Wednesday, October 14, 2015
► In USA Today — There’s no proof the TPP will help working people (by Richard Trumka) — It’s unlikely this agreement will raise wages or create jobs in the U.S. because, frankly, it wasn’t designed to do so. It was designed to facilitate the same off-shoring, wage-reducing, benefit-cutting trend of existing U.S. trade deals.
► From The Hill — More Democrats’ votes key to trade deal’s passage — Just 28 House Democrats voted earlier this year to give President Obama expanded power to ease passage of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, which has come under fire from liberals who say it would undermine public safety and hurt American workers. But facing likely defections from Republicans who backed “fast-track” authority for Obama, the president must now look for additional votes within his own party.
EDITOR’S NOTE — That means Reps. Jim McDermott, Adam Smith, and Denny Heck — all of whom sided with working families and voted against Fast Track — will face a full-court press from the White House and corporate interests to back the TPP. And the rest of Washington’s congressional delegation, who voted for Fast Track, will have to decide whether to side with corporations again on the TPP… in an election year.
► From The Hill — GOP Sen. Portman defends labor unions — Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) is reaching out to Ohio labor unions to defend his record on trade. Portman, who faces a tough reelection campaign next year in a state that twice voted for President Obama, is casting himself as a fighter for U.S. workers who has sought to improve trade deals.
► From KUOW — Special election to fill state House seat tops $1 million — Money is pouring into a highly competitive special election to fill an open seat in the Washington state House. The battle for the 30th legislative district between Seattle and Tacoma features Democrat Carol Gregory and Republican Teri Hickel. Gregory was appointed to the seat following the death of incumbent Democrat Roger Freeman.
ALSO at The Stand — Labor Neighbor: Fight back against corporate campaign cash
► In today’s News Tribune — $12 for Tacoma raises big bucks from business advocates — More than two dozen individuals and small groups have donated to 15 Now Tacoma, most donating $100 or so. $12 for Tacoma has four donors: the Washington Restaurant Association, the largest contributor at $10,000; the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber; restaurateur The Ram; and private company Pierce County Security.
► In today’s Columbian — Madore dominates funding for Pike — County Councilor Madore has given $262,500 to groups backing the campaign to write in Liz Pike for county council chair. In contrast, Democrat Mike Dalesandro has raised $18,237.11; Marc Boldt, no party preference, has raised $30,573.11.
► In the Columbian — NO on Initiative 1366 (editorial) — Tim Eyman, who is under investigation for allegedly misusing campaign funds related to previous measures, acknowledges that I-1366 might not pass constitutional muster but says that it still would send a message to lawmakers. Unfortunately, I-1366 is not the way to deliver that message.
ALSO at The Stand — WSLC urges rejection of Tim Eyman’s I-1366
► A related story in today’s Seattle Times — Legal bills mount for Tim Eyman, anti-tax initiative campaign partners — A lawyer defending Eyman against allegations he broke campaign-finance laws was paid $150,000 on Oct. 2 by the committee backing Initiative 1366, the Eyman anti-tax measure on the November ballot.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Attorney General’s Office sues union over campaign-finance laws — The office Tuesday filed the suit against SEIU 925 for allegedly failing to properly report political contributions it made to its political-action committee and others. Filed in Thurston County Superior Court, the suit comes after the Attorney General’s Office — headed by Democrat Bob Ferguson — filed a similar complaint against SEIU 775 last month.
► From AP — University of Washington names 1st Latina as its president — The University of Washington Board of Regents on Tuesday chose Ana Mari Cauce to be the school’s next president, making her the first woman, first openly gay person and first Latina to hold the job permanently at the Seattle-based institution.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Interestingly, The Seattle Times coverage of this story leads with the UW breaking a “long-standing tradition of picking outsiders” by hiring a 29-year UW employee. After the jump, on paragraph 12, you’ll find the fact that UW also broke a long-standing tradition of picking white men. Bury the lead much?
► In today’s Columbian — Vancouver firefighters union opposes oil terminal at port — Citing threats to public safety, the head of Vancouver’s firefighters union told Port of Vancouver commissioners Tuesday that the union opposes a proposal to build the nation’s largest rail-to-ship oil-transfer terminal at the Port of Vancouver.
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Port declines to buy back land where oil refinery would go — Port of Longview commissioners Tuesday declined to buy back a $22.9 million private property, clearing the way for Waterside Energy Inc. to purchase the site, where it wants to build an oil refinery and propane export facility.
