Without Amazon’s interference, San Francisco taxes big business

By   at EOI Online

Two cities struggle to fund homelessness relief. One succeeds.

San Francisco just did something Seattle couldn’t manage: on Election Day, they voted to tax big business to fund homelessness relief.

Like Seattle, San Francisco is a tech city whose rising costs have pushed people out of the area and out of their homes. Also like Seattle, the community asked big business to pay their fair share. Unlike Seattle, they listened.

Proposition C puts a gross receipts tax between 0.175 percent and 0.69 percent on businesses with more than $50 million in gross annual receipts, which would affect companies like Twitter, AirBnB, Uber, and Google. The expected revenue of $250 to $300 million will go to funding permanent housing, mental health services, and short-term shelters for people experiencing homelessness.

Part of the momentum that led this proposition to pass came from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, who came out in support of the tax despite the almost $10 million in additional taxes that will be owed by Salesforce. “Homelessness is all of our responsibility,” Benioff says.

Our community has been shirking that responsibility. With an approximated 8,500 people experiencing homelessness in Seattle, the city is in an accelerating crisis. Passing a person experiencing homelessness on the street is about as shocking to Seattleites today as rain.

This rapid increase is not an isolated circumstance. The factors that leave thousands of people without homes (largely cost of living outpacing wage growth paired with insufficient public supports) are side effects of booming urban economies across the United States. While a booming economy is a good thing, one that leaves people behind isn’t. Ours has left thousands behind in the name of tax savings for big businesses and wealthy individuals- but it doesn’t have to be that way.

It’s clear that Seattle’s current infrastructure to support people experiencing homelessness is insufficient. We see a great need for permanent affordable housing, beds in shelters, mental health resources, and basic medical care. A reasonable tax burden on our high-earning corporations could answer this need.

But you might remember things going a little differently with the Head Tax this past summer. When Seattle City Council unanimously approved an employee hours tax to fund homeless services in May, big businesses (in particular, one well-known online retailer) leapt to action.

The Head Tax would have charged $275 per employee on businesses earning more than $20 million a year, and would have generated $47 million toward ending Seattle’s homelessness crisis.

Amazon by the numbers

Despite Seattle’s increasing cost of living and rates of homelessness showing a direct correlation with Amazon’s rise, Bezos sent the clear message that he thought it wasn’t his problem. Amazon halted construction on a building, threatened to leave Seattle, and funded the No Tax on Jobs repeal campaign to avoid paying 0.26 percent of its profits to fund necessary homelessness services.

Correlating with Amazon’s growth, King County rents have increased 53 percent in the last 5 years. In King County, every 5 percent increase in rent puts 258 more people on the street, and 93 percent of people experiencing homelessness in King County did not come from elsewhere, but were instead pushed into homelessness within their own communities. One in every 13 children in Seattle’s public school system is homeless. LGBTQ youth and people of color are disproportionately likely to experience homelessness.

Despite all this, Amazon’s power was felt and its interests were prioritized. The head tax was repealed.

Benioff’s use of his platform and his funds to advocate for the Yes on C campaign contributed enormously to the ultimate passage of the proposition. It’s not to say that other tech companies didn’t pose fierce opposition, or that the voices of community members didn’t pave the way, but interests of individuals like Benioff and Bezos have a disproportionate influence on political decisions that impact all of our futures.

For better or for worse, the wealthy get their way, and they have the power to catalyze change.

Should such individuals follow Benioff’s example and assume membership in the communities they’ve made their home, they can save and improve thousands of lives and alleviate systemic suffering. The only price tag is shouldering a fair share of tax contributions.

Addressing these issues now will actually save everyone money in the long-run.

We can’t expect outcomes for people experiencing homelessness to get better on their own, and we can’t be surprised if rates continue to increase because greater action is not taken.

We need revenue to fund necessary programs to address the systems that create homelessness. Homelessness services, accessible healthcare, and affordable education are all within reach if those earning big paychecks, both businesses and individuals, pay their fair share in taxes. If anything is to change in our city and state, this is an essential first step that will benefit each of us.

Instead, for the time being, we get to watch San Francisco do what we couldn’t. And while I know Washingtonians don’t want California to win, we should celebrate their accomplishment. Prop C still has a long road ahead, but it shows an important paradigm shift in corporate responsibility and community solidarity. We in Seattle should strive for the same, and should continue pushing our lawmakers and corporations to follow suit.

“The big companies are making so much money here, they might as well give some of it back” says Michael Kane, a 54 year old man who has been experiencing homelessness for 8 years and just landed a bed in a shelter. “I mean, really, we need the help.”

Related article: Amazon’s HQ2 Spectacle Isn’t Just Shameful—It Should Be Illegal.
“Each year, local governments spend nearly $100 billion to move headquarters and factories between states. It’s a wasteful exercise that requires a national solution.”

Who’s buying votes in Washington State?

The Supreme Court said that political spending is a form of free speech. But they allow states to require donors to submit reports of their spending. Washington State’s Public Disclosure Commission collects such data and makes it available on their website.

I downloaded the database of campaign contributions from this link. The database has 3,831,155 records, dating back to about 2001. It includes individual donations by citizens like me, as well as donations by large corporations and organizations.

Contributions from 2018 show huge amounts spend by Big Oil and by beverage companies, no doubt to prevent a carbon tax (I-1631) and to try to convince voters to support I-1634, which would make taxes on beverages and other groceries illegal.

