A Front and Center Issue
1. Gubernatorial candidates Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna are squaring off in another debate tonight. (It's being broadcast at 9 by all the local networks, right after the Vice Presidential debate.)
This is the candidates' fourth televised debate (and there's one more scheduled for October 16.)
One thing the candidates have not been asked to address at any of the debates yet is the high-profile gay marriage initiative that's on this year's ballot, R-74.
Oddly, one thing the candidates have not been asked to address at any of the debates yet is R-74, the high-profile gay marriage initiative that's on this year's ballot.
The moderators are reportedly "not interested in social issues."
This is the standard GOP frame that's used to dismiss a front-and-center issue. (It's not about the economy the Republicans argued last year in the legislature, while simultaneously denouncing gay marriage legislation because it would have "forced" photographers and florists to do gay weddings; evidently, the last thing a photographer needs in a recession is more weddings.)
By sidelining gay marriage as a "social issue," the debate hosts are adhering to a GOP strategy to ignore a definining issue where Republicans land on the unpopular side (the polling puts gay marriage ahead 55-40.)
Like it or not, gay marriage is on the agenda. Two gay marriage cases are being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court this year and the issue is on four state ballots in November, including, obviously, in Washington State where we could be the first voters in the nation to approve gay marriage.
It is silly not to ask the two gubernatorial candidates to articulate their positions on gay marriage (Inslee in favor, McKenna against) in front of voters who are being asked to answer the same major question on this year's ballot.
Meanwhile, this week, in an email to staff signed by Blake Nordstrom, President of Nordstrom, Pete Nordstrom, President of Merchandising, and Erik Nordstrom, President of Stores, the Seattle-based Fortune 500 retailer Nordstrom said they supported the gay marriage ballot measure.
Here's the email:
To all employees:
We have long had a philosophical approach to our business to be inclusive about the way we serve customers as well as how we work to create a workplace where every employee is welcomed and respected. It’s simply how we operate.
With respect to our gay and lesbian employees, Nordstrom was an early adopter of adding sexual orientation to our anti-discrimination policy, which means we guarantee the same legal rights and protections in our workplace to gay and lesbian employees just as we do for other employees regardless of sex, race, color, creed, national origin, religion, age, marital status, pregnancy, physical, mental or sensory disability, and gender identity. This goes beyond the Federal government’s protection in Title VII, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which still excludes sexual orientation. In 1998, we began offering life partner benefits to employees.
We feel the next step in this journey is to now support freedom to marry, also called marriage equality. There is a lot of awareness of this issue across the country and we’ve heard from many employees and customers. We gave this thoughtful consideration and felt the time was right to come out in support of this civil rights issue. It is our belief that our gay and lesbian employees are entitled to the same rights and protections marriage provides under the law as all other employees. We also believe supporting freedom to marry will help us create a more attractive and inclusive workplace for our current and prospective employees. Again – this decision is consistent with our long-time philosophy of inclusivity and equality for our customers and employees.
We recognize there are differing opinions about freedom to marry. We hope we’ve been clear about why we made this decision. To all of our employees – if you choose to talk about this with each other, please do so respectfully. We want you to be informed about our position so you can also respectfully answer any customer questions that come your way.
Blake, Pete, Erik
2. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee is getting double duty out of ex-President Bill Clinton's appearance at a $300-a-plate campaign luncheon in Seattle last month.
After raising $750,000 for Inslee's campaign, Clinton now stars in a new Inslee ad focusing on his commitment to green jobs and "putting America back into the future business."
Watch the whole thing here.
3. Obviously, you've noticed our redesign. Big thank yous to Seattle Met and Urban Influence. We hope you like it as much as we do.
Apologies that the site has been such a bitch to find the last few days (we're still at the same address, www.publicola.com; no need to change your Cola bookmark.)
If you missed Tuesday and Wednesday Fizz, be sure to check them out here (there was a also a guest op/ed on the charter school initiaitve, a Cola "One Question" for King County Sheriff candidate John Urquhart, and—have fun making heads or tails out of Erica's Joel Connelly spoof).
We're still working out the kinks in the new design (don't worry, the FaceBook commenting system is a holding pattern that will change to our own system as soon as possible). Be sure to let us know if you're having trouble with the site.
It's been a strange trip getting to this point from our 1970s-stereo-wired-blogging-platform days back in January 2009 when we first started. Thanks for reading PubliCola all this time.
4. Speaking of our design.
Separated at birth?
Mayor Mike McGinn is not, we've heard, a big PubliCola fan, but someone on his team clearly likes our logo.
Thanks for the homage, Mr. Mayor; we dig our logo too.