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Group targets Capitol Hill bar for support of anti-$15 minimum wage plan

Friedman declined to comment -- same with his young daughter (Images: CHS)

Friedman declined to comment — same with his young daughter. But he did put out lemonade and ice tea for his guests. (Images: CHS)

With legislation signed to begin Seattle’s transition to a $15 minimum wage, an advocacy group has targeted area businesses including a handful of Capitol Hill bars and restaurants that have shown support for efforts to roll back the wage plan.

Tuesday, the Working Washington group said it was planning to “reach out to potential customers of businesses driving the misleading effort to repeal Seattle’s minimum wage law with a Consumer Alert.” 15th Ave E’s Liberty Bar was targeted with a noontime appearance by the group. Around noon, a gaggle of green-shirted volunteers and organizers gathered in front of the small bar and coffee shop to hand out flyers, hold a banner and talk with the press.

“He is one of the earliest and most vocal supporters of Forward Seattle,” Working Washington’s Sage Wilson told CHS about the decision to target such a relatively small contributor.

IMG_4970But Wilson said the decision to make a financial contribution was the biggest sin at Liberty.

“If all he had ever done is agitate on Twitter, we might not be here,” Wilson said.

In early June, CHS reported on contributions from Liberty owner Andrew Friedman and Poquitos and Von Trapp’s manager Rich Fox to support the Forward Seattle group pushing to overturn the Seattle minimum wage plan.

Friedman and his daughter were on hand Tuesday to watch the Working Washington effort and media parade. The Liberty owner declined to comment on the protest or his decision to give to Forward Seattle — but did have lemonade and ice tea out for the banner holders, leaflet hander-outers, media professionals, and passersby. UPDATE: Friedman did talk to one of the TV reporters on hand, however. “This protest today is to bully small businesses, it is to scare small businesses not to speak out,” Friedman told Q13 Fox.

We reached out to Rich Fox for comment on the protest but have not yet heard back. Poquitos is a CHS advertiser. UPDATE: Fox tells CHS he’ll have more to say on Seattle’s minimum wage soon.

Working Washington also claims signature gatherers working for Forward Seattle are deceiving citizens about the organization’s goals.

Note: We have received numerous reports of corrupt signature gathering and can help arrange interviews with people who have direct experience.

The group says it has asked the county prosecutor to investigate corrupt signature gathering.

Who: Supporters of the $15 minimum wage law passed unanimously by City Council and signed into law by the mayor

What: Reach out to potential customers of businesses driving the misleading effort to repeal Seattle’s minimum wage law with a Consumer Alert, asking them to consider the fact that these businesses are actively supporting a misleading effort to repeal the minimum wage before choosing to spend money there.

When & Where:
TODAY, Tuesday, July 1, 2014

10:45 am in South Lake Union:
Dollar Rent-a-car, 1900 Boren Ave, Seattle, WA 98101. The owner of Dollar Rent-a-Car has given thousands to the campaign to repeal the minimum wage. She also has made large contributions to Mitt Romney, John Boehner, the McCalin-Palin ticket, and other extreme conservative causes.

11:00am in Fremont:
Flying Apron Bakery, 3510 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103. The owner of Flying Apron is the chair of the campaign to repeal the minimum wage.

12:00 pm in Capitol Hill:
Liberty Bar & Restaurant, 517 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112. The owner of Liberty was an early contributor to the campaign to repeal the minimum wage, and has been an outspoken opponent of Seattle’s law.


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24 thoughts on “Group targets Capitol Hill bar for support of anti-$15 minimum wage plan

  1. I’m disappointed that there was no follow-up in the article about *why* Working Washington claims the repeal effort is misleading (which they say twice in the same sentence, without elaboration). This absence of particulars seems like an obvious omission on WW’s part, but then again, inflammatory rhetoric obviously intended for a “media parade” is rarely concerned with substantiation of data. It’s difficult to see how this action is different from a smear campaign launched by any other political organization against individuals who disagree with them (note that it is the individuals, not the businesses, who are looking for a different solution to the minimum wage problem). I have no underlying agenda with either side of this issue, but this kind of punitive action seems childish to me, and the bad taste in my mouth after reading this is a result of WW’s actions rather than the actions of those being targeted.

  2. Because Noon is such a great time to protest a bar when there are probably two patrons in the place to get your point across to. WW go home.

      • Haha! It’s not economics of “business models”, it’s just economics! When someone has a small business with slim margins, the can’t survive in that business with nothing, for goodness sake! Despite what those people who DONT run businesses think, most small business owners are not making huge amounts of money. At some point when margins don’t provide enough compensation to the owner for all the hours of work they put it, they shut down the business. That’s not a business model or anything else, it’s just reality.

      • When you say “sounds like you support keeping people impoverished” then you are resorting to vilification tactics. Rather than be OK with the idea that perhaps someone else is really not thinking about how to keep people impoverished because they have another idea about the possible downsides, you use those tactics which are meant to immune one’s character. That’s not disagreeing on the merits, it’s attacking. And I didn’t say vicious, I said vacuous. Different word.

        So I’m not going to get into a google and paste articles war. Suffice it to say that their are plenty of articles to support my point of view, which includes job loss as well. This is not fear mongering. In fact, the job loss issue has been studied by the CBO as well. The problem with all the studies on both sides is that none of the account for such a very large increase in the minimum wage, particularly as it applies to just a city as opposed to an entire MSA or state. I don’t know how you are defining conservative vs liberal viewpoints on this, but it is largely irrelevant. It is just my thoughts and if you want to paint me a conservative, that is your thought, you own it. I don’t own your assignment, however, nor do I think it’s true. I run a social service agency, by the way and have for my entire career. Not exactly a conservative job and to see me would be surprising. But I also run a business and know for a fact that people with the state contracts we have cannot afford to be located in Seattle at this point.

