KIRO, KTTH hosts react to Kshama Sawant not running for re-election
In a guest editorial for The Stranger, Kshama Sawant said she is launching a national labor movement called Workers Strike Back in March and will be leaving her post as city councilmember once her term has concluded.
The longest-tenured councilmember for Seattle, Sawant served the Socialist Party, making her one of the more controversial figures in the Puget Sound region. Here’s what KIRO and KTTH hosts had to say following the announcement.
Ursula Reutin, co-host of The Gee and Ursula Show: I think this is great news for the city of Seattle.
Although Kshama Sawant helped win a $15 minimum wage and was a big advocate for renters, I believe she’s also the most divisive council member and responsible for a lot of the dysfunction at City Hall and the city in general.
During her tenure, she’s been at odds with police, insisting that SPD get defunded by 50%. She was also sued by two officers for accusing them of being murderers. In 2020, she unlocked City Hall and allowed a large group of protesters to hold a demonstrations inside; she also marched with protesters to then-Mayor Jenny Durkan’s home, not caring that she was potentially putting Durkan in harm’s way.
Now with Sawant and three other council members announcing they will not run again, this is a great opportunity for city voters to bring back some balance and sanity to City Hall.
From the Dori Monson archive: Kshama Sawant is a con artist
David Boze, guest host for KIRO Newsradio: We keep saying it’s the only socialist on the Seattle council, but I would probably add that it’s the only open socialist on this Seattle City Council.
I had the opportunity back on the KTTH sister station to moderate a panel with Kshama Sawant. So I had some personal interaction with her. She was debating Ben Shapiro at the time, which was a lot of fun.
So she makes this big announcement and she’s going to skip politics. She is going to launch a new movement, Workers Strike Back. If you look at the announcement in The Stranger, she sees herself as kind of the moral arbiter for all things progressive and all things labor. She’s deciding who’s aggressive enough, who’s pushing hard enough, who’s really fighting for labor. In fact, those of you who are working and are not supporting, you’re just pawns, you can’t think for yourself. You’re not hitting back at the man, so to speak, and corporate people, you’re the enemy through and through.
So everything she does here is defined very much in terms of class, in terms of identifying ourselves as not as individuals, but as groups. And whatever class you’re in, that is the class that you were going to stay in, which is not a particularly American way to look at things. But it is certainly a Marxist way of looking at things.
John Curley, co-host of The John and Shari Show: So Kshama Sawant, who had to pay $3,500 as part of the settlement of the city after she took the keys to City Hall and she let in about 1,000 protesters [to] scream and yell; she also cost the city about $1.2 million — that’s the number I saw anyway — when they went to defend her against libel and slander remarks by the police officers – has decided she’s not going to run for re-election.
Good riddance, good riddance, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye. A bunch of others on the city council are not running as well, it’ll be fascinating to watch who decides to jump in there. I’m assuming those that do want to run would be like, “maybe this ‘reimagining policing’ is not a good idea.” “Maybe this ‘tax people more so that they’ll stay here’ is not working.” Maybe they will get some folks that are a little more level headed. Who knows, the pendulum is swinging back and forth.
Shari Elliker, co-host of The John and Shari Show: I think the communist country of Seattle is where they’re having [the Workers Strike Back rally March 4]. And she warned her adversaries not to mix their martinis yet. She’s not going anywhere. She is still going to work for the people. And she says, do not put your faith anymore in the likes of people like AOC and some of the other squad members because they have let you down. They have sold out. She has never done that.
She’s gone. She’s starting her own thing. And you can join her in on March 4 if you want to be a part of her movement.
Jason Rantz, host of The Jason Rantz Show: Kshama Sawant was the most destructive figure in Seattle politics and we’re all better off now that she’s ending her tenure on the council. She’ll still be a threat with her activism, but she’s such a toxic figure that it will eventually putter out like she did on the council. She started strong with some big legislative accomplishments, but no one likes her and it made her less effective over the years.