Archive for the ‘Unions’ Category
Betsy DeVos has the chance of being one of the best secretaries of Education ever. According to this WSJ article, Mrs. DeVos has gone toe-to-toe with the ‘education establishment’ and lived to tell about it. In fact, she didn’t just live to tell about it, she defeated them. In fact, she didn’t just defeat them, she kicked some serious ass.
According to the WSJ article, “Mrs. DeVos is a philanthropist who has devoted years and much of her fortune to promoting school reform, especially charter schools and vouchers. She chairs the American Federation for Children (AFC).”
This year, “AFC was especially successful … as 108 of the 121 candidates it supported won their elections. AFC candidates in Florida won 20 of 21 targeted races. The group’s biggest coup was ousting a scourge of school choice in a Miami-Dade Senate district where Democrats are a majority. The teachers’ union dumped $1 million into the race but still lost.” [Editor’s note: winning 108 of 121 elections is a winning percentage of 89.25%, which certainly qualifies as kicking ass.
It’s especially heartening to see this many school choice advocates getting elected. They’re the future civil rights leaders of the next 15 years. Even more importantly, being seen as school choice advocates will help Republicans in minority communities irrespective of what Randi Weingarten said in this interview:
In Ms. Weingarten’s over-the-top statement, she said “In nominating DeVos, Trump makes it loud and clear that his education policy will focus on privatizing, defunding and destroying public education in America. DeVos has no meaningful experience in the classroom or in our schools. The sum total of her involvement has been spending her family’s wealth in an effort to dismantle public education in Michigan. Every American should be concerned that she would impose her reckless and extreme ideology on the nation.”
This is a perfect illustration of the left’s wanting money out of politics … if the money is spent opposing the left’s monopolies. Mrs. DeVos has spent a portion of her wealth trying to increase educational competition in the hopes of forcing the forces of the status quo into providing a better product. The reason why the minority community likes school choice is because public schools have failed their children too often.
Here’s hoping that Mrs. DeVos carries out President-Elect Trump’s school choice agenda when she’s confirmed.
Ed Morrissey’s latest column about the “fake news” phenomena offers 2 points worthy of further exploration. In the final paragraph of Morrissey’s column, he writes “That contempt from elites in media and politics may or may not have produced the electoral results seen two weeks ago, but it certainly explains the shock that has resulted from it. That contempt is also reflected in the push to shut down commentary and pressure Facebook into editing their social media network to allow only those sources deemed acceptable by those in power, politically and culturally.”
Predictably, Democrat elitists are in denial. In this instance, the simplest explanation for why so many blue collar voters chose Trump is because the Democratic Party has abandoned them for years. This administration has sided with environmental activists rather than the miners, pipefitters and heavy equipment operators on major projects every time. The Keystone XL Pipeline is just one example of that. The Dakota Access Pipeline is another.
This is a classic case of ‘what have you done for me lately Syndrome’. If Democrats don’t figure out a way to satisfy both environmental activists and miners, they’ll lose miners and construction workers for a generation. It’s that simple.
In his opening paragraph, Morrissey wrote “Rather than acknowledge the obvious and prosaic answer — that voters in swing states chose change rather than the status quo — analysts have sought a Unified Theory of Donald Trump’s Success. Trump couldn’t possibly have won fair and square, the assumption goes, so all that’s left is to identify whatever went wrong and banish it so this never happens again.”
Other explanations are equally valid. First, Hillary Clinton was a terrible candidate who ignored the most animated group of swing voters in this election. Mrs. Clinton didn’t just ignore Michigan and Wisconsin. She ignored voters in rural areas who demanded that they be heard. The other legitimate explanation for her defeat is simple: explosive ACA health insurance premiums caused people to demand a change from the status quo.
The Democratic Party is at a crossroads. They can continue to ignore blue collar workers and drive them into the GOP. If they don’t want that, then they’ll have to show that they aren’t anti-mining. Democrats can pretend that the ACA is a fine piece of legislation. That’s what Chuck Schumer did last Sunday. If that’s their strategy, they should prepare to not be taken seriously.
This morning, Donald Trump picked Gov. Nikki Haley, (R-SC), to be the US Ambassador to the UN. This afternoon, President-Elect Trump picked Betsy DeVos to be his Education Secretary. The Washington Post describes Mrs. DeVos as a “billionaire and conservative activist” who “has quietly helped change the education landscape in many states, spending millions of dollars in a successful push to expand voucher programs that give families taxpayer dollars to pay for private and religious schools.”
Of course, the article wouldn’t be complete without quoting Randi Weingarten. Ms. Weingarten is quoted as saying “Trump’s pick makes it loud and clear that his education policy will focus on privatizing, defunding and destroying public education in America.”
In picking DeVos, President-Elect Trump is telling conservatives that he will push their school choice agenda. This pick, more than any other pick besides Jeff Sessions as Trump’s AG, signals that Trump’s education agenda aligns with Republicans’ education agenda.
After accepting the nomination to be the US ambassador to the US, Mrs. Haley said “When the President believes you have a major contribution to make to the welfare of our nation, and to our nation’s standing in the world, that is a calling that is important to heed,” Haley said, adding that she will “remain as governor until the U.S. Senate acts affirmatively on my nomination.”
DeVos will likely get the most criticism from Democrats because school choice represents an existential threat to the Democrats’ teacher union special interest allies. I’d think that Haley will sail through for confirmation.
Technorati: Donald Trump, Cabinet Secretaries, Nikki Haley, United Nations, Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education, School Choice, Republicans, Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers, Democrats
Democrats should follow Robert Reich’s blueprint to revitalize the Democratic Party. One of the parts of the article that’s interesting reading the part when Reich starts talking about insiders. Specifically, he said “the Democratic party apparatus is ingrown and entrenched. Like any old bureaucracy, it only knows how to do what it has done for years. Its state and quadrennial national conventions are opportunities for insiders to meet old friends and for aspiring politicians to make contacts among the rich and powerful. Insiders and the rich aren’t going to happily relinquish their power and perquisites, and hand them to outsiders and the non-rich.”
The Democratic Party has always been the party of party insiders. That’s their identity. It’s their DNA. That being said, Reich has a point in saying “It must harness the energies and idealism of young people across the nation who were drawn to Bernie Sanders’s campaign because of its promise to get big money out of politics; reverse widening inequality; turn the nation’s wildly expensive and baroque healthcare complex into a single-payer system; reverse climate change; end the militarization of our police and the mass incarceration of our people and stop interminable and open-ended warfare.”
If that’s what you think the Democratic Party needs to return to political relevance, then Keith Ellison is the perfect fit for DNC chairman. Part of the Democrats’ problem is that they all sound alike. Here’s what Rep. Tim Ryan, the man who’s opposing Nancy Pelosi, said:
If Donald Trump’s going to defund Planned Parenthood, privatize Medicare, just simply cut taxes for the top 1 percent and throw people off their health care, he’s going to be in a street fight with a kid from the Youngstown area, and that’s how that’s going to work.
Considering the fact that Democrats have presided over the most pathetic economic growth since the Great Depression, it probably isn’t wise to sound like Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.
Back to Reich’s plan. This video is a lengthy pep talk to the troops:
Reich spend most of his time talking about climate change, bragging about the (supposedly) positive accomplishments of the EPA and advocating a Medicare for all health care plan. How will that connect with the pipefitter working on a pipeline infrastructure project? How will those things tell the electrician that you understand them? This won’t connect with voters. At this point, people don’t trust Washington, DC. They think DC doesn’t understand them, probably because Washington, DC hasn’t understood them for years.
What’s especially delicious is listening to Reich saying that Democrats have to do a better job of listening to the people, then saying “particularly sensitive to widening inequality, particularly sensitive to the corruption that widening inequality generates. When you have huge wealth at the top that is being channeled and used in order to gain influence to get even more wealth.” That isn’t in touch with America.
People don’t think in terms of income inequality. People just wish they had a secure job in a growing economy. Income inequality is an abstract concept. A secure job in a vibrant economy is something people can relate to.
In Part I of this series, I highlighted how the SEIU Healthcare MN union are stealing families’ Medicaid benefits. From a moral standpoint, it’s difficult to justify SEIU’s actions. As Kim Crockett, the vice president and senior policy fellow at Center of the American Experiment, explained in her op-ed, “Minnesota’s Choice PCA program was created in the 1970s when the Legislature wisely decided it was more humane and more cost-effective to care for persons with disabilities in their own homes rather than in a state institution.”
It’s difficult, if not impossible, to think of something more noble or dignifying than a family member taking care of a loved one with a disability in their own home. Picturing that in my mind’s eye is an inspiring thought. What isn’t inspiring is thinking about the things that the Dayton administration has done to protect SEIU Healthcare MN. In fact, it’s a disgusting thought. First, Gov. Dayton assisted SEIU Healthcare in rigging the initial election. The Dayton administration saw to it that voter turnout was low. The result was the SEIU winning “the biggest labor election in Minnesota history with just 13 percent support of eligible PCAs.” It’s especially disgusting when you think of the fact that “most PCAs did not even know there was a vote.”
Now that the PCAs are fighting for a vote to decertify SEIU Healthcare MN, the Dayton administration is fighting these parents. First, “a coalition of caregivers and advocates called ‘MNPCA.org’ was formed to demand a new vote.” The Dayton administration is assisting because the “MNPCA has a very short window of time to demonstrate a ‘showing of interest,’ defined as handwritten signatures of 30 percent of PCAs, to call for a new vote.”
The Dayton administration is fighting these families:
Getting signatures requires a good contact list. The SEIU receives updated PCA contact information every two weeks. But when MNPCA requested an updated list, the state stalled for five months and refused to give them accurate information, instead giving MNPCA two bad lists. Also, the SEIU and state began negotiating a new contract almost year before the current one expires. If that process is completed before MNPCA gets a new election, the decertification effort will be defeated.
With the window to call for a new vote rapidly closing; the last date to file for a new election is Dec. 2; MNPCA took the state to court. A Ramsey County judge ruled that PCAs must be given the data they requested. Yet even with a judge’s order, the state failed to give MNPCA a complete and accurate list. MNPCA asked the judge to help but for now has to assume the deadline will not change.
It’s impossible to believe that the Dayton administration can’t get an accurate list of PCAs to MNPCA in a timely fashion when they’re updating SEIU Healthcare MN with a list every 2 weeks.
Remember this the next time you hear Tina Smith or some other DFL political hack talk about being for the little guy. That’s BS. They’re for whoever will contribute large sums of money to their political campaigns. It has nothing to do with fighting for the little guy.
In this instance, Gov. Dayton and the DFL aren’t fighting for the little guy. Instead, they’re fighting the little guy. What’s worst is that the DFL is fighting the little guy on behalf of a big money special interest group.
The thieves wearing SEIU union uniforms, along with their DFL political allies, have stolen money from families. This article highlights how the theft happened.
According to the article, “Recently, the union’s stooges in the capital declared some 27,000 of the state’s personal-care assistants (PCAs) ‘public employees’ – but only for purposes of collective bargaining, i.e., so they can be unionized. As a result, the SEIU is siphoning 3% of its members’ very modest Medicaid supplement.”
Kim Crockett’s op-ed explains SEIU’s racket, saying “Minnesota’s Choice PCA program was created in the 1970s when the Legislature wisely decided it was more humane and more cost-effective to care for persons with disabilities in their own homes rather than in a state institution. The Legislature funds a Medicaid benefit, given to a person with a disability, to pay for PCA care at home. Most often, PCAs are family members or close friends.”
First, let’s hear SEIU explain how family members taking care of loved ones with disabilities are government employees. Next, let’s hear SEIU explain why they deserve a penny of these families’ Medicaid benefits. Third, let’s hear Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature of 2013 explain why they sided with the SEIU rather than with families caring for loved ones with disabilities.
PCAs are people who have chosen to be the primary caregiver of a disabled person; in the vast majority of cases, a family member (usually a spouse or child). Some of the disabilities are so severe that the caregiver is unable to work outside the home. And so Minnesota established a PCA program which allows them to receive some Medicaid support.
In the old days, many of the disabled would have been institutionalized in a government-run facility, a system that was costly and scary. The current PCA Medicaid program allows these people to stay at home and be cared for by someone who loves them.
The heartless SEIU thinks it deserves a portion of these families’ Medicaid support. Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislators from 2013 agree with the SEIU. What isn’t known is why Gov. Dayton and the DFL agree with the SEIU from a policy standpoint. It isn’t difficult to figure out why Gov. Dayton and the DFL agree with the heartless bastards in the SEIU from a political standpoint.
When it comes to standing up to heartless special interests, Gov. Dayton and the DFL aren’t profiles in courage.
