We’re not surprised that the Seattle Times endorsed our corporate-backed opponent for Seattle’s District 3. Time and time again, the Seattle Times has viciously opposed pro-worker policies and been a mouthpiece of big business.
During our fight for 15 Now, the Seattle Times first tried to stop the $15 minimum wage, calling for people to vote “No on Seatac Prop 1 for a $15 minimum wage.” When it became clear that our grassroots movement for a $15 minimum wage had mainstream support, the Seattle Times changed tack, instead calling for every carveout possible to delay and dilute $15/hr.
When Councilmember Kshama Sawant spearheaded the struggle to Tax Amazon and Seattle’s biggest businesses, the Seattle Times didn’t just oppose this progressive head tax, they teamed up with corporate bullies like Jeff Bezos to rapidly whip up a repeal effort once it passed, with the headline: “Kill harmful head tax by citizen initiative.”
While Councilmember Kshama Sawant used every avenue possible to stand with teachers fighting for workers rights, fully funded education, cost of living increases and racial equality during their 2015 strike, the Seattle Times complained that “Teachers Threatening to Strike are Demanding Too Much.” And of course, Seattle's corporate newspaper of record regularly echoes the neoliberal, trickle-down politics of corporate developers in their fear mongering against our growing movement for rent control.
Their conservative record goes on and on: from their notorious endorsement of George W. Bush to opposing the 1098 tax on the rich in 2010 to fighting against the 2015 Move Seattle levy, and much more. This should all be no surprise coming from a publication owned by magnate Frank Blethen, who has made it his personal crusade to repeal the estate tax, or death tax — a tax which only applies to the wealthiest 1-2% of people in the country — in order to protect his multimillion dollar assets.
The Seattle Times’ endorsements predictably align almost entirely with those of the Chamber of Commerce and its corporate PAC, CASE. The CASE PAC's war chest includes a staggering $1,450,000 from Amazon for an attempted hostile takeover of City Hall, $155,000 from Vulcan against rent control, $30,000 from Puget Sound Energy (one of the region’s biggest fossil fuel polluters) against our Green New Deal. Joined by rich Republicans, big developers, and CEOs, the PAC has amassed an unprecedented nearly $3 million sum to try to swing City Council to the right. They’ve already spent a record-breaking sum of corporate cash, with our opponent already benefitting from more corporate PAC cash than any other candidate in Seattle City Council’s history.
We’re proud to not be endorsed by the Seattle Times or the CASE PAC, and to instead be endorsed by The Stranger, Seattle’s progressive newspaper, the 43rd LD Democrats (in their first ever endorsement of a non-Democrat), the King County Young Democrats, 17 unions, The Stranger, The Sierra Club, the Urbanist, and progressive leaders like Councilmember Mike O’Brien, state senator Joe Nguyen (described as “and AOC of Washington" by The Stranger), Cary Moon, Nikkita Oliver, Noam Chomsky, former Councilmember Nick Licata, and many more.
We’re up against not only a vicious onslaught of attack mail, corporate ads, and paid canvassers, but also a relentless smear campaign from the biggest publication in the Seattle area, with the Seattle Times hammering away on the message that “Kshama Sawant must go.” We can’t let these corporate interests buy this election. We need a powerful grassroots surge to get out our message of Councilmember Kshama Sawant’s proven record of winning change for working people and the need for bold policies like rent control and social housing to stop Seattle from being turned into a playground for the rich.