Archive for the ‘Unions’ Category
If someone would’ve told you that the New York chapter of the NAACP and a hardline progressive mayor were siding with the teachers unions in preventing minority students from getting a good education, you’d think it was something from the Onion. Sadly, it isn’t:
On March 17, 19 parents who send their children to Success Academy, a Harlem charter school, filed suit in federal court to stop New York Mayor Bill de Blasio from denying them previously arranged space in a public school building. Without space, their children and 173 others will not be able to continue at Success Academy this fall.
School bullying is a problem nationwide, but in New York the bullies are de Blasio and his pals — state NAACP President Hazel Dukes and teachers unions. Their targets are middle-school kids, 97 percent of them minorities, and 80 percent eligible for lunch assistance.
This shameful behavior is brought to you by the Bigot Wing of the Democratic Party. Don’t confuse these bigots with well-intentioned liberals like Juan Williams. They’re galaxies apart when it comes to education reform.
Juan Williams is fighting for education reforms that give every student the opportunity to live the American Dream. Part of his fight involves limiting teachers unions’ influence on educational opportunities, especially for minorities.
Consider what another Success Academy called Bronx 2 is doing to educate minority students. In that charter school, 97 percent of students passed state exams in mathematics, and 77 percent passed English. In math, the school ranks third in the state, besting schools in well-heeled suburbs. Bronx 2 shares space with a district public school, where kids under the thumb of the union and city bureaucrats, are failing. Only 3 percent passed the state English test. Same building, but a world of difference. Which school is giving kids their civil rights? Not the one Dukes and de Blasio are defending.
I’d love hearing Mayor de Blasio’s explanation on why he’s insisting that minority students’ only educational option is for failing schools. Smart policymakers would notice Bronx 2′s successes and do everything possible to expand those opportunities for minority students. Shouldn’t the NAACP be insisting that minority students be given the opportunity to excel in charter schools.
Instead, they’re being held back. The NAACP and Mayor de Blasio should be ashamed of themselves. Additionally, they should be required to meet face-to-face with these parents and students to explain why they’re being this hard-hearted.
Politically speaking, this is a fantastic opportunity for conservative school choice activists to explain why they’re for expanding choice options. From a human standpoint, it’s the perfect opportunity to explain why expanding educational options is a moral imperative.
Get ready for the bullies. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder sued to stop school choice in New Orleans, arguing that it was getting in the way of the federal government’s 1975 court-ordered desegregation plan. When parents protested that they wanted to be the ones choosing their kids’ schools, not the Department of Justice, Holder’s lawyers told the court that parents lacked the standing to make their views known.
If anyone has standing in their child’s education, it’s parents. And parents in New Orleans said that racial balance was less important to them than being able to choose a school that educates their child. Ultimately, Holder had to give up.
Ultimately, this fight is about punching bullies like Eric Holder, Bill de Blasio and the NAACP in the nose. Negotiating with bullies doesn’t work. Inflicting pain does. That’s why the heroes in this fight are the parents and the activists who defiantly stand with them because it’s the right thing to do.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s passion for school choice is eloquently laid out in Gov. Jindal’s op-ed. First, Gov. Jindal makes the case against the status quo:
In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio has embarked on a systematic campaign to destroy the city’s burgeoning charter school movement. He’s diverting more than $200 million in funding marked for charter schools, and has also thrown hundreds of students out of their promised school buildings. He has also declared his intent to nullify arrangements that allow charters to locate in existing public schools rent-free.
The mayor’s open warfare against Eva Moskowitz, who founded a network of 22 charter schools, has all the markings of a petulant tyrant holding low-income students hostage. De Blasio has said, “There’s no way in hell Eva Moskowitz should get free rent” — as if the 6,700 students in the charter schools she runs were a mere afterthought in his personal vendetta against a fellow Democrat.
