Senate GOP ‘out of control,’ Harborview win, buy union rats…

Tuesday, February 9, 2016




► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Governor assails state Senate for firing transportation chief — An angry Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday blasted Republican senators for ousting Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson, calling it a “scurrilous, underhanded and dishonest” political campaign of which they should be ashamed.  “This was obviously a gross abuse of the confirmation process and was built on a totally false narrative,” Inslee said in his first public comments since Friday’s vote to fire Peterson. “The Senate Republicans are out of control at this moment.”

ALSO at The Stand — Senate Republicans shame, harm state with Lynn Peterson’s firing (by Jeff Johnson)

MORE coverage in The Columbian, KUOW, Seattle Times, Spokesman-Review, and The Stranger.

► In today’s Olympian — Heads roll in Inslee’s Cabinet — State government’s three largest agencies — with more than half the state workforce of 60,000 employees — are losing their top leaders. Who’s next?

► MUST-READ in today’s (Everett) Herald — Where accountability is lacking (editorial) — Sen. Michael Baumgartner (R-Spokane) made clear his intentions in a tweet after Peterson’s firing: “Note to other Inslee Appointees: Shape up, Do your job. Serve the people w/accountability. Or more heads are going to roll.” Recall that the state Senate’s current plans would give itself two more years to fix funding of basic education for K-12 schools and end the reliance on local school levies. And remember the $100,000-a-day fine the state Supreme Court levied against the Legislature last year because it has failed to come up with an adequate plan. That’s good advice, senator.

► In today’s Olympian — Legislature stumbling over its own low K-12 bar (editorial) — This may be an election year, but lawmakers need to buck up, find a little courage, and set firm deadlines for themselves — then meet them.

► From KUOW — Wash. liquor privatization continues to drive sales to Oregon, Idaho — The privatization of retail liquor sales in Washington state has delivered a sustained boost to the state liquor divisions in neighboring Idaho and Oregon.

► From AP — Union to pay $32,000 for campaign finance reporting errors — The State Attorney General’s Office said that SEIU 925 will pay the fine over improper reporting of in-kind and cash campaign contributions.




► From WFSE — Harborview Medical Center members celebrate big win on how the UW runs the hospital — With unanimous backing from the Metropolitan King County Council, WFSE Local 1488 members at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle have won a major change in how the University of Washington runs this region’s premier trauma center. The agreement puts the UW on notice the people of King County won’t tolerate anymore controversial plans to close critical-care and community clinics at the hospital and mistreatment of custodians, call-center operators and other employees will not be tolerated.




► From The Hill — Obama trade deal taking a hit in presidential race — Lawmakers say harsh criticism leveled against President Obama’s Pacific Rim trade agreement from presidential candidates in both parties is further complicating its passage. The stinging rhetoric against the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) comes on top of other challenges and could stifle what is already expected to be a difficult process.

ALSO at The Stand —  Two things you can do TODAY to oppose the TPP




► In today’s NY Times — Voting starts in state built for surprises — Half a million New Hampshire voters will pour into their polling places on Tuesday, many of them slogging through snow banks and wobbling across ice to get there, in the first primary election of the 2016 presidential campaign. There are few certainties in New Hampshire politics, but for most of the 2016 campaign there have been two: Donald Trump has led in statewide polls on the Republican side, and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has led on the Democratic side.

ALSO at The Stand — Trump’s appeal among whites about personality, not policies

► From The Onion — New Hampshire covered in shadow as floating Clinton campaign HQ takes up position over state — “It finally came to a stop an hour or so ago. But its engines just keep whirring constantly, rattling the house. My kids won’t stop crying.”




► From KPLU — Farm contractors balk at ACA requirements — Many contractors who provide farm labor and must now offer workers health insurance are complaining loudly about the cost in their already low-margin business. Some are also concerned that the forms they must file with the federal government under the Affordable Care Act will bring immigration problems to the fore. About half of the farm labor workforce in the U.S. is undocumented.

► From Equal Times — U.S. unions condemn deportations of Central American families — Immigrants rights and labor groups have condemned the Obama administration’s imminent plans for the mass deportation of undocumented Central American families who have arrived in the U.S. over the past two years.

► From AP — Judges strike down 2 North Carolina congressional districts — A panel of federal judges has struck down two North Carolina majority black congressional districts, saying race was the predominant factor in drawing those lines but state legislators lacked the justification for doing so.




► From the Philly Goat — Philadelphia’s inflatable rat-makers union protests use of non-union inflatable rats — “We’re really dismayed to see more and more inflatable rats being purchased from non-union inflatable rat-makers, particularly the Chinese-made inflatable rats” said Dick Yangberg, head of the local inflatable rat-makers union.


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

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