06-23-2018  6:07 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

Lawsuits allege racial profiling in Portland-area businesses

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Several African Americans are suing big-box stores and restaurants in Oregon, claiming employees at those places wrongly accused them of stealing because they were "shopping while black."A Portland law firm has filed five lawsuits alleging racial profiling at businesses in...

Wildfire near Maupin more than doubles in size

MAUPIN, Ore. (AP) — A wildfire burning brush and grass near Maupin in north-central Oregon has more than doubled in size to 36 square miles (93 square kilometers).Fire officials say Saturday's efforts will include the use of helicopters to protect Maupin.The wind-driven wildfire is mostly...

Alaska city honors Guardsmen killed in crash after '64 quake

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A month after the second most powerful earthquake ever was recorded, the Alaska port community of Valdez remained in ruins.A hulking Alaska National Guard cargo plane's mission April 25, 1964, was to deliver Gov. William Egan to oversee efforts to rebuild the town on...

The Latest: Alaska city unveils memorial to fallen Guardsmen

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on an Alaska city honoring Guardsmen killed in crash after 1964 earthquake (all times local):1:40 p.m.Four men who died on a humanitarian mission to help rebuild an Alaska town following the second most powerful earthquake ever recorded have been honored...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Lawsuits allege racial profiling in Portland-area businesses

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Several African Americans are suing big-box stores and restaurants in Oregon, claiming employees at those places wrongly accused them of stealing because they were "shopping while black."A Portland law firm has filed five lawsuits alleging racial profiling at businesses in...

Racist tropes in Ramadan TV satires anger black Arabs

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — In an attempt to capitalize on what's become a ratings bonanza for Arabic satellite channels during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, two comedies struck the wrong chord with audiences when their lead actors appeared in blackface.Criticism was swift on...

Chaos on the border inflames GOP's split with Latinos

When more than 1,000 Latino officials __ a crop of up-and-coming representatives from a fast-growing demographic __ gathered in Phoenix last week, no one from the Trump administration was there to greet them.It marked the first time a presidential administration skipped the annual conference of the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Give up after scandals? Television history shows otherwise

NEW YORK (AP) — Say this about TV creators in 2018 — they don't give up easily.Three current shows — "Roseanne," ''Transparent" and "House of Cards" — have been crippled by scandal, but each plans to continue without their disgraced stars."The bottom line is...

Ornate NYC theater, used for years as a gym, to be restored

NEW YORK (AP) — For years, Long Island University's basketball team played in a French Baroque movie palace in downtown Brooklyn.The gilded wall fountains, plastered statuettes and towering, one-of-a-kind Wurlitzer organ pipes of the historic Paramount Theater were preserved by the...

Vinnie Paul, co-founder, drummer of Pantera, dies at 54

Vinnie Paul, co-founder and drummer of metal band Pantera, has died at 54.Pantera's official Facebook page posted a statement early Saturday announcing his death. The label of Hellyeah, his most recent group, confirmed the death but neither statement mentioned Paul's cause of death.His real name...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

AP PHOTOS: Germany salvages campaign on Day 10 of World Cup

MOSCOW (AP) — Germany midfielder Toni Kroos scored a dramatic late winner to come from behind and beat...

1 dead after attack at huge rally for Ethiopia's new PM

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — A thwarted attempt to hurl a grenade at Ethiopia's reformist new prime...

Sanders says she was told to leave Virginia restaurant

WASHINGTON (AP) — White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was booted from a Virginia restaurant...

Stars flock to the Dior debut of Kim Jones at Paris menswear

PARIS (AP) — In a week marked by big debuts, it was designer Kim Jones' turn at Dior Men on Saturday.The...

US moves 100 coffins to inter-Korean border for war remains

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The U.S. military said it moved 100 wooden coffins to the inter-Korean border to...

1 dead after attack at huge rally for Ethiopia's new PM

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — A thwarted attempt to hurl a grenade at Ethiopia's reformist new prime...

