Monday wrap

Labor-state politics paved with gov't union gold ... SEIU's state council poured $13.8 million into campaigns and $10.2 million into lobbying. Other affiliated SEIU unions spent millions more. The California Teachers Association spent nearly $14 million on campaigns, on top of nearly $8 million on lobbying. "If you don't do politics, politics will do you," said California Teachers Association President David Sanchez. Instead, the big money has flown into independently run campaigns in which interests can spend without limits. Such spending has topped $110 million since 2001. Independent campaigns not only work to elect favorable candidates, they strike fear in sitting lawmakers that one wrong move could cost them their job. When facing powerful interests, former Democratic Sen. Sheila Kuehl said the political calculus for many members is as simple as it is crass: "If I piss off SEIU and I'm vulnerable and I need their help in a contested election – not just money but boots on the ground – then I'm going to think twice about crossing them." That fear, Kuehl emphasized, is not just of big unions such as SEIU, which says it represents 700,000 California workers, but every moneyed interest. (sacbee.com)

In case you missed it: The Union News weekend
Sunday: Collectivist speech thugs bag UPS, eye other Bigs
Saturday: Shameful SEIU dumbs democracy downward

Hateful union organizers have a long memory ... It's no wonder unions are against secret ballots. They are masters at intimidation. I worked for American Airlines for 40 years and saw the intimidation firsthand. In 1993, the flight attendants went on strike. Many did not want to strike but the union held "rallies" and told the rank and file they would be hated and treated as outsiders for years to come if they did not strike. It has been 16 years and their bullying tactics worked. Lists of flight attendants who worked during the strike are still circulated and the hate lives on. So with the union's great power to persuade, the Employee Free Choice Act would serve them very well. (dallasnews.com)

Unions termed 'gov't-sanctioned regulatory schemes', thus governed by pesky First Amendment ... Labor organizing has been one of the most contentious exercises in modern American history, often leading to violence and employee intimidation on both the management and union side. Demanding that workers state publicly (by checking "yes" or "no" on a card) whether they support unionization would involve real and immediate dangers of intimidation, and would deprive workers of their right to anonymous expression. The fact that individuals could refuse to sign a card is unavailing, since a refusal to choose, in this instance, is an effective no. Card-check supporters may argue that the activities of labor organizers, no matter how intimidating, involve purely private actions to which the Constitution's protections of free speech and association do not apply. However, the Supreme Court has recognized that certain government-sanctioned regulatory schemes can give associated private conduct the character of state or federal action, making the Constitution applicable. The presence of sufficient governmental action to require constitutional scrutiny can often be a fact-intensive inquiry. But when such mandatory legal consequences result from ostensibly private conduct, the courts would certainly be justified in concluding that the Constitution's requirements apply. Sanctioning -- and thereby promoting -- demands that employees publicly disclose how they feel about unionization clearly violates their First Amendment entitlement to vote and practice their speech privately. Significantly, unlike other cases in which such restrictions have been upheld, union organizers cannot articulate even a semblance of an offsetting First Amendment value. (wsj.com)

Community organizers get up in Rep. Tierney's face ... By organizing across the street from where Congressman John Tierney was holding a public meeting with constituents of his 6th District, the group drew plenty of attention, and that's just what they wanted. "We said let's do it when Congressman Tierney is going to be here so people in the district can see there are people in the district that really care about limited government and wasteful spending," said Breau from his perch in historic Brown Square. He and about 100 people hailing from Newburyport and cities as far away as Chelsea and Worcester hoped to deliver a message to the Democrats in control of the White House, the House of Representatives and the Senate. "Republicans got crushed in the last election," said Breau, "but wave elections happen the other way too." Breau was amazed that even in "Deep Blue Massachusetts," as he called it, the Republicans could muster a showing of that size on a Saturday afternoon. "It's amazing what people are willing to do," he said, still marveling over his own willingness to spend a Saturday holding signs on the corner of Green and Pleasant streets. (newburyportnews.com)

