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Saturday’s food drive, DeMinted immigration, ‘ALEC isn’t OK’…

Tuesday, May 7, 2013




NALC-stamp-out-hunger_front► In today’s Columbian — Letter carriers collecting food donations with Saturday mail — Some time this week you should receive in your mail a plastic, biodegradable food bag. Fill it with nonperishable food donations and place it by your mailbox early Saturday morning. (If you somehow miss the bag, any sturdy plastic or paper bag will do.)

► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Letter Carriers’ food drive collection is Saturday — Letter carriers are leaving blue plastic bags in mailboxes this week, hoping patrons will fill them with donations of nonperishable food for the needy.

► In the (Aberdeen) Daily World) — Postal carriers food drive coming up on May 11 — Employees at the Montesano, Aberdeen and Hoquiam post offices will join in the campaign this year.

ALSO at The Stand — Letter Carriers’ National Food Drive is May 11

► In the P.S. Business Journal — Seattle Symphony reaches tentative agreement with musicians — The Seattle Symphony Orchestra has reached a tentative contract agreement with the musicians who play for the Symphony and the Seattle Opera. The union has been in negotiations for 15 months, and nearly went on strike in October.

► In today’s News Tribune — Tacoma council to vote on $7.2 million in pay hikes — More than 400 nonunion city workers — mostly Tacoma Public Utilities employees — are set to receive what officials are calling “market-driven rate adjustments” and other pay increases totaling $7.2 million over the next two years.

► In today’s Columbian — Vancouver council denies vote on light rail — The council declined Monday to place an anti-light rail initiative on the November ballot. City Attorney Ted Gathe reiterated the legal analysis he gave in March, that the initiative falls outside the scope of the city’s initiative powers and would not be legally defensible.




benton-don-signs-up► In today’s Columbian — Commissioners quarrel on Facebook on Benton’s first day — Benton, who was appointed Wednesday by Commissioners David Madore and Tom Mielke to be Clark County’s director of environmental services, declined an interview before heading into the Public Service Center just before 11 a.m. (?!) for his first day on the job. Benton will be paid an annual salary of $109,656.

► In today’s Columbian — Benton predecessor forced out — Kevin Gray, Clark County’s former director of environmental services, previously alleged that he was being forced out of his job by Republican County Commissioner Tom Mielke, because one of Gray’s investigations was aimed at Mielke’s friend, neighbor and campaign donor.




WSLC-con-WED-Inslee► In today’s (Everett) Herald — The Inslee aerospace vision (editorial) — In the final years of the Gregoire era, aerospace execs developed a sense of trust that state government could adapt and work in common cause. And with a visit to Everett this week, Inslee will have a platform to underscore his strategy. The Washington Aerospace Partnership, along with labor and business, are mobilized to help.

► In today’s News Tribune — WEA spends a lot on lobbying, but what does it get? — The teachers union spent $380,941 on lobbying in the first three months of 2013 — more than twice as much as the next-highest lobbying organization, SEIU Healthcare 775 NW.




► In today’s NY Times — Republican opponents plan immigration attack — Republican opponents of legislation to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws are readying an offensive intended to hijack the newly released bill as the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday begins a review that will offer the clearest sign yet of how difficult a path the legislation faces.

► In today’s Washington Post — On immigration legislation, fissures emerge within conservative ranks — Leading conservatives engaged in a bitter public fight Monday over the costs of overhauling the nation’s immigration system, exposing a rift within the Republican Party days before the Senate is set to begin debating a comprehensive reform proposal.

demint-jim-heritage► In today’s Washington Post — Heritage report distorts debate (editorial) — The Heritage paper (claiming immigration reform would cost $6.3 trillion), chock-full of assumptions that most economists dispute, is a blatant attempt to twist the immigration debate.

► In today’s Washington Post — No poor and huddled need apply (by Dana Milbank) — The Heritage doctrine would sharply curtail Hispanic immigration — legal and illegal alike.

► In today’s NY Times — Workers claim race bias as farms rely on immigrants — Some Americans, mostly black, who live near the farms say they want the field work but cannot get it because it is going to Mexicans. They contend that they are illegally discouraged from applying for work and treated shabbily by farmers who prefer the foreigners for their malleability.




overtime-pay► At Politico — White House threatens veto of comp-time bill — The White House issued a veto threat Monday for a House comp-time bill that would allow private-sector employers to substitute comp time for overtime pay.

► In today’s Washington Post — Is the Working Families Flexibility Act really worker friendly? — The National Partnership for Women & Families testified against the bill, saying, “it would leave workers with neither pay nor time” and “magnifies the power imbalance between employer and employee.” They added that H.R. 1406 “offers a false, flawed choice that would make times even tougher for workers and their families.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — Co-sponsors of the attack on overtime pay include every Republican member of Washington’s Congressional delegation: Reps. Doc Hastings, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and Dave Reichert.

► In today’s NY Times — Slowdown in rise of health costs may persist — One of the economic mysteries of the last few years has been the bigger-than-expected slowdown in health spending, a trend that promises to bolster wages and help close the wide federal deficit over the long term — but only if it persists. Two new studies suggest it might.

► At Politico — Trumka blasts Obama on Walmart — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka bashed President Obama and Vice President Biden for “valorizing” Walmart pledges to hire returning veterans.




stop-alec► At Huffington Post — ALEC’s war on workers (by IBT General President James P. Hoffa) — ALEC’s goal is clear. It wants less regulation and fewer worker protections in order to boost corporate profits. To do this, ALEC is strategically working to strip workers and middle-class families of their fundamental rights. They are trying to destroy safeguards that protect us from harm and ensure that we have a voice in our state capitals. That’s why it is critical that our legislators hear a diversity of voices. If they don’t, ALEC and its friends in big business will push through their agenda at our expense. I urge you to sign our petition and tell ALEC that we won’t stand for a corporate takeover of America.

► At — ALEC assembles ‘most wanted list,’ Oklahomans say ‘ALEC is not OK’ — For ALEC’s recent meeting in Oklahoma City, the organization assembled a dossier of disfavored reporters and activists, kicked reporters out of its conference who might write unfavorable stories, and managed to boot a community forum critical of ALEC from its reserved room. But arriving ALEC legislators and lobbyists were greeted by a wave of protesters that outnumbered the conference attendees.

EDITOR’S NOTE — The list of ALEC-linked Washington state legislators includes Rep. Jan Angel (R-28th 26th), ALEC’s state chair, who will be running in this fall’s special election to try to unseat Sen. Nathan Schlicher


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