Tuesday, December 10, 2013
► At Inside Olympia — TVW’s Austin Jenkins interviews Jeff Johnson, President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, regarding efforts to pass a transportation package, the Boeing 777X incentives and Machinists’ contract vote, the threat of “right-to-work,” and the $15 minimum wage.
► At PubliCola — Transportation lobby group, pessimistic about deal, releases tepid 2014 agenda — The head of the Transportation Choices Coalition, Rob Johnson, was subdued at the group’s monthly Friday Forum last week, where the group discussed the floundering state transportation package and the group’s almost moribund 2014 legislative agenda.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Why Boeing and the Machinists need to come back to the table (op-ed by CEO of United Way of King County) — To keep the 777X, our community needs for the company and the Machinists to find an accommodation that honors both sides’ legitimate interests. When they’re together and united, the company, its employees and retirees are a phenomenal force for good.
► From Bloomberg — EADS to cut 5,800 jobs from its defense and space units — European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. plans to trim 5,800 jobs, marking the steepest cuts in about five years as the parent of Airbus combines space and defense units left reeling from slack government spending.
► In today’s Seattle Times — SeaTac $15 minimum wage survives recount — The ballot measure to create a $15 minimum wage for airport-related workers in SeaTac has survived a recount. King County Elections recounted ballots by hand Monday, at the request of opponents of SeaTac Proposition 1, and announced it had identified “no surprises” that would change the initial tally of the Nov. 5 vote. The King County Canvassing Board is expected to finalize the results Tuesday.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Highway 99 tunnel mystery may take drill rigs or divers to solve — Bertha, the Highway 99 drilling machine, had tunneled about one-eighth of the route from Sodo to South Lake Union when an unidentified object stopped it. Project managers are trying to identify the object and figure out how to get Bertha moving again.
► In The Hill — Negotiators fail to complete TPP trade deal — The United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations failed to agree on a TransPacific Partnership trade agreement by a self-imposed 2013 deadline. Meeting in Singapore, negotiators said Tuesday that they were not ready to sign a deal and that trade ministers would meet again in January. The statement does not set another deadline for doing the deal.
► In The Hill — Lawmakers ready budget to jam through House of Representatives this week — Congressional leaders are preparing to unveil a last-minute budget deal that could be quickly jammed through the House. It looks like a deal could be unveiled as late as Wednesday, just two days before the House is scheduled to recess for the rest of the year. At this point, the deal is likely to replace less than half of the automatic cuts scheduled for 2014 and 2015. It would leave major entitlements and the tax code untouched and would not extend federal unemployment benefits. The airline industry and associated unions and federal workers unions have been working overtime to stop the emerging deal because they would essentially be asked to pay for it.
► In today’s Washington Post — Federal workers could pay more for retirement benefits — Much to the consternation of federal employees, the question has quickly moved from “if” to “how much.” The subject is the hit on federal retirement benefits that could emerge from budget talks on Capitol Hill.
► From AP — Government sells its remaining stake in GM — The U.S. government has sold its remaining shares in the Detroit automaker. In exchange for a $49.5 billion bailout during the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, the U.S. recovered $39 billion, meaning taxpayers came up more than $10 billion short. But Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew says the rescue was necessary to save 1 million jobs and stop the American auto industry from collapsing.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Maybe Boeing should offer states a stake in the company for the billions of dollars in capital investments and tax cuts they are seeking for the 777X work.
► From AP — World leaders, South Africans honor Mandela — U.S. President Barack Obama exhorted the world Tuesday to embrace Nelson Mandela’s universal message of peace and justice, electrifying tens of thousands of rain-lashed spectators and prompting a standing ovation by scores of heads of state in a South African stadium.
► In The Hill — Pilots union chief navigates D.C. turbulence — Lee Moak is no stranger to turbulence — he’s a former Delta Airlines pilot, and he led that airline’s pilots union during its 2008 merger with Northwest Airlines. But Moak, who is also a retired Marine, says nothing fully prepared him for what awaited when he moved to Washington in 2011 to take the helm of the Air Line Pilots Association and represent all airlines’ pilots.
► At Gawker — Fox News paid fired executive $8 million to keep quiet — Roger Ailes’ secrets command a heavy price. Fox News reached an out-of-court settlement with Brian Lewis, the former Roger Ailes aide who was abruptly fired in late July. A Fox News executive with knowledge of the negotiations told Gawker that Lewis was paid approximately $8 million in hush money.
► At today’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch — Lawmakers should only take one loyalty oath, and it shouldn’t be to ALEC (editorial) — The American Legislative Exchange Council is a coalition of wealthy Republican industrialists and corporations that seeks to pass model legislation at the state level. Every year in Missouri and other states, duped lawmakers take prewritten legislation, mostly designed to make corporations more money at taxpayers’ expense, and file it as their own, often using the identical legislation state-by-state. Voters should consider such front organizations as offensive to democracy. ALEC exists solely to hide. To hide money. To hide agendas. To hide its hijacking of democracy. Lawmakers who care about the constitution and their commitment to voters should be fleeing faster than the corporations who realize ALEC is simply a bad investment.
EDITOR’S NOTE — State Sen. Jan Angel (R-Port Orchard) is the state chair for ALEC in Washington.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.