11/16/08

Union secret-ballot news - Nov. 16

Bookmark Secret-Ballot News posts: herecard-check: hereEFCA: here

Stories-of-the-day concerning Organized Labor's #1 priority.






Too bad that working people do not benefit ... SEIU is a Marxist Political Machine posing as a Labor Union. SEIU takes membership dues and wages world revolution. It’s President in Andy Stern is poised, with the aid of the kittenish Democratic Leadership, to emasculate real Trades Unions through SEIU’s destruction of the ‘secret ballot’ and Card Check Legislation. (cdobs.com)

Leftist politicians set to deliver workers to unions ... Businesses and workers should be alarmed by the prospect of the enactment of the Employee Free Choice Act, sometimes called, "card check," which would, in union elections, end the secret ballot. The secret ballot is something Americans hold dear and is necessary for a healthy democracy. This would greatly strengthen the hand of labor unions, a core constituency of leftist politicians. It would also hurt the freedom of employees who oppose unions and may be subject to intimidation. (washingtontimes.com)

Obama Labor Agenda Transcends Card-Check ... Obama also is calling for new legislation banning the use of permanent replacements for striking workers. A ban on replacement workers would be as, or if not more, controversial than card check because it would effectively neutralize most employers’ ability to block potentially crippling strikes. Most employers try to be fair with their employees’ unions, figuring the bill for strife is usually the same or higher than meeting contract demands. However, as in the case of card check, which allows unions to organize workers into a union without an on-site vote supervised by the National Labor Relations Board, a number of employers have preferred confrontation. Card check and striker replacement legislation are basically efforts by the AFL-CIO and other unions to punish employers for abusing the existing system. The unions also might even ask for bolder legislation that would prohibit employers from bringing in outside consultants to organize anti-union campaigns. Obama’s agenda, however, is even broader than card check and striker replacement. (theoaklandpress.com)

Stealth labor campaigns coming to RTW states ... SEIU President Andy Stern claims EFCA could quickly add up to 20 million new union members. While this may be good news for unions and the politicians they influence through campaign donations obtained from union-membership dues, the outlook for the rest of us is much more grim. Unionization results in lower productivity, lower job growth and lower wage growth. Unionization causes business relocation to more business-friendly environments. States such as Texas have benefited from remaining a right-to-work state. Coupled with the state's favorable tax laws, Texas remains an attractive place for businesses to locate. EFCA will change that, as unions infiltrate all types of businesses, including hotels, restaurants, auto dealerships and hospitals. Texas will become a less favorable place for businesses to locate, and without domestic union-free safe havens, business relocation and outsourcing to foreign countries will increase. (chron.com)

Obama's Job-Killer Act ... opponents call it the forced choice act, arguing the legislation would give labor a disproportionately heavy hand in organizing - would bring sweeping change to the 73-year-old National Labor Relations Act. It would spell hope for labor and anathema to many business interests. "This battle will be a firestorm," said Randel Johnson, vice president of labor policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (sfgate.com)

Secret ballot is essential ... Gone would be the secret ballot in which you can vote in private without the fear of intimidation or retaliation from the union or management. They just stare you down, hand you the card and watch you vote. I don't care if you are a Democrat or a Republican, the secret ballot is sacred! We fly around the world promoting it and send election officials to the corners of the globe to protect it. I certainly believe that our own work force deserves as much! (billingsgazette.net)

Pro-union Denver Post now wants it both ways ... Obama and the Democratic majority should resist the urge to pay off organized labor by passing the divisive and unnecessary law known as "card check." If Obama or congressional Democrats now put a card-check bill high on their agenda, they will risk a "Ritter moment" that would damage their relations with moderates and the business community. That's what happened to Gov. Bill Ritter in 2007 when a bill gutting long-standing rules limiting "union shops" in the Colorado Peace Act hurtled through the legislature with little public input. (denverpost.com)

Related video: "Employee Forced Choice Act"

Workers are smart enough to choose

Related story: "The 28 labor-states" • More worker-choice stories: here

But federal and state laws promote 'no choice' labor unionism

Along with the rest of the nation, Pennsylvania is struggling to rebound from the recent economic turmoil. Unfortunately, being a compulsory union state puts the Commonwealth at a marked disadvantage.

