Major networks declined to run an ad on their Sunday morning news shows from a bipartisan group of former senators warning of the seriousness of an Iranian nuclear bomb.
The ad comes from a new group called the American Security Initiative (ASI), which is led by former Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R, Ga.), Evan Bayh (D, Ind.), and Norm Coleman (R., Minn.).
Featured in the ad is a terrorist driving a van containing a nuclear bomb that detonates in the United States. It ends by urging for passage of the Corker-Menendez Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which would require any Iranian nuclear deal reached by the administration to be approved by Congress.
The group spent $500,000 to get the ad on the airwaves, specifically targeting markets in Washington, D.C., Lexington, Ky., and Springfield, Ill. The ads in Kentucky and Illinois call out Sens. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) and Dick Durbin (D., Ill.).
Though the ASI ad is on cable in each of the targeted markets, ABC, CBS, and NBC all declined to run the ad during their Sunday morning news programming.
Fox News aired the ad multiple times during Fox News Sunday.
ABC informed ASI that because the “subject matter” of the ad is “currently pervasive” in the news, the ad could not be aired during This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
Susan Sewell, ABC’s vice president of media relations, said that ABC is unable to comment further on the matter due to company policy.
CBS said the ad was declined for Face the Nation on a national level because it “didn’t meet their standards,” but declined to comment further on the situation. Local affiliates of CBS were free to make their own decision on whether or not to air the ad, but none chose to run it.
Attempts to buy ad time during NBC’s Meet the Press were also unsuccessful, though no reason was given for the decision. Multiple requests for comment to NBC have gone unanswered.
The ad has been on the air since last week on multiple cable channels including CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. Comcast, which owns NBC, is also running the ad in local markets.
Christopher Maloney, a spokesman for ASI, said that the American people should be concerned that the networks refused to run an ad addressing an issue that can “directly impact our national security.”
“Millions of network news viewers across the country are actively seeking information about our government’s ongoing negotiations with Iran,” Maloney said. “I think many Americans, regardless of their political persuasion, would be concerned to learn that ABC, CBS, and NBC decided not to run an ad discussing what can be done to influence the debate surrounding these negotiations, and how they carry the potential to directly impact our national security.”
The group Veterans for a Strong America plans to sue the State Department over a Freedom of Information Action request it filed for Hillary Clinton’s emails and phone logs from the days before and after the attack at Benghazi.
Joel Arends, the group’s chairman and founder, has brought on Mark Zaid, an attorney who specializes in national security and FOIA litigation cases, to handle the lawsuit.
Arends filed a FOIA request in July 2014 for Clinton’s emails and phone logs for around the time of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.
“We didn’t embark on a fishing expedition,” Arends told The Daily Caller. “All that we want are the records from the night before and the day after [Benghazi].”
Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed during that attack.
Arends said his group filed the FOIA request to obtain information to use in a book “What Difference Does It Make?” The title is borrowed from a question Clinton asked during a January 2013 Senate hearing on Benghazi.
Arends set out to write the book for veterans to find out “what it would mean to them if they knew their government or their chain of command was not going to come to their aid or assistance when there’s resources or assets available, similar to what happened in Benghazi.”
“We want to know who she was talking to, what kind of command and control she had, what kind of situational awareness she had,” Arends told TheDC.
Finding out how Clinton immediately reacted to news of the Benghazi is crucial given Clinton’s likely presidential bid, Arends asserted.
“It’s fair game to know what kind of commander-in-chief she’s going to be.”
“Was she talking to President Clinton? Was she talking to a PR crisis team? Because if she making those kind of phone calls it means that that was time wasted or time that she could have been talking to the State Department crisis communications team.”
Clinton turned over 55,000 emails from her personal email account to the State Department in December. Around 300 of those were given to a House committee investigating the Benghazi attack.
That committee, headed by South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, has subpoenaed Clinton’s emails.
Arends said that like everyone at the time, when he filed his FOIA request he had no idea Clinton exclusively sent private emails that were routed through a private server she had set up in her Chappaqua, N.Y. home.
In light of that revelation, “the most prudent thing to do is to seize that server so that we can make sure that we’re getting all of the documents,” Arends said.
Getting control of that server is crucial because the emails Clinton has turned over to State so far were selected by her and her staff.
“It shouldn’t be up to her staff, given the lack of credibility that they have, to determine what gets turned over and what doesn’t,” Arends said.
