The Stand

Governors for fairness ● Bicoastal solidarity ● Food stamps cut, farmers paid

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Monday, October 7, 2019

 


ELECTION

 

Washington’s three former governors — Dan Evans (R), Gary Locke (D), and Christine Gregoire (D) — all came to Olympia to testify in support of Initiative 1000.

► In the Seattle Times — Approve Referendum 88 for fairness and opportunity for all (by Christine Gregoire, Gary Locke Dan Evans) — Approved by the state Legislature in April, Initiative 1000 simply restores fairness to government employment, public-sector contracting, and at our state colleges and universities by explicitly allowing the use of common-sense tools like outreach, recruitment and advertising to help expand the pool of qualified applicants. Referendum 88 was designed to require a statewide vote on I-1000. Quotas, set asides and preferences are specifically banned by I-1000. Don’t be fooled by those who tell you otherwise. If you are qualified you should be eligible for a job, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, race, military service or other factors. An important part of I-1000 is that no veteran preferences will be eliminated. Instead, I-1000 expands programs that target Vietnam-era veterans to include all honorably discharged veterans and those with military status. I-1000 continues the kind of bonus points or extra consideration that many veterans receive today.

► In the News Tribune — Latest Eyman initiative I-976 cuts cost of car tabs but hits transportation projects statewide — If I-976 is enacted into law, revenue to local governments would decline by $2.3 billion in the next six years, according to the state’s non-partisan Office of Financial Management. The state’s revenue would drop by $1.9 billion for transportation projects in the same period, OFM said. Keep Washington Rolling, the ballot committee opposing the initiative, said I-976 puts several projects “in danger of never being completed, including:

  • State Route 167/State Route 509 Puget Sound Gateway.
  • Completion of widening over I-90/Snoqualmie Pass from Hyak to Easton
  • The North/South freeway/U.S. 395 project in Spokane.
  • Widening of I-405 between Renton and Bellevue.
  • Improvements to State Route 520 between Lake Washington and Interstate 5.

Other projects that are in danger if I-976 is approved include $1.3 billion in ferry vessel improvements through 2031, Amtrak service linking western Washington with British Columbia and Oregon and freight rail work, such as new bridges, sidings and better port roads, according to Keep Washington Rolling. I-976 puts at least $20 billion through 2041 at risk for Sound Transit’s light rail expansion, bus rapid transit and commuter rail in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

ALSO at The Stand — New ads explain why coalition is urging voters: NO on I-976

 


THIS WASHINGTON

 

► In today’s Seattle Times — Day of reckoning for serial initiative filer Tim Eyman (editorial) — The $1 million-plus fine levied against a signature-gathering firm laid bare how blatantly and how long initiative entrepreneur Tim Eyman and his allies disregarded state law… (Eyman’s case) is a blueprint for how long an unrepentant hustler can keep ahead of the system. The state’s watchdog responsibility is too important to leave its enforcement so feckless. The Legislature must step in to empower accountability.

 


LOCAL

 

► In Saturday’s Seattle Times — East Coast sanitation-worker strike halts trash pickup in Western Washington cities — Some Puget Sound residents went without trash and recycling pickup for the second day in a row as local Republic Services workers stood in solidarity with striking workers from Massachusetts. The union extended the picket line to the Puget Sound region Thursday because resident and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is a shareholder in the waste-management company.

ALSO at The Stand — Teamsters striking Republic Services extend pickets to Seattle

► Today from KIRO 7 — Garbage service for Republic customers expected to resume this week — KIRO 7 checked the Republic services website and called their customer service line and the company said, “regular service is expected to resume the week of Oct. 7.”  But the company did not say which day it would resume.

 


THAT WASHINGTON

 

► In today’s NY Times — Trump administration unveils more cuts to food stamp program — The Agriculture Department moved again this week to cut spending on food stamps, this time proposing changes that would slice $4.5 billion from the program over five years, trimming monthly benefits by as much as $75 for one in five struggling families on nutrition assistance.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Meanwhile, the Trump team is paying farmers harmed by his trade sanctions more than $16 billion. And even that program favors the richest farmers.

