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Issue #153

(Daily Clips will not publish Friday November 1. The editor is indisposed.)

King County

O’Brien’s praise for 3rd-party candidates’ involvement in the elecoral process stops short of endorsement for Sawant

Seattle City Council member Mike O'Brien

Seattle City Council member Mike O’Brien said Wednesday night that his earlier reported “significant statement” in support of City Council candidate Kshama Sawant would fall “short of an endorsement.” Instead, according to O’Brien, he told those on hand at a UW gathering that having third-party candidates like Sawant and other outside voices involved in the electoral process is a positive thing, and helps push issues to the forefront of political discussion that might not otherwise get there—like, for instance,  the $15 an hour minimum wage debate that Sawant has helped champion. O’Brien, Mayor Mike McGinn, and Sawant appeared to discuss “the threats they saw posed to Seattle and Washington by climate change and the role that policy makers need to play to address climate justice,” The event was hosted by Confronting Climate Change (CCC), Divest UW, the Student Association of Green Environments (SAGE) and UW Earth Club. Seattle Weekly, 10-30-13.

Some Democrats upset that others are supporting socialist Sawant

Seattle City Council member Richard Conlin

Several members of the 37th District Democrats (note that no names are mentioned) lodged complaints against the group’s political vice chair for campaigning in support of a non-Democrat — socialist Seattle City Council candidate Kshama Sawant. The complaints against Jeanne Legault came after she started distributing Sawant advertisements while doorbelling. The complaints were dismissed because City Council races are nonpartisan. “Jeanne Legault has been a committed Democrat for decades, and she’s worked for the Democratic Party for those same decades, so there’s no there there,” said Michael Wolfe, the chairman of the 37th District Democrats, who is running for a seat on the Port of Seattle Commission. The 37th district is centered in Southeast Seattle. The party group there has endorsed Sawant’s opponent, fourth-term incumbent Richard Conlin, who lives in the district and has been considered a reliable liberal voice. Seattle Times, 10-30-13.

Mayoral candidates to young business leaders: Minimum wage must rise

State Sen. Senator Ed Murray, left, talks with Angela Stowell, CFO of Ethan Stowell Restaurants, and Chef Ethan Stowell, at a Seattle mayoral forum held by The 40, the PSBJ 40 under 40 alumni group one week before Election Day.
State Sen. Senator Ed Murray, left, talks with Angela Stowell, CFO of Ethan Stowell Restaurants, and Chef Ethan Stowell, at a Seattle mayoral forum held by The 40, the PSBJ 40 under 40 alumni group one week before Election Day.

The two men bidding to lead Seattle as mayor for the next four years got grilled by a small but very interested audience of rising business leaders Tuesday at the Columbia Tower Club. Puget Sound Business Journal’s “40 Under Forty” alumni group used an exclusive hour with Mayor Mike McGinn and then another hour — separately — with state Sen. Ed Murray to probe each candidate about education, crime, cost of living, and wages. Both candidates said they support an increase, of the minimum wage to $15, although they articulated that support differently. The up-close candidate event — held exactly one week before the Nov. 5 election — was organized by “The 40,” the alumni group of promising young business leaders who have been profiled in “classes” of 40 each of the last 15 years in the Puget Sound Business Journal’s annual 40 Under 40 publication. Puget Sound Business Journal, 10-30-13.

City’s plan to boot Seattle Indian Center from aging International District building draws protest

A supporter of the Seattle Indian Center protests a real estate deal that could close the program.
A supporter of the Seattle Indian Center protests a real estate deal that could close the program.

The Leschi Center, a two-story tan and aqua adobe building at 611 12th Ave. S. in the International District, has for 25 years been home to the Seattle Indian Center, which has a shelter, hygiene center, and meal program there. That could end Dec. 31, if the Seattle City Council decides to transfer ownership of the building, ousting tenants and consolidating services. The city is proposing selling the commission’s aging buildings to one of the tenants, the Seattle Indian Health Board. Under this plan, the Seattle Indian Center would have to relocate, possibly outside of the International District. The Seattle City Council will consider the proposal before the end of the year. The Seattle Indian Center and its volunteers are trying to persuade them otherwise. They’re asking the city council to reject the proposal and are picketing outside the Leschi Center, asking to keep the space where it houses 60 homeless people overnight and serves 36,000 hot lunches a year. Real Change, 10-30-13.

Candidate was hospital district lawyer and commissioner, at the same time

Kinnon Williams is running for commissioner of EvergreenHealth Hospital District.