D.C. business-as-usual threatened by unified anti-socialists ... Around the nation a common banner is echoing from Tea Parties who are now uniting under the "1776 Tea Party," www.teaparty.org. An effort started by a retired Naval Officer who vowed to defend this nation against enemies foreign and now domestic. He has turned all guns to his enemies and has overcome seemingly insurmountable hardships. After 9/11, his battle group was the first to the fight, delivering the first blow to the Taliban in Afghanistan. Again, he was first to this fight, launching the "1776 Tea Party," and leading a lone charge to Washington that fell on deaf ears. Washington indifference, strengthen his resolve, that even a pesky little gnat could start a whirlwind and together Americans will make Washington restore the Constitution and American Families. As gnats around the nation gather Washington is taking notice and this outcry is more than a pep rally, but a Battle Cry. One that Washington better hear or face the consequences. (prweb.com)

Anti-socialist protests transcend partisan politics ... "I felt a responsibility, as a parent and as a citizen, to do something," said Bachand, who has a 9-year-old son. "I went to New York for a Tea Party protest in February and I met a lot of people who thought like me." She is now organizing a similar demonstration in New Haven on April 15, one of a number of tax day protests planned around the nation. Critics dismiss the phenomenon as little more than a sharply partisan attack on President Barack Obama and the Democrats. But the protesters say their cause represents something bigger: a collective yell of "I'm not going to take it anymore" from the American taxpayer. In Chicago, the protesters included a man with a bullhorn who was dressed as Samuel Adams. In Sacramento, some in the crowd carried signs that read "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death." And in St. Louis, an estimated 1,000 people stood on the steps of the Gateway Arch and tossed loose tea into the muddy waters of the Mississippi River. Ultimately, Bachand said, the Tea Parties aren't about party politics. "We want to have a real conversation about the direction of the country," she said. "I'm troubled by the bailouts. ... I'm personally opposed to any government intervention in private business."(courant.com)

Union-backed Rep. John Murtha: Capitalizing on Corruption ... "If I'm corrupt, it's because I take care of my district," Mr. Murtha said. "My job as a member of Congress is to make sure that we take care of what we see is necessary. Not the bureaucrats who are unelected over there in whatever White House, whether it's Republican or Democrat. Those bureaucrats would like to control everything. Every president would like to have all the power and not have Congress change anything. But we're closest to the people." That proximity, and his role in shaping Johnstown's economy, has raised the ire of reform groups and the persistent curiosity of prosecutors. Federal agents have subpoenaed records from a CTC subsidiary. In January, they raided Kuchera and carted away boxes of records. In suburban Washington, agents swarmed the offices of PMA Group, an influential lobbying group founded by Paul Magliocchetti, a former Appropriations defense staff member. Mr. Magliocchetti's firm lobbied for a number of companies that benefited from Mr. Murtha's earmarks, including CTC. In a conference room inside the Capitol, Mr. Murtha expounded for an hour on his theory of politics. Much of it, he said, consists of outwitting bureaucrats and stimulating economies. He cited the Obama administration's economic stimulus bill. "The stimulus package is the earmarks of the administration," he said. He praised lobbyists as people who get things done in the Capitol. "I have no idea why they're going after these lobbyists," he said. "Lobbyists play an important part. These forms that they have to fill out, the small companies, the small universities, the small corporations, the small hospitals, are complicated." (post-gazette.com)

Unions fight class war for workers against oppressive U.S. employers ... Organizers want Congress to help them intimidate their way to victory, because, as it is, too many workers are saying no to unions. Today just 7.6 percent of private-sector workers belong to unions. Only in government employment has unions’ representation been growing. Most Americans recognize that they will have more opportunity in a vibrant, growing economy than in the sort of calcified system favored by labor-union executives. This has long been the case: Even in organized labor’s glory years, it never played the leading political role in the U.S. that it achieved in Europe. The American economy always was more open and entrepreneurial. But union activists don’t get it. In organized labor’s view, if employees vote no — unions lose 40 percent of organizing elections — it must be a result of corporate perfidy. If you listen to the rhetoric of big-labor executives, you would think that American unions were battling Adolf Hitler’s Germany or Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union on behalf of human rights and individual liberty. For instance, the AFL-CIO declared that in America “workers still lack the freedom to form unions.” Apparently labor organizers are being hauled off in handcuffs, and workers are being tossed into the Gulag. (nationalreview.com)

