Morning Fizz

King County Labor Council Endorses Jayapal

Democrats agree on everything (almost), Republicans agree with nothing (except tax breaks).

By Josh Feit March 17, 2016

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1. Ok, just so I have this straight: The GOP is rejecting the Democrats’ nomination for the U.S. Supreme Court and rejecting their own likely nomination for the president.

2. Immediately after hosting a debate last night between the three main candidates vying for U.S. representative Jim McDermott’s (D-7, WA) open seat (McDermott is retiring), the King County Labor Council voted to endorse state senator Pramila Jayapal (D-37, Southeast Seattle).

The candidates—King County council member Joe McDermott, Jayapal, and state representative Brady Walkinshaw (D-43, Capitol Hill)—largely agreed on the issues (Joel Connelly has a good summary here) including their shared view that Donald Trump is a fascist.

Some differences? The candidates were also asked if they were “feeling the Bern.” Only Jayapal gave a yes on that one. (I’ve asked all three this question before and McDermott has officially endorsed Clinton, Walkinshaw hasn’t decided, and yes, Jayapal has officially endorsed Sanders.)

 Another difference was the candidates’ position on going forward with the SoDo arena—an issue that maritime labor is against. Both Jayapal and Walkinshaw said they were against the arena in SoDo while McDermott (who told me he expected to get booed for his response in front of the labor crowd) said he was for it; he actually got some cheers.

A large group of state legislators sent a letter to the city council this week opposing the arena—the council is taking up a street vacation on Occidental Ave. that’s necessary to build the arena. But neither Jaypal’s nor Walkinshaw’s signatures are on the letter.

Jayapal told me she signed the letter. “They must have missed a bunch of names. We hand signed it.” She reiterated her opposition to the arena saying we need to protect industrial lands.

Walkinshaw did not respond to my message.

3. The GOP says they have a solution to the budget impasse in Olympia: making out-of-state media companies pay $81 million in back taxes in exchange for giving them a tax break on future taxes.

Freshman state senator Reuven Carlyle (D-36, Queen Anne), who established a reputation as a critic of tax breaks (and an ROI hawk) in his most recent role as the house finance chair, is skeptical of the quick fix.

“Does it make sense to reward an industry with a 50 percent permanent tax cut in exchange for the great honor of them paying their back taxes due?” he asked.

“If you tried this stunt with your individual taxes and the IRS, you’d get you a comfortable three to five-years in a minimum security prison.”

Any other solutions to reach a budget deal, I asked.

“It’s a $40 billion budget,” Carlyle said, indicating there were lots of options to find money to close the gap. “Retreating to a permanent tax break for one of the largest industries on this planet shouldn’t, as the GOP says, be the first resort.”

4. Hey, PubliCola’s coverage of mayor Ed Murray’s housing affordability and livability agenda proposal—and specifically Murray’s 180 on tweaking single family zones—got linked in a New York Times column this week about the Democratic party’s failure to serve its most consistent voting bloc, African Americans.

Click on the links “affordable housing initiative” and “Murray did an about face.”

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