Friday wrap

Andy Stern's SEIU: A Case Study in Corruption ... The SEIU has been in the headlines in recent days for its collusion with the Obama Administration to strip the state of California of its rightful share of stimulus funds. It's a pay-to-play union ploy, one that California Representative Brian Bilbray (R), in an exclusive Washington News Observer interview, has termed “absurd.” Said Mr. Bilbray, “The entire concept of the president holding the taxpayers and the budget process in California hostage to be able to pay back to a union that gave [60] million dollars to his campaign, is just the kind of cynical politics that people are fed up with. We were promised change, and this is not change. This is really Chicago politics at its best—or its worst. I think that, the fact is, the local legislators, the governor have worked out a crisis policy here, and to have the president now use taxpayers money to extort policies out of the state of California is absurd. “Remember, this is not President Obama's money, this is California's taxpayer's money, that rightfully should be returned back to them, and without the strings. We're not talking about the stimulus package now being something that helps; this is not an issue of aid, this is an issue of control, and control from Washington.” (netrightnation.com)

Related video: SEIU-Obama Stimulus Corruption

Barney Frank stands up for union-backed, tax-funded fraud group ... Congressional Democrats should reverse course and join with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) to investigate and defund the community activist group known as ACORN in light of its criminal transgressions and mistreatment of employees, a former member of the organization declared during a press conference today. Bachmann had submitted an amendment to the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act that would prevent organizations with criminal indictments from having access to housing grants and legal assistance grants. However, it was rejected in exchange for subsequent amendment offered by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) that would lower the bar for ACORN to receive funding. Only four Democrats voted against the Frank Amendment. “As a Democrat I don’t have any representatives out there who are willing to stand up to ACORN and this really disappoints me and I hope they will follow her [Bachmann’s] lead and realize that funding corruption is not the way to go,” Anita MonCrief, a former ACORN employee declared during a press conference on Capitol Hill today. She was joined by Rep. Bachmann and Heather Heidelbaugh, vice-president of the Republican Lawyers Association. MonCrief testified against ACORN under oath for about two hours during an injunction heard in Pennsylvania last year as part of an election law suit Heidelbaugh filed against the organization. Heidelbaugh then used MonCrief’s comments as the basis of her testimony before the House Judiciary Committee this past March. (washingtonexaminer.com)

Related video: No end to tax-funded voter fraud

Stimulus Debt bends taxpayers forward ... The issue that never got adequately covered in the debate over the Stimulus Bill was that near a third of the money went to the states to protect unionized jobs in bloated local and state governments (think Todd Stroger and Cook County, or Mayor Daley and Chicago). There was almost zilch -- 6% -- for shovel ready jobs in infrastructure. The government workforce is expanding, while the private work force is dropping 600,000 jobs or more a month. We know the key groups which Obama's polices favor: teacher unions, SEIU, AFSCME, the environmental lobby, and the coastal states. Unionized manufacturing jobs eventually will all go overseas; the only union members will be government employees and in service jobs, the SEIU's turf. You can't outsource nurses, clean up crews, hospitality workers, and the like. Government employees will enjoy outsized benefits, generous and early retirement, and comparative job security, all courtesy of the taxpayers. (americanthinker.com)

Related video: Government Debt: The Raw Deal

Steal this book: Rules for Radicals ... Barack Obama never met Saul Alinsky, but the radical organizer’s thought helps explain a great deal about how the president operates. Alinsky died in 1972, when Obama was 11 years old. But three of Obama’s mentors from his Chicago days studied at a school Alinsky founded, and they taught their students the philosophy and methods of one of the first “community organizers.” Ryan Lizza wrote a 6,500-word piece on Alinsky’s influence on Obama for The New Republic, noting, “On his campaign website, one can find a photo of Obama in a classroom teaching students Alinskian methods. He stands in front of a blackboard on which he has written ‘Relationships Built on Self Interest,’ an idea illustrated by a diagram of the flow of money from corporations to the mayor.” In a letter to the Boston Globe, Alinsky’s son wrote that “the Democratic National Convention had all the elements of the perfectly organized event, Saul Alinsky style. ... Barack Obama’s training in Chicago by the great community organizers is showing its effectiveness. It is an amazingly powerful format, and the method of my late father always works to get the message out and get the supporters on board. When executed meticulously and thoughtfully, it is a powerful strategy for initiating change and making it really happen. Obama learned his lesson well.” As a tool for understanding the thinking of Obama, Alinsky’s most famous book, Rules for Radicals, is simultaneously edifying and worrisome. Some passages make Machiavelli’s Prince read like a Sesame Street picture book on manners. (article.nationalreview.com)

