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Bluer Washington ● Strike in Port Angeles? ● Sessions out, fix in?

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Thursday, November 8, 2018

 


LOCAL ELECTIONS

 

TODAY at The Stand — Latest results: Schrier wins, legislative Dems make gains


► In today’s Seattle Times — Rossi concedes 8th District race to Schrier as new votes widen her lead — The 8th District has never before sent a Democrat to Congress. Schrier, a first-time candidate who rode a wave of Democratic enthusiasm to victory, vowed to bring a new perspective to a divided Capitol. Her campaign drew 4,000 active volunteers, she said, who knocked on more than 400,000 doors and made 400,000 phone calls. That helped drive what is projected to be record turnout.

► In today’s Columbian — Long concedes; Herrera Beutler re-elected in 3rd — Southwest Washington voters have elected Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Battle Ground) to serve a fifth term in Congress.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Democratic candidates close the gap on Republican state Sens. Joe Fain and Doug Ericksen — Candidates challenging a pair of Republican Washington state senators picked up votes on Wednesday, in a sign that Democrats could net additional seats to solidify their control of the Legislature.

► In today’s Bellingham Herald — With Wednesday vote numbers, recounts may be required in Whatcom legislative races — Two-term state Sen. Doug Ericksen (R) held his slim lead over Bellingham City Councilwoman Pinky Vargas (D) by a margin of 50.09% to 49.91% — nearly a dead heat out of 69,118 votes cast.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — At least one local state House seat flips to Democrats — Democrat Jared Mead, at 27, could be on his way to becoming the youngest member of the state Legislature, if his lead holds. Mead was ahead 52.1 percent to 47.9 percent over incumbent Mark Harmsworth (R-Mill Creek).

► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Walsh-Frasier race still too close to call

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Washington Legislature getting bluer in 2019

► In today’s News Tribune — No vote? No problem. Out-of-state corporations win Washington elections on green wave of cash (editorial) — Deep-pocketed corporate spenders, primarily out-of-state energy barons and soft drink companies, got what they paid for. So what if they’re from Texas, Georgia, New York, California and Washington, D.C.? So what if they can’t vote here? The political influence of Fortune 500 heavyweights won’t be held back by things that constrain the rest of us, like residency and voting rights.

► From McClatchy — Inslee for president? Could be, though he just lost a big climate fight back home — Gov. Jay Inslee, a potential 2020 presidential contender, came to Washington, D.C., Wednesday to tout a “historic night” for Democrats in statehouses around the country. But he took a big loss at home on a signature issue.

 


NATIONAL ELECTIONS

 

► From the AFL-CIO — A driving force in this election — We did it! The labor movement helped elect a wave of union members and pro-worker allies across the country last night. We proved that if you support working people, we’ll have your back. And we sent a resounding message to every candidate and elected official that if you seek to divide and destroy us, we’ll fight back with everything we have.

ALSO at The Stand — WSLC’s Jeff Johnson on election: ‘We’re just getting started’

► In today’s Washington Post — From Medicaid to minimum wage, even red state voters backed progressive measures — Voters in deeply red states elected some deeply conservative politicians in this week’s midterm elections. But they also approved a litany of progressive ballot initiatives, from restoring felon voting rights to raising the minimum wage and expanding Medicaid. The electoral dissonance underscored that the issues people vote on at the ballot box don’t always align with the candidates they vote for. The outcomes also highlight the approach advocates took in trying to get the ballot measures passed — namely, by not associating them with either party.

► In today’s Washington Post — Trump’s rambling, angry news conference shows he ignored the message voters sent him (editorial) — There was nothing in Trump’s rambling, angry news conference Wednesday to suggest he had heard the message that millions of voters, many of them formerly supporters of the GOP, tried to send him by electing a Democratic majority to the lower chamber. To the contrary, in petty and personal terms he blamed the GOP loss of the House on incumbents who refused to campaign with him for fear (undoubtedly justified) that his backing would do them more harm than good.

► From The Hill — ObamaCare repeal off the table for now after Dems take House — A new Democratic House majority will shield the Affordable Care Act from congressional Republicans who have been trying to eradicate former President Obama’s signature law since 2010. Democrats ran on enthusiasm for health care and ObamaCare to gain control of the House.

► From The Hill — AFL-CIO on Wisconsin governor race: ‘Scott Walker was a national disgrace’ — That was AFL-CIO Richard Trumka’s brief but harsh statement.

► From The Hill — Hundreds of voting machines sat unused in Georgia as voters waited on long lines: report — Hundreds of voting machines sat locked in government warehouses over concerns that they were vulnerable to security breaches, while voters waited in long lines at polling stations in Georgia.

