Thursday, October 18, 2012
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — SPEEA lays groundwork for “federally protected” strike — More than two weeks have passed since Puget Sound-area engineers and technical workers voted to reject a Boeing Co. contract offer. There has been little negotiation since, and there are signs their union is very quietly laying the groundwork to enable a strike during which the company cannot, by law, replace them.
► At SPEEA.org —Next negotiating session is today
► At PubliCola — Seattle Times gives free full-age ad to McKenna — In a virtually unprecedented move for a (supposedly cash-strapped) newspaper, the Seattle Times Corp. is spending $80,000 of the paper’s own money to promote Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna in its pages.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Times Co. criticized for McKenna, Ref. 74 ad campaigns — Company executives described as an experiment to show the power of newspaper political advertising. Dozens of Seattle Times news staff members on Wednesday were drafting a letter to Times (Dog-shootin’) Publisher Frank Blethen protesting the ad campaign.
► At NewsTribune.com — Jack Connelly’s self-funding nearing $1 million mark in 27th LD — Tacoma trial lawyer Jack Connelly has now poured a record $988,383 into his campaign for the 27th Legislative District senate seat against state Rep. Jeannie Darneille. Connelly has spent almost three-quarters of that money to fund a barrage of TV spots, mailers and other political advertisements attacking Darneille’s 12-year record in the state House. Darneille’s camp has refuted many of the ads as misleading or false.
► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Kitsap County ballots mailed; extra postage required for return— The number of candidates and issues is so lengthy it will take more than one stamp to return a Kitsap County ballot by mail. This is the first time the county is not picking up the tab for the extra mailing cost. Instead it has six drop boxes available at all hours from now until election day.
► In today’s News Tribune — Jobless rate for state falls to 8.5%— The state added 1,200 jobs in September, while revisions to the August data show the state created 2,500 jobs after initially reporting a loss of 1,100 jobs.
► MUST-READ in today’s Spokesman-Review — Two couples shaped my view of Ref. 74 (by Stephanie Pettit) — The election is 19 days away. Like most of us, I expect, I’m sick of the commercials and incessant noise that surrounds the whole election process. Even so, I’m compelled to write a few words on Referendum 74, the equality in marriage measure. I’m for it. I know that a lot of people — people who are basically fair-minded and kind in nature — have trouble with it. But as I’ve thought about what marriage truly is and truly means, there are two couples who influence my thinking. They are in fact married, except that they’re not.
ALSO at The Stand — Why Washington’s labor movement supports marriage equality (by WSLC Secretary-Treasurer Lynne Dodson)
► In today’s Washington Post — Maryland leans toward historic embrace of same-sex marriage— Maryland voters are leaning (52-43) toward legalizing same-sex marriage next month, something that has never happened at the ballot box anywhere in the nation, a new poll finds.
► At Huffington Post — Walmart strikes: More workers join fight in Oklahoma, claim intimidation — A band of renegade Walmart employees in Sapulpa, Okla., left work to protest without the aid of national labor groups. Stirred by what they saw on the news, they stood outside in the vast parking lot of their Supercenter with homemade signs, beckoning cars to honk.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Meanwhile, 3 new Walmarts open in Washington.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Obama ready to veto a bill blocking ‘fiscal cliff’ without a tax hike— Freed from the political and economic constraints that have tied his hands in the past, Obama is ready to play hardball with Republicans, who have so far successfully resisted a deal to tame the debt that includes higher taxes, Obama’s allies say. In the days after the November election, the tables will be turned: Taxes are scheduled to rise dramatically in January for people at all income levels, and Republicans will be unable to stop those automatic increases alone. If he wins reelection, Obama may finally be able to dictate the terms of a bipartisan debt-reduction deal.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Our own U.S. Sen. Patty Murray has led the way in finally getting tough on Congressional Republicans, and has joined with Sen. Maria Cantwell and other Democratic Senators to declare that cutting Social Security is off the table in these debt-reduction negotiations.
► From AP — U.S. home construction climbs to 4-year high — Builders started construction on homes in September at the fastest rate since July 2008 and made plans to build even more homes in the coming months. The gains show the housing recovery is strengthening and could help the economy grow.
► In today’s NY Times — University of Phoenix to shutter 115 locations — Enrollments in the for-profit higher education sector have been declining in the last two years, partly because of growing competition from other online providers, including nonprofit and public universities, and a steady drumroll of negative publicity about the sector’s recruiting abuses, low graduation rates and high default rates.
► At Huffington Post — Romney urged business owners to advise employees how to vote — “I hope you make it very clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and therefore their job and their future in the upcoming elections,” Romney told NFIB members.
EDITOR’S NOTE — And sure enough, employers are responding to Romney’s call (here, here and across the nation, no doubt) by threatening employees’ jobs if President Obama is re-elected. Is this the kind of country we want to live in? This is exactly why organized labor in Washington state pushed the Worker Privacy Act, allowing workers to choose whether or not to participate in employer communication on issues of individual conscience, including politics, religion, unionization, and charitable giving. But alas…
► In today’s Washington Post — Romney’s facts are curious things (by Dana Milbank) — Mitt Romney’s 12 million jobs claim, though discredited, had become a key part of his message — and he went right ahead and repeated the falsehood during the debate.
► At TPM — Poll: Warren up by 9 in Mass. Senate race
► At Politico — GOP’s problems exposed in struggle for Senate — Insiders in both parties put the chances of a GOP Senate takeover at less than 50-50. Assuming the current leader in polls in every Senate race hold — and a couple key races are literally tied — Democrats would still retain a very slim majority.
► In today’s NY Times — Mr. Romney’s version of equal rights (editorial) — It has dawned on Mitt Romney that he has a problem with female voters. He just has no idea what to do about it, since it is the result of his positions on abortion, contraception, health services and many other issues. On Tuesday night, he bumbled his way through a cringe-inducing attempt to graft what he thinks should be 2012 talking points onto his 1952 sensibility.
His stated zeal to “defund” Planned Parenthood is either a rote ideological posture or a belief that it is right to end the federal support that gives many poor women access to mammograms, cervical cancer screening, family planning and other services.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Learn more at BindersFullOfWomen.com. Also if you have some thoughts you’d like to share on the subject, feel free to offer your Customer Review here of Mitt Romney’s binder of choice.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 9 a.m.