Striking carpenters union head tells Sawant to butt out of contract fight — UPDATE

Socialist District 3 representative Kshama Sawant’s relationship with the region’s organized labor has become an issue in a now four day-long carpenters strike.

“Outside interference in the fight for fair wages for 12,000 hard working carpenters plays right into the hands of anti-union forces,” Evelyn Shapiro, head of the Northwest Carpenters Union said in a statement earlier this week: Continue reading

With November election deadline past, Recall Sawant turns in signatures for vote on embattled District 3 councilmember

(Image: Recall Sawant)

The Recall Sawant campaign said Wednesday it has submitted 16,243 petitions to put the vote on the ballot.

CHS reported here on the campaign’s decisions around the signatures and the missed deadline to qualify for November squaring up a likely winter special election in District 3 covering Capitol Hill, the Central District, and neighboring areas to decide whether Kshama Sawant should remain on the Seattle City Council. Continue reading

A winter special election vote on Kshama Sawant is coming

Expect another season of winter Sawant rallies (Image: CHS)

It’s a cold, hard fact. The Recall Sawant campaign has run out the clock on submitting the required signatures to place a vote on the District 3 city councilmember’s removal on the November 2nd General Election ballot.

A winter special election vote on Kshama Sawant is coming.

“The Recall Campaign has until October 19th to turn in signatures,” Henry Bridger said in a statement sent this week after CHS asked if the anti-Sawant campaign manager would try to meet standard deadlines for submitting the signatures in time for the required validation process and the printing of ballots.

“The Campaign will continue to diligently collect signatures and follow the rules set out by the State Constitution and King County Elections as we seek to qualify the Recall Sawant petitions for the ballot,” Bridger told CHS. “When and how we choose to submit our signatures for verification will be in compliance with the law and based on our confidence in the number of valid signatures we are able to collect — Not based on another Sawant protest. We will not be bullied by Sawant and her supporters.”

The Kshama Solidarity group says the delay has the campaign shifting gears from a fight to force a November vote with higher turnout as it did the unthinkable and helped to gather signatures for the recall petition.

Now, Solidarity spokesperson Bryan Koulouris says, the pro-Sawant camp is readying for both a defensive and offensive strategy headed into the likely winter vote when voter turnout will be a much bigger challenge.

“We need to explain to people what’s happened,” Koulouris said. “We’re going to need a get out of the vote effort to overcome this voter suppression the likes that Seattle has never seen before.”

That’s the defense. The offense? Rent control. Continue reading

Sawant recall campaigns continue to duke it out as deadline for November ballot approaches

Kshama Solidarity promises more rallies to try to force the recall campaign to move forward more in time for a November vote when turnout will be highest

Supporters of recall-embattled City Councilmember Kshama Sawant say it is time to “put up or shut up.” The campaign’s two week zig-zag strategy to try to force a November vote on the recall has produced 2,047 signatures, enough when combined with nearly 10,000 previously collected signatures, they say, for the recall campaign “to immediately turn in their sum total signatures to King County Elections” before next week’s deadline to be part of the General Election ballot.

But the Recall Sawant campaign, empowered by elections rules that allow only the group demanding the recall to submit signatures to petition to put the vote to District 3 voters, is definitely not shutting up.

Will it put up?

“King County Elections gives us one chance to submit and verify our signatures, and with the agency reporting a 52% validation rate for ballot measures this cycle, we have a high standard to meet,” recall campaign manager Henry Bridger tells CHS. Continue reading

Recall Sawant dogfight takes to the skies above Capitol Hill

“noisy sunday morning” — @maniftendst via Twitter

The battle over the effort to recall the area’s representative on the Seattle City Council took to the skies above Capitol Hill and the Central District Sunday as a small plane towed around a big sign with a short message: RECALL SAWANT

The noisy display on a bright summer day “was planned weeks ago to get the word out about the recall,” campaign manager Henry Bridger tells CHS, and wasn’t an effort to target a labor-focused rally in support of Kshama Sawant being held below at Cal Anderson Park. Continue reading

King County Elections puts kink in Sawant campaign gambit to collect signatures and force November recall vote — UPDATE

Kshama Sawant can, indeed, sign the petition for her own recall and her supporters can gather more signatures in a strategic push to force a vote on November’s General Election ballot — but they’ll need to work with the Recall Sawant campaign to make it happen.

King County Elections has weighed in after a complaint letter from the recall backers over the unusual gambit from the Kshama Solidarity campaign to begin collecting signatures to petition for the very recall they are fighting against.

“We have received this letter from the Recall Sawant campaign and have responded to them confirming that the RCW only allows for the person, committee, or organization demanding the recall to submit the signature pages to our office,” a King County Elections spokesperson tells CHS. Continue reading

In surprise move in recall fight, Kshama Solidarity will collect signatures for opponent campaign to force vote on November ballot — UPDATE: Sawant signs!

Her solidarity campaign says it will announce its plans Friday morning to outmaneuver the effort to recall Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant by finishing the job for its opponents and collecting the final signatures required to put the vote on the November ballot.

The Kshama Solidarity has called a Friday morning press conference at the King County Elections headquarters to announce the new initiative.

The move seems designed to use any strength and momentum of its opponents against them. Earlier this week, Recall Sawant campaign manager Henry Bridger announced the signature collecting effort was moving into its final stage for a push to put the recall vote on the November General Election ballot with around 9,000 of the needed 10,739 signatures collected. Continue reading

Recall Sawant campaign says nearing signature goal to put vote on ballot — UPDATE: November?

Supporters of the campaign to remove District 3 representative Kshama Sawant from office say they are within striking distance of the more than 10,000 signatures required to put the recall question on the ballot.

A fundraising pitch from Recall Sawant set to be sent to campaign supporters trumpets the ahead-of-schedule milestone. “The Recall Committee has now collected more than 9,000 in-District signatures in less than 7 weeks, but we need your help to reach the required 10,739 signatures by August 1st,” it reads, followed by a call for donations of $25, $50, or $100.

Organizers have said they have until October 19th to hit the signature total required to put the vote on the ballot but the fundraising pitch is geared toward a quicker resolution. Continue reading

‘An attack against workers’ — Group fighting Sawant recall blasts Seattle Building and Construction Trades Council endorsement

As the fight over District 3 representative Kshama Sawant becomes a $1 million battle, the group hoping to remove the most senior member of the Seattle City Council with a recall ballot vote is claiming a surprising comrade in the political tussle over the socialist firebrand: labor.

The Recall Sawant campaign announced Wednesday that Seattle Building and Construction Trades Council representing 19 affiliated local union locals is endorsing their effort.

“In 2014, the Ironworkers endorsed Kshama Sawant as a Labor friendly candidate because she had a strong message coming out of the dark days of the 2008 great recession. Unfortunately, since that time we have found that the actions of this elected official did not embody the message,” Chris McClain, Iron Workers Local #86 executive secretary, said in a statement from the campaign. Continue reading

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.

Continue reading