MariaDB [contributions]> select `Contributor name`, sum(Amount) from contrib where `Receipt date` > '2018-01-01' group by 1 order by 2 DESC limit 200;
+---------------------------------------------------------------------------+-------------+
| Contributor name                                                          | sum(Amount) |
+---------------------------------------------------------------------------+-------------+
| BP AMERICA                                                                | 13125362.77 |
| THE COCA-COLA COMPANY                                                     |  9701582.33 |
| PEPSICO, INC.                                                             |  7314788.48 |
| PHILLIPS 66                                                               |  7218094.47 |
| ANDEAVOR [Now owned by Marathon Petroleum Corporation]                    |  4362827.17 |
| THE NATURE CONSERVANCY                                                    |  3375771.27 |
| HARRY TRUMAN FUND                                                         |  2382010.25 |
| KENNEDY FUND                                                              |  2171532.25 |
| KEURIG DR PEPPER (FKA DR PEPPER SNAPPLE GROUP, INC.)                      |  2124220.60 |
| MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS                                                    |  2039187.94 |
| ANDEAVOR LLC (NOW OWNED BY MARATHON PETROLEUM CORPORATION)                |  1700000.00 |
| THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL                                                    |  1694500.00 |
| LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION VOTERS                                             |  1442614.30 |
| ENTERPRISE WASHINGTON'S JOBS PAC                                          |  1279600.00 |
| AMERICAN FUEL AND PETROCHEMICAL MANUFACTURERS                             |  1250000.00 |
| ALLEN PAUL G                                                              |  1228795.44 |
| SEIU 775 QUALITY CARE COMMITTEE                                           |  1008695.17 |
| GATES WILLIAM H  III                                                      |  1002000.00 |
| BLOOMBERG MICHAEL                                                         |  1000000.00 |
| VALERO ENERGY CORPORATION                                                 |   995000.00 |
| HANAUER NICOLAS                                                           |   989018.00 |
| KOCH INDUSTRIES, INC.                                                     |   950000.00 |
| DR PEPPER SNAPPLE GROUP, INC.                                             |   911021.38 |
| SEIU 775                                                                  |   900035.96 |
| REPUBLICAN STATE LEADERSHIP CO                                            |   775000.00 |
| HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE                                       |   770291.72 |
| SEIU HEALTHCARE 1199 NW                                                   |   753231.94 |
| HANAUER LESLIE                                                            |   746518.00 |
| PUYALLUP TRIBE OF INDIANS                                                 |   712696.00 |
| THE REAGAN FUND                                                           |   692977.76 |
| WASHINGTON STATE DEMOCRATS                                                |   678484.68 |
| SMALL CONTRIBUTIONS                                                       |   674827.35 |
| HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS CAMPAIGN COMM.                                    |   660000.00 |
| JUSTICE FOR ALL PAC                                                       |   640500.00 |
| WASHINGTON EDUCATION ASSOCIATION PAC                                      |   637000.00 |
| BALLMER CONNIE                                                            |   623000.00 |
| STOLTE CHRIS                                                              |   614000.00 |
| BALLMER STEVEN                                                            |   613500.00 |
| MCKIBBEN CRAIG                                                            |   581000.00 |
| U.S. OIL & REFINING COMPANY                                               |   558531.31 |
| WASHINGTON STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY                                         |   551214.67 |
| NORTHWEST REGIONAL ORGANIZING COALITION                                   |   523069.65 |
| EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY ACTION FUND                                      |   511500.00 |
| MERNER SARAH                                                              |   503500.00 |
| ACTION NOW INITIATIVE LLC                                                 |   500000.00 |
| CHEVRON U.S.A. INC.                                                       |   500000.00 |
| SENATE REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE                                      |   498186.50 |
| SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION POLITICAL EDUCATION AND ACTION FUND |   494483.94 |
| WASHINGTON SENATE DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN                                     |   461096.16 |
| PSE OF WA                                                                 |   457168.28 |
| WA STATE DEMOCRATS                                                        |   456218.56 |
| HOUSE REPUBLICAN ORGANIZATIONA                                            |   422500.00 |
| HOUSE REPUBLICAN ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITTEE                                 |   416996.85 |
| WASHINGTON EDUCATION ASSOCIATION                                          |   404442.05 |
| PBF ENERGY, INC.                                                          |   400000.00 |
| LAURENE POWELL JOBS TRUST                                                 |   400000.00 |
| MUCKLESHOOT INDIAN TRIBE                                                  |   392300.00 |
| SEIU HEALTHCARE 1199NW                                                    |   360329.79 |
| VULCAN INC                                                                |   347100.00 |
| NEW DIRECTION PAC                                                         |   341751.17 |
| TESORO COMPANIES, INC.                                                    |   339000.00 |
| HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE                                |   332476.26 |
| WASHINGTON INDIAN GAMING ASSOCIATION                                      |   329000.00 |
| PHILLIPS 66 COMPANY                                                       |   329000.00 |
| SEIU WA STATE COUNCIL                                                     |   312500.00 |
| UFCW 21                                                                   |   308191.42 |
| WA EDUCATION ASSN PAC (WEA PAC)                                           |   304000.00 |
| WASHINGTON ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS PAC                                    |   303000.00 |
| SEIU LOCAL 925                                                            |   299505.83 |
| PROCEEDS FROM LOW COST FUNDRAISER                                         |   295494.47 |
| WASHINGTON CONSERVATION VOTERS                                            |   275427.51 |
| WASHINGTON ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS                                        |   271800.00 |
| SEIU WASHINGTON STATE COUNCIL PAC                                         |   265500.00 |
| WASHINGTON ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS POLITICAL AFFAIRS COUNCIL              |   255500.00 |
| AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION INC.                                       |   252225.00 |
| HANAUER NICOLAS J                                                         |   252000.00 |
| THE HOLLYFRONTIER COMPANIES                                               |   250000.00 |
| SOUTH KING COUNTY DESERVES BETTER                                         |   250000.00 |
| SENATE REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN COM                                            |   247000.00 |
| SEIU HEALTHCARE UNITED FOR QUALITY CARE 1199 NW                           |   246000.00 |
| CITIZENS COMMITTEE FOR THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS                    |   243855.84 |
| CORNFIELD LINDA                                                           |   243000.00 |
| WASHINGTON FEDERATION OF STATE EMPLOYEES                                  |   238800.00 |
| RED BULL NORTH AMERICA                                                    |   238387.21 |
| GREEN ADVOCACY PROJECT                                                    |   230000.00 |
| OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATION                                                   |   230000.00 |
| WASHINGTON ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL                                          |   220417.94 |
| SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION                                     |   218498.75 |
| ACLU WASHINGTON                                                           |   205815.73 |
| PUBLIC SCHOOL EMPLOYEES OF WA POLITICAL FUND                              |   202668.39 |
| MILLIKEN ROGER  JR                                                        |   200000.00 |
| NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA                                     |   200000.00 |
| GRANTHAM JEREMY                                                           |   200000.00 |
| AFSCME                                                                    |   200000.00 |
| BUILDING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF WASHINGTON                               |   195064.35 |
| ACLU OF WASHINGTON                                                        |   192834.54 |
