LATEST BLOGS

The Medicare Buy-in and a Public Option Combined
By ROGER STARK  | 
Sep 29, 2016

In a striking, but predictable, recent paper, authors from the Urban Institute propose combining the Medicare buy-in for 55 to 64 year olds with a public option in the Obamacare exchanges. Secretary Clinton has made these two long-standing Democratic issues part of her presidential health care reform platform. 

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WEA tries again to bar charter school access to 1,600 schoolchildren - Union to reap financial windfall from school closures
By LIV FINNE  | 
Sep 29, 2016

The state’s powerful WEA teachers union, headed by union president Kim Mead, is again trying to close Washington’s public charter schools.  Mead has given the union’s attorneys the go-ahead to file another lawsuit against charter school families, in a new effort to shutter the innovative public schools to some 1,600 children.  The case is WEA et al v. State of Washington, case number 16-2-18527-4, in King County Superior Court.

This is Mead’s second attempt to close charter schools.  In July 2013 WEA union executives filed a lawsuit against the voter-approved charter school law.  The case went all the way to the state supreme court, which ruled in favor of the union.   Independent research into state Public Disclosure Commission reports found that seven of the nine sitting justices had received WEA union campaign money.

Mead’s primary complaint appears to be that public employees at public charter schools are not required to pay her union as a condition of employment (charter school teachers can form or join a union voluntarily, however).  In other public schools WEA executives will have a teacher fired for not paying dues.  The exemption for charters threatens the union’s bottom line, making it harder for Mead and other top executives to maintain what The Seattle Times calls the state’s most powerful lobby operation.  (“State teachers union flexing sizable political muscle again,” by Brian Rosenthal, May 5, 2013).

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Environmental group makes claims that can be easily disproven
By MADILYNNE CLARK  | 
Sep 27, 2016

Concerns for clean air and water are of the utmost concern for all residents of Washington state. However, understanding the reality of the situation and correctly and authentically addressing the issue allows all Washingtonians the chance to create their own opinion without being swayed by an emotional and unscientific tale.

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