Post-Constitutional Autopsy: Devo Democracy Keyed New Prog Era of Mob Rule ... “Pure democracy is the most vile form of government...such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention: have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property: and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.” – James Madison, Father of the US Constitution. The word Democracy does not appear in the Declaration of Independence or the United States Constitution...and for good reason. The United States is not a Democracy. It is a Constitutional Republic and it is essential that the American people understand this reality. If we continue to allow the untruth that the United States of America is a Democracy to flourish we invite the demise of our government and our nation; we invite the cessation of the American Experiment and doom future generations to a fate unknown. Over the course of our day-to-day activities we enjoy freedoms and liberties that have been established by our founding documents -- The Charters of Freedom. These documents consist of: The Declaration of Independence, The United States Constitution and The Bill of Rights. These documents established a Constitutional Republic; a nation, ruled by a government based on the rule of law, laws enacted by governmental representatives elected by the people. But as we exist today, many among us -- including many of the more popular pundits, political activists, special interest groups and even many elected officials -- erroneously refer to our system of government as a Democracy. In fact, our Founders and Framers understood a Democracy to be a dangerous vehicle that, given time, would devolve into mob rule or government by majority; a government where the minority had little or no voice; a government unrestrained in it reach into our lives. It is for this specific reason that the Founders and Framers established our nation as a Constitutional Republic; a nation based on the rule of law and not the rule of men. (enterstageright.com)

Corrupt union-backed carpetbagger set to take over Virginia ... There are two gubernatorial races in the nation this year under intense scrutiny by a national media determined to turn them into referendums on President Barack Obama. But there is another story here that merits serious attention – the potential Jersey-fication of Virginia by former Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman Terry McAuliffe, who hopes to become the Commonwealth’s next governor. McAuliffe has lived in McLean for years, but his brand of Democratic politics is pure Garden State. New Jersey has the highest state tax burden and third largest debt load in the country, plus a well-earned reputation for stem-to-stern political corruption. New Jersey is also Illinois’ sister state for political corruption: When ethics allegations forced former Rep. Robert Torricelli to abandon his 2002 Senate bid, he gave $10,000 to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, now accused of trying to sell Obama’s old Senate seat. Last year, half of the unprecedented $1.3 million Virginia Democrats took in from July to December came from labor union PACs. Last fall, the state party collected $50,000 from the Communications Workers of America, $200K from the Laborers Political League Education Fund, and $100,000 from the United Food and Commercial Workers. In Northern Virginia, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is organizing employees in Fairfax County; about 275 workers joined an SEIU affiliate fighting the proposed elimination of 500 county jobs. Last year, former prosecutor Robert Luskin told the New York Times: “For as long as we’re around, we’re going to have to fight a ground war [against union corruption] in New York and New Jersey.” If McAuliffe has his way, he’ll open another front in Virginia. (washingtonexaminer.com)

Obama Dems: We don't need no stinkin' Republicans ... Roadblocks. That's what Barack Obama has been encountering on the audacious path toward a European-style welfare state he has set out in his budget and other proposals. He continues to insist that America cannot enjoy real prosperity again without higher taxes on high earners, a government health insurance program, a cap-and-trade program that amounts to a tax on energy and the effective abolition of secret ballots in unionization elections. The fact that there are large Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress made it seem that the path was open. But roadblocks have started to appear. Card check would effectively abolish the secret ballot in unionization elections and impose unions on employers when union thugs — er, activists — persuaded a majority of workers to sign cards backing the union. And it would impose mandatory federal arbitration after 120 days of bargaining, so that for the first time federal arbitrators would set wages and working conditions without any guidelines. Setting up a welfare state is easier in European political systems, with their centralized governments and rigid parliamentary party discipline. American welfare state programs like Social Security and Medicare were set up and expanded step by step by very shrewd strategists operating over many years. Obama has the audacity to hope that he can jam things through with sizeable Democratic majorities at a time of economic crisis and uncertainty. But he has quickly encountered some roadblocks — and may yet encounter some more. (jewishworldreview.com)

Three of ten business leaders do not oppose forced-labor unionism ... With the economy leading all headlines, and a never-ending stream of opinion polls flowing daily, The O'Leary Report, in conjunction with Zogby International, conducted the first comprehensive survey of America's business leaders to see what they think of Obama's policies to date. The survey found that a clear majority of business leaders staunchly oppose the President's actions over the past two months. Question 4: The Employee Free Choice Act is a proposed bill that would effectively eliminate the secret ballot used by workers in deciding whether or not their plant, business, or small business should be unionized. Do you favor or oppose the bill? Seventy-two percent of business leaders oppose this bill, which Obama supports. Only 19 percent favor the bill, and 10 percent are not sure. (prnewswire.com)