Twenty-two states have a right-to-work law, protecting their workers from being coerced to join a union as a condition of employment. But Pennsylvania denies the right to reject union membership and dues payments, marginalizing workers and businesses across the state.

The benefits of living in a right-to-work state are manifold: these states typically have higher rates of growth in employment, personal income, and population.

Compared to right-to-work states, Pennsylvania and other compulsory union states rank consistently lower across several economic indicators (the Commonwealth ranks lower than even other non-right-to-work states).

The job markets in right-to-work states demonstrate remarkable growth relative to Pennsylvania, as shown by the graph above. Pennsylvania has also experienced a rise in personal income growth drastically slower than that of right-to-work states.

Contrary to myths promulgated by advocates of compulsory unionism, residents of right-to-work states have higher average incomes (adjusting for cost of living) than those in forced unionism states.

Right-to-work states have also seen higher rates of growth in per-capita income from 2002-2007.

With compulsory unionism and a state and local tax burden in Pennsylvania well above the national average, it is no wonder people are moving out of the state to more promising and prosperous ones.

According to the U.S. Census, Pennsylvania lost 28,000 net residents to other states from 2000-2006. United Van Lines classifies Pennsylvania as a high “outbound” state, meaning more moves out of the state than into it.

In 2007, 57 percent of shipments were moves out of Pennsylvania. In contrast, right-to-work states are experiencing a population influx as residents find their stronger economies appealing.

Pennsylvania can become prosperous again, but a few changes must be made to the way the state treats businesses, employers, and workers.

First, Pennsylvania needs to enact a right-to-work law, which would free all employees from union intimidation. It would also allow workers to keep more of their hard-earned money, rather than being subject to forced, automatic dues deductions. Second, the growth of government spending, regulation, and taxation must be lowered. These steps will help make Pennsylvania an attractive place to live and work once more.

- Jessica Runk is a research associate with the Commonwealth Foundation, an independent, nonprofit public policy research and educational institute based in Harrisburg.

(pottstownmercury.com)

ACORN's bad actor: Wade Rathke

Related: "ACORN crime covered-up by Drummond Pike"
More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud: hereWade Rathke: here

Co-founder of union-backed voter- and social justice fraud group also founded SEIU

They're dispensing big dollops of hand sanitizer at ACORN these days. But it's doubtful that any anti-bacterial agent can kill the infection that's raging through the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

ACORN is being investigated by the federal government and is suspected of perpetuating a massive nationwide voter registration fraud. But before all those nuts hit the fan, ACORN had a giant internal scandal: Founder Wade Rathke kept from the group's board the fact that his brother, Dale, had embezzled more than $1 million from ACORN a decade ago.

Once revealed, ACORN named an interim management committee to investigate. But when accountants refused to open the books, several board members on that committee sued. Now, CNN reports that two board members -- Karen Inman and Marcel Reid -- have been fired.

ACORN says the pair was speaking untruths and had no authority to go to court. Ms. Inman bluntly says "the sheriff's coming."

The ACORN mess is so serious that a prominent benefactor has balked at supporting the group. The Catholic Campaign for Human Development, which has given ACORN more than $7 million in the last decade, froze contributions in June, CNN reports. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops last week severed all ties because of the growing scandals.

Alleged fraud. Hidden embezzlement. Firing those impaneled to investigate. It's time for the feds to step up their probe of ACORN.

- The Editors

(pittsburghlive.com)

Our bipartisan federal socialism

More collectivism stories: here

Conservatives Who Cry 'Socialism' Should Acknowledge Role They've Played In What Government Has Become

Conservatism's current intellectual chaos reverberated in the Republican ticket's end-of-campaign crescendo of surreal warnings that big government — verily, "socialism" — would impend were Democrats elected.

John McCain and Sarah Palin experienced this epiphany when Barack Obama told a Toledo plumber that he would "spread the wealth around." America can't have that, exclaimed the Republican ticket while Republicans — whose prescription drug entitlement is the largest expansion of the welfare state since President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society gave birth to Medicare in 1965; a majority of whom in Congress supported a lavish farm bill at a time of record profits for the less than 2% of the American people-cum-corporations who farm — and their administration were partially nationalizing the banking system, putting Detroit on the dole and looking around to see if some bit of what is smilingly called "the private sector" has been inadvertently left off the ever-expanding list of entities eligible for a bailout from the $1 trillion or so that is to be "spread around."