Bonus links:
Summary of Saul Alinsky's 'Rules for Radicals'
• More Saul Alinsky stories: here
'Rules for Radicals' at amazon.com

Sen. Robert Byrd placed on Dirty Money Watch ... WHO: Senator Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), a co-sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act, (aka Card Check) WHAT: Sen. Byrd received the following dirty money: Communication Workers of America (PAC) $2,000 in 2008 election cycle; $10,000 in 2006 election cycle. Boilermakers Union (PAC) $3,000 in 2006 election cycle. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (PAC) $10,000 in 2006 election cycle. American Federation of Government Employees (PAC) $7,500 in 2006 election cycle. Service Employees International Union (PAC) $5,000 in 2006 election cycle. United Steelworkers of America (PAC) $10,000 in 2006 election cycle. WHY IT’S DIRTY: Multiple officers and members of these unions, including 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 Communication Workers of America and the American Federation of Government Employees have had eight convictions, The Service Employees International Union has had nine convictions and The Boilermakers have had 10 members convicted, while the IBEW has had 14 members convicted. The United Steelworkers of America, which includes Paper, Allied-Industrial Chemical and Energy Workers International Union (PACE), has had 30 convictions among its membership. The amounts of embezzled funds range from over $5,000 to over $100,000. WILL BYRD GIVE IT BACK: Sen. Byrd did not respond to The Examiner’s request for comment. THE SCORE: Number of Democrats who have given it back: 0 • Number of Republicans who have given it back: 0 • YOUR TURN: You can reach Sen. Byrd’s Washington D.C. office at 202-224-3954 (washingtonexaminer.com)

Unionist Veep pulls so-called stimulus facts out of his a$$ ... This week, the White House released its first quarterly report on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the $787 billion stimulus bill. Reaction on Capitol Hill was swift: Republicans think it's a joke, while Democrats don't want to talk about it. The report was unveiled not by President Obama but by Vice President Joe Biden, who said it "shows early progress providing immediate financial relief for American families and jump-starting billions of dollars in job-creating projects." In a press release, Biden claimed the stimulus has so far "created or saved" 150,000 jobs, and that "over 3,000 transportation construction projects have been funded in 52 states and territories." You don't have to look too hard to find problems with Biden's work. First, nobody seems to know precisely where the figure of 150,000 jobs comes from. When President Obama used it in a speech on April 29, the website FactCheck.org pretty much demolished the claim. Previewing the Biden report on May 11, a "senior administration official" held a conference-call briefing with reporters and seemed unprepared when asked where the created-or-saved jobs actually are. "In terms of exactly where and in what sectors, that's not something I have numbers on," the official said, "because, precisely, we don't yet have any of the reporting." As far as the 3,000 transportation construction projects are concerned, there are certainly some under way, but nobody seems able to confirm a number so large. "I'll buy lunch for the first person who can get a list of those transportation projects," one Senate Republican aide told me. "That's absolutely not true." (washingtonexaminer.com)

Defender of Worker Freedom takes on union-backed, tax-funded voter fraud group ... Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann called on Congress Thursday to block ACORN's access to federal housing funds, citing repeated charges of voter registration fraud against the low-income advocacy group. The Republican congresswoman, flanked by an ACORN whistleblower and an attorney who worked on an ACORN case in Pennsylvania, escalated a media offensive against the group, which is a favorite target of conservatives who claim liberals are unjustly protecting a dysfunctional organization by allowing it access to taxpayer money. "ACORN, as you know, is no stranger to the spotlight," Bachmann said outside the Capitol. "Yet no matter how many times prosecutors investigate and even indict ACORN and their employees, they emerge unblemished as far as the federal government is concerned from having access to federal tax dollars." Bachmann, who hit the same themes in an op-ed in the Washington Times on Wednesday, complained that House Democrats killed her amendment to block organizations indicted for voter fraud from receiving federal housing money. She said ACORN has received at least $53 million in tax dollars since 1994, and that she will have new legislation in the coming weeks. (foxnews.com)

