Unchecked Barack offers pay-back to union bigs

More EFCA stories: hereMore collectivism stories: here

So-called "Free Choice" would force disinterested workers into unions without a secret-ballot election

With Sen. Barack Obama pulling ahead in the national polls, talk has begun to center on the length of his coat tails if he does manage to hold on and win the presidency less than a month from now. Of particular interest is the Senate, where a feisty Republican minority has been able to frustrate Democrats' plans again and again by blocking legislation with filibusters, just as Democrats did when they were in the minority between 2002 and 2006. Democrats have high hopes that they will be able to capture a filibuster-proof majority of 60 seats with gains in this year's election. Together with an Obama victory and expected gains in the House, that would give Democrats virtually unchecked power to enact their agenda.

One of the first items on Democrats' list is legislation to pay back a key constituency, organized labor, for its loyalty and campaign contributions. Unions are expected to spend as much as $300 million dollars to elect Democrats this year, and Democrats, including Sen. Obama are eager to repay them with legislation. The bill in question is the rather inappropriately named Employee Free Choice Act, and it aims to increase union membership nationwide by changing the way employees elect join unions.

Under current law in most states, employees vote in secret ballot elections for union representation or no union representation. But under a bill co-sponsored by Sen. Obama, and backed by Congressional Democrats, the secret ballots would be done away with in favor of employee signatures on sign up cards. The so-called "card check" provision would undo the process of secret election ballots. Instead of a free and fair election, a simple majority of employee signatures would obligate employers to allow worker to organize and bargain collectively. That would potentially expose unwilling employees to intimidation by union organizers and fellow employees.

The bill would almost certainly increase union membership, which has fallen to roughly 12% of the American workforce; and would fatten the wallets of union bosses with new membership dollars that they would continue to lavish on Democrat election campaigns. It would be a quid pro quo potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars to both labor and the Democratic Party.

Sen. Obama says that he wants to change politics-as-usual in Washington. But his efforts on behalf of organized labor and the Employee Free Choice Act are quintessentially the stuff of typical Washington wheeling and dealing. And Democrats are growing confident that they will win the seats necessary to begin taking bids on bills for favorite interest groups. Labor will not be the last Democratic constituency to win big favors from a one-party ruled federal government. Historically, the American people have shown an aversion to handing control of Congress and the White House to the same party. Union bosses and Democrats are betting that this year will be different.


Barack goes on offense for organized labor

More EFCA stories: hereMore card-check stories: here

ACORN hubub hides Obama's fascistic labor agenda

I know, with all of the ACORN news you probably think this is going to be about voter fraud. It is, but not the way you think. There is a secret vote in this country which is in great danger, and it is those who would vote who are being defrauded.

Americans have a secret ballot for good reason. By protecting the secrecy of the ballot people are free to vote their conscience, without fear of reprisal or ridicule. What goes on in that booth is between you and your still, small voice. Voting in the open has a restrictive effect on that voice, on your voice. Even school children know that voting should be done in secret, so that friends won't know who voted for whom.

There is one force in this country, however, who don't get it. They are a powerful force, and they use their own voice to great effect, and great reward. I'm talking of course, about unions. The labor unions are about power. That's the idea. The power of thousands of workers allied and exercising their will. Millions of men and women joined together in common cause, by their own free will and choosing. Right? Well, not for long. Not the free will part anyway, not if Democrats get their way.

At issue is the ridiculously misnamed "Employee Free Choice Act" much better known as the card check bill. This bill is being pushed by big labor in a coordinated effort to strip workers of their free choice. The unions put a lot of money into getting Democrats into Congress, spending in the hundreds of millions in 2006, and are expected to exceed that outlay in 2008. They want that which is a real possibility, a filibuster proof Democrat majority, bought and paid for.

The core problem, from big labor's point of view, is that they don't have enough of the workforce behind them, which undercuts their authority and their bottom line. They blame secret ballots for this deficiency. Workers vote in secret to determine whether or not to unionize. With a secret ballot, a worker is free to reject the union without fear of reprisal.

Labor proposes doing away with the traditional secret ballot in favor of a system in which an employer would be forced to recognize the union as soon as a simple majority (50% plus 1) of workers sign a union authorization card. This would not be in secret, so each worker would be subject to the pressure and scrutiny of his fellow employees, his boss, and the union bosses. Assuming the simple majority is achieved, the union would then be recognized as representative of all the employees, regardless of whether or not they signed an authorization card. No secret ballot would follow to ratify the union, they simply get 50% plus 1 to sign a card, and that's it. The other half of the employees get no say. The union would immediately have the weight of the Federal government behind them as they negotiate a new contract on behalf of the workers. Not only would the employees have been unable to vote their conscience in private, they would now be excluded from the right to approve or reject the contract. Oh, and they get to pay union dues, too.

So to put it rather simply, Big Labor has poured millions into the Democrat party so they may pressure their agenda on the workforce, an agenda which includes forcing themselves on shops across the land by the brute intimidation of the authorization card system and the abandonment of the core Democratic principle of a secret ballot. It's disenfranchisement on a massive scale, and it is not remotely in the interest of an employee's free choice.

One more thing. Barack Obama said he'd support the bill if (when) it comes up again. "We're ready to play offense for organized labor," he said. Of course you are ... they certainly paid well for it.