Last May, he told a teachers-union forum that Moskowitz “has to stop being tolerated, enabled, supported.” Yes, by all means, let’s not “tolerate” someone behind a movement to empower parents and students with more — and better — education choices. This woman who is making it possible for low-income kids to have an equal opportunity for a quality education must be stopped.
Gov. Jindal gets it. He’s consistently talked about school choice in the context of giving students a shot at the American Dream. He’s even got a history of fighting for his policies:
In Louisiana, we know a thing or two about government authorities meddling in parents’ right to choose the schools that are best for their children. President Obama’s Justice Department filed a lawsuit trying to impede our program that gives parents of low-income students in failing schools an opportunity to attend a better school. Fully nine in 10 students participating in the program are minorities, yet the Justice Department seeks to block the program on the grounds that it would lead to racial segregation. The lawsuit would be funny if it weren’t so sad — and if the lives of so many young African-American children weren’t at stake.
President Obama’s Justice Department filed their lawsuit to placate their allies in the teachers union. That’s the same reason why Mayor de Blasio is implementing his anti-choice policies in NYC. It’s shameful that President Obama and Mayor de Blasio worry more about placating their special interest allies than they worry about doing what’s right for the nation.
In that respect, President Obama and Mayor de Blasio are showing their anti-American stripes. If they cared about making life better for everyone, they wouldn’t be attempting to implement these misguided policies.
Thankfully, people are standing up for themselves and their families rather than just caving in the face of the Left’s peer pressure.
Gov. Jindal understands this, which is why I think he’s the favorite to be the GOP presidential nominee. It isn’t thatI haven’t notice that other polls show Christie or Bush or Rand Paul leading or near the top. It’s that Gov. Jindal has a lengthy history of domestic policy successes without angering the GOP’s conservative base.
Gov. Jindal has championed school choice. He’s pushed tax reform. Those are definitely issues conservatives will positively respond to. Most importantly, he hasn’t hugged President Obama like Gov. Christie and he hasn’t been a foreign policy pacifist like Sen. Paul.
Technorati: Bobby Jindal, School Choice, Tax Reform, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Pacifism, National Security, GOP, President Obama, Eric Holder, Justice Department, Bill de Blasio, Teachers Unions, Democrats, Election 2014
Tuesday night, Greta van Susteren took exception to NYC Mayor de Blasio’s shutting down several charter schools. In this video, she properly framed it as a moral issue:
Here’s the partial transcript of van Susteren expressing her moral outrage:
GRETA: You know Mayor, I’ve actually walked through a charter school in NYC and it’s like one part of it is a charter school and the other is the public school. It is like walking from one universe into another universe. It’s the most astounding thing, whether it’s how clean it is, whether there are colorful drawings on the walls where it looks like students are learning or you walk into the other area and it looks like a prison.
Here’s how Mayor Giuliani responded:
MAYOR GIULIANI: The objective here should be they should all be like charter schools.
GRETA: Oh absolutely.
GIULIANI: We should be moving in the direction of hundreds, if not thousands, of charter schools and those other schools that are decrepit and not doing their jobs — we had 100 schools a year that weren’t doing their job for like 20 straight years. I closed some of them down. Mayor Bloomberg closed down a lot of them and he took a lot of heat for that.
When Mayor de Blasio announced the shutting down of those charter schools, he told hundreds of minority students that they weren’t getting a shot at the American Dream. That’s the definition of immorality. That isn’t our national identity.
Mayor de Blasio’s actions spoke something exceptionally clearly. His actions clearly stated that the teachers union’s priorities were more important than minorities’ priorities. That isn’t just unacceptable. That’s reprehensible. That’s disgusting.
It isn’t surprising that the UAW would run to the NLRB for a shoulder to cry on after suffering a humiliating defeat in its attempt to unionize the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee. It isn’t even surprising that the UAW is attempting to silence opposition to the unionization movement:
On Feb. 14, the workers made their voices heard, with 53% voting against allowing the UAW to represent them. I believe that the workers understood that they were nothing more than dollar signs for the UAW. Obviously, I could not have been happier for the Volkswagen employees, for the community and for Tennessee.
