The legislative logjam has broken

By nearly all measures, the first month of the new City Council was quiet. Sure, there were a couple of controversial but legally meaningless resolutions, and Council member Sawant has pushed through some carryover legislation from last year. But a lot of committee meetings got cancelled, and few new bills were introduced. It now appears that was the quiet before the storm — and the storm just made landfall.

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City Attorney and Director of Public Defense unite to call out municipal court judge on lack of impartiality and integrity (UPDATED)

In a rare moment of unity today, Anita Khandelwal, the Director of the King County Department of Public Defense, and Pete Holmes, the Seattle City Attorney, sent a joint letter to Seattle Municipal Court Presiding Judge Ed McKenna accusing him of violating the canons of judicial ethics, judicial bias, and undermining public confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary. UPDATE #2: A spokesperson for the City Attorney confirms that their letter should have said Safe Seattle instead of Speak Out Seattle. “It was a mistake and we regret the error.” I have corrected the name in the story below.

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City elected officials file their annual F-1 financial disclosure forms

Every April 15th, the eleven elected officials of the city (the Mayor, the City Attorney, and the nine City Council members) are required to file a financial disclosure form, detailing their households’ financial holdings and debts as well as their sources of income. Those reports are public records but the city doesn’t publish them; I request them every year and post them so we can all learn and understand whether any of them have financial interests that might affect the way their do their job.

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Ethics and Elections Commission dismisses ethics complaints against Sawant

Following my January article documenting the extent to which the political organization Socialist Alternative directs the actions of Council member Kshama Sawant in her official capacity as a City Council member, two (substantially similar) ethics complaints were filed with the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission: one by an anonymous District 3 voter, and one by District 3 Council candidate Logan Bowers.  This afternoon, SEEC Executive Director Wayne Barnett sent a letter to those parties (with copies to journalists, including myself) announcing that he is dismissing those complaints and explaining his reasoning.

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