Monday, November 13, 2017
► In the Seattle Times — Burien, the town Trump cast a spell on, is waking up a very different place (by Danny Westneat) — Voters in this 51,000-population suburb of Seattle appear to have settled a bitter yearlong fight about immigration in the most dramatic way possible: By electing the first two Latinos ever to serve on the City Council… “I’m an ‘anchor baby,’ ” Jimmy Matta says, using air quotes to mock the right-wing term for a child born in the U.S. to parents who came illegally. “Now I’m going to be a city councilman. It’s all because of the open-mindedness of the people in this town. That’s the immigrant dream, right? The American dream. How great is that?”
ALSO at The Stand — Manka Dhingra and Teresa Mosqueda win! (UPDATED) — Jimmy Matta and Pedro Olguin are both union members and Olguin attended the WSLC/AFL-CIO’s Path to Power candidate training program.
► In today’s News Tribune — Legislators to introduce bill that would limit donations to all port campaigns — Two Democratic state lawmakers plan to introduce a bill that would cap campaign donations for port races after the Port of Vancouver commissioner campaigns collected $650,000 in contributions from two organizations.
► In the Seattle Times — Seattle’s next mayor, Jenny Durkan, names full transition team, deputy mayors — The transition team includes David Rolf, Kenny Stuart, Diane Sosne and Behnaz Nelson who are, respectively, the heads of unions representing nursing-home workers, firefighters, hospital workers and white-collar city employees.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Also on the team are Leonard Smith of Teamsters 117 and Nicole Grant of the M.L. King County Labor Council. And serving as Transition Team Communications Director for the Office of the Mayor-elect is the Kamaria Hightower of the MLKCLC (and formerly of the WSLC). Congratulations, Kamaria!
► In the Seattle Times — Boeing holding Washington state job fairs to recruit manufacturing workers — Boeing has set up five job fairs in the region in a new push to hire manufacturing workers. The company declined to say if this indicates an overall employment uptick in the state. Boeing cut thousands of machinist jobs this year by offering voluntary retirement benefits. Many older, more experienced workers took advantage of the opportunity to retire early. But that process has left the company short-handed.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Here’s a thought. Eliminating pensions may have boosted its short-term bottom line, but it has also made this Chicago-based company a less desirable place to work over the long term.
► In the News Tribune — Dubai Air Show opens with Emirates’ $15.1B Boeing buy — The biennial Dubai Air Show has opened with hometown long-haul carrier Emirates making a $15.1 billion buy of Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners.
► In the (Everett) Herald — Boeing workers help pay for vans, grants to local nonprofits — The Employees Community Fund of Boeing Puget Sound this year provided the Work Force Development Center’s apprenticeship program with a new 15-passenger van to transport students to and from the program, job fairs and potential employers.
ALSO TODAY at The Stand — State’s innovative aerospace apprenticeship program touted in national report
► In the (Longview) Daily News — Judge: KapStone illegally disciplined employee — In a win for the AWPPW, a federal judge ruled this week that a KapStone Paper and Packaging supervisor discriminated against a Longview employee based on his union organizing and that the supervisor illegally attempted to interfere or restrain union activity.
► In the (Centralia) Chronicle — AG’s office wins appeal in Freedom Foundation campaign finance case — A state appeals court ruled unanimously in favor of a campaign finance lawsuit filed by state Attorney General Bob Ferguson against the Freedom Foundation. The AG argued that the right-wing group failed to properly and timely file independent expenditure reports disclosing the value of legal services it provided to support ballot measures in Sequim, Chelan and Shelton.
ALSO at The Stand — Right-wing Freedom Foundation swept, but still suing away (Oct. 17, 2014)
► From The Stranger — King County needs more resources to address labor trafficking, report finds — A new study finds that, while the county has made strides to address sex trafficking, very few resources exist for survivors of labor trafficking in other industries and the crime is rarely prosecuted.
► In the (Longview) Daily News — Washington health exchange reports surge in traffic — Despite double-digit premium increases, the Washington health-care exchange is reporting a big spike in web traffic compared to the first week of open enrollment last year. More than 320,000 visitors have reviewed coverage options at Washington Healthplanfinder since Nov. 1. That represents a 24-percent increase in visits to the website — where people can find and compare health plans — over the same period in 2016.
