Here’s what happened when Recall Sawant asked off-duty cops to join its campaign efforts on Broadway

A recall supporter sent CHS this photo of reported anti-recall vandalism

Campaign organizers working to recall the Capitol Hill and Central District representative on the Seattle City Council asked for some unusual assistance last week for its efforts to get the issue on the ballot.

“The Recall Sawant Campaign will be sign waiving (sic) and signature gathering this weekend and would love any off-duty SPOG members (and friends and family) to join them,” campaign manager Henry Bridger wrote in an email last Friday.

The full invitation is below.

The call for Seattle Police union members to join the campaigning and information table efforts didn’t break any rules. But the call was more than a request for volunteers.

Bridger tells CHS he is also asking for law enforcement support because of safety concerns.

Opponents of the recall effort, meanwhile, say the email is yet another sign that the recall campaign is backed by political forces from outside District 3.

Bryan Koulouris of Kshama Solidarity says the effort to bring out off-duty police to be part of the recall is one of the many “signs of Astroturf” around the campaign.

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Recall backers call for hearing as Sawant admits Tax Amazon ethics violation — UPDATE

Councilmember Kshama Sawant has admitted violating city elections and ethics code and will pay a penalty of $3,515.74 — double the amount of city funds her office spent promoting the Tax Amazon ballot initiative.

Organizers for the Recall Sawant campaign say the admission and fine is a major win for their campaign and are calling for a public hearing.

The Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission is scheduled to vote on approving the negotiated settlement at a Monday special meeting.

In the agreement, Sawant admits wrongdoing in her office’s efforts to champion a Tax Amazon initiative that supporters said would be taken to the ballot if the city council did not act to create a new tax on large companies in the city. The Seattle City Council passed the $200 million JumpStart tax on big businesses in July.

The settlement says Sawant’s office created posters supporting the initiative, promoted Tax Amazon on her official city website, and spent around $1,700 of city money promoting the initiative with advertising and messaging. Continue reading

The Recall Sawant battle begins — in mailboxes across Capitol Hill and the Central District

The effort to recall Capitol Hill’s socialist representative on the Seattle City Council is depending on the ultimate civil service — the United States Post Office.

“We want people to get others to sign the petitions,” Henry Bridger, campaign manager and chair of the Recall Sawant campaign, tells CHS.

According to campaign filings with the city, the recall campaign spent $8,511.22 in March on postage for 44,805 pieces of mail as the foundation for a postal campaign to gather enough District 3 signatures across Capitol Hill, the Central District, First Hill, and surrounding neighborhoods to put the Kshama Sawant recall question on the ballot.

The campaign’s strategy during ongoing COVID-19 restrictions? Hit as many D3 addresses as possible and encourage supporters to return the petitions with signatures gathered from family, friends, and neighbors. 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 to put the issue on the ballot.

CHS reported here on the court wrangling that finally cleared the way in April for signature gathering to begin.

The Kshama Solidarity campaign, meanwhile, is also limited by the pandemic, banking on a campaign of undermining trust in the recall backers and calling in the big guns for political support. Its latest announcement is UFCW Local 21, the “largest private sector union in Washington,” endorsing the campaign to support the Socialist Alternative leader. Continue reading