Friday wrap

True 'worker choice' favored over fascistic union-backed imposter ... In the past month, a considerable number of letters have appeared in the Community Views section regarding the Employee Free Choice Act. This appears to be a union-sponsored letter-writing campaign because the unions want this legislation to increase the number of workers that are unionized. Why? Because they get to keep approximately 80 percent of each member’s dues to use as they please, whether it’s to support candidates that you may not agree with or to have conventions at five-star resorts. It’s a proven fact that states with Right to Work laws are more prosperous than states that have not. Instead of supporting the Employee Free Choice Act, let’s urge our lawmakers to enact Right to Work laws. (greenbaypressgazette.com)

Biden inspires Middle Class SEIU lobbyist ... An Iowa school custodian, a labor union activist who was job-shadowed by presidential candidate Joseph Biden during the campaign season two years ago, was arrested Thursday after a lobbyist witnessed an apparent theft at the Iowa Capitol. Authorities said Marshall Richard Clemons, 38, of Cedar Rapids snatched two women's wallets before he was confronted by a retail lobbyist who witnessed the man reaching into a friend's bag. A janitor found one woman's wallet clogging a toilet in a men's restroom. Troopers charged Clemons with two counts of fifth-degree theft, records show. Clemons was an invited guest in the Biden family's box at the Democratic National Convention in Denver in August 2008, according to a news release on SEIU's Web site. Clemons, a member of SEIU Local 199, was visiting the Capitol Thursday with a group of Cedar Rapids-area residents, labor union officials confirmed. About 11:20 a.m., lobbyist Jim Henter confronted Clemons in the rotunda after he saw the man reach into a purse owned by lobbyist Paula Feltner. "I told him that I saw what happened and he needed to get the cash out of his pocket and give it back to her," said Henter, who represents multiple clients, including the Iowa Retail Federation. Clemons retrieved Feltner's wallet from a recycling bin and some money from his pants, Henter said. Capitol security guard Marshall Irwin overheard part of the confrontation. Clemons "was telling all these wild stories about why he picked it up, like he thought it was his wife's," Irwin said. "Just get out of here," Henter told Clemons. But after Irwin questioned Henter about what happened, the security guard followed Clemons to the ground floor and radioed the State Patrol at 11:30 a.m. "It was still a theft, even though everything was recovered," the security guard said. While waiting for a trooper, Clemons "complained he needed to use the bathroom awful bad," Irwin said. With Irwin nearby, Clemons flushed and left the men's room stall. Then custodian Randy Wallace entered to clean it. The janitor spotted an object in the toilet. With a rubber-gloved hand, he fished it out. "Lo and behold, it's a billfold," Irwin said. It belonged to Cecilia Tomlonovic, a family planning lobbyist. (desmoinesregister.com)

U.S. to indoctrinate public ... The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a plan to set up a new "volunteer corps" and consider whether "a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people" should be developed. The legislation also refers to "uniforms" that would be worn by the "volunteers" and the "need" for a "public service academy, a 4-year institution" to "focus on training" future "public sector leaders." The training, apparently, would occur at "campuses." The vote yesterday came on H.R. 1388, which reauthorizes through 2014 the National and Community Service Act of 1990 and the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973, acts that originally, among other programs, funded the AmeriCorps and the National Senior Service Corps. It not only reauthorizes the programs, but also includes "new programs and studies" and is expected to be funded with an allocation of $6 billion over the next five years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Many, however, are raising concerns that the program, which is intended to include 250,000 "volunteers," is the beginning of what President Obama called his "National Civilian Security Force" in a a speech last year in which he urged creating an organization as big and well-funded as the U.S. military. He has declined since then to elaborate. (wnd.com)

