AFL-CIO shortens its leash on labor-state lawmakers

As if getting practically everything they asked for from the Democratic leadership in the last legislative session wasn’t enough. Oh no, the Oregon AFL-CIO now shows they are still thirsty for more power and dominance by creating a new “method” of forcing legislators to sing solidarity at every possible whim.

They claim it is a “new and more complicated methodology to rate legislators” providing a “full picture of support” for the labor movement. Rather than the usual voting record scorecard, they give “points” to those legislators who tow the labor line with sponsorships, committee hearings, testimony and even walking the picket line. It appears they will deduct points from a legislator for not only voting against the labor agenda, but for also looking at them funny. So, basically if you don’t lay down on the tracks whenever union chief Tom Chamberlain snaps his fingers, you get points deducted. And naturally, none of the breakdowns on each legislator is made available to the public.

There is really no rhyme or reason to their new “methodology.” It appears to be just another opportunity for labor to punish any legislator for bringing common sense to the bargaining table.


City Council member puts unions first

San Jose's building inspectors have been refusing since last week to show up at work. City Councilwoman Nora Campos quietly has been following suit.

Campos, who as a girl marched with her parents alongside farmworker activist Cesar Chavez, hasn't been to City Hall since Wednesday, the day before dozens of workers formed a picket line in front of the downtown tower amid a dispute over disciplinary policies.

"It is a value system that is instilled in me," said Campos, who has been working from home and convening staff meetings at Starbucks. "I continue to honor picket lines. The fact that there is one at City Hall is no different than if there were a picket line for all workers."

City Hall is buzzing over how long Campos, perhaps labor's strongest ally on the city council, will honor the strikers. Some say her move has raised the stakes in the standoff.

And at least one fellow council member is blasting Campos. "We still have a city to run," said Councilman Pete Constant. "We have a responsibility not only to our employees, but all of our residents who are not on strike."

The council is set to talk about the labor dispute in a closed session this morning, and insiders are predicting both sides will settle their differences and forge a new contract by the end of the day.

About 90 members of the Association of Building, Mechanical and Electrical Inspectors walked off the job Thursday - the first strike by city workers in more than 20 years. The group wants the right to appeal disciplinary actions to an outside arbitrator rather than to the city's civil service commission.

Even though Campos hasn't come to work, she says she has remained busy, communicating with her staff through e-mail.

After skipping Thursday's Domestic Violence Joint Meeting between city and Santa Clara County officials and Monday's "Silicon Valley Anti-Litter Campaign" meeting, Campos offered a written explanation to the city clerk's office.

"I am conflicted because it is truly an honor to be a part of this meeting," Campos wrote of the domestic violence event. "However, I must uphold my personal values and respect" the building inspectors "by not crossing their picket line."

Campos received a letter back from those attending the meeting, signed by 18 people. "We respect and support your decision to honor the picket line," they wrote. Union leaders also are pleased with Campos' decision.

"We appreciate the support," said Tom Brim, the union's president. "We respect her very much and thank her for her cooperation."

Brim said picketers this morning will momentarily stop marching in front of the city employees' parking garage so Campos can attend the closed session without crossing the picket line. Campos hopes the issue will be resolved so she can get back to City Hall.

"I am hoping today is the last day I have to do this," Campos said. "I am hoping that in closed session we can have a dialogue and we can come to a resolution."


Union quits strike, surrenders picket signs

Almost 60 El Paso (TX) Disposal drivers and mechanics today ended their 12-day strike against the company, and have asked the company to let them return to work.

"We stopped the strike (at noon today). It was not effective," said Victor Aguirre, business agent for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 351. "We sent a letter to the company" saying the workers "are ready to go to work unconditionally."

The union is not withdrawing its complaint before the National Labor Relations Board, Aguirre said. The union maintains the strike is over unfair labor practices. The company maintains it's over economic issues.

El Paso Disposal officials were unavailable this evening for comment.


SEIU takes dues hit as town eliminates vacant positions

With the Chula Vista (CA) city payroll growing faster than its tax revenues, the City Council on Tuesday night voted to reduce spending by $15.5 million to prevent the city from draining its reserves.

The number of city employees is being reduced from 1,244 to 1,132 through layoffs, the elimination of vacant positions and an early-retirement incentive.

The staffing cuts will translate into dirtier parks and city facilities; reductions in library hours; delays in filling potholes, paving streets and removing graffiti; and longer 911 police response times.

At the request of City Manager David Garcia, the council agreed to outsource fire dispatch after being assured the change wouldn't result in fire response delays. Other reductions will have little or no public impact, such as the consolidation of several city departments that handle planning, development and maintenance.

“It's an arduous task, a painful one, and one that none of us wants to do,” said Councilman Jerry Rindone. “But if we don't do this ... it will only get worse.” At Rindone's suggestion, the council reduced cuts to the graffiti removal program.

Other council members wanted to spare other programs, but Mayor Cheryl Cox urged them to “allow our city manager to take the role we have assigned him.”

The budget reductions approved Tuesday night represent 5 percent of the city's annual budget. The council discussed the proposal at two public workshops in September and October.

Representatives of one employee union, the SEIU Local 221, picketed before the council's vote to protest the 25 layoffs. In public comments before the vote, a dozen employees criticized the staffing cuts.

Terry Strauwald, a senior electrician, said, “We serve the public. If we're not here, no one's serving anybody.”

The city's financial problems stem from its overly optimistic revenue projections. Sales tax income, franchise fees from the South Bay Power Plant and building permit fees this year were lower than expected.

Also Tuesday, Cox and the Chamber of Commerce urged residents to do their holiday shopping in Chula Vista. Sales tax revenue makes up nearly a quarter of the city's general fund.

“Many people don't realize that by buying locally, they're contributing to sales tax revenues, which help fund our libraries, recreation centers, fire and police protection and street paving,” Cox said at a news conference at the Otay Ranch Town Center, the city's newest shopping mall.

Chula Vista collects $113 in sales tax revenue per capita annually. Its neighbor, National City, collects $240. The countywide average is $139.


Ailing Newhouse sheet goes hat in hand to Teamsters

The (NJ) Star-Ledger plans to meet with production and circulation unions early next year to seek financial relief during a period of serious economic losses, employees were told yesterday.

A notice from shop stewards to unionized workers was posted at the paper's printing plants. "The Star-Ledger is incurring major financial losses and is seeking economic relief from the unions representing the mailroom, pressroom, drivers and machinists," the notice said. It said the company had told the unions it intended to share its financial records with an independent auditor.

In a separate note to employees, Publisher George Arwady said the posted notice was an accurate reflection of what had been communicated to the unions. He said the paper had been suffering net operating losses for several years. Arwady declined to comment further.

Telephone calls late yesterday afternoon to one of the key unions, N.J. Mailers Local 1100 in Piscataway, were not answered. The local is part of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

The Star-Ledger, New Jersey's largest newspaper, is owned by Advance Publications Inc. Like most large daily papers, it has experienced sharp declines in advertising revenue due to the unsettled economy and advent of the Internet.

Advertising, editorial and other employees are not represented by unions.


Socialist celebrity aids union protest

Cars honked horns and protestors swung noisemakers Tuesday afternoon as more than 70 Unite Here representatives, workers and community members protested at the headquarters of Prudential Overall Supply Inc. in Irvine (CA).

Actor Danny Glover made an appearance, offering support: "I'm here because the strong men and women who work everyday decided to stand up and fight for their rights exist," Glover said, applauding the group.

The union's international vice president, Cristina Vazquez, said the protestors were rallying to end wage and labor practices they consider illegal.

Prudential has pressured employees to not join unions and has not paid workers in San Diego the minimum wage of $10-12 an hour that the city adopted last year.

The Irvine City Council approved a law in May mandating that companies with contracts with the city make a wage of at least $10 an hour plus benefits. The law applies to new contracts and will be phased in over the next four years for existing contracts.

Prudential spokesman Jerry Martin said the company had a contract with the city of San Diego that originally did not have a minimum wage clause.

"It was inserted into the contract (afterward), so we informed the city and said we would not be able to meet those requirements," Martin said. He added that Prudential meets state and federal minimum wage standards.