| JOINT COUNCIL OF TEAMSTERS NO. 28                                         |   187622.21 |
| SEIU INITIATIVE FUND                                                      |   187500.00 |
| UFCW 21 PAC                                                               |   186125.00 |
| CENTENE MANAGEMENT COMPANY LLC                                            |   178000.00 |
| HDCC                                                                      |   175154.01 |
| MICROSOFT                                                                 |   173250.00 |
| PHRMA                                                                     |   171000.00 |
| SEIU HEALTHCARE 1199NW PAC                                                |   166904.61 |
| MASTER BUILDERS ASSOCIATION OF KING & SNO COUNTIES                        |   162900.01 |
| WASHINGTON HOSPITAL PAC                                                   |   155500.00 |
| NORTHWEST REGIONAL ORGANIZING COALITION PAC                               |   155000.00 |
| WASHINGTON STATE LABOR COUNCIL                                            |   153993.64 |
| PUGET SOUND ENERGY                                                        |   153144.00 |
| VOTER ACTION                                                              |   150000.00 |
| KING COUNTY REPUBLICAN CENTRAL COMMITTEE NEX                              |   142000.00 |
| WASHINGTON STATE DENTAL PAC                                               |   141550.00 |
| CORNFIELD DAVID                                                           |   140000.00 |
| KEMPER HOLDINGS, LLC                                                      |   140000.00 |
| FRONT AND CENTERED / LATINO COMMUNITY FUND                                |   138699.32 |
| WASHINGTON HOSPITALITY ASSOCIATION PAC                                    |   138500.00 |
| WASHINGTON & NORTHERN IDAHO DISTRICT COUNCIL OF LABORERS                  |   135000.00 |
| ORR JAMES L                                                               |   132000.00 |
| STOLTE CHRISTOPHER                                                        |   127000.00 |
| CLEAN AIR CLEAN ENERGY WA                                                 |   125000.00 |
| SEIU LOCAL 925 PUBLIC SERVICE PAC                                         |   123583.45 |
| MENNET LISA                                                               |   121000.00 |
| GOLDMAN PETER                                                             |   120350.00 |
| SEIU WASHINGTON STATE COUNCIL                                             |   120000.00 |
| COMMITTEE TO ELECT JUDITH WARN                                            |   120000.00 |
| CREDIT UNION LEGISLATIVE ACTION FUND                                      |   117905.50 |
| THE BOEING COMPANY PAC                                                    |   117000.00 |
| PEOPLE FOR PEDERSEN SURPLUS FUNDS ACCOUNT                                 |   116250.00 |
| FRANKENBURG SIBYL                                                         |   115000.00 |
| OLBRECHTS KRISTEN E                                                       |   115000.00 |
| WA SENATE DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN                                             |   114832.40 |
| COMMITTEE TO ELECT JT WILCOX -                                            |   113200.00 |
| WASHINGTON AFFORDABLE HOUSING COUNCIL                                     |   112000.00 |
| WASHINGTON STATE DENTAL ASSOCIATION PAC                                   |   111500.00 |
| WASHINGTON STATE DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN                                      |   111273.82 |
| SWINOMISH TRIBAL COMMUNITY                                                |   110200.00 |
| SABEY CORPORATION                                                         |   109500.00 |
| PUGET SOUND CHAPTER NECA PAC                                              |   108000.00 |
| TORRANCE MARK                                                             |   107000.00 |
| KEMPER HOLDINGS LLC                                                       |   107000.00 |
| WASHINGTON STATE COUNCIL OF FIRE FIGHTERS PAC                             |   105000.00 |
| WA MEDICAL PAC                                                            |   105000.00 |
| FRIENDS OF DAN KRISTIANSEN - S                                            |   105000.00 |
| NORDHOFF NANCY S                                                          |   104500.00 |
| CHEVRON POLICY GOVT & PUBL AFFAIRS                                        |   104000.00 |
| HENNESSY JOHN                                                             |   102935.00 |
| ASSOCIATION OF WASHINGTON BUSI                                            |   102000.00 |
| TAYLOR KATHRYN                                                            |   101000.00 |
| NW ENERGY EFFICIENCY COUNCIL                                              |   100550.00 |
| WEYERHAEUSER GEORGE                                                       |   100500.00 |
| MOGA GREGORY                                                              |   100500.00 |
| PREMERA BLUE CROSS                                                        |   100200.00 |
| WASHINGTON HOSPITAL SERVICES                                              |   100100.00 |
| PETERSON KENNETH                                                          |   100050.00 |
| FRIENDS OF FRANK CHOPP SURPLUS ACCOUNT                                    |   100000.00 |
| THACHER NANCY                                                             |   100000.00 |
| COMMUNITY HEALTH NETWORK OF WA                                            |   100000.00 |
| NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY                                                  |   100000.00 |
| ATTWOOD JAMES A  JR                                                       |   100000.00 |
| PACKARD JULIE                                                             |   100000.00 |
| FRIENDS OF DREW STOKESBARY- SU                                            |   100000.00 |
| BENIOFF MARC R                                                            |   100000.00 |
| O'NEILL DANIEL D                                                          |   100000.00 |
| HANAUER LENORE M                                                          |   100000.00 |
| STEYER THOMAS                                                             |   100000.00 |
| DLCC                                                                      |   100000.00 |
| SEATTLE FOUNDATION                                                        |   100000.00 |
| HEYWOOD BRIAN                                                             |   100000.00 |
| BARDACKE FRANKLIN                                                         |   100000.00 |
| THACHER DAVID                                                             |   100000.00 |
| NEW DIRECTION                                                             |   100000.00 |
| KESSEL STEVEN                                                             |   100000.00 |
| GREEN TECH ACTION FUND                                                    |   100000.00 |
| SONNENFELDT MICHAEL                                                       |   100000.00 |
| DEMOCRATIC LEGISLATIVE CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE                                 |   100000.00 |
| DELTA DENTAL                                                              |    99500.00 |
| WA CHARTERS ACTION                                                        |    97656.02 |
| WASHINGTON FOOD INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION                                      |    95000.00 |
| BUILDING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION                                             |    95000.00 |
| WASHINGTON HEALTH CARE ASSOCIATION PAC                                    |    93000.00 |
| BNSF RAILWAY COMPANY                                                      |    91000.00 |
| PSE SEIU 1948                                                             |    90951.80 |
| WA ST. COUNCIL OF CO & CITY EMPLOYEES                                     |    90750.00 |
| ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF WASHINGTON BUILD PAC                    |    90500.00 |
| UNITED FOOD & COMMERCIAL WORKERS INTERNATIONAL UNION                      |    90000.00 |
| SEATTLE POLICE OFFICER'S GUILD                                            |    90000.00 |
| ALTRIA CLIENT SERVICES LLC                                                |    89000.00 |
| CLIMATE SOLUTIONS                                                         |    88626.35 |
| LOCAL 48 ELECTRICIANS PAC COMM                                            |    86947.26 |
| CIVIC VENTURES                                                            |    86860.50 |
| FISHER KENNETH L                                                          |    86500.00 |
| NISQUALLY INDIAN TRIBE                                                    |    85750.00 |
| FERRERA KRISTIN M                                                         |    85325.00 |
| JOE FITZGIBBON CAMPAIGN SURPLUS ACCOUNT                                   |    85000.00 |
| WASHBANKPAC                                                               |    83000.00 |
| WESTERN STATES PETROLEUM ASSOCIATION                                      |    81878.65 |
| WEYERHAEUSER                                                              |    81100.00 |
| THARINGER SURPLUS FUNDS ACCOUNT                                           |    81000.00 |
| BLUMENTHAL JABEZ                                                          |    80500.00 |
| STAND FOR CHILDREN WASHINGTON PAC                                         |    80250.00 |
+---------------------------------------------------------------------------+-------------+
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Top 10 Reasons to Vote for Maralyn Chase for State Senate!

