Wednesday, July 22, 2020
► From KIRO — South Sound political flyer decried as ‘racist’ — State Sen. Steve O’Ban (R-Tacoma) is taking some heat tonight. A flyer showing up in South Sound mailboxes in the 28th Legislative District appears to darken the face of his Democratic opponent T’wina Nobles, president of the Tacoma Urban League, who is African American. This flyer is not directly from O’Ban. It is actually from the Political Action Committee. But that PAC has ties to Senate Republicans. One of those funders listed on the flyer is the Washington State Realtors, which sent a statement disavowing the flyer. O’Ban is disavowing it, too.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Other funders of this racist hit piece include building industry lobbying groups BIAW and AGC. The officers of the Leadership Council PAC that paid for this are Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler (R-Ritzville) and John Braun (R-Centralia). T’wina Nobles has earned the endorsement of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO. Click here for a full list of WSLC endorsements.
► From the Tri-City Herald — Franklin County may get to vote on seceding from Washington and joining a 51st state — The move in Franklin County is part of a larger effort asking counties across Eastern Washington to place the measure on the November ballot. The organizers, including outgoing state Rep. Matt Shea (R-Spokane Valley), hope with support from local counties they can get Congress and the Legislature to act.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Fun fact: Franklin County is the 8th most subsidized county in Washington collecting $1.75 in public services for every $1 its residents contribute in taxes.
► LIVE from the Seattle Times — Coronavirus daily news update, July 22 — The latest count of COVID-19 cases in Washington totals 48,575 infections (7-day average of new infections per day: 797) and 1,465 deaths (7-day average of deaths per day: 6)
► From Politico — True number of U.S. coronavirus infections likely 10 times larger than reported, CDC data shows — The study is based on antibody tests of about 16,000 people conducted between late March and early May.
► From the News Tribune — Crowded areas, sick workers among details in OSHA complaint against Emerald Queen Casino
► From the News Tribune — Three workers at Puyallup’s South Hill post office test positive
► From Politico — Bipartisan majority supports statewide mask mandates, poll finds — The broad approval comes as statewide mask mandates aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus are under effect in more than half of U.S. states.
► From Politico — Staring down defeat, Trump attempts a coronavirus reset — The president’s about-face replaced his dismissive tone about the pandemic with a stark new warning and a mostly disciplined message — for now.
EDITOR’S NOTE — A true about-face would involve more than just catching up to the rest of the planet on wearing masks. It would include doing his job to provide PPE and setting an OSHA emergency temporary standard to protect essential workers, among other things. Standing down on his culture war against masks is not a substantive “reset.”
► From KING 5 — U.S. moves one step closer to letting the Boeing 737 Max fly — The FAA said it will soon issue a proposed safety directive for the 737 MAX but gave no indication when it might lift the March 2019 order that grounded the plane.
► From the Seattle Times — Alaska Airlines avoids pilot layoffs for now — Thanks to a large number of pilots opting to take voluntary leave, Alaska Airlines will avoid pilot layoffs in the immediate future. “We’ve always maintained that there was a smarter way to address our company’s staffing issues than furloughing pilots,” said Will McQuillen, chairman of the Alaska unit of the Air Line Pilots Association. The agreement with ALPA does not protect the pilots who fly for Alaska’s regional subsidiary Horizon Air, who are represented by the Teamsters union. And the union representing Alaska flight attendants is still in negotiations with management over the impact on their jobs, with an outcome not expected until the first week of August.
► From the PSBJ — Amazon calls Seattle’s ordinance to boost gig worker pay ‘unconstitutional’ — The company plans to comply with the ordinance, which went into effect Monday, but an Amazon spokeswoman said, “While we believe these ordinances are unconstitutional and don’t apply to us, the potential penalties are so extreme that we’ve decided to comply until they’re addressed by the courts.”
► From the Spokesman-Review — Spokane district to offer mix of alternating-day and full-time in-person schooling – if buildings can reopen — Spokane Public Schools revealed elements of its plan for in-person schooling in the fall in a Tuesday email to staff, but those plans are contingent on one looming uncertainty, the email notes: whether school buildings are able to open at all.
► From Crosscut — Washington voters see broader issues in policing, but trust local cops — A new statewide Crosscut/Elway poll shows support for police reform, but fear of defunding the police.
► From the Seattle Times — Defund the police? It could still happen in Seattle, but voters aren’t quite there yet (by Danny Westneat) — New polls seem like an opening for the police reformers, should they choose to take it. The political problem isn’t the core idea of directing some money away from law enforcement and toward violence-prevention programs. People seem to like that. The hang-up is the 50% cut to police. It feels arbitrary. No one has yet made a case, at least not one that draws the support of a majority, how slicing it in half would produce better results.