Is ACORN Stealing The Election?

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Election Fraud: A radical group Barack Obama used to work for is committing voter-registration fraud in several states, ahead of the election. What does Obama know about this scam?

It's a legitimate question to raise now that the FBI has raided the offices of the nonprofit Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now in Nevada and North Carolina, two states where Obama and John McCain are running neck-and-neck. ACORN has registered bogus voters in both states.

The group's voter-registration fraud is rampant, and authorities plan a nationwide sweep of ACORN offices to collect records.

In Nevada, state officials say the fraudulent registrations included forms for the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys football team, including quarterback Tony Romo.

"Romo is not registered to vote in the state of Nevada," Secretary of State Ross Miller said, "and anybody trying to pose as Terrell Owens won't be able to cast a ballot on Nov. 4."

While those names will be flagged on Election Day, felonious voters may have better luck using other cutouts. Nevada, along with several other key battleground states, requires no ID to vote.

In North Carolina, where Obama has been running nonstop ads, ACORN has registered a record number of new voters, many of them suspicious. Statewide, Democrats are doing better than the GOP in new converts — even in traditionally Republican counties.

There have been 218,749 newly registered Democrats in North Carolina since January — more than five times the 38,337 new Republicans, state records show.

The numbers show a startlingly close political battle even in Republican-dominated Union County, with 4,233 new voters registering as Democrats and 4,362 as Republicans. In previous election years, new Republicans have outnumbered Democrats 2-to-1 in the fast-growing Charlotte-area county.

In Missouri, one ACORN registrant named Monica Rays showed up on no less than eight forms, all bearing the same signature.

Suspicious election officials sent letters to some 5,000 ACORN registrants in St. Louis, asking the letter recipients to contact them.

Fewer than 40 reponded.

In Kansas City, 15,000 registrations have been questioned, and last year four ACORN employees were indicted for fraud.

In addition, ACORN officials have also been indicted in Wisconsin and Colorado. Investigations against others are active in Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

ACORN has also been registering convicted felons — including inmates — in Florida and other battleground states. ACORN boasts registering a record 1.5 million new voters so far this election.

What does all this have to do with Obama, besides the fact that he'd be the beneficiary of most, if not all, of these new votes?

For starters, Obama paid ACORN, which has endorsed him for president, $800,000 to register new voters, payments his campaign failed to accurately report. (They were disguised in his FEC disclosure as payments to a front group called Citizen Services Inc. for "advance work.")

What's more, Obama worked as executive director of ACORN's voter-registration arm, Project Vote, in 1992. Joined by two other community organizers on Chicago's South Side, Obama conducted the voter-registration drive that helped elect Carol Moseley-Braun to the Senate that year.

The next year, 1993, Obama joined the civil-rights law firm Davis Miner Barnhill & Galland, where he sued the state of Illinois on behalf of ACORN to implement the federal "Motor Voter" law, which the GOP governor at the time refused to do. Then-Gov. Jim Edgar argued, presciently, that the Clinton law would invite voter fraud.

Obama downplays his ties to ACORN, and his campaign denies coordinating with ACORN to register voters.

Meantime, New Orleans-based ACORN maintains that it has no control over volunteers who are falsifying application forms, that they're like employees who steal from the store.

But the fraud is widespread and not isolated. It also turns out that some ACORN execs allegedly are involved in a $1 million embezzlement cover-up at their headquarters. Representing them in the case is none other than Michelle Obama's old law firm in Chicago.

ACORN's corruption is not just out in the field, as they claim. There's a pattern of corruption from the top down.

McCain would be wise to start preparing a challenge to voter registration rolls should he lose the race in a close contest. He'd be crazy not to contest the results in light of these events.


SK: Barack's blown ACORN cover-up

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Will union-backed organizer address ACORN fraud?

Barack Obama is now apparently denying his ties with Acorn. Here’s what he’s posted on the subject at his "Fight the Smears" website.

These claims are contradicted by several sources, a number of which I linked to in my piece, "Inside Obama’s Acorn." In that piece, you’ll find a link to a Los Angeles Times piece in which Chicago Acorn leader Madeline Talbott is described as so impressed with Obama that "she invited him to help train her staff."

You’ll also see a link to a statement by Obama himself, made in pursuit of Acorn’s endorsement. Obama says: "I’ve been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career. Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote voter registration drive in Illinois, ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it, and we appreciate your work."

In my piece, "No Liberation," you’ll find a link to a 1995 profile of Obama which says: "Obama continues his organizing work largely through classes for future leaders identified by ACORN and the Centers for New Horizons on the south side." My articles provide background, but the quotes and links I’ve presented here, and in the past, pretty conclusively contradict Obama’s current claims at "Fight the Smears."

Perhaps the strongest evidence against Obama’s attempt to deny his ties to Acorn comes in an article by Toni Foulkes, a Chicago Acorn leader, and a member of Acorn’s National Association Board, in the journal Social Policy. That article appears on pages 49-52 of the combined Winter 2003-Spring 2004 issue, Vol. 34, No. 2, Vol. 34, No. 3. I provide a link to a pay-for-access page to that article in my "Inside Obama’s Acorn" piece. As I’ve just been informed by a reader, however, the journal Social Policy appears to have pulled the link to that article, rendering it inaccessible, even by purchase. You can find the apparently pulled link here.