Unfortunately, the UAW has chosen to ignore the employees’ decision and has filed objections with the National Labor Relations Board, charging that elected officials like me should not be allowed to make public comments expressing our opinion and sharing information with our constituents. It is telling that the UAW complaint does not mention President Obama’s public statement urging the employees to vote for the union.
Ordinarily, the NLRB’s rulings aren’t reviewed by the courts. If the NLRB rules that it was improper for public officials to speak about the UAW’s unionization drive, their ruling will get taken to court, where they’ll lose badly.
If the NLRB issues such a ruling, they’ll be exposed as Big Labor’s corrupt shills. They’ll lose credibility in the eyes of the average citizen.
Most importantly, the UAW will be exposed as sore losers who had run of the VW plant for 2 years and who didn’t face management opposition for that time but still couldn’t win the organizing election. That’s pretty pathetic.
Longtime readers of LFR know that I haven’t hesitated in highlighting how the DFL is the party of special interests. Lately, I’ve intensified my writings about how Democrats are favoring the environmentalists over the unions. That caught the attention of the Lady Logician, who wrote about Bill DeBlasio’s sucker-punching of the unions in this post:
Facing mounting criticism for refusing to even see the horses he proposes banning from the city, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio Thursday finally promised to go and see the animals in their stables.
He also promised that he wouldn’t change his mind about the ban, no matter what he sees there.
In Minnesota, Democrats are siding with militant environmentalists who hope to kill the PolyMet mining project, which would create tons of union jobs. In NYC, uber-liberal Mayor DeBlasio is siding with animal rights activists and militant environmentalists to kill lots of union jobs. In Washington, DC, the administration has dragged its feet on the Keystone XL Pipeline project, siding with environmentalists over the unions’ interests.
Until now, I’ve thought that the Democratic Party was the special interest party. Tonight, I changed my opinion. That’s because I’ve realized that the Democratic Party, in Minnesota and nationally, is owned by militant environmentalists. The only question left to answer is whether unions will continually side with the Democratic Party.
While it’d be a stretch to say that Republicans love all unions, it’s 100% accurate to say that Republicans are siding with mining unions on the PolyMet and Twin Metals projects. Similarly, it’s 100% accurate to say the DFL is tip-toeing through a political minefield while attempting to placate militant environmentalists and the miners’ union.
Honest union workers need to ask themselves why their leadership is constantly selling them out while electing Democratic politicians who talk about how they love unions while stabbing unions in the back. While they’re asking that question, they should ask themselves why they aren’t voting for pro-mining Republicans in Minnesota and pro-union jobs on the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Finally, the unions should ask themselves why they’re supporting Democrats that only pay “working families” lip service. It’s time these unions figured it out that today’s Democratic Party is pro-government unions, not private sector unions.
Technorati: Unions, Mining Projects, Keystone XL Pipeline, PolyMet Mining, Twin Metals Mining, Iron Range, MNGOP, Environmentalists, Public Sector Unions, Bill DeBlasio, President Obama, Democrats, DFL, Election 2014
After last week’s stinging defeat, the United Auto Workers, aka the UAW, were singing the blues. Mixed into those blues, UAW President Bob King was performing a bit of the sour grapes serenade:
Mr. King blamed Republican lawmakers for the loss. They made numerous anti-union arguments and a few threats to discourage workers from unionizing. Gov. Bill Haslam, a Republican, contended that auto parts suppliers would not come to the Chattanooga area if that meant being located near a unionized VW plant. Senator Bob Corker, a former mayor of Chattanooga, said VW executives had told him the plant would add a second production line, making sport utility vehicles, if workers rejected the U.A.W. Mr. Corker and some outside conservative groups told workers that the U.A.W. had contributed to the struggles of Detroit’s automakers and would make VW less competitive, a view echoed by some workers.
