Wednesday, May 18, 2016
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Triumph got $790,000 in tax breaks from state in last two years — As the strike of machinists at the Triumph Composite Systems facility west of Spokane ended its first week Tuesday with no sign talks will resume soon, union leaders continued to criticize the company for receiving aerospace tax breaks from Washington while moving jobs to Mexico… Documents Triumph filed recently with the state Department of Revenue show the company received slightly more than $790,000 in tax breaks in 2015 and 2014, the most recent years available. State statutes do not require companies that receive tax incentives to maintain job levels, although some lawmakers proposed legislation to do that in response to job losses at Boeing after the aerospace giant received an extension of tax breaks for the 777X jetliner worth billions of dollars. Other states have attached so-called “claw-back” provisions to tax incentives, but efforts to add those requirements to Washington law did not come to a vote in this year’s Legislature.
► In the P.S. Business Journal — Picketing continues as strike enters second week at Boeing supplier Triumph — Striking machinists are digging in for the long haul, as the strike against Triumph Composite Systems Inc. in Spokane heads into its second week. About 50 people are walking picket lines around the clock at the Boeing suppliers’ two gates, said Machinists District Lodge 751 President Jon Holden.
ALSO at The Stand — Labor and community back Triumph strikers
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Do more to enhance safety of prison staff (by IBT 117’s John Scearcy) — Prison staff are officers, sergeants, nurses, counselors, dentists, psychologists, prison chaplains, clerical staff, maintenance staff, and others. They put their lives on the line every day when they report to work. Our recognition of their sacrifice must go beyond gratitude in words alone. It must consist of concrete, legislative change that results in a safer, more dignified working environment.
► From WFSE — King County social workers seeking help for #BabyJayden — State social workers earn the same wage across the state yet the cost-of-living in King County is skyrocketting. For this reason, the state is having a hard time with recruitment and retention of state workers, jeopardizing the quality of care children receive. Dedicated social workers are leaving. Help spread the word. Tell Governor Inslee to do better by children and families of our community!
TAKE A STAND — Tweet a message to the Governor: @GovInslee Do better for #BabyJayden #MissionCritical http://wfse.org/babyjayden
► From The Stranger — Have you come across these creepy baby dolls in your neighborhood? — If you scurried away out of fear before taking a closer look, here’s what’s up: These “Baby Jayden” dolls have been dotted around the city to raise awareness about Washington state social workers’ campaign for higher wages. As the cost of living in King County rises, social workers across Washington state are struggling to stay afloat.
► From The Stranger — For the 2nd year in a row, Amazon shareholders vote down proposal to analyze the company’s human rights practices — At Amazon’s annual shareholder meeting this morning, investors were given the opportunity to vote on a proposal that would have made the company analyze its human rights risks. For a second year in a row that the human rights idea has been proposed, Amazon’s board of directors — including Jeff Bezos, of course — urged shareholders to vote against it and succeeded.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Too many ‘dead white dudes’? Seattle U students protest program’s curriculum — A sit-in over Seattle University’s Matteo Ricci College curriculum — which some students say focuses too narrowly on Western ideas and history — has stretched into its seventh day. Protesters demand the dean’s resignation and Seattle University’s president promises action.
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — About a ton of debris left after climate protest near Anacortes — Authorities say about a ton of debris was left on the ground after weekend anti-oil environmental protest in northwest Washington.
► In today’s Columbian — Wilson, Probst file for Benton’s state Senate seat — Democrat Tim Probst and Rep. Lynda Wilson (R-Vancouver) have filed Monday to succeed Sen. Don Benton. Probst and Benton faced off four years ago, with Probst, a former state representative, losing by a mere 76 votes. The outcome of the race could determine whether Republicans or Democrats control the state’s Senate.
► From the NW Accountability Project (3/23/16) — What’s going on the the 17th Legislative District? — The so-called 501(c)3 “non-partisan” not-for-profit “think tank” appears to have its sights set on electing a Freedom Foundation slate in this swing district near the WA/OR line. The wife of Freedom Foundation board member Tracy Wilson, Rep. Lynda Wilson (R-17), says she’s running for Benton’s Senate seat. And a Freedom Foundation staffer, Vicki Kraft, is she’s running for Wilson’s House seat.
ALSO at The Stand — ‘Freedom’ update: Lose to win, privacy reprieve, probes sought
► In today’s Olympian — Schools chief candidate Larry Seaquist changes mind, looks to return to Legislature instead — One of several candidates for state schools superintendent is pulling out of that race and instead looking to return to the Legislature. Larry Seaquist, a former Democratic state lawmaker, is looking to once again represent the 26th Legislative District, filing to run against state Rep. Jesse Young (R-Gig Harbor).