The seepage of government into everywhere is, we are assured, to be temporary and nonpolitical. Well.

Probably as temporary as New York City's rent controls, which were born as emergency responses to the Second World War, and which are still distorting the city's housing market.

The Depression, which FDR failed to end but which Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor did end, was the excuse for agriculture subsidies that have lived past three score years and 10.

The distribution of a trillion dollars by a political institution — the federal government — will be nonpolitical? How could it be? Either markets allocate resources, or government — meaning politics — allocates them.

Now that distrust of markets is high, Americans are supposed to believe that the institution they trust least — Congress — will pony up $1 trillion and then passively recede, never putting its 10 thumbs, like a manic Jack Horner, into the pie?

Surely Congress will direct the executive branch to show compassion for this, that and the other industry. And it will mandate "socially responsible" spending — an infinitely elastic term — by the favored companies.

Detroit has not yet started spending the $25 billion that Congress has approved, but already is, like Oliver Twist, holding out its porridge bowl and saying, "Please, sir, I want some more."

McCain and Palin, plucky foes of spreading the wealth, must have known that such spreading is most what Washington does. Here, the Constitution is an afterthought; the supreme law of the land is the principle of concentrated benefits and dispersed costs.

Sugar import quotas cost the American people approximately $2 billion a year, but that sum is siphoned from 300 million consumers in small, hidden increments that are not noticed. The few thousand sugar producers on whom billions are thereby conferred do notice and are grateful to the government that bilks the many for the enrichment of the few.

Conservatives rightly think, or once did, that much, indeed most, government spreading of wealth is economically destructive and morally dubious — destructive because, by directing capital to suboptimum uses, it slows wealth creation; morally dubious because the wealth being spread belongs to those who created it, not government.

But if conservatives call all such spreading by government "socialism," that becomes a classification that no longer classifies: It includes almost everything, including the refundable tax credit on which McCain's health care plan depended.

Hyperbole is not harmless; careless language bewitches the speaker's intelligence. And falsely shouting "socialism!" in a crowded theater such as Washington causes an epidemic of yawning. This is the only major industrial society that has never had a large socialist party ideologically, meaning candidly, committed to redistribution of wealth.

This is partly because Americans are an aspirational, not an envious people. It is also because the socialism we do have is the surreptitious socialism of the strong, e.g. sugar producers represented by their Washington hirelings.

In America, socialism is un-American. Instead, Americans merely do rent-seeking —bending government for the benefit of private factions. The difference is in degree, including the degree of candor. The rehabilitation of conservatism cannot begin until conservatives are candid about their complicity in what government has become.

As for the president-elect, he promises to change Washington. He will, by making matters worse. He will intensify rent-seeking by finding new ways — this will not be easy — to expand, even more than the current administration has, government's influence on spreading the wealth around.

- George F. Will

(ibdeditorials.com)

Gov't unions in taxpayer face-off

More AFSCME stories: hereMore union-dues stories: here

AFSCME dues hit in Ohio foreshadows national trend in 2009

Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner's proposed 2009 operating budget, which he revealed last night, will mean deep cuts across the city in order to deal with what he called a "horrific economic storm" that has battered nearly every American city.

Under the proposed spending plan, the city next year would hire no firefighters or police, layoff about 40 employees, and close all but one of its public pools. Mr. Finkbeiner acknowledged that the city's residents and employees will have to make sacrifices next year.

He even promised to reach into his own pocket and cut his $136,000 salary by 15 percent.

"For five years now, we have been under siege in terms of having to shear from the budget, but up to this day, Toledoans have not found themselves inconvenienced," Mr. Finkbeiner said.

That is going to change. His budget proposal calls for:•Making 40 layoffs across all departments except police and fire to save $2.54 million.

•Eliminating 36 vacant jobs to save $2.6 million.

IN THE CROSSHAIRS

Among the budget cuts:

• 40 layoffs across all departments except police and fire.

• Canceling police cadet and firefighter classes.

• Granting no pay raises for city employees, except for Teamsters Local 20. Those employees will get a 3 percent pay increase as a result of arbitration for 2009.