Adding to the anti-union pressure, Bo Watson, a state senator who represents a Chattanooga suburb, said the Republican-controlled Legislature was unlikely to approve further subsidies to Volkswagen if the plant unionized. Some workers feared that his threat would cause Chattanooga to lose the planned S.U.V. line to a VW plant in Mexico.
“We are outraged that people in the political arena decided that they were going to threaten workers and that they were going to threaten the company,” Mr. King said. “The threats against the workers were what shifted things.”
It’s dishonest for Mr. King to say that “threats against the workers” shifted the race. These politicians simply highlighted the fact that companies don’t like dealing with unionized companies. That’s just reality.
Mr. King won’t admit it but this is humiliating to the UAW. The company didn’t campaign against unionization. Still, the workers rejected unionization by a 53.2%-46.8% margin. When the workers reject unionization despite the company not taking a position on unionization, they’re sending a clear message that they aren’t interested in paying union dues.
There are other implications to this defeat:
For months, U.A.W. organizers have been contacting workers at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance, Ala., with the hope that it might soon follow VW into the union fold.
That hoped-for momentum disappeared in Tennessee.
What’s worse for unions is that their allies in the Democratic Party are rejecting them in favor of deep-pocketed environmentalists. That’s happening here in Minnesota and it’s happening with the Keystone XL Pipeline project.
These days, the environmentalist wing of the DFL, aka the elitist Metrocrats, seem determined to shaft miners. This time, it’s Speaker Thissen that’s giving the Iron Range the shaft:
The Minnesota House speaker will not allow any legislation to pass this year setting an amount PolyMet Mining Corp. should set aside to fix environmental damage done by its proposed copper-nickel mine.
“We are not taking up any legislation related to mining, one way or the other,” House Speaker Paul Thissen, D-Minneapolis, told Forum News Service on Friday. “The best thing is to let the process work its way out.”
One of Thissen’s committees held a 5½-hour meeting this week dealing with how much money the state should require PolyMet to pay up front to clean up any environment issues once the mine closes. PolyMet itself has said perhaps $200 million should be available at mine closure, with a few million more a year for some time afterward.
When Yvonne Prettner-Solon announced that she’d gotten tired of being ignored by Gov. Dayton, she created an opening on the Dayton ticket. Rather than picking Tony Sertich, Gov. Dayton picked Tina Smith, creating an all-Minneapolis ticket.
This time, Speaker Thissen is saying he won’t lift a finger to help out the Iron Range. It’s worth noting that Thissen is the quintessential Minneapolis Metrocrat. He’s danced the environmentalists’ tune every time they’ve demanded it of him.
At some point, the blue collar workers of the Iron Range will have to ask whether Gov. Dayton, Speaker Thissen and Alida Messinger care about them after they’ve cast their votes for the DFL. Thus far, the Metrocrats have proven that they’re interested in the Iron Range’s support at the polls. What’s worse is that the Metrocrats have shown that they’re totally disinterested in supporting the Iron Range’s pro-mining agenda.
FOOTNOTE: During Friday night’s political roundtable, SEIU Local 26 President Javier Morillo-Alicea said that this isn’t a big deal, that “voters don’t think in terms of geographical balance.” Andy Brehm pounced on that, saying “Spoken like someone from Minneapolis.”
It’s true voters don’t walk into a voting booth and say “I can’t vote for this ticket because it isn’t geographically balanced. That said, there’s tons of reasons for Iron Rangers to abandon the DFL, starting with the indisputable fact that Alida Messinger, the biggest funder of the DFL, hates mining.
Funding the DFL isn’t the only activism Ms. Messinger has engaged in. According to Conservation Minnesota’s website, Ms. Messinger is the Vice-Chair of CM’s Board of Directors. CM is one of the biggest supporters of MiningTruth.org:
Our goal is to provide a resource for Minnesotans to get the facts about sulfide mining and its impacts. Today, there is little awareness and even less understanding about proposed sulfide mining projects in northern Minnesota.
Our state has important choices to make that impact every Minnesotan. The more people who participate in these decisions, the better the outcome. Learn more about sulfide mining.