Zaid, whose most famous case was a successful lawsuit against the Libyan government on behalf of the families killed in the Pan Am 103 flight over Lockerbie, said that the FOIA lawsuit could force a court to confront “grey areas” regarding how federal agencies manage officials’ records.
“The State Department, if they decline to search for telephone records that might reveal what the Secretary did on certain days because she was on her home phone, that explanation may set off a chain reaction elsewhere to Trey Gowdy’s special committee where he subpoenas the phone records,” Zaid told TheDC.
“If we go to court we can certainly dispute what constitutes an agency record,” he added.
With the lawsuit, Veterans for a Strong America joins the government watchdog Judicial Watch and The Associated Press in challenging the State Department over its handling of FOIA request for Clinton documents.
The Wisconsin Senate passed legislation late Wednesday to limit union powers amid a second day of protests as the state capitol again became a battleground over the future of organized labor.
The GOP-controlled Senate passed a “right-to-work” bill with a 17-15 vote that would allow employees in unionized private-sector workplaces to opt out of paying union dues. Republicans also control the state Assembly, making passage likely during the next week, and Gov. Scott Walker – who is considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 – has said he would sign such a measure into law.
Immediately after passage, the spectator gallery erupted in boos and chants of “shame, shame!” as the Senate ended its day.
Debate on the bill began Wednesday afternoon in the Senate as about 2,000 protesters jostled and chanted on the steps of the capitol and in the rotunda.
The measure comes four years after Mr. Walker pushed through legislation limiting the reach of public-sector unions, drawing tens of thousands to protest in the capitol and launching a contentious recall election, which the governor won.
Minutes after debate began, a spectator in the gallery stood up, and started yelling before being escorted from the chamber by a police officer. “This is an attack on Democracy!” he shouted.
A few minutes later, another audience member did much the same, before the gallery calmed down and debate continued. Spectators interrupted the session regularly, with the Senate president punctuating the outbursts by banging her gavel and summoning police to escort offenders from the chamber.
At the end of the night, her gavel fell apart in her hand mid-bang.
Although no arrests were made in the Senate, officers took four people into custody during protests in the rotunda, according to capitol police.
Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, the majority leader, said the bill would create a more competitive state economy and give workers more individual freedom to choose union membership, adding that the bill doesn’t prohibit collective bargaining between unions and employers.
“This legislation will ensure that Wisconsin’s workers have the sole power to determine whether they wish to belong to or support a labor organization,” he said in a statement following the vote.
“Right-to-work: it does impact the economy, except in the wrong direction,” said Democrat Senator Lena Taylor during the debate. “It will have an impact on so many things we aren’t even aware of because we’re rushing it through.”
Since his re-election last year, Mr. Walker has shown little interest in expanding union curbs to the private sector, but in recent days he reiterated his support of a right-to-work bill after state lawmakers took the lead.
The legislation still faces opposition from unions and Democratic lawmakers, who argue it is meant to undermine organized labor and won’t deliver the economic benefits backers promise. They also have accused Republican leaders of fast-tracking the legislation to stifle debate.
“It’s bad for the working men and women of this state, both union and nonunion,” said Sen. Dave Hansen, a Democrat, after the vote. “It’s ridiculous.”
But Myranda Tanck, spokeswoman for Mr. Fitzgerald, dismissed the argument, saying the idea isn’t new and possible legislation has been discussed in the state since the 1990s.
Still, the timing appears to have caught some opponents off guard, with labor leaders so far unable to muster the large crowds seen in 2011.
Senate Democrats presented more than a half-dozen amendments which were all defeated before the final vote Wednesday night. Assembly leaders have said they would take up the legislation next week following Senate action.
Twenty-four states have “right-to-work” laws, yet only three have passed such legislation in the past decade: Oklahoma, Michigan and Indiana. That could change in the coming months as several other states debate such bills.
A Lieutenant Colonel was escorting his daughter to Rochester Adams high school in Michigan, when the man in uniform was rudely informed that he would not be permitted to enter the premises.
The reason that the military officer was given? His uniform ‘might offend people.’
The security personnel hired by the school told the 24-year veteran Lt. Col. Sherwood Baker that if he wanted to take his daughter inside the building, he would have to go home and change clothes.
Lt. Col. Baker’s wife Rachel Ferhadson told WJBK, “before he was allowed in, the security guard stopped him and said sorry you’re not allowed in the school. Security told him men and women in uniform weren’t allowed because it may offend another student.”
