Notorious political shape shifter slated to transfigure himself today into restaurant workers advocate??!
Today, Seattle Nightlife Brand™ Dave Meinert attempts to grasp his way back to political relevance with a bizarre turn endorsing and hosting an event for… restaurant workers.
There could hardly be a less reliable source — because the last time Meinert “spoke” for restaurant workers, he did it with an email to employees urging them to contact City Council to support subminium wages on their own paychecks — a position which would benefit him by lowering the wages of the people who work for him.
So… maybe he wrote up all the answers to the restaurant workers survey he’s backing now?
Everyone has the right to change their mind, but Meinert seems to just blow in the political winds, determined to be in the center of political conversation, whatever it’s about. That said, just about the only thing he hasn’t changed his tune on over the past couple years is lower minimum wages for tipped workers.
So while he may be taking a high road today, another day he’s sure to take the low road again — whatever gets him the attention he apparently needs. At least, until he carries out his May 29th, 2014 threat to retire from public life. But it’s always his own road, alone.
Here's a look back at the many positions of Dave Meinert on $15, tips, restaurant workers.
Meinert on data-gathering by pro-worker organizations
Claims that research by the Economic Opportunity Institute is “not concerned with facts” and links to “dubious sources”
Suggests that lots of data out there by pro-union groups is “intellectually dishonest”
Says he doesn't trust studies by groups that are supported by unions, asks for info from the Restaurant Association instead
Meinert on server wages and tip penalties
Claims servers make well over $15/hour in tips alone
Explains plan for tip penalty
Claims tipped workers make $25 - $45 per hour
Claims servers in Seattle get $10 - $35/hour in tips and argues for lower minimum wage for tipped workers
Claims that without tip penalties, server pay will fall (?) and that supporters of single universal minimum wage don’t understand how small business operates
Claims “tip credit works” & should be permanent
Meinert on $15
Claims $10.10 is more appropriate
Claims data supports $11.33, not $15
Claims $15 “will be a number for some places at some point”
Claims that raising wages to $15 is "crazy"
Claims that inflation-adjusted minimum wage would be $10.52/hour
Claims the number isn’t important.
Claims businesses will close with more than a 10% increase.
Proposes $12.50 with a tip penalty and calls it a “solid proposal”
Claims $15 figure came out of Hanauer’s ass
Claims “$10.68 tops” is appropriate level of minimum wage.
Claims he wants everyone to get $15 and single-payer healthcare
Argues $15 should only apply to business with $1 billion in sales
Proposes 3 year phase-in to $15 with $2.50 healthcare credit and tip penalty
Says he support $10 base wage + tip penalty
Claims we don't have a $15 wage.
Meinert on the Seattle law
Claims he’s been supporting $15 “for a long time” and that the Mayor’s proposal is better than the alternative
Claims "the process was a charade" full of "bad faith negotiating" and "political blackmail" and overseen by a mayoral staff that was exhibiting "either incompetence or intentional dishonesty," and... resulting in "a shit ordinance"
Claims the process was that "we sat in these long meetings and listened to a bunch of crap stuff put out by one-sided things and there was a moderator that kept us from debating about it basically.
Claims “he’s happy we got it done and raised the minimum wage” and that Seattle is a national leader.
Claims Income Inequality Advisory Committee was "rushed" through a process that was "dishonest, manipulative, or incompetent"
Tells radio reporter: "I wasn’t for the Seattle minimum wage rise. I think the way it was written was a mistake."
And Meinert gets reflective
Suggests the Walton family has more wealth than the bottom 40% because they’re smart
Claims raising wages too high & too quickly would be “doomsday” and close small businesses.
Advises Tacoma businesses “not to make grandiose statements” and threats over sick leave:
Claims “I obviously like to tackle tough issues. Publicly. Sometimes clumsily. But always honestly (to a fault)”