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Bernie wins big, how GOP lost its base, politics of trade…

Monday, March 28, 2016




sanders-i1433► In today’s Seattle Times — Bernie Sanders wins big in Washington caucuses — Drawing throngs of voters with his calls to reclaim political power from the billionaire class, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won a landslide victory (73%-27%) over Hillary Clinton on Saturday in Washington’s Democratic caucuses. With heavy turnout overwhelming some caucus locations, sending participants into parking lots and parks to complete voting on the sunny spring day, state Democratic Party officials said the caucuses may reach 2008’s record turnout of 250,000.

MORE local coverage in the (Aberdeen) Daily World, (Ellensburg) Daily Record, (Everett) Herald, Kitsap Sun, The Olympian, (Spokane) Spokesman-Review, (Tacoma) News Tribune, Tri-City Herald, (Vancouver) Columbian, Wenatchee World, and the Yakima H-R.

► From TPM — Sanders on his wins in the West: ‘We have a path towards victory’ — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) celebrated his victory in Saturday’s Democratic caucuses — as well as his landslide wins in Idaho and Utah this week — in a speech at a Madison, Wisconsin rally where he declared, “We have a path towards victory.”

► In today’s Seattle Times — Bernie Sanders backers demand Washington superdelegates feel the Bern — After a massive win Saturday, Sanders’ backers in Washington state are demanding superdelegates follow the vote of the people. Washington’s superdelegates include Gov. Jay Inslee, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, and U.S. Reps. Jim McDermott, Suzan DelBene, Rick Larsen, Adam Smith, Denny Heck, and Derek Kilmer, who have all publicly backed Clinton.

dodson-i1433-signaturesEDITOR’S NOTE — At Saturday’s caucuses, hundreds of volunteers collected signatures for Initiative 1433 to raise the state minimum wage and allow all workers to earn paid sick leave. I-1433 has been endorsed by Hillary Clinton, Bernice Sanders and the Washington State Democrats (pictured above with Bernie is Jaxon Ravens, Chair of the Washington State Democrats). Pictured here, Washington State Labor Council Secretary Treasurer Lynne Dodson signs the declarations on the 388 signatures she collected Saturday. The Entire Staff of The Stand got 155 signatures at our caucus.

Click here to volunteer and help collect signatures to Raise Up Washington!




► From AP — Governor signs pay raises for Washington state troopers — Troopers with the Washington State Patrol are getting a raise. Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday signed a bill that increases salaries as a way to stop waves of troopers from taking higher paying jobs at local police departments.

inslee-14-state-of-state► In the Spokesman-Review — Inslee signs transportation budget, won’t comment on main budget progress — Washington state has an updated transportation budget that provides raises for state troopers and some relief for traffic-clogged highways in the Puget Sound region. But prospects for a revised operating budget any time soon are uncertain. Gov. Jay Inslee said Friday budget negotiators have made progress but wouldn’t reveal any details or even estimate how much closer they are to a deal than when he called them into special session 16 days ago.

► In the Peninsula Daily News — Peninsula legislators aiming for budget breakthrough this weekState Reps. Steve Tharinger and Kevin Van De Wege, both Sequim Democrats, say they are hopeful legislators will be able to reach an agreement this week and approve a supplemental budget.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Tax break for new construction meant to fuel growth of jobs — County leaders have decided to allow a 10-year tax break for companies that bring new jobs to manufacturing and industrial areas around Snohomish County. The state Legislature last year passed a bill allowing the business incentive to be tested.




► In the (Everett) Herald — Where we’ll get our workers (editorial) — Across the state 22 percent of the workforce is 55 or older and nearing retirement, compared to about 11 percent in 2000. And the problem is even greater among aerospace manufacturers in the state and in Snohomish County, with over 30 percent of the aerospace workforce that is 55 and older… A stronger connection from high school to community college to workplace is needed… The advantage of apprenticeships to aerospace and other manufacturers in the county is clear.

bob-parks-kennewick-anti-latino► In the Yakima H-R  — Kennewick councilman’s anti-Latino, anti-Yakima comments spark backlash — Civic leaders in Pasco and Kennewick reacted swiftly Friday morning to condemn anti-Latino comments posted by Kennewick City Councilman Bob Parks, who holds an at-large seat. The posts triggered an outpouring of condemnation, including an angry exchange between Parks and Pasco Mayor Matt Watkins that led Watkins to unfriend Parks.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Latino Civic Alliance calls for Kennewick councilman to step down — The Latino Civic Alliance has called on Kennewick City Councilman Bob Parks to step down after he posted anti-Latino comments on Facebook.

► In the P.S. Business Journal — Renton aerospace training center stalls for lack of funding (subscription req’d)

► In today’s Seattle Times — Older workers left out of region’s hiring boom — Some older workers re-entering the labor market struggle because of outdated skills or a lack of technologically savvy — not to mention age bias. A local program can help smooth their return to the workforce.




