MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Sawant faces ethics violations for ‘Tax Amazon’ campaign

Feb 11, 2020, 7:01 AM | Updated: Feb 12, 2020, 5:54 am

Kshama Sawant, business tax...

Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant. (KIRO 7)

(KIRO 7)

The Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission filed official charges against Kshama Sawant Monday, accusing her of using her position and resources as a city councilmember to promote a ballot measure.

Seattle council has ‘deep concerns’ with possible ban on business taxes

This stems from Sawant’s “Tax Amazon” push, a campaign she intends to translate into a November 2020 ballot measure.

According to charging documents — first reported on by SCC Insight’s Kevin Schofield — Sawant violated the city’s ethics code for “the use of City resources for other than a City purpose, when she posted hyperlinks to materials on City Council web site promoting a ballot initiative,” as well as using city resources to “promote or oppose” a ballot measure.

While those are currently the only charges Sawant faces, Schofield points out that her Tax Amazon campaign may also be violating a handful of other statutes. That includes hosting details about the campaign on her city council website, using her official city email account to promote the initiative, and more.

“Under both Seattle and state law, public resources may not be used to organize campaigns for ballot initiatives. Sawant is doing precisely that,” said Schofield.

Sawant: Amazon support of state head tax is ‘political calculus’

She is also soliciting contributions for the Tax Amazon initiative, despite failing to register with Washington state’s Public Disclosure Commission and the SEEC within the required two weeks of officially organizing (a clock that started ticking on Jan. 25). That means there’s no public way to monitor how and where the campaign is taking in funds.

“It was also required to register a bank depository for campaign fund contributions, and it has not done that either,” Schofield noted.

Sawant responded to the charges Thursday.

“I’m disappointed to see this complaint filed against my office and our movement,” she said in a written statement. “It’s shameful that while big business has license to run amok trying to bully or buy politicians – just look at our last election cycle – working people have to follow the most onerous of restrictions.”

A hearing on charges against Sawant from the SEEC is set for March 4.

MyNorthwest News

I-5 pedestrian killed...

Bill Kaczaraba

Man killed in hit-and-run on Interstate-5 in Seattle

The Washington State Patrol is in the process of gathering further details about a traffic incident on Interstate-5that left one man dead.

14 hours ago

Tegu Tazz...

KATY WADE, KIRO 7 NEWS

Granite Falls alligator turns out to be escaped pet tegu named ‘Tazz’

Reports of a 10-foot alligator have turned out to be an “incredibly docile and friendly” pet tegu by the name of Tazz.

15 hours ago

Apartment fire in Sotuh Lake Union. (via KIRO 7)...

Bill Kaczaraba

South Lake Union apartment fire contained, 2 may be injured

An apartment fire in South Lake Union has been contained, but two people may have been injured.. The fire was in the 320 block of 7th Ave N but units remain in the area. Authorities are asking you to avoid the area. Firefighters are on scene at a reported fire in an apartment building in […]

16 hours ago

CrowdStrike...

MATT O'BRIEN, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

How a faulty CrowdStrike update crashed computers around the world

All it took was one faulty CrowdStrike software update to cause global disruptions that grounded flights, and other services.

17 hours ago

Image: A dog was found around 2 a.m. on Wednesday, June 12, 2024 at Colman Dock in Seattle without ...

Steve Coogan

Lost dog found alone on Seattle ferry dock heads to a new home

A lost dog found without its owner on a ferry dock in Seattle last month, later identified as Tripp, has found a new home.

20 hours ago

Image: The Tacoma Police Department released images of a shooting in the parking lot of at the Taco...

Steve Coogan

Gunman nearly hits Tacoma schools security officer during daytime shooting

Police in Tacoma are probing a shooting where a bullet nearly hit hitting a security officer working at the Tacoma Public Schools building.

21 hours ago

Sawant faces ethics violations for ‘Tax Amazon’ campaign