Rantz: Sloppy reporting by activist, and councilmember makes up claim

May 23, 2018, 8:25 PM
Gonzalez, seattle mayor, text messages...
M. Lorena Gonzalez. (AP file Photo/Ted S. Warren)
(AP file Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Roger Valdez got a big story wrong and he owes the Seattle City Council an apology. In response, a council member also made things up.

In a Forbes piece, Valdez claimed an oft-cited report by council members, to justify their head tax vote, doesn’t exist. It does. I’m reading it now. And it was sent to the council before the head tax vote. In his Forbes piece, Valdez wrote:

That’s right. There never was a report. City leaders were citing a report that never existed, reported as fact by reporters that never verified its existence, to justify a tax on jobs.

He’s 100 percent wrong. Valdez reports “By May 11th, the day of the committee vote on the $75 million tax, Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez cited the phantom report from the Council dais when she voted for the tax.”

But, on May 10 at 7:04 p.m., a consultant with McKinsey and Company sent the following email to Gonzalez:

Hello CM Gonzalez, Hope you’re doing well. We’ve received several requests for a report briefing from the other council members. Would you be able to invite them to our session tomorrow afternoon?  I’m traveling out of town before then and again next week so would love to be inclusive of them as well. Its easiest to digest the report and respond to questions if we walk through it live together. I’ll be sending the report ahead of the meeting to the council members that have reached-out by mid-morning tomorrow.

The report was sent, though I don’t yet know when. In the email forwarded to me from the council’s communication director, the date and timestamp is missing from the email with the report, though the email excerpted above includes that information. The context of the email implies it was sent the next day, but I’m waiting on clarification from the council on the exact date and time.

Nevertheless, the report exists and Valdez must explain how he got this so spectacularly wrong. He’ll be on my show Friday morning to explain.

Now, Gonzalez decided to react in a bizarre, seemingly premeditated trolling.

In a statement on Twitter, Gonzalez started out by calling out Forbes, but then claimed: 

My mention is not included in her emailed statement, indicating to me this was her way of trolling me on Twitter.

Only, I didn’t redact anything. I can’t redact someone else’s reporting. I reported on the truth. I explained what Valdez reported, reached out immediately to Gonzalez’s office and the communications director, and when the study was provided, I immediately updated the story to say Valdez was incorrect. I did this out of fairness to Gonzalez, who, in return, trolled me on Twitter.

As much as I think she has failed Seattle with her vote to support the job killing head tax, Gonzalez shouldn’t be the victim of sloppy reporting. But I also find it ironic that she sloppily claims I redacted a report I didn’t write and then falsely implied I called the research “fake” (I don’t even quote that word in my blog). So why’d she do this? She’s overplaying the victim card. She’s undoubtedly the victim of Valdez’s reporting, but she’s now using that to go after one of her critics.

What bothers me beyond the sloppiness from Valdez and Gonzalez is that the council will use this report to play victim and push back against the head tax referendum. Please don’t let them succeed. They’re the victims of a bad report at Forbes, but Seattle is the victim of the council’s shameful hatred of the business community.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-6pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show


An assembly presentation featured student voices from the Black Student Union at North Thurston Hig...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Seattle-area school uses MLK Jr. Day to bash police and USA

A local school used a Martin Luther King Day assembly to amplify virulently anti-police and anti-American messages. Is this what the holiday is meant for?
1 day ago
Olympia, state House...
KTTH staff

New state Senator Simon Sefzik views his young age ‘as an asset’

The 42nd Legislative District has a new state senator: 22-year-old Simon Sefzik. He tells the Jason Rantz Show he's excited to learn and get to work.
1 day ago
seattle police, traffic stops...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: New equity policy bars Seattle Police from some traffic stops, opens door to more car theft

Seattle Police are now barred from many non-criminal traffic stops after activists claimed concerns over equity.
4 days ago
Sheriff Fortney...
KTTH staff

Snohomish County Sheriff Fortney will run for re-election after failed recall effort

After a failed recall effort against him last year, Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney says he will run for office again in 2023.
5 days ago
MultiCare hospitals...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: MultiCare hospitals order symptomatic COVID-positive staff to see patients

MultiCare Health Systems is forcing COVID-positive staff to work at its area hospitals, the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH has learned.
6 days ago
Redistricting ,senator...
KTTH staff

State senator escorted out after not submitting negative COVID test

State Senator Phil Fortunato was escorted out of the Legislative building in Olympia because he had not submitted a required negative COVID test.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
Rantz: Sloppy reporting by activist, and councilmember makes up claim