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Local transit cuts, Boeing-NLRB update, Eyman ♥’s Kemper Freeman…



►  In today’s (Longview) Daily News — ILWU takes Port protest to commissioners’ meeting — Union dock workers continued their protest of proposed hiring policies at the EGT grain terminal, demanding Tuesday at a Port of Longview commissioners’ meeting that union labor be used on all projects on Port property. Monday afternoon, union longshoremen staged their boldest protest to date against EGT, tearing down a fence and blocking company workers from handling grain. Nearly 100 protesters were arrested.

►  In today’s News Tribune — Pierce Transit cutting nearly 190 jobs amid budget shortfall — Pierce Transit began issuing layoff notices to 150 employees Tuesday as the agency continues to struggle with a $51 million budget shortfall. “This is our third round of layoffs” in three years, CEO Lynne Griffith said. “This is the largest. I think it’s the largest in the history of Pierce Transit.” Commissioners approved the staff reduction at its meeting Monday night, eliminating 188 positions, about 40 of those are currently unfilled.

►  In today’s Seattle Times — Crowds line up to protest Metro bus cuts — More than 400 people showed up for a sweltering King County Council committee meeting to protest proposed cuts. Some urged the council to adopt a $20 car-tab fee that would forestall cuts for two years.




►  From AP — Congress may force release of Boeing NLRB records — The chairman of a congressional committee investigating the ongoing labor dispute over a South Carolina Boeing plant is prepared to use subpoenas to force labor officials to hand over documents. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) argues that Congress has the right to supersede attorney-client privilege in gathering information about the communications between the NLRB and Boeing, as well as the Machinists union that represents Boeing workers in Washington state. Issa has given the NLRB until July 26 to turn over the records or face a possible subpoena.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Why are Republicans attempting to usurp the legal process? Perhaps it’s because they know Boeing is GUILTY AS CHARGED by the NLRB. After all, Boeing itself expects to lose the case. This is just another salvo in the Republican War on Workers. Any time the NLRB stands up for workers’ rights, the GOP harasses it, threatens to defund it, and injects partisan political obstruction into its legal proceedings.

►  In the (Everett) Herald — Boeing’s workforce in state up 1,432 workers in June — Boeing has increased its workforce in the state by 4,272 people in the first six months of 2011. The company employs 77,889 workers in Washington.

►  From Bloomberg — Boeing may have to absorb $700 million in tanker overruns — Boeing’s $700 million cost is a combination of a previously reported $300 million projected overrun and an additional $432 million the Air Force disclosed Monday, putting Boeing’s profit from the tanker deal in jeopardy if the contract exceeds its $4.9 billion ceiling.




►  At — Eyman: Kemper Freemen gives $1 million to fight tolls — The billionaire Bellevue developer has doubled down on his investment in Eyman’s Initiative 1125, which would require the Legislature to approve and set highway tolls and place restrictions on how the tolls are spent.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Freeman’s job-killing agenda: block voter-approved transit plans.

►  In today’s Kitsap Sun — Rolfes is overwhelming choice by county Dems to replace Sen. Rockefeller — Rep. Christine Rolfes received 34 of 38 votes from the Kitsap Democrats. If county commissioners select Rolfes, Democrats will go through the same process again to replace her in the House.

►  At — Attorney Jack Connelly running for State Senate — The North End Tacoma Democrat announces he will run for the seat in the State Senate opening up with Debbie Regala’s retirement in 2012. The 27th’s two House members, Reps. Jeannie Darneille and Laurie Jinkins, said they haven’t yet decided on their 2012 plans.

►  At — Former NFL player Dane Looker looks to run for State House — Former UW and St. Louis Rams player Dane Looker, 35, who lives near Puyallup, says he will run for the House in 2012 as a Republican in the 25th LD. He wants to “address the serious problems brought about by decreased (school) funding and increasing class sizes.”

►  In today’s Yakima H-R — Manweller may run for House seat if Rep. Hinkle doesn’t — Rep. Bill Hinkle (R-Cle Elum) will announce today whether he’ll seek re-election. If he doesn’t, CWU professor and Kittitas County GOP chairman Mathew Manweller has filed to run.

►  At — Gregoire in market for speechwriter — again — The job’s rapid turnover has approached that of a Bristol Bay crab fisherman… The governor has also worked through multiple communications directors and press secretaries, one of whom decamped for Tennessee without ever introducing herself to the Seattle press corps.




►  In today’s Washington Post — GOP Sen. McConnell outlines new proposal on debt ceiling — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell moved Tuesday to head off a potentially disastrous U.S. default by offering President Obama new authority to raise the federal debt limit without cutting government spending. Senior Democrats privately embraced the idea, saying it could offer a detour around the looming crisis.

►  At Politico — House GOP not ready to blink on debt negotiations — Three weeks before the Obama administration says the nation will run out of money to pay its bills, there is no proposal that satisfies House Republicans. Quite simply, nothing passes their muster.

►  In The Hill — Democratic leaders: We don’t know who’s running GOP debt talks — House Democratic leaders say they’re no longer certain who’s negotiating a debt deal on behalf of the Republicans.

►  In today’s NY Times — A pathway out of the debt crisis (editorial) — McConnell hopes the maneuver will help his party win back the Senate and the White House, which remains a long shot. But at least he is no longer holding the economy hostage to his goals. It is now time for the House to reach a similar conclusion.




►  In today’s NY Times — Democrats (real ones) win Wisconsin primaries — Six Republican candidates posing as Democrats lost to genuine Democrats in primaries on Tuesday in Wisconsin. The voting was a prelude to the first in a series of recall elections singling out nine Wisconsin state senators for their positions on the divisive union rights restrictions of Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican. The primary winners will now take on the incumbent Republicans on Aug. 9.

►  In The Hill — Republicans split on trade tactics — Although Republicans in both chambers agree that the program — known as Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) — should be considered separately from the trade agreements, they differ on what procedures to use. Senate Republicans now say they want the TAA measure tied to the renewal of Trade Promotion Authority, otherwise known as “fast-track,” so the White House can negotiate more new trade agreements.

►  In today’s Washington Post — In AT&T’s bid for T-Mobile, Obama administration caught in the middle — AT&T’s $39 billion bid for T-Mobile is a deal that consumer advocates hate but labor unions love. And that puts the Obama administration squarely between two powerful constituencies that typically support Democratic presidential candidates.

►  In today’s Seattle Times — “Industrial policy”? America already has one (that’s not working) (Jon Talton column) — American industrial policy includes big tax cuts for the wealthiest and legal tax dodges for big corporations; special treatment for a few big exporters such as Boeing and Caterpillar; huge agricultural subsidies; encouragement to offshore jobs; taxpayer backing for deregulated Wall Street and the TBTF banks no matter what they do; union-busting NLRBs; incentives for job-killing mergers. I could go on. But none of this comes from the benign magic of the “free market.”


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