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Door-to-door union busting, election redux, Americans ♥ unions…

Thursday, August 4, 2016




► From Q13 Fox — Union leaders furious over door-to-door tactic targeting their members — The conservative think tank Freedom Foundation is sweeping one county at a time armed with names and addresses of union members. The Freedom Foundation says a 2014 U.S. Supreme Court decision now gives part-time home health care workers the right to opt out of being in their union, SEIU 775.

ALSO at The Stand — ‘Freedom’ Foundation: Driven by greed, powered by lies





jayapal-pramila-L► From The Nation — Pramila Jayapal just scored one of the biggest progressive victories of 2016 An immigrant-rights advocate who merges movement idealism with a deep commitment on policy making, Jayapal jumped into a big lead as results were tabulated in the Seattle-area district where progressive Democratic Congressman Jim McDermott is retiring.

► In today’s News Tribune — State’s chief justice unsure she still has an opponent — Washington state Supreme Court Chief Justice Barbara Madsen’s wide margin of victory could assure she’s the only candidate to appear on the general election ballot and therefore the winner. Or she could be facing second-place finisher Greg Zempel in a November showdown. It all depends on which state law applies.

ventrella-tony► In today’s Seattle Times — Tony Ventrella’s zombie campaign hurts Democrats’ already-slim chances against Reichert — Former sportscaster Tony Ventrella is headed to the November ballot as the Democratic challenger to GOP Congressman Dave Reichert — even though Ventrella suspended his campaign and won’t try to win.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Conservative talk-show host tied with Democrat at top of lieutenant-governor race — Introducing Marty McClendon: pastor, real estate agent, conservative radio host, husband and father of three, supporter of Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. As of Wednesday evening, McClendon found himself tied with state Sen. Cyrus Habib (D-Kirkland), with each man drawing 20 percent in an 11-candidate field.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — For the first time, the ‘top-two’ system advances candidates from same party for statewide office — While Washington is often listed as solidly Democratic in national elections, it will be two Republicans competing for state treasurer, an office that’s been held by a Democrat for the last 60 years, and 80 of the last 84 years. This after three Democrats in the race divided a 51 percent majority of the vote fairly evenly.




GOP-opposes-prevailing-wage► From the NW Labor Press — On labor issues, conventions showcase growing partisan divide — Once upon a time, both Democrats and Republicans competed for union support and gave at least lip service to the value of a strong labor movement. No more. Increasingly, Democrats are adopting official positions right out of organized labor’s political agenda, while Republicans adopt positions directly attacking labor. Nowhere is that more clearly demonstrated than in the party platforms adopted at the national conventions. Take Davis-Bacon, for example. That’s the name of the 1931 law that requires that on federal government projects, construction workers be paid the local “prevailing wage” for each craft specialty. It’s a big deal to building trades unions. It’s named after Republican Sen. James Davis and Republican Rep. Robert Bacon, and was signed into law by Republican President Herbert Hoover. Today, the official Republican position, ratified in 2012 and 2016, is to repeal it, saying, “it drives up construction and maintenance costs, for the benefit of unions.”

► From The Hill — AFL-CIO to drive ‘millions of women’ to the polls for Clinton — AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Liz Shuler: “{Hillary Clinton] shares our values and has put forth a plan that will help working women achieve equal rights along with the respect and dignity we deserve.”

► In today’s Washington Post — GOP reaches ‘new level of panic’ over Trump’s candidacy — Turmoil in the Republican Party escalated Wednesday as party leaders, strategists and donors voiced increased alarm about the flailing state of Donald Trump’s candidacy and fears that the presidential nominee was damaging the party with an extraordinary week of self-inflicted mistakes, gratuitous attacks and missed opportunities.

white-nostalgia► In today’s NY Times — Trump reflects white male fragility (by Charles Blow) — Donald Trump appeals to something deeper, something baser: Fear. His whole campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” is in fact an inverted admission of loss — lost primacy, lost privilege, lost prestige. And who feels that they have lost the most? White men… Trump appeals to a regressive, patriarchal American whiteness in which white men prospered, in part because racial and ethnic minorities, to say nothing of women as a whole, were undervalued and underpaid, if not excluded altogether.

ALSO at The Stand — White, working-class, and angry… about being linked to Trump (by Leo W. Gerard)

► From KSNV Las Vegas — Trump a tough sell outside union hall — You would think Donald Trump’s tough talk on trade would find a sympathetic ear outside the local IBEW union hall. Think again. After all, the union endorsed Hillary Clinton in June. “He’s not presidential material in my mind. He’s just not,” said Henry Brandenburg, an electrician of 42 years.

► In today’s NY Times — Voices from Donald Trump’s rallies, uncensored — Not everyone attending a Trump rally behaves this way. But while protesters are often shouted down, crowds seldom express disapproval of the crude slogans and angry outbursts by Trump’s supporters.




► In today’s NY Times — Social Security now requires cellphone to use online services — The change, which took effect July 30, is intended to improve online security, but it overlooks people who do not have cellphones.




► In today’s NY Times — Last Atlantic City casino linked to Trump is closing amid a strike — The management of Trump Taj Mahal, which has been picketed by unionized workers for over a month, said the casino would shut down after Labor Day.

► From Think Progress — The Brownbacklash is finally here — After giving Gov. Sam Brownback (R) a free hand to turn Kansas into a science lab for hard-right policy experiments for more than five disastrous years, voters finally yanked the leash Tuesday night. At least 11 separate conservative members of the legislature lost their primaries to more moderate Republicans in the state, with a number of contests still too close to call with confidence.




einstein-laborday► In today’s Washington Post — Unions could make a comeback — if we help them (by Michael Wasser) — You won’t hear opponents admit it, but unions are popular and have been for a while. Last year Gallup found that 58 percent of Americans approved of unions. Anti-union advocates prefer to focus on the long-term decline of union membership in the United States, which can suggest that unions are unnecessary or in an inevitable decline. But the erosion in union membership is not a natural, pre-ordained outcome — the reality is that intentional policy choices significantly contributed to fewer people becoming union members. Our country has allowed a broken and outdated labor law to remain in place for too long. Unlike other workplace laws, the National Labor Relations Act lacks meaningful financial penalties for employer wrongdoing, creating an economic incentive for employers to violate the law. Employers routinely influence union elections in their favor through intimidating and coercive tactics. In doing so, employers both regularly break the letter and spirit of the law, often aided by anti-union consultants and lawyers who are paid handsomely to provide advice on how to get away with manipulating the system. The fact is that current law does not offer working people a level playing field, advantaging chief executives set on denying their employees’ right to organize and negotiate together.


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