by Sue Peters

  1. SENATOR MARALYN CHASE is the only candidate in the race with over 16 years of distinguished, award-winning experience in state government as both a representative and senator.
  2. CHASE is the only candidate with firsthand knowledge of the state’s legislative processes. And as the legislature’s delegate to the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER), Chase draws on her extensive knowledge about international and domestic trade. She also works closely with Washington State tribes and rural populations in her work as chair of the Economic Development and International Trade.
  3. MARALYN CHASE is a proven progressive legislative leader. In the 2018 session, as a member of the Rules Committee, Chase was instrumental in moving a record number of Democratic bills to passage by Senate Democrats. They passed: the 2017 Capital Construction Budget, investments in education to satisfy McCleary, a statewide property tax cut, gun safety measures, equal pay for women, protections against sexual harassment, the Net Neutrality Act, the Reproductive Parity Act to require employer insurance to allow women to make their own reproductive choices and for preventive healthcare, protections for college students from predatory loans, a ban on conversion therapy, an expansion of the Breakfast After the Bell Program, the phasing out of salmon net farms, expansion of higher education for Dreamers, reforms for juvenile justice to reduce recidivism and racial disproportionality, prohibition of housing discrimination for renters using Section 8 vouchers, and also Ban the Box, for equal employment. In this session, Chase also co-sponsored or supported the passage of other key bills on gun safety, school funding, and lowering taxes. Chase helped to pass a groundbreaking ban on bump stocks on guns. She and her colleagues passed multiple bills on housing, and provided $107 million for the Housing Trust Fund in the Biennial Capitol Budget, which preserves and builds affordable housing for those at the lowest income levels. Chase supported the allocation of funds to recommend a plan to create a state’s public bank to save $4 billion a year in debt service to Wall Street banks. Senator Chase introduced the “Healthy Washington” bill, modeled on the California’s single-payer healthcare bill that passed in their state senate.
  4. You can count on MARALYN CHASE to defend your civil rights. In 2018 Chase worked with Representative Sharon Tomiko Santos to introduce the first bill in the Senate to reinstate Affirmative Action. She also promoted passage of the revision to the 1943 Equal Pay Act, requiring employers to provide equal pay and opportunities to their employees regardless of gender.  She and her colleagues passed three bills ensuring voting rights, same-day registration and prohibiting racially based gerrymandering. Chase has always been far ahead on LGBTQ2 rights and helped pass the 2018 bill prohibiting conversion therapy. Chase is a vocal supporter of I-940 to de-escalate police violence, and demand accountability in police involved shootings. Her strong civil rights and human rights record is one of the reasons she has earned the sole endorsement of State Attorney General, Bob Ferguson.
  5. CHASE has always been a champion for the environment and for education. In 2011, she wrote the bill to shut down TransAlta, the state’s dirtiest coal plant. In 2015, she chaired the committee for Initiative 522, to require labeling of genetically modified foods. It lost by a narrow margin after large corporations spent $22 million to oppose it, setting a state record for money spent on a ballot measure. Chase is now facing retaliation by Monsanto, which now funds her opponent, Jesse Salomon. Chase works hard to protect the Puget Sound, wild salmon runs, works with local tribes and family fishing businesses to promote sustainable and local business operations. This includes co-sponsoring the 2018 bill to phase out toxic salmon pen farming. In 2004, Chase helped lead the effort to overturn a charter school bill passed by the legislature. Her position was affirmed by the voters who passed a referendum to reject charter schools. (In contrast, her current opponent, Jesse Salomon, has received over $40,000 in financial support and an endorsement from pro-charter-school privatizers, Stand for Children.) Senator Chase organized a bipartisan hearing on Common Core standards in 2017 to ask the difficult questions about a costly and undemocratically imposed initiative on K-12 education.
  6. CHASE has been recognized for her legislative advocacy by numerous organizations. In 2015, the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides awarded Chase the Rachel Carson Award for her work in reducing cancer-causing pesticides in the food chain, such as Roundup.  The National Minority Business Advisory Council named Chase their “2017 Legislator of the Year” for her role in the unanimous passage of SB 5734. This legislation guarantees equal opportunity in bidding for small works contracts with state and federal agencies. According to the Shoreline Area News, “Chase, D-Edmonds, was chosen for her work on the Small Business Bonding Relief bill, which brought Washington state’s government contracting provisions into compliance with federal law governing small works bonding requirements.” Said Chase, “As a former small business owner, I understand the challenges these companies face on a daily basis. I’m proud to accept this award, and will continue to work hard for small, minority businesses statewide.”
  7. MARALYN CHASE brings a wealth of experience to the legislature. After she earned her BA and MA degrees from the University of Washington in political science, she organized for women’s reproductive rights and was a labor advocate. Chase built a successful family business in the construction trades and knows what it takes to run a business and a family. Her policies come from knowing that in order to have a good life, people need a good education, a good job, a good home and a healthy environment. Her policies are people-focused. When evaluating the merits of a proposal, Chase always asks, “How will this policy affect people?“
  8. MARALYN is committed to engaging in dialogue with constituents and organizations to shape her policies. She has been a strong progressive voice and a people’s representative. She has a history of courageously defending people from the agendas of powerful interests.
  9. MARALYN CHASE’S commitment to democracy is the reason she is endorsed by a broad and diverse coalition that includes: the 32ndDistrict Democrats, Snohomish and King County Democrats, the Metropolitan Democrats, the National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington, Washington State Labor Council, State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Washington Education Association (WEA), Congressman Rick Larsen, State Sen. Manka Dhingra, State Sen. Sharon Nelson, State Sen. John McCoy, State Sen. Bob Hasegawa, King County Councilmember Larry Gossett, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, Seattle City Council Member Teresa Mosqueda, City Councilmembers from Shoreline, Lynwood, Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace, Washington State Federation of Democratic Women, Young Democrats of Washington, Snohomish County Young Democrats, Washington State Progressive Caucus, Environment and Climate Caucus of the Washington State Democratic Party, Alliance for Gun Responsibility Victory Fund, National Women’s Political Caucus, Our Revolution, WA State, and National, Planned Parenthood Votes, SEAMEC, Sierra Club, Swinomish Tribal Community, Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs (WACOPS), Win With Women PAC, Washington Conservation Voters, The Cannabis Alliance, Carbon Washington, Tree PAC, Equal Rights Washington, Washington State Council of Firefighters, Aerospace Machinists Industrial District Lodge 751 (IAM 751), AFSCME Council 28/Washington Federation of State Employees, American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Washington, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587, IBEW Local 77, Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific (IBU), International Union of Operating Engineers Local 609 (IUOE Local 609), Washington State Nurses Association-PAC 5/22, Washington Housing Alliance Action Fund, Washington Interior Systems Local Union No. 41, Central Puget Sound Carpenters Local 30, and many others.
  10. MARALYN CHASE has not accepted campaign money or support from multinational pharmaceutical, oil and chemical corporations like Chevron, Merck, Phrma and Monsanto, or anti-union, education privatizers, Stand for Childrenunlike her opponent, Jesse Salomon, who has.
  11. *BONUS REASON* SENATOR MARALYN CHASE has not resorted to negative campaigning or smear tactics, unlike her opponent, Jesse Salomon and his wealthy backers, Stand for Children PAC, WA REALTORS PAC and the deceptively named “Democratic Friends,” which is funded by Friends of Cindy Ryu, Elect Jesse Salomon, and Elect Lauren Davis. At a recent forum, when asked if he would denounce the many deceitful mailers attacking Chase which have bombarded the 32ndLegislative District on his behalf, Salomon refused. (As did Ryu and Davis.)