► From the Oregonian — Federal officers use gas, force on hundreds gathered in downtown Portland Tuesday — More than 1,000 people filled the city’s core for the second straight night Tuesday to rally against police violence and systemic racism. Portlanders have amassed every night since late May to demand reforms to the criminal justice system. The crowds had decreased in size. But repeated use of force by federal officers against protesters — which occurred again Tuesday — has fueled larger crowds and attracted nationwide scrutiny to Portland.
► From The Washington Post — Facing unrest on American streets, Trump turns Homeland Security powers inward — In Portland and other U.S. cities shaken by protests in recent months, the Trump administration has leaned on the considerable authority and assets of the Department of Homeland Security — an agency formed to prevent another Sept. 11, 2001, attack — to spearhead the federal response. Images of militarized Border Patrol agents clubbing protesters and stuffing them into unmarked vehicles have alarmed civil liberties advocates and administration critics, and the displays of government power echo tactics long associated with authoritarian rule. Legal analysts say that while the department has broad authority to enforce federal laws, officers’ actions — especially in Portland, Ore. — seemed to be pushing the boundaries and pulling DHS into a domestic policing role.
► From TPM — DHS chief says his federal agents are ‘proactively’ arresting people in Portland — Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf spun his unidentified federal agents’ random detainment of nonviolent anti-police brutality protesters in Portland as some kind of pre-crime measure on Tuesday night.
► From the LA Times — LAPD promised to curb violence on protesters for two decades, but has yet to deliver
► From The Hill — Republicans battle over COVID-19 package’s big price tag — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is trying to set a firm $1 trillion cap on the size of the package, other Republican senators say. But he’s drawing fire from conservatives within his ranks. The disagreements will make it tough to meet the goal of passing a bill by the end of the month, when beefed up unemployment benefits are due to expire… Democrats, meanwhile, want nearly $1 trillion just in aid to state and local governments. They are rallying around a House-passed HEROES Act that would cost $3 trillion.
TODAY at The Stand — National Call-In Day: Pass the HEROES Act! — Call 1-866-832-1560 today and leave a message for your U.S. Senators to support the HEROES Act! For Washington residents, Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray need to hear from YOU.
► From Roll Call — Trump signs memo to exclude undocumented immigrants from census — Trump will try to exclude undocumented immigrants from 2020 census results through a memo he signed Tuesday. The move will likely face a court challenge. The memo also represents a reversal of federal government policy. The Commerce Department has argued since the 1980s that there is a constitutional requirement to count every person living in a state for apportionment purposes. The Constitution and authorizing statute for the Census Bureau make no differentiation between immigrant and native-born residents.
TODAY at The Stand — Trumka on Census exclusion: Every human being counts
► From Roll Call — Health, business concerns clash in debate over COVID-19 liability — While Congress jostles over whether businesses should get extra protections from lawsuits related to COVID-19 in the next pandemic relief bill, legal action across the country highlights the stakes involved.
► From The Hill — Ocasio-Cortez accosted by Republican lawmaker over remarks — Tensions flared on Capitol Hill this week when Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) challenged Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on issues of crime and policing in an unusual — and decidedly personal — confrontation on the Capitol steps. “You are out of your freaking mind,” Yoho told her. Ocasio-Cortez shot back, telling Yoho he was being “rude.” The two then parted ways. Ocasio-Cortez headed into the building, and Yoho offered a parting thought to no one in particular. “F—ing bitch,” he said.
From HuffPost — Yoho ‘apologizes’ on House floor for outburst against AOC — He argued Wednesday he didn’t speak those words to her directly.
► From Politico — Why the Black Lives Matter movement doesn’t want a singular leader — In 2015, thousands of Black activists gathered in Ohio for the first national Black Lives Matter convention to consider where the movement would direct its energy. The democratic nature of their votes, and the broad vision they endorsed, illustrate a key intentional detail about the Black Lives Matter movement that has baffled some outsiders: It doesn’t have a typical power structure — and it doesn’t want to, as it wages battle on multiple fronts. “We don’t need someone in the Senate or House to try to build their political career off of this moment,” said Bryan Mercer, executive director of the Philadelphia-based social justice organization Movement Alliance Project. “It is a misconception that we need a charismatic leader to carry this work forward.”
► From the NY Times — The pandemic isn’t bringing back factory jobs, at least not yet — It’s a moment of reckoning for global supply chains. But that doesn’t mean companies are flocking back to the United States.
► From The Atlantic — Colleges are getting ready to blame their students — As campuses reopen without adequate testing, universities fault young people for a lack of personal responsibility.
► From The Guardian — Women at Google miss out on thousands of dollars as a result of pay discrimination, lawsuit alleges — An ongoing 2017 case found that discriminatory practices may be pushing women into lower-paying career tracks.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.