Rantz: Socialist Seattle candidate angry she’s called a Socialist

Jul 30, 2019, 6:00 AM | Updated: 7:13 am
City of Seattle job, Tammy Morales, Seattle City Hall, Seattle Council, council candidate...
Seattle City Hall. (AP file photo)
(AP file photo)

Seattle Council candidate Tammy Morales is upset she’s labeled a Socialist, a weird position for someone who is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). It’s an even weirder position given she may end up alienating her Socialist base of support, defensive when called what she — and others in her district — strongly believe in.

Candidates running for Seattle City Council in 2019

Morales has spent her campaign trying to avoid the label, fearing, it seems, that it could hurt her chances in District 2, where she’s running against conservative Ari Hoffman and moderate progressive Marc Solomon.

But last week Mayor Jenny Durkan, fearing another rigid Sawant-like Socialist on the Council, came out hard against Morales, calling her just “another socialist.”

Morales quickly responded, claiming virulently anti-Trump Durkan was using “Trump-like fear mongering” in the label, calling it “red-baiting.” On Facebook, she wrote:

This kind of name calling, to fundraise for one of my opponents, is right out of the Republicans’ national playbook. The truth is I’m endorsed by the 37th District Democrats, King County Democrats, King County Young Democrats, and the WA State Democrats Progressive Caucus. Like them — and the Democratic Socialists — I support fighting for working families and holding big corporations accountable.

Morales would go on to tell The Stranger, which endorsed her candidacy, that she’s not a Socialist.

“I don’t claim to be a Socialist, but I think it’s ridiculous for someone to try to use it as a scare tactic,” Morales told The Stranger.

There’s no doubt that many use the term Socialist to fearmonger and dismiss candidates, though in this case, Durkan said that wasn’t her intent (it clearly was).

Only, Morales is a Socialist and it seems clear she’s running from the label as a political move to bring in more votes.

“I’ve said many times that I identify as a Democrat and that I believe the Democratic Socialists, the DSA, is a more progressive wing of the Democratic Party. That’s why I joined,” Morales told KUOW.

Right. Seattle representative Pramila Jayapal is an uncompromising Progressive, yet she’s a member of the Democratic Party. You can join the Democrats and be an uber progressive.

Morales is a member of the DSA. You don’t just join a political party if you don’t subscribe to the beliefs or identify with the cause. She leaves her membership out of her Facebook post, also ignoring she’s supported by Seattle People’s Party.

Members of DSA — and their supporters — have openly identified Morales as a Socialist.

Shaun Scott, a Socialist council candidate, Tweeted his support for Morales, noting she’s a “fellow” DSA member.

She was listed as a speaker — and her picture is used to promote — at a “Socialists Into City Hall” event. On one flyer, they specifically label her a “socialist candidate.”

Morales ended up canceling on the event, pulling out a couple weeks prior (meaning, she originally agreed to be a speaker at the event). At the time, one of the organizers noticed that Morales was trying to run from the label.

“She didn’t want to commit to the big ‘S’ Socialist I think, which I think is unfortunate,” Emily McArthur told The Stranger.

This is purely political and it’s smart. There’s a sense that, post head-tax debacle, Socialist ideologues have overstayed their welcome. We’ll find out after the primaries whether or not it’s any more than a sense.

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Rantz: Socialist Seattle candidate angry she’s called a Socialist