Bar Complaint Filed Against Pro-Arena Misogynist; Council Members Consider Response

Ben Livingston, a longtime Seattle pot advocate, has filed a bar complaint against the attorney who wrote a threatening, misogynistic letter to the five female council members who voted against a street vacation that would have eased the way for a future NBA arena Monday. The letter, which a “Jason M. Feldman, Esq.” sent to all five female council members today, laments that the women have “robbed” him of the sports stadium to which he was entitled, and concludes,

As women, I understand that you spend a lot of your time trying to please others (mostly on your knees) but I can only hope that you each find ways to quickly and painfully end yourselves. Each of you should rot in hell for what you took from me yesterday. I hope you enjoy your thirty pieces of silver and know that I will be make donations to your competitors next election cycle. Please don’t misunderstand me. I TRULY pray for nothing but horrible things for each of you moving forward. You have made this world a worse place by whoring yourselves out to the highest bidder. Please Please Please do the honorable thing and end yourselves. Each of you are disgraceful pieces of trash that deserve nothing but horrible outcomes.

In his complaint, Livingston writes that Feldman, an attorney in Lynnwood, “is sending abusive email to female elected officials because he is angry over a land use decision. He makes sexual suggestions and repeatedly encourages these woman to commit suicide,” and asks the bar association to discipline Feldman for unethical conduct.

As Seattlish noted earlier, the female council members, who made up the five-vote bloc needed to prevent the street giveaway to wannabe stadium developer Chris Hansen, have been subjected to a barrage of misogynistic insults and threats by sports fans, almost all of them male, angry that women would take their stadium away from them.

The insults, which can be summarized as “You cunt,” “Die,” “Get back in the kitchen,” and “women are subhuman,” may be familiar territory for women who spend a lot of time having opinions on the Internet. But they’re unprecedented in recent memory for the Seattle City Council, and give the council’s five-woman majority an unwanted taste of what happens when female public figures fail to “know their place” — by, say, voting against an arena supported by a large, mobbish clique of male sports fans.  It says something that the sexist vitriol against these five women with the temerity to hold local elected office only bubbled over once men were no longer a majority of the council.

Since all these men (and, it looks like, one woman) were proud enough of their memberships in the He-Man Woman Haters Club to use their own names on Facebook, Twitter, and in emails to city council members, I’m posting them here unredacted.

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.07.51 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.07.35 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.07.19 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.07.01 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.06.33 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.09.20 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.06.09 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.05.53 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.05.44 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.05.22 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.05.16 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.04.00 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.03.47 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.03.33 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.03.17 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.03.09 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.02.16 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-03 at 9.56.22 PM

You all sound like grade-schoolers: the “icky boys against the girls”.

So going forward I in turn be misogynistic in my support–NO to all female Council hopefuls.

You all bring shame to our city, and are an embarrassment with your immaturity and emotional compulsion.

Tim Hirano-Lifelong (50+ year Seattle Resident) and completely resentful of my vote for Herbold-NEVER again.
I know you have heard a million of these today but I really don’t think you ladies did your homework. If you ever left Seattle to see other city’s with multiple sports teams have the all centrally located. We can never make progress around here and try something new. Maybe you should look at how much progress in the world President Obama has made by opening up many closed doors. Wether by hiring many minorities and women in key cabinet positions or starting new relations with Cuba. I guess we have some ladies that are too afraid to stick there neck out like many other great politicians have in our history. I hope if you get a second chance you will change your mind to really make a difference

From: Daniel Anderson
Date: May 2, 2016 at 7:08:03 PM PDT
Subject: Extremely disappointed with your no votes on street vacation

I sit here and try and think of the words to say but I am so angry I think it is best to just tell you council “women” that you have just ruined your political careers with one vote. I do not want any response just know that I will do everything in my powers to ensure you are all not re-elected. Good riddance

From: Marcus Kramer
Date: May 2, 2016 at 5:08:42 PM PDT
Subject: How much were u 5 paid off?!

U 5 women were paid off and I hope we all find out how much. U are what’s wrong with government. There is no way a person with common sense would vote for this and then against it without $ being exchanged for some of you. The rest of you have no idea how sports and the economics of it work. Leave it to 5 women to set your sex back and not be progressive and be afraid to take a chance and make something awesome in this city I love and you don’t. Embarrassed to share the same city with u.

