Thursday, March 3, 2016
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Voting Rights Act encourages voices of all (editorial) — Among the many methods elected officials have considered to boost voter registration and turnout, the most effective in restoring confidence and participation in the political process could be the Legislature’s adoption of the state Voting Rights Act… As the ethnic makeup of our state continues to evolve, lawmakers have to promote and protect the votes and voices of all residents. As has been shown in Yakima, doing so can only increase the enthusiasm for participating in local elections and in the decisions of local governments.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Will Senate Republicans kill this important legislation again — this time in an election year — by refusing to vote on it? Stay tuned.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Pregnant workers’ fairness: Help pregnant women stay in the workforce (letter by Rep. Jessyn Farrell) — The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which would require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers, would allow pregnant women to stay in the workforce without risking their own health or the health of their babies. I strongly urge my colleagues in the Senate to approve this common-sense legislation without excessive exemptions and prescriptive lists, and ensure that no woman has to choose between a healthy pregnancy and a paycheck.
► In today’s News Tribune — Teachers in limbo (editorial) — Teachers might be interested in a small bill that has quietly and unanimously passed the Legislature. HB 2023 will give school districts more time to notify teachers and other certificated staff that they won’t have a job the next school year.
► From The Stranger — What will it take for Washington state to put a price on carbon? — It looks like yet another legislative session could pass without elected officials creating a sane set of climate policies. At least one climate initiative will go to a statewide vote in November, but it’s an embattled one that several lefty groups have formally opposed or abandoned. They point to a critical question I-732 doesn’t address: If low-income communities and communities of color are going to be the ones hardest hit by the effects of climate change — something that scientists have repeatedly pointed out — how would a revenue-neutral carbon tax help them? Then, the state’s Office of Financial Management looked at Carbon WA’s “revenue-neutral” I-732 proposal and concluded it wasn’t revenue-neutral at all. OFM found that it would actually cost the state some $900 million.
ALSO at The Stand — WSLC opposes Initiative 732 carbon tax
► In today’s NY Times — Does a carbon tax work? Ask British Columbia — Their experience shows that cutting carbon emissions enough to make a difference in preventing global warming remains a difficult challenge. But the most important takeaway for American skeptics is that the policy basically worked as advertised.
► In the Indianapolis Star — Indiana House votes to claw back incentives after Carrier, UTEC move jobs to Mexico — The Indiana House approved an amendment that penalizes companies like Carrier Corp., which is moving 1,400 Hoosier jobs to Mexico. It places sanctions on companies that move to foreign countries. It also empowers local units of government to claw back property tax incentives granted to companies that leave Indiana. And it further prevents those companies from accessing additional advantage or corporate tax breaks enacted by state government.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Republicans control the Indiana House by a 71-29 supermajority and they apparently have no problem holding recipients of corporate tax breaks accountable.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Uber calling its drivers to say unionizing does ‘not fit’ for ride-sharing workers — Uber has been calling its drivers in Seattle to say that unionizing — under an ordinance the City Council passed late last year — wouldn’t be good for them. The ordinance, which gives independent contractors for taxi companies, for-hire companies and app-based ride-dispatch companies like Uber the opportunity to negotiate working conditions such as hours, pay and benefits, is the first of its kind in the nation. “They’re trying to brainwash the drivers,” said Fasil Teka, a 40-year-old Uber driver from Seattle who supports unionization, adding, “It’s not the right thing to do.”
ALSO at The Stand — Union-supporting Uber driver reinstated following outcry
► In today’s Olympian — Contract approved for North Thurston teachers — The school board voted to approve a two-year contract with the North Thurston Education Association, representing about 950 teachers in Thurston County’s largest public school system. The teachers had worked under an expired contract for nearly half of the school year.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing wrestles with options for new midsize jet — Airline industry insiders are divided about how Boeing should counter the Airbus A321 with a so-called “middle-of-market” airplane. The answer could affect the future of Boeing’s Puget Sound-area assembly work.
► From Politico — There’s still time for a Primary bombshell — After their Super Tuesday romps, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have certainly tightened their grips on the Democratic and Republican nominations. But they haven’t been crowned the winners just yet. And it’s still only early March — plenty of time for a primary bombshell that could shake up the entire race.
