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Murray’s hot seat, Inslee steps in, lifting all yachts…

Monday, June 22, 2015




murray-patty► From Politico — Patty Murray, pro-trade Dems in crosshairs ahead of big trade vote — As the Senate barrels toward yet another cliffhanger vote Tuesday on trade, Murray is once again in the cross hairs: She has been targeted by a president who needs every last Democratic vote to push his agenda over the finish line, hails from a trade-dependent state, but still is under pressure from labor unions hoping to stop what they see as a bad deal for American workers. What also could influence her vote: Murray’s fellow Washington state Democratic senator, Maria Cantwell, warned in an interview that she is prepared to block the legislation this week. “I’m a ‘no’ because I want to get a certainty that we’re going to take care of workers who are laid off,” said Cantwell… Murray is being tugged between two poles of her power base. Washington State Labor Council President Jeff Johnson is praising Cantwell’s “courageous” position and urging Murray to join her and “stand tall with us” by blocking the fast-track bill. But Eric Schinfeld, president of the WCIT pro-trade consortium, noted that “both our senators support TPA” and “are looking for a path to vote yes.”

ALSO at The Stand — Cantwell, Murray now ‘critical moral votes’ on Fast Track

Take action urging Murray, Cantwell to vote NO on Fast Track

1) Please call 1-855-712-8441 and leave a message for Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray urging them to vote NO on cloture (which would end debate if 60 senators vote “yes”) on the Fast Track TPA bill, and if debate ends, to vote NO on the bill itself.

2) Attend a NO on Fast Track vigil Monday night, June 22 outside the senators’ Seattle offices from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Jackson Federal Building, 915 2nd Ave. Download and share this vigil flier. For more information, contact email Gillian Locascio of the Washington Fair Trade Coalition or call her at 206-227-3079.

► From the Hill — Warren’s last stand on trade — Liberal groups are ready to make a last stand against President Obama’s trade agenda in the Senate with Elizabeth Warren, one of their strongest allies on the issue.




inslee-TVW-presser-15Jun19► From WFSE — Inslee proposes to break impasse and have budget done in a week — Gov. Jay Inslee this morning proposed a new revenue option — closing obsolete tax loopholes — to get legislative budget negotiators to a middle ground and get the budget done by next Friday. While the governor went public with details on the behind-the-scenes budget talks he’s been mediating, he in effect apologized to the 25,000 state employees who will receive notices of temporary layoffs starting today because of the possibility there could be a state shutdown July 1. Said Inslee: “I don’t see how we can have final action on a budget in order to avoid those anxiety-producing notices, but there is no reason – zero – why we can’t have a budget in one week.”

► In the Columbian — Dems take taxes off the table — Democrats have given up their call for a capital gains tax as Washington lawmakers continue wrangling over a two-year budget plan, focusing on closing some tax breaks instead. The surrender on taxes came as Gov. Jay Inslee said Friday that there is no reason Washington state lawmakers shouldn’t agree on an operating budget this week.

► In the Seattle Times — Final compromise needed on state spending for education, transportation (editorial) — The path toward the middle would require the Senate Republican caucus to agree to close some tax loopholes, which they’ve said they’d be willing to do. And the House Democratic caucus would have to acknowledge they’ve been outsmarted this session by a more disciplined GOP caucus.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Really, Seattle Times? The final concession (of many) for Democrats is to acknowledge that the Republicans’ irresponsible and costly — but apparently “disciplined” — game of shutdown chicken “outsmarted” them? With that analysis, I guess we can look forward to near-shutdowns for every state budget in the future.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Failure on budget can’t be allowed (editorial) — Delay until the session’s final hours, or worse, June 30, brings us closer to losing too much for our communities and jeopardizing future economic growth.




► From KIRO TV — Space Needle workers continue to fight

ALSO at The Stand — Seattle leaders back raises, fair contract for Space Needle staff

ely-eileen► In the Seattle Times — Green River College, faculty union deadlocked over potential cuts — President Eileen Ely wants to close three Green River programs because of declining enrollment and a looming $5.7 million shortfall. Faculty-union officials argue that she is trying to close programs run by their members in an attempt to intimidate the union. There have been marches on campus, calls for Ely to resign, two no-confidence votes on her leadership and, most recently, a vote in favor of a measure authorizing the union to call for a strike if necessary. Meetings of the board of trustees have been packed with dissenters.

ALSO at The Stand — Green River board backs Ely; faculty authorizes strike (May 27)

Green River faculty: President Ely has got to go (May 15)

► In the (Longview) Daily News — LCC president defends his leadership in the face of faculty, staff frustrations — a rift has opened between Lower Columbia College President Chris Bailey and the college’s faculty and staff, some of whom call Bailey a divisive leader, a top-down manager who alienates staff. The faculty union has presented the Board of Trustees with a list of concerns about his leadership.

► In the (Longview) Daily News — KapStone labor talks still at a stalemate — A strike appears slightly less imminent, but KapStone and its pulp and paper union made little progress Friday in their first contract talks in weeks, an AWPPW leader said.

► In the News Tribune — Aerospace’s good times keep rolling for Puget Sound, but for how long? — To judge by admittedly superficial measures — order announcements and market projections — the current condition of the aerospace industry generally and Boeing in particular allows for a bit of cautious optimism.

► In today’s Yakima H-R — Darigold’s Sunnyside plant expansion well underway — The two cranes that tower high above the Darigold plant on the south edge of town means the milk cooperative is well along in its $90 million-plus expansion.

► In the Peninsula Daily News — 25 years after spotted owl listing: fewer owls, less timber industryTwenty-five years later, the effects of the landmark decision can be seen in the reams of economic, industry and environmental data routinely gathered by state and federal governments. The outcomes are by turns expected, disheartening and surprising.




ST-NW-CEO-pay► In the Seattle Times — Stock awards on top of pay, bonuses boost CEO compensation — With a stock-heavy compensation package that hit $84.3 million last year, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who took in $84.3 million in 2014, was easily the highest-paid among 113 publicly traded Northwest companies.

► In the Seattle Times — As pay raises increase for Northwest CEOs, so does income inequality — Average pay for Northwest CEOs of publicly traded companies rose 23 percent last year, despite greater national efforts to rein in excessive compensation at the top. Some are starting to look for answers in the larger issue of income inequality.

► In the Seattle Times — Changes in public policy could put a lid on executives’ excessive pay packages (by Jon Talton) — The analogy between chief executives and great athletes or entertainers is fatally flawed. The latter compete in a real marketplace that rewards the best talent through market forces. Most CEOs operate in a crony world. At the worst, they pick their own compensation committee. Even independent boards are clubby and in thrall of all the justifications for unjustified and ever-rising compensation. What’s good for the 1 percent CEOs is bad for America. We can change that.




► From Reuters — Tensions build as Supreme Court readies blockbuster rulings — Tensions are building inside and outside the white marble facade of the U.S. Supreme Court building as the nine justices prepare to issue major rulings on gay marriage and President Barack Obama’s healthcare law by the end of the month. The court will issue some rulings on Monday, with more likely later in the week.

► From Politico — Price tag of ACA repeal: $353 billion — The CBO’s conclusion today that sacking the Affordable Care Act would swell the budget deficit by as much as $353 billion wasn’t at all what Republicans were expecting. Using so-called dynamic scoring, which attempts to account for the economic effects of policy changes, a repeal would still hit the deficit, although by less — about $137 billion, CBO said.




boat-in-a-boat► In the Washington Post — States are racing to see who can give rich people a bigger tax break on their yachts — It turns out that yachts are just another asset that the rich can move from place to place to avoid taxes. These sales tax breaks substantially benefit only relatively few buyers,  those able to spend several hundred thousand dollars on a boat and whose sales taxes, and the companies that sell to them.

► From the Business Journals — APWU hopes to nix the Office Depot acquisition — The American Postal Workers Union is taking a strong stance against the Office Depot and Staples acquisition, which was overwhelmingly approved by shareholders Friday. The APWU held a briefing following the meeting of Office Depot’s shareholders, outlining why the union feels federal regulators should block the deal.




► From — Want to fix the economy? Address mass incarceration — In his latest video on how to improve the American economy, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich lays out the case that addressing the current problems with mass incarceration would be a good place to start. He says our unjust criminal system is racist, it’s destructive, it doesn’t make us safer and it’s a disaster for our economy.


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

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