Morning Fizz: Sawant Is Open to Discussions
Caffeinated news and gossip featuring the Main Street Alliance and the GOP divide.
THIS POST WAS UPDATED AT 12:15 PM WITH A STATEMEMENT FROM THE MAIN STREET ALLIANCE.
1. Fizz hears the mayor's task force on the minimum wage is faltering right now because business heavies like chamber leader Maud Daudon want too many concessions.
Yesterday, we reported that a business group called Forward Seattle was floating a $12.50 minimum wage proposal—and $11 for small businesses—that would count "total compensation" such as tips and commissions toward the wage.
We have called Daudon to see if she supports the group and if they were part of a potential business-backed initiative to counter a pending initiative from the left by socialist city council member Kshama Sawant's allies at 15 Now; chamber spokeswoman Terri Hiroshima told us because the negotiations are ongoing, the chamber has no comment.
Though sources tell Fizz a faction of smaller businesses from the Main Street Alliance (small progressive indie businesses such as Cupcake Royale that supported Seattle's paid sick leave legislation) is okay with the $15 wage—phased in for small businesses over seven years, MSA spokesman Joshua Welter says the group hasn't taken any official postion and is just hoping to come up with "an opportunity to find common ground on a solution that raises the minimum wage" while also protecting small businesses.
Word is: Sawant wants a three-year phase-in (and is adamant about no tip credit or other concessions) but is open to discussions with the small business group.
2. Yesterday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling outlawing aggregate limits on individual campaign contributions won't have any impact on Washington state elections according to a preliminary analysis by Washington state's Public Disclosure Commission, PDC spokeswoman Lori Anderson says.
Not because PDC rules are so righteous. But because as it already stands in Washington state, there are no aggregate limits on individual contributors who give to separate campaigns. And though there are limits on contributions to individual candidates ($950 for a state legislature candidate, for example), there are currently no limits on individual contributions to the parties or political committees.
There have never been any limits on giving to political committees in Washington state races, which is why the infamous precursor to yesterday's decision, Citizens United—which facilitated unlimited corporate contributions to candidate campaigns—didn't have a seismic impact on local races.
The real conflict between Citizens United and Washington state campaign finance law has to do with disclosure: Citizens United shields campaign contributions while PDC rules are thankfully adamant about disclosure.
The battle over education has now formally divided the GOP. And judging from yesterday's SCOTUS ruling, liberals are fighting a losing battle on limits. Disclosure rules like the ones in Washington state—which state Attorney General Bob Ferguson turned to last year to expose corporate donations to the anti-GMO campaign—are the best bet for combating excessive money in politics.
3. Up until now, so-called education reform has only torn apart the Democratic party, setting reformers for tougher teacher evaluation rules against traditionally union-friendly Democrats.
However, after Republicans in Olympia joined with pro-union Democrats against Obama-style federal education mandates this year, the battle over education has now formally divided the GOP.
State Rep. Cathy Dahlquist (R-31, Enumclaw), citing her frustration with her party's questionable commitment to education reform (and funding!) declared her candidacy against longtime incumbent Republican state Sen. Pam Roach (R-31, Auburn), who, with a flamboyant floor speech, voted against a GOP senate bill to upgrade teacher evaluations this year.
*Dahlquist is one of the few Republicans PubliCola has ever endorsed over a Democrat, which we did when she first ran for the house in 2010.