Tuesday, May 24, 2016
► From KPLU — Green River College faculty on strike over proposed cuts — Faculty members at Green River College, which has campuses in Auburn, Kent and Enumclaw, are on strike through Wednesday protesting proposed cuts to 11 programs, including criminal justice, French and occupational therapy. In response, the college’s board of trustees said it will file a request for an injunction to halt the walkout.
ALSO at The Stand — Strong solidarity at the Green River strike (by Lynne Dodson)
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Feds pass out paychecks to blueberry workers — A handful of local farm workers received more than $6,000 in back wages and damages Monday. The checks come four months after the U.S. Secretary of Labor settled a long-running legal dispute with Washington blueberry growers, including Walla Walla’s Blue Mountain Farms LLC.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Want a better higher education system? Raise taxes (by Nora Kenworthy, Joanne Clarke Dillman, and Aaron Katz) — The UW Board of Regents, the group of governor appointees, has primary responsibility for protecting and advancing the university’s public mission. Some regents have spoken out about the need for more state revenue to adequately fund higher education. But others have actively campaigned against fair and reasonable proposals, such as a capital-gains tax on wealthier state residents and closing costly, ineffective corporate tax breaks. This points to a lack of balance among current regents, the majority of whom come from business or finance, rather than education. Surprisingly, UW faculty do not have a voting seat on the Board of Regents, something that faculty have been working to change for several years. Two regent positions will come up for appointment this September. We urge Gov. Jay Inslee to name UW regents who will actively push for the increased state revenues necessary to strengthen state support for UW and the entire state public higher education system.
► From PubliCola — Jayapal scores statewide labor endorsement — State Sen. Pramila Jayapal (D-Seattle), who’s running for retiring U.S. Representative Jim McDermott’s seat against two other Democrats, won the sole endorsement of the Washington State Labor Council this weekend.
ALSO at The Stand — WSLC delegates make 2016 election endorsements
► From Slog — Even at state GOP convention, Bill Bryant refuses to say whether he supports Trump (by Heidi Groover) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant has repeatedly refused to reveal how he plans to vote in Tuesday’s primary or in November, arguing that the presidential race is unrelated to the governor’s race. Setting aside the fact that federal and state policy decisions are obviously related, the problem for Bryant’s argument is that he’s trying to run as a moderate. Refusing to disavow a misogynist/racist is not a great look for a “moderate” trying to win in a state that hasn’t had a Republican governor since 1985.
► From Politico — Trump fuels Democratic voter surge — When the deadline to register to vote in California’s June 7 primary closes Monday evening, Democrats are expected to be the big winners. The party has enjoyed a dramatic spike in registration since the beginning of the year — and they have Donald Trump to thank for it.
IF YOU CAN’T BEAT ‘EM… CHEAT ‘EM
► In today’s Washington Post — Minorities, poor, elderly face hurdles getting ID for voting — For the first time, 11 states are requiring a photo identification to vote in a presidential election. Many experts say that the process for obtaining an ID can be far more difficult than it might seem for hundreds of thousands of people who do not have one.
► From Think Progress — One of the most aggressive gerrymanders in the country just lost in the Supreme Court — Nearly two years ago, a federal court struck down Virginia’s congressional maps, finding that state lawmakers engaged in an unconstitutional racial gerrymander when they packed tens of thousands of African-American voters into the already strongly Democratic district. On Monday, the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal brought by three Republican members of Congress who hoped to maintain the old maps.
► From The Hill — GOP lawmaker: ‘Republicans were wrong’ to block Garland — Rep. Dan Donovan (R-N.Y.) on Monday called on the Senate to vote on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, a move that has the targeted House member breaking from his party. Donovan said the refusal to hold a hearing for nominee Merrick Garland is the reason Americans are frustrated by government.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This takes the kind of courage you aren’t getting from any of the Republican members of Washington state’s congressional delegation.
► From TPM — Republicans breaking Obamacare so they can declare it broken — After the failure of two major Obamacare lawsuits at the Supreme Court, Republicans haven’t stopped swinging and, in some instances, have even drawn blood. The more recent assaults merely undermine how the law is supposed to work. This is to the detriment of consumers and the insurers trying to cover them, to be sure, but it also creates market instability that Republicans can then use to rail against the Affordable Care Act.
EDITOR’S NOTE — That headline could be published daily. Just substitute the word “government” for “Obamacare.”
► In today’s Washington Post — The Occupy movement has grown up — and looks to inflict real pain on big banks — Capitalizing on populist anger toward Wall Street, a coalition of more than 20 labor unions and activist groups plan to announce on Tuesday the launch of a new campaign to reform the financial industry. The group, Take On Wall Street, plan to combine the efforts of some of the Democratic Party’s biggest traditional backers, from the American Federation of Teachers and the AFL-CIO to the Communications Workers of America. The group says it will aim to turn the public’s lingering anger at the financial sector into policy initiatives that could change the way that Wall Street works.
► In the Int’l Business Times — Minimum wage, fast-food workers: Now, ‘Fight For $15’ organizers want to join a union, too — One of America’s biggest unions is now dealing with an in-house labor protest of its own. A small group of organizers for Fight for $15 — the nationwide campaign advocating a fast-food workers’ union and a $15 minimum wage — are demanding the right to join the staff union of the SEIU, the labor group behind the $15 campaign. Staff representation is often a contentious issue for major labor unions.
► In today’s NY Times — Sex Shop workers welcome the protections of a retail union — The employees of Babeland, an adult toy store in New York City, voted to join a labor union, citing common issues and others specific to their work and to transgender employees.
► In today’s NY Times — New York attorney general accuses Domino’s of wage theft in lawsuit — According to a suit against the corporate franchiser that owns Domino’s Pizza, a computer system used across the state systematically undercounted hours worked by employees.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.