A link to a second article also appears to have been pulled here. I was previously unaware of this second article, "Towards a Chicago School of Youth Organizing," by Alyson Parham and Jeff Pinzino. I would strongly suggest that people try to find this article in hard copy at a library. (What is it about Obama and libraries?)

The Toni Foulkes piece clearly contradicts Obama’s denials of ties to Acorn at "Fight the Smears." Here’s a key passage:
Obama then went on to run a voter registration project with Project VOTE in 1992...Project VOTE delivered 50,000 newly registered voters in that campaign (ACORN delivered about 5000 of them)...

Since then, we have invited Obama to our leadership training sessions to run the session on power every year, and as a result, many of our newly developing leaders got to know him before he ever ran for office. Thus, it was natural for many of us to be active volunteers in his first campaign for State Senate and then his failed bid for U.S. Congress in 1996. [Actually, the congressional race was in 2000, SK] By the time he ran for U.S. Senate, we were old friends.
Has Social Policy blocked access to those two articles to protect Obama? Was the Obama campaign involved? How does Barack Obama explain his denials of a link to Acorn in light of the evidence? Shouldn’t the press be asking him about this?

- Stanley Kurtz


Barack, ACORN and the financial crisis

More ACORN stories: herefraud stories: here

Barack plays the innocent bystander as union-backed group wreaks havoc

How did we get into this financial mess in the first place? Well, to a large degree, it’s because lenders gave mortgages to borrowers who were unqualified, who shouldn’t have been given loans in the first place. Why did they do that?

Here’s the start of an article in the ‘Chicago Sun-Times’ from April 1995: “You’ve got only a couple thousand bucks in the bank. Your job pays you dog-food wages. Your credit history has been bent, stapled, and mutilated. You declared bankruptcy in 1989. Don’t despire: You can still buy a house.” That article then suggested that people wanting to buy homes who fit this profile go see a group called ACORN.

Obama at the time had his hands on the purse strings of two organizations. He was a director of the Woods Fund, and he was Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC). He gave money from both organizations to ACORN, and also provided training for ACORN workers.

According to Stanley Kurtz of National Review Online, “ACORN succeeded in drawing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into the very policies that led to the current disaster.” ACORN put pressure on banks by threatening them with accusations of racism if they didn’t give loans to minorities, even if they were completely unqualified.

Starting in 1987, ACORN began pressuring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to lower their standards for assuming mortage debt. And eventually they succeeded. By 1995, then President Clinton touted the fact that home-ownership in America was at an all-time high. According to Kurtz, ACORN representatives were guests of honor at this ceremony. (Note to McCain campaign: can you dig up that footage??)

But as Kurtz goes on: “At both the local and national levels, then, ACORN served as the critical catalyst, levering pressure created by the Community Reinvestment Act and pull with Democratic politicians to force Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into a pattern of high-risk loans. Up to now, conventional wisdom on the financial meltdown has relegated ACORN and the CRA to bit parts…In fact, however, ACORN is at the base of the whole mess…And Barack Obama cut his teeth as an organizer and politician backing up ACORN’s economic madness every step of the way.”

The McCain campaign needs to go after Obama’s support of ACORN and its direct role in the current financial meltdown.

They could start by reading the entire Kurtz NRO piece here. Then maybe they should put Sarah Palin on the case.

- Marcia Segelstein


ACORN Vegas big: It's 'a sloppy business'

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Voter-fraud by Obama group casts an ugly stain on 2008 election

There are allegations that the largest voter registration drive in Clark County history has big problems. The drive was mounted by "A.C.O.R.N.", the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

Their offices were raided Tuesday with records, computers and most significantly voter registration forms, confiscated. "Forms that came in were the starting lineup for the Dallas Cowboys," said Ross Miller, Nevada Secretary of State.

Usually a registration drive is done by volunteers but A.C.O.R.N. pays its people.

"The people they have hired out there on the street maybe engaged in fraudulent conduct trying to make their quota as to the number of registration forms that they are supposed to submit," Miller Said.

Those behind A.C.O.R.N.'s registration drive claim they are being targeted because of the kinds of people they register.

"A.C.O.R.N. has targeted, people form low income families, ex convicted felons, people like that as most likely to vote democratic," said Frank Beaty, an A.C.O.R.N. team leader.

He gave Action News copies of letters A.C.O.R.N. sent to election officials asking for help identifying employees just out to make a buck on the registration drive.

Action News showed the letters to Larry Lomax, the Clark County Registrar of Voters. Lomax said they represent a token, and not a serious, effort.

"Their lawyer described... when we talked about the issues we were having... he basically laughed and said voter registration is a sloppy business. That was his attitude. My response was, it's only a sloppy business when you guys are here," Lomax said.

Still, those at A.C.O.R.N. say the second look into their records is what they have wanted all along.

"Thank god for someone coming out and proving we are really doing great thing in the community by combing our office," said A.C.O.R.N.'s Bonnie Smith-Greathouse.


Forced-labor unionism wrong for Colorado

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

Voters consider alternate scheme: worker-choice

If you start your own company, nobody would say you must join a chamber of commerce in order to stay in business. If you grow corn, nobody would say you must join the Corn Growers Association. Or the Cattlemen's Association if you raise cattle.

