The Louisiana construction industry expects 2010 to bring a bonanza in federal recovery projects. But many New Orleans contractors fear new rules instituted by the Obama administration will open the door to organized labor and shut out nonunion contractors.
Speaking in September before the AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention in Pittsburgh, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis made clear where the administration stands on project labor agreements, which call for awarding contracts to unionized firms for large federally funded projects.
“We know that they are a win-win, good for workers and for contractors,” Solis said. “Project labor agreements improve the economy and efficiency of construction projects. We have been working very hard at (the Department of Labor) with Vice President Biden and the Middle Class Task Force to ensure that project labor agreements are really encouraged and used.”
Angela Latino-Geier, president and CEO of the New Orleans chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors Inc., sees the push for PLAs as a potential job and recovery killer.
“We’ve been free of labor activity like this for over eight years, and now we’re starting to see it coming back more and more,” Latino-Geier said. “The more regulations and restrictions in place, the higher the cost of projects and the more difficult it will be for smaller contractors to get work. The lack of progress we’ve made in rebuilding could be worsened by these efforts.”
When President Bush took office in 2001, he signed an executive order banning the use of PLAs on federal and federally funded construction projects.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its finding that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health and welfare and therefore must be regulated under the Clean Air Act. Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) announced that it will file suit in federal court to overturn the endangerment finding on the grounds that EPA has ignored major scientific issues, including those raised recently in the Climategate fraud scandal.(from kpbj.com)
“EPA is clinging for dear life to the notion that the global climate models are holding up,” said Sam Kazman, CEI general counsel. “In reality, those models are about to sink under the growing weight of evidence that they are fabrications.”
Pranking government-forced poverty
A Political Action Committee tied to Rep. Alan Mollohan, D-W.Va., has been suffering ever since the Department of Justice began an investigation into the Congressman’s activities in 2006.(from westvirginia.watchdog.org)
According to the July 2009 quarterly report, Mollohan’s Summit PAC had only $234 in cash on hand and listed a $1,255 debt. Only the July quarterly report was available with no reports filed for April or October on the Federal Elections Commission website. That’s an 88 percent decrease from the July 2008 quarterly report, which showed $1,958.47 in cash on hand and no debts.
Mollohan earmark scam exposed
West Virginia Watchdog Steve Allen Adams has uncovered another wrinkle in Rep. Alan Mollohan's earmark-based fiefdom - companies that rent office space in the office park named after the Democrat congressman not only have to write that monthly check, they also pay hefty campaign donations to you know who.(from Mark Tapscott's Copy Desk at washingtonexaminer.com)
Adams used a Google Map search function to determine that at least 29 firms are currently officing in either the Alan B. Mollohan Innovation Center or the West Virginia High Technology Consortium Center. The Google Map search confirmed the accuracy of a tenants list compiled by Roll Call's Paul Singer. So far, Adams has found more than $38,000 in 2009 campaign donations to Mollohan from tenants.
ACORN is no stranger to shady lobbying practices. Months before GOP investigators on the House Oversight and Government Committee revealed that ACORN appears to be lobbying illegally in Delaware, a former ACORN employee alleged ACORN violated federal lobbying laws.
The ex-ACORN employee, Ron Sykes, said that Citizens Consulting Inc. (CCI), the shadowy financial nerve center of the ACORN network, filed false lobbying disclosure reports with Congress.
This is important because, as former ACORN national board member Charles Turner said earlier this year on “The Glenn Beck Program,” CCI “is where the shell game begins.”
“ACORN has over 200 different entities that the money gets moved around to – for this purpose to that purpose, this organization to that organization,” said Turner. “We believe the way the money has been moved around, they’ve been laundering money.”
• Summary of Saul Alinsky's 'Rules for Radicals'
• More Saul Alinsky stories: here
• 'Rules for Radicals' at amazon.com
For the probably thousands of Delawareans who recently received Christmas cards from the vice president and his extended family (virtually everyone in the newsroom did), there's a couple things that jump out.(from delawareonline.com)
First is the disclaimer on the back that tells the receiver of "joy" and "peace" that the card wasn't paid for by a Biden. It was paid for by the Democratic National Committee. And the card isn't considered a card at all, actually, it's a "communication" that "was not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee."
Not a very holidayish slogan for your holiday card. But the most glaring omission from the card, something no god-fearing Democrat in Delaware would let happen, is the union printing bug. New Castle County Council President Paul Clark's Christmas card has the union bug on the front. Tacky, to be sure, but at least it's there.
The vice president has no union bug on his card. But lest you think Vice President Biden has lost his collective union mind, the card does have the logo of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. No mom and pop union shop for the veep. Go Teamsters!
Ever wish you could sit down and have a debate about the effectiveness of the teachers’ unions? I sure have and lo and behold, my wish has been granted. I have been selected to take part in an Oxford style debate titled, “DON’T BLAME TEACHERS UNIONS FOR OUR FAILING SCHOOLS” in NY in March 2010.(from Larry Sand at neaexposed.com)
My teammates will be Terry Moe of the Hoover Institution and former U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige. On the union side, AFT President Randi Weingarten has been locked in with two other participants to be named later.
It will be telecast by Bloomberg TV, broadcast by NPR and given plenty of ink by Newsweek. For more information, please go to: