Judge allows recall effort against Seattle Socialist Sawant to go forward

A recall effort against Socialist Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant will move forward, after a fuling by a King County Superior Court judge (Screen capture, YouTube, KCPQ)

A King County Superior Court judge has ruled that a recall effort against Socialist Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant can move forward, which spells trouble for the firebrand municipal politician who is seen by many critics as one of the movers behind the city’s summer-long protests and efforts to defund the police department.

KOMO News said Judge Jim Rogers “reiterated his earlier finding that four complaints cited in the recall petition against councilmember Sawant did rise to the level of malfeasance.” He denied Sawant’s motion for reconsideration.

The four complaints against Sawant, as listed by KIRO7 Eyewitness News are:

  • That she delegated city employment decisions to a political organization outside city government
  • Used city resources to support a ballot initiative and failed to comply with public disclosure requirements
  • Disregarded state orders related to COVID-19 and endangered the safety of city workers and others by using her passkey to allow hundreds of protesters into a locked Seattle City Hall after hours on June 9, 2020
  • Violated confidentiality laws by leading a protest march to Mayor Jenny Durkan’s private home
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Sawant was profiled by The Spectator, which noted she “positively embraces” the title “socialist.” The article quoted Sawant, who reportedly stated during the summer unrest, “We are coming to dismantle this deeply oppressive, racist, sexist, violent, utterly bankrupt system of capitalism. This police state. We cannot and will not stop until we overthrow it, and replace it with a world based, instead, on solidarity, genuine democracy and equality: a socialist world.”

First elected in 2013, Sawant has hardly been a wallflower. She has clashed with Mayor Durkan, who has survived a recall effort thanks to a state Supreme Court ruling that dismissed the effort only days before the effort to unseat Sawant was allowed to proceed. Durkan is also not quite as far left as Sawant, at one point vetoing a measure adopted by Sawant and fellow council members to defund the police department. The council overrode that veto.

Many believed Sawant should have been arrested and prosecuted for leading the march into City Hall back in June. Now she will face the potential of being removed from office.

The Spectator dubbed Sawant “Seattle’s worst socialist.” The profile article noted, “After obtaining a PhD in economics from North Carolina State University, she moved in 2006 to Seattle, which she denounced as a playground for the rich.”

All of this begs the question, if she dislikes Seattle so much, why live there and worse, serve on its city council?


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