Yet thousands of Coloradans are forced to join or pay dues to private organizations against their will at many workplaces across Colorado.

Seem unfair that someone could force you to join a private organization as a condition of employment? It is. But this is what thousands of Colorado workers endure by being forced to join a union in order to get a paycheck.

There are plenty of reasons to join private organizations that might benefit you or the community at large, but we don't think anybody should be forced to join. That's why we support Amendment 47.

Amendment 47, the Colorado Right to Work Amendment, is simple — it says that a worker cannot be forced to join a union or pay union dues in order to get or keep a job. But it also preserves a worker's right to voluntarily join or financially support a union.

Take for example, the Plumbers Union Local 3, the Colorado Education Association, or the Fire Fighters Local 1290. All are unions whose members choose, freely, to join. They exist because their members see something of value in being part of these private organizations. Amendment 47 affords every worker the same right to freely choose to join or not, without risking their job.

Amendment 47 is not anti-union; it's pro-freedom and pro-worker. The benefits are two-fold.

• It's a freedom issue. We believe all workers should have the freedom to choose whether or not to join a union or pay union dues. Current law in Colorado allows some unions to force workers to pay dues, whether that worker wants to or not. That's un-American and fundamentally flawed.

• There are 22 right-to-work states already, and studies consistently show that right-to-work states perform better economically than non-right-to-work states. That means more jobs, higher-paying jobs and a better economic environment for the entire state.

In the West, we value individualism and personal responsibility. Forcing thousands of Coloradans to join a private organization in order to keep a job is wrong. The loss of revenue might be feared by union bosses who get paid whether they do a good job or not, but the freedom to associate with whom we choose is a freedom we all deserve.

Amendment 47 doesn't prohibit unions in Colorado. In fact, it might actually strengthen the collective voice of workers. By making a union boss actually earn his membership, he'll have to better represent workers, be more responsive, and make a bigger difference for those workers. If a union is truly effective and does a great job for its membership, it only makes sense that a worker would voluntarily join.

Amendment 47 will make Colorado a better place to live, work and do business.

It's the American way. It's the Colorado way.

In America, freedom is among our highest ideals. Let's advance freedom together in Colorado.

Visit www.VoteYESon47.com for more information.

- Ryan Frazier is a member of the Aurora City Council.


Worker-choice measure defended

More worker-choice stories: here

Fraudulent union-paid ads termed 'criminal'

All Coloradans should be angry about an anti-47 ad that claims it would take away rights workers have earned over 60 years. This statement is such a lie that some prosecutor somewhere should stand tall and indict the perpetrators of this fraudulent lie. Right to work is a right that ALL workers should always have under the American democracy. Amendment 47 PRESERVES a worker's right not to be compelled to join a union, nor have money taken out of his/her paycheck involuntarily.

I was always under the impression that false and fraudulent advertising, even political in nature, is a crime. The union weasels behind such an ad should be prosecuted immediately. Do we have any prosecutors with the guts to do the right thing?

- Alan Beshany


Worker-choice: A good deal for Colorado

More worker-choice stories: hereBig Bedfellows stories: here
Related: "The 28 labor-states"

Editorial urges end to forced-labor unionism

Amendment 47 was the center of an initiative battle that has left only votes for this one to count come November. And this is a ballot measure for which to vote yes. Known as the “Colorado Right to Work Amendment,” Amendment 47 is about free choice in a free market.

It would end any possibility of forcing nonunion employees to pay union dues. That only makes sense.

However, union proponents argue that the fact that a union represents any workers means that it represents every employee and that all benefit.

While part of that may be true, the fact remains that not all workers employed alongside union workers agree with nor choose to participate in union dealings. If they don’t, they shouldn’t be required to pay.

That’s their freedom of choice.

In a free market, businesses and organizations survive based upon meeting the needs of their customers. The same should be true of unions. If they meet their members’ needs, people may join. Compulsory costs may in fact create a more combative environment.

And that is not good for any company or organization and its productivity.

Amendment 47 drew the ire of unions, which countered by putting four measures on the ballot, some of which were extreme and could have cost Coloradans greatly. Last week, representatives for both unions and business met and agreed to remove the anti-business measures from November’s ballot if the business constituents at the table chose to fight Amendment 47. They agreed.

Because ballots have been printed, voters will see all proposed measures, but only votes for the Right to Work Amendment will count.

While making that vote, make it truly count with a “yes” vote.

Right to work isn’t just about building a positive business environment for Colorado; it’s about creating the right working conditions for individuals, giving them the right to choose.


News Union big rips Providence Journal

More News Union stories: hereMore collectivism stories: here

Tree-killer beset by paper-stream waste, left-wing bias as news union is forced to take a dues hit

Plans announced last month for The Providence Journal to layoff 30 newsroom staffers have yet to be reported by the paper, a situation that has union leaders upset. Tim Schick, administrator of The Providence Newspaper Guild contends that the paper's failure to report on its own cuts -- expected to take place by Friday -- is hypocritical.

"There are a lot of questions about when they will be upfront with the public about what is going on," said Schick. "If it were any other business in the community, the Journal would be reporting it and seeking it out." The layoff plan, announced to staff on Sept. 24, calls for mostly part-time newsroom staffers to be ousted, along with five full-timers, according to the union.