SEIU Healthcare insists that it’s helping these PCAs:
Key victories in the contract include workers receiving a paid time off benefit for the first time (five days of paid time off for full-time workers), raising the pay floor from $9 to $11 by 2016, a grievance and arbitration procedure to address wage theft, and a training fund to improve the quality of care they provide to people with disabilities and seniors.
How many parents can take time off when caring for a child with a severe disability? The ‘benefit’ is mostly a mirage.
I wrote this post to highlight what the SEIU and Gov. Dayton did to rig a unionization vote. Saying that what they did is unethical is understatement. What they did was unethical on steroids.
First, it’s worth highlighting the fact that Gov. Dayton’s Department of Human Services and Gov. Dayton’s Bureau of Mediation Services didn’t provide the Minnesota Personal Care Attendants association, aka the MNPCA, with an up-to-date list of PCAs in the state. (A judge just ruled that Gov. Dayton’s Department of Human Services has to give the MNPCA an accurate list of the PCAs in Minnesota.)
Next, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota worked with the Dayton administration to make sure that only a tiny percentage of PCAs voted in the unionization vote. Approximately 3,500 voted out of 27,000 PCAs. These PCAs didn’t vote because they were apathetic to the issue. They didn’t vote because they didn’t know how to get a ballot to vote in the election.
At this point, it’s worth asking why the Dayton administration, the DFL and the SEIU didn’t want everyone to vote. I’m betting that they only wanted the people that they’d identified as friendlies voting. This video offers an inside look:
This is how PCAs feel:
Minnesota PCAs don’t need a union. The SEIU is taking a cut of a public subsidy — and then taking credit for benefits the legislature provides anyway. That’s just wrong!
This FAQ offers some insight into Gov. Dayton’s and SEIU’s tactics:
Did the SEIU win a representation election?
In 2014, under this new law, the SEIU won an election that allowed them to claim exclusive representation of all 27,000 PCAs across the state. However, of those 27,000, only 3,500 PCAs voted in favor of unionization. That’s just 13%. Many PCAs were not aware of the vote or its ramifications and feel they were unwittingly trapped in a union they do not want.
That’s what corruption looks like. Gov. Dayton and the SEIU know that they can’t win that election if it’s fought on a level playing field. Don’t let DFL legislators off the hook, either. They passed the bill on the final weekend of the 2013 session.
Technorati: Mark Dayton, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, Weaponized Government, Forced Unionization, PCAs, Bureau of Mediation Services, Department of Human Services, DFL Culture of Corruption, Public Employees, Decertification
According to this article, a judge has ordered SEIU HealthCare Minnesota “to turn over a list of names of personal care attendants to a union decertification campaign.” Further, the article states “the Dayton administration admitted they have not been complying with a 2013 law that requires an accurate list of PCAs in the SEIU bargaining unit to be kept. This is a law which Governor Mark Dayton personally pushed for.”
Meanwhile, the MNPCA is “working to force a new election in an attempt to decertify the SEIU which won a low turnout victory in 2014 with only 13 percent of caregivers voting for unionization. MNPCA sued three state agencies in order to get up to date contact information in order to notify caregivers about the campaign, and won.”
The vast majority of PCAs “are women caring for a family member.” They “were unionized as ‘state employees’ in 2014” in what was essentially a rigged election. (See the previous paragraph on that.) It’s impossible to win a fight if you don’t have a list of people eligible to vote. Thankfully, Judge “Robert A. Awsumb ordered the Department of Human Services to turn over to MNPCA a list of all the names of all home care workers who have been active in the program in the last six months.”
This is additional proof that Gov. Dayton and the DFL are a wholly-owned subsidiary of the PEUs. Gov. Dayton apparently didn’t hesitate in tipping the scales in SEIU’s favor. That begs this important question: if SEIU is providing that good of a service, why did they need Gov. Dayton to tip the scales in their favor? The dirty little secret (and it’s definitely dirty) is that SEIU’s forced unionization play is the union’s latest attempt to take money away from people caring for loved ones.
That’s the opposite of compassion. That’s taking money away from families that need government assistance to care for their relatives. That’s the definition of legalized theft. The SEIU, combined with Gov. Dayton, are the poster children of weaponized government. This paragraph shouts corruption:
If a new contract agreement for PCAs is reached by the SEIU before being decertified, MNPCA would have to wait at least two years before trying to hold such an election again. The SEIU and the State of Minnesota announced they were working on a new contract after MNPCA started their election campaign. The current contract does not expire until June 30, 2017 and the new negotiations are well in advance of typical timeframes for such deals.
