Tuesday, November 4, 2014
► TODAY at The Stand — It’s Election Day: Here’s how to vote today — Ballots must be returned with a first-class stamp and postmarked by today. Post offices will be closing at different times today depending on location. Most counties also have 24-hour ballot drop boxes in various areas where no stamp is required, but ballots must be deposited by 8 p.m.! If you didn’t get a ballot, can’t find it, want to find a drop box in your area or need some other help, here’s who to contact.
► From KUOW — Washington’s priciest race now up to $53 per vote — With control of the state Senate up in the air, money has been flooding into a handful of key races, none more than the contest between Republican incumbent Andy Hill and Democratic challenger Matt Isenhower on Seattle’s Eastside. Businesses, wealthy donors and other political players inside and outside Washington state have pumped $2.88 million into this one race — more than any other for a seat in the state Legislature.
► In today’s Yakima Herald — Didier vs. Newhouse: What to watch — No race on the ballot has provided more intrigue than the battle between Republicans Clint Didier and Dan Newhouse to replace retiring 10-term Congressman Doc Hastings.
► At Vox — 9 good reasons to vote today — 1) Health care for 4.8 million people; 2) Raises for 680,000 workers; 3) Four Supreme Court justices are over age 70…
► In today’s NY Times — What to watch for as GOP expects big night at the polls — If Republicans, who need to pick up six seats to gain the Senate majority, win in Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire and North Carolina, they are all but certain to take control. If they lose them all or split them, the fate of the Senate may not be known for some time. That is because the Louisiana and Georgia contests could go to runoffs (Louisiana in December, Georgia in January) and the results of the Alaska race may not be known for at least another day… Republicans are closely watching Colorado, where Senator Mark Udall and Gov. John W. Hickenlooper, both Democrats, are in danger of losing in a state Obama won that’s supposedly trending Democratic.
► At Politico — Senate battle could go to overtime — With some races too close to call ahead of Election Day and others poised to go to a second round of voting, it could be days, weeks or even months before the Senate is awarded to one party or the other.
► At Politico — Liberals abandon Sen. Mary Landrieu — Mary Landrieu’s reelection could help Democrats hang onto the Senate, but liberals have abandoned her anyway. Large national environmental groups, women’s organizations and unions are barely lifting a finger for the embattled Louisiana Democrat, who has close ties to the oil industry and supports the state’s same-sex marriage ban.
EDITOR’S NOTE — It’s not about parties, it’s about what they stand for. Or don’t stand for.
► At Huffington Post — Jon Stewart perfectly sums up GOP’s closing arguments — On Monday night, Stewart played a series of clips from Republican campaigns that were focused on terrorism and Ebola. “I thought that was a very powerful and cogent essayistic argument,” Stewart said. “Move over ‘hope and change’ and welcome ‘vote for us or get beheaded while pooping blood!'”
► In The Hill — Minimum wage hike on ballot in four red states — Initiatives on the issue will appear on ballots in Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota. Senate races in Alaska and Arkansas are considered two of the most competitive of the cycle.
► In today’s NY Times — Little opposition in some votes to raise state minimum wages — These measures are so overwhelmingly popular in some states, notably Alaska and Arkansas, that the opposition has hardly put up a fight.
► In today’s NY Times — Election tests new rules on voting — The obscure rules of elections will be under intense scrutiny on Tuesday as civic groups, political parties and the Department of Justice, concerned about fair play, monitor polling places for irregularities.
► From Bloomberg — Port operators accuse longshore union of staging slowdowns in Seattle, Tacoma — Pacific Coast dockworkers negotiating a new labor agreement have begun a work slowdown in Seattle and Tacoma, management said, in the first large job action since their contract expired in July.
ALSO TODAY at The Stand — ILWU decries ‘smear campaign’ by West Coast port companies
► In the P.S. Business Journal — Group Health lays off 102 employees as part of transition to Swedish — The layoffs will mainly hit nurses, but maintenance workers, delivery room technicians and food service aides also will be affected as Group Health moves its special care nursery and birthing services from its Capitol Hill location in Seattle to Swedish Medical Center on First Hill. The layoffs will happen between Dec. 31 and March 31.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Nordstrom to lay off 142 workers in Vancouver — Workers at the company’s closing Westfield Vancouver Mall store may land elsewhere with the company, which has six stores in the Portland area.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — West Side traffic fixes will benefit entire state (editorial) — You wouldn’t give your entire family cold medicine if only one person suffered from congestion. Similarly, the state should direct its cure where it would do the most good. But that’s easier said than done in politics, where state legislators ask, “What’s in it for my district?” The answer is that when traffic is bottled up in the Puget Sound area, the whole state gets a congestion headache. For this reason, the state Legislature must take another run at a solution.
► In The Hill — Labor, business united in postal reform push in the lame duck — Unions and the business mailing industry, tired of years of stalled efforts on postal reform, are teaming up to try to push through legislation to help the U.S. Postal Service after Tuesday’s elections. Organized labor and the mailing industry — which includes banks, catalog companies and a slew of other sectors reliant on the USPS — have long had different priorities when it comes to shoring up an agency that has lost billions of dollars in recent years. But top lawmakers are pessimistic that a broad postal reform deal can be reached in Congress’s lame-duck session. So, the two groups are uniting behind a narrower deal that would include concessions from both sides and simply ignore some of the most divisive postal issues.
ALSO TODAY at The Stand — On Nov. 14, nation will tell USPS to stop delaying America’s mail — In Seattle, all are invited to Shine a Light on the Plan to Delay the Mail! Join postal unions members and their allies on Friday, Nov. 14 from 4 to 5 p.m. in from of Term Station and the Seattle Carrier Annex at 4th Avenue and Lander St. Sunset is at 4:30 p.m., so bring flashlights, bike lights and other blinking lights to light up the signs and the rally.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.