 Experience Matters. Character Matters. Courage Matters.

Vote CHASE!

What others have said about Maralyn Chase:

“State Rep. Maralyn Chase (…) has been a dedicated liberal voice in the legislature for the past 16 years, fighting to double the estate tax to pay for student aid; pushing legislation to give local governments the ability to place a cap on condo conversions; and proposing quixotic (but righteous) environmental legislation, including a ban on petroleum-based plastic water bottles; a carbon tax; a ban on plastic bags, and a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers.

Chase’s unabashed liberalism (she testified in support of impeaching George Bush) will be a nice jolt to the Senate caucus, where proposals such as an effort to end big bank tax loopholes died last session.

(…) People laugh at her for being a crazy lefty, but two years after Chase introduced a global warming bill, Gregoire introduced it herself.”

 — PubliCola endorsement of Chase when she first ran for State Senate in 2010

RE-ELECT Maralyn Chase to State Senate, District 32!

 

(crossposted from https://suepeters4schoolboard.org/)

 

Stand for Children’s and WA Realtors’ suspicious campaign spending

According to the state Public Disclosure Commission, STAND FOR CHILDREN PAC spent $456,189.36 in 2018, much of it for “MAILER Independent expenditures” and “DIGITAL Ad Campaign Independent Expenditures.” Here’s a partial list of their expenditures.

Itemized expenditures: 456,189.36

…..

“Stand for Children  is a front for corporations, hedge funders and investment bankers who have thrown their wealth behind a national campaign to destroy teachers unions and privatize our public schools. Bill Gates, the Walmart family, New Profit venture fund, J P Morgan Chase, etc. have donated millions to SFC over the past 2-3 years, allowing it to expand to Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.” More about SFC here: http://parentsacrossamerica.org/parents-know-the-truth-about-stand-for-children/
You can see the candidates SFC supported in 2018 here.

This query page at the PDC website says that STAND FOR CHILDREN WASHINGTON PAC paid $32,250.00 to WA REALTORS PAC, in 2018.

WA REALTORS PAC, 2018

Cash contributions: 1,096,130.38
In-kind contributions: 90,878.50

Top 45 contributors to this campaign

Amounts shown are aggregate totals of cash and in-kind contributions.

Why is STAND FOR CHILDREN giving money to the realtors’ PAC?

WA REALTORS PAC spent  $1,697,622.64 in 2018.  What are they trying to buy?

Jesse Salomon, candidate for State Senate in the 32nd LD, is a beneficiary of spending by both these PACs. According to this PDC page, Salomon received:

Friends of Cindy Ryu, Elect Jesse Salomon and Elect Lauren Davis used the deceptive name, “Democratic Team” to hide their identities to contribute “Est 28K.”  All of these are listed under “Contributions to Salomon.” I wonder if it’s a campaign violation for other candidates to mis-identify themselves as ‘Democratic Team.”

Unlike her opponent, Senator Chase does not rely on deceptive negative ads, nor take the big bucks from Monsanto, Chevron, Merck and pro-charter school privatizers such as STAND FOR CHILDREN.

Realtor and pro-charter school PACs trying to buy a state senate seat for Jesse Salomon

In the 32nd Legislative District race between progressive incumbent Maralyn Chase and corporate Democrat Jesse Salomon, outside interests are spending big bucks and sending out attack ads against Chase. According to the Public Disclosure Commission’s data, Washington Realtors Political Action Committee and Stand for Children WA PAC (a charter schools PAC funded by billionaries) have donated over $37,000 each to Jesse Salmon’s campaign.

Top independent expenditures for/against this campaign

Independent expenditures are made by third parties without the candidate’s approval or collaboration.

Senator Chase is one of the most progressive members of the state senate.  Her record on civil rights, the environment, Single payer healthcare, affirmative action, environment and clean energy, keeping public schools public, and reproductive rights is outstanding. Unlike her opponent, Senator Chase does not take the big bucks from the oil, gas, and coal industry, and instead prioritizes the “health of our families, climate, and democracy over fossil fuel industry profits.” https://www.maralynchase.com/issues-2/

Scary, nutcase theories of Nathan Choi

The web page https://www.nathanchoiforjudge.org/ of Nathan Choi, candidate for Washington State Supreme Court, is filled with crazy conspiracy theories and misspellings.

Normally, such an unqualified and extremist candidate would be no concern against a competent sitting Supreme Court judge, Steven Gonzalez. But a poll indicates that Choi was in the lead. (Watch Justice Steve Gonzalez’s challenger run away from KIRO7’s Essex Porter on camera!.)

Here are some of the things Choi says on his webpage. I’m copying them at length here, in case Choi corrects the errors.

From https://www.nathanchoiforjudge.org/religion/

In the Begining [sic] since the time in Genesis, they have attempted to build a one world government. They attempted to reach the heavens by building the Tower of Babel which was gracefully destroyed during the time of Peleg. It was located in Babylon reminding me of Revelations 18 about the new Tower of Babel and the Babylonian System.

The Globalist Elites have built the Tower of Basel right next to the Gotthard Tunnel. Confirm this yourself. It’s located in Basel Switzerland. This tower is the head of their New World Order. It is the top of all the Private Central Banks across the world. Search this matter out. Please see the opening ceremony of that Gotthard Tunnel. For religious people, Revelations is about the current time and it states that this new Tower will Fall and its conspirators will be paid back double.

The final video below is the glue that puts it all together. Before watching, I ask that you say a prayer to block any hexes or vexes that are embedded in commercials of this video so they may return to the sender 7 fold. While viewing this, pause it often and verify facts. A fair Judge will hear both what is presented and other narratives of the same set of facts. A fair judge must consider all the evidence and reach a conclusion based on credible evidence.

From https://www.nathanchoiforjudge.org/union-members-immigration:

First of all, Nathan Choi does NOT support illegal entry into the United States. It makes no sense for a union to ask you to vote for open borders. Don’t Illegals work for less and take jobs away? 1 plus 1 does not equal 3. The population is not dumb to figure that illegals take jobs away? Could it be that immigration is being framed for a more sinister motive? After practicing immigration law for about 20 years, I can safely tell you immigration is not a Republican or Democrat issue. you must look at this from a freedom vs oppression point of view. The People vs the Globalist Elites.

One of the best ways to implement their end goal is through mass immigration, by blending the people of developed countries with famished ones to cause social disorder resulting in their New World Order, a One World Government solution. Cause the Problem to obtain a Reaction and implement a preconceived Solution…..

From https://www.nathanchoiforjudge.org/9-11-truth/:

Did you know there were a group of young adults that flew in from abroad to film the incident, cheered, and popped champagne after the plane hit? The FBI caught them and let them return to Isreal [sic] where they went on air admitting that they knew it was going to fall and flew in to film it.

From https://www.nathanchoiforjudge.org:

A Rothchild once stated that he cares not which puppet is the leader of the country. He who owns the money is the true ruler through donating/bribing its leaders. When you are a multi-Trillionaire who has partial ownership of every central bank on earth (except 3 click here to learn more) you can do anything you want through threat or bribe. This system enriches only their cronies AND is the true source of misery on earth, the lack of funds for important projects, and other social problems we face in our nation/world. If you watched the videos above, you can see how a global cabal of CEOs, Presidents, Congressmen, and unfortunately Judges can do this.

 

Please vote for Steven Gonzalez for Supreme Court.

Steve and Connie Ballmer’s political contributions

I downloaded from the state Public Disclosure Commission a database listing contributions to political campaigns and initiatives. The database is for direct contributions to candidates and initiative campaigns. It excludes independent expenditures. So the data shown below are incomplete, but still, I hope, enlightening.

You can see in the table below that the Ballmers donated a lot of money to support gun control and to support charter schools. Stand for Children is a charter school promoter. (Part of the aim of the charter school movement is to destroy public education by “monetizing” it, in order to enrich entrepreneurs.)

Integrity WA appears to be the same things as Rodney Tom’s Judicial Integrity WA PAC, whose 2016 donations are listed here on the PDC website. That PAC and a similar one, Judicial Integrity Washington, are funded by rich Washingtonians including Kemper Freeman. See this article, which also discusses Citizens for Working Courts, which was funded by the Ballemers, Paul Allen and Bill Gates.

You can below that most of the Ballmers’ contributions to individual candidates were to Democrats: the middle-of-the-road (“Road Kill”) Democrats who supported charter schools. Perhaps the Ballmers knew that the Republicans were already on their side, so there was no need to give money to them.

Interesting that the only Republican supported was Steve Litzow, whose charter school bill passed in 2016 with help from the Road Kill Democrats.

FILER_NAME FIRST_NAME LAST_NAME AMOUNT CONTRIBUTOR_NAME OFFICE LEGISLATIVE_DISTRICT PARTY BALLOT_NUMBER FOR_OR_AGAINST
ALLIANCE FOR GUN RESPONSIBILITY ERP COMM ALLIANCE FOR GUN RESPONSIBILITY ERP COMM 500,000.0 BALLMER STEVEN 1491 For
STAND FOR CHILDREN WA PAC STAND FOR CHILDREN WA PAC 500,000.0 BALLMER CONNIE
INTEGRITY WA INTEGRITY WA 250,000.0 BALLMER CONNIE 1464 For
INTEGRITY WA INTEGRITY WA 250,000.0 BALLMER CONNIE 1464 For
WA CHARTERS ACTION PAC WA CHARTERS ACTION PAC 125,000.0 BALLMER CONNIE
WA CHARTERS ACTION PAC WA CHARTERS ACTION PAC 125,000.0 BALLMER STEVE
CHILDRENS CAMPAIGN FUND CHILDRENS CAMPAIGN FUND 85,000.0 BALLMER CONNIE E
CHILDRENS CAMPAIGN FUND CHILDRENS CAMPAIGN FUND 85,000.0 BALLMER STEVEN A
CIT FOR WORKING COURTS ENTERPRISE WA CIT FOR WORKING COURTS ENTERPRISE WA 12,500.0 BALLMER CONNIE
CIT FOR WORKING COURTS ENTERPRISE WA CIT FOR WORKING COURTS ENTERPRISE WA 12,500.0 BALLMER STEVEN
WA ALLIANCE FOR GUN RESPONSIBILITY VICTORY FUND WA ALLIANCE FOR GUN RESPONSIBILITY VICTORY FUND 12,500.0 BALLMER STEVEN
WA ALLIANCE FOR GUN RESPONSIBILITY VICTORY FUND WA ALLIANCE FOR GUN RESPONSIBILITY VICTORY FUND 12,500.0 BALLMER CONNIE
CIT FOR PROGRESS ENTERPRISE WA CIT FOR PROGRESS ENTERPRISE WA 12,500.0 BALLMER CONNIE
YES FOR VETS AND HUMAN SERVICES YES FOR VETS AND HUMAN SERVICES 12,500.0 BALLMER CONNIE 1 For
YES FOR VETS AND HUMAN SERVICES YES FOR VETS AND HUMAN SERVICES 12,500.0 BALLMER STEVEN 1 For
CIT FOR PROGRESS ENTERPRISE WA CIT FOR PROGRESS ENTERPRISE WA 12,500.0 BALLMER STEVEN
INSLEE JAY R JAY INSLEE 2000.0 BALLMER CONNIE E GOVERNOR DEMOCRAT
CHILDRENS CAMPAIGN FUND CHILDRENS CAMPAIGN FUND 1250.0 BALLMER STEVEN A
CHILDRENS CAMPAIGN FUND CHILDRENS CAMPAIGN FUND 1250.0 BALLMER CONNIE
SULLIVAN PATRICK J PATRICK SULLIVAN 1000.0 BALLMER STEVE STATE REPRESENTATIVE 47 DEMOCRAT
MORRIS JEFFREY R JEFFREY MORRIS 1000.0 BALLMER CONNIE STATE REPRESENTATIVE 40 DEMOCRAT
MORRIS JEFFREY R JEFFREY MORRIS 1000.0 BALLMER STEVEN A STATE REPRESENTATIVE 40 DEMOCRAT
SPRINGER LAWRENCE S LAWRENCE SPRINGER 1000.0 BALLMER STEVE STATE REPRESENTATIVE 45 DEMOCRAT
MULLET MARK D MARK MULLET 1000.0 BALLMER CONNIE STATE SENATOR 05 DEMOCRAT
SAWYER DAVID J DAVID SAWYER 1000.0 BALLMER STEVE STATE REPRESENTATIVE 29 DEMOCRAT
SAWYER DAVID J DAVID SAWYER 1000.0 BALLMER CONNIE STATE REPRESENTATIVE 29 DEMOCRAT
TOM RODNEY RODNEY TOM 1000.0 BALLMER STEVEN STATE SENATOR 48 DEMOCRAT
TOM RODNEY RODNEY TOM 1000.0 BALLMER CONNIE STATE SENATOR 48 DEMOCRAT
SULLIVAN PATRICK J PATRICK SULLIVAN 1000.0 BALLMER CONNIE E STATE REPRESENTATIVE 47 DEMOCRAT
LITZOW STEPHEN R STEPHEN LITZOW 1000.0 BALLMER STEVEN A STATE SENATOR 41 REPUBLICAN
HOBBS STEVEN R STEVEN HOBBS 1000.0 BALLMER CONNIE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR DEMOCRAT
KAGI RUTH LECOCQ RUTH LECOCQ KAGI 1000.0 BALLMER CONNIE STATE REPRESENTATIVE 32 DEMOCRAT
LYTTON KRISTINE C KRISTINE LYTTON 1000.0 BALLMER STEVEN A STATE REPRESENTATIVE 40 DEMOCRAT
LYTTON KRISTINE C KRISTINE LYTTON 1000.0 BALLMER CONNIE E STATE REPRESENTATIVE 40 DEMOCRAT
SENN TANA D TANA SENN 1000.0 BALLMER CONNIE STATE REPRESENTATIVE 41 DEMOCRAT
KAGI RUTH LECOCQ RUTH LECOCQ KAGI 1000.0 BALLMER CONNIE STATE REPRESENTATIVE 32 DEMOCRAT
MULLET MARK D MARK MULLET 1000.0 BALLMER STEVEN STATE SENATOR 05 DEMOCRAT
LITZOW STEPHEN R STEPHEN LITZOW 1000.0 BALLMER CONNIE E STATE SENATOR 41 REPUBLICAN
CLIBBORN JUDITH R JUDITH CLIBBORN 1000.0 BALLMER CONNIE E STATE REPRESENTATIVE 41 DEMOCRAT
CLIBBORN JUDITH R JUDITH CLIBBORN 1000.0 BALLMER STEVEN A STATE REPRESENTATIVE 41 DEMOCRAT
HOBBS STEVEN R STEVEN HOBBS 1000.0 BALLMER STEVEN LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR DEMOCRAT
SPRINGER LAWRENCE S LAWRENCE SPRINGER 1000.0 BALLMER CONNIE E STATE REPRESENTATIVE 45 DEMOCRAT
PETTIGREW ERIC ERIC PETTIGREW 1000.0 BALLMER STEVEN A STATE REPRESENTATIVE 37 DEMOCRAT
PETTIGREW ERIC ERIC PETTIGREW 1000.0 BALLMER CONNIE STATE REPRESENTATIVE 37 DEMOCRAT
HABIB CYRUS CYRUS HABIB 950.0 BALLMER CONNIE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR DEMOCRAT
HABIB CYRUS CYRUS HABIB 950.0 BALLMER STEVEN LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR DEMOCRAT
PODLODOWSKI TINA M TINA PODLODOWSKI 500.0 BALLMER STEVEN SECRETARY OF STATE DEMOCRAT
PODLODOWSKI TINA M TINA PODLODOWSKI 500.0 BALLMER CONNIE SECRETARY OF STATE DEMOCRAT
CORNELL ADAM W ADAM CORNELL 500.0 BALLMER CONNIE COUNTY PROSECUTOR DEMOCRAT