Related video: The Obama Youth

Top Ten Union Corruption Stories of 2008 ... The Obama Administration has signaled its intention to give fighting corruption a low priority, a policy shift which, if nothing else, might provide added material for this publication. The resulting scandals might be as intriguing as the following top ten labor corruption stories for 2008, listed in reverse order: 10) Senate appointment scandal in Illinois has union connections. 9) ACORN is knee-deep in voter-registration and internal fraud. 8) Los Angeles Service Employees chieftain is exposed, dismissed. 7) Law enforcement agents arrest Operating Engineers local thugs in Buffalo, N.Y. 6) Union investments fuel progressive activism. 5) Mexican unions are bastions of government favoritism and corruption. 4) Labor Department puts more teeth into financial reporting rules. 3) Federal prosecutors expose New Jersey construction locals. 2) Five dozen Gambino family mobsters and associates are arrested, plead guilty. 1) Barack Obama is elected president. (Dis)honorable mention. National Labor Relations Board issues "RJ Petition" proposal to allow quickie union elections in organizing drives; dissenting members of Teamsters Local 804 in Queens, N.Y. allege mismanagement of $18 million of health fund; the battle between Sal Rosselli and Andrew Stern for SEIU leadership sharpens; United Food & Commercial Workers signs pact with Smithfield Foods, ends corporate campaign; Steelworkers, British union ("UNITE") tentatively agree to a merger; Long Island court case reveals Teamsters Local 282 as shakedown racket while small mom-and-pop trucking firm takes the fall; German union officials are part of Volkswagen, Siemens scandals; head of New York Central Labor Council pleads guilty to $2 million-plus in thefts; court upholds reporting requirements for union lawyers; Atlanta hedge fund manager pleads guilty to mismanaging about $150 million, including $20 million belonging to retired NFL Players Association members, then commits suicide; Japanese school director charged with looting more than $3 million from union; famed New York City union negotiator Theodore Kheel revealed as benefactor of ethically-challenged House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel; John DaBronzo, Trenton, N.J. Asbestos Workers business agent, steals $829,000 to cover gambling losses; Betty Illig, Ohio Graphics Communications local secretary, pleads guilty to embezzling nearly $150,000; Philadelphia construction contractors plead guilty to bribery; members of Amalgamated Transit Workers Local 1181 in Queens, N.Y. indicted for bribery and extortion of at least $1 million; Puerto Rican sugar workers union boss with nonexistent employers charged with defrauding his union out of $400,000. (nlpc.org)

U.S. plagued by shortage of union-avoidance consultants ... if EFCA passes, employers will get “hard-ball” advice from their own labor attorneys and consultants. (Incidentally, these warnings are already appearing.) Employers are being told that if this legislation becomes law, they must consider year-round, continuous campaigns focusing on the ills of unionization. These consultants will wisely warn the employer to begin regular talks to non-union employees about the high costs of strikes as well as the rigidity of union work rules that make unionized businesses less efficient. Employers will point to high production costs, which will often produce a decline in demand for the products the workers produce. These advisers will strongly suggest that employers talk about the industries of America’s Northeast—automobile and steel—whose uncompromising unions have made these firms uncompetitive, nationally and internationally, and have led to their demise or serious decline. Employers will inform employees of facts such as only 7.5 percent of the private sector workforce is unionized today; thus, the relatively high level of U.S. wages cannot be the result of unionization. Moreover it will be essential to present information about the misuse by unions of members’ dues to support political candidates whose views do not always coincide with those of the members. That is what employers will be counseled to do, and they will respond with comprehensive, hard-hitting, year-round campaigns designed to nip unionization efforts in the bud. In other words, EFCA will cause employers to be proactive instead of reactive. Employers will not want to learn that organizing efforts have been afoot only once presented with the 50 percent plus of authorization cards. By that point, there will be no time to counter the union’s claims. So, EFCA, besides being a “full-employment” guarantee for union-management consultants, may well produce the unexpected consequence of mobilizing perpetual employer anti-union campaigns resulting in fewer union elections being won by unions. (frontpagemagazine.com)

