The public’s business
The Washington Coalition for Open Government (WashCOG) announced on Jan. 6 that it would pursue a lawsuit against the state’s redistricting commission for allegedly violating open meetings laws after the Washington Supreme Court declined to hear the case.
The lawsuit argues that the commission “engaged in secret negotiations to draft and come to agreement about proposed legislative and congressional district maps” in violation of the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA), according to a public release. The law dictates how public bodies and agencies must conduct public business so that those impacted have a window into deliberative processes and the ability to comment on proposals.
The suit also asks that the court void the maps.
WashCOG originally sued the Redistricting Commission in Thurston County Superior Court in December, according to the Seattle Times.
A neo-Nazi leader and Washingtonian was sentenced to seven years in prison on Jan. 11 for threatening and intimidating journalists and advocates who outed anti-Semitism.
Kaleb Cole, 25, was active in Atomwaffen Division, an organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as a “series of terror cells that work toward civilizational collapse.” A federal jury found him guilty of one count of interfering with a federally protected activity because of religion, three counts of mailing threatening communications and one count of conspiring with others in his organization to commit three other offenses against the United States, according to a release from the Department of Justice.
Cole and other members of Atomwaffen sent threatening posters to the homes of journalists and advocates. In some cases, they affixed the posters directly to the victims’ homes. The posters had images such as “a hooded figure preparing to throw a Molotov cocktail at a house,” according to the Department of Justice.
Three other co-conspirators already pleaded guilty and have been sentenced.
Don’t lie to me
An investigation by the Office of Police Accountability (OPA) found that Seattle Police Department officers had executed an “improper ruse” when they spread misinformation about a fictitious group of Proud Boys heading toward the Capitol Hill Organized Protest on June 8.
Police officers put out false information over the radio, which was being monitored by people supporting the protest. They claimed that a group of Proud Boys, a rightwing extremist group, was headed toward Cal Anderson Park, where protesters had congregated.
OPA investigated after inquiries by Converge Media’s Omari Salisbury for body camera footage that SPD could not produce.
Ashley Archibald is the editor of Real Change News.
Read more of the Jan. 12-18, 2022 issue.