Seattle Times attacks democracy & the Kshama Solidarity Campaign

By Greyson Van Arsdale, Socialist Alternative USA

Yesterday, the Seattle Times editorial board published yet another hit piece calling on voters to recall Kshama Sawant, this time attacking basic democratic access. 

Not content with their previous pro-corporate endorsement of the recall, which was already rife with misogyny and disdain for working people, the Seattle Times editorial board published a piece called “no choice but to recall Kshama Sawant.” Contained in the editorial are not just misleading statements and inaccuracies, but downright lies that any newspaper should be embarrassed to put in print.

Case in point, the Times insinuates that Kshama’s council office Twitter account deleted tweets about participating in a march in Mayor Jenny Durkan’s neighborhood, saying, “curiously, these notes appear to have vanished from Sawant’s timeline.” In fact, the tweet the Times is referring to was a retweet from another protest participant, whose account no longer exists – a fact that takes less than 2 minutes to confirm. 

More curious, we think, is that the Times has nothing critical to say about Mayoral Durkan’s role in the tear gassing of her own constituents for days on end, or her actual destruction of months of text messages that should be public records relating to her role in repressing Black Lives Matter protests. None of this, in the Times’ estimation, merits any consequences for Durkan, yet Kshama’s participation in protests for racial justice somehow demands that she be recalled “in the name of accountability.” 

Now the Times editorial board is attacking basic democracy by decrying our campaign’s effort to get out the vote in this unprecedented December election – a holiday election in which the right-wing and big business hoped that working-class and young people wouldn’t vote. Their editorial bitterly complained about our grassroots ballot printing stations, which are open for any voter to use, and said that the legislature should move to make such efforts to get out the vote illegal. In other words, the Seattle Times editorial board is openly calling for anti-democratic measures that would drag Washington to the right.

Throughout our campaign, we have fought against the blatant voter suppression being attempted by the Recall and its billionaire backers. We have built a grassroots Get-Out-The-Vote operation that has helped hundreds of people cast their ballots who ordinarily might not be able to due to a barrier or language gapOur campaign is fighting to make sure that working people, youth, and people of color are not disenfranchised by this unprecedented December election and get to cast their ballots. 

Our campaign is proud to NOT be endorsed by the Seattle Times, which has a long and storied history as a pro-corporate, anti-worker paper, from attacks on workers’ rights to endorsing George W. Bush for president to backing the Iraq War. More recently, the Seattle Times endorsed law-and-order candidate Ann Davison for City Attorney, who is now Seattle’s first elected Republican in more than 30 years. 

These attacks from the corporate press, which display clear disgust for our movement and anger at every ballot cast by ordinary people in this election, only further shows how afraid they are of working class movements. 

We only have a few days left to defeat this recall, and attacks like this are going to keep coming. We need to make sure we talk to every voter possible between now and election day. Sign up here to come out to volunteer and talk to friends, neighbors, and community members about voting NO on the right-wing recall!

Lastly – we have only today, Monday, and Tuesday left to hit our fundraising goal, and we’re behind. We need to fight this out through the very last minute – can you make any donation, whether it’s $200, $100, $50, or $5, to help us equip our volunteer army for these final days?