There’s nothing honest or trustworthy about this:
The Dayton administration had promised to inform the committee of any PCA contract negotiations, but only did so after the committee’s co-chair, Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-21B) complained about the lack of notice.
Thankfully, we still have a judiciary that isn’t as corrupt as the Dayton administration or SEIU.
The real reason behind Gov. Dayton’s guest column doesn’t get mentioned until deep in his article. That’s when Gov. Dayton starts pining for ‘the good old days’ of all-DFL rule. That’s when Gov. Dayton and the DFL destroyed Minnesota’s health care system. That’s when Gov. Dayton and the DFL raised taxes on small businesses and farmers one year, then repealed those taxes the next year after they’d gotten an earful from constituents.
In his article, Gov. Dayton wrote “A divided House and Senate could not agree on a bonding bill, which left unfunded very important improvements in state colleges and universities, parks and trails, and water quality all over Minnesota. There was also no agreement on the urgently needed transportation investments to repair and improve our state’s highways, roads, bridges and public transit.”
Actually, DFL senators killed the bonding bill because they insisted on funding for the Southwest Light Rail project. I wrote frequently that the SWLRT project doesn’t have a change of getting built for at least 5 more years. In other words, the DFL killed massive investments in Minnesota’s highways because they didn’t get the funding for a project they refused to fund in their $1,800,000,000 bonding bill. The problem wasn’t the House GOP. It was the Senate DFL.
If Minnesotans want things done right, throw out the DFL majority in the Senate and watch positive things happen. Watch them tackle the MNsure/ACA crisis. They won’t just apply a temporary Band-Aid to the problem. They’ll actually fix the things that are broken within the ACA.
Giving Gov. Dayton a blank check in the legislature gave us major tax increases, the MNsure disaster, the $90,000,000 Senate Office Building for fat-cat DFL politicians and obscene pay raises for incompetent commissioners. If that isn’t enough, the all-DFL legislature passed legislation that would allow for the organizing of in-home child care providers in the AFSCME union over the objections of in-home child care providers.
That organizing vote showed that the DFL didn’t listen to the people. That organizing vote showed that they listened to their special interest masters. In-home child care providers rejected unionization by a vote of 1,014-392.
I’ve laid out the proof that the DFL doesn’t listen to the people. I’ve laid out proof that they do what their special interest puppetmasters tell them to do. Going back to DFL rule would bring more disasters to Minnesotans.
Technorati: Mark Dayton, Special Interests, Fat-Cat Politicians, Senate Office Building, SWLRT, MNsure, AFSCME, DFL, Roads and Bridges, Farmers, Small Businesses, Child-Care Providers, Republicans, Election 2016
This article highlights just how popular Donald Trump is with blue collar workers. It also highlights the fact that Democrats don’t own the Iron Range like they once did. A decade ago, it wouldn’t have been imaginable to see a paragraph that said “The vice presidents wanted working class voters to know they still have a home in their party. The fight for the 8th District — home to the mining region known as the Iron Range — is a story about evolving political topography and economic frustration, just as much as it is a tale of two well-known personalities dueling for the second time in as many years.”
Earlier in the article, it said “Former Vice President Walter Mondale, who addressed the standing-room-only crowd at the Nolan Annual Fish Fry in Brainerd last Thursday, and incumbent Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who spoke in Duluth the next day, had a bigger message than just saving their friend’s seat.”
Vice President Biden and Vice President Mondale aren’t telling the truth. Today’s Democratic Party hates working class voters. Ask yourself this: when was the last time a Democrat fought against environmental activists? When was the last time this administration sided with the pipefitters, not the environmental activists? Think Keystone XL Pipeline and you’ll have your answer. If you need something more recent, think Dakota Access Pipeline or the Sandpiper Pipeline before it. The Democratic Party used to love working class people. It doesn’t anymore.
Stewart Mills has reason to hope, especially after this:
Removing his Carhartt jacket and sitting down for coffee, Mills had reason to feel good. He’d seen a photo of the Biden rally from earlier in the day showing a relatively sparse crowd. And he’d just heard on the radio that the FBI was investigating Clinton’s emails again.
We’ll find out a week from today what all this means in terms of who wins. At this point, though, there’s no question that there’s lots of momentum on the Trump-Mills side. This 30-second spot will help strengthen and sustain that momentum: