Tag Archives: unions

A Pasch of Blue

From the Los Angeles Times:

During her son’s graduation in May from Bowdoin College, Sandy Pasch listened as filmmaker Mira Nair urged students to get involved in society, citing the impact of citizen uprisings around the world.

“And then she gave as examples what’s happening in Libya, in Egyptand Wisconsin,” Pasch recalled.

“I thought, ‘Wow. I don’t know that everyone sees us in the same light as Egypt and Libya, but there’s something happening here,’ ” she said. “There’s something happening, and the common refrain I hear is that people want to take their state back.”

Pasch, 57, who for three years has represented Milwaukee’s northern suburbs in the state Assembly, is among six Democrats challenging Republican state senators in special recall elections Tuesday.

The elections are the latest fallout from controversial moves by the Republican-controlled Legislature and GOP Gov. Scott Walker to eliminate most collective bargaining rights for public employees.

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Inside the Wapping Paper

From THE INDEPENDENT:

David Cameron was given a personal guarantee by Rupert Murdoch that Andy Coulson was safe to take on as his Downing Street press chief, The Independent on Sunday learnt yesterday, as the fallout from the News of the World phone-hacking scandal threatened to escalate into all-out war between the UK’s two most powerful men.

The Prime Minister had already cooled relations with the 80-year-old press baron on Friday by saying that his son, James Murdoch, has “questions to answer” over News International’s handling of the scandal. The Battle of Wapping 2011 will be intensified by the revelation that Mr Cameron was told by Mr Murdoch twice that, despite fears over Mr Coulson’s connection to the phone-hacking scandal, there was no problem with the former editor.

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The Right’s Guff

From John Avlon at THE DAILY BEAST:

The cycle of over-reach and backlash is in over-drive these days—with significant implications for the 2012 presidential election. In pivotal swing-states where voters narrowly elected Republican governors in 2010—like Florida and Ohio (with 47 electoral votes between them)—evidence of buyer’s remorse is piling up fast.

The latest sign: on Tuesday, Alvin Brown became the first Democrat elected mayor of Jacksonville—Florida’s largest city—in 20 years.

Just seven months ago, Republicans swept the Sunshine State with Tea Party-backed candidate Rick Scott winning the governor’s office with a 1.2 percent margin of victory.

But instead of consolidating support by reaching out and winning over the reasonable edge of the opposition, as popular past Republican governors like Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist have done, Scott continued with his campaign posture of refusing to talk to the press. He canceled a $2 billion federal high-speed rail project and is seeking to delay (and functionally deny) implementation of an anti-gerrymandering reform ballot referendum overwhelmingly passed in 2010.

Now Rick Scott finds himself the least popular newly elected governor in Florida history. It’s not just a matter of the honeymoon being over—this looks like a drunken Vegas marriage heading for a shotgun divorce.

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Screwing America, One School at a Time

From AlterNet:

Since the 2010 elections, voucher bills have popped up in legislatures around the nation. From Pennsylvania to Indiana to Florida, state governments across the country have introduced bills that would take money from public schools and use it to send students to private and religious institutions.

Vouchers have always been a staple of the right-wing agenda. Like previous efforts, this most recent push for vouchers is led by a network of conservative think tanks, PACs, Religious Right groups and wealthy conservative donors. But “school choice,” as they euphemistically paint vouchers, is merely a means to an end. Their ultimate goal is the total elimination of our public education system.

The decades-long campaign to end public education is propelled by the super-wealthy, right-wing DeVos family. Betsy Prince DeVos is the sister of Erik Prince, founder of the notorious private military contractor Blackwater USA (now Xe), and wife of Dick DeVos, son of the co-founder of Amway, the multi-tiered home products business.

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More Michigan Mishigas

From neon tommy:

On March 16, 2011, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed into law a bill that would allow the state to appoint an “Emergency Financial Manager” (EFM) to essentially take over a city within the state when it is deemed that the city is in a state of “financial crisis.”