Editor Thomas Heslin did not respond to calls for comment.

Although the paper has declined to report on the exact pending cuts, it indicated in a Sept. 5 story about cutbacks at parent company A.H. Belo that layoffs were likely soon. The union on its Web site has revealed the 30-person plan, as has the alternative weekly The Phoenix.

Asked if he believes the failure to report is a directive from above the newsroom, Schick said, "It is more than a thought. When they went through buyouts a few weeks ago, the announcement came after. I suspect there is going to be a similar announcement."

Schick referred to 22 buyouts that were granted in early September. "In the news business, you would think they would report the news as it occurs," he said.


Striking SEIU militants shut down County

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

Typical labor-state work-stoppage stunt

Seven hundred employees of Tulare County (CA) staged a one-day strike Wednesday to boost their opposition to a labor contract imposed when talks hit the skids.

Strikers belonging to the Service Employees International Union Local 521 picketed county buildings in Visalia, Lindsay, Tulare and Porterville. In Visalia, at least 200 people marched to the county Board of Supervisors office, chanting "no contract, no re-election" and other slogans.

No arrests were announced, but county officials said they had to issue warnings not to block entrances to public buildings.

A total of 703 employees did not come to work Wednesday, causing some county offices to slow down but not halting services. The county employs 4,700.

Strike leaders were thrilled at the large turnout of strikers wearing purple shirts, the union color.

"We're just here to make a point to the Board of Supervisors, to point out that we can strike," said Anthony Cardoza, a nine-year employee in the information technology division. "Imposing an unfair labor contract on the employees is unacceptable."

The union sought a 10% raise, then backed off to 7%, then made a final offer of 5% that was never considered by the county Board of Supervisors, he said. When mediation failed, the supervisors last month voted 4-1 to impose a 2.75% pay raise, plus a $500 one-time bonus.

This week, the union filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the state, claiming the county had negotiated in bad faith, in an attempt to force the county back to the bargaining table. The county called the complaint baseless.

Supervisors were strongly criticized by strikers, who cited a recent 7% pay raise for the elected supervisors compared to their 2.75% raise.

"The supervisors are getting their pay raises and the staff that does the work gets pennies on the dollar," said Martha Johnson, a Spanish-language translator and medical aide at a county health clinic.

Still, hefty health-care insurance costs were cited time and again as the main problem for the SEIU-represented employees, who make up about 2,700 of the county work force.

Sarah Lucas, a clerk in the District Attorney's Office, earns about $1,300 a month and sees about $170 subtracted every two weeks from her paycheck to pay for health insurance for herself and her spouse. She's on the $1,000 deductible and $45 per office visit co-pay plan.

"I've worked in the private sector before," said Lucas, who was on the picket line Wednesday. "It was more like $40 per month. Did they deliberately go out and get the worst insurance?"

Maria Chavez, a medical assistant earning $1,365 per month, said she's married with two children and uses the state's Healthy Families low-cost insurance program for her children.

"I want to be able to put my children and my spouse on my health insurance," Chavez said. But putting her family on a county plan would cost about $540 every two weeks.

County administrative officer Jean Rousseau said the county is "doing the best we can" in a tough economy.

He said the contract would be worse if it were being negotiated today, because the economy continues to struggle and the Legislature is again talking about taking money from counties to balance the budget.

"If I knew then what I know now, the package would be different," Rousseau said.

The county is aware that it lags behind other counties in pay and benefits, and is making progress on it, he said. For instance, three years ago the county "helped a lot of folks" by paying 100% of health insurance premiums for all employees.

For now, the strike is over. The union sent the county a legally required letter that employees would return to work today.


Socialists smack down SEIU's Andy Stern

More SEIU stories: hereAndy Stern: hereWade Rathke stories: here

ACORN's disgraced co-founder, Wade Rathke, also founded SEIU

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is in a huge crisis over the very definition of unionism.

Andy Stern's model sees the union as having many of the same interests as employers. In his view, the way to increase the power of unions is to convince employers that we can " add value." This model is pursued to one degree or another by all the leaders of the union movement--Change to Win and AFL-CIO alike.

SEIU, with its sweetheart deals in return for neutrality agreements, is one of the most extreme proponents of this view. For Stern, what matters is the union's size and dues base, not the improvement of our wages and conditions. "Justice for all" sounds nice, but it really means quantity at the expense of quality.

Stern's model flies in the face of why unions were formed in the first place. The reality is that the interests of workers and bosses are not the same. Employers want to pay workers as little as possible and get as much work out of us as possible. We, as workers, want to raise our wages and benefits. This means cutting into their profits. After all, it is our work that produces their profits.

This is true of the "non-profit" and public sector as well. Workers produce value, and employers want to keep as much of it as possible.

Andy Stern's model of unionism has negative effects on our ability to increase our wages and conditions. If we are to be able to fight the bosses effectively, we need to be prepared to go on strike. When we cut into their profits (or "non-profit" profits), then we can win concessions and stop takeaways. But again, the SEIU leadership consciously undercuts our ability to strike--because it doesn't see a fundamental conflict between workers and bosses.

This has been graphically shown in this election cycle. All across the country, SEIU leaders have diverted already minuscule strike funds into the presidential campaign. SEIU has backed one supposedly pro-labor politician after another. Here in Seattle, rank-and-file leaders of Local 925 opposed this giveaway, but it went through anyway.

