Mayor Kartak’s protestors joke online backfires

SNOHOMISH —  Mayor John Kartak posted a picture making fun of protestors being hit by cars on his personal social media page, but says he didn’t initially understand it and doesn’t support its message.
The picture shows a toy car plowing through toy people with the caption calling it the “Hasbro ‘peaceful protest’ action set.”
He said he shared it from a small cell phone screen without verifying its message.
“I thought it was about violent protestors fighting on a car,” the mayor said. He saw it as a satire picture that “illustrated where violence is oftentimes not called violence.”
In hindsight, Kartak called his post “thoughtless,” “awful” and “unintentional” during a phone call Saturday. “The meme itself was incredibly disrespectful,” Kartak said.
He deleted the post soon after his friends questioned him about it; the record remains online because others took a screenshot and spread it on Friday.
Kartak is campaigning for a state Representative seat in the 44th Legislative District as the Republican candidate against incumbent Democrat John Lovick.
Online, Kartak’s post resurrected reminders on how Kartak handled the incidents on May 31, when the city received national, negative attention after Second Amendment supporters convened on First Street to “defend the town” against an alleged mass protest coming to Snohomish. It turned out to be a false rumor.
The mayor’s blunder also resulted in City Council President Linda Redmon making a statement for the town.
“As our Council President, I feel I must clearly state that the sentiments expressed in the (mayor’s) post in no way reflect the city of Snohomish as a whole. We respect the First Amendment and the right to peacefully protest. Protestors around the country, including in Seattle, have been killed by vehicular attacks, which is murder. We will never tolerate violence of any kind against those practicing their Constitutionally protected rights in Snohomish.”