Washington Democrat State Senator Rebecca Saladana on Sunday doubled down on her support of Ubax Gardheere, a Progressive activist candidate for King County Council who had previously threatened to blow up a school bus filled with children and called those who fled cowards.
During a campaign kickoff event in a park in Renton, Saldana’s remarks preceded the candidate’s. Saldana began by leading the attendees in a chant, "What do we want? Ubax to win!"
The State Senator also claimed that it was her who encouraged Gardheere to run. "When I got to meet her, I knew that I wanted to work with her. I knew that we needed her voice and her leadership."
Saldana continued, "And so it took a while to convince her, she kept on trying to bring other people to consider for the job and I said, 'what about you? If you would be willing. '"
Saldana added, "She said, 'yes,' and I became one of her followers." The State Senator had originally endorsed Gardheere by saying "I will follow Ubax anywhere."
Since the information about the bomb threats became public, both Saldana and Gardeere’s social media accounts have had many comments posted about the incident. Both have been deleting the comments on their Facebook accounts, but the comments remain on Twitter. Ironically, one of Gardeere's most recent posts included a picture of a bus.
According to court documents obtained by The Post Millennial, Ubax Gardheere boarded the Highline School District bus on Jan. 12, 2010 as it travelled on its morning route. Once aboard the bus, which was heading to Chinook Middle School, Gardheere demanded the driver tell his dispatcher "that a national security incident was going on."
Gardheere then began yelling at the children about America's relationship with Somalia, according to police reports. An audio recording of the incident demonstrated that when the driver told Gardheere to leave the bus she said, "You need to calm yourselves down 'cause I could have a bomb. Look how loose my clothes are."
Deputy Prosecutor Gretchen Holmgren said students were afraid for their safety and as students fled through the rear emergency exit of the bus, Gardheere began screaming that they were "cowards" for abandoning their classmates.
Holmgren wrote the court, "While speaking with the middle school students, the defendant stated that she might have a bomb and might have a gun. When students attempted to escape out the back of the bus, she called them cowards and told them they would be responsible if something happened to their classmates. Several students believed she had a weapon of some kind and many feared for their lives."
According to a detective with the King County, Gardheere told the arresting officer she was "prepared to die." However, no weapons were found in her possession. She eventually pled the felony charges down to a gross medemeanor before trial.
Saldana had previously not responded to The Post Millennial’s request for comment. Gardeere cancelled an interview she had scheduled once her team was informed that the incident would be a topic of discussion.
Former radical Seattle City Council Member and activist Mike O'Brien called Gardheere "An amazing leader" and has also not yet responded to requests for comment.
It remains unclear if O'Brien was aware of Gardheere's bomb threats against children on a school bus when he gave his endorsement, but he was not a speaker at Sunday's event.
Gardheere followed Saldana and said, "People of King County, you might have recently seen the level of panic in some quarters because of my decision to run. There will be those political and economic elites, who choose to vilify and scapegoat newcomers to divide us. They continue to read the rules in their own favor to rob everyone of dignity."
Gardheere, rather than showing remorse for her actions, attacked those who dared to mention her past and said that bringing up her threats against children was "scare tactics."
"They go as far as looking into my past as a means to an end, we have those who will keep looking to the past to stop this movement... We will not allow the scare tactics of those in power to stop us from moving forward. They will do anything to stop us because they know I, as your council member, will not tow the line."
The Somalian immigrant is the Equitable Development Division Director in the City of Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development earning over $130,000 a year. She calls herself a "bureactivist inside government."