The company has about 1,700 employees across seven states and about 100 went on strike in mid-September, according to Martin. He was not aware of any workers who have gone out on strike since then.

"We've been around for 75 years and treat our workers very fairly," Martin said. "Many of these employees have been (here) for 10, 20 and 30 years. If we were a bad place to work, we wouldn't have those type of retention results."

Union representative Vazquez said that Unite Here plans to stay at the headquarters at all hours for 12 days and is available to talk with company officials at any time about wages and work conditions.


Port official: Unions here have very little power

A delegation of five officials from the Chinese city of Ningbo signed a friendship agreement with Jacksonville city officials Monday afternoon, bringing the two port cities one step closer to becoming full-fledged partners in the international exchange program Sister Cities International.

If relations between the two cities prosper, Ningbo could become Jacksonville’s seventh sister city. It’s now the third Chinese city with which Jacksonville has friendship agreements.

“We can cooperate in so many fields,” said Meng Qinghia of the Ningbo delegation after a presentation on the Jacksonville Port Authority. “There is the port, of course, but there are so many things we can share in cultural and educational exchange. We have 14 universities in Ningbo and you have many universities also.”

But as the second largest port city in China and the fifth largest in the world, Port Authority officials know that Ningbo could be a valuable partner in growing trade with Asian markets, an effort already well underway.

With the completion of two new Asian container ship terminals expected in the next four years – one serving Japan-based Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and another for Korea’s Hanjin Shipping Co. – the port will more than triple the number of containers it handles from 800,000 units to between 3 and 4 million units, said Roy Schleicher, the Port Authority’s senior director of trade development and marketing.

The Port Authority is currently negotiating a contract with Hanjin for construction of a $360-million terminal, most of which will be funded by the Korean company.

“They’re building it and we’ll lease it to them,” said Port Authority Director of Communications and Public Relations Nancy Rubin. “That’s how badly they want it. They’ve really sent a message to the industry that Jacksonville is the place to be.”

The Mitsui terminal, however, will be built by the Port Authority and leased to the Japanese company. That $220 million project is expected to create close to 6,000 new jobs and offer local businesses the ability to export directly to Asia.

“You can see how important Asian trade is to us,” Schleicher told the Ningbo delegation during the presentation at the Port Authority’s offices on Talleyrand Road, just before a tour of the Blount Island Terminal.

He also talked about the three interstate highways that intersect in Jacksonville and how much time that saves when transporting foreign goods to the Southeast and Midwest.

“It’s less than two hours to rail from Jacksonville to Chicago,” said Schleicher. “It takes over four days if you go to (the port of) Norfolk.”

He didn’t leave out that Florida was a right to work state either, “which means unions here have very little power,” he told the delegates. “Unlike New York or Los Angeles, we have a mix of (union and non-union) labor.”

And although Ningbo city officials are not the ones who sign shipping contracts, officials here know they can carry the message of what Jacksonville has to offer back home.

“It’s about name recognition,” said Rubin. “They’ll know where we are and what we have and that could lead to business opportunities for Jaxport.”

The friendship agreement signed Monday and the sister city status that may follow could also help the Port Authority learn how to handle the massive growth in trading volume expected in coming years from Asian markets.

“We’re much smaller than you,” Schleicher told the delegates. “But we hope to be as big as you one day.”


Carpenters rain on Teachers parade

A clash between two city unions could erupt today as construction laborers threaten to send thousands of protesters to a 50th birthday celebration for the president of the city teachers union, Randi Weingarten.

Organizers for the construction laborers said their union, the New York City District Council of Carpenters, is furious over an affordable housing complex for teachers that is being built by non-union laborers.

"It's important for the union movement not to undercut each other," a field representative with the Carpenters Labor Management Corporation, Elly Spicer, said. "It's about worker solidarity."

Ms. Weingarten yesterday reversed her initial support for the plan, which is being funded with $28 million from the city's teacher pension fund, sending a letter to the trustees of the fund asking them to oppose the project by selling the bonds they had lent to fund it.