► ICYMI from The Onion — Georgia election worker assures black man ballot scanner supposed to sound like shredder

► In today’s News Tribune — Enough is enough. It’s time for all-mail voting to sweep the nation (by Matt Driscoll) — There were dirty, rotten tricks, particularly in Georgia, where Republican Brian Kemp engaged in what Boston Globe columnist Renee Graham rightfully called “the most blatantly racist voter suppression tactics since the vicious days of poll taxes and so-called literacy tests.” There were long lines across the country, with voters far and wide forced to wait hours upon hours just to have their voices heard. In some places, there weren’t enough voting machines. In others, precincts were late to open. In still others, there were ballot shortages, car crashes and power outages — all of which needlessly affected peoples’ Constitutionally enshrined right to vote. There’s an easy fix to all of it, one that Washington, the Evergreen State, home sweet home, helped pioneer along with Oregon and Colorado. I’m talking about voting by mail.

 


LOCAL

 

► In today’s Peninsula Daily News — Paraeducators authorize strike in Port Angeles — The Port Angeles Paraeducators Association members have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike starting next Thursday in an effort to encourage the Port Angeles School District to give them higher wages. Gapper said the paraeducators voted 87-4 to authorize a strike during an emergency meeting Tuesday night. The plan is to strike Thursday, Nov. 15 if the school district does not offer a “fair and equitable offer.”

► In today’s Seattle Times — Everett Public Schools says it faces budget cuts in latest fallout from McCleary-funded teacher pay hikes — Everett Public Schools blames their budget shortfalls on the McCleary decision for reducing the amount school districts can collect in levies and for not fully funding special education.

► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Bremerton firefighters speak out against chief’s ousting — Bremerton firefighters came out in force to the City Council on Wednesday night to decry Mayor Greg Wheeler’s decision to fire their boss. David Schmitt, who Wheeler dismissed as the city’s fire chief two weeks ago, also addressed the council, asking for a return to his old job.

 


STATE GOVERNMENT

 

► In today’s Seattle Times — Solid start for 2019 enrollment to Washington’s health insurance exchange; enrollment is up statewide — Since enrollment for 2019 began Nov. 1., about 190,000 people have signed up for health insurance through the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, which is about 5 percent more than the same period last year. But the enrollment period will close a month earlier than last year.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Senate panel to discuss investigating 2007 rape allegation against state Sen. Joe Fain — It’s unclear whether the Senate will ultimately commission an investigation, but a meeting is scheduled Thursday to discuss the idea. A Seattle woman accused Fain of raping her in Washington, D.C., in 2007. Fain has denied the allegation.

► From the AP — Nurse who lost part of ear in patient assault sues state — A nurse at Washington state’s largest psychiatric hospital who lost part of her ear when she was assaulted by a patient is suing the state for $5 million. The tort claim filed Wednesday says the DSHS created a dangerous work environment by failing to properly staff the wards.

 


THAT WASHINGTON

 

► In today’s Washington Post — Jeff Sessions forced out as attorney general — Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned on Wednesday at President Trump’s request, ending the tenure of a beleaguered loyalist whose relationship with the president was ruined when Sessions recused himself from control of the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.

► In today’s NY Post — Acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker wrote op-ed critical of Mueller probe

► In today’s NY Times — How Sessions’s firing could affect the Russia investigation — The shake-up means that Matthew Whitaker assumes oversight of the inquiry from Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general. He could tell Mueller to stop investigating a particular matter or could refuse any requests by Mueller to expand his investigation. He could also curtail resources to the Office of the Special Counsel, requiring Mueller to downsize his staff or resources. Moreover, Whitaker could block Mueller from pursuing investigative steps, like subpoenaing Mr. Trump or issuing new indictments… When Mueller completes his work, he is to deliver a report about his findings to the attorney general. It would then be up to the attorney general — now Whitaker — to decide whether to turn that document over to Congress or keep it secret. Of course, next year, when Democrats take over the House, they could issue a subpoena for such a document, but if the Trump administration wants to fight that subpoena by asserting executive privilege, it is not clear what would happen.

► In today’s Washington Post — Manchin: Ousting Sessions was ‘a big mistake’ that puts the country on verge of a constitutional crisis — Sen. Joe Manchin III (W.Va.), the only Democrat who voted to confirm Jeff Sessions as attorney general, said Thursday that President Trump’s decision to force him out of office was “a big mistake” and the country is now on the verge of a constitutional crisis.

► In today’s NY Times — Who owns the Supreme Court? (by Linda Greenhouse) — The Trump administration’s treatment of the Supreme Court as a wholly owned subsidiary is one of the most compelling dramas now unfolding in Washington. Whether this drama plays out as comedy or tragedy is up to the court.

► From Politico — Ruth Bader Ginsburg hospitalized after suffering fall — She fractured three ribs on her left side.

► From TPM — Christine Blasey Ford is still receiving threats, harassment

 


NATIONAL

 

► Once again in The Onion — ‘No way to prevent this,’ says only nation where this regularly happens — In the hours following a violent rampage in Thousand Oaks, Calif., in which a lone attacker killed 12 individuals, including a police officer, and seriously injured at least 12 others, citizens living in the only country where this kind of mass killing routinely occurs reportedly concluded Thursday that there was no way to prevent the massacre from taking place.

► In today’s NY Times — In superstar cities, the rich get richer, and they get Amazon — In the end, even Amazon has behaved according to this rule: In the modern tech economy, cities that already have wealth, opportunity, highly educated workers and high salaries will just keep attracting more of them.

 


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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