Job-killers are getting it done ... Card check legislation may be stalling development here in Wisconsin, even before it's passed, reports the Eau Claire Leader Telegram. Proposed federal labor legislation has derailed a large Eau Claire County development, according to a local economic development official. The project - for which no name or description was given - would have brought a $50 million investment to Eau Claire County in the next five years, along with creating up to 800 full-time jobs, Brian Doudna, executive director of the Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corp., said in a news release Wednesday evening. Construction was expected to begin this year. The first employees were to begin work in early 2010, with about 100 new jobs being created. The project has been placed on hold indefinitely because of the Employee Free Choice Act, federal legislation that would require binding arbitration to resolve contract disputes and make it easier for workers to join unions. Doudna said if the bill is approved, the project will not occur - at least not in the U.S. (620wtmj.com)

International Collectivism

Chávez charms the enemies of his enemy ... Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is ready to provide the territory of his country for the provisional deployment of Russian warplanes. At the same time, Chávez is not willing to develop the cooperation with Russia in the field further on. China has been showing its interest in the region lately too. Chávez strives after Venezuela’s secure co-existence with the United States, and he is ready to balance between Russia and China to achieve his goal. The Venezuelan president has recently offered Russia to use his country for the provisional deployment of Russian strategic bombers. Chávez also denied the rumors about the creation of a permanent Russian air base in the country. He probably looked through the Constitution of Venezuela, which does not allow the deployment of any foreign army bases in the country. An army base in Venezuela would be quite a costly initiative, not to mention the fact that it would be absolutely pointless from the military point of view. A cruise missile would quickly hit strategic bombers at the moment when they prepare to start their engines. The political aspect is much more important here. (newsfromrussia.com)

Defiant Chávez pimps for Castro Bros. ... Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez questioned the exclusion of Cuba from the 5th Summit of The Americas to be held from April 17 to 19 in Trinidad and Tobago. Chávez confirmed his attendance to the meeting which will be attended by representatives from 34 countries of the Americas. He also reaffirmed the request of his government to include Cuba in the summit. Chávez said that South American and Caribbean countries can no longer accept impositions from the U.S. "This continent must be free!," he said and added that the Organization of American States (OAS), organizer of the summit, is not democratic. U.S. President Barack Obama "has moral obligation to suspend the embargo in Cuba. On our side, we only request respect for Venezuela. We will not kneel before anybody," Chávez said. (dominicantoday.com)

Clever Lebanese Communists change party label to 'independent' ... Secretary General of the Lebanese Communist Party (LCP) Khaled Hadadeh told the Voice of Lebanon radio station on Sunday that both the March 14 and Mach 8 alliances safeguarded Lebanon's sectarian system. "If they conspire to enhance the sectarian system, they would wage a new civil war after one year," he added. Hadadeh also said that the March 14 alliance had not lived up to LCP's aspirations and added that the March 8 coalition announced it would not launch a united electoral program. "For such reasons," he said, "the Communist party would run as an independent party in the elections." He said his party rejected any attempt to impose restrictions or conditions on its nominated candidates. He also rejected the concept of keeping the Resistance within the hands of one party, and called for coordination to establish a "joint political plan to define Lebanon's enemy." (dailystar.com.lb)

The new economics explained

Marxist-Leninist unions lobby G-20 ... This Monday, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) released a "London Declaration" that focuses on five key policy recommendations for the G-20. The introduction to the declaration states: "Workers around the world, who are losing their jobs and their homes, are the innocent victims of this crisis: a crisis precipitated by greed and incompetence in the financial sector, but which is underpinned by the policies of privatisation, liberalisation and labour market deregulation of recent decades. The effects of these policies—stagnating wages, cuts in social protection, erosion of workers' rights, increased precarious work, and financialisation—have combined to increase inequality and vulnerability ... When our economies begin to recover there can be no return to 'business as usual'. The crisis must mark the end of an ideology of unfettered financial markets, where self-regulation has been exposed as a fraud and greed has overridden rational judgement to the detriment of the real economy. A new national and global regulatory architecture needs to be built, which restores financial markets to their primary function of ensuring stable and cost-effective financing of productive investment in the real economy. Beyond this, there is a need to establish a new model of economic development that is economically efficient, socially just and environmentally sustainable. It must bring to an end the policies that have generated massive inequality over the past two decades." (dollarsandsense.org)
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