On Other Blogs Today: Campaigns from Bremerton to Bellevue; Plus, aPodments
1. On its blog, the AFL-CIO blasts President Obama for delivering a speech calling for the creation of "middle-class jobs" at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Chattanooga, TN, "a location that neither pays those good wages and benefits nor is a place that offers manufacturing jobs."
Most of the jobs at Amazon's warehouses, the AFL-CIO says, pay around $12.50 an hour and don't include health insurance.
Mayor Mike McGinn, who is opposing an alley vacation for a Whole Foods-anchored redevelopment in West Seattle on the grounds that Whole Foods is non-unionized, did not raise similar objections when Amazon wanted three alley vacations for its campus in South Lake Union, and enthusiastically praised the non-union company's development during his State of the City speech last year.
2. Roll Call names Washington state U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA, 5) as one of ten Republican House members who "could one day be speaker."
Citing conservative McMorris Rodgers' commitment to the old idea of the "big tent," the insider D.C. paper writes that she might help the party appeal to Latinos (a fast-growing slice of the U.S. population that has traditionally gone for Democrats) and women.
But, they add, "many privately question whether McMorris Rodgers would be interested in holding a higher office on Capitol Hill."
3. The News Tribune reports that the sprawling Tacoma-to-Bremerton 26th Legislative District has become the site of a massive spending effort by Republican state Rep. Jan Angel, who's trying to unseat Democratic state Sen. Nathan Schlicher. Schlicher was appointed to the position after his predecessor, then state Rep. now U.S. Rep Derek Kilmer (D-WA, 6), won a bid for U.S. Congress.
So far, the paper reports, the pair have spent a total of more than $600,000—unheard-of in a state senate race—and will likely spend much more before the November election. Angel has spent twice as much as Schlicher, but "the race may be too important for business, labor and other interests to walk away from." If Angel wins, the Republicans will have a solid lead in the senate, where the Majority Coalition Caucus—Republicans and two conservative Democrats—now make the senate an effectively Republican body.
5. Closer to home, the Times reports on the city council races (yes, believe it or not, we're voting in two council races next Tuesday, not just the mayor's race), concluding, not surprisingly, that the only truly competitive race is Mike O'Brien's. O'Brien is being opposed by civil engineering and transportation consultant Albert Shen, who has raised more than $130,000 (to O'Brien's $94,500). Shen is running as the pro-business candidate to O'Brien's environmental crusader.
6. USA Today reports on the growing popularity of what they call "anti-McMansions"—microapartments or aPodments, the tiny units that have become a huge source of controversy in Seattle. From New York to Denver to Austin, they report, the number of people living in units smaller than 300 square feet is growing fast as more people choose to live alone.
The story (which notes that "boardinghouse-style buildings" in Seattle have prompted complaints "about parking problems, transiency and fire-safety hazards") quotes Kauri Investments developer Jim Potter, who says his company does no advertising "and we're 100 percent occupied all the time."