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Benton, Boeing, ILWU, a cliff for Grover…

Tuesday, November 27, 2012




► In today’s Columbian — Benton declares victory; Stonier in lead — Despite the likely need for a recount, state Sen. Don Benton (R-Vancouver) released a statement Monday night saying, “I am deeply honored to serve my constituents for another term.” After the latest count, Benton leads state Rep. Tim Probst (D-Vancouver) by 82 votes. Meanwhile, Democratic House candidate Monica Stonier leads Republican Julie Olson by 135 votes.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Past governors’ advice to Inslee: Move quickly — While they have plenty of tips for the Democratic governor-elect, including thoughts on which positions to fill first and advice on not getting trapped in the Olympia bubble, Gregoire, Lowry and Evans all stressed the need for Inslee to push big pieces of his agenda as soon as he’s sworn into office Jan. 16.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Parks need general fund support to stay open (editorial) — Revenues from the Discovery Pass may rebound once users are reconciled to the need, but covering 100 percent of park costs was a pipe dream. Some measure of support from the general fund will be necessary to avoid the locking up of an amenity that has value to all.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Change in state Senate an opportunity for centrists(editorial) — It’s encouraging to hear Sen. Mike Hewitt say he thinks that new Republican leadership should come from the center of the bipartisan Senate. That’s really the only way anything useful can get accomplished in politics.




► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Boeing upbeat on 787 rate increase, mum on 787-10 — Executives expect to reach a goal of producing 10 787s per month next year but might not finish fixing some earlier-built Dreamliners until as late as 2015. Years of delays in the 787 program has pushed Boeing’s break-even point out to after the 1,100th 787 has been delivered. That means the jet maker’s focus is profitability. “We’re really trying to reduce the cost to build the airplane,” says 787 GM Larry Loftis.

► From KOMO News — Boeing should lead on same-sex issues (by Ken Schram) — Boeing appears very reticent when it comes to providing married gay couples with survivor pension benefits. There’s nothing to prevent Boeing from such inclusion and I think it is a weak position to try to hide behind federal regulations that, at some point, will have to catch up to state laws.




► From AP — Northwest grain port workers consider contract — With a deadline looming, workers (ILWU 8) at grain terminals along the Columbia River and on Puget Sound considered a final contract offer Monday. The union has until midnight Wednesday to consider the offer. Three of the six affected terminals are in Portland, and three in Washington, at Seattle, Tacoma and Vancouver.

► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Gateway Pacific Terminal backers say they have 10,000 support signatures — The Northwest Jobs Alliance says it has gathered 10,000 petition signatures in support of the coal export facility proposed at Cherry Point. They plan to deliver those petition signatures to the Whatcom County Executive’s office at 10 a.m. today.

► In today’s Bellingham Herald — GPT meeting set for Thursday in Ferndale— People interested in a proposed Cherry Point coal export terminal will get another chance to share their views about its potential impacts with county, state and federal officials from 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Ferndale Events Center.

► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Nonrepresented county employees to get 2% COLA in 2013 — The pay and policy changes are part of the Board of Commissioners’ efforts to revamp the compensation model for most county employees, including those represented by unions.




► At Huffington Post — AFL-CIO pressures lawmakers on fiscal cliff, calls GOP ‘hostage takers’ — The AFL-CIO federation of labor unions is ramping up its opposition to any budget deal that includes cuts to Social Security or Medicare by sending state delegations to Washington on Tuesday to lobby lawmakers on the issue. In the “fly-in lobby day,” the AFL-CIO’s local leaders from 33 states will pressure their representatives to let the Bush tax cuts expire and to keep Social Security out of the so-called “fiscal cliff” negotiations.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Washington State Labor Council President Jeff Johnson is in D.C. today to participate in the lobby day.

► In The Hill — Union members fly to D.C. to lobby lawmakers on ‘fiscal cliff’ — Hundreds of union members will be on Capitol Hill this week to lobby lawmakers to leave entitlements alone and let tax cuts for the wealthy expire.

► In today’s NY Times — Efforts to curb social spending face resistance — President Obama’s re-election and Democratic gains in Congress were supposed to make it easier for the party to strike a deal with Republicans to resolve the year-end fiscal crisis by providing new leverage. But they could also make it harder as empowered Democrats, including some elected on liberal platforms, resist significant changes in entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — How to kill Social Security with a smile (by Froma Harrop) — Complicating Social Security with more means-testing and ending the tax dedicated to keeping it afloat would kill the program — with a smile.

► In the Hill — Obama ramps up public outreach to pressure GOP on tax rates — President Obama is launching a public drive this week to gain support for his economic policy proposals ahead of talks with lawmakers on a deficit-reduction package. A centerpiece of Obama’s plan is extending tax rates for the middle class but raising taxes on the wealthiest to help pay for deficit reduction.

► In The Hill — House, Senate Republicans split over next moves on ‘fiscal cliff’ — Some GOP senators want to strike a quick deal this year, while House conservatives prefer holding out for major structural changes to the tax code and entitlements that would be enacted in 2013.

► In today’s Washington Post — Breaking Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge (by Eugene Robinson) — Maybe the fever is breaking. Maybe the delirium is lifting. Maybe Republicans are finally asking themselves: What were we thinking when we put an absurdly unrealistic pledge to a Washington lobbyist ahead of our duty to the American people?

► In today’s NY Times — Is Grover finally over? (by Frank Bruni) — Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge has done wonders for Grover Norquist. But allegiance to it is blessedly waning.

► In The Hill — Reid seeks to limit GOP filibusters — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Monday announced that Senate Democrats will vote to limit GOP use of the filibuster in the next Congress.




► At Daily Kos — Walmart is downplaying it; but Black Friday protests were historic — Walmart wants us to think of the context of its vast numbers of employees who didn’t strike. That’s a real context. But so is the fact that history was made in October when Walmart workers staged a rolling series of one-day strikes, the first such strikes in Walmart’s 50-year history. The Black Friday actions made history again, and they made it bigger. The question is whether this is the peak of worker activism at Walmart, or just the beginning.

► In today’s NY Times — Study of home help finds low pay — Nannies, caregivers and housecleaners earn a median wage of about $10 an hour, and few receive benefits like health insurance or paid sick days, according to the first-ever national statistical study of domestic workers, which is being released on Tuesday.

► In today’s NY Times — Justices consider definition of supervisor in job discrimination case — The Supreme Court heard arguments on Monday about who counts as a supervisor under a federal employment discrimination law.




► In the Palm Beach (Fla.) PCB —Former Florida GOP leaders say voter suppression was reason they pushed new election law — A new Florida law that contributed to long voter lines and caused some to abandon voting altogether was intentionally designed by Florida GOP staff and consultants to inhibit Democratic voters, former GOP officials and current GOP consultants say.


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