Should a progressive vote for Adam Smith or for Sarah Smith in the 9th CD?

I’m on the fence about whether to vote for Adam Smith or Sarah Smith for Congress this year.

In short, Adam Smith has more experience, will have more power if elected,  has a decent but mixed voting record, and has moved left as his district has become more progressive. Sarah Smith would more strongly work to rein in military spending and to enact progressive change.  Sarah, however, has no experience in elected office. Moreover, she is a dues paying member of the Democratic Socialists — a party that is significantly to the left of where I’m comfortable.

Adam Smith is a 21 year old veteran of Congress, where he is the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Service Committee.

His voting record is mixed.  He voted to approve the invasion of Iraq, for the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, and against an amendment to restrict the NSA from collecting phone records of Americans even in the absense of suspected crimes.    He voted against the Protect America Act of 2007 but for the 2001 Patriot Act and for extending the George W. Bush administrations warrantless wiretapping program. (source)

Earlier this month, Smith spoke at the Defense News Conference in Arlington, VA, and said that the defense budget is unsustainable (source: Democratic control of House could mean more ‘rational’ defense budget).

An expert or military official testifies at hearings and “scares the hell out of us by saying there’s this huge massive threat … We are hopelessly outgunned, outmanned, everything is falling apart we’re all going to die, basically,” Smith said. “All part of an effort to get us to spend a massive amount of money on any one of a thousand different things.”

Smith said Democrats will look at how they can, within a reasonable budget, manage risk while also prioritizing other factors that make a country “safe, secure and prosperous” like paying down debt and fixing infrastructure.

“The biggest problem I feel that we’ve had is, because we get this ‘Oh my God we have to cover everything [mindset],’ we wind up covering nothing well and that leaves the men and women who serve us in a position where they are not properly trained, properly equipped to meet all the missions we want them to meet,” he said. “It’s a complete impossibility to meet all the missions that we dream up.”

Smith’s congressional district used to be further south, encompassing the Lewis-McChord military bases near Olympia.  Now it has moved north to include areas of Seattle and south-eastern suburbs.  These areas are more liberal, and Smith has moved to the left to accommodate his changed district.

He is the chair of the political action committee of the centrist New Democratic Coalition, but he recently joined the Progressive Caucus.

I’ve attended many of Adam Smith’s town halls and debates. He speaks forcefully and eloquently for progressive taxation, environmentalism, women’s rights, immigrant rights, and various other progressive concerns. He strongly opposes Trump.

I heard Adam and Sarah debate last month at an event in Bellevue. Sarah spoke well and seems qualified, despite her lack of political experience.

In the primary, Adam Smith led with 48.4% of the votes. Progressive Democrat Sarah Smith (26.9%) edged out Republican Doug Basler (24.7%).  This is an indication of how strongly Democratic the district is, and, perhaps, of the coming blue wave in November.

A large number of Democratic organizations and politicians, as well as womens’,  environmental, and labor groups have endorsed Adam Smith.  See this list.  The Washington State Progressive Caucus endorsed Sarah Smith, as did Justice Democrats, Brand New Congress, The Stranger, and various incarnations of Our Revolution.

Adam Smith is taking no chances and is actively campaigning.

Sarah Smith, who has no experience in elected office, calls herself a democratic socialist. Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez call themselves democratic socialists as well. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Sarah Smith.

Sarah Smith is a Justice Democrat and a dues paying member of the Democratic Socialists. Here are some quotations from this interview in The Stranger:

Justice Democrats are Democrats who have pledged not to take corporate money.

If you look at the Democratic Socialists of America platform, it’s really not far off from the Washington State Democratic Party platform. But one of the key differences is Democratic Socialists believe in both a social and an economic democracy, not just a social democracy.

I’m not sure what that means, but the website of the Democratic Socialists of America, says, in What is Democratic Socialism?:

Democratic socialists do not want to create an all-powerful government bureaucracy. But we do not want big corporate bureaucracies to control our society either. Rather, we believe that social and economic decisions should be made by those whom they most affect.

Today, corporate executives who answer only to themselves and a few wealthy stockholders make basic economic decisions affecting millions of people. Resources are used to make money for capitalists rather than to meet human needs. We believe that the workers and consumers who are affected by economic institutions should own and control them.

Social ownership could take many forms, such as worker-owned cooperatives or publicly owned enterprises managed by workers and consumer representatives. Democratic socialists favor as much decentralization as possible. While the large concentrations of capital in industries such as energy and steel may necessitate some form of state ownership, many consumer-goods industries might be best run as cooperatives.