► In the News Tribune — Carbon tax plan offers fair deal for Tacomans (by Kirk Kirkland) — Washington voters could lead the way and make our state a model by approving a proposed carbon tax initiative that is socially equitable. The Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy is proposing a policy initiative designed so that workers in locations like Tacoma don’t have to lose manufacturing jobs or shut down local smoke stacks. In Tacoma this week, people can review the details of the carbon tax initiative at a campaign kick-off at 7 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 16) at Washington Shiloh Baptist Church, 1211 South I St.
ALSO at The Stand — Inslee urges Alliance forward; more kickoff events scheduled
CORPORATE TAX CUTS
► From The Hill — GOP tax bill clears hurdle, heads to House floor — The House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday approved House Republicans’ bill to rewrite the tax code. The measure — which reduces the number of individual tax rates, slashes the corporate tax rate and eliminates many deductions and credits — was approved on a party-line vote of 24-16.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Lame duck Rep. Dave Reichert (R-8th) voted for this tax giveaway to corporations and the wealthy that will RAISE taxes for many of his middle-class constituents. Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-1st) voted “no.” The House Rules Committee is scheduled to meet Wednesday to set up floor debate, indicating an expected Thursday vote of the full House.
ALSO at The Stand — Desperate GOP advancing Trump tax bill
► From Bloomberg — McConnell joins Ryan in walking back false promise on tax bill — Like Ryan, the Senate Majority Leader has now acknowledged he erred when he said that “nobody in the middle class is going to get a tax increase.” There are millions of people who would face higher tax bills from the loss of deductions like the one for state and local taxes, which is rolled back in the House bill and eliminated entirely in the Senate bill.
► In the (Everett) Herald — Slap-dash tax reform goes all in for corporations — (Under the bill) individuals will no longer be able to deduct state and local taxes on their federal tax returns, while corporations can deduct the same taxes on businesses purchases. Republicans are adamant that the reduction in corporate tax rates is necessary to spur investment by businesses that will result in more employment. But that trickle-down theory was disproved in the laboratory of Kansas where, after growth lagged and deficits ballooned following major tax cuts, the Republican-led Legislature restored taxes to earlier levels, even overriding its governor’s veto.
► Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Al Franken explain what corporate executives, in their own words, have said they will do with $1.5 trillion in tax cuts. (Hint: It’s not hire more workers or pay them better.)
► In today’s NY Times — The right way to cut corporate taxes (editorial) — American companies pay an average effective federal-state rate of 18.1 percent, just shy of the 19.4 percent average effective rate for Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan — the other members of the Group of 7 nations. Far from being the highest taxed in the world, as Trump claims, United States corporations are taxed at roughly the same rates as those in other advanced nations. In fact, over several decades, the corporate tax rate has withered as a source of revenue for the government, partly because of tax cuts and partly because of deductions, credits and ingenious tax-avoidance schemes cooked up by expensive lawyers and accountants — including the offshore shenanigans revealed by the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers.
► In the Washington Post — More than 400 millionaires tell Congress: Don’t cut our taxes — The wealthy Americans — including doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs and chief executives — say the GOP is making a mistake by reducing taxes on the richest families at a time when the nation’s debt is high and inequality is back at the worst level since the 1920s.
► In the NY Times — How corporations and the wealthy avoid taxes (and how to stop them) (by Gabriel Zucman) — We can stop offshore tax evasion by shining some light on darker corners of the global banking industry. The most compelling way to do this would be to create comprehensive registries recording the true individual owners of real estate and financial securities, including equities, bonds and mutual fund shares. The onus here is on the United States and the European Union. Why do we allow criminals, tax evaders and kleptocrats to ultimately use our financial and real estate markets to launder their wealth? Transparency is the first step in making sure the wealthy can’t cheat their way out of contributing to the common good.
► In the Guardian — Trump ally Robert Kraft revealed as longtime owner of offshore firm — The New England Patriots’ billionaire boss is among several major U.S. sports team owners who appear in the Paradise Papers.
EDITOR’S NOTE — As if you needed another reason to hate the Patriots.
