Councilmember Kathy Lambert decries recent demotion as ‘unacceptable, dirty politics’
King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert was removed from her committee chairmanships on the council, as well as her external advisory positions, over a controversial campaign mailer. She is claiming that the council’s unanimous, bipartisan 9-0 decision — including her own vote — is the latest in a series of political maneuvers to silence her ideological positions within the council.
The decision comes on the heels of her portrayal of her political opponent as puppeteered by the only Black King County Councilmember in a way which appeared to emulate racist tropes.
“When you look at the people that are … defunding the police and changing how our system works, we’re decimating our public safety that we’ve come to expect,” Lambert said. “Those happen to be people in the King County Council and on the city council that happened to be people of color. What’s happened now is they’re weaponizing the fact that if you criticize somebody for any reason, it’s automatically racist.”
She contextualized some of her policy positions that she believes led to the friction and impetus to remove her from her leadership positions.
“The county’s making expenditures that people are afraid to say, ‘We don’t like that expenditure,’” Lambert continued. “I was told that one expenditure had not been fully complied with, and we won’t be doing the contract again. And I said, ‘OK, well, how are we going to get the money back?’ And they said, ‘get the money back? Are you kidding me, be called racist? We’re not getting the money back.’”
“[It] was a contract for social services. If they don’t comply, they should be returning the money, but everybody is afraid to say anything,” she added.
Lambert mentioned that her removal from her leadership positions fits with her allegation that the Democratic Party contacted her campaign endorsers and threatened them with blow back if they finalized their endorsements ahead of the 2021 election.
“They are calling [my] endorsers, [be they] Republicans, Democrats, or independents,” Lambert added. “They went and called everyone of my Democrat endorsers, and many of my independent endorsers and told them, ‘if you want to have business with us again, if you want to ever run for office again and have our support, you need to get off of her list.’”
“I don’t want my friends to be traumatized and threatened, so I took [my Seattle Times endorsement page] down,” Lambert said.
Lambert spoke to her perception of the King County Council as one which has undergone a deliberate ideological homogenization, which she sees as dangerous within the context of preserving funds for police, something that she sees as integral for community safety.
“What has gone on that has been railroaded, what has been tried to keep things down, the fear that people have on the King County Council of different interest groups that have come in ways that are unbelievable,” Lambert exclaimed. “They’ve been stacking committees with people of one persuasion.”
“Every time Seattle [City Council] does something that I don’t think is good for the people of the entire county, [King County Council] has to emulate it. Some of the things we did this last year,
the state said no, we’re not going to do that because that’s too extreme. Yet after the legislative session, Seattle did it, and then we had to do it,” she said. “They can use the race card to wipe out anybody and make sure that everything that they don’t like is racist.”
“The important point is that the people who are in the chairmanships of law and justice in this county are making decisions that are not making the people of this county any safer,” Lambert continued. “And when you look and see what the crime rate looks like in Seattle, nothing’s been done about that.”
“The dirty politics that have gone on for over a year in this race [are] not acceptable,” she added.
When asked, Lambert confirmed that she has apologized for the mailer, and that she would “take a couple of the pictures out” if she were to submit the advertisement again.
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