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1.1K vs. 1.1M, evil vs. evil, McDonalds vs. NLRB….

Thursday, March 10, 2016




reject-sb-6194► In today’s News Tribune — Deal reached in Legislature to preserve charter schools — State lawmakers have struck a deal to try to save Washington’s charter schools, six months after the state’s highest court declared the publicly funded, privately run schools unconstitutional. An amended version of Sen. Steve Litzow’s (R-Mercer Island) charter school bill cleared the House on a 58-39 vote Wednesday, one day before the Legislature is scheduled to conclude its 60-day session. Most Democratic lawmakers voted against the charter school bill, with some saying it would prompt another court challenge… About 1,100 students now attend Washington’s eight charter schools. The state Senate estimated the cost of continuing the schools at $6.6 million.

YESTERDAY at The Stand — Labor opposes surprise charter schools bill — Legislators should not be diverting precious education funds to a handful of private schools at a time they have failed to respond to the Supreme Court’s mandate to sufficiently fund public education for 1.1 million Washington children.

► From PubliCola — Important immigrants’ rights bill fails in Olympia — Lots of important bills are about to get shelved as this year’s legislative session in Olympia is scheduled to end Thursday: Seattle’s affordable housing bill, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, and per usual, the Voting Rights Act, which would give minority bloc voters clear formal recourse to challenge demonstrably discriminatory election systems.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Speaker Chopp stalls housing bill over aid to for-profit landlords

► In today’s News Tribune — Legislative move could cancel Tacoma Narrows bridge toll increase




haggen-albertsons► In today’s Seattle Times — Haggen in talks to sell 33 core stores to Albertsons — That sale could go before U.S. Bankruptcy Court as soon as next week, according to a news release from UFCW 367. Haggen has postponed the auction of its core stores three times, with the latest auction scheduled for Friday. UFCW 367 says the auction will likely be canceled.

► In today’s Bellingham Herald — How would Albertsons swallow up Haggen? — If Albertons buys Haggen’s remaining core stores it will not have shed as many stores as the FTC had required in the merger with Safeway. From the FTC’s standpoint, having Albertsons take back stores it was originally supposed to shed is preferable to having empty storefronts.

► In today’s P.S. Business Journal — Mercer Island New Seasons to open in the fall – but grocers union would prefer a PCC — The Seattle-area’s first New Seasons Market on Mercer Island recently received design approval from the city and is one step closer to reality. But labor and advocacy groups are opposed to the Portland-based grocer putting down roots in the area.

rule-ryan► From — Members re-elect Ryan Rule as SPEEA president — Union members have re-elected Ryan Rule to a second two-year term as president of SPEEA, IFPTE Local 2001. Joel Funfar, currently a Northwest Vice President who works in Seattle, won the race for SPEEA Secretary. Funfar takes over the position from Jimmie Mathis, who ran unopposed to become SPEEA Treasurer.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Sen. Murray questions DOE commitment to all Hanford cleanup — The Obama administration’s proposed Hanford budget seems to foreshadow declaring a cleanup victory, leaving critical work unfinished, Sen. Patty Murray said Wednesday. She pressed Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz for information on the DOE’s plans during a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Energy and Water Development Subcommittee.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Unfair labor complaint filed against Fire District 1 union — Commissioners allege members of the IAFF Local 1828 are violating contract-bargaining obligations. They wants PERC to order the union to act on an a proposed contract negotiated in early February.

► In today’s Yakima H-R — Plaza spurs talk of social inequality — A change in Yakima’s form of government has made the issue of social inequality one of the deciding factors for the 
$14 million downtown plaza proposal.

► In today’s Olympian — Taxicab, Uber drivers query city officials on proposed ordinance to regulate ride-sharing companies




free-trade► From TPM — Why Sanders could repeat his big Michigan win in Ohio — Michigan’s neighbor to the south shares its industrial heritage, bears a similar demographic mix, and even the geography of Ohio Democratic voters resembles Michigan’s. Ohio presents the same sort of electoral conditions as Michigan, and those conditions could prove just as receptive to Sanders’ criticism of trade deals.

ALSO at The Stand — Voters are mad about job-killing trade deals

► In today’s NY Times — After Michigan loss, Hillary Clinton sharpens message on jobs and trade — The state’s voters, scarred by the free trade deals associated with Clinton and her husband that have been widely blamed for the loss of American manufacturing jobs, delivered a surprise victory to Bernie Sanders, who railed in Michigan against “disastrous trade agreements written by corporate America.”

► From The Hill — Clinton racks up another union endorsement — She now has at least two dozen union endorsements, according to her campaign, after the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) backed her on Wednesday.

► From Huffington Post — Democratic debate in Miami proves that 2016 comes down to immigration — Both Sanders and Clinton made dramatic promises on immigration. Each said they would not deport children or non-criminal undocumented immigrants.

► From The Hill — Poll: Economy is most serious problem facing America

lesser-of-two-evils► From The Hill — GOP lawmakers face agonizing choice between Trump and Cruz — Lawmakers who spoke to The Hill on background say they are wavering over who would be the better nominee — or more bluntly, the lesser of two evils.




► From Politico — Senators square off over Supreme Court vacancy — Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee met privately and without their Democratic colleagues to craft an unusual letter in which they unanimously pledged not to hold any hearings on a Supreme Court nominee before a new president is sworn in next year. The panel’s ranking Democrat, Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, called it “a dereliction of our Constitutional duty.”

► From Politico — Senate GOP polling shows upside to Senate SCOTUS blockade — A memo authored by a Republican pollster is being circulated among GOP senators to bolster the case that a majority of voters would prefer to keep deceased Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat empty — for a year or even longer — rather than allow Obama to nominate a liberal justice that would move the court to the left.

supreme-court-do-your-job_frontEDITOR’S NOTE — Any pollster worth his exorbitant paycheck can write a poll question to generate such a response. (“Would you like Obama to appoint a liberal…”) The judgment of this particular Idaho-based pollster deserves a little extra scrutiny given that he signed on to be senior campaign adviser to Rick Perry, one of the very first Republicans to drop out of this year’s clown car of “contenders.” Actual polls by news organizations — even the GOP cheerleaders at the Wall Street Journal — tell a very different story. A clear majority of registered voters want obstructionist Senate Republicans to #DoYourJob. Look for those polls to get even more decisive once Obama nominates a clearly qualified person.

► From The Hill — Obama zeroes in on court pick — The president has reportedly begun to interview potential replacements for the late Justice Antonin Scalia. And in the last day, two contenders had taken their names out of consideration, providing another indication that the White House is winnowing its list of candidates.

► P.S. from The Hill — Poll: Obama’s job approval at highest point in three years — About 50 percent approve of Obama’s performance as chief executive, according to a Gallup survey released Thursday.

► P.P.S. from The Hill — Poll: 13 percent approve of Congress




kono-mcdonalds-franchises► In today’s Washington Post — What you ought to know about the blockbuster McDonalds hearing today in New York — McDonalds executives are scheduled to take the stand in a hearing that could have deep implications for worker power in one of America’s largest low-wage industries. The NLRB has determined that McDonalds exerts enough control over the day-to-day operations of its franchisees, which account for 90 percent of its stores, that it should share the consequences for their legal missteps. If the legal system upholds that determination, it could not only expose McDonalds to massive liability, but also open the door for workers at McDonalds franchises across the country to form a union that would negotiate directly with corporate headquarters, rather than each individual franchisee. And although the verdict will be specific to the golden arches, it likely will have a bearing on the rights of workers at thousands of other franchises as well.


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