Democratic socialists have long rejected the belief that the whole economy should be centrally planned. While we believe that democratic planning can shape major social investments like mass transit, housing, and energy, market mechanisms are needed to determine the demand for many consumer goods.

This is further to the left than most progressives, because it does propose social ownership of wealth (worker control).  Democratic socialism is socialism.

As I say write in Socialism, even democratic socialism, is quite different from progressivism, Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are probably incorrect to call themselves democratic socialists. They are, in fact, social democrats (i.e., New Deal liberals). They are OK with private corporations, provided they’re adequately taxed, regulated, and balanced by an activist government. Think Denmark and Norway, not Venezuela.

I emailed Sarah Smith to ask her whether she’s really a Democratic Socialist. I haven’t heard from her yet. I presume she is a real socialist.

As reported in this article in the Bellevue Reporter:

Her specific criticisms of Rep. Smith have largely consisted of his willingness to take campaign donations from big corporations — especially firms in the defense industry — and several of his foreign-policy related votes, such as his vote for the invasion of Iraq in 2001 and a more recent vote against an amendment that would have banned the U.S. from selling cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia.

Rep. Smith has vigorously contested the narrative that he’s a faux-progressive. While he has said that his vote for the Iraq war was a mistake, Smith points to his sponsorship of a bill that would ban mandatory detention for undocumented immigrants and another that would nationalize health insurance across the country.

Rep. Smith also notes his early endorsement of the successful $15 minimum wage ballot initiative in SeaTac, and his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as evidence of both his lefty credentials and ability to bring home the bacon for his district. His endorsement list reads like a who’s who of regional progressive heavyweights and influential interest groups, such as Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, and a slew of assorted labor unions and Democratic organizations.

Yesterday I got a text message from one of Adam Smith’s campaign aides asking me whether I wanted to volunteer for his campaign. I responded that I’m leaning towards voting for Sarah Smith because she would be more likely to vote against Pentagon waste, corruption and war-mongering. The aide asked me if I would want to speak to Adam Smith. I didn’t respond, but an hour later I got a phone call from Adam Smith.

Adam (who knows me from town hall events, debates, and my writing) said that if the Democrats take over control of the House, he will be chair of the House Committee on Armed Services, where he will have a lot of power to enact reform. If Sarah Smith wins, she will have much less power, though she can vote against military budgets.

I quoted to him from a sheet “Adam Smith on the Issues” that was distributed to the 41st LD Democrats yesterday.  In the section on National Security, it says:

As the highest-ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, Adam knows that having a strong military is paramount to out national security. He is committed to ensuring that the men and women serving in the military have the resources that they need to respond to threats quickly and effectively. [So far, this sounds quite pro-military.]  At the same time, Adam recognizes that any military resources devoted to dealing with the range of global threats must be paired with strong civil and diplomatic efforts. Adam is also dedicated to ensuring that all veterans get the care they need and deserve, from health services to job opportunities once they leave the service.

The section of Adam Smith’s website on National Security says similar things.

I told Adam that the blurb makes no mention of the tremendous waste, secrecy and fraud in the military budget, or about the destruction wrought by military adventurism.

Adam acknowledged that the budget is too high (“unsustainable”).   He still believes that soldiers should have the resources they need to respond to threats, but thinks that the military is spread too thin and needs to be more selective about threats it engages.  He says this year, finally, if all things go well, the military budget will be audited. (He has said that at several town halls and debates.) He also suggested that he’d edit the blurb on National Security.

He said he spoke two weeks ago at the Defense News Conference (where he apparently spoke for 20 minutes with a Defense News reporter at a fireside chat) and also at the Reagan Defense Forum (page removed). He told them that the defense budget is too high. Republicans then pounced on his words to say that if Democrats gain control of the House, the military budget would be threatened.

He wanted to make clear that he is not in favor of drastic (e.g., 50%) cuts in the military budget, as some people propose. There are real threats: ISIS, for example, and Yemen. And we don’t want China blocking shipping traffic in the South China Sea. Of course, we don’t need a 350 destroyer (?) navy to defend against that, he said.

He also pointed to the threat of Russia invading Estonia and Ukraine.

When I suggested that the U.S. and NATO should not have surrounded and threatened Russia, he agreed. He mentioned the late University of Washington professor Brewster Denny, who said the U.S. made a mistake by antagonizing Russia, leading to the rise of Putin.

I said that the U.S. created many of the threats we’re facing (e.g., anti-Americanism in the Middle East, the mujahedin in Afghanistan — I should have added Sadaam Hussein and radical Iran) by our meddling in foreign affairs, he agreed.  And I pointed to Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinians and the U.S. backing of Israel.

He said he works with progressives including Barbara Lee and Jim McGovern on military issues.

He said that there’s one thing he agrees with Donald Trump on: it’s better if the U.S, has peaceful, cooperative relations with Russia.  But, he said, Trump’s reasons are wrong: he’s in Putin’s pocket. I agreed with him about Trump’s reasons being and wrong and said that it’s a shame that Fox News and the GOP are now the ones attacking the Deep State, even if they’re doing so for the wrong reasons. He said that Trump is attacking the FBI more than the Pentagon. We agreed that things are a disastrous mess in D.C.

I am still on the fence and expect, in any case, that Adam Smith will win easily.

 

Stop the so-called Freedom Foundation from bringing bigot Dinesh D’Souza to Bellevue

I got this email from the Northwest Accountability Project. D’Souza sure is a despicable bigot. I don’t think it’s “censorship” to oppose his appearance. I do not propose denying his free speech rights. I just oppose giving him a platform to spread his disgusting views.

The Freedom Foundation has sunk to a new low. Their annual fundraising event is scheduled for later this month and they’ve chosen outspoken bigot Dinesh D’Souza as their keynote speaker. We’re calling on the Hilton Bellevue, the hotel hosting the scheduled September 28 fundraiser, to respect workers and the community, and cancel D’Souza’s appearance.

D’Souza is a convicted felon who has been pardoned by President Donald Trump. D’Souza has made millions from his racist, homophobic, misogynistic, and anti-working class writings and movies. He opposes the Civil Rights Act, called President Obama a “boy” from “the ghetto,” said that American slaves were treated “pretty well”. In college, as the editor of the student newspaper, he publicly outed LGBTQ students without their permission. He was even deemed too radical for CPAC, the annual gathering of Republican ideologues, after he repeatedly mocked teenage survivors of mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

He may be too extreme for most conservatives, but according to the Freedom Foundation’s CEO Tom McCabe, he’s the “perfect fit for the Freedom Foundation.” For once, we agree with McCabe’s assessment.
The Freedom Foundation may endorse his brand of bigotry, but our community businesses should not give a platform to this kind of intolerant hate mongering.
D’Souza is an extremist provocateur whose hateful rhetoric is inconsistent with our shared Northwest values. By choosing D’Souza as their keynote speaker, the Freedom Foundation have shown us all their true colors. Will you join us in taking a stand against the Freedom Foundation and D’Souza? Tell Hilton to cancel D’Souza today.

In solidarity,

The team at the Northwest Accountability Project