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Inslee’s in, Kalama strike, IATSE’s Loeb, FTA update…

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STATE POLITICS

 

►  In today’s Yakima H-R — Democrat Jay Inslee throws hat into gubernatorial ring — Hours after announcing his candidacy for governor in downtown Seattle, Democratic Congressman Jay Inslee traveled about two hours and a world away to the Yakima Valley, where his political career began. Inslee, a former Selah attorney, 14th District representative and 4th District congressman, sent a message to supporters and media gathered at the Sunnyside Dam Park. “We need a governor who’s lived outside the shadow of the Space Needle,” he said.

►  In today’s Seattle Times — Inslee announces run for governor, with jobs-and-business theme — Democratic U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee jumped into the 2012 governor’s race Monday, pledging a relentless focus on high-tech and green-job creation to pull the state out of the economic downturn. Inslee’s jobs theme stood in some contrast to his chief rival, Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna, whose recent campaign announcement focused primarily on a leaner state government.

►  At SeattlePI.com — Why Republicans should fear Jay Inslee — Why the GOP should not be ordering the bubbly for the 2013 inaugural ball just yet.

►  More coverage in today’s (Everett) Herald, Kitsap Sun, and at SeattlePI.com.

►  At SeattleTimes.com — Secretary of State Sam Reed not expected to run again — The Republican has been Secretary of State since 2000. He was diagnosed with kidney cancer last year. State Sen. Jim Kastama (“Roadkill” D-Puyallup) has already said he’ll run for the office if Reed doesn’t run.

 


STATE GOVERNMENT

 

►  From AP — State employees decline $10,000 prize — A group of six Washington Transportation Department employees turned down a productivity prize of as much as $10,000 each that they won for finding a way to save $6 million over three years for highway de-icing salt. A maintenance director, Chris Christopher, says they felt the improvement was part of their jobs. The Olympian reports it was the last meeting of the board which has been eliminated by state budget cuts.

►  From AP — State shuts down tourism office; other 49 states still spend on self-promotion — By the end of this week, Washington will close its official tourism agency and become the only state to cease all state funding for self-promotion. Other states choose not to follow Washington’s approach. Some view tourism as a key industry that will contribute to an economic rebound.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Washington sells itself! You know, its liquor stores, its workers’ comp system, its child protective services…

►  In today’s Seattle Times — What Washington state can learn from Texas (Jon Talton column) — Texas’ economy is doing better than most places. Not surprisingly, the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal stated this was because of its “free market and business-friendly climate.” (A claim dutifully echoed by our local Corporate Echo Chamber.) The reality is more complicated. The best lesson from Texas: Don’t mess with excellent universities — and keep those federal installations and grants.

 


LOCAL

 

►  In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Kalama chemical workers consider strike — Whether union workers at Emerald Kalama Chemical will go on strike Tuesday remained unknown late Monday night, though hints of a possible strike were brewing at the plant earlier in the day. The union expected to tally a membership vote on a contract offer the company made Friday to 72 members of the International Chemical Workers Union local 747-C. However, union officials did not respond to repeated calls requesting the results.

►  In today’s Seattle Times — Bellevue facing midyear budget woes — Because of a sputtering economic recovery, Bellevue is facing a midyear budget shortfall that could lead to layoffs, city officials have told employees.

►  In today’s (Everett) Herald — Edmonds CC enrollment rises as unemployed seek new career paths — The unemployed and underemployed are eyeing college education as a means to retool, retrain and deepen their skill arsenal.

►  At Crosscut — The public-health case for mandatory sick leave (column by grocery worker Tasha West-Baker) — Paid sick leave legislation such as the Seattle City Council is considering makes sense, because when people work sick they infect others. Who wants to think about some worker being sick when they get their latte, or have a sandwich, or go to the doctor’s, or get their groceries? No one. But until paid sick days becomes the law in this city, we will continue to have that happen.

 


UNION

 

►  In today’s LA Times — Matt Loeb of IATSE takes a more aggressive role — IATSE President Loeb has been shaking things up inside the entertainment industry’s largest union. Taking on the world’s most famous rock group, U2, is just the latest example of Loeb’s willingness to thrust the typically low-key union into high-profile skirmishes on behalf of the nearly 120,000 stage hands, camera operators, grips, costume designers and others. “I want the IA to have the highest profile it can have and be as strong as it can be,” he said. “Having a solid membership that understands why the union is there and what it does for them is key.”

►  In today’s NY Times — In the Teamsters, a candidate tries to break the mold — Sandy Pope acknowledges straightaway that she faces an uphill battle — she is the first woman to run for the presidency of the very macho Teamsters union, and she is running against a three-term incumbent, James P. Hoffa, who has the most famous last name in American labor. But Pope, president of the Teamsters Local 805 in Queens since 2005, insists that she can pull off an upset.

 


NATIONAL

 

►  Today in The Hill — Key House Democrat will actively oppose Colombia trade deal over labor issues — The senior House Democrat on trade issues on Monday said he would actively oppose the Colombia free trade agreement. Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) said he’d oppose the deal backed by the Obama administration unless legislation implementing it was changed to include a labor “action plan” intended to improve worker rights in Colombia. Levin’s decision is significant because his opposition could lead many other Democrats in the House to oppose the deal.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Will any Democrats in Washington state, such as Rep. Jim McDermott (pictured at right), oppose the Colombia FTA? That question will be pondered loudly at tomorrow’s “A New Trade Policy IS Possible Rally” from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Seattle’s Federal Courthouse Plaza, 700 Stewart St. — a half-block from McDermott’s office.

►  In today’s Washington Post — Supreme Court strikes “matching funds” for publicly financed candidates — In another 5-4 decision by its conservative majority, the court rejected Arizona’s voter-approved system of providing additional funding to publicly funded candidates when they face big-spending opponents or opposition groups. The majority said it impermissibly forces privately funded candidates and independent PACs to either restrain their spending or risk triggering matching funds to their publicly financed opponents.

►  At TPM — Did corporation buy Republican seat in U.S. Senate? — Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), who defeated longtime campaign finance crusader Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) last year, has been under the microscope in recent days for possibly violating laws against corporate underwriting of campaigns. He just disclosed that he received about $10 million in deferred compensation from his former company, Pacur, weeks after his $9 million self-financed successful 2010 campaign came to an end. Even though watchdogs are raising serious red flags over Johnson’s deferred compensation, they’re not counting on the FEC, a broken agency that either deadlocks over critical and controversial decisions or fails to take up cases at all.

►  At AFL-CIO Now — Study shows why NLRB election rule changes are needed — A new study found that almost half (47%) of serious unfair labor practices allegations are reported before a petition is even filed. Interrogation and surveillance are especially concentrated in the weeks before the petition is filed, and continue unabated all the way up to the election date.

►  In today’s NY Times — Two-day strike in Greece ahead of austerity vote — Greeks walked off the job for 48 hours on Tuesday, a day before Parliament is to vote on unpopular austerity measures that are deemed critical to unlocking international financial support.

 


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 9 a.m. Make this electronic “clip service” your first stop each morning! These links are functional on the date of posting, but sometimes expire.


 

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