It’s hard to believe that 2017 is already in the rearview mirror.
No matter how busy we get or how much news we make, we will always be here to protect Washingtonians. I look forward to continuing to hold powerful interests and other bad actors that refuse to play by the rules accountable in 2018.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and a great start to the New Year.
In this issue:
Thank you for following the work of the Attorney General’s Office.
Consumers around Washington are familiar with Value Village stores. We found that those consumers are not so familiar with the fact that Value Village is a for-profit with an annual revenue of more than $1 billion. More than 75 percent of consumers in our survey believed the company was a nonprofit. This may be because Value Village’s aggressive marketing campaign misled consumers to believe that both their purchases and donations would benefit local charities.
In reality, no money from in-store purchases ever went to charities. Until my office began investigating in 2015, Value Village did not even pay charities for all donated items. When they did start paying charities for all donations, it amounted to $0.02 for so-called “hard items,” including couches. I filed a lawsuit against the company for deceiving consumers. I am asking the court to prohibit Value Village from making misrepresentations to consumers.
The News Tribune
Most politicians would not try to create policies by tweeting them, but President Trump is an exception. In June, the president tweeted a ban on transgender individuals serving in the military. He followed that tweet with actual policy a month later. I joined a lawsuit on behalf of transgender individuals in Washington, because banning transgender individuals from serving based on anything other than their ability and conduct is wrong.
The ban on transgender individuals was misguided, cruel and illegal. In December, a federal judge agreed. Judge Pechman of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington issued an injunction to halt the ban and allow transgender individuals to serve in the military. The Trump Administration dropped its appeal of the injunction. The case is ongoing; however, transgender individuals will be allowed to enlist in the military beginning Jan. 1.
Net neutrality rules prevent internet service providers, like Comcast, from discriminating based on a website’s content. Internet service providers could charge consumers more for access to certain websites, such as Facebook or Google, and/or they could charge small businesses more to have their websites accessible by certain groups of consumers. Providers also could make a competitor’s streaming service, like Netflix, load slower than their own. It could mean serious harm for our small businesses, innovation and any consumer that uses the internet.
That action will hurt Washington, and I promised to file a legal challenge to the decision. In January, I filed a petition to begin the appeal. Governor Inslee and I will take the lead to protect Washington consumers, innovation and small businesses from this harmful federal action that allows powerful special interest to act as the internet’s gatekeepers.
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Jan 17 2018