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 9.49.49 PM

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 9.48.56 PM   Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 9.35.43 PM

(I’ve removed one comment I posted here after the commenter–who said the five council members who voted against the street vacation should get used to criticism if they’re going to make decisions like that–pointed out he was responding to a different Twitter thread.)

The five council members have not responded publicly to the onslaught, but I talked to three of them tonight and they are considering a formal response, possibly in the form of an op/ed, in a week or so. In the meantime, as someone who’s taken my share of online abuse, I take up space in solidarity with the five women of the city council who are having to deal with this demoralizing garbage.

If you like the work I do here, please consider becoming a supporter; this website is entirely funded by your contributions, and I appreciate them tremendously.

39 thoughts on “Bar Complaint Filed Against Pro-Arena Misogynist; Council Members Consider Response”

  1. If the W.S.B.A. does ANYTHING about Attorney Jason Feldman it will PROVE that ONLY the “elite” in government get protections.

    Family law attorney Donald W. Ferrell used to REPEATEDLY LOSE cases on purpose for WOMEN clients. Then they would lose everything and go broke. And then Ferrell would coerce them to take refuge in his home and live with him. He once called Asian Attorney a “lying chink”. There’s documentary proof of this and W.S.B.A. discipline guy Jonathan Burke says it’s perfectly fine because this doesn’t violate any ethical rules.

    See link:—1.html

  2. We do not condone it, either.

    Yesterday, I requested copies of comments from all of the city council so that I could personally ban people from Sonics Rising.
    I do not know what other publications do about it, but that’s just what we have done and will continue to do.
    Although I do not recognize most of the people from the tweets in this story, I’ll research their names and if they have an account at Sonics Rising I will ban them. If the comments lead to other groups I’ll encourage those groups to take ownership.

    Banning commenters at Sonics Rising for offensive trash like that isn’t new for me. We actively and continually make those people and comments unwelcome. Fortunately over time those people are weeded out of our site. Unfortunately, that’s the extent of our sphere of influence, and other media outlets don’t do the same.
    The NBA and WNBA make a continuos effort to promote an inclusive culture, we continue to share and promote that view.

    1. May I suggest that using this ugly event as learning experience — more useful than banning.
      Isolating people with horrible ideas simply drives them together.
      Use Sonics Rising as broader than basketball but about teamwork and sportsmanship.

      1. We warn people, hide comments, and eventually ban people. There is a progression.
        Some go straight to being banned.

  3. It’s a shame that misogynist attacks have obscured constructive criticism of the 5 no voters on the City council for the street vacation, which would have jump started the process for construction of the SODO arena in my view would have provided economic not to mention transportation infrastructure benefits for Seattle. For council members to look a gift horses in the face of a paid for Lander Street overpass, not to mention the 230 millions dollars the SODO arena would have brought to the region as per the Seattle FEIS study, just because…………….Not enough transit improvements have been made???? If that was the case, why weren’t those issues bought up during negotiations? Considering that there were transportation improvements as part of the deal and then to have it rejected for lack thereof sounds like those council people were not being honest about their reasons for rejecting the deal. For a council person to tell other people that she was going to vote for the deal and then to turn around a little while later and vote it down for some specious issues that could have been addressed in negotiations is not being an honest broker. To allow contempt for billionaires building arenas to obscure the larger bigger picture economic and cultural benefits of such a project is in my view shortsighted and myopic.

  4. I am embarrassed for my fellow arena supporters. It’s disgusting and perpetuates the stupid stereotype of a loud, male sports fans spewing vitriol.

    But as a pro-arena supporter who does not consider himself loud or ‘mobbish’, I’m equally frustrated how difficult it is to critique the council without some form of backlash or being accused of misogyny.

    As the Seattle Times and other places have reported, the gender split on the vote was no accident – Council member Bagshaw reportedly rallied the other female members behind her to stand in solidarity due to issues beyond the actual vote in question.