Celebrity Unionists get organized for fascistic Job Killer Act ... The unions released an online video Thursday dubbed “Artists4WorkersChoice” in support of the Employee Free Choice Act, which would make it easier for employees to organize through card checks and provide for mandatory injunctions for unfair labor practices during organizing efforts. Those appearing in the video include F. Murray Abraham, Gabrielle Carteris, James Cromwell, Mike Farrell, Elliott Gould, Valerie Harper, Michele Lee, Richard Masur, Esai Morales, Connie Stevens and Jerry Stiller, along with Screen Actors Guild president Alan Rosenberg and American Federation of Television & Radio Artists president Robert Reardon. “I’ve belonged to three unions in my life, and every one gave me the freedom to bargain with my co-workers for decent hours, benefits and safe conditions,” Stiller said. “If all workers don’t have the freedom to form unions, I don’t see how we can fix our economy.” Besides the AFL-CIO, SAG and AFTRA, the video was developed by Actors’ Equity, the American Federation of Musicians, the Directors Guild of America, the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, the Writers Guild of America East and the Writers Guild of America West. (variety.com)

In the tank for Obamacorn ... "The 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," Obama declared in one of the presidential debates. "Now, with respect to ACORN, ACORN is a community organization. Apparently what they've done is they were paying people to go out and register folks, and apparently some of the people who were out there didn't really register people, they just filled out a bunch of names," Obama said. But Obama's 1995 suit on behalf of ACORN, in which the state of Illinois was compelled to implement the federal "motor-voter" bill, was just a sampling of Obama's association. Among other involvements, Obama trained ACORN activists and while working on the board of the Woods Fund, channeled millions of dollars to ACORN. Beck recently decried a lack of willingness on the part of the mainstream media to expose ACORN's alleged misuse of federal tax dollars. "There don't seem to be enough journalists apparently that want to be the Woodward and Bernstein of today," Beck said with suspicion. "Nobody in the media is following this story. Why? I wonder." (wnd.com)

Expert has questions about ACORN ... U.S. lawmakers who are unwilling to investigate ACORN may have contracted a form of “denial flu” that interferes with their oversight responsibilities, Heather Heidelbaugh, a Pittsburgh, Pa. attorney said during a press conference on Capitol Hill Thursday. Heidelbaugh outlined several questions lawmakers should answer before they vote in favor of continued funding for ACORN. “Is there a central repository of data regarding the amounts going to ACORN? “If not, why not?” “Has the U.S. government received any documents from ACORN that would prove what it did with those funds?” “Does any congressional agency perform periodic audits of ACORN use of taxpayer funds to determine whether it provides the services it said it did?” “Did the U.S. government either ask for or obtain audited financial services from ACORN or any of its affiliates?” “If not, why not?” “Does the U.S government know if ACORN and its 175 affiliates are compliant with the tax obligations? “What mechanisms are in place to prevent U.S. tax dollars going to ACORN in the next budget from going to Acorn International? Are U.S. tax dollars going overseas without oversight?” (washingtonexaminer.com)

Astroturfing unionists hoodwink, bamboozle web surfers ... Recently, an effort to post all across the web fake comments supporting a key union cause has been discovered. In Internet activist talk, this is called “astroturfing.” The term describes a campaign of fake comments posted on multiple websites where articles are discussing any particular issue about which the “astroturfers” want to have their position known. In this case the issue is the discussion of the woefully misnamed Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) and the “astroturfing” is an effort by union supporters to explain away the dangers this act represents to the American worker. The end result is supposed to be that when regular web users come to a page and see the pro-union message they imagine it to be from a “real” visitor. In truth it is an organized campaign to spam comments sections with a canned comment misleading readers into thinking “real people” support the position being “astroturfed.” (i.e., since astroturf is fake grass, this laying on of a fake “covering” explains the reference). A website named The Truth About the EFCA, discovered the astroturfing effort in the form of the exact same comments in favor of the EFCA on at least three different sites posted under three different names. The site was alerted to this fact because its own site was one of the astroturfed sites. On one of its posts discussing the dangers of the EFCA a fake commenter named “Jim” posted a pro-EFCA message. The Administrator of the anti-EFCA website then found the exact comment posted under the name “Buddy M” on the GrandForksHerald.com. Then the same message was also seen posted as “anonymous” on the Wall Street Journal. This is a perfect example of astroturfing. Spreading the same fake comment all over the place. There’s no telling how many times this exact same canned comment has been posted by union supporters on the web. (theunionlabelblog.com)

