Thanksgiving is just one day away. As relatives begin to arrive and people begin to prep meals, we here at SHIFT thought we’d bring you some comic relief to all the holiday stress. And, where better to look for comedy than Seattle politics? SHIFT presents, the top five most ridiculous quotes courtesy of Seattle politicians.
1. Back in August, Councilmember Nick Licata evidently forgot that he was a local official, and wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner which demanded that Congress call for a “public briefing on the tragic bombings of UN facilities in Gaza.” The purpose of the public briefing “would be to determine if innocent deaths could have been avoided and, if so, whether the U.S. bears some responsibility.”
Obviously, there’s nothing funny about the violence in the Middle East – but the sheer hubris of Councilman Licata thinking that anyone in the U.S. Congress cared one wit about his foreign policy views – especially when he advocates surrendering U.S. sovereignty to the United Nations.
Licata wrote that “Our culpability could stem from the recognition that the U.S. funds a substantial portion of Israel’s military budget… I believe Congress should work in partnership with the UN by conducting an investigation as to why there have been such a high number of civilian casualties in Gaza… The investigation should not be conducted with any political agenda, but should instead be an audit of how U.S. foreign aid may be a contributing factor in the Gaza crisis.
2. Councilmember Sally Bagshaw—championing a new parks levy—stated her opinion on whether or not Seattle is suffering from tax fatigue in May. She said, “I hear it everywhere I go now… People keep asking why we’re doing all this. They ask: ‘How much more can you send at us? How much more can we take?’ ”
Bagshaw then predicted “a bleak future if the parks department must scrape by on its regular $135 million (!) annual operating budget” and issued a “pass the levy or I’ll shoot this puppy” electioneering threat. She said, “You like your pottery class, your yoga class, and computer classes? Too bad. You won’t get more than you have now, maybe less.”
3. Councilmembers Kshama Sawant and Bruce Harrell don’t care for Christopher Columbus. And, they certainly did not appreciate the fact that Columbus had a national holiday named after him. So, they did something about it. Sawant and Harrell decided to use the Council’s time to introduce a resolution to change the federally recognized Columbus Day to “National Indigenous People Day.” Here’s what the resolution stated,
“The City of Seattle has a responsibility to oppose the systematic racism towards Indigenous people in the United States, which perpetuates high rates of poverty and income inequality, exacerbating disproportionate health, education, and social crises.”
In case you were wondering, the resolution passed with flying colors. Evidently, the Seattle Council – and all Democrat legislators from the city – forgot in their rush to extreme political correctness that the state Legislature had established, earlier in the year, a day for recognizing Washington State’s native population, as suggested by President Barack Obama.
4. Prior to participating in the annual May Day protests herself, Councilmember Kshama Sawant issued a statement calling for non-violent protests. Unfortunately, the socialist choose to follow up her weak call for peace with highly inflammatory statements that generally define her feelings of animosity toward Seattle’s police and businesses. Sawant said,
“At the same time, all working people are under attack. The corporations and the super-wealthy are celebrating billions in profits while the rest of us face skyrocketing poverty and inequality…
And we are fighting back… We must rely on our own strength…
I also oppose the provocative statements and actions of the Seattle Police Department in relation to May 1st. The Seattle Police are acting in a repressive, anti-democratic manner along with the corporate owned mass media who are attempting to whip up a polarized state of fear. The Seattle Police have an unfortunate track record of violence and cracking down on activists and using pepper spray indiscriminately…”
Sure sounds like Sawant is just a peace-loving socialist to us.
5. Because Councilmember Sawant has provided great entertainment in the past year, we can’t help but wrap this list up with what is, arguably, her most-defining moment. Less than a year ago, Sawant was attending a rally to support machinists’ rejection of Boeing’s new contract deal and let the world know how a socialist would run a multi-billion dollar company, displaying her ignorance on basic economics and how planes are built. Ladies and gentlemen, Kshama Sawant:
“The only response we can have if Boeing executives do not agree to keep the plant here is for the machinists to say the machines are here, the workers are here, we will do the job, we don’t need the executives. The executives don’t do the work, the machinists do… We can re-tool the machines to produce mass transit like buses, instead of destructive, you know, war machines… It’s the workers, the machinists who have their talent and their hard work and their ingenuity that generates all these profits… We don’t need the executives; we need Boeing to be under democratic, public ownership by workers, by the community… And why should we get military contracts… Let’s redo the machines to build mass transit and help society.”
While campaigning for King County’s Proposition 1 last April, Democrat Bellevue Mayor Claudia Balducci attempted to make a joke when reporters asked her what would happen if the ballot measure failed. She said, “That’s why we’ve come up with this back-up plan, a Lake Washington zip line.”
Well, joke’s on her. King County voters called the bluff of Prop 1 prompters like Balducci and said “NO.” And, we now know that King County Metro officials were not exactly honest about the threats they made to voters. Looks like no one will have to be zip lining across Lake Washington after all.
But, if Ms. Balducci wants to try crossing the lake in that manner, rather than waiting for the next huge Sound Transit tax increase she will be supporting, we wish her well.
Happy Thanksgiving from all at Shift!