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Optimism, division loom as state Republicans gather in Pasco
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Republican candidate for governor faces an uphill battle — The last time voters in this state elected a Republican governor was in 1980. It’s the longest such losing streak for either political party in the nation.
► From The Stranger — Seattle Trump supporters gather in a top-secret location (by Ana Sofia Knauf) — I’m one of the few people under 60 in Seattle who knows the top-secret location of Trump’s Seattle campaign office. And I’m not telling. But I can tell you this: Trump’s Seattle campaign office is located in an unmarked storefront on Highway 99 near a couple of sex shops. From the outside, Trump’s Seattle office looks like an empty property — the windows have been carefully covered with brown butcher paper so that no one can see in.
► In today’s Washington Post — Clinton declares victory in Kentucky primary; Sanders wins in Oregon — The outcomes will do little to change the dynamics in the race. In Kentucky, Sanders had hoped to continue a state winning streak that began in Indiana and West Virginia this month.
► From The Hill — Sanders vows to take nominating battle to the convention — A defiant Bernie Sanders told supporters on Tuesday night that he can still overtake Hillary Clinton in delegates, and pledged to take the fight all the way to the convention in Philadelphia this summer.
► From The Hill — Amid Democratic infighting, polls are improving for Trump — Donald Trump appears to be making rapid progress in unifying Republican voters behind his presidential bid even as Democratic discord between backers of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders reaches new highs.
► From Politico — Democrats running out of options in Garland fight — Merrick Garland’s highly anticipated Supreme Court nominee questionnaire — unsolicited by Republicans — came and went last week without making a major splash. Millions of dollars have been spent on ads, with little movement on either side. Now, Senate Democrats will hold a forum Wednesday, featuring proxies for Garland, but that may be the closest the chamber gets to a confirmation hearing for him before November.
► In today’s Washington Post — Democrats’ latest Supreme Court tactic: No recess till confirmation — Six House Democrats plan to introduce a bill today aimed at pressuring Republicans in both houses to address U.S. Circuit Judge Merrick B. Garland’s nomination.
► In today’s NY Times — A Supreme Court not so much deadlocked as diminished (by Adam Liptak) — The justices will continue to issue decisions in most cases, but many will be modest and ephemeral, like Monday’s opinion returning a major case on access to contraception to the lower courts for further consideration.
► In today’s NY Times — White House increases overtime eligibility by millions — Under the new regulation, most salaried workers earning up to $47,476 a year must receive time-and-a-half overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours during a week. The previous cutoff for overtime pay was $23,660.
ALSO at The Stand — New OT pay rule will mean raises for 4.2 million Americans
► From Think Progress — Obama administration tweaks final overtime rule after backlash — The finalized threshold is lower than the original proposal that the Obama administration released, however, in which the threshold would have been increased to $50,440. At the time, the White House estimated that five million workers would be newly covered by overtime requirements within a year.
► From Reuters — CEO-worker pay gap stays wide despite wage hikes: unions — Union leaders said the figures showed how pay decisions do not favor the average worker. “The income inequality that exists in this country is a disgrace,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said.
ALSO at The Stand — State’s CEOs paid 190 times average rank-and-file worker
► In today’s Philadelphia Inquirer — Verizon, union leaders agree to mediator in ongoing contract talks — After meeting in Washington with U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez Tuesday, management and union leaders involved in the Verizon labor dispute agreed to accept the assistance of federal mediator Allison Beck in ongoing contract negotiations. Discussions will continue in Washington under the auspices of the Labor Department.
► From Bloomberg — Lead Uber driver in class-action suit criticizes settlement — The driver originally named to lead a class-action lawsuit over pay and benefits against Uber is opposing the ride-share company’s $100 million settlement, saying he was duped by the group’s lawyer into signing on to the deal. Douglas O’Connor said that the agreement isn’t in his interest or that of any Uber driver and that he felt “utterly betrayed” by the lawyer.
► In the Baltimore Sun — Teamsters General President Hoffa meets with striking US Foods workers in Severn — Hoffa shook hands with striking workers and fell into step with several on the picket line, then hung a sign around his neck that read: “Wall Street Greed Destroys The American Dream.”
► From The Onion — Ayahuasca shaman dreading another week of guiding tech CEOs to spiritual oneness — “I believe this source of healing should be available to everyone, but lately it seems like the people I guide toward a vision of cosmic wholeness are all 32-year-old billionaires hoping to gain a deeper insight into their SEO strategy or whatever.”
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.