JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Seattle Councilmembers are trying to defund the police again

Nov 20, 2022, 3:00 PM
Despite a rise in crime, some on the City Council - including Teresa Mosqueda - are trying to defun...
Despite a rise in crime, some on the City Council - including Teresa Mosqueda - are trying to defund the Seattle Police Department again. (Matt Pitman/File image)
(Matt Pitman/File image)

Despite a rise in crime, some on the City Council are trying to defund the Seattle Police Department again. Too bad it’s getting scant or disingenuous coverage.

The council is currently debating Mayor Bruce Harrell’s budget. Anti-police councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, who once defended a man threatening to murder police, is looking to cut funds from the SPD permanently. She just doesn’t want you to realize it’s part of the defund movement.

Harrell’s budget temporarily cuts $11 million dollars from the budget. The money would have been used to fill 200 open staff positions, but it was cut to fund only 120. The SPD is dangerously understaffed, so why would they cut the budget?

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Temporary cuts could go permanent if Mosqueda has her way

Normally, this would be foolish. But thanks to the virulently anti-police council, it will be impossible to fill the open positions. The department has already lost roughly 500 police since the Black Lives Matter riots and protests. They’ll be lucky to hire the 120 they’re budgeting for.

The budget maneuver is short-term; Harrell does not intend to defund the police. It helps mitigate the potentially crippling $220 million dollar budget shortfall the city is facing due to spending outside its means.

But Mosqueda does not want the cut to be temporary. Her amendment permanently cuts the funding in future budgets. She wants you to think this is reasonable and not in line with her previous successful efforts to defund the police.

“Again, this is not a policy shift or opining on the number of officers,” Mosqueda said this week. “This continues the policy that the mayor’s budget transmitted to ensure that funding is available in the general fund and that the department retains positions and salaries as they’ve defined.”

Actually, it is effectively a policy shift.

Mosqueda’s goal is to defund Seattle police

The amendment would mean that a Council, already filled with anti-police activists, would decide to fund more police officers when the time comes that police want to work for the city again. Mosqueda, along with councilmembers Lisa Herbold, Kshama Sawant, Dan Strauss, and Andrew Lewis, have worked to keep the SPD small so they can invest in ineffective community programs that go to nonprofits and activists that help keep them in office.

Lewis has changed his tune on policing, and seems genuine in understanding his previous positions hurt the city. Herbold and Strauss have changed their tone somewhat, but it’s for political benefit. Sawant openly hates cops.

Councilmembers Alex Pedersen, Sarah Nelson, and sometimes Debora Juarez have taken reasonable views on policing and the budget. But they might not be able to convince other councilmembers to refund the SPD, especially given there will always be competing left-wing programs or initiatives to fund. Indeed, Mosqueda wants $1.5 million in extra funding to provide taxpayer funded abortions, despite knowing there’s an enourmous budget shortfall.

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Mosqueda is the new anti-police Queen Bee

While Seattle Police Officers Guild president Officer Mike Solan doesn’t want to lose any funding, even temporarily, he backs Harrell. And he’s concerned that Mosqueda could win this fight.

“Mosqueda is somebody that will continue to push the activist agenda,” Solan exclusively told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “And it all comes down to money, period, hands down. How can they get their hands on more millions of dollars for their own activist agenda? And it’s quite clear that the rift between the council and the mayor’s office is real. But I would side with the mayor’s office every day and twice on Sunday against the likes of Mosqueda, who continues to malign and throw police officers under the bus for her own political activist agenda.”

Mosqueda has become the new public head of the council’s anti-cop wing. Sawant used to be the council’s leading voice to smear cops. While her views on cops has not changed, she has not taken the lead of late. The media has tired of her and she has alienated her colleagues with a toxic personality and near-exclusive focus on her personal brand.

The council will debate the amendments on Nov. 21. They will finalize the budget with a vote on Nov. 29.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast. Follow @JasonRantz on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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Rantz: Seattle Councilmembers are trying to defund the police again