Kinnon Williams, candidate for EvergreenHealth hospital district commissioner, held a dual role at a utility district, serving simultaneously as an elected commissioner and a paid attorney. A public-employee union’s complaints about Williams’ arrangement with the Kenmore-based Northshore Utility District led the Legislature in 2007 to amend the state ethics code to prohibit elected or appointed officials from being paid legal fees by their agency. Until both legislative houses voted unanimously for that change, contracts of up to $1,500 a month were exempt from the ethics law. Williams is running against longtime EvergreenHealth Commissioner Rebecca Hirt in a race that has drawn attention because EvergreenHealth Board Chair Al DeYoung and his relatives have spent $55,000 in support of Williams. Seattle Times, 10-30-13.

Both Kent mayoral candidates report good feedback at doors

Tim Clark hopes to unseat Suzette Cooke as Kent mayor on Nov. 5
Tim Clark hopes to unseat Suzette Cooke as Kent mayor on Nov. 5

Kent mayoral challenger Tim Clark and incumbent Suzette Cooke picked up opposite reactions during their door-to-door visits to attract voters. “One consistent at the door is that people think eight years is long enough,” Clark said about Cooke’s two-year term. “She’s had her chance. How deep that is the actual vote count will indicate.” Cooke said she typically received good feedback. “People see me and are positive,” Cooke said. “Of course, they are not going to say to your face that you’re not cutting it, well, a few say that. But in general they know me and are positive with my name recognition and visibility. It’s not like I’m just running for office for the first time.” The other key Kent races include a City Council showdown among Ken Sharp, Bailey Stober and write-in candidate Debbie Raplee; a City Council clash between Jim Berrios and Wade Schwartz; and a Kent School Board race between Bruce Elliott and Maya Vengadasalam. Kent Reporter, 10-29-13.

Darigold workers vote; could face lockout

Darigold's Issaquah plant
Darigold’s Issaquah plant

A grocery store strike may have been avoided, but now another labor dispute could keep Darigold milk from shelves. Workers at the company’s plants in Seattle and Issaquah voted Wednesday on a “best and final” contract offer by the company. Some workers are worried Darigold will lock them out if it doesn’t pass. 220 people work at the Darigold plants in Seattle’s Rainier Valley and Issaquah. The Teamsters Local 117 members turned down a contract offer last month, and since then, some employees think the company has been training replacement workers, scabs, preparing for a strike or lockout. Darigold says its contract offer would give workers 45 cent raises each year for the next three years. But employees claim the company wants to double the price they’d have to pay for healthcare premiums, from 5 percent to 10 percent. KIRO, 10-30-13.

The State

Ferguson: More violations in No on 522 money

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson

The Grocery Manufacturers Association, after being accused of violating Washington’s public disclosure laws, flouted those laws again by making a $3.7 million cash infusion last week to the No on Initiative 522 campaign, according to a status report issued Wednesday by Attorney General Bob Ferguson. But any penalizing of the Washington, D.C.- based food industry lobby will have to wait until months after the state’s voters have decided the fate of I-522. The $21.9 million No on 522 effort, most costly initiative campaign in state history, will roll on unchecked to Election Day. I-522 would require the labeling of genetically modified foods, seeds, and seed stocks sold in Washington stores. The food industry and agribusiness spent $46 million to narrowly defeat a similar measure in California last year. “This case will proceed on a regular trial basis,” said the AG’s office. The association, as an out-of-state entity, has 60 days to respond to Ferguson’s lawsuit, and an additional 60 days to respond to an amended lawsuit. Thurston County Superior Court will not even set a trial date until after February 2014. Seattle P-I, 10-30-13.

Chelan County shortens moratorium on pot businesses

Chelan County commissioners shortened their moratorium on marijuana businesses with the intent of eventually allowing them. About two dozen people attended a public hearing Tuesday on the county’s six-month moratorium — adopted last month — on the growing, processing, and selling of recreational marijuana. “I don’t think it’s the intent of anybody (on the commission) to not allow it,” said Commission Doug England. “We just want to make sure it’s allowed in the right place and done in the right way.” The commissioners said they want to give their staff and the Planning Commission time to develop and approve any land-use changes needed to regulate where such businesses could be located in the county. Wenatchee World, 10-30-13.

Pierce council adds voice of opposition to Tacoma utility tax

Pierce County Council member Dan Roach (R)

The Pierce County Council voted Tuesday to oppose Tacoma’s effort to further tax utility earnings to fix the city’s residential streets. The County Council, in a 5-1 vote, said it disagreed with Tacoma Proposition 1, which seeks to increase the utility earnings tax on electric, telephone, and natural gas service from 6 percent to 8 percent to pay for road and safety projects. The measure will be decided by Tacoma voters Tuesday. Councilman Dan Roach said Prop. 1 is “worse than taxation without representation” because half of Tacoma Power’s customers live outside of the city limits, cannot vote on the issue and have no legal recourse. Tacoma News Tribune, 10-30-13.

Davenport Hotel owner Walt Worthy pressed by firefighter union over negative ads against city council candidates

The Palm Court at the Davenport Hotel
The Palm Court at the Davenport Hotel

Davenport Hotel owner Walt Worthy said Tuesday that Spokane firefighters threatened to pull convention and meeting business from his hotel because of negative television ads in two Spokane City Council races this fall. Worthy and the Davenport Hotel were linked to the ads through political contributions. Jobs & Prosperity for Spokane, a political action committee, paid for ads that call public unions special interests trying to buy the two races. The targets of the ads are Councilman Jon Snyder, running for re-election in District 2 in south Spokane, and Candace Mumm, seeking election to an open seat in District 3 in northwest Spokane. The Spokane Homebuilders PAC gave $7,000 to Jobs & Prosperity for the campaign ad. Worthy contributed $1,000 to the Homebuilders PAC in January. Worthy said he gave that money to support a previous campaign: a city charter amendment requiring a supermajority vote by the City Council to raise taxes, which voters approved in February. He said he had no intention of getting involved in the two contested council races on Tuesday’s ballot. Spokesman-Review, 10-30-13.

The Nation

Paul Ryan waits five whole minutes before killing ‘grand bargain’

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), chairman of the House Budget Committee

Paul Ryan (R-WI) killed any lingering hopes of a grand bargain within moments of the budget conference kickoff on Wednesday. In his opening remarks, the chairman of the House budget committee laid down a firm marker against new taxes, which are essential to any major deficit reduction proposal that can pass Congress and be signed into law. In the same opening remarks, Ryan urged action on scaling back Social Security and Medicare — which progressives most rational human beings want to avoid at all costs, and which President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders have promised not to touch without new federal revenues. Senate Budget Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) made clear Wednesday that Democrats aren’t going to enact GOP priorities without addressing some of their own. “Compromise runs both ways,” she said. “While we scour programs to find responsible savings, Republicans are also going to have to work with us to scour the bloated tax code—and close some wasteful tax loopholes and special interest subsidies. Because it is unfair—and unacceptable—to ask seniors and families to bear this burden alone.” Talking Points Memo, 10-30-13.

Billboard about jury nullification concerns local prosecutors

Commuters at the Judiciary Square Metro station walk past a new ad billboard calling for jurors to rule for jury nullification.
Commuters at the Judiciary Square Metro station walk past a new ad billboard calling for jurors to rule for jury nullification.

The illuminated billboard in the Judiciary Square Metro station near the F Street entrance was strategically placed. Prospective jurors who take the subway to D.C. Superior Court and exit near the National Building Museum see these words: “Good jurors nullify bad laws” and “You have the right to ‘hang’ the jury with your vote if you cannot agree with other jurors.” Since the billboard went up this month, District prosecutors have been worried that the message could sway their cases. In the past week alone, they have asked judges in three ­cases to ensure that jurors had neither seen nor been influenced by the billboard. Washington Post, 10-29-13.

As Feds dally, states move ahead with privacy laws

State Representative Jonathan Stickland of Texas said Congress was not into protecting privacy.
State Representative Jonathan Stickland of Texas said Congress was not into protecting privacy.

State legislatures around the country, facing growing public concern about the collection and trade of personal data, have rushed to propose a series of privacy laws, from limiting how schools can collect student data to deciding whether the police need a warrant to track cellphone locations. More than two dozen privacy laws have passed this year in more than 10 states, in places as different as Oklahoma and California. Many lawmakers say that news reports of widespread surveillance by the National Security Agency have led to more support for the bills among constituents. And in some cases, the state lawmakers say, they have felt compelled to act because of the stalemate in Washington on legislation to strengthen privacy laws. “Congress is obviously not interested in updating those things or protecting privacy,” said Jonathan Stickland, a Republican state representative in Texas. “If they’re not going to do it, states have to do it.” New York Times, 10-30-13.

To Think About

The most unequal place in America

Lake Providence largely divides rich from poor in rural Louisiana
Lake Providence largely divides rich from poor in rural Louisiana

Delores Gilmore used to have a dream. The 44-year-old overnight prison guard grew up on the south side of Lake Providence, the crescent moon-shaped body of water that generally divides the haves from have-nots here in the northeast corner of Louisiana. It’s a place where the air is so soupy-hot your shins sweat; where bugs are such a looping, whirring presence that it can feel like you’re trapped in hell’s version of a snow globe; and where the level of income inequality, as persistent as the bugs and humidity, is higher than any other parish or county in America. CNN, 10-30-13.

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