A new report from The Stranger revealed that the Recall Campaign is substantially funded by Republican donors. According to public records, 360+ Republican donors have donated to the Recall, including 100+ Trump donors. Can you help us raise $10,000 in the coming week to defend against this right-wing attack

The anti-union forces backing Recall Sawant

Who’s behind the right-wing Recall against Kshama Sawant? 

The Stranger highlighted just last week that the Recall is backed by donations from hundreds of Trump and Republican donors, including major Trump donors like George Petrie, who has given over $28,000 to Donald Trump and his affiliated MAGA PAC. But in addition to these hundreds of Republican donors, the Recall has found support among Washington’s most notorious union busters and other anti-union forces. 

We need to organize urgently against this right-wing, anti-worker recall! Whether you are a union or non-union worker, RSVP now to join together at the Labor for Sawant Rally & Doorknock on Sunday, July 18 @ 10 am in Cal Anderson Park. Let’s cover the streets of District 3 on July 18 and show that workers are organized to defeat the bosses’ recall attack.

The Recall’s donors include Richard Hedreen, an infamously anti-union hotel owner and property developer, who fought against attempts by workers to unionize in his hotels, pushing the hotel union UNITE HERE Local 8 to lead a boycott of his hotel in 2012. In 2017, Hedreen sued the city of Seattle over Initiative 124, which afforded hospitality workers more protection against sexual assault and harassment. 

The Recall’s donor list includes Morgan Battrell, the Head of Charter Schools for Amazon Business, which is in the “business” of busting teachers unions by replacing public education with non-union charter schools. Also on the list is Frank Shrontz, the former CEO of Boeing who oversaw one of the biggest layoffs in company history, eliminating over 36,000 jobs in a stunning attack on the International Association of Machinists (IAM). These attacks by Shrontz provoked the second and third largest strikes in Boeing history at the time.

The recall is also funded by outright union-busters like Jeannie Nordstrom, a member of the billionaire Nordstrom family and a maxed-out recall donor. In the 1990s, the Nordstroms’ company was convicted of using illegal union-busting tactics to drive the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) out of their Seattle-area Nordstrom stores. The union-busting Ramberg family has also donated to the recall. In 2018, Sterling Ramberg busted a union at The Gear Works, a unionized industrial repair shop in South Park, whose workers were organized with the machinists union IAM. Ramberg abruptly closed the shop and sold all of its assets to a non-union company, terminating every single employee, breaking the union, and taking off with the profits.

Stunningly, the Recall’s supporters also include no less than four plaintiffs recruited by the Freedom Foundation to mount a legal challenge against Seattle’s capital gains tax. This includes Craig Leuthold, owner of Maryhill Winery, and Suzie Burke, who is known as the “Land Baroness of Fremont”.

The Freedom Foundation is as deeply reactionary and anti-union as it gets. In 2018, it launched an offensive across California, Oregon, and Washington aiming to reduce union membership by 127,000. It makes a mission out of stealing lists of union members and using them to spread anti-worker corporate propaganda and sabotage organized labor. The organization is funded by the Koch and DeVos families (yes, as in Betsy DeVos), and their executive director Tom McCabe wrote that unions are “the single greatest threat to freedom and opportunity in America today.”

The Freedom Foundation wrote several articles attacking Kshama in 2014, both for fighting for a $15 minimum wage alongside the labor movement and for fighting to eliminate exploitative unpaid internships. And it’s no secret why anti-union forces like the Freedom Foundation are lining up to support the Recall now – they correctly recognize the Recall as not just an opportunity to attack Kshama, but a chance to strike a blow against all our progressive victories and the broader labor movement.

The Kshama Solidarity Campaign has been endorsed by 20 unions representing over 150,000 workers, and is supported by thousands of working-class donors and volunteers – nurses, teachers, tech workers, food service workers, and trade/construction workers make up our most common donor occupations

Working people must get organized if we are going to defeat the bosses’ police-backed recall attack. Union and non-union workers need to join together to defeat this attack on our movement. Join union activists and the Kshama Solidarity Campaign for a Labor for Sawant Rally & Doorknock on Sunday, July 18 @ 10 am in Cal Anderson Park. If you are not on Facebook, register to attend by signing our Labor Petition! 

The Recall against Kshama has deep pockets, and it’s supported by some of Washington’s most powerful business dynasties. That alone means defeating it will pose a significant challenge. But as decades of union organizing have shown us, working people are strongest when we stand together and fight, and we urgently need the unity and strength of our labor movement to win.

See you on July 18th @ 10am!

Until then, Kshama needs your solidarity. Please donate $50 right now to sustain the fight against the right-wing, anti-worker recall campaign.