    I disagree strongly with that form of politicking. It does not justify the unacceptable response by some, but it should explain some of the anger and helplessness that people feel that may cause them to lash out

    When you lose in politics due to ‘the issues’ it’s at least possible to accept. But when you lose due to what feels like political horsetrading and something close to a philosophical stand, it leaves you feeling cynical and jilted

    Hope this makes sense to some of you. For whatever it’s worth, I greatly sympathize for whatever pain and hurt others have caused to the council and their supporters.

    1. Really, Bagshaw tried to make vote along gender lines?
      Any proof?
      It would be an outrageous and stupid thing for her to do.
      Replace “Irish Catholics” or “gay men” for “women”.
      Poor judgment at every level.

    2. Have you considered that maybe the male members of the council are just as boorish as some of those commenters shown above, and the female council members were the only ones who would try and support her opposition because of ‘the issues’? This form of politicking happens for a reason.

      For that matter, wasn’t the last council vote on the arena unanimously in favor? Wasn’t the one from a few years ago also unanimous? Where were people praising the female council members back then for going against what their gender wanted and realizing how beneficial the arena would be to the city? Where were those fans back then? Really, Seattle losing the Sonics is probably the biggest case of “you never know what you really have until it’s gone” I’ve ever seen. In my 16 years of living here I’ve seen more Sonics fans after the Sonics stopped being a thing.

      And shit, I’m not exactly excited at the idea of 200+ million tax payer dollars going toward an arena that, what? Gives us a new NBA team? That’s not even a guarantee. It’d be one thing if the NBA or NHL explicitly stated a franchise will be given to the city if we can make an arena, but as far as I know there is no such deal, and if there is a deal that’s not public then screw the NBA and screw the NHL. That’s the kind of politicking that lost us the Sonics in the first place, and that’s the kind of politicking that’s disparaging to sports fans everywhere. Maybe if the price to the city wasn’t so goddamn high, and the burden of the city was just traffic and infrastructure alone, but gambling $200 million puts a bad taste in my mouth. “But Danny! The city will make more than $200 million if the arena is built!” No, 1) that’s only if we get either team, and 2) the arena itself could stand to make well more than that in its first few years, they can pay for their own damn arena.

      1. Good that you are involved with civic affairs!

        But let me ask:
        Have you considered reading my comment?

    3. >>I’m equally frustrated how difficult it is to critique the council without some form of backlash or being accused of misogyny.

      Valid critique: “I support the arena because x. I disagree with the council’s vote.”
      Misogyny: “You voted this way because you’re a woman.”

    4. >>I’m equally frustrated how difficult it is to critique the council without some form of backlash or being accused of misogyny.

      Valid critique: “I support the arena because x. I disagree with the council’s vote.”
      Misogyny: “You voted this way because you’re a woman.”

    5. Hey, politics is politics — and political successes are political successes.

      (Something about avoiding watching sausage as it is being made comes to mind) …

  5. Wow. I really, really want to call his mother.
    Or wife, is such a woman has the misfortune of being married to him.

  6. Good job, Erica! Loved reading the FB comments. You know, it’s not like there are no sports in this town already. We don’t have to say yes to every sports project that comes along, and I admire these councilmembers for sticking to the guns.
    Here’s a related piece on the impact sports has on our city, and on our lives . . .

    1. You do like to make comments that are simply to steer people to your own blog, don’t you.

  7. I guess you control the message boards to your own comment sections as well. Can’t take a little criticism? Typical bully fashion.

  8. These online comments are awful. I admire the Council Members who voted against the SODO vacation, as it was a thoughtful and smart choose to make. But, Erica, I have read you literally abuse and bully individuals online countless times, not to mention your propensity to misrepresent the views of anyone who may not align with you. YOU are in fact no better than these bullies.

    1. Misogynystic comments very disturbing and let’s hope that it is indeed a very very small minority. I’d like to see how this event can be used as “learning moment” for Seattle.

      But yes, Erica can be sexist bully.
      No question.
      Whether it comes out of her own insecurity or just plain personal nastiness, who knows.
      But it’s pretty awful, no matter what and she ought to get in touch with her own baser behavior.

  9. This is very discouraging, and further proof that our city is not so progressive, in particular where sexism and misogny apply. I applaud our city councillors for their principled vote.

Comments are closed.