Arkansas AG smacks down secret-ballot protection ... The state attorney general Thursday rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would require union elections be conducted by secret ballot. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said the measure had too many ambiguities. The proposal was filed by a group calling itself “Save our Secret Ballot in Arkansas,” which is chaired by Sen. Gilbert Baker, R-Conway, who is considering a potential challenge to U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., next year. (arkansasnews.com)

Socialists plot strategy against oppressive UAW ... Some 500 to 600 auto workers will be laid off, likely permanently, with the shuttering of the main Detroit-Hamtramck American Axle plant on Friday. Four hundred workers at the AAM plant in Three Rivers, Michigan, will also be out of work on Monday. The elimination of these jobs is the direct outcome of the United Auto Workers' smothering of the three-month-long strike by 4,000 AAM workers last year. Union executives told workers that the only way they could save their jobs was to accept major wage and benefit cuts. As has happened so many times before, the concessions pushed through by the UAW have only paved the way for more job cuts. (wsws.org)

Collective bargaining impedes justice: Union bus driver awaits wrist-slap for manslaughter ... Guelph Police Service has charged the bus driver after 56-year-old Richard Chambers, a pedestrian, was fatally struck and dragged by a bus on March 25. A 50-year-old Hamilton man has been charged with careless driving and will appear in Guelph court in June. A conviction carries a penalty of six demerit points and a total fine of $325. "That carries one of the highest penalties under the Highway Traffic Act," Guelph Police spokesperson Sgt. Kevin McCord said. McCord said the investigation concluded there was nothing criminal about the incident and that's why the driver was charged under the Highway Traffic Act. "If they (the investigating officers) felt there was anything to charge him with under the Criminal Code, they'd need evidence to do so," McCord said. Chambers was walking his black Labrador retriever, Buddy, west on the south side of Wellington Street when he was struck by a Coach Canada bus in the crosswalk at Gordon Street. It wasn't until the bus stopped at the University of Guelph, two kilometres away, that Chambers' body was discovered caught in the undercarriage of the vehicle. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Guelph General Hospital shortly after. (guelphmercury.com)

Labor-state unions surrender gains ... A package of state employee givebacks was approved early Friday by the Connecticut House of Representatives, providing an estimated $700 million in savings needed to bridge the state's gaping budget deficit. Rep. John Geragosian, the co-chairman of the General Assembly's budget-writing committee and a New Britain Democrat, called the concessions "the third largest piece" needed to solve the state's budget puzzle. State policymakers are also relying on federal economic stimulus funds and the state's $1.38 billion rainy-day fund to help balance the budget as state revenues shrink. Large cuts in spending and possible tax increases are also expected. "This is one good step in this process," said Geragosian, who is among a small group negotiating a new two-year budget agreement. "I want to thank the state employees in this state for stepping up to the plate." The House voted 127-9 in favor of a resolution ratifying the agreement, reached after weeks of closed-door talks with Gov. M. Jodi Rell's office and the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition, which includes leaders of 13 state employee unions. House members later voted 122-10 in favor of a separate bill that applies the same concessions to nonunion workers. About 50,000 state employees are unionized. There are about 55,000 full-time workers in state government. (newsday.com)

AFSCME big caught in labor-state shame ... A former union president and employee at the state Training School has been fired following an investigation into allegations management violated the union’s contract by not distributing overtime shifts “fairly and equitably” to members. Christy Healey, human resources administrator for the state Office of Health and Human Services, confirmed Thursday that, as of Wednesday, Thomas J. Fitzpatrick “is no longer employed with the state.” She said that Fitzpatrick had been on paid administrative leave for the past six weeks. She declined to discuss the reasons for his administrative leave or departure. “We can’t comment on any labor investigations,” Healey said. Kevin Aucoin, acting director of the Training School, declined comment. Fitzpatrick worked as a juvenile program worker at the Training School and was paid $50,401 annually. He stepped down as president of Local 314, Rhode Island Council 94 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in April 2008 after leading its 149 juvenile-protection workers for more than six years. He cited family conflicts in a farewell letter to the membership. In June, The Journal reported that the Department of Children, Youth and Families had completed an internal review at the juvenile detention facility that included suspicions of leaked documents, Fitzpatrick’s resignation as union president and the filing of a grievance by the new union leadership against Training School management. (projo.com)