Founding partners of Mining Truth are Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, Conservation Minnesota. See the full list of supporters.
Apparently, Thissen doesn’t want his DFL House caucus voting on anything controversial:
However, Thissen said the DNR should proceed with its studies, adding that he is confident the process will provide enough information that those in charge “can make the right decisions.”
“We do have this process in place,” the speaker said. “It feels like the information is getting out there. I feel this is going to be an extensive process.” Thissen said fellow House Democrats, who hold a majority of the votes, do not appear to be leaning “one way or the other” on the PolyMet issue.
That’s pure BS. The Twin Cities DFL want to kill the PolyMet and Twin Metals projects. The Iron Range DFL want those project built ASAP.
Politics is definitely a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately proposition. Lately Metro DFL legislators have given the Iron Range the shaft. They just didn’t give them the mine to go with it.
Technorati: Paul Thissen, Mark Dayton, Alida Messinger, Tina Smith, Militant Environmentalists, Metrocrats, Yvonne Prettner-Solon, Tony Sertich, Iron Range Democrats, DFL Civil War, Javier Morillo-Alicea, Metrocrats, Election 2014
All of the pundits have hinted that the DFL is one big, happy family. I’m betting that those pundits are stretching things a bit based on this article:
The DFL political establishment on the Range is virtually unanimous in its support, which also has the backing of many in the construction trades, another key DFL constituency. But the controversial project faces stiff and well-coordinated opposition from environmental groups and many DFL lawmakers.
“Clearly this opens up the clash and conflict between those DFLers who value the environment first, versus those who value jobs first. We will all have to answer the question, ‘Whose side are you on?’” Anzelc said. “I think this issue has the potential to divide the DFL convention this summer. The table is set for Democrats running for statewide office to have a real challenging time of it in the ’14 elections.”
Anzelc is partially right. He said this in the context of Gov. Dayton picking Tina Smith as his running mate. This split has been developing since 2009. That’s when Chip Cravaack campaigned hard on the Range and took tons of votes from Jim Oberstar, something that people thought was impossible.
In 2012, ‘normalcy’ was restored when fossilized Rick Nolan defeated Chip. That calm exterior disappeared when Nolan decided to vote for HR761:
Northern Minnesota is known for its great fishing, so perhaps it’s fitting that tracking 8th District Congressman Rick Nolan’s position on a bill that deregulates the mining industry and fast tracks the permitting process for PolyMet is a bit like watching a fish flopping around on a dock: first he’s against it, then he’s for it and now he once again opposes it, this time promising to vote against the legislation if it “comes anywhere near close to becoming law.”
Picking Tina Smith certainly contributed to this division getting exposed but the DFL’s allies have contributed more to this expanding division. Twin Cities Metrocrats are militant environmentalists. They’re passionately opposed to mining. They love harvesting the Iron Range’s votes. They also love stiffing the Iron Range on their highest priorities.
Gov. Dayton’s pick is essentially the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.
Marlene Pospeck, a former mayor of Hoyt Lakes and a longtime DFL activist, noted that strong turnout on the Range has been critical to many DFL victories in the past, including Gov. Dayton’s narrow victories in the DFL primary and general election in 2010.
“The people in St. Paul need to be aware that if they want to be re-elected, we on the Iron Range hold one of the keys,” Pospeck said.
Still strong for DFL in ’14?
Like Anzelc, Pospeck believes that PolyMet and, more generally, mining, is the principal source of regional conflict within the party. But she said it is not the only one. Another came in 2012, when Mark Phillips was squeezed out as commissioner of the powerful Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). An Iron Range native who previously worked at the IRRRB, Phillips resigned the post after less than a year on the job. The reasons for Phillips’ departure have never been made entirely clear.
Pospeck isn’t issuing an idle threat on this. I wrote this post about Pospeck’s LTE about taking the Iron Range for granted:
For instance, although mining is the lifeblood of our region and provides benefit for the entire state, those in high office in St. Paul have been almost silent in support of this important industry that provides thousands of jobs on the Iron Range.