Representatives of both unions are meeting now in an effort to avert a protest, Ms. Spicer said. But until an agreement is reached, organizers said, thousands of construction laborers are set to converge onto the site of Ms. Weingarten's birthday party, the headquarters of the United Federation of Teachers.

Organizers for the construction laborers said targeting the site of Ms. Weingarten's birthday party would gain them leverage in talks. "We hate to do this on somebody's 50th birthday, but — what better time, you know?" an organizer for the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, Thomas Costello, said.

In an interview yesterday, Ms. Weingarten said the city comptroller and city housing officials had given a solid promise to trustees of the teacher pension fund that the project would be built by union laborers. She said she realized last week she had been the victim of a 'material misrepresentation.'

After failing to convince the city to renegotiate its contract with the developer, Ms. Weingarten said she had no option but to ask the pension fund to sell the bonds that are paying for the construction. The arrangement would not kill the project, but would take teacher pension money away from it.

Ms. Spicer criticized Ms. Weingarten for failing to recognize that non-union laborers were building the complex.


Striking nurses reject settlement offer

Nurses at nine hospitals in eastern Kentucky and West Virginia will remain on strike after voting 455-5 Tuesday night to reject a contract offer.

The nurses working for Appalachian Regional Healthcare walked off the job Oct. 1. Chief union negotiator Pat Tanner said the company's latest offer was "not enough."

Company spokeswoman Candace Elkins said the company hadn't received official word from the union that the offer made Friday had been rejected.

"But if they have voted down the contract, we are disappointed that the nurses did not ratify this contract," she said in a phone interview.

The hospital system had set a Tuesday deadline for the nurses to make a decision on the new proposal but gave no assurances that striking workers would get their jobs back.

The union had recommended rejecting the offer, Tanner said.

"We still are dealing with some kind of insurance for appropriate staffing and scheduling, and it wasn't there," she said. "We're still having problems with seniority. It's patient care-oriented with the staffing and scheduling."

Tanner has estimated that about 500 of the 750 registered nurses at ARH hospitals are still striking. She said the number who walked off the job was about 650 initially but about 150 had since taken other jobs.

Negotiators for the striking nurses criticized back-to-work conditions proposed by the hospital system that include recognizing replacement workers as permanent ARH employees. The hospital system has hired about 150 replacement workers.

ARH negotiators have downplayed the back-to-work provisions, saying that a majority of striking workers would get their jobs back immediately if the walkout ends soon.


SEIU inflates Aramark protest headcount

More than 500 Aramark employees and their families gathered at Jones Plaza in downtown Houston (TX) on Nov. 10 to launch an organizing campaign with the Service Employees International Union, according to a press release from SEIU.

The protest involved those employees who provide food and cleaning services to Houston businesses. Protestors requested improved wages and affordable healthcare, according to the release.

Aramark employs over 1,000 people in the Houston area at locations such as Reliant Arena, the George R. Brown Convention Center, the University of Houston, Houston Community College and UST.

Employees, community activists and elected officials like City Council member Texas Democratic representative Adrian Garcia and Sheila Jackson Lee spoke against Aramark, calling for action from its top officials.

Community activist Maria Jimenez said the rally closely resembled the SEIU-backed strike of Houston janitors that occurred one year ago. "Last year, thousands of Houston janitors and their families won, for the first time, better wages, access to affordable health care and dignity on the job," she said. "But there are thousands more service workers in Houston who still struggle to make ends meet at dead-end, low-wage jobs with no path toward health insurance."

Thomas Arellano, UST director of food services, said the low pay and lack of health care benefits is not a problem for the Aramark employees contracted by the school.

"In this age, you have to be competitive in the marketplace and pay people fair wages," he said. "My employees enjoy quite a few benefits including vacation, sick time, personal time off and holiday pay."

Arellano said that he realizes the importance of fair pay and equal opportunities for all of his employees, because if they are unhappy, he said, it creates a cycle that affects many people.

"If I pay my workers poorly and they become unhappy, it reflects in the service," he said. "They make bad food and then the students become unhappy. The students complain, and the administrators become unhappy. Then I'm in trouble. So really, it's in my best interest to have happy employees."

