08-12-2020  6:03 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Prosecutor Won't Act on Low-level Portland Protest Arrests

At least several hundred people who have been arrested in the past few months will not face criminal prosecution.

Lawmakers Adjourn Special Session, Restrict Choke Holds

Sen. James Manning, D-Eugene, says choke holds are "a tool to take a life."

Seattle Police Chief to Resign Following Department Cuts

Carmen Best, the city’s first Black police chief, said in a letter to the department that her retirement will be effective Sept. 2.

Black Portlanders Struggle to be Heard Amid Protests

The Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing Steering Committee will meet Tuesday, August 11, 2020 from 5:30 –7pm

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon Housing and Community Services Awards $60,822,101 to Build and Preserve 802 Affordable Homes

Investments address the statewide shortage of affordable housing through the development and preservation of affordable rental homes. ...

Phase Two Re:Imagine Grant Deadline August 11

The fund focuses on supporting ten artists with grants of $5,000 as they reimagine their practices and pivot toward the...

U.S. Bank Announces $1 Million in Grants to Black-Led CDFIs; Additional Support for African American Alliance

A total of 15 CDFIs will receive grants ranging from $50,000 to $100,000 while the African American Alliance will receive...

Vote.org Holds #GoodTroublePledge Voter Registration Drive to Commemorate the 55th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act

2020 VRA anniversary observance to honor the memory of voting rights activist and late-Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) ...

White Democrats in Congress Falling Short on Reparations Bill

Democracy in Color releases “The White List” showing 79% of democratic House members haven’t cosigned HR 40 despite popular...

No prosecution for many arrested at Portland's protests

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — People arrested in Portland since late May on non-violent misdemeanor charges during the protests that have racked Oregon’s largest city for more than two months won't be prosecuted. The new policy announced Tuesday recognizes the outrage and frustration over a...

Multnomah Falls reopens to the public with coronavirus rules

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s tallest waterfall and one of the state’s most popular attractions has reopened to the public with new guidelines in place amid the coronavirus pandemic. Multnomah Falls opened in the Columbia River Gorge Tuesday, the U.S. Forest Service announced....

LSU adds Missouri, Vanderbilt in revamped SEC schedule

Defending Southeastern Conference and national champion LSU will host Missouri and visit Vanderbilt in its expanded Southeastern Conference schedule, while Alabama will visit Mizzou and host Kentucky in league play revised by the coronavirus pandemic. The league on Friday released two additional...

Missouri's Drinkwitz takes side in mask-or-no-mask debate

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz has been the head coach at Missouri for just over seven months. He has yet to lead the Tigers onto the football field, much less win a game, yet his role in the community already has forced him to take some important stands.First, it was supporting his new...

OPINION

Historians Offer Context, Caution on Lessons 1918 Flu Pandemic Holds for COVID

Scholars find parallels of inequitable suffering between pandemic of 1918 and pandemic of 2020 ...

US Reps Adams and DeFazio Call on Postmaster General to Resign

The legislators say Trump appointee Louis DeJoy is sabotaging the US Postal Service and could harm the election ...

Da 5 Bloods and America Abroad

Even before I returned to the United States from my combat tour in Vietnam, I had decided that we were fighting an unjust war. ...

Falling Behind: COVID, Climate Change, and Chaos

Multiple Crises, Multiple Obstacles ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Paris prosecutors investigate apparent anti-Semitic attack

PARIS (AP) — French police are investigating an apparent anti-Semitic attack on a 29-year-man in an apartment building in northeast Paris.A group that tracks anti-Semitic violence and hate speech in France, BNVCA, sought an investigation, denouncing it as the latest in a string of scattered...

Kamala Harris' selection as VP resonates with Black women

DETROIT (AP) — China Cochran met Kamala Harris at a campaign event in Detroit last year and was swept away by her ambition, charisma and leadership. She hoped the California senator would advance in politics. So when Joe Biden named Harris on Tuesday as his running mate — making her...

How Biden chose Harris: Inside his search for a running mate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Gretchen Whitmer wanted out. The Michigan governor had caught the interest of Joe Biden and his vice presidential vetting committee, who were drawn to her prominence in a crucial battleground state and her aggressive response to the coronavirus outbreak there. But by late...

ENTERTAINMENT

The Weeknd, Roddy Ricch, Maluma, CNCO to perform at MTV VMAs

NEW YORK (AP) — Chart-topping Grammy winners The Weeknd and Roddy Ricch are set to perform at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards this month.MTV announced Tuesday that Colombian singer Maluma and Latin boy band CNCO will also perform at the Aug. 30 event, which was originally to take place at...

Fox news, business cable channels to stream internationally

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Fox News and Fox Business channels are going international.A digital streaming service with the pair will launch in Mexico on Aug. 20, expanding to Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom on Sept. 17, Fox News Media said Tuesday.Fox News International will be available...

Trini Lopez, 1960s-era singer mentored by Sinatra, dies

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — Trini Lopez, a singer and guitarist who gained fame for his versions of “Lemon Tree” and “If I Had a Hammer” in the 1960s and took his talents to Hollywood, died Tuesday. He was 83.Filmmaker P. David Ebersole, who just finished shooting a...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Political novices drawn to anti-Netanyahu protests in Israel

JERUSALEM (AP) — In a summer of protests against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the accusations...

Children in Beirut suffer from trauma after deadly blast

BEIRUT (AP) — When the huge explosion ripped through Beirut last week, it shattered the glass doors near...

