Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Eureka Reporter's Erroneous Editorial Against Living Wage

Tom Sebourn, KGOE News
Transcript of April 1, 2008 Newscast

The Eureka Reporter has come out against a petition by Bill Holmes of Eureka that would phase in a higher minimum wage for the City of Eureka to ten dollars an hour.

In the paper’s March 28th editorial page, The Eureka Reporter erroneously says that the federal minimum wage was raised to eight dollars an hour. Federal Minimum Wage was $5.15 an hour for nearly a decade until it was raised last July to $5.85 an hour. The editorial by the paper says that minimum wage jobs by and large are not held by people who expect to feed a family over an extended period on a minimum wage. The California Budget Project at says that as of 2004, 56.3% of California workers who earned within a dollar of the minimum wage were age 20 or older and worked at least 35 hours per week.

In the editorial, The Eureka Reporter’s editorial pages editor Peter Hannaford confused the State of California minimum wage with the federal minimum wage. Peter Hannaford is a senior consultant with APCO Worldwide, whose clients have included the New York Stock Exchange, General Motors, CitiBank and 3M. Peter Hannaford was briefly the chair of the 2004 incarnation of the Committee on the Present Danger, a Cold War-era group first founded in 1950 and re-formed in 1976 to push for larger defense budgets and arms build-ups to counter the Soviet Union. You can find more about Peter Hannaford by doing a Google search.

With his impressive background, its hard to believe that Mr. Hannaford would write an editorial about the minimum wage and not know the difference between the federal minimum wage and the state of California’s minimum wage. For KGOE News, I’m Tom Sebourn.