This state-appointed official has the power to void union contracts, remove elected officials, and can dissolve local authority completely, replacing it with the authority of the governor through the EFM.

The first city has fallen — Benton Harbor, Michigan. A few days ago, the powers of the local, elected government were dissolved, and elected officials were replaced by a state-appointed EFM, Joseph Harris. Public workers are being forced into concessions on their unionizing rights.

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Infamous & Andy

From CROOKS AND LIARS:

Let’s see: There were so many union supporters that Sarah Palin was drowned out at this Madison rally yesterday, yet the AP just can’t estimate how many of the thousands of people who attended were supporting unions. Here’s a clue, guys: They’re not the ones with the misspelled signs:

Capitol Police estimated about 6,500 people converged on the building Saturday, but said it was impossible to tell how many were tea partyers and how many were labor supporters.

Tea party activists are a loose coalition of community groups largely made up of people with conservative views who believe government has grown too large.

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Cheeseheadstrong

From TALKING POINTS MEMO:

Yet another shoe has dropped in the battle over Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) anti-public employee union law — with state Republican leaders now apparently defying or attempting to circumvent a court order that temporarily blocked implementation of the law.

…snip…

The judge’s order “restrain[ed] and enjoin[ed] the further implementation” of the law, including the prevention of Secretary of State Doug LaFollette (D) from publishing the act in the Wisconsin State Journal, which acts as the state’s official newspaper for the purpose of giving the public official notice of new laws — the final step for the law to take effect. That decision is now going through an appeals process, which remains up in the air.

But now, state Republicans have had the bill published through a different office — the Legislative Reference Bureau, which handles drafting and research for the legislature — according to the LRB’s statutory requirement to publish legislation within ten days of enactment.Interestingly, the LRB itself says that this publication does not constitute action that would put the law into effect. But the state’s Republican leaders disagree.   Senate Majority Scott Fitzgerald (R) says the LRB publication constitutes official publication and the insists the law will take effect Saturday.

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The Pain in Maine’s Due Plainly to His Reign

Yesterday, the Raisin reported on Governor Paul LePage of Maine ordering the Department of Labor to remove a mural that celebrates the history of labor in the state. There’s going to be an awful lot of blank wall space, so I thought we’d try to help and suggest a replacement. I did a little digging, and i found out about something called the Maine Heritage Policy Center. From WLBZ (Bangor):

Tarren Bragdon has risen to a position of influence as CEO of the Maine Heritage Policy Center, and was the leader of Gov. Paul LePage’s transition team. He goes In the Arena with Pat Callaghan to talk about the efforts to shrink the state budget and reform government.

The Maine Heritage Policy Center says Gov. LePage’s proposed budget doesn’t make enough cuts. The center believes Maine should cut 4,000 state jobs. Bragdon talks about that, as well as collective bargaining rights for state employees, and Gov. LePage’s decision to create private advisory groups to counsel him on business matters– which will not be subject to Maine’s open meeting laws.

Why is that important?  Well, this is from Dirigo Blue:

Trevor Bragdon has stepped down as the State Director of AFP Maine, and will be replaced by long-time Republican legislator Carol Weston.

AFP Maine is a chapter of Americans for Prosperity, an AstroTurf front group founded by David Koch, a major funder of libertarian groups across the country. Trevor Bragdon is the brother of Tarren Bragdon, the Executive Director of the conservative Maine Heritage Policy Center (MHPC), and one of the co-chairs of Gov. Paul LePage’s transition team. MHPC has ties to the Heritage Foundation in D.C., which also receives money from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation.

Anyone else think it’s quite a coincidence that the Koch brothers’ names keep popping up when anyone is discussing the new Republican governors who are trying to pull the rug out from anything that’s good for the middle class and the poor?  With that in mind, I’ve come up with a picture that I think will look just great on the walls of the Maine Department of Fellating Corporate Bigwigs Labor.
SaintsCyrilandMethodiusPaintingbySvitozarNenyukOriginal painting
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