Now, the chickens have come home to roost. In spite of the fact that we in Washington state have a Democratic governor, and the state Senate and House are both under Democratic control, we were facing 1.5 percent per year for a cost-of-living adjustment in our latest contract, even as inflation is running at nearly 6 percent a year! And, we were told that the budget is just too tight for these politicians to offer us any more. Our real wages would drop by 9 percent during the life of the contract, even if inflation didn't get worse.

What has been the response of the union staff and officers to this? In a welcome step, they called rallies and started e-mail campaigns, pickets and leafleting. They have worked with other unions who are also negotiating contracts. This is the most unity of any contract campaign in University of Washington history.

All these good actions and new unity, however, don't add up to a winning strategy. Members were angry and some participated in the campaign, but many were reluctant to strike because they understood that the union leadership was not committed to a strategy of striking effectively. This strategy was not given any serious consideration or promotion by the leadership.

The tragedy is that many people in the local, including officers and staff, worked hard to mobilize members for the contract campaign but with little results. The final settlement included raises of only 2.25 percent the first year and 2.25 percent for the second year of the contract--significantly less than inflation, and well below the initial union demand of 13 percent over two years.

We have seen other winning models right here in the Northwest, where 27,000 Boeing members are out on strike and Bellevue teachers just settled a strike with their demands met. Hard work is not a substitute for a winning strategy. A winning strategy would be based on an understanding of the fundamental conflict between bosses and workers. This means rejecting Andy Stern's model of unionism.

- Steve Leigh and Erik Wallenberg, SEIU Local 925, Seattle


Dems: Count every fraudulent vote

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

To Barack's ACORN, the ends justify the means

Early voting is well underway in several states across the country and you know what that means; various liberal groups doing their damndest to turn the United States electoral system into one that Hugo Chávez would be proud of.

The issue is voter fraud - fraud on a massive scale being perpetrated by so-called non partisan groups like ACORN and Project Vote. The list of offenses is shameful. And the fact that the fraud is nationwide and is all being done in the name of Democrats should concern all Americans who believe in the sanctity of the vote.

Michelle Malkin has the particulars:
* Yesterday, Nevada officials raided ACORN's Las Vegas office after election authorities accused the group of submitting multiple voter registrations with fake and duplicate names. Among the bogus monikers: names of former Dallas Cowboys players.

* Lake County, Ind., election officials this month rejected thousands of registration forms ACORN had turned in from its drives this summer. On a conference call yesterday, GOP officials noted that up to 11,000 of the applications were no good - tying up election officials and jeopardizing the voting rights of untold victims whose identities may have been stolen.

In what seems to be ACORN's standard operating procedure, vote canvassers had pulled names and addresses from phone books and forged signatures. According to a local paper (the Northwest Indiana and Illionois Times), "Large numbers of voter registration forms bore signatures all in the same apparent handwriting style" and "apparently the organization's canvassers broke rules to meet ACORN-set voter registration quotas to get paid." The fake registrants include dead people and underage kids.

* Milwaukee, Wisc., officials last month discovered at least seven felons employed as voter-registration workers for ACORN and another affiliated group. (State law bans felons from such work.) They also uncovered a raft of problematic voter-registration cards. The state GOP accuses the group of trying to get dead, imprisoned or imaginary people on the voter rolls. Fraud has plagued ACORN's Milwaukee chapter since the last election cycle.
There's more at the link.

The bottom line is Obama and the Democrats are going to make sure every single vote is counted - even if they have to commit fraud to do it.


Non-partisan ACORN on campus

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

ACORN conquers Indianapolis

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

105% of city's eligible citizens are registered to vote

Does ACORN have an office in Indianapolis? You know they do.
According to STATSIndiana, In 2007, Indianapolis/Marion County had an estimated population of 876,804. Of that number 232,607 were below 18 years of age, for a total of 644,197 people in Marion County/Indianapolis 18 or over and thus eligible to vote. (Indiana allows felons to vote as long as they are not incarcerated).

So we have 644,197 people eligible to be registered in Marion County/Indianapolis, and 677,401 people registered. Congratulations go to Indianapolis for having 105% of its residents registered!
Across the nation voter registration irregularities are coming to light. Many of these irregularities involving the former employer, ACORN, of one of our Presidential candidates, Barack Obama. Now it comes to light that Obama’s campaign has paid ACORN over $800,000 for “get out the vote” efforts so far this campaign season.

At some point, someone is going to have to look into this stuff.


New ACORN fraud allegations in Missouri

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Barack takes out insurance in key battleground state

Officials in Missouri, a hard-fought jewel in the presidential race, are sifting through possibly hundreds of questionable or duplicate voter-registration forms submitted by an advocacy group that has been accused of election fraud in other states.

Charlene Davis, co-director of the election board in Jackson County, where Kansas City is, said the fraudulent registration forms came from the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN. She said they were bogging down work Wednesday, the final day Missourians could register to vote.

"I don't even know the entire scope of it because registrations are coming in so heavy," Davis said. "We have identified about 100 duplicates, and probably 280 addresses that don't exist, people who have driver's license numbers that won't verify or Social Security numbers that won't verify. Some have no address at all."

