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Inslee closes gap, Iron Workers make a difference, bring jobs home…

Tuesday, June 19, 2012




► At Slog — New Elway poll: ‘Inslee closes gap,’ now within 2 points of McKenna — The latest Elway Poll shows Democrat Jay Inslee gaining on Republican Rob McKenna in the governor’s race — and doing so “despite a higher proportion of Republican voters in this month’s sample.” The current numbers: McKenna 42%, Inslee 40% (with 18% of respondents undecided and a +/- 5 percent margin of error).

► In today’s Seattle Times — Reagan Dunn missed most votes at county-council meetings — Of a total 3,805 full-council votes during his tenure, the Republican candidate for Secretary of State State Attorney General missed 491, more than any other council member.




► In today’s Olympian — State Supreme Court should take on super-majority vote requirement (editorial) — Instead of disparaging a thoughtful judicial ruling, all sides should be glad the state Supreme Count will finally have the opportunity to rule on this important issue. The question of a two-thirds tax rule was headed to the high court eventually, so it’s better to settle the constitutionality sooner rather than later. The more interesting immediate question is whether the justices will stay the superior court ruling until they have heard the matter. That could affect Tim Eyman’s new two-thirds vote initiative, I-1185, for which he is now collecting signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

► In the Olympian — Tobacco industry sues over tax charge — The roll-your-own tobacco industry filed a lawsuit last week against a measure that would tax its product like retail cigarettes. The group filing the lawsuit argues that the legislation raises taxes and therefore should have required a two-thirds vote to pass the Legislature. It passed 27-19 in the Senate.




► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Second harvest volunteers build new warehouse— Members of Iron Workers Local 14 volunteer their labor on Monday while working on Second Harvest’s new food distribution center at 5825 Burlington St. in Pasco. Crews are volunteering all of the labor for the 14,000-square-foot warehouse that will nearly triple the charity’s storage space, allowing it to provide 7 million pounds of food per year by 2018.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Battle escalates over garbage contract — A war of words over how long to extend Snohomish County’s $20-million-per-year solid-waste contract has grown increasingly strident. The County Council and County Executive Aaron Reardon have been at odds over whether to extend the contract by two or four years.

► In the Columbia Basin Herald — Linemen compete in rodeo — Local linemen are gearing up for the Andrew York Linemen Rodeo in Wenatchee this weekend. Rodeo competitions in general test workers’ ability to perform their jobs safely, quickly and efficiently to resolve problems. They also provide an opportunity to improve on skills and share expertise with other professionals. This Saturday’s event begins at 8 a.m. and includes activities for the entire family at Walla Walla Point Park.

► In today’s News Tribune — Fife casino closes doors, 100 people out of jobs— At the peak, some six years ago, the state could count 96 cardrooms. Today, with the demise of Freddie’s Club, an estimated 60 remain.




► From Bloomberg — Fiscal-cliff concerns hurting economy as companies hold back — Companies are starting to delay hiring and spending out of concern that Congress won’t reach a compromise in time to avoid automatic tax increases and budget cuts that would pull billions of dollars of purchasing power out of the economy. Faced with a so-called fiscal cliff of more than $600 billion in higher taxes and reductions in defense and other government programs in 2013, U.S. companies are pulling back, though the deadline for congressional action is more than six months away.

► In The Hill — Senate Dems balk at ending Bush-era tax rates on wealthy without deficit deal — A growing number of Senate Democrats (at least 7) are signaling they are not prepared to raise taxes on anyone unless Congress approves a grand bargain to reduce the deficit, breaking with party leaders who have called for letting the Bush-era tax rates expire for people earning more than $1 million per year. That gives Senate Republicans a chance to push a temporary extension similar to the deal struck in December 2010.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Is it any wonder that just one in six Americans support the job Congress is doing?





► At TPM — Poll shows large majority of Americans, independents support Obama’s immigration policy — In the nationwide survey, 64% of likely voters agree with president’s decision, while 30% disagree. Sixty-six percent of independents — a crucial portion of the electorate that will likely decide the presidential race — support the policy. Although Obama insisted that he bypassed Congress to advance the policy because it was “the right thing to do,” it is hard to ignore the political shrewdness of the move.

► In today’s NY Times — Lost in recession: Toll on underemployed, underpaid — These are anxious days for American workers. Many are underemployed. Others find pay that is simply not keeping up with their expenses: adjusted for inflation, the median hourly wage was lower in 2011 than it was a decade earlier, according to data from a forthcoming book by the Economic Policy Institute. Good benefits are harder to come by, and people are staying longer in jobs that they want to leave, afraid that they will not be able to find something better. Only 2.1 million people quit their jobs in March, down from the 2.9 million people who quit in December 2007, the first month of the recession.

► In today’s NY Times — Teachers’ union to open lesson-sharing website — The American Federation of Teachers is forming a partnership to create a Web site where teachers can share curriculum materials with one another. “We are taking the trust that people have about us and transforming it to trust about the site itself,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten.

► At AFL-CIO Now — Mexico entering Trans-Pacific trade agreement — The U.S. Trade Representative announced that Mexico will be invited to join the TPP negotiations. Although the United States already has extensive trade relations with Mexico through the NAFTA, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says, Mexico’s inclusion in the TPP could have significant impacts on workers in both countries.

► In today’s NY Times — When ALEC takes over your town (by Joe Nocera) — Shrinking government sounds appealing. We all have our favorite examples of silly regulations and bloated bureaucracies. But struggling municipalities don’t have a lot of fat; cutting means reducing or eliminating programs that citizens depend on. And, in any case, in a democracy, the decision of what — and whether — to cut should rest with elected officials who are responsible to voters, not to an unelected receiver using bankruptcy law to unilaterally make cuts. That may be the ALEC solution, but it shouldn’t be ours.




► This infographic says it all: Greedy corporations sitting on trillions in cash, while U.S. jobs are being shipped overseas. TAKE A STAND! Text JOBS to 235246 to get info and action alerts to help bring America’s jobs home.


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