State says ‘tax me,’ IAFF backs Inslee, ALEC, Cat Scratch Brain Fever…
► In today’s (Vancouver) Columbian — Woodland $52.8M school bond passes
► In today’s Kitsap Sun — South Kitsap, Mason County fire levies passing handily
► In today’s Daily News — Woodland voters approve bond for new high school
► In today’s Wenatchee World — Chelan, Douglas votes approve Town Toyota center bailout
► In today’s Wenatchee World — Other bonds, levies passing throughout NCW
► In today’s Walla Walla U-B — College Place school bond passing
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane Convention Center expansion measure passing
► In today’s News Tribune — Gig Harbor emergency services, Eatonville school levies passing
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Bothell annexation failing; but school levies passing in Stanwood, Lakewood
Except in one of the state’s richest communities…
► In today’s Seattle Times — Mercer Island voters turn down bond measure for schools — The good news: Issaquah School District’s measure appeared to have won easy approval, with 69% support.
► In today’s Columbian — Firefighters endorse Inslee for governor — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee stood before more than 100 firefighters on Tuesday in Vancouver’s Esther Short Park to receive an endorsement from the state’s firefighters union and the International Association of Firefighters. Inslee expressed strong support for protecting the firefighters union’s collective bargaining rights, emphasized his blue-collar past and said he is dedicated to fighting for middle class workers. “We don’t win collective bargaining rights by being mild-mannered,” Inslee told the crowd.
► In today’s Columbian — Rep. Probst considering run against GOP Sen. Benton
► At AFL-CIO Now — ALEC disbands key task force as more corporations sever ties — The extremist American Legislative Exchange Council has announced it is disbanding its task force that developed and pushed the rash of voter suppression and “stand your ground ” laws passed in recent years by Republican-controlled state legislatures. But don’t believe that ALEC is backing off its attacks on workers, their wages and their unions. Meanwhile, the group continues to lose key members, with two more major companies severing ties with the right-wing group.
LOCAL UPDATE — Yesterday we shared the “ALEC Exposed” list of Washington state legislators with ties to ALEC, and invited readers to contact these legislatorsand urge them to drop all ties with ALEC. One reader asked Democratic Sen. Brian Hatfield, who responded, “In 16 years as a legislator, I’ve attended two (ALEC) meetings.”
► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing supplier Spirit hopes to resume some shipments this week — Tornado-battered Spirit AeroSystems of Wichita, a key Boeing supplier, said it’s making progress on the recovery but told employees to stay home all this week unless called by their manager.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Future of Export-Import bank in doubt — Boeing has been the biggest benefactor of the bank. Its customers have received nearly half of all the loans made by the bank since 2007.
► At KING5.com — T-Mobile workers protest call center closures– T-Mobile’s decision to consolidate call centers, and close facilities in several states had people protesting at its Bellevue headquarters. “They’re closing call centers in the U.S., and keeping call centers open overseas,” said one protestor. “You don’t take 3,000 hard working Americans and give them the boot,” said Roland Ellis. “My job is secure for the moment, but put that in quotations.”
ALSO at The Stand — Tax Day is perfect day for T-Mobile to save U.S. jobs
► At SeattlePI.com — Tax Day protest at Amazon HQ (photos)
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Talk begins on future of Everett mill site — Employees at the city’s last large waterfront mill worked their final shifts Sunday, and the city is already well under way with plans for the land. Ultimately, it will be up to property owner Kimberly-Clark to choose a buyer for the site. The company said it’s already had nibbles from potential buyers.
► In today’s News Tribune — Tacoma hospitals dispute cost analysis– Tacoma’s two biggest hospitals earned about $1,000 more per patient in 2010 than the state average, according to an analysis by the state’s largest consumer advocacy group.
► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Two Gig Harbor fire stations rebuilt thanks to federal stimulus funds
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Latest Hanford layoffs turn thoughts to the future(editorial) — Economic development and diversity as well as a booming agricultural industry have taken some of the sting out of losing jobs at Hanford. But, still, the loss of close to 800 jobs at the vitrification plant in the next six months or so has ramifications. These are well-paying jobs with benefits, the kind of jobs that still lure folks to give up a good gig with a long-term employer for the promise of a few years of better money and an uncertain employment future.
► In today’s Washington Post — Lawmakers consider changing tax breaks on retirement savings — On Tuesday, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) scheduled a hearing on “tax-favored retirement accounts” that he said was intended to begin “framing the debate” in preparation for tax reform.
EDITOR’S NOTE — That’s right. They just blocked a vote on having millionaires and billionaires pay the same tax rates as working-class people, and now they want to “recapture” lost revenue from tax breaks on pensions, 401(k)s and IRAs.
► At Huffington Post — Hostess, Teamsters square off in bankruptcy battle that may kill Twinkies– Hostess argues that its pension and labor costs are untenable. A ruling against Hostess in court would force the company back to the bargaining table. A ruling in favor of Hostess would allow the company to escape its current labor contracts, in which case the Teamsters vow to strike. The company says it will be forced to liquidate in case of a strike.
► It’s ABOUT TIME, in today’s NY Times — Citigroup chief rebuffed on pay by shareholders — In a stinging rebuke, Citigroup shareholders rebuffed on Tuesday the bank’s $15 million pay package for its chief executive, Vikram S. Pandit, marking the first time that stock owners have united in opposition to outsized compensation at a financial giant.
► In today’s Washington Post — Latino voters take center stage in both presidential campaigns — Hispanic voters’ alienation from Republicans threatens GOP prospects for winning the White House and has given the Obama campaign an early opportunity to lock in the support of a key constituency.
EDITOR’S NOTE — We love “Cat Scratch Fever” as much as the next guy, but Mitt Romney should not be so proud of the endorsement of a guy who bragged about urinating on a nun and that he defecated in his pants for 10 straight days to avoid serving in Vietnam. “Fun!”
► In The Hill — Why the Senate should reject Enzi’s S.J. Res. 36 (by law professor John Logan) — Without providing any evidence, Enzi claims that the NLRB has wreaked havoc on the “carefully balanced labor laws” that have protected employees’ “ability to organize” for several decades. In common with most GOP statements on labor rights, Enzi has it reversed: The U.S. has the weakest protection for labor rights in the developed world, and the election rule is moderate measure that would at most make a minor improvement in the enforcement of the law. But it would do little to end the stranglehold that anti-union corporations have over the current system of union recognition.
Enzi’s resolution must be understood in the context of the GOP’s’ no-holds-barred assault on collective bargaining rights at the state and federal levels over the past fifteen months. The party that outlawed collective bargaining for public workers in Wisconsin and Ohio, and promoted anti-union legislation in virtually every state in the nation, is now trying to block a modest attempt to improve the enforcement of federal labor law. His S.J. Res. 36 is motivated by pure-and-simple anti-unionism, and it should be rejected as such.
ALSO at The Stand — Stop GOP attack on fair union election rule — Act TODAY to send a message to your U.S. Senator!
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