Thursday, November 16, 2017
► From the AFL-CIO — Labor puts working people in charge — The three union member candidates who addressed the 2017 AFL-CIO Convention won their elections! This came shortly after the adoption of Resolution 10, “Encouraging Union Members to Run for Public Office,” that pledges to adopt labor candidate programs in every state and local labor body in the country. Teresa Mosqueda (OPEIU) will join the soon-to-be majority-woman Seattle City Council; Braxton Winston (IATSE) will be the first union member to serve on the Charlotte, N.C., City Council; and Keith Kazmark (AFT) was re-elected as mayor of Woodland Park, N.J. Says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:
“The only way we can change the economic rules is by committing ourselves to independence in politics. The rules are written by the people we elect, and for nearly four decades, they have been written to ensure working people are the losers. Electing people like Teresa, Braxton and Keith ensures that we have a seat at the table.”
ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Sims named to replace Mosqueda at WSLC
► In today’s Seattle Times — King County Council chairman accuses Trump administration of ‘bullying’ sanctuary jurisdictions — The Trump administration’s latest threat against sanctuary jurisdictions draws a sharp retort from Seattle and King County. “This is about bullying and intimidation,” Metropolitan King County Council Chairman Joe McDermott said.
► In today’s News Tribune — State Supreme Court says state not done yet with McCleary education order — Washington’s Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday lawmakers must do more to meet its long-running education decision known as McCleary despite billions in new state spending poured into K-12 schools by the Legislature earlier this year. As one of the last remaining tasks to meet McCleary, the court had ordered the state to take on the full cost of teacher and other school administrator salaries that have been paid for in part by local levies for years. The court agreed with the state that the remaining details of the program for full state funding of K-12 education “are in place.” Just not in time.
► From KNKX — Women see ‘surge’ opportunity to address sexual harassment at State Capitol — In response to recent reports about sexual harassment at the state Capitol, a state Senate committee voted Tuesday night to require all senators and staff to take annual sexual harassment training.
ALSO at The Stand — #MeToo power shift must be sustained by organized labor
CORPORATE TAX GIVEAWAY
► In today’s NY Times — House is poised to pass tax bill — The House is poised on Thursday to pass a sweeping rewrite of the tax code along party lines, advancing a critical effort by Republicans to enact legislation that cuts taxes for corporations and individuals before the year’s end. The party is under pressure to get legislation to President Trump’s desk by Christmas, in part to show a significant legislative achievement from a Republican-controlled Congress during its first year in the majority. Lawmakers also want to push the legislation through quickly to avoid giving lobbyists and Democrats time to mobilize sufficient opposition.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Reps. Dave Reichert (R-8th), Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-3rd), and Dan Newhouse (R-4th) have all announced they will vote “yes” on this tax giveaway to corporations and the wealthy, financed by middle-class tax increases (and our children and grandchildren). And of course, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-5th) is one of this GOP tax scam’s architects and chief cheerleaders, so she will also vote “yes.”
UPDATE (Nov. 16, 2017, 11 a.m. Pacific) — The U.S. House of Representatives voted today to approve the Republican tax plan, 227-205. Thirteen Republicans voted against the bill, and zero Democrats voted for it. All four Republicans from Washington state — Reps. Dave Reichert, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Dan Newhouse and Cathy McMorris Rodgers — voted “yes.”
► A related story in today’s Seattle Times — Poll: Democrats hold large advantage in state headed into congressional midterms — Democrats hold a 14-point advantage in a measure of generic voter intent, which means the poll didn’t test specific candidates but asked about which party voters are likely to favor, according to the poll by Stuart Elway. He notes the gap is exceptionally broad.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Dems say GOP tax plan doesn’t add up for everyone — Rep. Suzan DelBene’s amendments to restore deductions, which the bill does away with, were rejected.
► Meanwhile, over in the Senate, in today’s NY Times — Tax bill thrown into uncertainty as first GOP senator comes out against it — Uncertainty gripped the Senate on Wednesday over efforts to pass a sweeping $1.5 trillion tax cut after Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) became the first senator in his party to declare that he could not vote for the tax bill as written, and other senators expressed serious misgivings over the cost and effect on the middle class.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Senate Republicans make bigger mess of tax bill (editorial) — Senate Republicans now are trying to make up for their failure to adopt a repeal of the Affordable Care Act by shoehorning in a provision to the tax legislation that would end the ACA’s mandate that all Americans have health care coverage… For the reasons outlined in Sunday’s editorial, the Republicans’ tax reform proposals, at the least, need more discussion and a bipartisan process. Even the limited review that Republicans have allowed in their rush for passage now shows that some 14 million families across the country, including 300,000 middle-class families in Washington state… would see a tax increase rather than the tax cuts Republicans have promised. If Republicans can’t pass a tax reform bill — an issue that was supposed to be in their wheelhouse — without having to offer incentives to conservative members of Congress who are keen to kill the ACA, then the divisions within the Republican Party are deeper than we thought.
► In today’s Washington Post — Two more women describe unwanted overtures by Roy Moore at Ala. mall — Women who worked at the Gadsden Mall in the late 1970s said the visits from Moore — now a candidate for U.S. Senate — caused workers in one store to “draw straws” to decide who would deal with him and another woman to hide when Moore came into the Sears store where she worked.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This accused pedophile was reportedly banned from the mall. How is it that anyone is still considering this creep to serve as a United States Senator?
► From HuffPost — Donald Trump conspicuously silent on Roy Moore
EDITOR’S NOTE — Ah.
► From Huffington Post — Al Franken hit with sexual assault accusations — Anchorwoman and sportscaster Leeann Tweeden said Thursday that comedian Al Franken kissed and groped her without her consent during a USO tour in December 2006. Franken, who is now the junior Democratic senator from Minnesota, was headlining the event. Tweeden was emceeing.
► In the People’s World — Sen. Sherrod Brown: White House “chaos” may sink new NAFTA — White House chaos may prevent the GOP Trump administration from negotiating a “new NAFTA” to replace the controversial jobs-destroying U.S.-Canada-Mexico “free trade” pact, says Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). He made that prediction in a Nov. 14 conference call with thousands of CWA leaders and activists nationwide. President Trump and congressional Republican leaders still seek a new NAFTA by the end of this year, but the last round of talks, in Alexandria, Va., ended in some discord.
► From Reuters — U.S. consumer agency head Cordray to leave by end of month — The head of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray, will resign at the end of the month, paving the way for President Donald Trump to appoint his own director and reshape an agency that has been a scourge of Wall Street.
► From NBC News — Koch Brothers key to funding assault on campaign finance regulation — Billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch are well-known for pumping tens of millions of dollars into so-called dark money nonprofits — groups that actively promote or criticize candidates for office but are not required to reveal their donors.
► From The Street — Nike shareholders to propose tax principles after Paradise Papers leak — In the wake of the Paradise Papers revelations about tax avoidance, the AFL-CIO and Domini Impact Investments LLC, a provider of socially responsible mutual funds, is asking Nike Inc. to adopt formal tax practice principles.
► From In These Times — Fight for $15 just scored a big win in Maryland. We have unions to thank. — A law establishing a $15-an-hour minimum wage in Maryland’s Montgomery County was signed into law Monday, representing a comeback win after a similar measure was defeated by pro-business Democrats just ten months ago.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.