Victory against Big Labor: Home health providers reject SEIU, AFSCME power grab

Victory against Big Labor: Home health providers reject SEIU, AFSCME power grab

By Michelle Malkin  •  October 19, 2009 04:56 PM

Over the past two weeks, I’ve reported on the grass-roots revolt by home health providers against the SEIU and rival AFSCME in Illinois.

SEIU-endorsed Gov. Pat Quinn signed an executive order in June approving collective bargaining by “individual providers of home-based support services” — effectively busting open the doors of private homes for the Purple Shirts of the SEIU and other union competitors hungry for new dues-paying members. SEIU and its minions leaned hard on providers to join — even sending out-of-state workers to intrude on families with the promise of juicy benefits and health care coverage. Democrat officials tried to intimidate parents like Pam Harris into silence over their efforts to inform providers that they could vote for no representation.

The thuggery backfired. Bigtime.

The votes were counted today and despite Big Labor’s massive coffers, manpower, and out-of-state propaganda campaign, the unionization effort was an epic fail. Here’s an exclusive look at the breakdown:

SEIU – 293 votes
AFSCME – 220 votes
NO UNION – 1018 votes

The local CBS affiliate adds:

Illinois workers who are paid by the state to care for severely disabled people in their homes have voted down an effort to unionize.

More than 3,000 home health care workers mailed in their ballots this month; the ballots were counted on Monday and most of those workers voted not to join a union, according to Alan Symonette, an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association, which counted the vote.

The workers could have voted to join the American Federation of State, county of Municipal Employees or the Service Employees International Union, but more than half of them voted to remain non-union.

The vote came after Gov. Pat Quinn signed an executive order paving the way for home health care workers – most of whom care for their own family members – to decide if they should unionize and collectively bargain with the state on how much funding they receive.

Representatives of AFSCME and SEIU did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

This is a teachable moment for home health providers in other states. The power-hungry unions’ home invasion tactics have worked in the past. But they can be defeated.

Be alert, be informed, and be ready to fight back. Knowledge is power.

***

The NLRB nomination of SEIU heavy Craig Becker need for increased vigilance, via the WSJ:

One of Big Labor’s priorities in Washington is to place allies in key government jobs where they can overturn existing labor policy without battles in Congress. This is a very good reason for the Senate to hold a hearing on the nomination of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Mr. Becker is associate general counsel at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which is most recently in the news for its close ties to Acorn, the disgraced housing shakedown operation. President Obama nominated Mr. Becker in April to the five-member NLRB, which has the critical job of supervising union elections, investigating labor practices, and interpreting the National Labor Relations Act. In a 1993 Minnesota Law Review article, written when he was a UCLA professor, Mr. Becker argued for rewriting current union-election rules in favor of labor. And he suggested the NLRB could do this by regulatory fiat, without a vote of Congress.

Yet now that he could soon have the power to act on this conviction, Mr. Becker won’t tell Congress if this is what he still believes. In written responses to questions from Republican Orrin Hatch, Mr. Becker promised only to “maintain an open mind about whether [his] suggestions should be implemented in any manner.” That sounds like his mind is made up but he won’t admit it lest it hurt his confirmation.

Mr. Becker also won’t give a clear answer about his role in preparing several pro-labor executive orders issued by President Obama shortly after inauguration. Mr. Becker’s name was found in at least one of the documents, suggesting that he had written it.

When asked by Sen. Hatch if he was “involved or responsible in any way” for these executive orders, Mr. Becker responded: “I was not responsible for [the specific executive orders] except as described below. As a member of the Presidential Transition Team, I was asked to provide advice and information concerning a possible executive order of the sort described. I was involved in researching, analyzing, preliminary drafting, and consulting with other members of the Transition team.” In other words, Mr. Becker was the main author but would rather not say so explicitly.

Why not? Well, perhaps because Mr. Becker seems to have been on the SEIU payroll at the time he did his “drafting.” Many people take leaves of absence from their private jobs when serving on a transition team, but Mr. Becker says he was on “vacation.” And his “vacation” seems to have been sporadic. “My work on the Transition Team was not full time or continuous . . . When I was not on vacation in order to work on the Transition Team, I continued to perform my regular work for both SEIU and the AFL-CIO.” The White House has made a public show of banning paid lobbyists from certain Administration jobs, but it let a paid union operative draft government documents benefiting unions.

There’s more. One of the many accusations leveled against former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is that he accepted money from the SEIU in return for taking actions giving collective bargaining rights to Illinois home health-care workers. While Mr. Becker denies any knowledge of, or role in, contributions to the former Governor, he does admit that he provided “advice and counsel to SEIU relating to proposed executive orders and proposed legislation giving homecare workers a right to organize and engage in collective bargaining under state law.”

Mr. Becker says he “worked with and provided advice” to SEIU Local 880 in Chicago, a beneficiary of the newly unionized health workers, and one of two SEIU locals currently in the national spotlight for its deep ties with Acorn.

Reading the Electoral Tea Leaves

Reading the Electoral Tea Leaves

By Bruce Walker

All eyes, for now, are focused on the gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey.  Will those races be referenda on Obama and the Democrats?  Yes, to some extent they will.  If Republican candidates win those two races, that reflects upon the Democratic Party and its national leader.  But off the national media radar, there are plenty of other smaller elections — special elections for state legislative seats — which already show serious political problems for the Democrats.

The following list shows:  (1) a particular state legislative seat which has held a special election in 2009; for example, the first race listed is the election results for the 89th District of the Maine House of Representatives, (2) the percentage of the vote that the Republican candidate running in that district received in the 2008 general election last November, and (3) the percentage of the vote that the Republican candidate received in a special election this year in the very same state legislative district. 
 

 
State/District
GOP Vote 11/08
GOP Vote 2009 Special Election
Change
Maine House (89)
33%
66%
   GOP +33%
New Hampshire Senate (3) 
50%
68%
   GOP +18%
South. Carolina House (30)
45%
54%
   GOP +9%
New Hampshire House (4)
49%
62%
   GOP +13%
Pennsylvania House (124)  
68%
70%
   GOP + 2%
Alabama Senate (7) 
34%
67%
   GOP +33%
Delaware Senate (19) 
0%
63%
   GOP +63%
Florida Senate (28) 
62%
77%
   GOP +15%
Tennessee House (62)
45%
67%
   GOP +22%
Oklahoma House (65)
0%
56%
   GOP +56%

                            

The data speaks for itself:  in the very same legislative districts, Republican candidates have been doing much better in special elections after Obama took office than Republican candidates did in November 2008, when large numbers of black voters and young voters turned out to elect Obama.  The big jump for Republican candidates appears in Red states (Oklahoma, Alabama, South Carolina, and Tennessee), in Blue states (Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maine), and in Purple states (Florida and New Hampshire.) 

 

These little elections across the nation confirm what polling data trends have shown:  the nation as a whole is moving away from the Democratic Party and toward the Republican Party; the intensity of Republican voters these days is greater than Democrat voters; and these reach across all parts of the nation.

 

Some of the Republican wins are real eye-openers.  Republicans have never had a state representative from Oklahoma’s 65th District and Delaware’s 19th Senate District has been represented by Democrats for a long time.  Democrat dominance had been so strong in those two districts that Republicans did not even field candidates in the 2008 general election.  The 30th House District in South Carolina had not been represented by a Republican in thirty years.   In several of these races, Republicans lost the state legislative race in November 2008 and then captured the seat in a 2009 special election. 

 

The tea leaves from these little races all over the nation should hearten Republicans and trouble Democrats.  Other recent elections, like the surprising Republican win in the Albuquerque mayoral race earlier this month, confirm this trend.  Democrats tried hard, when polls in Albuquerque showed that a Republican might actually make the runoff election, to bolster the Democrat front runner.  These efforts failed.  In yet another Purple state, voters in the largest city in the state have moved away from the Democratic Party and embraced the Republican Party.

 

But on November 3, 2009, both political parties will know quite a bit more about the strength and consistency of these trends toward the Republican Party.  While voters in New Jersey and Virginia are choosing their governors, voters in those states will also be electing state legislatures.  If Republicans, who only control one of the four legislative chambers in those two states now, make major gains and maybe capture a legislative chamber in Virginia or New Jersey, that is very good news for Republicans.  Virginians will also be electing other statewide elected officials, like Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General, Republican victories, and particularly the size of Republican victories, will tell a great deal about whether Virginia is a Red state once more.

 

But the careful political eye will look at state legislative races on November 3rd in other states.  Alabama, Michigan, South Carolina, Georgia, Missouri, New Hampshire, and Washington will all have special state legislative races on the first Tuesday in November. If Republicans do well in these races, then a general Republican trend will receive powerful new evidence.   Republicans, to be sure, will need to stand for something positive and principled.  But right now it seems that the average Obama voter in 2008 is, today, apathetic, troubled, and wavering.

 

Bruce Walker is the author of two books:  Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie and The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/10/reading_the_electoral_tea_leav_1.html at October 19, 2009 – 09:27:33 PM EDT

The Obama Way: Eliminate Competition of Ideas

The Obama Way: Eliminate Competition of Ideas

Aaron Gee
On September 8th President Obama told ABC news “…… Democrats and Republicans understand that I’m open to new ideas, that we’re not being rigid and ideological about this thing, but we do intend to get something done this year.”  The idea that the Obama administration is open to new ideas and that they are not rigid or ideological is false on its face.  The administration, in conjunction with Democrats in Congress, have worked to keep Republican sponsored ideas and legislation off from the floor of both the House and the Senate and out of the headlines.  Obama and the Democrats have steadfastly refused to seriously address ideas like tort reform even though such measures lowered costs in Texas and increased the number of doctors practicing in that state. 