• Closing all city pools except Detwiler Pool and the splash pad at Savage Park.

• Reducing funding for the city’s criminal justice program and Toledo Municipal Court by $2.3 million.

• 15 percent cut from the mayor’s salary of $136,000.
•Canceling planned police cadet and new firefighter classes to save $5.3 million.

•Granting no pay raises for any city employee, except for Teamsters Local 20, the union representing trash collectors. Those employees will get a 3 percent pay increase as a result of arbitration for 2009.

•Requiring, through contract negotiations, health insurance co-payments from all city employees.

•Closing all city pools except Detwiler Pool and the splash pad at Savage Park, both of which will be paid through the Toledo CityParks Fund trust.

•Making changes to refuse collection to cut overtime and by deploying more automated garbage trucks in September.

•Shutting down all nonessential business for four days.

•Reducing funding for the city's criminal justice program and Toledo Municipal Court by $2.3 million.

Robert Reinbolt, the mayor's chief of staff, said the cutbacks are not optional.

He said the Finkbeiner administration would not agree to any contracts that do not reflect the needed cost-savings - which include the pay freezes, medical premium co-payments, and pension pickups.

Don Czerniak, president of American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 7, which represents about 900 employees, was unsure last night what kind of reaction the proposed budget would get from union members.

"If it came out there would be massive layoffs and the city was going down the toilet and there was proof that would happen, I believe the city employees would come forward," Mr. Czerniak said.

The austere proposed budget of $249,369,853 is a decrease in spending of 1.86 percent over the 2008 budget of $254,098,770.

City Finance Director John Sherburne said the city would have to increase spending next year by 5.6 percent just to maintain the same level of services and jobs as they existed in 2008.

Doing so was dismissed early on as impossible given the worsening economy and shrinking revenue from incomes taxes and other sources, he said.

Income tax collection, which represents more than 66 percent of the revenue supporting the general fund, is projected to drop from $173.2 million to $169.6 million - the same amount collected in 2007.

The mayor's proposed budget also requires the city to use $2 million of its $6.4 million rainy-day fund; continue the city's refuse collection fee to generate $4.7 million, and operate red-light cameras to bring in $2.58 million from tickets.

Regarding the criminal justice program, the budget leaves funding for security for the municipal courthouse unchanged from last year at $1.9 million, but allocates nothing for public defenders or hospital services. There will be funding cutbacks for pretrial services and pretrial detention.

Mr. Finkbeiner said the municipal court judges and the clerk of court are being asked to slash their budgets by 5 percent.

"No one should consider that they can have the same number of people that they have had in years past," the mayor said. "Even in the utilities departments, the enterprise funds that make money - we expect them to prune."

Mr. Reinbolt said the city is negotiating with Lucas County to pay for public defenders.

The proposed budget book was delivered to members of Toledo City Council beginning at 9 p.m. yesterday.

The mayor is required by charter to issue a budget estimate by Nov. 15 each year. Council must vote on the general fund budget by March 31.

Councilman Frank Szollosi said he was grateful voters last year approved a charter amendment requiring the mayor to balance the budget.

The 2007 budget proposal went to council with a built-in $10.6 million deficit.

He does not want a repeat of last year when council was given a budget proposal for 2008 but did not approve the plan until March 25.

"Here at least we are getting the tough news early," Mr. Szollosi said. "I would have preferred last year to spread the pain over 12 months by passing the budget in early January. Now we have an opportunity to roll up our sleeves and figure out a way to stop the hemorrhaging."

Judge Timothy Kuhlman, the Municipal Court's presiding judge, said he was unsure how his budget could be cut 5 percent and if that would include forced costs such as building repairs and utilities.

"We are as thin as we can get and when I say I am willing to work with them, I am not saying I am sure how we will make any significant savings," Judge Kuhlman said.

The Toledo Municipal Court judges on Friday were given authority by the Ohio 6th District Court of Appeals to order city officials to give them more money for security for 2008.

City officials first announced possible cuts to the court's funding during the 2008 budget process late last year. The Finkbeiner administration wanted to save money by hiring part-time security instead of contracting with the Lucas County Sheriff's Office.

"We understand the city has significant budget issues and we understand we are a significant part of the budget," Judge Kuhlman said. "Part-time security officers are not the way to do it - it's not safe."

