Morning Fizz

King County Democrats Vice Chair Floats Idea of Island for the Homeless

Sounding like Trump, protesting Trump, and consulting for the chamber.

By Josh Feit August 30, 2016

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 1. It sounds like something Donald Trump would say. But it was the vice chair of the King County Democrats, Omaha Sternberg.

On KIRO radio’s Jason Rantz show, Sternberg proposed creating an “island city for homeless people” where they “could create their own community, their own district.”

Tweeting about it, she added: “NOT internment camp, NOT required. Just an idea to talk about.”

On the show, Sternberg described an island (served by a water taxi) where homeless people could set up tent cities that were safe from government sweeps. It would be “voluntary” and a “self-governing, society,” she said. “My thought about having an island,” she told Rantz (who pointed out that creating an island for the homeless wouldn’t get at the root cause of the problem…and, well…seemed kind of “cruel” and “offensive”) “is that it would provide a space where you wouldn’t constantly have wealthier people saying we want to build there right now. They would have their own space and no one would be able to remove them from it.”

The King County Democrats tweeted in response: “Folks, please note @omahas is speaking for herself, not for the King County Democrats.”

And sounding a bit like Trump lashing out at politically correct decorum, Sternberg tweeted:

“Twitter should be a place to discuss ideas, not hate on anyone for coming up with them.”

Of course, simply characterizing something as a noble stand against politically correct rules is a weak defense of wild ideas themselves, and doesn’t give you a free pass from having to defend the idea on its merits.

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2. Speaking of Trump. He’s holding a rally in Everett today at 4pm. The Washington State Democrats are holding a protest.

The Democrats sent out a press release declaring: “Community Leaders Will Lead a 'No Hate in Our State' Unity Rally/March to Denounce Donald Trump’s Dangerous and Divisive Campaign.”

Glumly editorializing here: But it’s a shame the GOP has nominated such a toxic presidential candidate where the debate between the two national parties has devolved to the matter of Trump’s racist ideology.

There’s a legitimate debate for the two major parties to have over economic policy—Obama and Romney had it in 2012—and that debate is healthy and informative for the country. But Trump’s odious fascist rhetoric has given the Democrats a pass on having to defend, describe, and articulate progressive policy and simply allowed them to run on necessary but elementary issues like denouncing white nationalism.  

3. With two key positions vacant on their communications staff, the Seattle Metro Chamber of Commerce has contracted with public relations consultant Roger Nyhus to do interim marketing and communications work.

Nyhus, who recently held a fundraiser for mayor Ed Murray (raising $25,000), is a chamber board member, which put him in a position to have an inside track on the contract.

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