Happy Wednesday morning! Lots of politics in the news — here are some of the stories we’re reading this morning…
Election news you may have missed…
- MSNBC’s Rebecca Smith reports that a $15/hour wage ordinance passed by Sea-Tac voters is a big win for working America.
- And in New Jersey, voters not only raised the minimum wage to $8.25 per hour, they also amended the state’s constitution to tie future increases to the rate of inflation. Susan Livio reports for the Newark Star-Ledger.
- Six of 11 Colorado counties vote ‘yes’ to exploring secession from the Centennial State, reports Monte Whaley in The Denver Post.
- The very right-wing “establishment” candidate narrowly beat out his very, very right-wing tea party challenger in a much-watched showdown in an Alabama special congressional election.
- The Koch brothers’ group, Americans for Prosperity, took a beating in the small Iowa town of Coralville, which rejected its preferred candidates, prompting Joe Biden to give the mayor a congratulatory call. Via TPM.
- Portland, Maine, voters approve recreational cannabis, but as Randy Billings reports for the Press-Herald, practically speaking it was mostly a symbolic vote.
- Casino gambling goes down in Massachusetts; Colorado voters narrowly reject new school investment measure. Jack Healy reports for the NYT.
- TNR‘s Alec MacGillis says that Terry McAuliffe’s win in the VA gov’s race was a big loss for the NRA.
- MoJo’s David Corn cautions that what seemed like a good night for the GOP establishment in its civil war with the tea party may be deceptive, and that tea partiers still have tons of energy.
- Alex Seitz-Wald reports for the National Journal that a Koch Brothers-backed dark money group, the Freedom Partners, has been accused by a watchdog group of violating the tax code.
In other news…
Can we have a little progress? –> A proposal to increase Social Security benefits and make the cost-of-living adjustment more generous — paid for by eliminating the cap on payroll taxes — is gaining momentum in the Senate, reports Ed Kilgore at WaMo.
Do happy stories sell newspapers? –> A Florida woman who became an overnight media sensation as the face of Obamacare “sticker shock” has learned that her insurance company was trying to rip her off and she can get much better coverage than she had for a few dollars more per month. Now she says her cancellation may be a “blessing in disguise.” MSNBC’s Steve Benen wonders whether the media will report this new development with the same zeal.
Love legalized in IL –> Chicago Tribune: lawmakers pass marriage equality in the land of Lincoln.
The coming Democratic clash –> At TAP, Harold Meyerson on what divides Democrats: Wall Street-friendly neoliberalism versus the robust liberalism of the New Deal.
The next bubble? –> David Dayen writes at Salon that Wall Street’s newest
scam scheme involves securitizing rent payments, wonders what could possibly go wrong.
Serial plagiarist loses writing gig –> Dog-bites-man, except for the fact that he happens to be a sitting senator from the great state of Kentucky.
Awful, awful drug war story –> Local New Mexico TV news team on the case of a man pulled over by police who suspected he had drugs in a body cavity. He was then forced against his will to undergo numerous invasive medical procedures during the ensuing investigation.
SCOTUS OK with bad lawyering –> Andrew Cohen reports in The Atlantic on a little-noticed case in which all nine justices ruled that having incompetent and unethical defense counsel isn’t grounds for a retrial.
Defamation? –> WaPo’s Erik Wemple on the two young Muslim men alleging that they were smeared as the Boston Marathon Bombers by the New York Post.
“Toxic monster” –> The Independent reports that a Texas-sized, floating junk pile from the tsunami that destroyed the Fukushima nuclear plant is heading toward the US Pacific coast.
Bucket-list –> California man celebrates his 100th birthday by jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.
What else is going on? Let us know in the comments!