Rantz: Council member slammed for misrepresenting himself at conference

Apr 11, 2023, 6:00 PM | Updated: 6:29 pm


Joshua Binda (left) in a city council meeting responding to public comment (Photo from Lynnwood City Council meeting)

(Photo from Lynnwood City Council meeting)

Embattled Lynnwood Councilmember Josh Binda recently spoke at a conference in D.C. But he misrepresented himself as speaking on behalf of the council, and elevated his actual role to keynote speaker when he was just a panelist, according to the council’s president. He’s now demanding to be reimbursed for travel he wasn’t approved to take. It’s the latest controversy surrounding the council member, just days after criticism for a “sexual” Instagram post to promote his business to minors. 

Binda attended the National League of Cities (NLC), an event for local leaders to share ideas to improve life for their residents. During a contentious council meeting on March 27, Binda explained he wasn’t attending the meeting in person because he was attending the NLC “on behalf of the council.” Council president Shannon Sessions almost immediately clarified that “just for the record, Councilmember Binda is not at the League of Cities on behalf of the city council, just for the record.”

That response triggered a quick retort by Binda: “I am on behalf of the council, it’s my council member duty, and I am here as a council member.”

Virtually, the same scenario unfolded during the April 10 meeting where Binda claimed he didn’t need permission to attend and then twice asked to be reimbursed. A decision was not decided, but judging by the reaction from the council, it’s unlikely.

Binda did not respond to a request for comment, but Sessions did. She said the only representative of Lynnwood at the NLC was Council Vice President Julieta Altamirano Crosby.

“She brought planned city priority messaging, attended trainings, met with our representatives during prearranged scheduled meetings, and was approved to be there. She will also report back to council on her experiences there and what she learned,” Sessions said in an email to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

Rantz: Graphic sex fantasy led to false arrest for kidnapping, Tacoma police say

Binda causing problems

To be an official representative of the city, Sessions said he would have needed to get approval. And had he asked, he wouldn’t have likely received permission anyway.

“If he did ask the council, he likely wouldn’t have gotten approved either because the last two AWC city days function, he attended recently (where other Lynnwood council members attended and [were] active) – he missed all scheduled meetings the city had with legislators and didn’t attend council member trainings, ignored other council member communications, and on one of the trips, stayed at the hotel on the wrong night that [the] city reserved, without communicating with anyone, again — and so the city got charged for two nights because of him — fortunately our council [assistant] was able to talk to the hotel to not get charged the extra night,” Sessions said.

Sessions said Binda never told the council that he was going to D.C. for the event and no tax dollars paid for the trip, nor will any portion of the trip be reimbursed. She notes that he “didn’t attend any pre-arranged city of Lynnwood meetings with our representatives or council member trainings.”

“We found out he was there to benefit himself only through a social networking post,” Sessions said. “Of course, he got a ‘foot in the door’ because he is a sitting council member.”

Rantz: Dems defend WA Supreme Court’s racist capital gains tax ruling

Binda claims he was a keynote speaker. About that…

In a social media post, Binda called it a “complete honor to be a keynote speaker” at the event. While he did speak, the NLC did not list him as a keynote speaker. In fact, he wasn’t listed on their agenda at all. A spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment. Sessions seemingly mocked Binda during the April 10 meeting, reminding him keynote speeches are reserved for notable speakers, which the council member most certainly is not. Indeed, during every council session, he mostly mumbles into the microphone. 

Binda’s apparent message was also not centered around the city of Lynnwood, but about inspiring youth to get more active. He applauded himself, saying it was “a blessing… to be a difference maker, break barriers, and be a voice of a generation.” It appears Binda delivered the same speech (or at least, same theme) as he gives during school assemblies in Snohomish County.

In a social media post responding to the controversies, a defiant Binda leveled unsubstantiated claims of racism and media conspiracies.

“I’ve been consistently slandered, stalked, intimidated, and bullied behind closed doors. Discriminated against because of my age and race. Plotted against by certain media outlets, colleagues, and groups of people who’ve decided to spread misinformation which continuously put me and the people closest around me in harm’s way,” he wrote

Lynnwood embroiled in debate over WA assault weapon ban

Binda recall campaign

Binda continues to court controversy, inspiring Lynnwood activists to start a recall campaign. 

“It is evident that this and other documented behavior by this council member neither represent the best of any city council nor of the City of Lynnwood,” said Committee to Recall Joshua Binda chair Diodato Boucsieguez in a statement. “This committee strongly believes that Councilmember Joshua Binda has met the conditions of malfeasance as outlined in the Revised Code of Washington to be recalled. It is the duty of Lynnwood residents to recall City Councilmember Joshua Binda from the Lynnwood City Council and restore integrity to our city.”

Earlier this year, Binda started a company, Josh Binda Speaks LLC. But it’s come under fire recently and his council colleagues seem to be growing tired of his antics. He’s under investigation for using the city council chambers to film a promotional video for his company, but did not have permission. And he faces a torrent of criticism and calls for resignation after posting a sexualized photo on Instagram to promote his business to minors. He claimed the criticism was racist.

He was also found guilty and fined by the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission for disclosure violations. The Everett Herald notes that his campaign finance filings “showed upward of $10,000 spent on dental work, hair cuts, plane tickets, towing expenses, and more.” He later reimbursed his campaign for the expenditures. And he was fined for failing to submit his personal financial affairs statement as required.

Rantz: Fake outrage over word ended Kent School Board president’s career

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 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.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-7pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

KTTH Opinion

equity director racist...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: Equity director fired after racist comment about Mexicans

The state's first Office of Equity director was ousted after complaints of racist remarks and using a "White supremacy" metaphor.

22 hours ago

Federal Way Walmart...

Max Gross

Gross: Federal Way resident fed up over repeated Walmart crimes

Multiple police responses have been needed at the two Walmart locations in Federal Way. One incident was reported as an aggravated assault.

22 hours ago

LGBT Pride...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: WA Fish and Wildlife LGBT Pride tweet saved my life

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's LGBT Pride tweet saved my life. Its leaders deserve the credit they're asking for.

2 days ago

amazon workers walkout...

KTTH staff

Suits: Amazon employees ‘make it sound like they’re being discriminated against’

Amazon employees participated in a walkout Wednesday in response to their frustration over the company’s return-to-office mandate.

5 days ago

Follow @https://twitter.com/jasonrantz...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: Elementary sex ed promoted puberty blockers, pubic hair art

An elementary school offered inappropriate sex ed lessons to students without parental consent or district approval.

6 days ago

seattle sucker punched...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: Man ‘sucker punched’ in downtown Seattle as crime plagues city

A man was "sucker punched" in an unprovoked attack in downtown Seattle over the Memorial Day weekend, according to police.

7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Men's Health Month...

Men’s Health Month: Why It’s Important to Speak About Your Health

June is Men’s Health Month, with the goal to raise awareness about men’s health and to encourage men to speak about their health.

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.

Rantz: Council member slammed for misrepresenting himself at conference