The school superintendent Robert Shaner, who is a military veteran himself, went out of his way to apologize to the family for the misconduct of the security personnel.
But the question that should come to mind about protecting students from ‘taking offense’ at a soldier in uniform: what about offending a military officer in the U.S. Army with a long career of service defending Americans from enemies of the country, while putting his life on the line to do it?
One day this wannbe tough guy will mouth off to the wrong person
Video surfaced on Thursday showing Michael Mulgrew, president of New York’s United Federation of Teachers, as he unloaded a hateful rant against critics of the Common Core Standards Initiative.
“If someone takes something from me, I’m going to grab it right back out of their cold, twisted, sick hands and say it is mine!” Mulgrew bellowed clownishly. “You do not take what is mine!”
The union boss also challenged opponents of Common Core and union control over education to a fist fight.
“I’m going to punch you in the face and push you in the dirt because this is the teachers’!” Mulgrew threatened.
The teachers union bigwig made the speech at a convention in Los Angeles last month, according to the New York Daily News.
Common Core is a Socialist dream, a one-size-fits-all top down approach that is a massive failure waiting to happen
Black college students will pay a price because the country’s largest government employee union doesn’t like the conservative philanthropist Koch brothers.
BuzzFeed reports that the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees didn’t like that the United Negro College Fund accepted $25 million from Koch Industries and the Charles Koch Foundation, and that the fund’s president spoke at a Koch-funded summit.
Naturally, the appropriate target is black college students.
AFSCME’s relationship with the UNCF revolved around their Union Scholars Program, in which sophomore- and junior-year college students could work with AFSCME during the summer and receive scholarship support aftwerward [sic].
That program will cease on Sept. 1.
“We must hold ourselves to the same standards that we promote through the Union Scholars Program,” [union president Lee] Saunders wrote. “To practice what we preach, to fight for social justice, and to stand up for what we beleive [sic]. I cannot in good conscience face these students or AFSCME’s members if I looked the other way and ignored your actions.”
The Wire says that’s no chump change for students:
For over a decade sophomores and juniors have been able to intern with the union, and received a $4,000 stipend plus a $5,000 scholarship. A union spokesman told The Huffington Post that AFSCME donates $50,000 to $60,000 a year for the scholarship program and “hundreds of thousands” of dollars annually.
The college fund gave a pleasant middle finger to the union, telling BuzzFeed:
“UNCF has over 100,000 donors with a wide range of views, but they all have one thing in common: they believe in helping young students of color realize their dreams of a college education. For over 70 years we have never had a litmus test and we have asked all Americans to support our cause.”
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that Obamacare cannot force companies to pay for emergency contraceptive coverage for their employees that could lead to abortions, in violation of their religious beliefs.
The 5-4 ruling delivered a huge victory to conservatives who have worked for years to scale back the various mandates of the controversial healthcare law.
The Court decided that Obamacare cannot be used to require for-profit, closely held companies to provide certain birth control drugs and devices – such as morning after pills – that could cause abortion.
The case was brought by Hobby Lobby, a Oklahoma-based retail chain owned by the Green family. The Greens said they are willing to cover 16 of the 20 birth control methods mandated by Obamacare to its employees, but not four others because the risk of abortion goes against their religious beliefs.
The company argued before the Court that the Obamacare mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, which says the government cannot place burdens on the exercise of freedom of religion.
“Providing these objectionable drugs and devices violates the deeply held religious convictions of the Greens – the sole owners of their family businesses – that life begins at conception,” the company’s website says. “Yet refusing to comply with the federal mandate would subject them to an untenable choice of paying substantial fines or discontinuing the outstanding and affordable health insurance plan currently provided to their valued employees.”
The majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito agreed with that argument. According to SCOTUS Blog, the Obama administration failed to show that the broad contraception mandate is the least restrictive way of advancing its interest in ensuring access to birth control. The Court also ruled that the decision applies only to the contraception mandate, not other insurance mandates, such as those involving vaccinations.
Justice Anthony Kennedy noted that the government could pay for this coverage if it wants to make it available, but cannot compel a company to do so.
The decision deals a big hit to the Obama administration, which defended its interpretation of the law as something that forces companies to provide all manner of birth control methods to workers.
Republicans in Congress welcomed the high court’s ruling.
