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Friday, October 4, 2013

Anti-$15 an Hour Minimum Wage Lobbyist: "I Don't Think Anybody Can Argue" that $9 an Hour Is a Living Wage

Posted by on Fri, Oct 4, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Don Stark is a partner at Smith & Stark, the Seattle based lobbying firm to which the No campaign fighting SeaTac's $15 an hour minimum wage initiative has paid $45,000 for "research." This is his job—opposing a $15 an hour minimum wage.

So it was interesting to hear Stark's rather frank remarks about the initiative at an August 20 meeting of the policy council of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce:

I've uploaded the entire 6:30 minute clip I'd been forwarded, so you can hear the conversation in context. But there are a couple of moments that really stand out, not the least of which being Stark's blunt acknowledgement that $9 an hour isn't a livable wage:

"It’s going to be an interesting battle. We see the overall rhetoric from the Unions is pretty much about, you know, people have such difficulty supporting themselves on a minimum wage, I mean, you couldn’t possibly have an apartment and support a family and so on on $9 an hour and I don’t think anybody can argue with that and I don’t think anyone should argue about sick leave either, it’s very popular from people's point of view."

So the No campaign's lobbyist is basically advising his clients to stay away from the underlying issues of the $15 an hour minimum wage debate. Good to know.

The other telling moment comes when an unidentified audience member explains exactly why this SeaTac initiative is so damn important to the Seattle chamber—because it's about to "migrate" here:

"So that’s why we are engaging on both levels, bringing all the stakeholders together in Seattle to say the first line of defense is to defeat it in SeaTac, that sends a message. I’m already getting calls from council members saying ‘you should start your discussions now because the living wage is coming.'"

Hear that? He's already getting calls from Seattle council members warning him that "the living wage is coming." Heaven forfend! (Which council members are warning him—and why—well, that's another question.)

And that's why it's so important to working people in Seattle to pass this initiative in SeaTac.


Comments (15) RSS

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Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 1

$9 an hour is not a living wage.

In Seattle.

But you don't have to live in Seattle.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on October 4, 2013 at 11:34 AM · Report this
It’s beyond important, it’s critical to have a living wage minimum wage, and the wage needs to be indexed to inflation (or better yet college cost)

A living wage minimum wage and card-check would go a long way in fixing a lot of problems in our society
Posted by Merchant Seaman on October 4, 2013 at 11:38 AM · Report this
#1: since this vote is in Seatac, what does Seattle's cost of living have to do with it?
Posted by Merchant Seaman on October 4, 2013 at 11:40 AM · Report this
@1, only as long as you're single/married without kids. As soon as you want to provide for a family, a $9/hour minimum wage isn't enough for broad swaths of Washington state:…
Posted by cloudveil1 on October 4, 2013 at 12:11 PM · Report this
Why should these jobs be careers? Move up, move on. Anyone can learn to be a baggage handler.
Posted by reader0 on October 4, 2013 at 12:16 PM · Report this
very bad homo 6
@1 People who work in Seattle should be able to live in Seattle.
Posted by very bad homo on October 4, 2013 at 12:42 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 7
@6 is right about that

Bet Sally & Tim are getting worried about the citizen revolt brewing, stoked by the SR-99 Tunnel cost overruns they and Ed want is to pay for their millionaire masters ...
Posted by Will in Seattle on October 4, 2013 at 12:54 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 8
Sorry auto-Korrect changes my Grandma
Posted by Will in Seattle on October 4, 2013 at 12:55 PM · Report this
I wonder which City council reps are calling him... *cough* Richard Conlin *cough*
Posted by BookEmDano on October 4, 2013 at 2:27 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 10
I'd love to know which asshole city council members called him. If the Stranger finds out, please post. They will immediately and forever loose my vote.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on October 4, 2013 at 3:34 PM · Report this
thelyamhound 11
@1 - You do if you work in an industry that the suburbs do not--perhaps cannot--support.
Posted by thelyamhound on October 4, 2013 at 4:07 PM · Report this
I bet it was conlin or Rasmussen.
Posted by Dedalus on October 5, 2013 at 2:37 AM · Report this
Although perhaps he meant to say "chamber members" instead of "council members"?
Perhaps it was the chamber of commerce and not a city councilmember that called him?
Posted by Dedalus on October 5, 2013 at 2:42 AM · Report this
I make $10 an hour, and this guy is absolutely DREAMING if he thinks anything less is livable. Hell, what I have is barely livable.
Posted by treehugger on October 5, 2013 at 9:23 AM · Report this
I have a Masters Degree and barely make over $15/ hr. There is something wrong with this. I mean I have student loans etc... I don't see the justice in this at all!
Posted by minimumwage? on December 11, 2013 at 4:03 PM · Report this

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