Sleazy campaigns, Boeing breaks, GOP plans…

Thursday, October 23, 2014




EDITOR’S NOTE: Sometime this morning, The News Tribune removed the following editorial from its website. We have inquired as to why. UPDATE: The News Tribune says this editorial — intended for Friday’s edition — was posted online inadvertently and “still needed some editing.” The new version should be available tomorrow.

► In today’s News Tribune — Sleazy campaign ads reflect poorly on candidates (editorial) — In the 28th District, a mystery group called the Good Government Leadership Council has sent out one sleazy flier after another to slam Democratic Senate candidate Tami Green with laughably misleading claims. This “council” is a political committee funded mostly by Republicans who want to elect Sen. Steve O’Ban and retain control of the state Senate… In the 26th District, Republican House candidate Michelle Caldier has made outrageous claims against Rep. Larry Seaquist, the Democratic incumbent. Her flier includes a badly doctored photo purporting to show the widely respected Seaquist as some kind of voyeur and implying that she’s being stalked and harassed. We thought Caldier was a better candidate than this; we were mistaken. Voters should not reward her sleaziness with their support.

► In today’s Bellingham Herald — PDC filings: Sen. Ericksen continues to take dozens of lobbyist meals — After topping a list of legislators who received free meals, drinks and golf games from lobbyists last year, Whatcom County Sen. Doug Ericksen has accepted at least 50 meals and other goods from lobbyists in 2014, according to reports submitted to the state. Ericksen responds: “I think the people of Whatcom County understand I’m fighting to keep jobs and keep taxes low… (you know, over dinner).”

► In today’s Washington Post — How zombies could decide control of the Washington state Senate — Rich Cowan is also a Democrat running for a state Senate seat in Spokane, and his platform revolves around all those jobs his production company has brought to the area; the election will happen only weeks after “Z Nation” announced its plans to film a second season. His opponent, incumbent Sen. Michael Baumgartner (R) has said that these television jobs are temporary and funded by taxpayer money, thanks to a state film incentive that Baumgartner voted for, but is now reconsidering because of a desire to fund permanent jobs.

► From KPLU — Why do unions want to run child care teacher training in Seattle? — Seattle Prop. 1A calls for a quicker path to a minimum wage of $15 an hour for child care teachers and would set a city policy that states no family should have to spend more than 10 percent of the household income on child care. One other provision that’s drawn less attention is a plan to set up a system of training in which the unions would play a bigger role.




► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Panel: How are Boeing’s $8.7B tax breaks paying off? — The five-member panel with a mouthful of title — the Citizen’s Commission for Performance Measurement of Tax Preferences — concluded last week that Washington needs a clear means of measuring benefits received from $8.7 billion in tax savings Boeing stands to covet over the next couple of decades. On a 4-1 vote, the commission recommended that the Legislature “establish specific economic development metrics and reporting mechanisms” for the tax breaks, which are intended to help the aerospace industry grow. Commissioners didn’t spell out what they thought those “specific metrics” should include, cognizant of the difficulty faced by lawmakers in devising any degree of check on tax breaks. Leaders of two unions (SPEEA and IAM 751) wanted the panel to be bolder — to endorse a requirement that Boeing maintain a minimum number of jobs to receive every dollar of tax savings. Though that didn’t happen, representatives of the unions applauded the commission’s recommendation.

► From KUOW — Struggling to bring health care to rural Washington — Community health centers have been busier than usual. They’re seeing more patients, many of them newly insured. The centers, which provide care for mostly low income families, are meeting the demand by branching out to remote, underserved communities. But the challenge now is finding enough providers to staff these clinics. Sea Mar Community Health Center’s clinic in Yelm has only been open since February. But the clinic sees more than 40 patients a day, and there’s no doctor yet on staff.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing shares fall on worries about 787 costs and cash flow — Boeing got a bearish response Wednesday to the news that its profit was up nearly 18 percent and its revenues surpassed Wall Street’s forecast. Its shares dropped 4.5 percent, falling $5.67 to close at $121.45. One detail in the earnings report that created concern: costs deferred to the future in accounting for 787 production continued to rise beyond the peak of $25 billion Boeing had set a year ago.

► In the P.S. Business Journal — McNerney expresses confidence and doubt in the future of Boeing’s 747 — With the venerable four-engine jet down to just 42 orders, only 15 of them for freighters, rumors have been flying about a possible rate slowdown from the current 1.5 aircraft monthly to something even slower. But McNerney said not.

► At Huffington Post — Google quits ALEC, but Shell, ExxonMobil and Chevron stay put — Thanks to pressure from shareholders, unions and public interest organizations, more than 90 companies (including Amazon and Microsoft) have severed ties with ALEC since 2012, according to the nonprofit Center for Media and Democracy. But roughly 30 fossil fuel companies and trade associations are still steadfast supporters. Two of them — ExxonMobil and Koch Industries — are so gung ho that they’ve been kicking in significantly more than the annual fee.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Why is this listed under Boeing news? (Thanks for asking.) ALEC Exposed reports that The Boeing Co. remains a member of this climate change-denying, union-busting corporate bill mill.




► In the Seattle Times — Contractors worry about qualified worker shortage — A new AGC report says 83 percent of respondents said they were having at least some trouble finding qualified craft workers as the industry recovers. The situation in one area is somewhat more serious in Washington, where 38% of respondents said they were having a “hard time filling some key professional and craft worker positions.” Nationally, the number was 29%.

► In today’s Peninsula Daily News — Port Angeles’ deal with firefighters’ union likely to be modelProposed 2015 wage increases for the city’s employees will be modeled after a 2% wage hike unanimously approved Tuesday by the City Council for 21 fire department personnel who are members of IAFF Local 656.

► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Whatcom County’s 2015 budget includes 18 new hires — Instead of imposing the layoffs and unpaid days off of a few years ago, Executive Jack Louws proposed adding 18 positions in 2015. Louws released his 2015-16 budget last week. The new hires, if approved by the County Council, would bring the number of county employees to about 827, the same as in 2011.

► In today’s Columbian — Washougal job-creation projects eyed — A new community development entity in Clark County is asking the U.S. Treasury for the right to sell tax credits to raise as much as $30 million in investment capital to finance the construction of job-creating projects in Washougal.




► In today’s NY Times — Economists see limited gains in GOP plans — Anticipating a takeover of Congress, Republicans have assembled an economic agenda that reflects their small-government, antiregulation philosophy, but also suggests internal divisions that could hinder a united front against President Obama — much as happened in the 1990s, when a Republican-led Congress confronted President Bill Clinton. The proposals would mainly benefit energy industries, reduce taxes and regulations for businesses generally, and continue the attack on the Affordable Care Act. It is a mix that leaves many economists, including several conservatives, underwhelmed.

► In The Hill — Angst grows over Obama’s plans for action on immigration — Angst over President Obama’s post-election plans on immigration is growing amid revelations that the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service has issued a procurement request for as many as 34 million work permits and green cards.

► In today’s Oregonian — Congress investigates Jimmy John’s non-compete clause — Members of Congress plan to ask the Labor Department and the Federal Trade Commission to look into the use of non-compete agreements by the sandwich chain.


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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