“Religious liberty will remain intact and all Americans can stay true to their faith without fear of big government intervention or punishment,” said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). “Our nation was founded on the principle of freedom, and with this decision, America will continue to serve as a safe haven for those looking to exercise religious liberty.”
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) called the ruling a victory for religious freedom and a defeat for the Obama administration’s “Big Government objectives.”
“The mandate overturned today would have required for-profit companies to choose between violating their constitutionally-protected faith or paying crippling fines, which would have forced them to lay off employees or close their doors,” he said.
“The president’s health care law remains an unworkable mess and a drag on our economy,” he added. “We must repeal it and enact better solutions that start with lowering Americans’ health care costs.”
The case is Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby, referring to Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell. She replaced Kathleen Sebelius earlier this year – prior to that, the case was Sebelius vs. Hobby Lobby.
The case is second big blow to Obama from the Supreme Court in as many weeks. Last week, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that President Obama’s 2012 “recess” appointments were not legal, because Obama made them when the Senate was not in recess.
That ruling prompted Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to say the decision was the biggest rebuke to a sitting president since 1974, when the Court decided unanimously that President Nixon must release the Watergate tapes.
Also related to abortion, the Court last week struck down a Massachusetts law that said people can’t stand on a public road or sidewalk within 35 feet of an abortion clinic.
The Supreme Court on Monday limited the power of public-sector unions to compel employees to pay contributions, dealing a setback to public-sector unions.
But the 5-4 decision, written by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, wasn’t as sweeping as some union advocates had feared.
“This is a substantial obstacle to expanding public employee unions, but it does not gut them,” SCOTUSblog’s Tom Goldstein wrote.
Unions had been concerned that the court would strike down laws in 26 states requiring teachers, police officers, firefighters, and other public-sector employees to pay dues to the unions that negotiate contracts on their behalf, even if the workers don’t want to become union members.
The court hedged somewhat, but the decision is still a setback for public-sector unions. In a 5-4 decision written by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, the court “recognized a category of ‘partial public employees’ who could not be required to contribute to union fees,” according to SCOTUSblog. Unions worried the court would rule all public employees could not be forced to pay, which would dry up their ranks and their coffers.
“It remains possible that in a later case the Court will overturn its prior precedent and forbid requiring public employees to contribute to union bargaining. But today it has refused to go that far. The unions have lost a tool to expand their reach. But they have dodged a major challenge to their very existence,” Goldstein wrote.
The case, Harris v. Quinn, stemmed from a challenge in Illinois involving in-home care providers. Illinois uses Medicaid funds to pay in-home care workers, but turnover was high at the low-paying jobs. In response, more than 20,000 in-home car workers organized and joined the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), after executive orders from Govs. Rod Blagojevich and Pat Quinn, both Democrats, classified them as “public employees.”
The National Right to Work Foundation brought a challenge to Quinn in 2010, arguing workers who didn’t want to participate in the union shouldn’t have to pay the dues.
A California judge ruled today that current tenure statutes for teachers deprive students of their right to an education due to evidence so compelling that “it shocks the conscience.” This ruling will be submitted for further appellate review.
Furthermore, he specifically stated that judges should focus solely on the law when making a decision, and ignore politics and personal opinion. How wonderfully adroit.
That this Court’s decision will and should result in political discourse is beyond question, but such consequence cannot and does not detract from its obligation to consider only the evidence and law in making its decision.
At issue in the lawsuit, filed by nine public school students, are statutes of the CA Education Code that violate the state’s constitution by resulting in “grossly ineffective teachers obtaining and retaining permanent employment.”
In other words, the functional impossibility of firing “grossly ineffective” teachers and the resultant letting-go of “competent” ones, especially in low-performing schools, kept kids from getting the quality of education to which they are entitled.
The lawsuit was vigorously opposed by the California teachers’ unions. Which is a shocking revelation in-and-of-itself, to be sure. The head of the L.A. teachers union said this in response:
This decision today is an attack on teachers, which is a socially acceptable way to attack children. You attack teacher and student rights.
So, a clear statement that children are being substantially harmed by current rules, is actually an attack against those very children? One wonders what planet teachers’ union leaders originate from and how reality is perceived of on that sad, alien world. Because it’s certainly different down here on earth.
The particular items at issue:
1. Permanent Employment Statute – 2 years is not sufficient time to establish sufficient competence. Most states have 3 to 5 year periods and 4 states have no tenure system at all.