The most recent example of the President’s distaste for any idea that doesn’t emanate from the bowels of the Democratic machine is the relentless haranguing of Fox News by the Obama administration.  What is clear to anyone that is paying attention is that the President doesn’t want competing ideas heard, and with a near lock on other media outlets there is only one mass media outlet (Fox) where a competing idea can even be seen.  The fact that criticism of the current Democratic plans resonate with several different voting blocs further aggravates the Obama administration.

 

It doesn’t matter if one looks at the current administration’s action toward Fox News as an Alinsky tactic or a distraction, the aim is the same: squash dissenting opinion and ideas while working to pass legislation before it can read or debated.  The tactics of the Obama administration are exactly the opposite of what one would expect from people that claim that they are fighters. Instead of reveling in the debate and winning in the court of public opinion with a better idea, Obama prefers to play as he has in the past: by eliminating the competition and pushing bills that are advertised one way but turn out to be another.

 

Expect the same sort of “transparency” we saw with the stimulus package, a bill that was released moments before a vote was taken, or protests registered.  What really bothers the Obama administration is the legislation that the Democrats are attempting to pass is being communicated to the American people and the American people aren’t buying it.  

 

By targeting a media outlet it’s clear that what Obama wants is control, not any of the ideals he promised, such as transparency, debate, and a workable solution. This isn’t the first time Obama has played three card monte with the American people, what is different now is that the Administration is trying to eliminate the only watchdog keeping an eye on our card.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/10/the_obama_way_eliminate_compet.html at October 19, 2009 – 09:24:02 PM EDT

HIGH TIMES: OBAMA TO ISSUE NEW MARIJUANA POLICY

Feds to issue new medical marijuana policy

 
 

Oct 19, 8:07 AM (ET)

By DEVLIN BARRETT WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal drug agents won’t pursue pot-smoking patients or their sanctioned suppliers in states that allow medical marijuana, under new legal guidelines to be issued Monday by the Obama administration.

Two Justice Department officials described the new policy to The Associated Press, saying prosecutors will be told it is not a good use of their time to arrest people who use or provide medical marijuana in strict compliance with state law.

The guidelines to be issued by the department do, however, make it clear that agents will go after people whose marijuana distribution goes beyond what is permitted under state law or use medical marijuana as a cover for other crimes, the officials said.

The new policy is a significant departure from the Bush administration, which insisted it would continue to enforce federal anti-pot laws regardless of state codes.

Fourteen states allow some use of marijuana for medical purposes: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

California is unique among those for the widespread presence of dispensaries – businesses that sell marijuana and even advertise their services. Colorado also has several dispensaries, and Rhode Island and New Mexico are in the process of licensing providers, according to the Marijuana Policy Project, a group that promotes the decriminalization of marijuana use.

Attorney General Eric Holder said in March that he wanted federal law enforcement officials to pursue those who violate both federal and state law, but it has not been clear how that goal would be put into practice.

A three-page memo spelling out the policy is expected to be sent Monday to federal prosecutors in the 14 states, and also to top officials at the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration.

The memo, the officials said, emphasizes that prosecutors have wide discretion in choosing which cases to pursue, and says it is not a good use of federal manpower to prosecute those who are without a doubt in compliance with state law.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the legal guidance before it is issued.

“This is a major step forward,” said Bruce Mirken, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “This change in policy moves the federal government dramatically toward respecting scientific and practical reality.”

At the same time, the officials said, the government will still prosecute those who use medical marijuana as a cover for other illegal activity. The memo particularly warns that some suspects may hide old-fashioned drug dealing or other crimes behind a medical marijuana business.

In particular, the memo urges prosecutors to pursue marijuana cases which involve violence, the illegal use of firearms, selling pot to minors, money laundering or involvement in other crimes.

And while the policy memo describes a change in priorities away from prosecuting medical marijuana cases, it does not rule out the possibility that the federal government could still prosecute someone whose activities are allowed under state law.

The memo, officials said, is designed to give a sense of prosecutorial priorities to U.S. attorneys in the states that allow medical marijuana. It notes that pot sales in the United States are the largest source of money for violent Mexican drug cartels, but adds that federal law enforcement agencies have limited resources.

Medical marijuana advocates have been anxious to see exactly how the administration would implement candidate Barack Obama’s repeated promises to change the policy in situations in which state laws allow the use of medical marijuana.

Soon after Obama took office, DEA agents raided four dispensaries in Los Angeles, prompting confusion about the government’s plans.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 56 other followers