Councilwoman Kshama Sawant plays by her own strange and bewildering rules when

Councilwoman Kshama Sawant plays by her own strange and bewildering rules when it comes to dealing with the media – not to mention her colleagues on the Council, most of whom have had it up to here with her show-boating and her narcissistic delight in upstaging them at every turn.

As Councilmember Tim Burgess told me a few months ago, “She’s isolated herself and is not really a team player.” Another councilmember, who asked not to be identified, offered this assessment earlier this week, “She much prefers to march in a protest than actually do the work it takes to be a productive member of the City Council.”

Indeed, the fiery and often harsh rhetoric has grown tiresome. “It’s a lot of ranting and lecturing, like she’s reading from a handbook,” says David Meinert, owner of the Five Point Cafe, who served with Sawant on Mayor Ed Murray’s 24-member minimum wage advisory panel.

Clearly, Sawant believes Socialists should be treated in a different fashion than all other elected officials in the city. After all, she is doing the Lord’s work for the working man – and besides, her favorable rating is high (50 percent), according to a recent EMC poll. The poll, though, found she also has, by far, the highest unfavorable rating of any council member, 30 percent.

Her chief flack is a guy named Clay Showalter. He serves as palace guard. No one gets to Sawant without first getting through the tall gangly Showalter. Trying to get an interview on even most benign subject can take weeks. “We are scheduled out three or four weeks,” he told me today. “We have to turn down many, many interviews.” Seldom, though, do requests from the national press – who still find Sawant’s Socialist schtick newsworthy – go unanswered.

So when will she be available, I asked Showalter.





“OK, how about next week?”

“No, she’s completely booked up next week.”

“Next month?”

“I don’t know. We’ll see.”

“How about next year,” Clay?”

“I’m sorry, I have to go now. We need to prepare for the rally at Sea-Tac this afternoon on the minimum wage.”

Of course you do, Clay. Of course you do.