The nonpartisan group works to recruit low-income voters, who tend to lean Democratic. Polls show Republican presidential candidate John McCain with an edge in bellwether Missouri, but Democrat Barack Obama continues to put up a strong fight.

Jess Ordower, Midwest director of ACORN, said his group hasn't done any registrations in Kansas City since late August. He said he was told three weeks ago by election officials that there were only about 135 questionable cards — 85 of them duplicates.

"They keep telling different people different things," he said. "They gave us a list of 130, then told someone else it was 1,000."

FBI spokeswoman Bridget Patton said the agency has been in contact with elections officials about potential voter fraud and plans to investigate.

"It's a matter we take very seriously," Patton said. "It is against the law to register someone to vote who does not fall within the parameters to vote, or to put someone on there falsely."

On Tuesday, authorities in Nevada seized records from ACORN after finding fraudulent registration forms that included the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys.

In April, eight ACORN workers in St. Louis city and county pleaded guilty to federal election fraud for submitting false registration cards for the 2006 election. U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway said they submitted cards with false addresses and names, and forged signatures.

Ordower said Wednesday that ACORN registered about 53,500 people in Missouri this year. He believes his group is being targeted because some politicians don't want that many low-income people having a voice.

"It's par for the course," he said. "When you're doing more registrations than anyone else in the country, some don't want low-income people being empowered to vote. There are pretty targeted attacks on us, but we're proud to be out there doing the patriotic thing getting people registered to vote."

Republicans are among ACORN's loudest critics. At a campaign stop in Bethlehem, Pa., supporters of John McCain interrupted his remarks Wednesday by shouting, "No more ACORN."

According to its national Web site, the group has registered 1.3 million people nationwide for the Nov. 4 election. It also has encountered complaints of fraud stemming from registration efforts in Wisconsin, New Mexico, Nevada and battleground states like Michigan, Ohio and North Carolina, where new voter registrations have favored Democrats nearly 4 to 1 since the beginning of this year.

Missouri offers 11 electoral votes; the presidential candidates need at least 270 to win the election.


ACORN's rampant, unchecked voter-fraud

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Gov't, media afraid to take on Barack Obama

I’m happy to announce that the mainstream news media are beginning to cover the story of rampant voter fraud perpetrated by liberal organizations such as ACORN. I’ve been covering this story for years as part of my overall coverage of illegal aliens and immigration. While Barack Obama is scolding AIG and corporate America, he’s served as an attorney for ACORN in the past, and has not once mentioned the federal investigation of that organization.

A recent study released by the conservative think-tank the Heritage Foundation provides proof that illegal aliens and immigrants with green cards are committing rampant voter fraud in the United States. Reports of ineligible persons registering to vote have raised concerns about state processes for verifying voter registration lists. States usually base voter eligibility on the voter’s age, US citizenship, mental competence, and felon status.

Although individual states run elections, Congress has authority to affect the administration of the elections. The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) had set a deadline for states to have a statewide voter registration list and list verification procedures.

For example, the methods used in seven selected states to verify voter eligibility and ensure accuracy of voter registration lists were varied and include relying on registrant self attestation, return mailings, and checking against lists of felony convictions or deceased individuals. Some states, for instance, failed to do any more than ask on their application forms if the registrant was a US citizen. The applicant will merely check off the “Yes” box, but there is no action taken to verify the authenticity of that answer.

“The voter registration officials simply take the word of the registrant with no follow-up,” said conservative political strategist Michael Baker.

“Some states that require some backup documentation merely ask for a utility bill or a driver’s license—neither of which prove citizenship. In other words, legal or illegal aliens can easily register to vote in local and national elections,” warns Baker.

According to a Congressional study of voter fraud, other challenges such as identifying duplicate registrations in other states or having insufficient information to match other data sources with voter registration lists may continue to be issues. (http://www.gao.gov/htext/d05478.html)

While federal data sources have the potential to help state election officials identify registrants who may be convicted felons or non-citizens, few states communicate with federal agencies such as the Homeland Security Department’s immigration section.

Many government officials—mostly liberals—claim that illegal aliens voting is not a major problem, conservative activists respond that while the potential number identified may be small, an election can be decided by a few votes. In 2004, the presidential race between Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush was decided by a few hundred votes in Florida.

“While the news media perpetuated the assertion that Bush and the GOP ‘stole’ the election, it could very well have been illegal aliens voting in Florida that made the outcome so close,” said former NYPD cop, now security firm owner, Sid Francis.

“Bush may have beaten Gore by more votes if illegals were excluded, since immigrants tend to vote for Democrats. Or Gore could have won decisively had there been prior screening before people were allowed into the voting booths,” said Det. Francis.

“There was absolutely no mention in the mainstream media regarding suspected voter fraud by illegal or legal aliens. It was much easier for the agenda-driven newspeople to accuse Republicans of stealing the election,” added Baker.

“Florida is not unique. Thousands of non-citizens are registered to vote in some states, and tens if not hundreds of thousands in total may be present on the voter rolls nationwide. These numbers are significant: Local elections are often decided by only a handful of votes, and even national elections have likely been within the margin of the number of non-citizens illegally registered to vote,” said Hans A. von Spakovsky, a researcher at the Heritage Foundation.

