Obama Rx for Big Labor: Bye-bye secret ballot

Related video: "Employee Forced Choice Act"
More EFCA stories: hereMore card-check stories: here

Dems to force disinterested workers - without a vote - to pay tribute to Big Labor's partisan political machine

Perhaps Republicans deserve to lose this election--but that doesn't mean they shouldn't try to win. It is not clear, however, that the McCain campaign agrees. How else to explain its failure to alert voters of frightening liberal ideas such as "card check" that are bound to be enacted if Democrats sweep into the White House and Congress?

Card check--the most radical revision of labor law since 1935--would allow unions to do away with secret ballots, a fundamental right in a democracy, and unionize companies simply by coaxing, cajoling or coercing a majority of workers into signing a card. It came alarmingly close to being enacted last year when the House overwhelmingly passed the fraudulently named Employee Free Choice Act. The Republican minority in the Senate eventually filibustered the legislation.

But this last line of defense will crumple if Democrats gain a super-majority in the Senate. Also, Sen. Barack Obama--who was one of the co-sponsors of the legislation--has already declared that he will make card check "the law of the land when I'm president of the United States." No surprise then that Big Labor is pumping close to $400 million to elect him and his fellow Democrats--likely the single largest buying spree ever by an interest group.

But card check will be bad for workers and businesses. And why McCain is not shouting this from the rooftops is one of the big mysteries of his campaign.

Unions have been losing membership steadily since their heyday in the 1950s when nearly 35% of the American workforce belonged to a union, compared with 7.5% today. Indeed, even as the economy added more than 9.5 million jobs between 1999 and 2006, unions lost more than 1 million members.

One big reason is that workers simply don't believe that handing over 1% to 2% of their wages in mandatory union dues is worth the services that Big Labor offers. Their skepticism is not unjustified. A 2002 study by the Bureau of National Affairs found that, after adjusting for cost-of-living, private sector workers in the 10 least unionized states earned $1,600 more annually than workers in the 10 most heavily unionized states. What's more, between 1992 and 2002, the less unionized states generated twice as many nonfarm jobs--with better benefits--than more unionized states.

But instead of enticing reluctant workers by offering better prices or services--as a club losing membership would do--unions want to effectively coerce them by taking away their right to a fair vote. Furthermore, Big Labor wants to eliminate the elections required to form a union, while keeping them for when workers want to remove an existing union. This is a flagrant double-standard designed to turn workers into union hostages!

Workers understand the dangers of card check, which is why 78% of union members support keeping the current secret ballot system, according to a 2004 Zogby survey conducted for the Michigan-based Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Workers won't be the only losers under card check, however. Non-unionized companies in the manufacturing sector will confront new union drives. Even industries such as hospitals and hotels that never imagined they would be vulnerable to unionization would potentially become union shops. But the grand prize that Big Labor is coveting is the retail sector--and not just big-box stores like Wal-Mart (nyse: WMT - news - people ) and Home Depot (nyse: HD - news - people ), but also medium-sized establishments like pharmacies and grocery stores.

Companies' biggest fear is that unions will foist rigid workplace rules upon them--just as they did on the former Big Three automakers--preventing them from quickly redeploying their workforce in response to shifting market conditions, crimping their productivity and global competitiveness.

But there is an even deeper problem that card check will exacerbate: There has been a major shift in the mentality of the modern-day labor movement, which now regards political advocacy as its main role rather than workplace representation. Witness, for instance, its advocacy of nationalized health care.

Yet it is far from clear if union rank-and-file approve of this shift. Indeed, the 2004 Mackinac Center poll found that 43% of union members believed not enough union funds were spent on "efforts to secure better wages, benefits and working conditions."

With card check, however, Big Labor will get more money and added flexibility to further ignore the wishes of its rank-and-file and pursue its political agenda.

McCain could have used his own opposition to card check to expose the joint agenda of Big Labor and the Democrats while wooing ordinary, blue-collar voters. That he didn't do so might be one of the biggest missed opportunities of his campaign.

- Shikha Dalmia is a senior analyst at the Los Angeles-based Reason Foundation.


#1 for Unchecked Dems: Payoff to Union Bigs

Related video: "Employee Forced Choice Act"
More EFCA stories: here card-check: here worker-choice: here

Worker-choice about union representation to be outsourced to politicians and union organizers

Employers do everything in their power to make sure workers don't get a chance to vote for a union. They flout labor law, making a joke of the familiar National Labor Relations Board procedures where the government's job is to oversee a "fair fight" election between the union and the boss.

As a result, unions have embraced neutrality agreements and card check procedures as an alternative road to growth. Since the mid-1990s their use has accelerated.

Several studies say the win rate for card check is about 70 percent, compared with 55 to 60 percent for recent NLRB elections. The numbers recruited are also larger, mainly because the organizing targets are larger, too. The AFL-CIO says that three years ago its affiliates -- before the split -- organized 150,000 new private sector members by such procedures. That's more than twice the 70,000 brought in through NLRB elections that year.

But the fact is that card check is still not widely used.

The NLRB is still the primary avenue to union recognition, although the data don't take into account the number of workers involved in each drive.

Most unions, including the primary users of card check -- UNITE HERE, Communications Workers (CWA), UAW, SEIU, and Steelworkers -- still use the NLRB far more often. The Teamsters and SEIU used NLRB elections last year more than all AFL-CIO unions combined.

The exception is UNITE HERE, which seldom uses the NLRB.

Volunteers, Anyone?

Why don't unions use card check more often? Employer resistance has made it more and more time-consuming and expensive.

One distinct approach to card check and neutrality agreements is called "bargaining to organize." It involves employers where the union already represents some portion of the company's workforce. The union uses its muscle in bargaining to convince the employer to accept an expedited procedure at the non-union facilities.

Examples include CWA's agreement with AT&T Wireless, UNITE HERE's with Hilton and Starwood hotels, UAW's with 11 auto parts suppliers, and the Teamsters' 2007 agreement with UPS Freight.

Although these are national agreements, the unions still must organize one workplace at a time in most cases.

Winning a card check procedure is not easy. Such agreements often take years to win. Sometimes the employer agrees and then ignores the deal, as when Verizon's mobile phone division double-crossed CWA.

The problem becomes more severe at non-union companies, which have even less incentive to agree to card check. Forcing them can take time and money.

The 2005 SEIU victory in Houston that brought in 5,000 janitors took a massive community mobilization, pressure from religious leaders and the mayor, and a 10-day strike to get the contractors to accept card check. It took another year and a strike to win a first contract.

A 2007 ruling from the NLRB has made matters worse. The Dana/Metaldyne decision says that within 45 days after card check recognition, anti-union workers may file for a decertification election. After an NLRB-supervised vote, in contrast, no decert can take place until a year has passed.

Even before Dana, the NLRB sided with challenges to card check and ordered workers to vote. The unions involved won those elections, but the new ruling will mean more delays, more costs, and, inevitably, some reversals.

