Approve Sound Transit Prop. 1, no place for nasty, ‘free’ trade failing…

Monday, October 31, 2016




► In today’s Spokesman-Review — TODAY is final voter registration deadline — The absolute deadline for Washington residents to register to vote in the Nov. 8 election is Monday, Oct. 31. For locations of elections offices for other Washington counties, click here.

► In the (Everett) Herald — Approve Sound Transit rail link to Paine Field, Everett (editorial endorsement) — There is no other way to look at Sound Transit’s Proposition 1 than as an investment, paying now for a greater benefit later, just as we do when we put money into a child or grandchild’s college fund… If Everett and Snohomish County are to remain a leading jobs and educational center in the state and continue to support livable, vibrant communities, voters have to provide for the transpiration needs ahead. Vote yes on Proposition 1.

ALSO at The Stand — Approve ST3 to invest in jobs, our future (by Jeff Johnson)

► From The Stranger — Approve Sound Transit Prop. 1 (editorial endorsement) — If passed, this package (known as ST3 because it’s the third — and biggest, and best — of its kind) will massively expand our current light rail system, sending lines to Ballard, West Seattle, Everett, Issaquah, Redmond, and Tacoma. It will also expand Sounder commuter rail service and extend bus service to Renton and Kirkland. The average adult in the region will pay $169 more per year in new property, sales, and car-tab taxes than they’re paying now. That’s just $14 a month or $28 for a two-person household for an awful lot of mass transit awesomeness.

► In today’s Olympian — Our state’s minimum wage needs to go up (editorial endorsement) — Many Washington residents struggle to get by on the state’s $9.47 per hour minimum wage. It goes up by six cents in January, but that won’t solve the pocketbook problems facing low-wage workers. Initiative 1433 grew out of failed talks at the Legislature to find a middle ground for raising the wage floor.

ALSO at The Stand — YES on 1433: Good for workers, good for our state economy (by Jeff Johnson)

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Control of Washington Legislature could be influenced with ‘independent’ cash — Some $9 million has been spent in a handful of races in swing legislative districts by groups that either support or oppose charter schools, business or union interests. By comparison, the races for governor and other statewide offices, which usually far outpace the legislative races, have only generated $1.7 million from independent groups.

► In the Seattle Times — Nasty attack ad against Justice Wiggins has no place in state Supreme Court race (editorial) — A vicious independently funded TV attack ad, paid for by wealthy contributors, against state Supreme Court Justice Charlie Wiggins is unacceptable and harmful, and will have a negative effect extending beyond the election… Extreme politicking will erode the public’s faith in the court’s independence. Even the worthiest candidate would suffer if it appears their seat were won with the nastiest ads money can buy.

ALSO at The Stand — Support three incumbent state Supreme Court justices

► In today’s Yakima H-R — Washington state seeing heavy voter turnout in first week — Based in part on returns so far, officials anticipate an 80 percent turnout for the Nov. 8 election. During the 2012 presidential election, 81.3 percent of ballots were returned.




► In the Columbian — Benton seeks $2 million from county — Sen. Don Benton (R-Vancouver) and two former subordinates have signaled to Clark County that they intend to file a lawsuit for what’s described as hostility and retaliation the trio experienced before losing their jobs at the county’s now eliminated Department of Environmental Services. All three were part of a series of hires orchestrated by County Councilors David Madore and Tom Mielke that were derided as political favors. Benton will seek $2 million in damages and attorney’s fees.

EDITOR’S NOTE — A self-proclaimed advocate for lower taxes, Benton has a state government paycheck for 22 years before adding a second higher-paying local government paycheck, a job created as a political favor. Now that he’s lost that latter, he wants taxpayers to award him an extra $2 million. How would this guy survive if not for the government he decries?

► In today’s News Tribune — More money means more firefighters coming to Central Pierce Fire & Rescue — A $2.2 million federal grant will allow Central Pierce Fire & Rescue to hire 10 firefighters, returning its staffing to normal and allowing more firefighters on each shift.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Bellevue now Washington’s biggest majority-minority city — Bellevue has become a majority-minority city, according to data released last month by the U.S. Census Bureau. The non-Hispanic white population dipped below the 50 percent mark — though just barely — in 2015.




► From NPR — Supporters hope minimum-wage votes will push Democratic turnout — Democratic strategists are hoping that state ballot measures will not only push up incomes but also call attention to Republican opposition to minimum-wage increases. Congressional Republicans have blocked attempts to increase the $7.25/hour federal wage floor, which last rose in 2009.

► In the NY Times — Justice Dept. ‘strongly discouraged’ Comey on move in Clinton email case — The day before the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, sent a letter to Congress announcing that new evidence had been discovered that might be related to the completed Hillary Clinton email investigation, the Justice Department strongly discouraged the step and told him that he would be breaking with longstanding policy.

► In the NY Times — Hillary Clinton assails FBI Director Comey, calling email decision ‘deeply troubling’ — “It’s pretty strange to put something like that out with such little information right before an election,” Clinton said. “In fact, it’s not just strange; it’s unprecedented and it is deeply troubling.”

► In the Washington Post — James Comey is damaging our democracy (by two former Justice Dept. officials under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush) — We now have real-time, raw-take transparency taken to its illogical limit, a kind of reality TV of federal criminal investigation. Perhaps worst of all, it is happening on the eve of a presidential election. It is antithetical to the interests of justice, putting a thumb on the scale of this election and damaging our democracy.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Two former U.S. attorneys in Western Wash. join criticism of FBI director over Clinton email probe

► In today’s NY Times — The RNC’s ‘Don’t Get Out the Vote’ drives (editorial) — Donald Trump’s abhorrent efforts to keep black and other minority citizens from voting are only the latest example of a long-running Republican strategy.




► In today’s NY Times — A little-noticed fact about trade: It’s no longer rising — Reduced consumption and investment are dragging on trade, which is slowing growth. But there are also signs that the slowdown is becoming structural. Developed nations appear to be backing away from globalization. The WTO’s most recent round of global trade talks ended in failure last year. The TPP also is foundering, opposed by both major-party American presidential candidates… Against the tide, the European Union and Canada signed a new trade deal on Sunday. It may be hard, however, to muster public enthusiasm in the United States and other developed nations. The benefits of globalization have accrued disproportionately to the wealthy, while the costs have fallen on displaced workers, and governments have failed to ease their pain.




► In the WV Metro News — Labor pushes back hard against ‘right-to-work’ in West Virginia — Earlier this year, the Republican-led West Virginia Legislature repealed the state’s prevailing wage law that set the hourly pay on state-funded projects and passed a right-to-work law, giving workers more discretion over their decision whether to join a union. Those two pieces of legislation triggered a firestorm in the labor movement.

► In the NY Times — Onetime ‘90210’ star, now union leader, shakes up Hollywood — When the television actress Gabrielle Carteris took over Hollywood’s biggest union in April, entertainment companies responded with a polite shrug. Most studios figured that Carteris would leave the sluggish union on cruise control. But that view is changing. In August, Carteris proved herself an effective advocate for age-discrimination legislation, since signed into California law, which forces Hollywood databases like IMDb to remove birthdays upon request. Then, this month, her union pulled the trigger on a long-authorized strike against 11 video game makers, including Electronic Arts, Activision and Warner


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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