“There is no reliable method to determine the number of non-citizens registered or actually voting because most laws to ensure that only citizens vote are ignored, are inadequate, or are systematically undermined by government officials. Those who ignore the implications of non-citizen registration and voting either are willfully blind to the problem or may actually favor this form of illegal voting,” said Spakovsky, an expert on the subject of illegal aliens and immigration law, during an interview on Fox News Channel.

As far as felons, US Attorneys are required to notify state election officials of federal felony convictions, but the information is not always easy for election officials to interpret or complete, according to New Jersey GOP strategist Janice Martin.

“Americans would be shocked to discover that hundreds of thousands of general election voters are illegal aliens, green-card immigrants, and criminals who’ve murdered, raped and robbed US citizens. And guess which political party benefits the most from their votes? The one that’s pushing for amnesty and a bag full of free goodies,” said Martin.

Dr. von Spakovsky believes many government officials and politicians are complicit in the voter fraud problem.

“To keep non-citizens from diluting citizens’ votes, immigration and election officials must cooperate far more effectively than they have to date, and state and federal officials must increase their efforts to enforce the laws against non-citizen voting that are already on the books,” he wrote in his Heritage Foundation study on illegal alien voter fraud. (http://www.heritage.org)

“While the liberal media and the liberal establishment ignore what is a huge scandal, American voters are having their rights violated. When an illegal aliens or felon or other person prohibited by law to vote, their votes cancels out those of American citizens,” warns Baker.

“Liberals want illegal aliens and felons to vote. They benefit from such rampant fraud.”

- Jim Kouri, Vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police


There's no stopping ACORN

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

The most fraudulent election in U.S. history

ACORN's sophomoric attempts at voter registration fraud have been festering in Las Vegas for months. The noise finally got so loud that Secretary of State Ross Miller had no choice but to raid the nonprofit.

After all, a week ago, Miller held a news conference to explain that individuals who have moved -- or had their homes foreclosed -- can still vote at their old precincts.

Miller has to put on the "top election official" face for good show with the stakes so high. So when canvassers submitted voter registration forms with the names of the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys, Miller had to make a goal-line stand to protect the integrity of the vast voter rolls here.

If he was going to warn those who might seek to use the foreclosure crisis to manipulate votes, he had little choice but to also get to the bottom of a voter registration mess in Southern Nevada.

Of course any group that sets up shop to register low-income voters is immediately going to come under scrutiny from Republican operatives.

But imagine if Miller, a Democrat, had opted not to conduct the raid. Two of his fellow constitutional officers (Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, John McCain's Nevada campaign chairman, and GOP Gov. Jim Gibbons) would have called him out for looking the other way -- to the benefit his own party.

Should Nevada come down to the wire -- and if the presidential election hinges on the Silver State's five electoral votes -- accusations of a partisan operative in the secretary of state's office would not be a good thing.

Two words: Katherine Harris.

ACORN's work could not be allowed to go unchecked and unpublicized for that reason.

A few months ago, Clark County Registrar Larry Lomax said he flagged so many "fraudulent" voter forms coming in to his office through ACORN field workers that he took action.

Lomax told me recently that he thought there were about 400 fake forms in question. His office not only took them out of circulation, but also watched as new ones occasionally trickled in.

Lomax said he was given assurances by Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now officials that anyone involved had been fired. Lomax also told me ACORN claimed to have fired about 200 people.

These numbers are important.

ACORN is an organization that lives and breathes on public assistance, largely through federal and local community grants. It must appear to have enough clients (register enough voters, etc.) to continue receiving financial support.

Thus the group's claims must be taken with a grain of salt.

The numbers just don't add up. ACORN officials say the group registered 90,000 voters in Clark County this year. But as the close of registration approaches, the county has added roughly 100,000 new voters.

If ACORN's claim were true, it would mean the McCain-Palin or Obama-Biden campaigns had registered very few people.

However, Lomax said that by the close of mail-in registration on Oct. 4, the Obama camp was bringing in roughly 2,000 to 3,000 forms at a time.

So authorities appear to have stopped major registration fraud. Thankfully, the ruse was so juvenile as to be spotted immediately.

Come on, they could have at least been creative and signed up the second string of the Detroit Lions instead of Terrell Owens.

The sad fact of the ACORN saga (new leadership there notwithstanding) is that these ham-handed attempts to thwart the system are crimes. And Miller had to do his little dog-and-pony raid.

Maybe they will identify 2,000 or 3,000 fraudulent forms. Maybe it'll be a few hundred. Either way, what's wrong is wrong.

And this sends a message to voters: If you really want to register to vote and participate in this election, do it yourself rather than with somebody outside a grocery store.

Each election cycle we hear stories of attempted manipulation of the process. In addition to ACORN, the most common complaint this year was about Republican operatives registering voters outside the Department of Motor Vehicles. They were registering only Republicans.

Both the state Democratic Party and the Obama campaign immediately distanced themselves from ACORN. And Republicans cried foul all the way up to Sen. John Ensign. Gibbons even got into the act.

Thankfully, we've passed the deadline for groups such as ACORN and the major campaigns to register voters. Now it is all up to the individual.

You can check your voter information on Miller's Web site: silverstate08.com.

And you've got until Oct. 14 to register for this election.

You've just got to do it yourself.

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