► From CNBC — Hundreds of companies tell the Supreme Court that allowing the Trump administration to end DACA will hurt the economy — Hundreds of the country’s largest businesses told the Supreme Court on Friday that allowing Trump to end the Obama-era immigration program known as DACA will hurt the U.S. economy and reduce job growth. Starbucks, IBM, Alphabet’s Google, Amazon, Verizon and 138 other businesses weighed in on the economic benefits the program, which protects young immigrants commonly known as “Dreamers,” in a friend-of-the court brief submitted to the justices.

► From Vox — A majority of Democratic and Republican voters want tougher Wall Street regulations — Democratic primary voters in the four crucial early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina overwhelmingly want the federal government to be tougher on Wall Street, according to a new poll. They aren’t alone. A strong majority of Republicans and independents — 65 and 72 percent, respectively — also think Wall Street needs more government regulation beyond the steps taken after the 2008 financial crisis.

► From Reuters — U.S. energy secretary denies report about plan to resign — U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said on Monday he had no plans to resign now or next month, denying a report that he was expected to announce his resignation in November.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Meanwhile, Trump tries to throw Perry under the impeachment bus.

 


PRESIDENT GONE ROGUE

 

► In today’s NY Times — Legal team says it represents a second whistle-blower over Trump and Ukraine — An intelligence official with “firsthand knowledge” has provided information related to Trump’s dealings with Ukraine and is now protected from retaliation as a whistle-blower, lawyers representing the official said on Sunday.

► In today’s Washington Post — Trump’s defiance of oversight presents new challenge to Congress’s ability to rein in the executive branch — The Trump administration has run roughshod over Congress, prompting concerns among constitutional experts and lawmakers that Trump’s hostile stance toward congressional oversight is undermining the separation of powers in a way that could have long-term implications for democracy.

► In today’s Washington Post — ‘Out on a limb’: Inside the Republican reckoning over Trump’s possible impeachment — A torrent of impeachment developments has triggered a reckoning in the Republican Party, paralyzing many of its officeholders as they weigh their political futures, legacies and, ultimately, their allegiance to a president who has held them captive.

► In today’s NY Times — Trump ordered to turn over 8 years of tax returns to the Manhattan D.A. — A federal judge on Monday rejected a bold argument from Trump that sitting presidents are immune from criminal investigations, allowing the Manhattan district attorney’s office to subpoena eight years of the president’s personal and corporate tax returns.

 


NATIONAL

 

► In today’s Detroit News — GM strike, day 22: Talks resume after tumultuous weekend — General Motors Co. and the United Auto Workers union on Monday entered the fourth week of contract negotiations since the union began a national strike against the automaker 22 days ago. It’s the longest national strike of an automaker in decades, and it’s likely to stretch on judging by communication from both the UAW and GM over the weekend. As the impact of the strike by 46,000 GM-UAW members at 55 GM facilities around the U.S. is beginning to be felt on a national level through layoffs and work stoppages at affiliate companiesthe UAW on Sunday said it had rejected another contract proposal and negotiations took “a turn for the worse.”

► In today’s Detroit Free Press — Week 4: As UAW GM strike takes its toll, workers vow they’re more committed than ever — At Cathedral of Faith Church on Dupont Road in Flint, the values that guide the UAW strike against General Motors mirror values preached from the pulpit by Pastor Chris Martin. “We’ve cried enough. We’ve been helpless enough,” Martin said during a packed Sunday service filled with plant managers, full-time line workers, temporary workers fighting for job security and retirees. “We understand the depth of our struggle… We’re better together,” Martin said, questioning what he called a “terrible power grab by General Motors” during these difficult contract talks. “We are UAW people.”

► From Vice — Organized Amazon warehouse workers just got two fired co-workers rehired — Managers at the Sacramento delivery center fired a worker named Sandra after she exceeded her unpaid time off by a single hour when her mother-in-law died. After workers organized Amazonians United Sacramento and demanded her rehiring, she got her job back. “It just goes to show that when we work together we can accomplish things that don’t always seem possible. It’s been a really big win,” they said.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Want to accomplish things at work? Get a union! Find out more information about how you can join together with co-workers and negotiate a fair return for your hard work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!

► From Reuters — GE to freeze pension plans for about 20,000 U.S. workers to cut debt — General Electric Co said on Monday it was freezing pension plans for about 20,000 U.S. employees with salaried benefits, as the industrial conglomerate makes another drastic move to cut debt and reduce its pension deficit by up to $8 billion.

 


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

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