Brian M. Rosenthal writes:

Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin is accusing challenger Kshama Sawant of a “lack of civic engagement” because she registered to vote two years after becoming eligible....

Sawant registered to vote not long before running for a seat in the Legislature in 2012, according to records released by King County’s election division. She has voted in three of the four elections since, skipping this February’s.

Conlin registered in 1981 and has voted in 34 of the past 35 elections. “It’s an indication of my commitment to civic engagement,” he said. “And her lack of civic engagement.”

But Sawant, who emigrated from India and moved to Seattle in 2006, says she only became a U.S. citizen in 2010.

To get this straight, Sawant became a US citizen in 2010, she registered to vote in the first major election after she became a citizen, and she voted in every election since except in one wintertime no-brainer, no-shot-of-losing primary on school levies.

In those years, Sawant also ran for the legislature and is now running for city council against a four-term, well-heeled establishment incumbent—but Conlin insists she's shown a "lack of civic engagement.” But Sawant, who was an Occupy Wall Street activist and holds a PhD, has also been a member of the teachers union as an economics instructor at Seattle University and Seattle Central Community College. Let's have some real-talk: It would be very hard for an immigrant to become more politically engaged than Sawant.

Conlin's problem is that Sawant is too civically engaged.

Conlin should stop crowing about about her votes—Conlin should be worried about his votes against transit, for half-funded freeways, against sick leave, for an anti-panhandling bill that violated the city's own human rights standards, against making homeless encampments safer, and the rest of his record.