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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

August 10, 2011 at 2:50 PM

Paid sick leave: a chance for candidates to be most liberal

Posted by Emily Heffter

A Seattle City Council committee on Wednesday afternoon is considering a proposal to require employers to provide paid sick leave. Times reporter J.B. Wogan had a piece this morning documenting how the proposal has divided the business community.

While the council works out the details, candidates for City Council are using the issue as a test of liberal credibility. Everyone on the City Council is pretty liberal, so with the right timing, an issue like paid-sick-leave can become a battleground in an election year, as candidates try to appeal to voters.

For example, the business group CASE endorsed Jean Godden challenger Maurice Classen last month. Another candidate in the race, Bobby Forch, sent out a news release accusing Classen of cutting a deal with the business group to obstruct the paid-sick leave ordinance if elected.

Forch has worked to align himself with the council's more liberal end, namely Nick Licata, who is sponsoring the sick-leave legislation.

Classen and Godden take a more conservative position on paid sick leave. That's not to say they oppose it. No one on the council opposes it, really. They both support more study.

Another example cropped up today when council candidate Brad Meacham accused his opponent, Councilmember Bruce Harrell, of telling CASE that he opposes paid-sick leave. At forums, Harrell has said he supports the idea.

Meacham says "sources" told him that Harrell told CASE he wouldn't support the ordinance. But the candidate is hoping just the suggestion that Harrell is aligned with business interests will make Meacham seem more liberal.

Like Forch, Meacham is running to the left of Harrell on a very short political spectrum.

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What they mean is a chance for City Council to be the most generous with other people's money. Believe it or not, many small businesses are...  Posted on August 11, 2011 at 1:41 PM by smallemployer. Jump to comment
I've noticed that the majority of commentators here have apparently been against this paid sick leave mandate but, if I had to guess, I...  Posted on August 10, 2011 at 6:46 PM by dtifft1. Jump to comment
I neglected to tell everyone how this could be accomplished. Really it shouldn't be a problem. We all know that employers are just a bunch...  Posted on August 10, 2011 at 6:05 PM by Fredo. Jump to comment

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