Rantz: Police and prison abolitionist could become Seattle City Attorney if voters don’t wise up
The city of Seattle is approaching a possible worst-case scenario in the race for City Attorney. We may end up with two candidates who don’t want to prosecute criminals, which fuels the city’s crime surge. One of the candidates is a police and jail abolitionist.
Polling suggests a three-way tie between incumbent left-wing Pete Holmes, moderate Republican Ann Davison, and fringe abolitionist Nicole Thomas-Kennedy. Thomas-Kennedy is so far to the left that she makes Holmes look conservative.
If Holmes and Thomas-Kennedy advance, you might truly be forced to pick between the lesser of the two evils when one candidate’s positions truly are evil.
The abolitionist candidate would effectively legalize crime
Thomas-Kennedy doesn’t hide her extremist views; she brands herself with them. And it’s got Seattle’s militant activist base excited.
The public defender calls herself an abolitionist. She doesn’t believe in most prosecutions and says she will effectively legalize most crimes. Like many ignorant ideologues, she claims the criminal justice system is racist, and it’s up to white heroes like herself to dismantle this system of oppression. Thomas-Kennedy, according to The Stranger, wants to cut the city attorney’s criminal division. She would also stop prosecuting most misdemeanors.
“The prosecutor’s ethical duty is to seek justice, but there’s no justice in prosecuting people for crimes of survival and poverty, or in making the lives of people in desperate situations worse. The very least that the city attorney could do is to stop prosecuting people for most misdemeanors,” she explained.
Of course, Thomas-Kennedy ignores her ethical duty to the victims of misdemeanor crimes. After all, if a homeless person or petty criminal breaks into your car, you’re the privileged one for having that car. Councilmember Lisa Herbold promoted this same policy, but she pulled it after community uproar.
A misperception (willful or otherwise) informs Thomas-Kennedy’s position of what’s happening in Seattle. She pretends the current system is tough on criminals.
“We punish the [expletive] out of people, and we think that’s justice. We’ve all been hypnotized into thinking that a lack of severe consequences for things means a lack of justice. But that’s not what accountability looks like, and that’s not what solves the problem,” she claimed.
Seattle, however, rarely punishes criminals. The permissive policies allowing criminals to go free, especially repeat offenders, is precisely why the city is experiencing a surge in crime. Holmes’ inaction in his office has caused these problems. Thomas-Kennedy would make them much worse.
The power of the Seattle City Attorney’s Office
Many of the city’s crime problems could be solved by a city attorney who prosecutes the criminals who show no willingness to change their path. It’s not for lack of trying: The city offers resources and programs to help criminals, but they refuse.
Consequently, they create more victims that neither Holmes nor Thomas-Kennedy cares about. They’re busy playing literal White Knight while dismissing the complaints of victims they perceive as privileged. They don’t seem to acknowledge that privilege means you don’t pay consequences for consistently breaking the law.
The city attorney has prosecutorial discretion. The office could signal an interest in prosecuting the crimes that currently go unpunished. That means police will feel more empowered to do their jobs and arrest the criminals causing the most problems in our community. It doesn’t matter what the socialist council or mayor’s office wants. They don’t control which crimes are prosecuted.
Ann Davison, a former council candidate, has vowed to prosecute the criminals who show no remorse or behavioral change. She’s a candidate who supports the entire community, not just the criminals.
The good and the bad with the new poll
A new poll by the Northwest Progressive Institute shows what some call a “surprisingly tight race” for city attorney. It’s a statistical tie between Holmes, Thomas-Kennedy, and Davison.
It’s certainly not surprising that Holmes is doing so poorly for an incumbent. Seattleites smartly realize he’s made this city more dangerous. What is surprising is that Thomas-Kennedy is doing as well as Davison, the actual alternative to the status quo. This indicates voters aren’t paying close attention to what these candidates actually stand for. Too often, voters don’t do their homework and vote in a primary quite literally for a name that sounds appealing to them.
It seems untenable that the poll reveals citizens want a more extreme lawyer in the office with Thomas-Kennedy. While you have activists pretending the city hasn’t taken a turn for the worse, no one is actually claiming we’re better off than we were, even just a few years ago. With record-high homicides, which the city attorney’s office made worse by keeping criminals out of jail who graduate from misdemeanor offenses to felonies, things are objectively worse in Seattle.
So the question becomes: Are voters willing to do their homework and smartly advance Davison to the general election, so the city has a shot at turning things around? Or will they complain about the crime rates then flip a coin on who they’ll vote for? If they don’t make the right choice, we’ll be choosing between Holmes, who puts few criminals in jail, and Thomas-Kennedy, who will put no one in jail. Choose wisely, Seattle.
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