Wednesday, October 31, 2012
► At PubliCola — McKenna goes to Disneyland on the public dime — State taxpayers funded a $1,500 trip to Disneyland for state Attorney General Rob McKenna last summer, during which McKenna held a fundraiser for his gubernatorial campaign, according to records obtained by PubliCola. This latest news comes just a few days after the Seattle Times reported on McKenna’s record of taking free trips as AG that were paid for by various outside groups such as the Japanese Foreign Ministry and the Government Leadership Foundation, a Republican advocacy group. McKenna’s campaign finance disclosure reports also show that McKenna, as a gubernatorial candidate, held a fundraiser at the hotel on July 25, the second-to-last day of his taxpayer-funded stay at the Disney Grand.
► More bad news for Rob McKenna, in today’s Seattle Times — King County ballots pouring in ahead of schedule — King County is projecting 87% voter turnout. That’s substantially higher than the statewide projection of 81% turnout by Secretary of State Sam Reed, and higher than other nearby counties. So far, county officials’ high turnout prediction is holding up based on the votes arriving by mail.
► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Inslee, fellow Democrats urge faithful to keep working through Election Day — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee, following an earlier joke about getting stuck behind a backward moving McKenna campaign bus on the way in to Bremerton, said he would move the state forward to create jobs.
► In today’s NY Times — Marriage on the ballot (editorial) — The freedom to marry is a fundamental right that should not have to be won or defended at the ballot box. Unfortunately, that is the reality of American politics, which is why same-sex marriage measures on the Nov. 6 ballot in Maine, Washington, Maryland and Minnesota could turn out to be pivotal in the struggle for marriage equality.
YESTERDAY at The Stand — Referendum 74: Equality and justice for all families (by Lee Newgent and Sarah Cherin)
► In today’s Seattle Times — Another week, another million for charter schools initiative— As the election nears, the campaign to bring charter schools to Washington state reported another $1.5 million in donations from Paul Allen.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Even if I-502 passes, pot use could cost your job — A state Supreme Court ruling last year said that Washington’s existing medical marijuana law doesn’t prevent an employer from firing an employee for a positive drug test. Backers of Initiative 502, which would legalize purchase, possession and use of an ounce or less of marijuana by anyone 21 years or older, say there’s nothing in this initiative that would protect workers from being fired for marijuana use, even if it’s used off-site.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Washington State Labor Council delegates representing unions throughout the state voted to endorse I-502 not because they thought it would protect marijuana users from losing their jobs, but because the criminalization of pot is a costly, ineffective policy. Regulation and taxation of marijuana through I-502 will not only save precious criminal justice resources, it will generate desperately needed revenue.
► In today’s Seattle Times — I-502 brings marijuana trade out of the shadows (editorial endorsement) — In recreational marijuana there are no licenses, no rules about ID, no limits and no state revenue — and all the money goes to criminals. It’s time to try a new approach.
► In today’s Seattle Times — A look at Ray Goforth, the man behind SPEEA’s new tone — The 44-year-old executive director of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace is showing an assertive style as he leads the white-collar union in contract talks with Boeing on behalf of about 23,000 technical staff. Last week, after months of bitter exchanges, the negotiations took a sharp turn toward conciliation. Both sides described the talks as productive, and as the company and union head into a new round of bargaining Wednesday, a strike now looks very unlikely.
► At SPEEA.org — Members show support at negotiations team Solidarity Walks & Talks— Frustration at The Boeing Company’s mixed signals to our negotiation teams spilled into the workplace Tuesday as hundreds of SPEEA members participated in Solidarity Walk & Talks to show support for our Prof & Tech Negotiation Teams. Negotiations are scheduled to resume today.
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Semiahmoo Hotel shutdown to end 200 jobs — Blaine City Manager Gary Tomsic described the shutdown of the city’s largest employer as “on the Richter scale, probably about an eight” for Blaine’s people, and for city tax revenues.
► In today’s Columbian — Vancouver works to save fire, police jobs — In an attempt to save 13 grant-funded firefighter positions after the grant expires next year, the city of Vancouver reached out to Clark County Fire District 5 on Tuesday to see if it will pay for the positions in 2014.
► In today’s Washington Post — Storm provides Obama with a commander-in-chief moment — In a campaign notable mostly for its negativity, the historic storm provided Obama with a commander-in-chief moment a week before Election Day. The president gained a rare moment of bipartisan praise, with Democratic and Republican governors alike commending the performance of the federal government.
► In today’s NY Times — Ohio working class may offer key to Obama’s re-election — The presidential contest has become an intense state-by-state fight, with the climate in Ohio shaped by months of efforts by the Obama campaign to portray Romney as a job killer who opposed the president’s decision to bail out the auto industry. Obama, who has a 50% to 45% edge here, also appears to be benefiting from an economic recovery in Ohio that is running ahead of the national recovery.
► In today’s Washington Post — Romney goes off-road with the truth (by Dana Milbank) — A Romney adviser said this summer that “we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers” — and with Romney’s latest ad proclaiming Jeep production is moving to China, they proved it. “Let’s set the record straight: Jeep has no intention of shifting productionof its Jeep models out of North America to China,” Chrysler executive Gualberto Ranieri wrote in a statement, using italics for emphasis. “A careful and unbiased reading of the Bloomberg take would have saved unnecessary fantasies and extravagant comments.” Ranieri said Mitt Romney’s conclusion that the company was moving all production to China was “a leap that would be difficult even for professional circus acrobats.”
► At AFL-CIO Now — Union members hard at work during Hurricane Sandy — Working people up and down the East Coast are pitching in to alert people about the clean up efforts for Hurricane Sandy and provide information for transportation, shelter and other resources. Firefighters, public employees, utility workers, letter carriers, nurses, grocery store employees, hotel workers and others continued to work through the storm to make sure everyone is taken care of.
► In today’s Seattle Times — The ‘on your own’ delusion (by Jon Talton) — Just as there are no atheists in foxholes, there are no Ayn Rand law-of-the-jungle types caught in a calamity so big that it can only be solved by a “We Society,” not a “Me Society.” Help and rebuilding from Hurricane Sandy will come from a federal government that alone can muster the power of a continental nation’s emergency resources. It will come from state, county and municipal governments. And from the insurance industry, public and private utilities, private-sector and public railroads, airlines. And non-profits. And from across the private sector as it rushes to both meet customer needs and get profits flowing again. And from individuals: neighbors helping neighbors, neighbors helping strangers. This is the complex web of obligation and mutuality found in the real world, not in libertarian books and blogs or the worship of a theoretical “free market” that, unhindered by government, meets all needs (or tough luck).
This reality isn’t at odds with Americans’ historic love of autonomy and self-reliance. At our best, we endeavor together. At our best, we always have. More than seven decades after the New Deal, Americans are still the hardest-working people in the world. Private, public and non-profit sectors work together.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 9 a.m.