► From The Hill — Fight over paid leave heating up in Congress — Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers joined two other representatives in offering legislation last week to create a voluntary program for employers to offer full- and part-time employees a guaranteed minimum level of paid leave to use and at least one flexible work arrangement. But the National Partnership for Women & Families slammed the bill for blocking local sick leave laws — now on the books in eight states (including Washington state) and 32 localities — and for allowing employers to deny the use of the paid leave when it “disrupts business operations.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — A voluntary paid leave program is what we already have in America. McMorris Rodgers’ bill simply caps what states and cities can do to help working people, like the voter-approved I-1433 here in Washington. Once again, shame on you, Cathy!
► From TPM — Trump nominates former Pharma exec to run HHS — Trump unveiled his pick to run the Department of Health and Human Services, which has been leaderless since Secretary Tom Price resigned in late September over his use of private jets on the taxpayer’s dime: Alex Azar, a former executive at the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co.
► In the NY Times — Puerto Rico’s second-class treatment on food aid (editorial) — Of all Puerto Rico’s continuing miseries seven weeks after Hurricane Maria’s devastation, the most blatantly unjust is that islanders have been denied the more generous and swifter food relief distributed to storm victims this year in Texas and Florida under the emergency food stamp program.
► In the Washington Post — Woman says Roy Moore initiated sexual encounter when she was 14, he was 32 — Leigh Corfman says she was 14 years old when an older man approached her outside a courtroom in Etowah County, Ala. She was sitting on a wooden bench with her mother, they both recall, when the man introduced himself as Roy Moore. It was early 1979 and Moore — now the Republican nominee in Alabama for a U.S. Senate seat— was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney. He struck up a conversation, Corfman and her mother say, and offered to watch the girl while her mother went inside for a child custody hearing. Alone with Corfman, Moore chatted with her and asked for her phone number, she says. Days later, she says, he picked her up around the corner from her house in Gadsden, drove her about 30 minutes to his home in the woods, told her how pretty she was and kissed her. On a second visit, she says, he took off her shirt and pants and removed his clothes. He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear… Aside from Corfman, three other women interviewed by The Washington Post in recent weeks say Moore pursued them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s, episodes they say they found flattering at the time, but troubling as they got older.
► From Salon — Roy Moore’s disgraceful fan club: Republican defenders smear accusers, reporters — Many national Republicans have said Moore should end his campaign “if the allegations are true.” But Moore’s local GOP supporters, fundamentalist evangelical Jerry Falwell Jr., and Breitbart News booster Steve Bannon (plus Fox News host Sean Hannity, who has been repeatedly accused of sexual harassment himself) remain obdurate that their candidate did nothing wrong and is merely being slimed by the fake news media.
► From UNITE HERE — UNITE HERE scores biggest NLRB election win in years with 78% Yes vote of 1,000 worker bargaining unit — Workers at Green Valley Ranch Casino in Las Vegas celebrated their win for union protection after the employer, Stations Casino, ran a bitterly anti-union campaign for decades to attempt to block worker organizing. The win, the largest successful NLRB union election victory in many years, occurred in a so-called ‘Right-to-Work’ state no less.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Are YOU interested in joining with your co-workers to negotiate better wages and working conditions. Find out how today!
► In the NY Times — Chinese-owned factory in Ohio fights off unionization plan — A Chinese glassmaker beat back a unionization bid at a plant in Ohio on Thursday, winning a key victory in an important test of the way Chinese companies handle employee relations as they increase their holdings in the United States.
► From the BBC — Uber loses court appeal against drivers’ rights — Last year a tribunal ruled drivers James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam were Uber staff and entitled to holiday pay, paid rest breaks and the minimum wage. Uber appealed, arguing its drivers were self employed and were under no obligation to use its booking app. The firm said it would appeal against this latest ruling, too.
► From The Guardian — America’s cruel way to punish poor debtors: take away their driver’s license — Across the United States, many jurisdictions use this cruel method to coerce payment from people who owe fines and fees to the state. State and local governments do this in large part to balance their books in the face of dwindling tax revenues, heedless of the fact that it makes it much more difficult for the working poor to get to the jobs they need to pay off their debts. People with means can often forestall suspensions by paying fines and fees, but those without means are trapped in the vicious circle of repeated suspensions and ever deepening debt.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.