2. Dismissal Statutes – it is almost impossible to fire “grossly ineffective” teachers once they’ve received tenure, so most districts do not even try.
3. Last-In, First Out – the newest teachers get let go first, regardless of gifting or performance.
The sixteen pages of the decision, with its unyielding indictment of the current tenure rules on every page, is stunning in its evisceration of the status quo. No wonder the unions are outraged. The status quo is them.
On Wednesday, the Service Employees International Union, as part of its four-year old plan to unionize the nation’s fast-food workers, launched a frontal assault on McDonald’s corporate headquarters in Oakbrook, Illinois.
During the event, over 120 protesters, as well as SEIU boss and fast-food unionization architect Mary Kay Henry, were arrested.
After her arrest, the SEIU’s self-anointed Burger Queen actually thanked the police on her Twitter feed.
The union’s event planners had rented 32 buses, ensured they had prominent civil rights leaders in tow for photo-ops as they stormed the company’s entrance and, while they had some of McDonald’s 440,000 U.S. employees, the vast majority of protesters (about 16%, according to Bloomberg’s numbers) appear to be nothing more than a rent-a-mob (or astroturf, as the case may be):
The event, the latest in a series of demonstrations by workers demanding $15-an-hour pay and the right to form a union, began at 1 p.m. local time yesterday, on the eve of McDonald’s Corp.’s shareholder meeting.
About 2,000 protesters, including about 325 McDonald’s workers in restaurant uniforms, stormed though the company’s campus entrance at Jorie Boulevard and Kroc Drive in Oak Brook, according to the organizers, holding signs that said, “We Are Worth More” and “My Union My Voice.” The Oak Brook Police Department estimated the number was 1,000 to 1,500.
The protesters – brought to the scene by 32 buses – were joined by Service Employees International Union President Mary Kay Henry and William Barber, an official from the NAACP, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization. About 110 people were arrested for trespassing, police said. The protesters who were arrested included McDonald’s (MCD) workers and 36 community, clergy and labor leaders, including Henry, according to the organizers.
Although, when the SEIU originally launched the fast-food unionization campaign, the SEIU boss had initially tried to portray it as a “spontaneous movement.”
However, the spontaneous movement portrayal quickly dissolved as the SEIU’s role in the campaign planning became more apparent.
As a leader of the now-infamous SEIU, Wednesday’s protest will be Mary Kay Henry’s second known arrest, after having been previously arrested during the union-sponsored Occupy Wall Street protests.
Of course, one must wonder if the three-strikes-and-you’re-out rule applies to games involving pure astroturf.
A Michigan branch of the powerful Service Employees International Union saw its membership and revenues plummet after the reversal of a measure that forced caregivers tending to friends or relatives to be members with their dues paid by those they cared for.
More than 44,000 home-based healthcare workers parted ways with SEIU Healthcare Michigan after learning they did not have to join the union or pay dues, according to reports the union filed with the U.S. Department of Labor. Thousands of the employees were allegedly forced into the union under a plan the SEIU successfully lobbied for that classified even unpaid family members caring for their elderly parents as “home health care workers.” Dues were then automatically collected from the care recipients’ Medicare or Medicaid checks.
“Family members were told they were public employees,” Patrick Wright, director of the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, a Michigan-based policy group, told FoxNews.com. “They are not public employees and this was not proper.
“It was an underhanded scheme to get these people in [the union],” he added.
The measure, which counted the home healthcare recipient as an employer and the caregiver as an employee, was adopted during the administration of Demcratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm, but abolished by Republicans including current Gov. Rick Snyder, who was elected in 2012. His election coincided with the state’s vote to end forced unionization by approving a right-to-work ballot measure. Snyder subsequently signed a bill that ended the SEIU’s due collection scheme.
Wright’s organization estimates that the SEIU reaped nearly $35 million from Michigan’s elderly and disabled from 2006 to last year. Of some 59,000 residents classified as home-based caregivers, about 80 percent stopped paying when they learned they did not have to.
“What the numbers show is that these people never wanted to be in the union in the first place,” Wright said.
Requests for comment to SEIU Healthcare Michigan were not immediately returned.
Some of those charged under the prior scheme are suing to get their money back.
Retired Detroit police officer Robert Haynes and his wife Patricia say they were forced into the union after they were considered public employees because they cared for two adult children with cerebral palsy in their home.