Looking to Congress

The labor movement has therefore gone to Congress with the Employee Free Choice Act. EFCA includes a mandatory card check procedure, arbitration of first contracts, and substantial fines for breaking the law.

Last year, the Republicans talked the bill to death despite a massive AFL-CIO pressure campaign, which failed to move more than one Republican. The hope now, of course, is that the Democrats will win 60 seats, a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, and pass EFCA.

But the last time the Democrats had 60 senators was 1977-79 under Jimmy Carter -- when labor law reform failed to pass.

Card Check to the Rescue?

If it were to pass, EFCA no doubt would improve organizing prospects.

But by how much? The signs from Canada are not encouraging. Canadian labor expert Roy Adams writes, "Union density and bargaining coverage are falling even in provinces such as Saskatchewan and Quebec that have card check and first contract arbitration clauses in effect."

Canadian employers have learned from their American counterparts how to intimidate workers, and even under better laws, unions aren't organizing fast enough to halt declining density.

While employers are the main problem, unions themselves share responsibility for slow growth. A few years ago, AFSCME's Paul Booth told an AFL-CIO organizing summit, "What we need is an army, and that can only come from our underutilized membership ranks."

CWA organizer Louie Rocha agrees. "The national union is of the opinion that we should wait until EFCA passes," said Rocha, who stepped down from the presidency of Local 9423 to head his local's organizing of Comcast cable workers. "The hell with that."

"In our campaign, stewards are doing all the follow-up calls. They're gaining experience that would take decades to learn if they were just taking orders."


Obama to abolish worker choice, secret ballot

Related video: "Employee Forced Choice Act"
More EFCA stories: hereMore card-check stories: here

Union-backed Democrat reveals plan for unemployment surge

If Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats win next Tuesday's election, they will likely have far more negative impact on the economy and American jobs than most voters realize, says Peter A. List, editor and chief blogger of EmployerReport.com.

"Very few Americans realize that Democrats have become the bought-and-paid for tool of labor union bosses," says List, a former union activist. "If elected, these politicians plan to repay their union backers big time."

Unfortunately, too few American voters realize that Democrats plan to effectively strip workers of their right to decide on unionization through a secret-ballot election by passing the misleadingly-named Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) within the first few weeks of an Obama presidency.

"The problem with EFCA is not only does it subject workers to unionization through trickery, manipulation and high-pressure tactics, but it also forces a company into a union contract through binding arbitration," List explains. "Having a government bureaucrat with no knowledge about or interest in a company's success or failure determine what an employer should pay its employees will cause many companies to become uncompetitive and, as a result, more workers will lose their jobs."

It is believed that EFCA will be signed into law by Valentine's Day and, while many politicians and pundits have focused their attention solely on the anti-democratic provisions of EFCA's effective removal of the secret-ballot election, most do not realize that the real job killer will be binding arbitration. However, once EFCA becomes law, union bosses aren't finished, List warns.

"To further aid union bosses," List states, "once EFCA gets signed into law, Americans in 22 states should also expect to see their right-to-work status be eliminated."
On July 10th, a bill (HR 6477) was introduced into Congress that ends so-called Right-to-Work laws. There are currently 22 so-called right-to-work states wherein it is illegal for a union to require a worker to pay union dues as a condition of employment. During the Democratic primaries, presidential-hopeful Barack Obama indicated that he is opposed to right-to-work laws which means that, under a Democrat-controlled Congress, right-to-work laws will likely be eliminated.

Passage of this bill will result in unionized workers in all 50 states being required to pay union dues or be fired from their jobs under so-called "union (income) security agreements," which is something labor bosses have desired since 1947 when right-to-work laws were established.

"Little do people know in swing states like Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina, and Virginia that, by backing Barack Obama and other Democrats in this election cycle, they are likely voting to take away their own right to vote on unionization as well as allowing unions to force them to pay union dues or be fired," states List.

A further piece of legislation that will reward big union bosses if Democrats win big on November 4th, is the under-reported R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Act, which makes potential union members out of many people now deemed to be supervisors by their employers.
"Since there is substantial evidence that pro-union legislation prolonged the Great Depression of the 1930s," List explains, "Barack Obama and his Democrat co-horts will likely inflict very real pain on employers, their employees, as well as the economy."
"Unions do not create jobs, companies do," says List. "Sadly, all of the bills that are on the union agenda will, if passed, make it extremely unattractive for larger companies to continue to do business in America. In addition, many smaller companies unable to do business at all under the weight of unionization."

"Depending on the outcome on November 4th," List concludes, "if Democrats win big, the real losers could very easily be American workers. It is very likely that Americans will see more jobs destroyed as a natural economic reaction to the Democrats' payoff to their union backers."

- Peter A. List is Editor & Chief Blogger of EmployerReport.com, as well as Founder & CEO of Kulture, LLC -- a nationally known labor and employee relations consulting firm assisting employers with employee and labor issues.


Obama to ban secret ballot union elections

Related video: "Employee Forced Choice Act"
More EFCA stories: hereMore card-check stories: here

Anti-Democratic Democrats have sold their birthright to organized labor thugs

One of our most cherished rights as Americans is the ability to vote, freely and without intimidation. A bill pending in Congress would deny that franchise to an important segment of our population, rank and file workers. It's an issue before the candidates for the U.S. Senate in Virginia this fall. One has taken a stand. The other has not and should.

The legislation is formally called "the Employee Free Choice Act" or EFCA. A key provision is a change in the way unions are formed and recognized. Instead of a private election with a secret ballot overseen by an impartial federal board, union organizers would only need to gather signatures from more than half of the employees in a workplace or bargaining unit. This system is known as "card check."

There would be no election and no opportunity for both parties in this critical decision to make their case with the rank and file. Before many workers realize what they had signed, they would be paying dues to a union they know little about and praying their jobs and futures will be secure.

This is not democracy, and neither liberals nor conservatives should support this kind of intrusion into our plants, factories and stores.

We can all acknowledge that unions deserve some credit for the rise of the middle class and for laws that have protected workers from abuse. This is not 1920, though. Enlightened management and progressive legislators have improved the lot for employees and are doing more every day. Further, employers have an obligation to make them aware of both the costs and benefits of union membership, but they would be denied that opportunity under the EFCA.

Former Gov. Jim Gilmore, who is running for the U.S. Senate in Virginia, has said he would vote against the EFCA if elected on Nov. 4. In an editorial in the Harrisonburg press recently, however, it was clear that his opponent, Democrat and former Gov. Mark Warner, has not taken a position. To quote from the piece, "Asked no less than three times this past Friday during a question and answer session at the Winchester Star whether he would vote 'yes' or 'no' on this undemocratic bill, Mr. Warner ... wiggled and danced and gave explanations for his wiggling and dancing, but never did answer the question."