Miguel Hove, sous chef in charge of daily entrees, said that he enjoys his work and feels that the pay is fair. "In general it's a good pay; our wages are comparable to other places," he said. "I started out very low, but have received two-three raises in the last year."

Jose Gonzalez, in charge of nightly entrees, said that he too, is very happy working at the University. "I get good benefits through the company," he said. "My family is very happy, I am very happy, I get a good check every few weeks, good benefits, vacations and a free uniform. Everybody is happy."

Arellano said that his one hope for the future is to better the relationship between the staff and the students. "This is like a family," he said. "It'd be nice if the students could interact more with the staff. These guys feed some of these kids all their meals for four or more years. It would be nice if you could walk in and Jose said, 'Hey man, how were your finals?'"

Arellano declined to comment about union activity due to legal complications.


State teachers boss shows local budget savvy

Collier County (FL) teachers who thought no one was listening to their plight received some reassurance Tuesday afternoon.

Andy Ford, president of the Florida Education Association — the state teachers’ union — went to Pelican Marsh Elementary School to offer teachers these words of encouragement. “We’re here to lend moral support. Where this district is in terms of raises is an embarrassment,” he said.

Ford was referring to the Collier County School District’s offer of a 1 percent bonus — instead of a raise — for all teachers this year. The bonus comes after the district offered the teachers $5.69 million in compensation to the Collier County Education Association, the teachers’ union. The money included $3.6 million in step increases; $1.8 million for a 1 percent bonus for all teachers; $175,000 in middle school athletic supplements; $42,000 in increased compensation for class coverage; and $35,000 in Webmaster supplement increases.

Ford said the district has money to give raises. “You need to be rewarded and the district needs to invest in you,” he said. “It is unfortunate the superintendent doesn’t believe in you and is not doing the right thing.”

The district did this because it forced to return $4.9 million to the state as a result of the state’s general revenue shortfall. Of that, $2.5 million was for the Merit Award Program, which the district would have had to return anyway because the district and teachers could not come to an agreement. The remaining $2.37 million was in actual budget cuts.

The district also experienced declining enrollment this year and will have to return $1.35 million for students they did not have in local schools.

Superintendent Dennis Thompson said Monday that the district was also expecting to take two more financial hits, as the state government is expected to need more than $2 billion in revenue for a general fund shortfall.

Teachers and Ford said that wasn’t the entire story.

“The superintendent’s salary has gone up 74 percent in the time teachers’ salaries have gone up 13 percent,” he said.

Thompson was out of the office Tuesday afternoon and could not be reached for comment.

Teachers attending the event said they were comforted by the presence of the state representatives.

“The fact that they are here shows that there is trouble in Collier County,” said fourth-grade teacher Karen Tuttle. “It is very uplifting that they would come here. When (Gov.) Charlie Crist sits and talks about education, he invites Andy Ford to the table. Andy represents the teachers. It is nice to see him here and to know that, physically, he is looking out for us, too.”

Kindergarten teacher Cecelia Coloret said she felt empowered and reassured that the teachers were doing the right thing.

“It is amazing to know that the community is behind us, that the head of the teachers’ union is so shocked he would come down here to talk to us,” she said.

George Williams, president of the Madison County Education Association, said he traveled to Collier to give the teachers some support. His county, which has an approved contract for the 2007-08 school year, gave teachers a 5.5 percent increase.

“One percent bonus is not even a raise. You can’t get any lower than that,” he said. “We want them to know that the state affiliate is on their side and we will work with them to ensure they will get a fair an equitable settlement.”

Coloret said in a perfect world, teachers in Collier would get a percentage raise that is comparable to other counties in the state.

“If you can’t give me a raise, then at least put it in my classroom so I don’t have to fund my programs myself,” she said.

After the district made the offer to the teachers two months ago, the Collier County Education Association, which represents 80 percent of the district’s teachers, and the district are at an impasse. Because public sector employees like teachers cannot strike, they must declare an impasse.

In an impasse, the district notifies the Public Employees Relations Commission (PERC) and they send a panel of special magistrates that conduct a hearing, much like a jury trial, said Allun Hamblett, executive director of human resources for the district.

The panel issues a finding of fact, which it sends to both groups and both decide whether they want to accept or reject the magistrates’ decision.

If either side rejects it, the School Board would convene and determine whether to impose the magistrates’ decision, Hamblett said.

Ford told the teachers Tuesday he is optimistic the special magistrates will rule in their favor.

“You need to stay out and fight to the full length of what the law allows,” he said.


ILWU agrees to political cease-and-desist

In MUR 5913, the International Longshoremen’s Association AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education (ILA COPE) agreed to pay a civil penalty of $14,250 for a series of reporting violations of federal election law identified by the Federal Election Commission.

Amended versions of the committee’s 2004 April Quarterly, 2004 July Quarterly, 2004 12 Day Pre-Primary and 2004 October Quarterly reports disclosed additional disbursements totaling $298,689 that were omitted from the originally filed reports.

RESPONDENTS: International Longshoremen’s Association AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education ILA-COPE and Robert E. Gleason in his official capacity as treasurer

COMPLAINANT: FEC Initiated (Reports Analysis Division)

SUBJECT: Failure to disclose all financial activity

DISPOSITION: Conciliation agreement: $14,250

The matter originated from information ascertained by the FEC’s Reports Analysis Division (RAD) in the course of its supervisory responsibilities. According to RAD’s referral, the International Longshoremen’s Association AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education ILA COPE failed to disclose all receipts on its original 2004 July Quarterly, April Quarterly, 12 Day Pre-Primary and October Quarterly Reports.

The committee filed an amended 2004 April Quarterly Report disclosing additional receipts totaling $65,827.21, an amended 2004 July Quarterly Report disclosing $80,211.62 in additional receipts, an amended 12 Day Pre-Primary Report disclosing $101,782.46 in additional receipts and an amended 2004 October Quarterly report disclosing $50,867.77 in additional receipts.

The Commission found reason to believe the committee violated the Act by failing to disclose receipts totaling $298,689. The committee agreed to pay a civil penalty of $14,250 and to cease and desist from committing future similar violations.


UAW-Navistar strikers can only give so much

Even Old Saint Nick was on the picket line Tuesday as the United Auto Workers' strike against International Truck and Engine entered its sixth week.

Darrell Kraft, a UAW employee at International Truck and Engine, spent his shift dressed as Santa, but he wasn't delivering Christmas presents. Instead, he talked about his 40 years at the Springfield facility where he works as a repairman — he fixes problems on trucks after they've been assembled.

He voiced concern that the community as a whole does not understand the union's perspective as it relates to the current negotiations. Union members are not looking for wage increases, he said. Instead, they want to maintain what they have.

"We've made concessions, but the company still wants more," he said. "Seemingly everything becomes an issue, and there's only so much we can give."

One major concession raised health insurance co-pay from $20 to $65 over the life of the previous contract, he said.

But the company is not asking employees to do anything that would compromise their quality of life, said Roy Wiley, spokesperson for International.

"One of our core company values is respect for our people," he said. "We want to maintain a good quality of life for our employees and retirees."

Quality of life aside, the company's repeated comments about needing a more flexibile and competitive facility are troubling for Kraft. International currently has the right to assign a worker to any job at the plant, he said.

"We've given them flexibility, but they always want more," Kraft said.

The International does not use Springfield's diverse, talented workforce to its fullest potential, he asserts.

"Springfield is more capable and more efficient than other plants," he said. "The company does not accept and use the talents of the people they have efficiently."

Whether dressed as Santa or not, Kraft would rather be working.

"We're trying to make the best of a bad situation," he said. "Nobody likes to be in limbo. We want to work."

Wiley added: "I'm still optimistic that we will see some movement this week."


SEIU rejects offer, will picket hospital

Some 500 union workers at Kings Daughters Medical Center in Ashland (WV) have rejected the administrations latest contract offer.

According to a release from SEIU District 1199, Monday’s vote was 428 to 8. The union says the employees will continue to work without a contact, and will hold an informational picket outside KDMC on December 10 at 3:30.

They say the main issues are increased health care costs and a reduction in starting salaries. The current contact with KDMC expired on November 30.

The union represents some 550 workers at KDMC. They include home health care aides, phlebotomists, EKG technicians, medical records transcriptionists, housekeepers, dietary workers, clerks, maintenance workers and secretaries.


Union members taking a look at Ron Paul

Republican Presidential hopeful Ron Paul of Texas is campaigning on a platform that is principled on restoring our U.S. Constitution as the law of the land.

Somehow this has become a revolutionary idea in today's government-dependent America, where many Americans have lost sight of the importance of the Constitution and our inalienable rights and individual liberties that it protects.

Rep. Paul, R-Texas, having served 10 terms in Congress, is a politician whose actions are driven by the Constitution, not big business. Because Paul takes his oath to the Constitution very seriously, if a policy is unconstitutional, he doesn't vote for it. Dr. Paul has served as a flight surgeon in the Air Force and Air National Guard, and, as a specialist in obstetrics/gynecology, he has delivered more than 4,000 babies in his private practice. Because the majority of the policies that he votes on are unconstitutional, he has been nicknamed "Dr. No" by many of his colleagues in Congress.

Dr. No has never voted to raise taxes, never voted for an unbalanced budget, never voted to raise congressional pay, never taken a government-paid junket, and has never voted to increase the power of the executive branch. John Berthoud, president of the National Taxpayers Union said, "If every member of Congress voted like Representative Paul, Americans could enjoy much lower taxes and less waste in government."

Dr. Paul chose politics because of his economic concerns. On July 18, Paul went head to head with Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Ben Bernanke over Fed policies that have led to the mortgage crisis, the falling value of the dollar worldwide and the "inflation tax." There is a YouTube video of Chicago traders cheering as Paul challenged Bernanke.

From an October 2007 "Middle American News" interview, asked about how Paul could reduce the size and scope of government, "The first thing to do is to focus on overall spending. Bring the troops home from around the globe, stop policing the world, and use the savings to eliminate deficits and tide over those who have become dependent on the welfare state, while allowing younger people to opt out. ... If people continue to expect government to take care of us from cradle to grave, then it will be impossible. But if we spread the message of freedom, tell people that we can eliminate the IRS, keep the fruits of our labor and regain local control, then we can cut the size of government in half."

Dr. Paul is one of the few in Congress that warned against the Iraq war and never voted in support of this "unconstitutional war."

This is an excerpt from Ron Paul's address to the House of Representatives on May 22: "Unquestioned loyalty to the state is especially demanded in times of war. Lack of support for a war policy is said to be unpatriotic. ... It is conveniently ignored that the only authentic way to best support the troops is to keep them out of dangerous, undeclared, no-win wars that are politically inspired."

Dr. Paul also wants to protect our privacy and Constitutional rights by stopping the national ID card and ending the Patriot Act.

He opposes any trade deals or groups that threaten American Independence, such as the UN, NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT, WTO, SPP, etc. In a Middle American News interview, Paul said "... they are not free trade, they are government-managed trade and they are ultimately bad for American workers."

He wants to secure our borders and end illegal immigration. On June 13, Paul introduced bill H.J. Res. 46 that would end "birthright" citizenship for illegal aliens.

From the MAN article: "First, we need to bring home our border patrol agents we have sent to Iraq and get them back guarding our border. ... Next, we need to immediately end federal mandates compelling states to give state welfare benefits to illegals. Right now, states are required to provide free medical care, education and sometimes even food assistance to illegal immigrants, and this acts as a subsidy for illegal immigration. ... If we cut off the subsidies, a lot of people here illegally would just leave."

On Nov. 5, Paul raised more than $4.2 million through Internet donations by more than 37,000 supporters. This was a single day record. On the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, Paul supporters have planned another "money bomb," where they hope to set a new record.

Dr. Paul is gaining support from Republicans and Democrats, the old and the young, and surprisingly, many military personnel. Putting aside their differences, Americans from all walks of Iife have come together in support of his message of limited government and individual freedom. Paul's grassroots Internet support is swelling with more than 1,100 meet-up groups formed in the United States. These supporters are intent on people seeing who Ron Paul is and what he stands for.


Dem brings union catechism to factory gates

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