1. The Democratic leadership—Gov. Gregoire, Sen. Majority Leader Lisa Brown, and Speaker of the House Frank Chopp—issued a joint statement this morning saying they are killing labor's top bill this session, the worker privacy bill.
(The bill would have prevented management from holding captive meetings on union issues, political issues, and on religious matters).
While the statement sounded serious—it said they had discovered emails linking passage of the workers rights bill to campaign contributions—they didn't elaborate.
And I must add: Campaign contributions from MoneyTree and the BIAW have certainly never given the Democrats pause in the past when they've voted to scuttle consumer protections on behalf of big business.
I have a call into the bill sponsor Rep. Mike Sells (D-38, Everett, Marysville) and an email into the Democratic leadership to get a better understanding of this incriminating email.
UPDATE: Just got this statement back from Democratic leadership: "Can’t elaborate further on a matter that’s the subject of an investigation by the state patrol."
I have posted their statement below the jump. And weird, it's dated "May 20, 2008." (They did send a correction moments later.)
2. In addition to going against their labor constituency, the Democrats—in the state Senate, anyway—voted against environmental interests last night. They passed a bill to undo I-937, the renewable energy initiative that voters passed in 2006,
The roll call on last night's state Senate vote is posted below.
The statewide vote in favor of the initiative in 2006 was 52-48. In King County, voters went 60-40 for the initiative.
Yesterday evening, four of Seattle's six senators—Sens. Ken Jacobsen (D-46, N. Seattle), Joe McDermott (D-34, West Seattle), Ed Murray (D-43, Capitol Hill), and Margarita Prentice (D-11, S. Seattle)—voted to undo the initiative.
The two Seattle senators who voted against the bill were: Sens. Adam Kline (D-37, S. Seattle) and Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-36, Ballard).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 20, 2008
Joint statement from Gov. Chris Gregoire, Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown and Speaker of the House Frank Chopp on the Worker Privacy Act
“We are no longer considering action on House Bill 1528 and Senate Bill 5446, also known as the Worker Privacy Act.
“Immediately upon becoming aware of an email linking potential action on the bill to campaign contributions, bringing the bill forward was no longer an option.
“The email raises serious legal and ethical questions.
“The matter has been referred to the Washington State Patrol for investigation.”