The Seattle Mayorâ€™s office coordinated with a Cal Berkeley economist toÂ manipulateÂ a study on the effects of a $15 minimum wageÂ forÂ maximum political benefit, according to emails obtained by the Employment Policies Institute (EPI).
A staffer for Democratic Mayor Ed Murray reached out to the Cal Berkeley economics department asking them to rush the release of aÂ study, released in June,Â that cast a positive light on Seattleâ€™s increased minimum wage ordinance.
The Berkeley studyâ€™s findings contradicted those of a then forthcoming University of Washington (UW)Â study, which found that Seattleâ€™s increased minimum wage had cost low-skill workers $179 per month and hurt employment numbers. Murrayâ€™s office also explicitly asked Berkeley economist Michael ReichÂ to remove all mentions of the UW studyÂ so as not to aid in its dissemination.Â (RELATED:Â CPS Claims Seattle Mayor Sexually Abused His Foster Son 30 Years Ago)
â€œLeave the critique of the UW study until later,â€ mayoral staffer Carlo Caldirola-Davis said in an email obtained by the EPIÂ through aÂ public records request. â€œThe release still calls out the UW study. Donâ€™t want your positive news to serve as a teaser for the UW study.â€
The obtained email exchange reveal Reich was cooperative, tailoringÂ the content of his study based on requests made by Murrayâ€™s office.
â€œI changed the UW references to be about their report from Nov. 2016. Is that OK? Could put them in a para. rather than as bullets. Or take them out altogether,â€ Reich said in an email.
Michael Saltsman of the EPIÂ said the email exchange undermines Reichâ€™s credibility as an academic and reveals the Berkeley economic teamâ€™s political bias.
â€œThese emails are further proof that the Berkeley team is motivated by ideology, not evidence,â€ Saltsman told theÂ Washington Free Beacon. â€œThe contrast with the University of Washington team is not a flattering one: While Berkeley rushed its results to meet a political timeline, the UW team took its time to solicit scholarly feedback to refine its results.â€
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