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Rossi & GOP target unions, Resist Epicenter, banning the wall…

Monday, February 6, 2017




► From KUOW — Washington Republicans take aim at union influence — Washington Senate Republicans are taking aim at organized labor. They’ve scheduled a series of public hearings beginning Monday on measures designed to reduce the influence of labor unions. One of the proposed bills would prohibit unions that collectively bargain with the governor’s office from making political contributions to gubernatorial candidates. The sponsor, state Sen. Dino Rossi (pictured), said it’s about eliminating any “appearance of corruption.” On Wednesday, Republicans will hold a public hearing on a so-called right-to-work bill to make union membership and dues not compulsory.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Under Rossi’s restrictions, we’re assuming no corporations would be allowed to contribute to gubernatorial candidates either, since many of them benefit from state tax breaks and other incentives.

► MUST-READ from AFL-CIO Now — ‘Right to work’ is wrong for your family — whether you are union or not. Here’s why. — I spent 36 years working at the Bridgestone Tire plant in Oklahoma City. The work was hard but rewarding. It afforded me the opportunity to provide for my family, always ensure there was enough food at the table and that my kids were afforded every modest opportunity to grow up in a household that was stable, secure and free from worry. That all changed suddenly in 2006, five years after Oklahoma passed a so-called “right to work” law that was billed by politicians as a job creator. For the 1,400 men and women who worked at the plant, right to work didn’t work as advertised. Not only did the plant close, but the effects of the closing and the chilling effect that right to work has on a state’s economy were felt by everyone. …

All evidence, actual facts, from non-partisan sources show that right to work doesn’t create jobs and actually has a negative effect on states’ economies. We saw this in Oklahoma. In the wake of right to work, the number of new companies relocating to our state has decreased by one-third and the number of manufacturing jobs has also fallen by a third. That’s according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. That same thing is happening in other right to work states as well, seven of the top 10 states with the highest unemployment are right to work states. Worse, the jobs that stay in right to work states are lower paid. On average, workers in right to work states make about $5,000 less a year than in other states.

ALSO at The Stand — Republicans push anti-union ‘right-to-work’ in both Washingtons — On Wednesday, state Sens. Michael Baumgartner (R-Spokane) and John Braun (R-Centralia) introduced state right-to-work legislation, SB 5692. It is scheduled for a public hearing at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 8 in the Senate Commerce, Labor & Sports Committee.

► In today’s News Tribune — A comparison of Republican and Democratic ideas of how to fix Washington’s schools — Republicans criticized the Democratic plan last week as focusing too much on boosting salaries for teachers. Democrats say the Republican plan would raise property taxes for too many Washingtonians without putting enough new money into education.

► From KUOW — A call to create the nation’s second state-owned bank in Washington — As Seattle lawmakers discussed pulling the city’s money from Wells Fargo to protest the bank’s support of the Dakota Access Pipeline, one idea got some applause: What about creating a taxpayer-owned bank in Washington state? There’s a bill in Olympia would create just that: a bank owned by Washington taxpayers, where the state government would deposit tax dollars.  Sen. Bob Hasegawa (D-Seattle), who introduced the bill, said it would keep money in Washington state that could be used for infrastructure projects and student loans.

► In the (Longview) Daily News — Local lawmakers strategize to save Naselle Youth Camp, again — State legislators say they’ve been working behind the scenes to save Naselle Youth Camp from the state chopping block — and its prospects look good. “I’m hearing favorable rumblings from all four corners about the importance and the good work that they do at Naselle with the kids,” said state Rep. Brian Blake (D-Aberdeen).




► In the Seattle Times — Secret pay raise, improper gifts: Inside Port of Seattle CEO’s abrupt departure — A new report outlines a litany of concerns inside the Port of Seattle over the departed CEO’s performance.

► In the PSBJ — Starbucks paid CEO Howard Schultz $22 million last year

EDITOR’S NOTE — The Man Who Gave Away Our Sonics was positioned to become Labor Secretary had Hillary Clinton won. Sad.




► In the Seattle Times — How Washington state upended Trump’s travel ban — While Trump’s travel ban threw U.S. airports into chaos last weekend, Bob Ferguson, the attorney general of Washington state, was biding his time on an airplane. On his way home from a conference of Democratic attorneys general in Florida, Ferguson landed a week ago in the center of a political and legal firestorm. Sea-Tac Airport was in disarray, with protesters massing. Gov. Jay Inslee, a fellow Democrat, had sent word to the attorney general’s staff that he wanted to mount a battering-ram attack on the president’s decree. Within two days, Ferguson had become a leading combatant in a battle with the president of the United States, filing a challenge to Trump’s travel ban that yielded a ruling from a federal judge on Friday freezing the order’s implementation.

ALSO at The Stand — WSLC proudly supported suit against Trump’s Muslim ban — WSLC amicus brief in successful lawsuit: “Future leaders of our government may well feel compelled to issue formal apologies or statements of regret for this unlawful and discriminatory act.”

► In today’s News Tribune — Families reunite at Sea-Tac after stay of immigration ban — Families began reuniting at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Sunday morning after a Seattle-based federal judge stayed President Donald Trump’s ban on travel from seven Muslim-majority countries.

► From AP — Appeals court denies Justice Department request to immediately reinstate travel ban — The court’s refusal to immediately reinstate the ban follows a day that saw President Trump mock U.S. District Judge James Robart, appointed by President George W. Bush, as a “so-called judge” whose “ridiculous” ruling “will be overturned.”

► In today’s NY Times — ‘So-called’ judge criticized by Trump is known as a mainstream Republican — Judge James Robart, who blocked the president’s immigration order, is described by those who know him as a “judge’s judge” unafraid of making unpopular rulings.

► In the Washington Post — How Washington state became the epicenter of resistance to Trump’s agenda — Acting swiftly and with a united front, leaders from the Evergreen State have marshaled a powerful resistance to Trump’s administration — the combination of a left-leaning populace, outspoken Democratic lawmakers, legal efforts spearheaded by a resolute attorney general and support from several Seattle-area tech companies wary of Trump’s policies.

► In today’s Washington Post — Governor who blocked ‘Muslim ban’ tells Trump: This is what the resistance looks like (by Greg Sargent) — “This demonstrates the importance of governors and states in the four-year battle to preserve the fundamental values of this country,” Inslee told me. “The nation needs checks against a president who’s prone to rogue behavior, and governors will assume a more important place in the democratic system.”




► In today’s Huffington Post — Think the minimum wage will be safe under Labor Secretary Puzder? Not so fast. — Despite widespread support, state and local lawmakers and business communities have already begun threatening to not comply with the state and local minimum wage hikes. That means it’s imperative to have a federal Labor Department committed to ensuring that workers aren’t cheated out of their wages — wages not only earned through hard work but also guaranteed by law. This won’t be the case if Andy Puzder becomes Labor Secretary. As chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, Puzder consistently flouted basic labor standards.

EDITOR’S NOTE — PubliCola reports that, on Puzder’s confirmation, Sen. Maria Cantwell is a “likely no” and Sen. Patty Murray “has serious concerns.” CALL THEM until they answer just plain “NO.” Murray: 202-224-2621. Cantwell: 202-224-3441.

► In the Seattle Times — Unhappy with Trump? Call your congressman: Local delegation fielding record numbers of calls — More than 57,000 calls and emails about the proposed Education secretary. A 3,900 percent increase in calls from a year ago. Washington’s members of Congress are being bombarded by constituents spurred into action by the Trump presidency.

► From Politico — Republicans face anger over Obamacare repeal during town halls — Two Republican lawmakers representing reliably conservative districts on opposite ends of the country on Saturday faced down heated questions from Obamacare supporters who flooded town hall events demanding that Congress not dismantle a health care law that has provided insurance for millions of people.

► In today’s NY Times — Trump, staff rethink tactics after stumbles — One thing has become apparent to both his allies and his opponents: When it comes to governing, speed does not always guarantee success.

► From Huffington Post — World’s saddest Trump rally draws just 8 supporters

► From The Hill — Trump: ‘Any negative polls are fake news’




► From Huffington Post — The Democratic Party needs Keith Ellison (by Richard Trumka and Maria Elena Durazo) — Now that he’s running for DNC Chair, he’s not wavering in his commitment to us—not one bit. He understands that many working people voted for Donald Trump because the Democratic Party didn’t make a compelling enough case. He understands we are hungry for political leaders that listen to us and work with us, and that labor’s agenda will always lead our politics, not the other way around. With Keith at the helm of one of America’s two major political parties, working people will be in a much better position to have our issues advanced and our concerns heard.

► From AP — For Trump foes, Democratic gains may remain elusive in 2018 — Republicans remain well-positioned to retain their grip on power in the 2018 elections. While Republicans hold only a slim majority in the U.S. Senate, Democrats occupy most of the seats up for election in two years. That means they must play defense against Republicans, especially in 10 states that Trump won.




► In the Chicago Tribune — Union blames staffing shortage in Delaware prison guard’s death — The killing of a guard during an inmate uprising at Delaware’s largest prison this week was entirely preventable, according to a correctional officers’ union leader who blamed state officials for ignoring chronic staffing shortages that put prison workers at greater risk.




► From The Nation — Political fervor thrums beneath the Super Bowl’s surface — The game was historic, but there was something else thrumming beneath the surface: something far more meaningful than which billionaire ended up hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. It was something in the anthems, something in the commercials, something in the way people were watching the action…  The Patriots will go home to a city that Trump would not even be able to enter without provoking mass protests, a city that just a week ago had hundreds of people clogging Logan airport to protest the Muslim Ban and two weeks ago shut down greater Boston with post-inauguration protests. The fight goes on, and the wind is at our back. The resistance continues and great comebacks should remind us that nothing is set in stone.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Here is the full, uncut 84 Lumber Super Bowl promotional film. See a mother and daughter’s symbolic migrant journey towards becoming legal American citizens. Contains content deemed too controversial for the original ad and banned from broadcast because it showed a border wall.


EDITOR’S NOTE 2 –And the Headline of the Day goes to Huffington Post:


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