► In today’s Seattle Times — ‘Half-baked sale’ protest over Seattle teacher reassignments — Seattle students, teachers and parents held events to protest the district’s plan to reassign two dozen teachers.
► In today’s NY Times — Hillary Clinton turns up heat on Bernie Sanders in sharp debate — Hillary Rodham Clinton, seeking to halt the momentum of her insurgent challenger, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, aggressively questioned his values, positions and voting history Tuesday night in the first Democratic presidential debate, turning a showdown that had been expected to scrutinize her character into a forceful critique of his record.
► From CNN — Hillary Clinton defends her stance on TPP (video)
► From Politico — Bernie Sanders raises $1.3M on email remark
► From Huffington Post — Hillary Clinton jumps at chance to defend paid leave laws
► From Huffington Post — Hillary Clinton hesitates on expanding Social Security
► In today’s NY Times — End ‘Cadillac’ health tax (letter by Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn.) — In 2009 and 2010, it was billed as a tax on only the most expensive and lavish health plans, those enjoyed by high-paid chief executives. But the reality facing workers and employers today demonstrates that older workers, women and employees in high-cost regions will bear the brunt of this tax penalty… The Cadillac tax is bad policy that creates bad incentives in our health care system. That is why I am leading a bipartisan effort in the House to repeal the Cadillac tax before it damages the progress we have made since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Rep. Courtney’s legislation to repeal the Cadillac tax has 160 co-sponsors, including Reps. Derek Kilmer, Jim McDermott, Suzan DelBene, and Adam Smith.
► From AFL-CIO Now — Rep. Scott lays out case for WAGE Act — Last month, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) introduced the WAGE Act, legislation designed to strengthen protections for working people who join together to make positive change at work and make sure corporations that violate working people’s rights face real consequences. Now, Scott has released a report that lays out the case for why the WAGE Act needs to be passed.
► From The Hill — Debt limit anxiety is running high — Prolonged turmoil within the House GOP is driving up anxiety that Washington will have real trouble raising the debt limit by Nov. 5.
► In the Washington Post — Fixing America’s roads would essentially pay for itself (by Lawrence Summers) — There are many compelling arguments for increasing American infrastructure investment. Here is another one. Maintaining our infrastructure directly benefits American families and businesses because with fewer potholes they have to spend less maintaining their vehicles.
► From ProPublica — Inside Corporate America’s campaign to ditch workers’ comp — Many of the nation’s biggest retail, trucking, health care and food companies have already opted out of the workers’ comp system in Texas, where Dallas attorney Bill Minick pioneered the concept as a young lawyer. Oklahoma recently passed a law co-written by Minick allowing companies to opt out there. Tennessee and South Carolina are seriously considering similar measures. And with a coalition led by executives from Walmart, Nordstrom and Lowe’s, Minick has launched a campaign to get laws passed in as many as a dozen states within the next decade.
► From IAFF — Fund set up for Kansas City fire fighters killed in blaze — A fund to support the families of fallen firefighters is available through IAFF Local 42. Tax-deductible donations will be given to the families of firefighters Leggio and Mesh. Donations can be made by check, payable to IAFF Local 42 and should be sent to 6320 Manchester Ave., Suite 42A; Kansas City, MO 64133.
► From AFL-CIO Now — Al Jazeera America are latest digital journalists to unionize — This week, an overwhelming majority of digital journalists working for Al Jazeera America voted to be represented by the The NewsGuild of New York, CWA Local 31003. They join a growing number of digital outlets that have recently organized, including The Guardian U.S., Gawker, Vice and Salon.
► From Al Jazeera America — Union: Critical, chronic shortage of air traffic controllers — A chronic shortage of controllers has reached a crisis that will lead to widespread flight delays if left unchecked, officials for the union that represents air traffic controllers said Tuesday. The FAA has failed to meet its hiring goals for controllers for five consecutive years, leaving the number of controllers at its lowest level in 27 years at a time when air traffic is increasing, said National Air Traffic Controllers Association officials.
► From Al Jazeera America — L.A. Black Worker Center takes new approach to black jobs crisis — The center trains black workers to become labor rights advocates and has become a model for other cities.
► From KSVR — The 1916 Everett Massacre — The first episode of the Labor Archives of Washington’s new monthly labor history segment on the radio show “We Do the Work” on KSVR FM is now streaming online. This episode covers the 1916 Everett Massacre and the history of the Industrial Workers of the World. The new segment will be called “Learn Yourself,” and it will cover a particular labor history topic and introduce people to resources for further reading and research, including the Labor Archives of Washington’s collections.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.