International Collectivism

Wade Rathke of SEIU-ACORN surfaces in Peru ... Peru's largest federation of mining unions said on Thursday it has agreed to call an indefinite, nationwide strike starting on June 15 to demand better working conditions. Unionized mine workers are upset by job cuts spurred by the global economic slowdown, which has slammed prices for most metals from Peru, a major global exporter. They also want a bigger share of profits and improved retirement rules. The June strike date was set last week at a membership meeting of the National Federation of Mine and Steel Workers, Peru's largest organization of mining unions. The federation says some 9,750 mine workers have lost their jobs since November. Last year, the group held a nearly one-week strike, which hit some key mines and helped push global copper prices to record highs. The work stoppage had a minimal impact on production as managers called in temporary workers. Peru is the world's top producer of silver, No. 2 in copper and zinc, and ranks sixth in gold output. (reuters.com)

Improved Model: Democracy without disagreement ... rgument continued to rage over Globovisión, the private sector, 24 hour news channel, amid suspicions that the government was out to pave the way to closing it down once and for all. A shadowy group of President Hugo Chávez' supporters also made their mark at a hospital. Marcel Granier, president of media corporation 1BC, which owns Globovisión, said that the dispute wasn't about a fight in or between the media. What was at issue was the rights of "people who think democratically," he said in an interview aired on CNN. The democratic forces in the country didn't hesitate to respect the right of people to exercize "self-determination," he argued, but allies of the president did. Granier also invoked memories of Radio Caracas Televisión (RCTV), which Chávez closed down two years ago by refusing to renew its broadcasting licence. RCTV's equipment was confiscated and, unconfirmed reports at the time claimed, this was handed over to one of several small pro-Chávez stations in the capital. RCTV now broadcasts its programs including news, but is restricted to cable and satellite service. (laht.com)

Venezuela lures world's best teacher-unionists to Workers' Paradise ... The Venezuelan government enacted a 30% salary increase and expanded a range of benefits for Venezuela's approximately half a million active and retired public school teachers on Tuesday, as a result of a collective contract agreement signed with teachers unions last Friday. According to Education Minister Hector Navarro, Venezuela's public school teachers now earn more than 700% of what they were earning ten years ago, when President Hugo Chávez was first elected. During a ceremony with Chávez on Tuesday, the general secretary of the national teachers union SINAFUM, Luis Matos, said the salary increase exceeds the normal adjustments to inflation. Teachers should also become educators beyond the classroom, said Matos. "We support the idea of volunteer educator brigades with the intention of educating our peoples, the working class, and the community in general," he said. Union member Marta Rodríguez spoke of the need to restart the reform of the national curriculum. "It is very important to have the doors open to initiate the process of discussion of the curriculum, which is what we are going to do, to generate a new educational practice," she said. (venezuelanalysis.com)

Leftwing Latin co-op sets Honduras Pay-to-Play ... Honduran earnings have dropped 10 percent this year but local producers expect aid through the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of our America (ALBA). Financial officials said it was impossible to reach goals set for June due to a $79.4 million fall in tax revenue, reported La Tribuna daily. As such, social organizations of this Central American nation value the resources allocated by the Venezuelan government through ALBA. (ahora.cu)

Obama riles India Communists ... The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) has accused the United States of interfering into the internal affairs of India by holding meetings with Indian political parties leaders ahead of the forming of a new government in the country. The U.S. Charge d'Affaires A. Peter Burleigh met Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani and a number of other parties' leaders over the past few days as India completed its month-long voting in the general elections. "Its imperialist character has again revealed itself through its brazen interference in the affairs of an independent country," CPI-M politburo member Sitaram Yechury told local media on Thursday. (xinhuanet.com)
Related Posts with Thumbnails