Why we call the recall campaign “right-wing”

Published on March 5, 2021

As we’ve been warning, working people need to unite against the right-wing attempt to drive Councilmember Kshama Sawant out of office with a recall campaign. 

Our opposition has repeatedly complained about their campaign being called “right-wing.” They like to claim instead that their recall effort is made up of “concerned citizens” who simply object to Councilmember Sawant’s “divisive” approach.

But again and again the recall campaign shows it’s true colors through its donors and its actions, as well as those of its supporters.

Two of the four charges against Councilmember Sawant are against her support for Black Lives Matter. The recall campaign’s main charge in their public campaigning so far is the absurd claim that Kshama promoted “lawlessness” with her support for Black Lives Matter — an obviously racist attack on the movement.

Now, in a recent facebook post, SAFE Seattle — an anti-homeless organization which Publicola describes as “an online group that promotes conspiracy theories, false allegations, and harmful ‘solutions’ for Seattle’s homelessness crisis” — celebrates people who have ripped down posters put up by Kshama Solidarity Campaign volunteers because they inaccurately “smear” the recall campaign as right-wing. Against the frequent protestations against Kshama by this right-wing organization, which has been classified a hate group by local Democratic Party organizations, we stand by our characterization of the recall campaign as “right-wing.”

SAFE Seattle has company in their right-wing vitriol directed at Councilmember Sawant. The pro-Trump, far right Breitbart News Network agrees with SAFE Seattle that Councilmember Sawant needs to be stopped. Earlier this year they identified Kshama’s Twitter account, along with Colin Kaepernick’s, as needing to be silenced due to their support for Black Lives Matter. 

The recall campaign is shamelessly pandering to right-wing audiences. Just last week, the recall campaign manager, Henry Bridger II appeared on John Carlson’s radio show, who describes himself as “THE conservative voice in Seattle (interview starts about 20 minutes in).” 

You can tell a lot about a campaign by who’s funding it. And if you follow the money, you can see that the recall campaign’s direct appeals to the right-wing are clearly working. Just like during Kshama’s 2019 re-election campaign, numerous rich Republican donors are joining billionaires, top corporate executives, and big real-estate developers to spend big against the most consistent progressive to ever sit on Seattle’s City Council. 

These backers include Martin Selig, the billionaire Trump donor who maxed out for both his 2016 and 2020 presidential campaign and real estate mega-developer who rents to ICE. They also include dozens of major Republican donors, including wealthy Trump donors like Dennis Weibling, Vidur Luthra, and Greg Enell. And in addition to John Carlson, right-wing radio host Jason Rantz, who regularly attacks progressive movements like Black Lives Matter, published an hour-long segment titled “Recall Kshama Sawant,” saying that he’d like to sign the recall petition 14 times. 

It's no wonder that the recall campaign is keeping most of their donors anonymous. With a staggering 2,999 anonymous donations making up a whopping 70.6% of the recall campaign’s overall donors, it’s clear that many of the recall’s backers don’t want their odious reputations to rub off and further reveal the recall’s true character. 

The Kshama Solidarity Campaign is not funded by CEO backers or rich Republicans. We don’t accept a dime in corporate cash, and our donors are students, baristas, tech workers, grocery store clerks, and other working people. 

Whether you give $5 or $500, we know that each and every donation to our grassroots campaign represents a real sacrifice. Don’t let the right-wing silence Kshama, Black Lives Matter, and working people. Add your donation to the Kshama Solidarity Campaign today.