Given his party's close alliance with labor, it's understandable that Warner is having a hard time making up his mind. Standing up for the rights of workers, however, is not a partisan issue. In fact, former U.S. senator and 1972 Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern penned an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal in August titled "My Party Should Respect Secret Union Ballots." In it, he states: "To my friends supporting EFCA, I say this: We cannot be a party that strips working Americans of the right to a secret-ballot election. We are the party that has always defended the rights of the working class. To fail to ensure the right to vote free of ... coercion from all sides would be a betrayal of what we have always championed."

By raising the question of card check at this time, the Virginia State Chamber of Commerce is not taking sides in the November election. We have great admiration for Warner and appreciate his struggle to make a choice that will not hurt him politically, either in this election or a future one for national office. The principle, though, is clear. As McGovern says, "Being a good steward of democracy means telling our friends 'no' when they press for a course that in the long run may weaken labor and disrupt a tried and trusted method for conducting honest elections."

This is a time when both Democrats and Republicans should state unequivocally that they will not deny workers a right to vote, just to sustain unions and their dues-fed treasuries. In the days left before the election, citizens in Hampton Roads and throughout the commonwealth should press candidates for the Senate and House of Representatives to state their positions on the EFCA and remind them that the ballot box is a sacred feature of American democracy, whether it's at a polling precinct on Election Day or at work sites across the commonwealth of Virginia every other day of the year.

- Hugh Keogh is president and CEO of the Virginia State Chamber of Commerce.


Unions all-in v. anti-corruption measure

Related story: "The 28 labor-states"

Out-of-state union cash colors Colorado ballot

As the tab for the ballot battle involving organized labor and businesses passes $30 million, some of the focus is shifting to Amendment 54 — one of three measures targeted by unions and businesses.

"We have different members that are very focused on 54," said Pat Hamill, a board member of Colorado Concern, an alliance of business executives. "Out of the three initiatives, 54 impacts business and nonprofits the most from a negative standpoint."

Amendment 54 would prohibit campaign contributions from any entity that wins no-bid government contracts totaling $100,000 or more. It would also prohibit immediate family members of holders of a no-bid contract from contributing to any political campaign or candidate who may have influence over the contract.

The measure is under attack from unions because it classifies collective-bargaining agreements as no-bid contracts.

"It would remove us from the political process," said Joel Heinemann, a member of the firefighters union at Littleton Fire Rescue who is serving as a volunteer spokesman for a labor coalition fighting the measure. "It stops us from advocating for political candidates that would be supportive of issues important to us."

Proponents of the measure say it would save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars by encouraging competitive bidding for government contracts.

"Our biggest endorsement is the fact that Colorado Concern has now made us their Public Enemy No. 1," said Amendment 54 chairman Tom Lucero, citing an internal Colorado Concern memo that stated the group would now focus solely on defeating Amendment 54.

Colorado Concern is part of the business-labor alliance that formed this month to defeat Amendments 47, 49 and 54. The alliance led to the removal of four union-backed measures from Tuesday's ballot.

Amendment 47 would prohibit forced union fees as a condition of employment. Amendment 49 would ban automatic deduction of union dues from government-employee paychecks.

Businesses and unions opposing and supporting those measures have reported raising roughly $30 million, according to secretary-of-state filings.

Backers of Amendment 47 — A Better Colorado and Defend Our Economy — have raised $3.7 million and $1.4 million, respectively. Clean Government Colorado, which is pushing Amendment 54, has raised $1.8 million. Ethical Standards Now, the group behind Amendment 49, has secured $91,000.

Protect Colorado's Future, a coalition of unions fighting Amendments 47, 49 and 54, has raised $15.8 million, including $2.1 million from businesses in the business-labor alliance. Coloradans for Middle Class Relief, a union group fighting Amendment 47, has raised $6.8 million. The Committee for Fair Wages Benefits, which financed two of the measures that were withdrawn, has raised $2.4 million.


The Unemployment Administration

Related video: "Employee Forced Choice Act"
More EFCA stories: hereMore card-check stories: here

Dire consequences of Obama's pro-union bias

It’s November 3, 2012. Tomorrow, Americans return to the polls, four years after electing Senator Barack Hussein Obama their commander in chief. Though the incumbent president trails in the polls, his aides still hold out hope that he will be able to engineer an improbable victory.

Dissatisfaction with the depressed economy, America’s tenuous situation abroad, and a spate of unpopular Supreme Court decisions led by Obama appointees have led voters to embrace the “change” platform espoused by the Republican nominee,

Gov. Sarah Palin. “President Obama promised you change four years ago,” Palin told a screaming crowd in Pennsylvania today. “And he gave you change. A change from bad to worse. Now it’s time for a new kind of change—a kind of change more in line with the founding fathers than with the French government.”

Four years ago, such a turn of events would have been almost unthinkable. Riding to victory on a crest of media-generated enthusiasm and uplifting rhetoric rich in messianic allusions, Senator Obama brought with him a supermajority of Democrats in the Senate and a solid majority of Democrats in the House.

Obama proceeded to replace Justices Kennedy and Ginsburg with Justice Cass Sunstein and Justice Elena Kagan. Sunstein wrote the majority opinion in Degeneres v. California, the decision recognizing a constitutional right for gays to marry under the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. Kagan wrote the majority opinion in NARAL v. North Dakota, the decision holding that individuals have a right to state-sponsored abortions.

Meanwhile, he negotiated an agreement with Russia to reduce nuclear armaments, though critics claim that the Russian government has failed to meet its obligations. Political opponents also criticize Obama’s move to cut military spending in the face of Russian expansionism in Ukraine and Lithuania.

The war in Afghanistan continues unabated, with critics claiming that troop levels have not been raised significantly since Obama entered office. Gov. Palin has hammered Obama on his failure to capture Osama Bin Laden, Obama’s main rationale for the troop cuts in Iraq.

Obama’s quick pullout from Iraq precipitated an enormous humanitarian crisis, with hundreds of thousands of Iraqis displaced and thousands murdered. Iran’s increasing influence in Iraq, and Syria’s ongoing development of weapons-grade uranium have put many voters on edge, despite Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s insistence that stability will be improved shortly.

Seeking to ease international tensions, Obama met directly with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Ahmadinejad insisted that the Israeli government grant a contiguous state to the Hamas-run Palestinian government, including full control of both its borders and East Jerusalem. Assad insisted that Israel concede the Golan Heights.

Obama agreed with the general thrust of the demands, and suggested that the Iranian and Syrian proposals be included in a new “roadmap,” to be administered by the United States, France, Russia, China and Britain. Israel has, so far, protested the plan, pointing to the continuing mass terrorism sponsored by Iran and Syria, including the use of crude chemical weaponry.

On the domestic front, the economic downturn precipitated in 2007 by the subprime housing crisis has deepened and widened. Obama’s push for higher capital gains taxes and estate taxes has been associated with stagnation in the stock market and continued recession in the real estate market, along with lower government tax receipts. To combat those lowered receipts, and in anticipation of Social Security funding shortages, Obama has raised income taxes on everyone making more than $40,000 per year.

