The Sawant recall: a tale of two campaigns

As the legal proceedings in the effort to recall District 3 City Council member Sawant begin to wind down, the election campaigns — both for and against recall — are spinning up. Over the last two months the “Recall Sawant” campaign and the “Kshama Solidarity” campaign have both formally organized, filed their paperwork, and begun furious fundraising. While there are many similarities between the two sides of the recall — including their use of mailchimp to send out regular missives demonizing their opponent while pleading for money (Recall Sawant, Kshama Solidarity) — their campaign finance filings reveal some stark differences …

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Petition to recall Mayor Durkan certified for signature collection

Last Friday a King County Superior Court judge certified, in part, a petition from a group attempting to recall Mayor Jenny Durkan because of her actions (and inaction) during the recent protests. The recall election process is similar in many ways to voter initiative and referendum processes, but it also has its own unique aspects. Let’s review the whole process, where the current effort stands, and what happens from here. (update: a couple of technical corrections made below based upon feedback from the city)

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What happens to voter initiatives during a pandemic?

You don’t have to read very far in the Washington State Constitution to understand the priority given to grassroots democracy. The second sentence in the Constitution reads: “All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.”  Article II doubles down on this idea, in an amendment adopted in 1911: The legislative authority of the state of Washington shall be vested in the legislature, consisting of a senate and house of representatives, which shall be called the legislature of the state …

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