As I pointed out yesterday, it looks like Seattle has elected Bruce Harrell as their new mayor. Outgoing mayor Jenny Durkan gave an interview to King 5 yesterday in which she described the reasons she ultimately decided not to run for reelection. Durkan explained there were multiple death threats aimed at her and her family, at least two of which have led to arrests. She says the turning point came when socialist City Council member Kshama Sawant (pictured above) led a protest in front of her home.
Councilmember Kshama Sawant went so far as to lead a march to Durkan’s home – her address was hidden by state statute due to her prior career as a U.S. attorney. Durkan’s home was vandalized.
That single act may have changed her life, especially as there were death threats made not only to her but to her entire family.
Before the march, Durkan said she and her family could take comfort knowing that the people who threatened her didn’t know where she lived. That all changed when people were led to her house…
The marches to her home continued, as did the death threats and malicious emails.
Durkan has some personal experience that caused her to be concerned about the threats against her and her family. In 2001, US Attorney Thomas Wales was murdered in his home in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle. His case has never been solved despite a reward of $2.5 million for information that leads to a conviction. Durkan, who was a US attorney herself, knew Wales and tells King 5 that put the threats against her in a different perspective.
Did Sawant know what she was doing when she led an angry mob to Durkan’s previously unknown doorstep? Durkan believes so. “She did it knowing the harm that could be done,” she said. As for Sawant, she never received any reprimand or punishment for her actions from other members of the city council.
“We can’t continue and survive as a democracy if that is what happens because good people won’t want to serve,” she said.
The city council has done nothing in regard to the mayor’s privacy, she said. She said there should be clear lines, and people need to know “some things just aren’t OK.”
The NY Times did do a story about the leftist trend of holding political protests at people’s homes but there really hasn’t been much pushback. I suspect that’s because many of the people using this tactic are far left activists. You can imagine how the media would respond if Trump supporters were showing up at homes, shouting at people and leaving threatening graffiti behind.
Finally, it’s worth noting that, as much as I do sympathize with Durkan being targeted by a socialist mob outside her house, her own record isn’t much better. When a similar mob took over part of the city to set up the CHAZ/CHOP, Durkan downplayed it as a block party. How does she think the residents and businesses there felt about having that on their doorstep? It was only after several people were shot and killed that Durkan finally pushed the mob out and let Seattle PD restore order. Simply put, she’d be a lot more sympathetic if she’d been quicker to protect others from the same mob that wound up at her door.
Here’s the full interview with Mayor Durkan.