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The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

November 4, 2013 at 3:47 PM

Sawant’s ambush attempt fails when Seattle City Council members use second door

Take it from someone whose job includes ambushing politicians with uncomfortable questions: you must always watch for the second door.

Seattle City Council candidate Kshama Sawant failed to do that this afternoon, dooming her plan to ask current council members entering their regularly scheduled meeting to sign a pledge to  increase the minimum wage.

Sawant and several supporters were waiting, oversized pledge in hand, outside council chambers as the 2 p.m. meeting start time approached, arrived and ticked past.

“Somehow they found another way to go inside,” campaign director Philip Locker breathlessly announced two minutes after 2, adding, “they have a secret door!”

The group then hurried inside to speak during public testimony.

The spectacle capped an unusual election eve event by Sawant, a socialist who is challenging longtime councilmember Richard Conlin.

The media event was billed as a challenge to the council members, as well as Mayor Mike McGinn and his rival, state Sen. Ed Murray. Reporters were invited to come at 1 p.m. and told that McGinn, Murray and at least two council members would respond to the challenge.

Only one reporter showed up (me). The event did not start until after 1:30 p.m. I was told that we were waiting for a KIRO-TV reporter, and later told that she couldn’t make it, after all.

Sawant spoke briefly (“the city is abuzz with the demand for $15 an hour,” she said), following three supporters. Then they waited for the council members who never came.

McGinn and Murray didn’t come, either.

Emails to spokesmen for both campaigns, asking about the promised “response” to the challenge, yielded only affirmations of previously stated positions.

“The mayor has previously said that he supports raising the minimum wage and looks forward working with the city council to do so,” wrote McGinn spokesman Aaron Pickus.

“Ed continues to stand by that commitment (to work to increase the minimum wage),” wrote Murray spokesman Sandeep Kaushik.

0 Comments | More in 2014 elections, Seattle City Council | Topics: ed murray, kshama sawant, mike mcginn

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