JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Kshama Sawant ditches democracy vouchers for big, outsider money

Jan 28, 2019, 5:47 AM | Updated: 1:12 pm
Kshama Sawant, democracy vouchers...
(KIRO 7)
(KIRO 7)

Losing much of the union enthusiasm and support she once held, Seattle’s Socialist City Councilmember Kshama Sawant is turning down democracy vouchers so she can accept big cash donations from out-of-district and out-of-state interests that help keep her in power.

Related: Sawant faces ethics complaint for allowing Socialists to fire staffer

And as she defends her position, she reveals a dirty truth about how she views her constituents: Sawant thinks her supporters are easily bought and she needs big money to convince them that she’s the right person to represent them on the council.

At her re-election campaign announcement last week, unlike her political opponents, Sawant showed support for democracy vouchers, but claimed “corporate PACs and big business lobbyists and big developers” will flood the campaign with dollars to defeat her and she needs higher than normal campaign dollars to fight back. In other words, she’ll run yet another campaign like an outsider trying to buy an election would.

To be fair, I’m glad Sawant won’t take democracy vouchers. It’s a ludicrous program that forces taxpayers to fund fringe, hateful campaigns. That I’d be forced to fund a council member with virulently anti-Semitic positions would, as a Jew, deeply disturb me.

And Sawant is not wholly wrong in her concern, even if the optics are bad. There’s little doubt people are more motivated now, than before, to defeat her. But she put herself in that position by being the face of disunity.

Many on the council do not want to work with her, I’m told, even when they share her positions, because she attempts to steal the spotlight, in desperate need for fulsome compliments to help push her brand. She has the tendency to create conflict, where none exist, to differentiate herself from her colleagues and earn more press coverage. It certainly has worked, but it’s also cost her support.

Union support for her position has taken a dramatic hit. Pete Lamb, senior business agent for Teamsters Local 174, said anger and angst between the unions and Sawant exists. Her politics were called “divisive” by Monte Anderson, executive secretary for Seattle Building Trades, which once-upon-a-time endorsed her. And cops in Seattle’s Police Officers Guild loathe her. Sawant’s fight to tank SPD’s contract was an embarrassing failure that struggled to motivate local support.

With her support not as strong as it once was, she’ll be even more reliant on outside dollars, something her campaign has always leaned on heavily. In 2015, Sawant raised the vast majority of her funds – 40 percent – from folks living outside of Seattle, many living outside of Washington. Only 20 percent of campaign funds came from within her district and they came in small contributions.

Some of Sawant’s biggest donations came from California, Illinois, and Texas. She outspent her opponent, a disaster of a campaign waged by Pamela Banks, by about $100,000 and, despite a poorly-run campaign, Banks did better than Sawant’s camp had predicted.

As of right now, there’s no evidence to suggest big dollars are playing a role in funding her campaign opponents. Indeed, they’ve all indicated they’ll participate in the democracy vouchers program.

“I’m taking democracy vouchers, so are other contenders, which means if Kshama participated, we’d all be limited to $150,000 in spending,” opponent Logan Bowers tweeted. “By rejecting public funding, she’s bringing in the big, out-of-city money.  Her financing says she’s representing someone, but it isn’t us.”

Well, Sawant has never been about representing anyone other than herself and her fringe, small group of Socialist Alternative loyalists. So, at least she’s consistent.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show, at his new time, weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-6pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

Jason Rantz

police...
KTTH staff

King County Councilmember calls for the re-funding of police

Fresh off his reelection, King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn is calling for the re-funding of police. But will it pass in a Democrat-led council?
11 days ago
salute...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: WA Democrat’s anti-gun bill banned 21-gun salute, insulting veterans

In last year's anti-gun bill, Democrats ended up banning the 21-gun salute. It is insulting to our veterans. One lawmaker hopes to change it.
12 days ago
Puyallup mall...
KTTH staff

Rantz: No consequences for burglars who set off fireworks in Puyallup mall

At the South Hill Mall in Puyallup las week, there was a bizarre and somewhat brazen burglary attempt in which fireworks were set off as a diversion.
12 days ago
death rate...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Here’s why WA officials don’t admit COVID death rate is lower than breakthrough case rate

Health officials tout the efficacy of vaccines. They also say virtually nothing about the death rate for unvaccinated COVID patients. Those numbers are nearly identical.
13 days ago
Carmen Best commissioner role...
KTTH staff

Former SPD Chief Carmen Best ‘flattered’ by consideration for NYPD commissioner job

Former SPD Chief Carmen Best spoke to KTTH's Jason Rantz Show to confirm reports that she's in the running for New York's police commissioner role.
13 days ago
homeless hotels...
KTTH staff

Snohomish County Councilmember pushes back against hotels for homeless residents

If you live in Snohomish County, it's possible that you're soon going to have hotels in your neighborhood open up as homeless shelters.
13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]
...

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Rantz: Kshama Sawant ditches democracy vouchers for big, outsider money