So when these DFL candidates come north, seeking our votes and making promises they do not intend to keep, let’s carefully assess whether or not they truly support our concerns and intend to effectively address our issues.
It is no longer enough for them simply to carry the label DFL to win our votes. We Iron Rangers must hold their feet to the fire and demand their support for issues important to the Iron Range in return.
It’s put-up-or-shut-up time for the DFL. They can either support the Iron Range or they can start expecting to get a smaller share of the Iron Range vote.
Technorati: Mark Dayton, Tina Smith, Lieutenant Governor Candidate, Alida Messinger, Metrocrats, Militant Environmentalists, Marlene Pospeck, PolyMet Mining, Iron Rangers, Rick Nolan, Flip-Flopper, DFL Civil War, Election 2014
Apparently, Al Franken thinks he’s in a competitive race. The first sign that he thinks he’s in a competitive race is that he’s sending out fundraising appeals almost daily. Here’s Sen. Franken’s latest fundraising appeal:
“American Crossroads Preparing to Enter the Game.”
– Roll Call, 2/7/2014
Have you heard of American Crossroads?
It is a super PAC that spent more than $104 million in the 2012 elections. Apparently, they’re getting ready to spend big again.
And the man behind the Crossroads curtain is none other than Karl Rove — who recently called me out by name and pointed to Minnesota as a pickup opportunity for Republicans in 2014.
Crossroads is firing up the attack machine. We need to be ready to fight back. And this month, that means hitting our $200,000 goal. Can you give $5 or more before the deadline?
American Crossroads is one of those groups spawned by Citizens United. And let me tell you, Rove and his pals have a great reason not to like me.
It’s not because they don’t like my jokes. They know I don’t support the special interest, anti-middle class, Karl Rove agenda. I support the protecting Medicare, preserving net neutrality, reversing Citizens United agenda.
I work for families, not super PACs. They may have millions of dollars to spend on attacks, but I’ve got something better: You.
I know you are all committed to strengthening our grassroots efforts. So let’s make sure we’re ready for whatever Rove can throw at us. Give $5 or more toward our $200,000 goal today.
Thank you for your help this month.
I’ll give Franken this: he’s got chutzpah. What other person would whine about Karl Rove’s “special interest, anti-middle class agenda” after voting for every major piece of President Obama’s economic agenda that’s left the nation’s economy struggling? Sen. Franken’s ideological blinders won’t let him admit that Obama’s economic agenda has crippled job growth, stunted economic growth and given special breaks to President Obama’s biggest bundlers. (Think Solyndra, aka taxpayer-subsidized boondoggles.)
For all his whining about Karl Rove’s special interest, anti-middle class policies, Franken has voted for initiatives that’ve left the middle class working part-time or part of the army of chronically unemployed people who’ve been searching for jobs since 2009.
Sen. Franken, why haven’t you supported the Keystone XL Pipeline project? The State Department’s report says environmental impact will be minimal. Is it because you’re beholden to anti-science militant environmentalists? Apparently, you don’t give a damn about blue collar workers who would be put to work building that pipeline.
Sen. Franken, why haven’t you supported the PolyMet precious metals mining project in your own state? Is it because you won’t say no to Minnesota’s militant environmentalists? Is it because you only support blue collar union miners in word, not deed?
That’s the definition of being controlled by anti-middle class special interests. Minnesota deserves better. Minnesota deserves a senator who’ll fight for the middle class.