Gov. Palin has pointed at both Obama’s economic policies and his sponsorship of the “Card Check” plan in attacking Obama on the economy. The “Card Check” plan, which discarded secret ballots in union elections, caused union membership to double within the last four years. It has also created higher rates of unemployment. Unemployment currently hovers at about 10 percent, higher than any time during the Bush or Clinton Administrations.

To ease unemployment, Obama has pushed for higher benefits and fewer restrictions on length of dependence. He has also pushed his signature Make Work Program, a measure aimed at increasing employment rates through government jobs.

As the leading architect and advocate for the Health Care For All Act through Congress in 2009, President Obama has been blamed for a shortage of incoming doctors and the unavailability of high-quality medical care.

Gov. Palin, who just four years ago was considered by many to be too rough-hewn to make a serious run for the White House, has taken control of the presidential race. The RealClearPolitics poll average puts her up 7.3 points leading into tomorrow’s election.

“This race isn’t over until it’s over,” President Obama told a small crowd in Nevada yesterday. “Four years ago, I asked you to join me in changing the world. We’ve changed the world, and we’re not done yet.”


Obama to put employers under seige

Related video: "Employee Forced Choice Act"
More EFCA stories: here • More card-check stories: here

A Tsunami of Union Organizing On the Way

For years, labor unions in the United States have been in crisis. Union membership has declined from more than one-third of America's workforce 50 years ago to about 7.5 percent of private-sector workers and just 12.1 percent of all workers today.

This decline in membership can be attributed to many factors, including increased globalization and disproportionate job losses in the heavily unionized manufacturing sector, the shift to a service-based economy with small and decentralized workforces and the growth of industries employing high-tech and other traditionally non-union employees.

Most of all, the decline in union membership is due to the failure of unions to organize new members to replace the losses they have experienced in the historically unionized sectors of the economy. The lone exception has been the public sector.

The lack of union organizing success in private industry is due in no small measure to the effectiveness of employer countercampaigns. Contrary to the shrill union propaganda in support of labor law reform, these employer campaigns are not based on coercion, discharges and threats of plant closures.

Rather, they are grounded on educating employees with respect to what unions are, what they can and cannot do, and the success they have (or failed to have) had in improving the terms and conditions of employment and in obtaining job security for their members. Simply, when employees learn the truth about unions, most do not want the cost or trouble.

Over the last several years, big labor has sought to mask its failure to attract new members by manipulating statistics of the elections conducted under the supervision of the National Labor Relations Board. This has been done largely through the withdrawal of election petitions by the unions just prior to votes they expect to lose.

The result is a higher percentage of wins and the appearance of greater success in Labor Board elections.

Beginning in 2004, big labor began touting the increase in winning secret-ballot elections as evidence of a growing desire by employees for union representation and a greater acceptance of labor unions generally. The facts, however, did not support organized labor's statements. True, union success in elections increased to 67 percent through mid August, 2008, compared to 55 percent in the prior six years.

In fact, however, when measured against the total petitions filed, organized labor's success rate during the years 2005 through mid August 2008 was less than over the prior six years, 31 percent vs. 34 percent.

Labor unions are not gaining more support in the workforce, but they are getting new members. While the statistics may be an anomaly, 2007 was the first time in the past quarter of a century that unions increased their share of the American workforce.

According to the annual union membership report compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unions added roughly 311,000 members, raising the unionized share of the total workforce in 2007 to 12.1 percent from 12 percent in the prior year and, in the private sector alone, to 7.5 percent from 7.4 percent.

The increases are small, but the uptick is remarkable, given the less than stellar performance of unions in board-conducted elections and the lackluster economy.

The most plausible explanation for the apparent contradiction of fewer election wins but more new members is the success big labor is having with the use of neutrality and card-check agreements rather than the election procedures established by the National Labor Relations Act.

The indicia of this change in strategy is obvious. In 1999, unions filed 5,767 petitions with the National Labor Relations Board for Board supervised secret-ballot elections. By 2007, the number of petitions had plummeted to 3,427. Yet, union membership has stabilized and now grown.

The growth is due to a strategy built around two over-arching objectives: (1) Silence employers so that employees will only hear the union's voice and (2) Have union representation rights determined by a "voluntary" card check, as opposed to a secret-ballot election.

The means by which big labor achieves these objectives is simple: Convince employers to accept neutrality and card-check agreements.

A "neutrality" agreement prevents an employer from educating its employees about what unions are, what they cost, and what they can and cannot do. On occasion, a neutrality agreement will also have a cooperation component in which the employer agrees to give to the union a list of the names and addresses of its employees or permits the union to have access to its employees on premises.

The card-check agreement obligates the employer to recognize and deal with the union if the union is able to present cards signed by a majority of employees that designate the union as their representative.

Once the neutrality and card-check agreements are completed, union organizers, without fear of challenge or question, promise employees large wage increases, better and free benefits, job security and the end to change if they sign the union's card.

It makes no difference that an employee signs a card out of ignorance or that what is being told to him/her is a fantasy. There is no one to say otherwise. The employer, by giving up its rights to free speech about unions and a secret-ballot election, gives up not only its right to correct the claims upon which the cards may been signed, but also gives up the right employees have to know the employer's arguments and claims, to change their minds and to express their desires in secret, free of coercion.

By the time the employees learn that union claims may not come to fruition and they signed the cards, it is too late and they have become obligated to pay $500 to $1500 a year in union dues.

Union campaigns to compel employer silence and card-check agreements have little to do with convincing workers that they will be better off represented by a labor organization. They are campaigns that target employer economic well being to the point where the employer will literally stand aside while its employees are addressed by union organizers and agree to have a portion of their wages put aside as union dues. (See more information about corporate campaigns here .)

Under the EFCA, employers will no longer be able to force secret-ballot elections to determine whether a majority of its employees want to be represented by and pay dues to a union. Rather, under this proposed law, if a majority of employees sign union cards, the employer would be required to recognize and deal with the union, provided the employer cannot produce specific evidence of, as yet undefined, illegal coercion.

In addition, under the proposed law, if the union and employer cannot agree upon the terms of a first collective-bargaining contract within 90 days, either party can request federal mediation, which could lead to binding arbitration if an agreement still cannot be reached after an additional 30 days. The House of Representatives passed the EFCA last year, but the bill stalled in the Senate.

EFCA has become big labor's top priority for the first legislative session after the current presidential campaign, since it is likely that there will be sufficient "muscle" in Congress to get the bill to the new president. The Democratic nominee for president, Barack Obama, D-Ill., is a co-sponsor of EFCA and has promised to sign it, if passed by Congress.

The Republican nominee, John McCain has voiced opposition to the proposed law and voted against bringing EFCA to the floor of the Senate for a vote. However, if McCain's choice for vice president and the Democrats' failure to nominate Hillary Clinton lures or drives some labor unions to support the Republican ticket. Big labor will try to cash their chits with the Republicans as well.

The $300 million big labor is expected to spend on the election campaigns this fall will buy a lot of chits, regardless of which party wins. As a consequence, employers must anticipate that some significant changes to the labor laws will likely come out of the next Congress and White House, regardless of who the ultimate presidential winner may be.

Further, the focus of those changes will likely be to silence employer opposition to union organizing.

In the climate that is about to be, employers who wish to remain union free will not have the luxury of waiting for union organizing to occur before mobilizing a counter campaign, with the hope that the organizing effort will be defeated in a later secret-ballot election.

Rather, these employers will have to develop and maintain an effective program that will create a workforce that is resistant to the appeals of union organizers that will be made in secret and, perhaps, before the employer is aware that its employees are being approached by an organizer.

To create such a program, an employer must first understand why an employee would be driven to consider paying $500 to $1,500 a year in union dues an appropriate "union vaccine" that will neutralize the appeals of the organizers.

Drivers of Union Activity:

Wages and Benefits. While wages and benefits are the reflexive answer to why employees think of unions, most employers will not be unionized because of either. The reality of the marketplace typically requires employers to pay what is necessary to keep qualified workers. This is particularly true when economic times are good and employees have mobility to seek and find jobs that compensate them as they believe they should be.

In bad economic times, things become more difficult, as employers find it impossible to overcome employee disgruntlement with wage increases or improved benefits and employees cannot find jobs elsewhere that promise to be better.

Nevertheless, the economic reality is that employers must compensate employees competitively if they are going to stay in business. Where even good employers slip up occasionally is in not doing an adequate job of determining what competitive wage and benefit levels are in the area from which they draw their employees.

For that reason, an essential component in the union-vaccine cocktail is the development of a process by which an employer is confident that its wages and benefits (including percentage of employee contribution to insurance premiums) match-up well against those of unionized competitors in the employment market. If employers need to reduce the costs of their operations, they should not look first at what is paid to their employees in cash wages and benefits.

Economies should be found elsewhere and the advantages of being union free should not be in the form of lower wages and benefits. At the same time, employers need not overpay their workers. They only need to be competitive in the employment market with their unionized competitors.

Respect. One principle reason for union activity is the perception of employees that they are not respected and that solving their work-related problems is not taken seriously by their supervisor or human resource contact and, derivatively, by their employer.

True, some employees have overblown sensitivities and demand more than their fair share of attention and deference. The vast majority, however, are balanced and only want common decency from their supervisors, prompt answers to their questions, honest efforts to solve their problems and no-spin reasons for negative answers.

These simple things communicate to them that they are important. If employees do not get respect from their employer and its representatives, they will begin to demand it. Unions sell respect and employees who feel they need it are easy consumers.

Powerlessness. Any employer that has gone through a union-organizing campaign knows first-hand how often the word "power" in some form surfaces in union propaganda. If an employer has not had this experience, it need only surf the Web and read the Teamster, SEIU and other union Web sites.

Many employees are threatened by change and feel powerless in their ability to stop or deflect its effects on them. Couple that discomfort with the contempt that many feel toward supervisors who they believe have no clue about how the work really gets done and you have a workforce ready for the taking by a union that promises to stop the world or, at least, slow it down.

Unfair Treatment. Sometimes a symptom of lack of respect and sometimes a byproduct of supervisory arrogance, the unfair treatment of employees by supervisors is an ever-present theme in union campaigns. Unions have an appealing antidote. "Hire us and we will make sure that your supervisor will not be able to do anything to you without just cause and will never be able to play favorites."

Of course, what unions fail to say is that, often, the favoritism it shows to its supporters is more egregious than anything done by supervisors. The curious dynamic, however, is that those who feel discriminated against by supervisors are often favored by unions and those favored by supervisors end up with the short end of the union stick.

Perceptions of unfair treatment are due to the failure of employees to understand the background or reasons for the actions taken. When confidentiality concerns prevent meaningful explanations, employers have to rely on whatever reserve of good will and trust they may have with their employees to keep things on an even keel so it is imperative to feed those reserves.

Communication. When things happen that employees do not understand or find confusing, they may doubt the motives of the employer and their feelings of powerlessness increase. While unions rarely promise employees better communications, employees can be easily convinced that unions will have a special ability to force the employer to reveal not only what may be about to happen but also the reasons for the contemplated actions.

The union as a surrogate and "in-the-know" watchdog frequently become acceptable and saleable replacements and remedies for failed communications directly to the employees. This is one promise that a union can fulfill.

The components of a union-free vaccine cocktail include workplace due process, effective communications programs and training -- all of which are explained in detail here .

Tragically, the possibility of EFCA and the threat of becoming a target of union organizing will cause an employer, who wishes to avoid the unnecessary costs and operational stagnation that result from the unionization of its workforce, to conduct itself as if in a constant state of siege. The consequence, however, may simply be that employers will be forced to have better places for employees to work.

- James R. Redeker is Co- Chair of the Employment Services Practice Group, a member of WolfBlock's Executive Committee and has served as Vice Chair of the Firm.

- Samuel L. Roberts is an associate in WolfBlock's Employment Services Practice Group.


Obama: Eliminate worker-choice 100%

Related video: "Employee Forced Choice Act"
More worker-choice stories: here EFCA: here card-check: here

Dems, Union Bigs to decide about unionizing U.S. small businesses - not workers themselves

The National Federation of Independent Business, North Carolina's leading small business group, joined other business leaders at a news conference today in Raleigh to oppose the so-called Employee Free Choice Act, also known as the card check bill.

"Just because North Carolina is a right-to-work state does not protect us from the card check bill," said Gregg Thompson, state director of NFIB/North Carolina. "The card check bill will take away workers' right to a secret ballot in union elections."

Current federal law gives workers the right to vote by private, secret ballot on whether to recognize a union in their workplace. This private ballot ensures that workers are able to make a choice without the undue influence of their union organizers, employers, colleagues and friends.

If passed, card check will undermine workers' rights. Without a secret ballot, workers will be subject to coercion and harassment, which is not what our country stands for, Thompson said.

"I employ hundreds of workers in eastern North Carolina, and I cannot stand idly by and watch their rights be stripped by this catastrophic bill," said Theron Riley, president of East Carolina Pizza Huts. "Every American deserves the right to a secret ballot and it would be a tragedy if that right is ever lost."

Joining Riley and Thompson at today's news conference: Sheila Ogle, an NFIB member and chief executive of Media Research Planning and Placement; Claude Pope, chairman of the NFIB/North Carolina Leadership Council; and Bill Brown, president of Brown & Wood Auto Dealers, chairman of the North Carolina Forum for Research and Economic Education and immediate past chairman of the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association.


Unions purchase North Carolina election

Shock troops for Obama drool over payback

Labor unions last week gave $730,000 to the N.C. Democratic Party, which in turn made large contributions to the party's nominee for governor.

Campaign finance reports show that the state Democratic Party received $730,000 from three union political action committees. The party then turned around and gave Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue's campaign an $875,000 contribution and spent $245,000 to send mailers on her behalf.

That infusion of cash represents a quarter of the $4.6 million Perdue raised in the last three months.

Detailed campaign finance reports for the last three months are not yet publicly available. The donations were included in required 48-hour reports over the past week.

A committee of the Service Employees International Union gave $600,000. A committee of the United Food and Commercial Workers International union gave $100,000. And a committee of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers gave the state party $30,000.

Republicans immediately questioned the influence of unions in a potential Perdue administration, given not only the donations, but the months-long support Perdue has enjoyed from the State Employees Association of North Carolina. That group, which has 55,000 members, is affiliated with SEIU.

SEIU and SEANC are pushing for collective bargaining rights in the state. "It really makes one wonder why is all their energy, time and money going to Perdue," said Sen. Tom Apodaca, of Hendersonville and deputy Senate Republican leader, "and what do they expect to receive for their efforts?"

Dana Cope, executive director of the employees association, said the contributions are meant to provide a check and balance on the business community.

"We want the political establishment in North Carolina to realize that we are a very large political player," Cope said. "This is something that's going to be sustained. We've had a relationship with SEIU for five years, even though we just affiliated with them in May."

Campaign finance reports also show that the state Democratic Party received $575,000 from the campaign committees of the three highest-ranking Democrats in the legislature. The campaign committee for Senate majority leader Tony Rand gave the party $200,000, the committee for Speaker of the House Joe Hackney gave the party $125,000 and Senate leader Marc Basnight's campaign gave the party $250,000. Another $215,000 came from the Washington-based Democratic Governors Association, according to campaign finance reports. A spokesman for Perdue's campaign did not return calls this morning. Perdue's opponent, Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, a Republican, raised $2.8 million in the most recent quarter, according to finance reports.


Union operatives mug Colorado workers

More worker-choice stories: here

Defenders of forced-labor unionism will do or say anything to block worker-choice

Politicians and campaigns are masters of “spin” — selectively presenting facts in a way that leads the target audience to believe what the spin doctors want them to believe. Like it or not, spin is unavoidable because everyone has a unique perspective, formed by their own experiences and beliefs.

But there’s spin and then there are lies — outright, premeditated, willful lies that have no basis whatsoever in truth. That’s the campaign strategy now being employed by labor union bosses who are, ironically, fighting against the rights of workers by opposing amendments 47 and 49.

Amendment 47

Amendment 47 (also called “right to work”) simply guarantees that an employee cannot be required to join a union or pay union dues in order to get or keep a job. It neither encourages nor discourages union membership, but simply protects the right of every working man and woman to make that choice without coercion from labor union bosses or pressure from management.

Those principles defend freedom for all workers, plain and simple.

Amendment 49

Amendment 49 (“ethical standards”) prohibits state and local governments from intercepting a worker’s paycheck to collect dues or contributions for unions, lobbyists or any other special interest. It simply requires all interest groups to ask supporters directly for their contribution, rather than use government payroll systems as their collection agency.

Groups from the National Rifle Association to the Sierra Club rely on voluntary contributions, so why can’t labor unions and other special interests?

Outrageous lies

To hear the outrageous lies of labor union bosses, you’d think these amendments would catapult Colorado back to the days of dirt roads, oil lanterns and outhouses.

An unbelievable commercial paid for by Protect Colorado’s Future shows a fireman claiming these amendments would “keep (public workers) from speaking out on public safety” and “silence the voice of firefighters, teachers and nurses.”

Strangely, they never identify the language that repeals the First Amendment, but maybe union lawyers have special glasses that reveal the super-secret code when viewed in black light.

Risk to economy?

Another hyperventilation by the same disreputable outfit warns that these amendments “put Colorado’s economy at risk” and suggests that passing them would “let special interests do to Colorado what they did to Wall Street.”

The only thing these amendments put “at risk” are the cushy accommodations reserved for labor bosses and their leverage to crack heads of workers who don’t join the union.

Then there’s the whopper by the “Coloradans for Middle Class Relief” that claims “a few rich owners” — “Big Bad Wolf” was already taken — want to pass these amendments so they can “cut wages and reduce health care for their employees.”

What stops those greedy owners from treating their employees like indentured servants today? The good old profit motive, of course. It’s tough to sell goods and services without productive, properly compensated employees.

Attacks called dishonest

The Denver Post called the union attacks dishonest, noting that Amendment 47 “does not in any way prevent unions from organizing and collecting dues from willing employees.”

The Post also pointed out that the firefighter in the commercial works in a department where union membership is voluntary.

Why then are unions crying wolf and destroying what remains of their own tattered credibility?

Because when workers are allowed to choose for themselves, 92 percent of private sector workers and 64 percent of government workers decide against union membership.

As this campaign demonstrates, union leaders don’t give a darn about protecting the little guy. They want to force the little guy to pay union dues to enhance their own political power, and they are more than willing to play dirty.

- Mark Hillman, a Republican, served as Senate Majority Leader and state treasurer.


Union political cash-flood pollutes Oregon

Related story: "The 28 labor-states"

Out-of-state labor union cash insults local preferences

The state's largest teachers union, the Oregon Education Association, has given an additional $1 million to a coalition fighting seven ballot measures authored by prolific initiative sponsor Bill Sizemore and Salem attorney Kevin Mannix. The coalition reported the money late Monday.

The union and its parent organization now have given more than $6 million, pushing total money for and against the seven Nov. 4 ballot measures close to $14 million. Most of the money has gone toward TV advertisements.

Funding for the five Sizemore measures and the two by Mannix has come mostly from Loren Parks, a millionaire who owns a medical equipment company in Aloha and moved from Oregon to Nevada in 2002.

Parks spent more than $1.3 million to help collect the signatures needed to place the initiatives on the statewide ballot. He has given $1.5 million to campaigns for those measures.

In addition to the $6.2 million from the 48,000-member OEA, Defend Oregon, an organization formed to oppose the seven Sizemore and Mannix-backed measures, has received $1.6 million from the Service Employees International Union.

Three other unions have added at least $600,000 each: The American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, the Oregon School Employees Association and the Oregon Nurses Association.

The American Federation of Teachers added another $450,000, while AFL-CIO contributed $270,000.

Mannix's Measure 61 would create mandatory minimum prison sentences for some drug, identity theft and residential burglary crimes, which opponents say would increase prison expenses and crowding. His Measure 62 would allocate 15 percent of state lottery proceeds for anti-crime efforts.

Sizemore's Measure 58 would prohibit non-English-language teaching for more than two years, Measure 59 would erase the state's limit on federal income taxes that can be deducted on state returns, and Measure 60 would switch teacher pay to a performance-based rather than seniority-based system.

Measure 63 by Sizemore would exempt construction projects from building-permit requirements for improvements valued under $35,000 and his Measure 64 would prohibit using public resources for political purposes.


Verdict on Obama, ACORN: Guilty

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Why Obama and ACORN fear Anita MonCrief

Bottom line: ACORN has been improperly coordinating with and operating as an arm of the Obama campaign, and "the Senator from ACORN"'s involvement with ACORN has been much more than his lawful representation of ACORN in the motor voter case years ago.

Thomas Sowell, in "Obama and 'The Left'":

"Although Senator Barack Obama has been allied with a succession of far left individuals over the years, that is only half the story. There are, after all, some honest and decent people on the left. But these have not been the ones that Obama has been allied with — allied, not merely 'associated' with.

"ACORN is not just an organization on the left. In addition to the voter frauds that ACORN has been involved in over the years, it is an organization with a history of thuggery, including going to bankers' homes to harass them and their families, in order to force banks to lend to people with low credit ratings.

"Nor was Barack Obama's relationship with ACORN just a matter of once being their attorney long ago. More recently, he has directed hundreds of thousands of dollars their way. Money talks — and what it says is more important than a politician's rhetoric in an election year."

Mr. Sowell's intelligence, insight and instinct served him well in the so-called Duke lacrosse case, in which Mr. Sowell stood for truth and justice instead of political correctness, and they again are serving him well in appraising Obama and ACORN.

Anita MonCrief knows.

Anita is likeable as well as brave, bright, young, maternal, passionate, artistic and black. But now ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) and the Obama campaign need to destroy her because Anita's not an ACORN slave and Anita decided to reveal what ACORN and the Obama campaign want to conceal.

A couple of years ago, Anita, then a young idealist, posted this simple description of herself online:

"I am 27 years old and live in Maryland. I am engaged to a wonderful, creative and talented man who is my inspiration and my muse. We are expecting our first child in September and I can not wait to be a mom.

"I attended the University of Alabama where I majored in political science and history. I was one of the founding members of the Alabama Model United Nations, and I have even traveled to Canada to promote understanding of the United Nations System.

"As an intern for the American Bar Association, I assisted in the creation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Assessment Index. Also, while at the ABA I was assigned the task of coordinating the 2002 ABA Annual Meeting including an awards ceremony for the president of Croatia, Stejpan Mesic.

"I went on to intern with the International Crisis Group where I performed key research on Russia and the burgeoning AID's epidemic there.

"In 2002, I partnered with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and went to Macedonia as an election observer to maintain stability during the crucial presidential election of that year.

"Currently as a member of the Project Vote staff, I work with grassroots organizers across the country to register low-income and minority voters, I am also is working with the Brennan Center for Justice on important legislation in Maryland to protect voting rights."

Thanks be to God, Anita chose life and is now the loving mother of a two-year old who was born prematurely...and bravely sharing information that the public needs to know before Election Day 2008.

On October 13, 2006, Anita happily posted this message online: "Today was a really great day. Addison got her RSV shots on Friday and she weighed in at six pounds! I was so excited because that past Saturday she was 5.2lbs. She has never gained that much weight in a week's time. Since her doctor's appointment she has been very alert and perky. We played and sang songs. The singing, by the way was prompted by hiccups. I always feel so helpless when she has the hiccups, so I began to sing to her. After a couple of minutes the hiccups stopped and she began to look around. I sometimes get the hiccups if I am excited (like on roller coasters and haunted houses) I wonder if this could be the same for her. In the NICU whenever we would visit her I could always tell when she was over stimulated because she would start hiccupping. If we pulled the blanket down over her isolette she would stop and drift off to sleep. I may be reading more into it, but her personality has been so distinct since birth that I kind of follow her cues."

A week later, Anita reported: "Addison is really starting to fill out. I was putting away her all of her too small micro preemie clothes and I could not help but glance at her and laugh. She was smiling up at me and kicking her legs. Its hard to believe how fast she is growing. Everyday is a new experience for us. I bundled her up, covered her stroller and took her to a political rally with Bill Clinton yesterday. Every time I peaked at her she was smiling happily and I was glad to have her with me while we worked for change."

Anita is an artist too and her art reflects a combination of Far Left views and passion.

Anita's preface to "Regeneration: Art by PhoenixRising'" explained: "In 2003 I met a muse who opened my eye to my potential as an artist. The following work is a sample of my collection of socially conscience collages. I try to see the world through the collective eyes of my community. Poverty, struggle and death have captured a lot of souls and transformed many more."

Anita titled and described some of her artwork as follows:

"Decline" The decline of civilization through the realization of capitalism

"Conviction" During the civil rights and Black Panther era "conviction" meant strength of character and a devotion to fight for freedom. Today "conviction" means entrapment in a system designed to eliminate a population based on economic disproportions.

"America The Beautiful" The chain of events that set 9/11 in motion Outside my Window"

"Outside my Window" illustrates the true face of the American people. The photos represent the struggling people of color ruled by a small faction of the population who consider us expendable.

"Capital" This photomontage deals with the deplorable conditions in the nation's capital Washington, D.C. and our financial capital in New York City. I used DC and NYC to indicate the downward spiral of African Americans all over the country. The images of drugs, Poverty, homelessness, hopelessness, and disease are just the extreme factors that contribute to the destruction of our community.

"One Way" This photo collage is dedicated to the late Tupac Shakur, but the underlying issues deal with race, poverty and the prisons we call "ghetto's" and "projects."

It's not surprising that Anita left Alabama and a job with T-Mobile USA to become part of the ACORN world in October 2005. ACORN wanted Anita's skills and passion and Anita wanted to make a better world.

Anita was hired by Project Vote as a development associate. The department in which Anita worked is the Strategic Writing and Research department of Acorn Political Operations, which serves as an internal consulting arm for Acorn Political, informally and off the record work. Anita designed ACORN's 2005, 2006 and 2007 Political Operations year end PowerPoint presentations.

Here is a link to a 2007 story from Politico.com: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0607/4664.html. "Addie" is Anita's baby in the story and Anita is the one on the megaphone doing the chanting. As Anita emailed me, "I lived and breathed ACORN with every fiber of my being at the time because I thought that I was doing something to make the world better for Addie.

But Anita learned what ACORN really was about and Anita and ACORN had a falling out.

Of that, there is absolutely no doubt.

What does Anita know that ACORN does not want the public to know, especially before Election Day 2008?


Anita made the following statements (basis or basis set forth in parenthesis at end):

1. Project Vote has violated its 501(c)(3) status by using government and private grants that ultimately go directly or indirectly to ACORN (based on direct knowledge).

2. ACORN, Project Vote and Citizens Services Inc. (CSI) are essentially the same organization with different tax designations that are used to facilitate the transfer of money between them (based on direct and indirect knowledge).

3. ACORN has promoted a culture of dishonesty motivated by reaching target Voter Registration goals and senior staff have portrayed an attitude that allows for some "bad" cards in order to reach these goals (based on direct and indirect knowledge).

4. Karyn Gillette, Project Vote Development Director, Jeff Robinson, senior Project Vote "money man" and Nathan Henderson James, Project Vote Research and Political Director are all employed by CSI and may have worked directly with anyone seeking the services of CSI and money paid to CSI would have obvious ACORN ties (based on direct and indirect knowledge and documents).

