Bellevue City Council candidate Steve Kasner, a Democrat, told a recent Democratic Party gathering he wants to be part of a “tsunami” that sweeps out a Republican majority on the officially nonpartisan council and helps turn the Eastside “absolutely blue.”
Kasner’s opponent, incumbent Kevin Wallace, has seized upon the recorded remarks as proof that Kasner is excessively partisan. Wallace, a Republican, has landed some important Democratic endorsements.
A portion of Kasner’s remarks to a well-attended Aug. 21 meeting of the 41st District Democrats, has been posted on You Tube by “Bob Smith.”
“I am only part of the tsunami that is going to rain down on those who do not have Democratic values,” Kasner declares in the two-minute video. “We have the opportunity to turn the purple Eastside absolutely blue.”
If he and another Democrat, Lynne Robinson, are elected, Kasner continues, “for the first time in the history of the city of Bellevue, it will be a Democratic majority.” Robinson is running for an open seat against Vandana Slatter, who unsuccessfully sought the King County Democrats’ endorsement that Robinson won.
Kasner also says in the video he was pleased that “none of the Neanderthals” on the council was on the way to re-election without an opponent.
Wallace said of Kasner’s remarks, “I think the voters in Bellevue don’t want partisanship on the City Council. . . . What they want is decisions that make their community more viable, and a fiscally responsible council. That’s what they have now.”
Kasner, chair of the East Bellevue Community Council, offered an apology for some of his language, including the word Neanderthals. “I apologize for some of the word choices I used in a partisan environment,” he said, “but the sentiment — fighting an incumbent from the perspective of where he and his supporters come from — is not something that I apologize for.”