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Sweetheart coverage, ignore math, unpopular Democrats…

Monday, March 13, 2017




► In the P.S. Business Journal — Two bills in Olympia target aerospace tax credit ‘accountability’ for Boeing — Lawmakers in Olympia have introduced bills to tie aerospace tax credits to recipient employment levels in Washington state. A Boeing spokesman said the company remains opposed to any effort to alter Washington’s aerospace tax incentives.

ALSO at The Stand — Hold Boeing accountable for state tax breaks

► In today’s News Tribune — Did Inslee’s campaign get ‘millions’ from state worker unions during contract negotiations? — Union groups that bargain with the state gave about $40,000 directly to Inslee’s campaign in 2016, making the maximum amount of union money that could be considered to have benefited the governor — either directly or indirectly — about $750,000. By comparison, the total spending in the governor’s race last year came in at nearly $15 million.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Deal Capitol Press Corps: Rather than devoting precious legislative news coverage to Dino Rossi’s politically motivated (and unconstitutional) “appearance of conflict” bill that has no chance of passage, why not report on the details of the collective bargaining agreements themselves? At a time that Washington state pays its workers less than what they’d earn at 99 percent of its competitors, leading many agencies to report a recruitment and retention crisis, and after years of asking employees to take pay cuts or forego raises during an economic downturn, does it sound fair to give them three 2% pay increases spread out over two years? Does that sound like a sweetheart deal? Isn’t it more newsworthy that Senate Republicans have openly threatened to hold these modest raises hostage unless Democrats agree to these political Freedom Foundation bills?

► In the (Everett) Herald — Reason for hope on school funding agreement (editorial) — That the Legislature was able to pull many of the state’s 295 school districts away from the “levy cliff” — and do so with substantial bipartisan agreement — should provide some confidence that lawmakers can reach a deal this year that resolves the state Supreme Court mandate to fix education funding.




► In the Seattle Times — Protesters shadowing Reichert over refusal to stage town halls — Protesters continue to hound U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert over his steadfast refusal to hold a town hall. One tactic: Shadow the Auburn Republican to public events and make a scene.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Advocates want Yakima’s don’t-ask immigration policy to become binding ordinance — Some worry the existing practice could change in the future and regard it as a safety issue. But the mayor, who voted against the proposal, called it more political than a matter of public safety.




► In the Seattle Times — What Trumpcare might mean for Washington state — It’s an early look, but concerns are pouring in from doctors, hospitals, insurers and regulators. The plan, many say, could cost thousands of Washingtonians coverage, increase expenses for seniors, make hospital waits longer and reduce access to contraceptives.

► From The Hill — Trumpcare hangs in the balance — Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has guaranteed the bill will pass Congress, but it won’t be a smooth ride to President Trump’s desk. The Congressional Budget Office is expected this week to release its score of the GOP legislation. The CBO is widely expected, even among Republicans, to estimate that millions of people would no longer have health insurance under the plan. With that in mind, Republicans are already looking to discredit the office and downplay the importance of the score.

► From TPM — No, the CBO was not ‘way, way off’ on scoring Obamacare — Budget experts say that the office’s projections of how many total people would gain coverage under Obamacare and of the average cost of health insurance premiums turned out to be quite close to the eventual reality.

► In today’s Washington Post — Trump said no Americans would lose coverage under Obamacare repeal. Paul Ryan won’t make that promise. — House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said Sunday that he doesn’t know how many Americans would lose coverage under his proposal to revise the Affordable Care Act, which is under fire from fellow Republicans, AARP and virtually every sector of the U.S. health-care industry.




► In today’s Washington Post — Trump budget expected to seek historic contraction of federal workforce — President Trump’s budget proposal this week would shake the federal government to its core if enacted, culling back numerous programs and expediting a historic contraction of the federal workforce. This would be the first time the government has executed cuts of this magnitude — and all at once — since the drawdown following World War II, economists and budget analysts said.

► In today’s Washington Post — Senate Democrats prepare for battle over Trump’s border wall — and a possible shutdown — Democrats told Senate GOP leaders that they won’t accept any attempt to include funding for Trump’s proposed border wall in a spending bill necessary to keep the government open past April 28, according to a letter obtained by The Post.

► In the NY Times — New Labor nominee: Fair leader or self-serving one? — In dozens of interviews, current and former colleagues of R. Alexander Acosta are deeply split in their assessment of the nominee. Some described him as a hands-off leader who has often chosen not to inject himself into disputes, sometimes tolerating a discriminatory environment if inaction has served his interests. Others say he is a fair leader who did not let his conservative ideals affect his decisions.

► From Huffington Post — Bernie Sanders’ campaign faced a fake news tsunami. Where did it come from? — Bernie supporters across the country had been noticing dubious websites and posters linked back to Eastern Europe even before The Washington Post reported in mid-June that Russian government hackers had stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee. They had been warning each other that something weird was going on, posting troll alerts and compiling lists of fake news sites.

► From Huffington Post — GOP Rep. Steve King tweets in favor of white nationalism, gets little pushback from colleagues — On Sunday afternoon, King suggested that Muslim children were preventing “our civilization” from being restored… After King issued his remarks, most of his Republican congressional colleagues were conspicuously quiet.

EDITOR’S NOTE — It should come as no surprise that King is a prime sponsor of national “right-to-work” legislation, which has its roots in racism.




► In the NY Daily News — The Democratic Party seems to have no earthly idea why it is so damn unpopular (by Shaun King) — A troubling new poll was just released showing that the Democratic Party is significantly less popular than both Donald Trump and Mike Pence. My gut tells me that Democrats will ignore this poll, or blame it on bad polling, and continue down the same course they are currently on: being funded by lobbyists and the 1%, straddling the fence or outright ignoring many of most inspirational issues of the time, and blaming Bernie Sanders for why they aren’t in power right now. As a general rule the Democratic Party doesn’t listen well and struggles to hear the truth about itself… (but) if it doesn’t come to grips with why it is so wildly unpopular, many more losses will be on the horizon.


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

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