Spring college football: When? How much? Who plays?

Back in April, not long after the pandemic canceled the NCAA basketball tournament, the idea of moving the 2020...

Belgian beach brawl fuels virus, political, climate tension

BRUSSELS (AP) — It started as a Saturday trip to Belgium's coast, a chance to escape a heat wave and...

Mauritius seeks compensation as oil spill cleanup continues

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Mauritius says it is seeking compensation from the owners of a Japanese ship that...

Outcry in Somalia as new bill would allow child marriage

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — An outcry is rising in Somalia as parliament considers a bill that would allow child...

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Sam Hananel and Scott Bauer the Associated Press


Wisconsin's Scott Walker faces a recall primary
May 8

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Unions are facing a make-or-break moment in their campaign to drive Wisconsin's Republican governor from office.

If unions and their Democratic allies prevail in the recall - just over a year after Gov. Scott Walker signed legislation to curb collective bargaining rights for most public workers - it would send a powerful warning to other politicians who might try to limit union rights. Unions also might find it easier to turn out more voters in November for President Barack Obama in this battleground state.

A Walker victory would be a stunning setback for organized labor.

"If we lose, it's a shot in the mouth," said Greg Junemann, president of the Professional and Technical Engineers union and a Milwaukee resident. "We can survive it, but we'll be reeling."

Unions have experienced mixed results over the past year in trying to beat back efforts in dozens of states to restrict bargaining rights, pass right-to-work laws or limit how unions collect dues.

They enjoyed a major victory in November when Ohio voters in a statewide referendum repealed a law limiting collective bargaining rights for the state's public employees. But they fell short in an earlier recall campaign to wrest control of the Wisconsin Senate from Republicans and suffered a major defeat when Indiana this year became the first state in more than a decade to pass right-to-work legislation.

Recalling a sitting governor would be a major feat, something that's happened only twice before in U.S. history.

"After devoting so much effort, energy and funds to the recall, unions have to show positive results or it will be judged to be a sign of a weakened labor movement," said Gary Chaison, professor of industrial relations at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. "If they can't win in one of the most liberal states, where can they win?"

The recall primary in Wisconsin is May 8, and the general election is June 5.

Such massive, costly campaigns have taken a toll on unions, diverting resources they could have spent helping political allies or organizing new members. Unions spent nearly $30 million turning out votes to repeal the Ohio measure and more than $12 million on the Wisconsin state Senate recall effort.

"Unions are not bottomless wells when it comes to resources for this stuff," said former AFL-CIO political director Steve Rosenthal. "As we're forced to wage these fights to defend what we've got, it's a win-win for the other side because they force us to spend a lot of money to plug holes in the dike."

Unions and others had little trouble gathering more than 900,000 signatures to authorize a recall election for Wisconsin's governor. Finding a suitably pro-union candidate to take on Walker has not so easy. Most unions have lined up behind former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, who has pledged to veto any state budget that doesn't reinstate collective bargaining rights.

But unions now face a new hurdle in Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who announced last month that he, too, would run in the Democratic primary, even after union leaders tried to talk him out of it. Barrett, who narrowly lost to Walker in 2010, has stronger statewide name recognition than Falk, but he has clashed with unions in the past and refused to take the unions' veto pledge.

Barrett's entry into the race means unions will have to spend even more money to boost Falk's profile. It also puts them in a bind. They are reluctant to publicly attack Barrett for fear of damaging him in the event he wins the primary. Because their ultimate goal remains ousting Walker, they face the prospect of having to spend even more resources in the general election to support a Democrat they don't really trust.

Falk has won the endorsement of the statewide teachers union and the largest union representing public workers. No unions have backed Barrett so far, but the head of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association has praised Barrett and there could be a rift if some unions rally behind the Milwaukee mayor.

Wisconsin's largest public employees union got into trouble last week by directing its members to an Internet video that attacks Barrett and incorrectly implies that Barrett supported Walker's plan to curb bargaining rights. The Wisconsin chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees said it used poor judgment and acknowledged the video was "over the top."

Rich Abelson, executive director of Wisconsin's AFSCME District Council 48, suggested unions wanted to avoid negative attacks on Barrett. "Labor and AFSCME's main priority is to defeat Scott Walker," Abelson said.

Walker, meanwhile, is casting the recall as a battle with out-of-state "union bosses" who want to benefit from taxpayer money.

"This is about sending a message about don't mess with us or we'll take you out no matter who you are," Walker said in an interview with The Associated Press. "For all the talk about collective bargaining, for the national unions it's really about the money."

Walker has already raised more than $12.1 million for the race - the majority of it from out-of-state donors - breaking a previous fundraising record that Walker himself set in the 2010 governor's race. Unions plan to spend at least as much as they spent on the state Senate recall campaign.

Walker's proposal, which passed the Republican-controlled Legislature despite massive protests and all 14 Senate Democrats fleeing to Illinois for three weeks, targeted only public workers and exempted most fire and police officers.

It forced state and local government employees, including teachers, to pay more for health insurance and pension benefits, and stripped away collective bargaining rights except over salary increases no greater than inflation. It also did away with automatic dues withdrawals and forced annual votes for the unions to stay officially recognized.

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Hananel reported from Washington, D.C.

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Follow Sam Hananel's labor coverage on Twitter at http://twitter.com/shananel

Follow Scott Bauer on Twitter at http://twitter.com/sbauerAP

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