5. Zach Polett, former Executive Director of Project Vote and former director of ACORN Political Operations mentioned that Obama had worked for us and that he even supervised him during a ACORN Political staff retreat in November 2007 (based on direct knowledge).

Obama in the last presidential debate: "My only involvement I've had with ACORN was I represented them alongside the U.S. Justice Department in making Illinois implement a motor voter law that helped people get registered at DMVs."

That's a lie, not a fact.

Yes, Obama represented ACORN in that lawsuit and the Clinton Justice Department predictably sided with ACORN.

But that was NOT Obama's only involvement with ACORN.

And Obama looked into the camera during the last presidential debate and flat out lied to the American people about it (in his calm, seemingly non-threatening manner).

ACORN is the organization with which Obama has been associated throughout his adult life, as organizer, trainer, lawyer, funder and political beneficiary...and Obama's Achilles heel.

Anita reports revealing connections between ACORN and the Obama campaign based on personal knowledge.

In late 2007, Anita reports, Anita received a call from the Obama campaign asking if this was the same Project Vote that Obama worked for in the 90's. With the staff retreat fresh in mind, Anita answered yes and sent an email to Zach Polett, Karyn Gillette, Nathan Henderson James, and Kevin Whelan stating that the campaign wanted someone to call them back regarding some media questions that were being asked at the time.

In late 2007, Anita reports, Karyn Gillette approached Anita to tell her that she had direct contact with the Obama campaign and had obtained their donor lists. This meeting took place sometime in November of 2007 and may have even been a conference call between the campaign and Project Vote. Anita was given an excel spreadsheet to work with for cultivation of new donors. When Anita had trouble because of the duplicates, Karyn stated that she would contact her person at the campaign and see if they had another one.

Anita reports that Karyn Gillette also provided lists obtained from the Kerry and Clinton campaigns, as well as the 2004 DNC donor lists, and that these lists were shared with the Political directors of roughly 12 ACORN battleground states in order to raise money for a $28 million dollar (number as of 11/2007) voter registration drive (based on direct and indirect knowledge and documents).

Anita reports that research uncovered after the Rathke embezzlement scandal showed that persons demanded a forensic audit and suggested a well-known, credible firm to do it, but Bertha Lewis told them that the auditors came back with a contract that was "too expensive" and that's what Dale Rathke told funders back when they were hoping Arthur Anderson would take over auditing (based on indirect knowledge and documents).

Anita reports that ACORN and Project Vote used CCI to transfer money between the organizations and may be guilty of violating RICO statues (based on indirect knowledge and documents).

Anita reports that Sidley Austin, Obama's old law firm, is representing ACORN pro-bono and Mesirow Financial, the firm hired to provide financial advice to ACORN, is headed by a major Obama donor, Richard Mesirow (based on indirect knowledge and documents).

Anita also notes that questions have been raised about the shredding or destruction of documents by ACORN's own lawyers (based on documents).

Bottom line: ACORN has been improperly coordinating with and operating as an arm of the Obama campaign, and "the Senator from ACORN"'s involvement with ACORN has been much more than his lawful representation of ACORN in the motor voter case years ago.

- Michael Gaynor


ACORN probe stonewalled in Connecticut

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Union-backed voter fraud group has friends in high places

Westport Senator Judith Freedman and New Canaan Representative John Hetherington are disappointed their formal request into the actions of ACORN has gone unanswered. The two ranking members of the state legislature's Government Administration & Elections Committee asked the Committee chairmen to look into allegations of voter registration fraud within the group. ACORN is accused of forging new voters in several states including Connecticut.

"I would have looked forward to hearing ACORN's side of it," Hetherington says. "Maybe these are just misperceptions but why can't we find that out?"

In a statement, Hetherington says "the chairs must realize that the strength of a democracy rests on citizens having faith in the integrity of the electoral process."


Top 10 ACORN Voter Registration Abuses

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Massive union-backed fraud set for GOTV on November 4

10. ACORN has registered over 1.3 million voters this year.

9. In Milwaukee, Wis., ACORN improperly used felons as registration workers.

8. A teenager in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, said he was offered smokes and money to fill out voter registration cards. The elections board has 73 cards with his name on them.

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

6. The King County, Washington, Canvassing Board revoked 1,762 allegedly fraudulent voter registrations submitted by ACORN employees.

5. In Connecticut, ACORN submitted a voter registration card for a 7-year-old girl, whose age was listed as 27.

4. In Ohio, a Domino Pizza worker claimed he was hounded by ACORN activists to register even though he already had. He estimated he registered to vote another “10 to 15” times after ACORN activists relentlessly pursued him.

3. In Milwaukee, Wis., a woman complained that a voter registration was submitted for her husband, who had been dead for 10 years.

2. Tony Romo and the entire starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys registered to vote by ACORN in Nevada (despite none being residents of the state).

1. Mickey Mouse registered to vote by ACORN in Florida.


ACORN takes down the 2nd Amendment

More ACORN stories: here

Union-backed group uses taxpayer funds to oppose U.S. Constitution

ACORN, the publicly-funded national organization linked to voter fraud in several states is now actively interfering with the exercise of firearm civil rights in New Jersey, and the Second Amendment Foundation is calling for an immediate federal investigation.

"ACORN has, since 1998, received an estimated $31 million in government funding," said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb. "Now they have intervened in a New Jersey gun rights case in defense of an illegal Jersey City one-gun-a-month ordinance that violates the state preemption statute.

"For the past few election cycles," Gottlieb noted, "ACORN has clearly grown more partisan toward the political Left. ACORN'S PAC has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama for president. That's hardly surprising since he used to serve as their legal counsel and he taught the group about community organizing. ACORN and Obama are lockstep in seeking to destroy our Second Amendment rights.

"The organization is currently under FBI investigation over allegations of voter fraud in several states," he added. "Bad enough that ACORN is implicated in fraudulent activities in several states, but now an ACORN chapter in the Garden State is working against the ability of New Jersey gun owners to exercise a constitutionally-protected individual civil right to own a handgun.

"It is an outrage that this group has intervened to defend an anti-gun ordinance that has already been declared illegal by the court," he observed. "So long as ACORN accepts one penny of public funding, the organization should remain absolutely neutral on social issues, political campaigns and especially legal actions defending the right to keep and bear arms.

"We call upon the FBI to expand the scope of its ACORN investigation and focus on the group's involvement in the Jersey City case," Gottlieb stated. "We support Ohio Congressman John Boehner's request that the White House immediately block all federal funding of ACORN activities until this group's questionable activities are fully investigated. We want to know how they are paying for attorneys, and why Seton Hall's Center for Social Justice and the Public Interest Law Center are providing legal assistance to ACORN for this effort.

"This is still the United States, not a socialist gulag," Gottlieb concluded. "Public money should not be given to private organizations which then turn around and utilize that funding to usurp the electoral process and erode constitutionally-guaranteed civil rights."

The Second Amendment Foundation ( www.saf.org) is the nation's oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 600,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

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