Common Dreams Report on ALEC
The Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Buoyed by recent successes in the Midwest, conservatives and business groups are targeting at least three additional states for new efforts that could weaken labor unions by ending their ability to collect mandatory bargaining fees.

The latest efforts are focused on Missouri, Ohio and Oregon and — in a new twist — could put the issue before voters in 2014 instead of relying on potentially reluctant governors to enact laws passed by state legislators.

The strategy of appealing to voters could avoid a redo of the massive union-led protests that clogged some Midwestern capitols where Republicans recently enacted other anti-labor proposals. It also could result in a multi-million dollar advertising battle between businesses and labor unions waged on several fronts at the same time.

“There's national money to be had, and there are large donors in the state that definitely want to move forward,” said Jill Gibson Odell, a Portland, Ore., attorney who is sponsoring an initiative to restrict union fees for public employees in her state.

With the addition of Indiana and Michigan in 2012, there now are 24 states with “right to work” laws that prohibit making union fees a condition of employment. If the newest efforts succeed, unions in a little more than half of the states could have fewer resources to resist pension cuts, health care cost increases or other management initiatives they don't like.

The Guardian newspaper’s investigation of ALEC revealed plans to defund green energy, public education and health.

Organizers of the right-to-work movement have seized upon recent economic struggles to suggest that states could gain jobs by making their labor policies more favorable toward business.

A report by the Congressional Research Service last year noted that right-to-work states had stronger employment during the past decade but lower average wages. The report stopped short of attributing that to right-to-work policies, however.

Supporters of such laws contend employees shouldn't be forced to pay fees to a union to get or keep a job. But unions contend the fees are fair because federal law requires them to represent all employees in a bargaining unit regardless of whether they join the union.

Most state right-to-work laws were enacted in the 1940s and 1950s. But businesses and conservative lawmakers, working through groups such as the American Legislative Exchange Council, have mounted a new push as union membership has dwindled and the competition for jobs has intensified among states.

Indiana in 2012 became the first state in more than a decade to enact a right-to-work law. The movement's biggest victory came later that year, when Republicans in the traditional union stronghold of Michigan followed suit even though thousands of union protesters thronged the Capitol.

“What we're seeing is a lot of states are looking and saying, 'Hey, if Michigan can do it, why can't we?” said Vincent Vernuccio, director of labor policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a free-market think tank based in Midland, Mich.

Vernuccio has traveled Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington state and elsewhere encouraging conservatives to press the issue.

At a conference in Chicago last August that brought together hundreds of Republican officials and business leaders, Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder publicly predicted that his state's lawmakers would place right-to-work on the November 2014 ballot.

“We need to ignite a series of prairie fires in other states. It helps us pass it in Missouri if Wisconsin kicks over the bee hive,” Kinder told the audience.

There's no indication that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker plans to pursue right to work as a follow up to his successful 2011 push to limit collective bargaining rights for public workers, which sparked noisy around-the-clock protests at the Capitol. But others are embracing Kinder's strategy.

“If a labor-related issue was on the ballot in multiple states at the same time, labor would have to diffuse their resources,” said Chris Littleton, a consultant and former tea party leader who is backing the right-to-work initiative in Ohio.

Unions have been coordinating their efforts to fight the proposals. Officials from the Missouri AFL-CIO met recently with union leaders in Ohio. Some union leaders also have looked to Colorado, where a right-to-work measure was defeated by voters in 2008. 

Read a report on ALEC from the Center for Media and Democracy

“We'll launch a very robust and aggressive campaign” against it, said Scott Moore, a spokesman for Keep Oregon Working, a coalition of groups opposing the Oregon initiative.

Right-to-work supporters in Ohio have begun collecting signatures for a ballot proposal. In Missouri, Republican House Speaker Tim Jones has declared right-to-work a priority for the session that starts Jan. 8. Unions are hoping to quietly derail the measure in the Senate.

“Do we want to storm the Capitol and create a nuclear war if we don't have to? I would say 'no.' But if that's what it takes, we certainly have the capabilities to do that,” said Mike Louis, secretary-treasurer of the Missouri AFL-CIO.

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