In the audio of the Sept. 3 call obtained by The Post Millennial, Yakima Mayor Janice Deccio said, "There’s some far-right-wing petitioners at Walmart, and they don’t — they’re not leaving. Walmart has asked them repeatedly to do so, and the police have not taken them off the premises."
The 911 dispatcher and a supervisor informed Deccio that the petitioners have a legal right to gather signatures on private property under Washington law and that the retail giant would need to get a court order to stop them.
The volunteers were gathering signatures over Labor Day weekend on six Washington ballot initiatives funded by Let’s Go Washington.
I-2113 would roll back restrictions placed by Democrats on when police officers can engage in vehicular pursuits. I-2117 would lower the Democrat-imposed carbon tax that has spiked gas prices. I-2124 would allow employees to opt out of Washington's long-term care insurance program. I-2109 would repeal the state's capital gains tax. I-2111 would prohibit state income taxes being imposed and I-2081, would allow parents of public school students to review their child’s instructional materials and student records.
When asked by the Ari Hoffman Show on Talk Radio 570 KVI what made the signature gatherers "far-right" and why in the call she acknowledged that the situation was not an emergency but still dialed 911 and if she was even onsite at the Walmart, Deccio curtly replied, “Good morning Ari, Thank you for reaching out and for your concern. Have a great day.”
The signature gatherers also caught the attention of former Democrat candidate for Congress Doug White who posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, “Illegal petitioners outside west valley Walmart. They have been trying to get rid of them for a week but refuse to leave. Police and sheriff will do nothing. Sgt Shepard of the YPD states ‘it’s their constitutional right’. Do you agree? What will you do about it?”
On Tuesday night at a Yakima City Council meeting, Deccio addressed the controversy by doubling down on her claims that the volunteers were “far-right,” telling her constituents that "…an extreme right-wing group was petitioning at Walmart and creating problems for shoppers."
She added, "I don’t care, nor even know what they were petitioning about, just that he told me they were harassing shoppers and that the manager had called the police numerous times during the week after she had asked the petitioners to move from the entrance of the store.”
Following Deccio’s 911 call going public without redacting her phone number, Deccio protected her tweets and claimed she had received hundreds of harassing calls, emails, and texts.
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