Technorati: Al Franken, Net Neutrality, Censorship, Citizens United, Special Interests, Solyndra, Militant Environmentalists, Keystone XL Pipeline Project, PolyMet Project, Union Jobs, Democrats, Election 2014
Hans Spakovsky’s post on the Heritage Foundation’s blog is a fantastic one-stop-shopping-center for what the IRS’s proposed rules mean:
On Wednesday, the House Ways and Means Committee questioned IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. The Committee released an email it had obtained from inside the Treasury Department showing that back in 2012 when it appears that the IRS was in the middle of trying to prevent conservative organizations from being granted tax exempt status, the administration was already planning to draft new regulations restricting the political activity of the same organizations. The email was sent by Ruth Madrigal of the Office of Tax Policy at Treasury to Lois Lerner, the IRS official who refused to answer questions from Congress about the scandal by asserting her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
That June 14, 2012, email indicated that Madrigal and Lerner would be devising the new rules “off-plan,” which is federal government-speak meaning that their plan would not be published on the public schedule of the IRS. What is significant about this email is that it flatly contradicts prior assertions by the Obama administration that the proposed new regulations defining “candidate-related political activity” were planned only after the IRS scandal was made public in order to “clarify” the regulations. Instead, it appears the administration not only tried to delay and prevent conservative organizations from receiving their tax-exempt status prior to the 2012 election, but was also already planning new regulations that would stifle their political speech and potential criticism of the administration.
In short, the Obama administration intended to silence its critics while violating Americans’ constitutional rights. The Obama administration didn’t hesitate in crushing TEA Party organizations’ First Amendment rights.
If we had an attorney general that was interested in justice, Lois Lerner would’ve been prosecuted and convicted already. That’s because she lied to Congress about the IRS scandal was restricted to a couple rogue IRS agents in their Cincinnati office. That’s before finding out that she knew about the proposed new rules that would intentionally trample TEA Party organizations’ First Amendment rights.
What’s most important is that Chuck Schumer and Al Franken think it’s a good idea for the IRS to redouble their efforts of improperly investigating and harassing these TEA Party organizations.
This is just the continuation of the Democrats’ assault against the Citizens United ruling. That’s the ruling which said that it’s better to have more political speech. Democrats disagree, insisting that less political speech, especially that which happens close to an election or primary, is desirable.
When the Citizens United ruling took away the FEC’s ability to limit speech in 2010, the administration switched to Plan B. That meant the IRS would replace the FEC as the federal government’s agency in charge of limiting political speech. John Hinderaker’s post highlights what the Obama administration thinks of political speech. Here’s part of a speech Lois Lerner gave on the subject:
What happened last year was the Supreme Court–the law kept getting chipped away, chipped away, in the federal election arena. The Supreme Court dealt a huge blow, overturning a 100-year-old precedent that basically corporations couldn’t give directly to political campaigns. And everyone is up in arms because they don’t like it. The Federal Election Commission can’t do anything about it.
They want the IRS to fix the problem. The IRS laws are not set up to fix the problem: (c)(4)s can do straight political activity. They can go out and pay for an ad that says “Vote for Joe Blow.” That’s something they can do as long as their primary activity is their (c)(4) activity, which is social welfare.
Q: When did political speech become a problem to be fixed? A: When this administration took over. It’s been their habit to eliminate political speech that doesn’t sing from their hymnal.
The telling line in Ms. Lerner’s speech is “The IRS Laws aren’t set up to fix the problem: c4s can do straight political activity.” Corporations still can’t contribute to candidates’ campaigns. That shouldn’t mean they can’t spend money campaigning on issues important to them. If unions have the right to campaign on issues important to them, then corporations have the right to do the same.
This article does an excellent job explaining the IRS’s proposed new rules:
But under the proposed rules, which would remove a 501(c)(4)’s tax exemption if it engages in virtually any political activity, if they choose to do so collectively, rather than individually, the organization will be subject to income tax on the amount it collects. If an individual spends $1,000 on posters, he will get $1,000 worth; but if he donates $1,000 to the organization, it will have to pay $350 to the IRS and will be left with only $650 to purchase posters.
That’s the Obama administration’s ‘fix’ to the free speech ‘problem’.
Technorati: Lois Lerner, President Obama, Censorship, First Amendment, Citizens United, IRS, FEC, Unions, Corporations, Poltical Campaigns, Democrats, Elections