Mr. Finkbeiner also has to balance the 2008 general fund budget by cutting up to $10 million. The budget ran into the red this year from a number of sluggish revenue sources, including income taxes not meeting expectations.

(toledoblade.com)

Stealth labor campaigns coming to RTW states

More worker-choice stories: here

Get ready to meet the 'no-choice' union organizers

One of the Obama administration's first legislative priorities will be the passage of the so-called Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). Once EFCA becomes law, unionization will no longer be a concern primarily for employers in the industrial Midwest. Instead, unionization will be thrust upon right-to-work states such as Texas. EFCA is not just bad policy. It will end this state's competitive advantage as a low-tax, union-free environment that encourages businesses to locate here and provide jobs for Texans.

Under current law, unions must win a secret-ballot election, in which employees cast their choice for or against union representation in a voting booth without anyone looking over their shoulder. These elections are designed to ensure a truly free choice and eliminate coercive pressure from either side.

EFCA will eliminate employees' right to secret ballot elections in favor of a "card check" system, whereby a union will be installed as the workers' representative if a mere majority of the employees simply sign cards indicating that they favor the union. The card check system will be conducted by the union itself, free from supervision. This will allow unions to more easily influence employees through peer pressure and other forms of coercion. Intimidated employees may sign cards, even though they do not actually desire union representation.

Millions of employees will be disenfranchised overnight. Union organizers will "cherry pick" the employees they think likeliest to sign, and many employees who might have voiced persuasive opposition to unionization will never be contacted and will never even know they are about to become union members until the process is over.

Labor's stealth campaigns will also delay management's notice of the union activity. Current law allows employers time to communicate their views about unionization and the benefits of remaining union-free, but card check drives will be over before employers know they exist.

The result will be increasingly successful union campaigns. In the first half of 2008, under the current secret ballot system, unions won almost 67 percent of private-sector campaigns. In the relatively few instances where businesses have already agreed to a card-check process, the union win rate is nearly 100 percent.

Currently, once a union is certified as the employees' representative, the employer must meet with the union and negotiate in good faith as to the terms of the labor contract. Neither side is required to make concessions that are against its best interests, and there is no set timeframe to reach an agreement.

Under EFCA, if management and a newly certified union cannot agree upon a contract within 90 days, mandatory and binding arbitration will be required. An arbitrator, who is likely to know nothing about the employer's business, will impose the terms of the "contract." The arbitrator's decision will be binding for two years.

The 90-day timetable is entirely unrealistic. The process of negotiating a first contract is a complex and daunting task. Arbitration will provide a "quick fix." Moreover, because of the two-year binding requirement, if the employer does not like the arbitrator's terms, or worse, cannot make them economically viable, it will have little if any recourse.

This system will be unworkable. Management will have no bargaining power. Unions will have little incentive to accept management's first proposal and can run out the clock, waiting for mandatory arbitration. Management may simply accede to unreasonable union demands, just to avoid the costly arbitration process.

EFCA will dramatically increase penalties for violating employees' rights to organize a union. Employers will be fined up to $20,000 for each "willful" or "repeated" violation of employees' rights in a union campaign or in bargaining for an initial contract.

Faced with the prospect of heavy fines, management may be less willing to risk mounting opposition. The result will be a chilling effect over management efforts to stay union free.

Service Employees International Union President Andy Stern claims EFCA could quickly add up to 20 million new union members. While this may be good news for unions and the politicians they influence through campaign donations obtained from union-membership dues, the outlook for the rest of us is much more grim.

Unionization results in lower productivity, lower job growth and lower wage growth. Unionization causes business relocation to more business-friendly environments. States such as Texas have benefited from remaining a right-to-work state. Coupled with the state's favorable tax laws, Texas remains an attractive place for businesses to locate.

EFCA will change that, as unions infiltrate all types of businesses, including hotels, restaurants, auto dealerships and hospitals. Texas will become a less favorable place for businesses to locate, and without domestic union-free safe havens, business relocation and outsourcing to foreign countries will increase.

Gagnon is an attorney in the Houston office of Fisher & Phillips LLP, a law firm that represents employers nationwide in all phases of labor and employment law.