Why do Obama Dems hate small business? ... As it stands now, small businesses are already near the breaking point trying to cope with the crippling credit crunch, skyrocketing health care costs and often paralyzing uncertainty of this economic recession. All the while organized labor is spending hundreds of millions of dollars in political campaigns. Small-business owners certainly do not need the additional challenges that would be brought upon them by card check. With all the massive challenges facing this nation today, including a rising unemployment rate, are members of Congress so out of touch with the interests of workers that bringing dramatic and unwanted conflict to the American workplace would constitute their top legislative priority? (adn.com)

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) placed on Dirty Money Watch ... WHO: Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), a co-sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act (aka Card Check) WHAT: Boxer received the following dirty money: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (PAC) $10,000 in 2008 election cycle. Boilermakers Union $2,000 in 2008 election cycle. Service Employees International Union (PAC) $10,000 in 2008 campaign. PMA Group (PAC) $1,000 in 2008 election cycle. WHY IT’S DIRTY: At least eight members of these unions including several division presidents, secretary-treasurers and business managers have been convicted since 2001 of felonies ranging from embezzlement, falsifying official reports to government, mail fraud and conspiracy. The Boilermakers have had at least 10 of its members and convicted and the IBEW has had at least 14. The amounts of embezzled funds range from over $5,000 to over $100,000. PMA Group (Paul Magliocchetti and Associates) was primarily a defense lobbying group based in Washington D.C. that was raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) last year. In total, PMA Group's employees and its political action committee have given current members of Congress $3.4 million since 1989, with 79 percent of that going to Democrats, according to OpenSecrets. WILL SEN. BOXER GIVE IT BACK? Boxer did not respond to a phone call requesting comment. (washingtonexaminer.com)

Punk'd by Obama ... Obama abused the words “crisis” and “catastrophe” more than 30 times to shock Americans into urging congress to pass bills they hadn’t read. After their vote and signing, we find the new laws don’t stimulate as much as destroy the structure of democracy. Obama lied about the transparency and deliberateness he promised. Last week Barack said the crisis was overstated and the economy was “sound,” the same message he castigated citizen McCain for during the campaign. The Dow was about 4,000 points higher and we were $3 trillion richer back then. Those days, BB (before Barack) may be known in the future as the good ‘ole days. How does he get away with it? Barack bombarded us with so many straw dogs; we can feed cattle with their spare hay. Each week’s demon has its own shelf life. As Congress votes on stealing through taxation of perfectly legal payments, let us take note of the precedent this establishes. If the government can intercede on these legal and binding agreements, it can break any contract for any reason. That’s what socialists, communists, and fascists do, folks. If President Obama didn’t know what was in his bills while ramming them down our throats, then he’s incompetent. If he knew, then he’s a liar. Either way it’s a blight on America and the presidency. The president, unable to govern, has taken the Animal House solution. He’s off on a coast-to-coast air trip to appear on Jay Leno. Then what, a gig on Comedy Central? Here’s the latest joke on America. The felons at ACORN, including child rapists and admitted voter registration frauds, have been hired by Obama as census takers. (pulaskicountydaily.com)

Obama zombies protest

Exposed: Shame on hypocritical SEIU union-buster Anna Burger ... Union members today picketed an event at which their boss was being honored - accusing her of union-busting and anti-worker policies in connection with layoffs and contract talks at their workplace. Nothing unusual about union pickets - except that the boss, Anna Burger, is one of the nation's top labor leaders, and a key executive in one of its fastest growing unions, the Service Employees International Union, the SEIU. "Anna Burger is a hypocrite," said Malcolm Harris, president of the Union of Union Representatives, which represents 210 employees of the SEIU. Harris said 75 of the 210 are scheduled to be laid off. Burger, secretary-treasurer of the 1.7-million-member SEIU, was being honored in South Philadelphia at the annual dinner of the Peggy Browning Fund. The fund, a nonprofit corporation established in memory of Philadelphia labor lawyer Margaret A. Browning, provides fellowships to law students interested in working in labor law. Browning, a Clinton appointee to the National Labor Relations Board, died in 1997. Harris' union represents 210 SEIU union organizers who live around the United States, but are dispatched from the SEIU's national headquarters in Washington. "We can't tolerate this because we are organizers ourselves," said Harris, leading six protesters. He said the SEIU was asking corporations to stop the layoffs, but it was laying off its own staffers. He said members were not given proper layoff notice as their contract requires. And, he said, they are being laid off even as there is increased demand for their work to help pass the proposed federal Employee Free Choice Act, a law that would make it easier for unions to represent workers. (philly.com)

