Quote of the Week

"Let's be honest--it isn't my lack of experience that rankles the Times. I'm not the right age, the right gender, or the right class, and I never will be."--City Council Member Judy Nicastro on a March 7 Seattle Times editorial, which ridiculed her for considering a 2001 mayoral bid.


Who's Skimming Now?

Calling hotel servers! You better double-check your pay stub.

Current and former Bellevue Hyatt Regency banquet servers have recently filed a class-action lawsuit in the King County Superior Court, accusing the Hyatt of skimming two percent of the 13 percent gratuity that is contractually earmarked for the banquet staff. MELISSA ROSS


Labor Pain

Last October, the AFL-CIO protested Tacoma-based Labor Ready Inc.'s abuse of workers' compensation guidelines ["Labor at the Ready," Phil Campbell, Nov 20, 2000].

Well, late last month, the state agreed with the AFL-CIO. Following an audit of Labor Ready's 1998 finances, Washington's Department of Labor and Industries concluded that the company had misclassified workers, thereby ripping off employees to the tune of $498,000. The state agency is ordering Labor Ready to pay that amount, plus an additional $236,000 in late penalties. PHIL CAMPBELL


Running for Dollars

An early check-in on the four incumbent Seattle city council members up for reelection in November 2001 offers a few revealing tidbits. According to the most recent fundraising stats, populist lefty Nick Licata has lassoed the most contributors, with 431 people opening their checkbooks so far. Meanwhile, conservative Jan Drago, who's enlisted far fewer contributors than Licata (about half the number), has cleared $12,000 more in cash, netting the most money of the pack, with $47,000 to date. She's also averaging the highest gift, at nearly $200 a pop--mostly from downtown business types.

Drago and New Ager Richard Conlin are the only council members to secure contributions from council colleagues. Drago received a hefty $600 gift from Council President Margaret Pageler, while Conlin scored a $100 gift from Jim Compton. Licata, however, was the only council member to score a donation from a former rock star. JAMPAC activist Krist Novoselic downloaded $600 to Licata. Oddly, Novoselic didn't do the same for Conlin, JAMPAC's key ally in the fight against the Teen Dance Ordinance.

As for Richard McIver, he's raised the least amount of money, the lowest average gift, and has no noteworthy contributors to call his own.

So far, no opposition candidates have targeted these mighty incumbents. JOSH FEIT

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