Lee
Lee
24 days ago
Reply to  Bob

Me too. where do we sign?

SeattleGrandpa
SeattleGrandpa
22 days ago
Reply to  Lee
Ana che
Ana che
22 days ago
Reply to  Bob

Same here. Where is the place to sign…

MarciaX
MarciaX
25 days ago
  1. OK, order Sawant to reimburse the city for the misdirected resources (if she hasn’t already), and sure, slap a hefty fine on top of it. Hardly a capital offense.
  2. A poor judgment call perhaps, but how is this one-time event worse than allowing countywide indoor dining and drinking while infections are still on the rise? The fact that we are now entering a fourth wave is on Inslee, not Sawant. Shall we recall him, too?
  3. Meh. Public officials are by definition public. If Durkan needed to keep her personal address private for whatever reason, she shouldn’t have run for public office.

I am not a fan of Kshama Sawant. I agree she (and her fan club) can be annoying as Hell, and she has not grown in the job as I once hoped she would. But none of the specific charges against her is anywhere near what I would consider deserving of recall, a mechanism that should be reserved for real crooks lest it become normalized and routine. Save your money and time, and vote her out in the next election.

chaz.neighbor
chaz.neighbor
24 days ago
Reply to  MarciaX

No big deal, she’s just unscrupulous.

As a resident of D3, that lives across from Cal Anderson, she and her office blew us off last summer when we reached out and treated us as mere collateral damage in their greater cause. That’s not on your list, but that’s why my neighbors and I consider her unfit, and will do whatever we can to see she is removed from office.

CD Rez
CD Rez
24 days ago
Reply to  MarciaX

You’re okay with her just being completely inept at her actual job and taking direction from an outside Fringe political group?

MarciaX
MarciaX
24 days ago
Reply to  CD Rez

No, I’m not okay with that. I already stipulated that she’s not good at her job and I hope we can elect someone better next time. But she’s not a crook, and plenty of pols take direction from outside groups that I consider far more objectionable than Socialist Alternative.

But never mind what I think. This campaign is highly unlikely to succeed anyway, because no one seems willing to step forward and be its public face. People want to know who they’re likely to get as a replacement if they recall someone, and the backers of this effort, while they insist they’re not corporate- or billionaire-backed, offer nary a clue as to whom they have in mind or what their specific policy differences are with Sawant. What community leaders have stepped forward to endorse this campaign or lend it a hand in organizing? Anyone? I received a mail piece from them a few weeks ago and there wasn’t a single person’s name or photo on it other than Sawant’s. It’s all very shadowy, and that fact alone will probably be its undoing.

District13tribute
District13tribute
24 days ago
Reply to  MarciaX

It is not up to the recall campaign to nominate a replacement. If council member Sawant is recalled the council will nominate a replacement the same as if any other council position becomes open during a term. I seriously doubt any pols will come out for the recall effort less they thenselves become the subject of the recall but I think it will bear watching if any come out in support of Sawant. In this case silence may be the biggest statement they can make.

CD Neighbor
CD Neighbor
24 days ago
Reply to  MarciaX

No one is stepping forward because it’s *not done that way*….

“Following a successful recall election, the county board of commissioners appoints a successor to the office from a list submitted by a committee of the political party of the person recalled.”

The backers of the effort actually have no say in who the successor is, so there goes that “concern”…

Sorry – nope, no shadowy billionaire, no corporation, just her very own D3 constituents that she’s pissed off enough to want to oust her.

Another J
Another J
24 days ago
Reply to  CD Neighbor

Is that still the case with the position being a non partisan office?

CD Neighbor
CD Neighbor
24 days ago
Reply to  Another J

That’s the only rule I can find… As far as I know there actually is no precedence – no one has been successfully recalled in Washington yet…. one potential one was a school board member, which I believe is also technically non-partisan.

MarciaX
MarciaX
22 days ago
Reply to  CD Neighbor

No, you missed my point. Voters (most of them, anyway) will want to have some idea of what they can expect if Sawant is recalled. So it would behoove recall supporters to put forward someone with solid progressive credentials as the campaign’s public face, regardless of what the law requires or even whether that person is a prospective replacement councilmember. As a friend put it to me the other day in an email exchange, “Sawant isn’t exactly America’s sweetheart, but she’s on our side and she’s a fighter, and I’m afraid that whoever replaces her may not be.” That’s the mindset in this district that elected Sawant despite her obvious personal shortcomings, and it’s what you have to try to counter. Good luck beating something with nothing.

RWK
RWK
22 days ago
Reply to  MarciaX

Disagree. As long as the replacement is reasonably moderate and not leftist (there’s enough of that on the Council as is), then he/she will be just fine. (Almost) anyone but Sawant!

yetanotherhiller
yetanotherhiller
22 days ago
Reply to  CD Neighbor

So the Democratic Socialists will be providing the list?

CD Neighbor
CD Neighbor
22 days ago

I cannot confirm that…. but it appears to be the rule. Since it’s never actually been done, there’s little information and nothing to look at as an example.

Touareg
Touareg
25 days ago

Anyone need a pen? I have extras.

CoCo
CoCo
24 days ago

Can’t wait to sign!!!!

Robert
Robert
24 days ago

Cannot sign fast enough.

Patty
Patty
24 days ago

This is more fun to talk about than the brick wall around East Precinct :) Can’t wait to hear the stretched truths that come from the Sawant camp. It’s already been happening in the Pete Holmes camp. Summer time fun!

RWK
RWK
24 days ago

The “final legal wrangling” by Sawant and her lawyers was yet another effort to delay the process and cause the Recall Campaign to spend more money in legal fees. She had the right to do this, but it’s a sleazy move, and it’s especially galling because her (expensive) lawyers are paid for by Seattle taxpayers.

A.J.
A.J.
22 days ago
Reply to  RWK

Oh no, amazon executives, a billionaire, developers, residents of Seattle’s wealthiest neighborhoods, and stock photo of diversity are going to have to pay a tiny bit more in their attempt to buy our local government. I can’t stop crying. 😂

RWK
RWK
22 days ago
Reply to  A.J.

You are grossly wrong in the way you characterize the supporters of the recall movement.

A.J.
A.J.
22 days ago
Reply to  RWK

Won’t somebody please think of the billionaires. 😢

Edward Everett
Edward Everett
23 days ago

There are 103 of us in District 3 ready
to sign right now!!

RWK
RWK
23 days ago
Reply to  Edward Everett

Many more than 103, I am sure.

James
James
22 days ago

This is so stupid. Plan to kindly reject anyone offering me to sign this and fully defend Kshama!

Yuri
Yuri
19 days ago

Defend Kshama Sawant! Defend the $15 min wage. Defend renter eviction protections. Fight for rent control. Fight for social housing.

asukaa jaxx
asukaa jaxx
17 days ago

i used too be a long time supporter of kshama but after i watched a video by katie from q13 fox news seattle exsposing kshama and her group for who she and the group really is that was the last straw for me,i cant wait too get a petition in the mail,sign it and send it back too the recall campaign and recall kshama sawant and get a way better,more real leader that us district 3 residents finally deservs.this needs too stop being about right,left,liberal,conservitive,republican,democrate,socialist and be about fighting for freedom,liberty,constitutional rights,being proud americans,being proud true patriots,write and wrong and peace.