Dem-SEIU P2P setup exposed in Empire State ... Ads opposing Republican Jim Tedisco's run for Congress paint him as a career Albany politician. But those Democratic attack ads are being paid for by Albany's most powerful special interests. Democrat Scott Murphy has received more than $315,000 of supportive advertising from the 1199 Service Employees International Union. (newsday.com)

Exposed: ACORN, the union-backed fraud group ... According to MonCrief, ACORN considered 40 percent an acceptable level of accurate voter registrations turned in by its workers. She said ACORN barely trained its workers in how to register voters properly and would fire employees if they did not meet a quota of 20 new voter applicants daily. If the registration cards turned in did not meet the quota, supervisors were told to “fire them right there; don’t let them waste your money for the day.” If a canvasser was caught committing fraud, ACORN threw the individual “under the bus,” MonCrief said. ACORN employees were briefed on how to deny that voter registration fraud existed, she said. According to MonCrief, the Obama presidential campaign called her in October 2007 asking for coordination in soliciting donations from people who had already made the maximum contribution to Obama allowed by election laws. MonCrief testified that she was given a massive database of Obama donors who had already reached the limit. Her task was to cull it for potential donors who would then donate to Project Vote, an ACORN affiliate which targets individuals and entities to solicit donations. If true, MonCrief’s allegations constitute violations of the Internal Revenue Code, federal campaign finance laws, and laws against voter registration fraud, according to a memo by Cleta Mitchell, co-chairman of the Republican National Lawyers Association. MonCrief said she worked as a development associate from 2005 until early 2008 for Project Vote. Project Vote was so closely aligned with ACORN that they were essentially one and the same, she said. (newsmax.com)

Dem Baron: Probe ACORN ... In an startling partisan shift, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. on Thursday proposed holding hearings on claims the liberal activist group ACORN engaged in a pattern of crimes ranging from voter fraud to a mob-style “protection” racket. Mr. Conyers, Michigan Democrat and fierce partisan, suggested a congressional probe after scathing testimony about the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) during a hearing on various voting issues related to the 2008 presidential election. Mr. Conyers called the accusations “a pretty serious matter.” “I think that it would be something that would be worth our time,” he said during Thursday's hearing. “We've never had one person representing ACORN before the committee. ... I think in all fairness we ought to really examine it.” The testimony by Pittsburgh lawyer Heather Heidelbaugh accused the nonprofit group of violating tax, campaign-finance and other laws by, among other things, sharing with the Barack Obama campaign a list of the Democrat's maxed-out campaign donors so ACORN could use it to solicit them for a get-out-the-vote drive. She also testified that the Democrat-allied group provided liberal causes with protest-for-hire services and coerced donations from targets of demonstrations through a shakedown it called the “muscle for the money” program. Kevin Whelan, ACORN deputy political director, did not return a call for comment Thursday. (washingtontimes.com)

