King County Voter’s Guide Features Jew Hating Screed

“I’m now the first to blow the whistle on Seattle’s Jewish Mafia… I know who the enemy is, and I’m not afraid to stick it to ’em.” -David Blomstrom: King County Voter’s Guide

Do you worry about the “Jewish Mafia”? David Blomstrom does, and he’s eager to tell you about it. The problem is that Blomstrom propagates his Jew hating obsession at taxpayer’s expense. As a candidate running in Seattle School District 1 for the office of Director of Schools, Position 3, Blomstrom,shared his twisted platform in the King County Voter’s Guide (P.73) for the upcoming August 2015 primary.

While perusing the voter’s guide, David E. Behar of Seattle was jarred after stumbling across Blomstrom’s bizarre candidate statement. He immediately authored a letter to King County Councilmembers and the County Director of Elections. 

David E. Behar. Photo Credit: The Mike Report

David E. Behar. Photo Credit: The Mike Report

“I admittedly am not aware of where, legally, the line is drawn between political free speech and ‘hate speech’.  I suppose, logically, one can publicly (verbally or in print) attack a particular individual or organization, based on the specific and identifiable actions (or perceived actions) of that individual or organization.  I would think, however, that to cross a line and impugn an entire religion, race, people or nationality, without any qualification whatsoever, becomes something different – something unacceptable and immoral, if not illegal.   Further, (legal or not) would such speech be tolerated and published by the County were it directed toward other religious, ethnic or racial minorities.   Do you not have the right to censor what is clearly pure racist ‘hate speech’ or is it more a matter that, for some reason, Jews are ‘fair game’.

Can you honestly say or demonstrate that if comments similar to those of David Blomstrom (page 73, Voters’ Pamphlet) – casting the “Jews*” (not sure why the asterisk was included; perhaps some psychological ‘tic’ expressing itself on paper) and the ‘Jewish Mafia’ as being among the many enemies of the citizens of King County (he never actually identifies specifically who his collection of enemies are enemies of) – were directed against other religious, ethnic or racial groups that those comments would be published in a King County Voters’ Pamphlet?

Why should I or any of my co-religionists have to tolerate such hatred in a Voters’ Pamphlet.  As a Jew, I am sick of seeing my people maligned and sick of seeing my children (Blomstrom entreats the reader to ‘support your children’, perhaps the only glimpse of sanity in his ‘statement’) exposed to expressions of antisemitism on campus, in social media and in the public political forum.

Please explain to me how David Blomstrom’s racist comments are somehow acceptable for a King County publication and, along with that explanation (if you must justify or defend inclusion of the comments), please give me examples of where similar general, bigoted language has been included in previous publications relating to any other ethnic, religious or racial minority.

I look forward to your response.  I have copied all members of the King County Council on this transmittal and respectfully welcome their input.”

Behar received a speedy response from council member Rod Demobowski who acknowledged the offensive nature of Blomstrom’s comments.

“Thanks for pointing this out.  At council, every week, we are subjected the rantings of a racist, insane man, and the occasional homophobe as well.  Barring actual disruption of our meeting, the first amendment protects their hate speech. The voter’s guide is a “limited public forum” and some regulation of the scope of what is said is permissible. However, the government cannot regulate speech based on its content or message – even hate speech. Whether this candidate’s speech violated the rules, I don’t know.  I’ve copied Director Huff, asking her to respond.  

Thanks for raising an objection to this hate speech. Speaking up and speaking out in the face of hatred is the best way to combat it and exercise our own rights under the first amendment. Rod Dembowski; King County Councilmember.”

Director of King County Elections Sherill Huff was equally chagrined and extended to Behar her apologies at the offensive entry in the elections guide.

Sherril Huff; King County Director of Elections.

Sherril Huff; King County Director of Elections.

We do not ordinarily have language of such an extreme nature, however this election is the first for City of Seattle voters to elect by districts.  The number of filings (42) increased dramatically with a variety of candidates filing for office for the first time, some who perpetually attend council meetings in a disruptive manner. I have no other basis to explain the level of extreme language and in some cases behavior experienced for this election.

On a personal level I am deeply sorry. Sherill Huff, King County Director of Elections.”

Behar acknowledged the legitimate concerns regarding the impeding of free speech, and grants that it may be preferable to allow putrid views to be published and hence serve as a warning to voters. “It is a two edged sword.  If a candidate expresses his vile racism, we are very offended (naturally).  If we are successful in censoring his slander, we are inadvertently helping him look more legitimate in the eyes of the reader and he actually could get more traction.” 

Keith Dvorchik, President and CEO of Seattle’s Jewish Federation informed The Mike Report that his organization as well as local representatives of the Anti-Defamation League have expressed their concerns to county officials. Dvorchik noted that in response to complaints, King County deleted the “N word” which was previously included in Blomstorm’s written diatribe, but left his anti-Semitic remarks intact. Referring to King County election officials, Dvorchik shared that  “They are revisiting the process and procedure because it’s clearly flawed.” Dvorchik added, “This was incredibly offensive and anti-Semitic and they should have not hidden behind ‘freedom  of speech”   

David Blomstrom, not a fan of the Jews.

David Blomstrom, not a fan of the Jews.

The issue to Behar, is what he suspects is a double standard. “What bothers me is that I find it hard to believe they have never before received any candidate ‘statements’ that slander African Americans, Muslims, Hispanics, sexual minorities….  My suspicion is that they themselves may be less inclined to censor comments about Jews than when they pertain to others.  They are telling me they can’t control it, no matter who, but I can’t help but be a little skeptical.”