(chron.com)

Obama Labor Agenda Transcends Card-Check

Promises to keep

A lot of business people are more than willing to give the president-elect the benefit of the doubt. Obama, while he’s certain to shift the direction of the economy toward more regulation and government intervention, has made a point to trying to reach out to businessmen.

The president-elect also has shown that he is more than willing to listen to different points of views and will to have his mind changed on key points. In addition, last time I looked there was still a lot of business being done in Barack Obama’s hometown of Chicago, and the business community in the Windy City doesn’t seem to have had a lot of complaints about Obama.

However, the one issue that scares businesses of all sizes about Obama is his close ties to labor unions.

Indeed, ever since Obama secured the Democratic nomination, the expectation has grown among union’s such as the United Auto Workers, the United Steel Workers and the Teamsters that Obama was prepared to tackle organized unions’ most pressing concerns.

On his campaign Web site, Obama openly embraced the card check legislation, which is supposed to make it easier for workers to organize unions.

“Obama and (Vice President-elect Joe) Biden believe that workers should have the freedom to choose whether to join a union without harassment or intimidation from their employers. Obama co-sponsored and is a strong advocate for the Employee Free Choice Act, a bipartisan effort to assure that workers can exercise their right to organize. He will continue to fight for EFCA’s passage and sign it into law,” according to the site.

Obama also is calling for new legislation banning the use of permanent replacements for striking workers. A ban on replacement workers would be as, or if not more, controversial than card check because it would effectively neutralize most employers’ ability to block potentially crippling strikes.

Most employers try to be fair with their employees’ unions, figuring the bill for strife is usually the same or higher than meeting contract demands.

However, as in the case of card check, which allows unions to organize workers into a union without an on-site vote supervised by the National Labor Relations Board, a number of employers have preferred confrontation.

Card check and striker replacement legislation are basically efforts by the AFL-CIO and other unions to punish employers for abusing the existing system.

The unions also might even ask for bolder legislation that would prohibit employers from bringing in outside consultants to organize anti-union campaigns.

Obama’s agenda, however, is even broader than card check and striker replacement.

“Obama has fought the Bush National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) efforts to strip workers of their right to organize. He is a cosponsor of legislation to overturn the NLRB’s “Kentucky River” decisions classifying hundreds of thousands of nurses, construction, and professional workers as “supervisors who are not protected by federal labor laws,” stated the Obama Web site.

Obama also promised during the campaign to raise the minimum wage, index it to inflation and increase the Earned Income Tax Credit to make sure that full-time workers earn a living wage that allows them to raise families and pay for basic needs.

All in all, that’s a pretty daunting agenda to get around a potential filibuster by Senate Republicans, who are still led by Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky — a longtime and vociferous foe of unions. Plus, there are Democrats from Southern states who probably aren’t big fans of labor law reform.

The conservative media such as talk radio has already come out against the union agenda.

In addition, while they have enormous expectations, the unions themselves haven’t exactly made an effective case for labor law reform in the court of public opinion.

Organized labor’s ability to reach out to broader public also has atrophied over the past two decades. The lack of effective public outreach and communications strategy has actually undermined union members around Detroit and elsewhere caught up in the sweeping economic changes.

The coming fight over labor reform, along with the bailout of Michigan’s auto industry, could wind up defining Obama’s opening act as president.

- Joseph Szczesny

(theoaklandpress.com)

Catholics halt payments for social-justice fraud

Related: "ACORN crime covered-up by Drummond Pike"
More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud: hereWade Rathke: here

Co-founder of union-backed voter- and social justice fraud group also founded SEIU

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, also known as ACORN, will lose about $1 million it was to have received from a Catholic relief organization. The Catholic Campaign for Human Development supports anti-poverty and social justice programs nationwide.

The decision was made following claims that nearly $1 million had been embezzled from ACORN by the brother of its founder. Word of the grant being pulled came from Auxiliary Bishop Robert Morin of New Orleans. Morin says forensic accountants hired by the church found that its funds were not involved "with those that had been embezzled."

ACORN's founder (Wade Rathke) has defended allowing his brother to make restitution privately, saying that getting law enforcement involved could have risked ACORN's financial ruin.

ACORN has made headlines recently for completing a massive registration drive in poor and working-class neighborhoods. Critics questioned its registration practices.

(540wfla.com)
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