Sen. Kay Hagan: Job-Killing DINO ... In Washington, one can't judge a bill by its title. The Employee Free Choice Act of 2009 is the latest example. This legislation, which applies to union organizing, actually undermines the most valued expression of free choice in a democracy -- the secret ballot. Instead, unions could win recognition simply by obtaining signatures of more than 50 percent of a work force, a process known as card check. The measure, introduced in both houses of Congress this month, is organized labor's top legislative priority. Unions spent more than $150 million in last year's elections, almost all on behalf of Democrats. The EFCA splits Congress down partisan lines, with Democrats strongly backing it. Sen. Kay Hagan of Greensboro is firmly in support, her communications director, Colleen Flanagan, said Wednesday. (news-record.com)

LIUNA thugs hit the links ... Could you possibly run a story educating people on the proposed legislation on the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which has been proposed by politicians and promoted by unions whereby unions now only need signatures to organize, doing away with the secret ballot process where employees get to vote privately without anyone knowing whether they are in favor or not? I believe many in our area would be interested in this legislation as the union activity in the area has increased significantly, because of LIUNA Local 1184. Since the decline in construction and loss of construction members, unions are now looking to golf course laborers. Clubs and memberships are being impacted by negative union campaigning. Clubs like Indian Ridge, Trilogy, Rancho La Quinta, SilverRock and Tradition have all been recently affected by negative union campaigning. Through your media, please help educate the public on these types of legislation that are passed through D.C. that readily impact the business and memberships of clubs, who know little to nothing about it before it is passed. (mydesert.com)

Pres. Barack Obama: Job-Killing DINO ... The U.S. labor force will follow a trail blazed by heavily unionized Canada, if congressional allies of Big Labor have their way on legislation intended to deprive workers of secret-ballot union elections. Union leaders are throwing their full political might behind a cynically misnamed bill: the Employee Free Choice Act. The bill should be named the Employee Unfree Choice Act, because it would allow labor organizers to pressure workers into joining a union. The proposed legislation is sponsored by key Democrats in the House and Senate and supported by President Barack Obama. (al.com)

Yes He Can ... "I can't print money," President Obama said at a California town hall Thursday when urging patience from taxpayers anxious about the economy and the American International Group bonus debacle. "Because, again, we're going to have some tough choices to make. I can't just keep on — I can't print money," the president said. "I don't want everybody disappointed if we make a mistake here and there. The important point is are we moving in the right direction, are we generally being consistent with our campaign promises?" (washingtontimes.com)

It's his crisis now ... Before anyone gives the president an award for political courage, remember that provisions regarding the bonuses -- and who knows what else -- were buried deep inside the $787 billion economic stimulus bill that Obama and his fellow Democrats rushed through Congress. Every single Republican in the House voted against it, and all but three GOP senators did the same. There's no way Obama can blame the stimulus, and its contents, on anyone other than himself. "What's beginning to happen is his actions are starting to have consequences," a Republican pollster told me. "And this is one of those. He hurried everybody through that process, and it's now his actions that are causing things that people are unhappy about." (washingtonexaminer.com)

International Collectivism

Chávez evokes halcyon Soviet Era ... Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez took a big step closer Thursday to his stated goal of putting his former rival for the presidency, Manuel Rosales, behind bars. A prosecutor in the western border state of Zulia said she would request an arrest warrant for Rosales, the former state governor, who in November was elected mayor of Maracaibo, the state capital. The charge is "illicit enrichment." Rosales, who stood against Chávez in the December 2006 presidential election, winning just less than 40 percent of the vote, attributed the arrest warrant to "an order from Chávez" and said he would fight it on all fronts. In December, Chávez announced that he was "determined to put Manuel Rosales in jail." Before the November election, he had threatened to launch "a military plan" against Rosales if he won. He has also threatened to "wipe [Rosales] from the political map." (miamiherald.com)

Workers' Paradise: Chávez to crack down on Teachers Union ... Venezuela’s Teacher Association called on Thursday a 24-hour national strike to be held next Wednesday March 25, to demand wage increases. Edgar Bazán, president of the Venezuelan Teachers’ Association, said the workers strike seeks to defend the collective bargaining agreement "against the elimination of the teaching profession by the main employer." The association will also reject the situation of more than 100,000 teachers who are working under interim agreements. The government "has not protected these workers’ right to work or job stability." Bazán said that the protest is supported by six teacher federations. He called all Venezuelan educators to join the strike, "to defend our labor and constitutional rights." (english.eluniversal.com)

