Thursday, November 3, 2016
► From PubliCola — Early ballot returns give Democrats big lead in key State Senate battles — There’s some very good news for Democrats in the early voting numbers here in Washington state. The “matchback” numbers — that is, the party’s cross reference of their voter lists with the public lists of who’s already voted — show about a 1.8-to-one lead over Republicans in all five races that could help change the balance of the state senate from a GOP majority to a Democratic majority.
ALSO at The Stand — Don’t wait. Find that ballot and send it in, Washington! (by John Burbank)
► An October Surprise in today’s — 19th LD Republican candidate charged with felonies — James “Jimi” O’Hagan, the litigious Grayland Republican who is challenging Rep. Brian Blake (D-Aberdeen), has been charged with two felonies — possession of a stolen vehicle, and first-degree possession of stolen property. The charges constitute a new chapter in O’Hagan’s already long and colorful history of court proceedings and conflicts, which includes a current effort to sue a Pacific County elected official for up to $666,666,666.66.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Which brings us to…
► In today’s Washington Post — The only way Trump can win (editorial) — Ultimately, Trump’s late appeal presenting himself as a change agent can succeed only if voters succumb to last-minute distractions and ignore or forget Trump’s record. Allow us to offer a few reminders.
► From The Atlantic — The conservative case for voting for Clinton (by David Frum) — Your hand may hesitate to put a mark beside the name, Hillary Clinton. You’re not doing it for her. The vote you cast is for the republic and the Constitution.
► From Politico — Obama scorches Republicans for threatening more gridlock — “Right now, because a lot of them think that Trump will lose, they’re already promising even more unprecedented dysfunction in Washington, which is pretty hard to do,” Obama said, ticking off a list of statements — “years of investigations, years of hearings, more shutdowns, more obstruction… “Keep in mind the reason that they said they would not have a hearing or vote for my Supreme Court nomination, bucking all of American history, was because they thought the American people should decide the next Supreme Court justice. Now they are saying that, well, if they’d won’t decide the way we want them to, maybe we won’t even do that.”
► From Bloomberg — Worker groups prep for active Clinton Labor Department — Some proposals aren’t fully fleshed out, including more federal contractor executive orders, while others repeat detailed pitches that Obama’s DOL didn’t get to, such as updating the duties test for overtime exemption, compensating workers for on-call shifts and overhauling unemployment insurance benefits. The wish-list items share one common thread: the labor movement and its policy arms are pleased with Labor Secretary Thomas Perez’s leadership, but want continuity under Clinton to fill in some gaps on worker protections.
► In today’s NY Times — How the Labor Dept. keeps its economic data politics-free — The people who generate the numbers are all career civil servants who have churned out reports for both Republicans and Democrats. And their basic methods do not swerve from one administration to the next. If the figures are biased, they are consistently biased in the same way regardless of what party is in office.
► In today’s Wall St. Journal — Voters could push the minimum wage to $12 or higher in four states — Until this year, Washington led the nation with the highest minimum wage among 50 states. But with other states raising their levels, Washington’s $9.47 an hour ranks only ninth. Initiative 1433, if passed, would raise the state’s minimum to $11 in 2017, and incrementally each year until 2020. By that year, the minimum wage in Seattle is set to be $15 an hour for large employers.
► From AP — Strike by Philadelphia transit workers enters 2nd day — The walkout began early Tuesday after the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority and a union representing about 4,700 workers failed to reach a contract agreement, shutting down buses, trolleys and subways that provide about 900,000 rides a day.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Grocery group fined $18 million in fight against GMO food-labeling initiative — The Grocery Manufacturers Association has been ordered to pay a record-setting $18 million penalty for violating Washington campaign laws over an effort to defeat a 2013 food-labeling initiative.
► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Bremerton firefighters have new contract, will get new chief — The City Council passed a three-year agreement between the city and its firefighters’ union that includes a 2.5 percent bump in pay for 2016, with subsequent increases of 2 percent in 2017 and between 1.5 and 2.5 percent in 2018, depending on inflation.
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Longshore Credit Union employees picket over contract talks — Employees of the Lower Columbia Longshoremen’s Federal Credit Union (OPEIU 11) have been without a contract for seven months.
► Just because.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.