► In today’s NY Times — Senate meetings with Merrick Garland start with a trickle — Congress is in recess, but at least five senators are scheduled to return to Capitol Hill for private sessions with the nominee, Judge Merrick B. Garland. Those sessions will include a meeting with Senator Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.), who will be the first Republican to sit down with Judge Garland.

supreme-court-do-your-job-garland► From Politico — Conservatives to pounce if GOP relents on Supreme Court — The “no hearings, no vote” stance has made Mitch McConnell an unlikely hero of the right wing, but that could change in an instant.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Dear Republican leaders: You’ve been allowing the Tea Party fringe to guide unpopular GOP policy for several years now — austerity budgets, efforts to cut and privatize Social Security and Medicare, government shutdowns, and now, the SCOTUS blockade — and look what it’s gotten you. A party on the brink of imploding. Maybe it’s time to stop acquiescing to the threats of the Vocal Minority and get back to traditional conservative principles — and doing your jobs — in order to win back the trust and respect of your base. Just a thought. Here’s some more on that…




HouseGOP-huh► MUST-READ in today’s NY Times — How the GOP elite leaders lost their voters to Donald Trump — The story is also one of a party elite that abandoned its most faithful voters, blue-collar white Americans, who faced economic pain and uncertainty over the past decade as the party’s donors, lawmakers and lobbyists prospered. From mobile home parks in Florida and factory towns in Michigan, to Virginia’s coal country, where as many as one in five adults live on Social Security disability payments, disenchanted Republican voters lost faith in the agenda of their party’s leaders. In dozens of interviews, Republican lawmakers, donors, activists and others described — some with resignation, some with anger — a party that paved the way for a Trump-like figure to steal its base, as it lost touch with less affluent voters and misunderstood their growing anguish.

► From MSNBC — AFL-CIO’s Richard Trumka on Chris Matthews’ Hardball — Trumka: “(Trump) is particularly anti-union. He is 100% in favor of right to work. [He says] outsourcing is good. He believes our wages are too high. After 40 years of us having flat wages, he thinks they’re too high. His own employees, when they tried to organize, and they have organized, at a number of his plants, he fights us just like every other antiunion employer does.”

GOP-fundraising-scam► A related story in the Seattle Times — Overdue bill? Hype and fear cross the line (by Danny Westneat) — The Republican National Committee is trying to flimflam its own supporters into thinking they owe the group money… Political fundraising mail is habitually filled with hype and fear. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen a mailing that so actively tries to con, or at least confuse, potential backers. Including by fabricating an institution in the envelope return window. I forwarded the mailing to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the post offices’ law-enforcement arm. The agency’s website says sending a fundraising appeal disguised as an invoice is illegal.




► From The Hill — Union ‘persuader’ rule to give rare look at DC lobbying — A new rule issued by the Obama administration is cracking open the door, ever so slightly, to greater disclosure of advocacy efforts in Washington. The Labor Department finalized the so-called union “persuader” rule on Wednesday, requiring third-party lawyers and outside consultants to disclose when they are paid to advise businesses on resisting union-organizing campaigns. The rule takes effect on July 1.




► From Reuters — California lawmakers, unions reportedly reach $15 minimum wage deal — California lawmakers and union leaders have reached a tentative deal to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 over six years that could avert a campaign to bring the issue to voters, two California newspapers reported on Sunday, citing unnamed sources.

► In today’s LA Times — News of a minimum wage hike deal in California is met with relief — and anxious arithmetic — Backers of the state deal say it would end the patchwork approach of cities that have already raised their minimum wages and prevent the chaotic economic competition between cities that some have feared.

mad-women-equal-pay► From Huffington Post — When the minimum wage goes up, women win — Minimum wage is a women’s issue, and most likely one that needs to be addressed with public policy, not by corporations. A new analysis underlines that point, showing that state laws that increase the minimum wage help people at the bottom of the income ladder, even when they’re making slightly more than the minimum wage. Those people at the very bottom? Nearly 60 percent of them are women — and they are disproportionately women of color.




► In today’s NY Times — Trade, labor and politics (by Paul Krugman) — Serious economic analysis has never supported the Panglossian view of trade as win-win for everyone that is popular in elite circles: growing trade can indeed hurt many people, and for the past few decades globalization has probably been, on net, a depressing force for the majority of U.S. workers. But protectionism isn’t the only way to fight that downward pressure. In fact, many of the bad things we associate with globalization in America were political choices, not necessary consequences — and they didn’t happen in other advanced countries, even though those countries faced the same global forces we did.

free-tradePart of the answer is that workers in (other countries) still have a lot of bargaining power. If U.S. corporations were able to use the threat of imports to smash unions, it was only because our political environment supported union-busting. Even Canada, right next door, has seen nothing like the union collapse that took place here. And the rest of the answer is that (other countries have) a much stronger social safety net than we do. In America, we’re constantly told that global competition means that we can’t even afford even the safety net we have; strange to say, other rich countries don’t seem to have that problem.

EDITOR’S NOTE — The Entire Staff of The Stand agrees with Krugman’s analysis except that we disagree that opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other NAFTA-like free-trade deals equates to “protectionism.” Organized labor has always been — and continues to be — pro-trade. The livelihoods of thousands of families in the Pacific Northwest depend on it. The difference is that modern-era “free trade” deals have far less to do with trade, tariffs, and opening markets, and much more to do with establishing rights for international corporations that supersede democratically established governments and harm the interests of workers, consumers, and the environment. Krugman and others in the mainstream media need to get beyond this dismissive “protectionist” labeling and recognize that, as Jared Bernstein asserts, there is a new paradigm in play: pro-trade and pro-globalization, but anti-free trade.


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