Washington state councilman faces recall after promoting campaign stops with sexually suggestive photos

An investigation revealed Binda spent campaign funds on airfare, dental work, Versace items, hair care, concert tickets, rent, towing fees, jewelry, laptops, and office furniture. 

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA
A Snohomish County, Washington Superior Court judge on Tuesday allowed a recall to proceed against Lynnwood City Councilman Josh Binda for misfeasance, malfeasance, and violation of oath of office after he used sexually suggestive pictures to promote his paid speaking engagements to minors.

According to the Lynnwood Times, Judge Marybeth Dingledy accepted four out of five charges alleged by the Recall Binda Committee to recall the 23-year-old councilmember from public office following concerns he misused public facilities for personal gain, mishandled campaign funds, lied to the council, and displayed what constituents felt was “inappropriate” behavior after he posed shirtless to promote a speaking tour that mostly targeted minors.

The Recall Binda Committee said in a statement to the outlet, “The Committee to Recall Joshua Binda is pleased that the Snohomish County Superior Court determined that the charges our committee filed with the Snohomish County Auditor’s Office satisfied the criteria for the recall petition and found the ballot synopsis filed by the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office was adequate. We are moving full steam ahead and are ready to gather petition signatures. We are fully confident that we will surpass the amount of signatures required to place the recall vote on the ballot.”

An investigation by the Public Disclosure Commission revealed Binda spent campaign funds on airfare, dental work, Versace items, hair care, concert tickets, rent, towing fees, jewelry, laptops, and office furniture. 

Binda was also the subject of an ethics investigation in January for using the city council chambers to shoot a promotional video after hours without permission.

Binda also posed shirtless on Instagram, showing off a “Love Conquers All” tattoo on his arm, and was slammed by critics for being sexually suggestive to promote his “Love Conquers All” paid speaking tour to middle and high school students.

The embattled councilmember wrote in the text accompanying the image, “To all the students I’ve inspired, talked to, helped, coached, or impacted, this 'Love Conquers All' tattoo is dedicated to you and my way of remembering you all forever and keeping y’all [sic] with me everywhere I go moving forward. As much as I’ve inspired you guys, you all have inspired me. With that being said, I would like to announce that I’ve officially started my own public speaking business [sic] that I will be using to speak to and inspire kids all over the state, country, and eventually world.”

“I truly consider myself a transformative leader of our generation,” he continued. “Someone’s whose [sic] meant to shift the culture and create change that makes a difference in this world. I am not the leader the system necessarily wants, but I am the leader the system needs and I’m here to shake things up and break barriers for future generations. I can feel the power dynamics shifting. Young people, it’s our turn now to shape the world and leave our mark. I’m fearless, I’m confident, I’m ready. Love you all.”

Binda accused his critics of being racists in response and wrote in an Instagram story “the over-sexualization of fetishization of black and people of color is real and disgusting.” He called himself a “role model for the younger generation” adding that he will continue to “break barriers.”

It was previously reported that in response to the allegations, Binda’s building access has been revoked, and his city council email was currently suspended after he failed to complete mandatory training and because he had a “security violation.”
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