SEATTLE — In a settlement agreement dated May 7 with the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, City of Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant admitted that she violated the Seattle Ethics Code and the Elections Code “when she supported a proposed ballot proposition in her official capacity, including by using the City seal, her City website, City funds, and City employees to advance that ballot measure.”
“This is the very reason we brought the recall effort against Sawant,” said Henry Bridger II, chair and campaign manager of Recall Sawant. “She’s been lying to the public all this time. Blatantly lied to our faces in public and consistently repeated by her followers.”
The agreement—which was approved by commissioners on May 10—means Sawant must pay the city $3,516 within 30 days. The commission could impose a fine of up to $5,000 if she does not.
A “Kshama Solidarity Campaign” website states that Sawant “did not break the law or use City resources to promote a ballot initiative. What big business is really angry about is that the Amazon Tax passed! …
“The charges attack Kshama for participating in a community meeting that discussed a possible ballot initiative—this is like a ‘thought crime,’ being accused simply for discussing a grassroots initiative before one even exists.”
However, in accordance with the agreement, Sawant or her employees also created posters with the city seal, on which a measure on the “Amazon Tax” was stated, posted hyperlinks on its Council website to websites promoting the proposal, and spent at least $ 1,759 in city dollars on advertising, phone banking, and bulk text services.
Bridger is collecting signatures for a recall campaign that needs 10,000 signatures to put Sawant’s removal on the ballot.
“The citizens of Seattle and District 3 are tired of her radical Marxist actions, her bullying, and running our city into the ground,” he said. “We are demanding that Councilmember Sawant finally do right for the City of Seattle and her constituents in District 3, and pay back the legal fees she’s bilked from the hard working Seattle taxpayer and resign immediately.”
The recall campaign began gathering signatures at the beginning of this month and has until mid-October to collect 10,000 signatures. Only voters from District 3 can weigh in.
The recall campaign also accuses Sawant of opening City Hall to Black Lives Matter protesters last June, even though the building was closed, and leading a march at the home of Mayor Jenny Durkan, whose address is protected by a confidentiality program.