► Just in case there is any remaining doubt in your mind, this story explains how Fox News is nothing more than the media arm of the Republican Party…
From New York magazine — More bad news for Marco Rubio: He just lost the support of Fox News — Throughout the primary, Fox provided Rubio with friendly interviews and key bookings. Many of the network’s top pundits have been enthusiastic boosters. But this alliance now seems to be over. According to three Fox sources, Fox chief Roger Ailes has told people he’s lost confidence in Rubio’s ability to win. “We’re finished with Rubio,” Ailes recently told a Fox host. “We can’t do the Rubio thing anymore.”
► From The Hill — GOP split over accepting Trump — Trump’s rise has stunned establishment Republicans, who have been grasping for any strategy that might deny Trump the nomination. Among Senate Republicans, there’s a growing feeling that opposition to Trump would backfire, given voter distrust of the GOP establishment.
► From The Hill — 22 Republicans who won’t back Trump as nominee
EDITOR’S NOTE — Spoiler alert: You won’t find any Republicans from Washington state in the list.
► Also from The Onion — Smiling nation takes moment to enjoy thought of what RNC headquarters like right now
► From The Onion — Sanders’ campaign HQ smashed up by gang on Pinkerton union busters — “Your little operation here has been causing problems for some of our clients, so I’m afraid we have no choice but to shut you down,” one of the Pinkertons said through his brushy, waxed mustache.
► In today’s News Tribune — TPP about more than politicking (by G It is shortsighted to argue that the TPP is highly contested because of protectionism and party politics. The TPP is debated because it is problematic, and its details were long kept secret from the public. Bernie Sanders opposes the TPP not “as a way to make inroads with labor unions and workers,” but because he stands up to corporate domination and abuse.
ALSO at The Stand — As TPP opposition mounts, will Congress listen?
► From The Hill — Two-thirds of Americans want SCOTUS hearings — Two thirds of Americans want the Senate to hold hearings for a potential nominee to fill the empty seat on the Supreme Court left by deceased Justice Antonin Scalia, according to a CNN/ORC poll.
► In today’s NY Times — Obama said to be vetting Iowa judge for Supreme Court seat — President Obama is vetting Jane L. Kelly, a federal appellate judge in Iowa, as a potential nominee for the Supreme Court, weighing a selection that could pose an awkward dilemma for her home-state senator Charles Grassley, who has pledged to block the president from filling the vacancy.
► In today’s NY Times — The Supreme Court’s new era (by Linda Greenhouse) — The distance from four to five can be unbridgeable — and abruptly so, as Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., architect of the constitutional attack on public employee unions, has no doubt discovered. He had the upper hand back in January, when the court heard argument in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. The union was on a clear path to losing by a vote of 5 to 4, freeing workers who chose not to join public unions from paying for the union’s collective bargaining work. Now it’s probably just a matter of days before the court announces a 4 to 4 tie vote. That would be an unanticipated reprieve for labor unions (which won in the lower courts, and a tie vote affirms the lower court judgment) and a blow not only to the anti-union forces but also to the justice who by his repeated invitations to bring just such a case had nurtured their carefully planned litigation campaign.
► From Bloomberg — CEOs who look overpaid to most Americans seem just right to boards — More than 70 percent of directors of the biggest U.S. companies say top executives’ pay is in line with performance. That’s a blunt contrast to the view of almost three-quarters of Americans, who consider corporate bosses overpaid, research shows.
► From Think Progress — Farmworkers forced to go back to work after being exposed to pesticides — The incident is symptomatic of the types of issues that farmworkers often run into nationwide. In fact, up to 20,000 pesticide poisonings are reported by farmworkers every year.
► From The Atlantic — Life in the only industrialized country without paid maternity leave — Many cultures have rules for new mothers and babies. The Latin American cuarentena and the Uzbek chilla represent 40 days of rest and social support. In China, women rest in bed for a month; in Korea, for 21 days. In the United States, however, the time for rest, bonding, and recovery often is determined not by tradition, or even by a doctor’s recommendations, but by the new mother’s employment situation… In the U.S., 70 percent of mothers work outside the home and 40 percent of households are led by a female breadwinner. When it comes to a new baby or a sick family member, 88 percent of the American workforce has no access to paid leave, and half of new, working mothers are ineligible even for the Family Medical Leave Act’s unpaid leave.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.