Communist U.S. Congressman in the tank for Chávez ... Massachusetts U.S. Rep. William Delahunt (D-MA) has met with President Hugo Chávez in Venezuela and said he's encouraged about the possibilities of improved relations between Venezuela and the United States. The Democrat said he had a "very positive and constructive conversation" with Chávez. Delahunt, who has visited with Chávez previously, said came away from the meeting at the presidential palace on Thursday night "feeling better about the possibilities between the United States and Venezuela." (thebostonchannel.com)

Chávez advances Latin communism ... Venezuela will go ahead with the nationalisation of the local unit of Spanish bank Grupo Santander, president Hugo Chávez said on Thursday, weeks after officials said the purchase was on hold. Since first winning office a decade ago, Mr Chávez has nationalised large swathes of the Opec nation’s economy and this year has moved to increase state control of farms and food production inspite of a sharp drop in oil income. “We are not retreating. Today we have returned to the subject, I announce the nationalisation of Banco de Venezuela to strengthen the national public banking system,” Mr Chávez said during a televised meeting with ministers. Grupo Santander owns Banco de Venezuela, one of the largest banks in the Opec nation’s financial system. Mr Chávez say he wants the Santander unit to help channel state resources to small farmers and other grass-roots groups. Venezuela took over four major oil projects in 2007 worth an estimated $30bn. In most cases fair compensation was paid, but US companies Exxon and ConocoPhillips quit the country over the move and filed arbitration claims against Venezuela. Compensation has yet to be agreed for Venezuela’s largest steel plant and three foreign owned cement companies, all of which were taken over by the government last year. (ft.com)

France: Unions stage typical anti-capitalist protest ... Rampaging mobs vandalised banks, expensive cars and designer shops across France yesterday as two million people protested at Nicolas Sarkozy's handling of the economic crisis. A general strike paralysed the country as workers caught in the credit crunch demanded higher wages, job protection and taxes on the rich from the French president. Looting and violence erupted in most major cities, with gangs smashing bank and shop windows and attacking other symbols of wealth. Riot police used tear gas on marauding youths as they tried to contain the chaos in Paris, Lyon and Marseille. Riot police said: "There were outbreaks of violence everywhere. There were groups set on targeting anything that represented ostentatious wealth. "Banks, expensive cars and some shops were vandalised." Teachers, train drivers, air traffic controllers, hospital and mail staff joined the action supported by all the unions and the socialist opposition. (mirror.co.uk)

Cuba big sees opportunity in crisis ... Q: So do you agree with what Marx said, and later supported Vladimir Lenin and Rosa Luxembourg, that despite the self destructive nature of capitalism, there has to be a revolution to bring it down? Osvaldo Martinez, director of the Research Centre for World Economy and president of the Cuban National Assembly’s Economic Affairs Commission: Of course I do. To think that capitalism will collapse on its own, due to a spontaneous force like an economic crisis, is to believe in utopia. The crisis may create conditions that favor anti-capitalism political movements. As long as politics are tactfully handled and as long as there is a leadership that takes advantage of the situation, the crisis creates favorable conditions because it generates more poverty, unemployment, large scale bankruptcy and the desperation of the masses. Throughout history, large scale economic crises have been linked to revolutionary movements. For example, during the First World War there was a profound capitalist crisis, and the success of the first socialist revolution in Russia was linked to this. The crisis of the 1930’s however, was linked to the appearance of fascism. The desperation of the masses in Germany and Italy provoked a crisis that was used by the National Socialist Party to create extremist, fascist, chauvinist and nationalist governments. (alainet.org)
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