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Seattle area mayor falsely claims to be the target of hate crime

Mayor Jimmy Matta of Burien, Wash. falsely claimed that he was the target of a hate crime after yard signs appeared in public areas advocating against progressive candidates.

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA

Mayor Jimmy Matta of Burien, Wash. falsely claimed on Friday that he and other city council candidates were targets of a hate crime after yard signs appeared in public areas advocating against progressive candidates, of which he is one.

The signs read, "SEATTLE POLITICS ARE BAD FOR BURIEN," and had the BLM fist logo on them. The signs also said, "VOTE AGAINST," then listed the names of local progressive candidates Jimmy Matta, Hugo Garcia, Sarah Moore and Marxist candidate Krystal Marx.

SS logo compared with the yard sign

Matta falsely claimed that the symbols on the signs represent white supremacy. He believes the lighting bolts on the sign are "Nazi" symbols, though they in no way resemble the SS logo. Meanwhile, the BLM fist has been a symbol of progressive causes.

Yard sign in question compared with BLM fist logo seen in 'autonomous zone' in Seattle and BLM promotional material

The Burien City Council has been often criticized for emulating the failed, progressive policies of Seattle lawmakers, which have led to increased crime and homelessness.

Matta told KIRO 7 that these signs are an attack against he and his fellow candidates' nationalities and identities. "Burien is 54,000 residents. 42 percent people of color. 25 percent Latino. This community has changed. Some people may be fearful of it. They might not know what’s coming next and some people just don't want that. What’s the reason to call a person of color corrupt when you can’t substantiate it?" Matta said.

"Is it because we’re bringing Donald Trump's tactics back of 'they send their worst, their rapists, their thieves to America?'" Matta added. "To me, that's what it means. These tactics here today are uncalled for and I want this individual prosecuted because this is an attack on our democracy. Period."

Sarah Moore told the outlet she "felt really disturbed" by the imagery, and also falsely claimed that "it looked like hate symbolism."

Matta contacted the media, and not law enforcement, about his concerns, offering a $2,000 reward for any information that can help Burien police arrest those responsible for the yard signs that opposed him. He also held a "community vigil" to "heal the community" from "hate speech." He told media that demands that the FBI open an investigation into the incident. King county sheriff and local police have yet to be contacted by Matta.

The stickers and signs appeared sometime Thursday morning in downtown Burien, in the planter boxes where candidate signs are often placed. According to Kim Bradford, deputy director of the state's Public Disclosure Commission, the signs appear to be in compliance with the law on temporary signage, as these signs fall under the definition of "yard signs," meaning that they are not required to list the sponsor or provide a "paid for by" disclosure.

According to KIRO news, reporters ran into a man who was removing the signs from the planter boxes. He stated that he was married to one of the candidates and was therefore "not impartial." If his claim is accurate, it's likely that was either David Feinberg, husband to Sarah Moore, or James Marx, husband to Krystal Marx.

Matta previously made false allegations of white supremacy against opponents during the 2017 election and had no evidence to back those claims.

Signs for Matta and Garcia also had stickers attached to them which said, "CORRUPT." Matta claims he is not corrupt though he is dogged by allegations of corruption. According to The Burien Voice, Matta had only raised an anemic $13,000 for his campaign prior to a recent fundraiser event.

However, only four days after Matta voted for the creation of a homeless shelter in Burien, which was advocated for by King County Executive Dow Constantine despite the Burien population being against it, Constantine thew a fundraiser for Matta in Seattle. Constantine wanted to use a building in Burien to house the homeless under the Department of Emergency Services (DESC).

The $100 per plate event hosted by Constantine raised $26,525.16 and according to The Burien Voice is the most money ever raised for an individual Burien city council candidate.

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