      • That’s not vilification, that is a statement of fact. You can flounder about with all kinds of reasons why you don’t support the minimum wage increase, but the bottom line is people will remain impoverished if it stays so low. I can tell that you don’t like having to own that, but it is exactly what your policy choice supports. Go ahead, just own it. And go ahead and call it liberal too, I guess that word doesn’t have much meaning anymore after all.

        And you can also own not wanting to discuss differences of opinion using facts, dismissing it “google paste wars”. With all your “vilification tactics” and “vacuous attacks” I can see where you would rather our difference of opinion go.

        And yes, I am happy will own the quite apparent difference between liberal and conservative economics, thanks.

      • It is not a fact that not raising the minimum wage will keep people impoverished. Focusing more on minimum wage will keep people impoverished as opposed to focusing on creating an economy that creates opportunities for advancement. You keep all your tidy definitions of conservative and liberal. They are irrelevant. Here is a fact; minimum wage jobs will always be jobs that people would like to advance from. Your ideas don’t create growth opportunities. And arguing merits of an idea is not just bias googling and posting articles. That’s just nonsensical as is your diatribe.

      • Yes, the definitions between conservative and liberal are actually rather cut and dry and fairly basic. Just because having views that aren’t liberal upsets you so much doesn’t mean the English language is wrong.

        Here is another fact: there will always be minimum wage jobs, and there will never be enough higher paying jobs for everyone to move up from. Those stuck in minimum wage jobs remain impoverished (as is obvious to everyone who isn’t steeped in conservative economic dogma).

        So here you are blaming me for vilifying you, attacking you, and being the bad guy, and here again you calling my argument a “nonsensical diatribe”. No wonder you are so confused of basic liberal/conservative philosophical differences. How is the cognitive dissonance treating you? Do you like being a hypocrite? What is it?

      • Haha! Cognitive dissonance ? This from the dude with confirmation bias googling. Ideologue much? Give me a break buddy. You’re version of the world is no more right than mine.

      • And the idea that facts have no bearing on the merits of an argument is hardly an “idea”. If facts have no bearing than your argument is just a fantasy, plain and simple.

      • Confirmation bias from the dude who would rather not discuss facts? You live in a fantasy land, “dude”. And “dude”, I’m surprised you can’t see that you are the ideologue, fits exactly with your “Keep the minimum wage low! Everyone gets a new high paying job!” What rot, dude. And yes, my “version of the world” is obviously a lot more “right” than yours. Mine is called “reality” and your is a fantasy world.

  3. If someone feels shame over their practices, can that really be helped? This seems in-line with the groups additional protests for a living wage. Protesting and shaming are not synonymous.

  4. I have twice encountered Forward Seattle people, one of those times at their booth at Pride on Broadway. They were forthright and direct, clearly explaining their position. They were surrounded by obstructors who were trying mightily to keep anyone from talking to them. They continually interrupted as we were trying to talk and it was pretty horrible. They were arrogant and ill informed. I pointed out that I am a CEO of a non-profit social service agency. Our staff wages are set by the legislature and are no where near $15.00 per hour so services such as ours will have to leave Seattle. I don’t operate in Seattle, so it is a moot point for me. But numerous providers are in Seattle. They basically told me that they “knew” the non-profits had more money to pay and that it wouldn’t cost that much. But of course, they were in fact giving a lot of misinformation because they don’t know that. I do know the facts of financial statements for agencies such as ours and it’s not true. They also don’t seem to understand economics because the $15.00 hour wages will only result in an increased cost for goods. These people are a bunch of thugs, calling the most liberal in our town “ideologues and ultra conservative”, which is a lie. All because they have a small business owners point of view and understand how thin margins are for them. This wage issue has already caused business owners to put projects on hold.

    • Sounds like you support keeping people impoverished because you’re afraid higher wages make prices go up. You might be the most liberal person in the world, but you must admit that is some very conservative economic beliefs you have there.

      • I realize the tactics are to attack the messenger when you don’t like the message. That vilification tactic is such so patently vacuous.
        The fact is that rising prices as a reaction to a very large hike in the minimum wage has an impact on EVERYONE, including those people whose wages increased. So it’s a little like a dog chasing it’s tail. Additionally, it has an impact of dampening development. I support and understand the frustration of people stuck in those jobs. The economy has had a horrible downward pressure, forcing people to stay in entry level jobs to support families. many of these jobs have historically been held by people with first time jobs to get experience, people in college, etc. Now, because of the downward pressure, fewer opportunities exist for those people to move up to the next level. The job market for this middle opportunities has all but dried up. I think the better solution is to figure out a way to stimulate the middle jobs so that people can naturally move out of minimum wage jobs. But just by merely increasing the minimum wage so drastically, especially considering that all of the neighboring smaller cities have a lower minimum wage, will just do damage and make Seatlle even less affordable for lower income people.

      • Well “the tactics” are just to ask a straight forward question. As a matter of fact you could say it isn’t “tactics” at all, and any “attack” is actually entirely of your own imagination. So disagreeing with you is a vicious attack is it? Things must be rough for you.

        And it also sounds like you can’t admit that your conservative views on this wage issue are, actually, conservative. There is ample evidence, such as this paper from the Federal Reserve Bank,, that higher wages do not lead to higher prices. I will not let such fearmongering guide my decision about the higher minimum wage, and neither should anyone else.

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