State labor union supports marriage equality and legalized pot; releases list of 2012 election endorsements

The Washington State Labor Council voted May 5 on its 2012 endorsements for statewide ballot measures and state and Congressional office races, though labor leaders say results from a few state offices reflect a “wait and see” attitude.

The council offered no endorsement for the state auditor race and dual endorsements for the secretary of state race between Kathleen Drew and former Seattle mayor Greg Nickels.

Labor leaders say they sent a strong message to state lawmakers who voted in favor of cutting pensions for workers hired after May 1, 2013, by opposing state Sen. Joe Zarelli, a Republican from Ridgefield, Wash. Zarelli was the prime sponsor of the pension bill.

The labor body resoundingly supported Referendum 74, which advocates for marriage equality. The referendum is imperative to extending rights to workers who have previously faced discrimination, leaders say.

The council also supported Initiative 502, which would legalize marijuana.

In February, the organization backed Jay Inslee for governor, Maria Cantwell for U.S. Senate and Bob Ferguson for state attorney general.

Endorsements near/relevant to Whatcom County

Federal offices

U.S. Senate: Maria Cantwell

1st Congressional District : Suzan DelBene

2nd Congressional District: Rick Larsen

State offices

Governor: Jay Inslee

Lieutenant Governor: Brad Owen

State attorney general: Bob Ferguson

Insurance Commissioner: Mike Kreidler

Secretary of State: Kathleen Drew and Greg Nickels

Superintendent of Public Instruction: Randy Dorn

State ballot measures

Referedum 74 (Marriage Equality): Approve

Initiative 502 (Legalize marijuana): Yes

Initiative 1185 (Eyman-2/3 vote for tax increases): No

Initiative 1191 (Right-to-work): No

Initiative 1192 (Redefine “marriage”): No

State Supreme Court

Position 2: Susan Owens

Position 8: Steven Gonzalez

Position 9: Bruce Hilyer and John Ladenburg

State Legislature

39th District—Endorsed Eleanor Walters for either House or Senate

40th District—House: Kristine Lytton, Senate: Kevin Ranker

42nd District—House: Natalie McClendon

 

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