“Our children’s case worker had come for their usual six-month visit and he had told us that we were now part of the union,” Haynes told FoxNews.com. “I was like, ‘What?’”
But Haynes and her husband weren’t concerned.
“I didn’t think much about it,” she said. “Then my husband heard the news that the law was reversed and we realized they were doing nothing for us.”
Haynes said that every month, $30 was deducted from their children’s Medicare payments, and, while it did not break their bank, they objected on principle.
“They couldn’t get me a raise, they couldn’t get me more vacation time and they certainly did nothing to improve my children’s care,” she said. “I’d hate to say it, but in my opinion, they were stealing.”
Haynes also says that they are also hoping to help others who had to pay dues.
“We are not anti-union. I just don’t understand why we were forced to join because I have two disabled kids,” she said. “That we were told that we had to join a union just because we chose to keep our kids at home to care for them.”
2 + 2 = Social Justice
The far left unionists are now successfully politicizing math in the classroom.
In March Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis urged fellow teachers to politicize math at their schools. Lewis spoke at the Network for Public Education conference in Texas.
Via EAG News:
“People always talk about how that there’s no politics and values in math. That you can teach math and there’s no place for social justice. So let me tell you how Bob (Peterson) deals with that,” Lewis said.
She went on to describe a math story problem about money and the cost of pencils.
“That’s a very political statement because it’s all about consumerism – it’s about buying stuff, right?
“Bob Peterson tells them about José working in a factory making piecemeal clothes. He uses the same numbers and gets the same answer. And yes, math is political, too.”
The Service Employees International Union will have to pay the second-highest fine in Michigan history for its failed 2012 campaign to preserve forced union dues among home care workers.
Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said that the politically powerful union agreed to pay the state nearly $200,000 for failing to properly disclose donors and file timely campaign reports.
The union funneled more than $9 million into two 501(c)(4) non-profit groups, Home Care First Inc. and Citizens for Affordable Quality Home Care, which served as the public face of a ballot initiative.
“These organizations cannot be used as a means to conceal the identity of the true contributors,” Johnson said in a release. “This agreement reflects our commitment to transparency and accountability in the campaign finance process, especially in an election year.”
The union could have faced millions of dollars in fines if it did not settle with the Secretary of State’s office. SEIU said in a statement that reporting oversights were inadvertent.
“We have decided not to dispute the preliminary findings of the Secretary of State and SEIU Michigan consider this matter closed,” the union said. “The mistakes were a result of errors and reports by the Citizens for Affordable Quality Home Care regarding the receipt and transfer of funds.”
The fine stemmed from an August 2013 complaint filed with the Secretary of State’s office. It alleged that the union and its 501(c)(4) groups misreported its campaign disclosures. For example, SEIU reported more than $4 million in direct contributions to the 501(c)(4)s in September filings, but those contributions were later scrubbed from an October campaign report, according to the Secretary of State’s complaint.
Patrick Wright, a senior legal analyst with the free market Mackinac Center for Public Policy, said the fine was an appropriate conclusion for an election battle “that started off ugly and ended ugly.”
The SEIU earned about $6 million per year from the forced dues program established by former Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm. It was willing to spend big money to preserve it, according to Wright.
“They were willingly bend the rules to set the scheme up in first place, so their attempts to continue it through questionable campaign finance is in no way a shock,” he said. “Clearly it was a major income source and they were loathe to let it go.”
The fine is the second highest campaign finance violation in Michigan history. Former Democratic congressman Mark Schauer was forced to pay the state more than $225,000 for taking excessive contributions from his state Senate campaign fund in 2009. Schauer is now running for Michigan governor.
Wright said that the large amount indicates that the union recognized the state had powerful evidence of campaign malfeasance.
“They seem to be clearly admitting fault. The amount of money seems to indicate that the culpability was rather clear and that they’re hoping this will go away,” he said.
Typical union goon behavior.
Via Red State:
In the latest development of a more than year-long labor dispute in Vancouver, the National Labor Relations Board has accused picketers of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 4 of a multitude of horrific acts which include violence, threats of rape and implied harm to children, as well as racial slurs toward company security officers.
These acts, according to The Oregonian include the pinning of a security officer’s legs under a moving vehicle, blocking drivers’ vision and causing permanent eye injury to a security officer, reckless pursuit of company vans, as well as threatening a manager’s daughter with rape and “implied threats to harm a manager’s children by telling him they would ‘see his children at school’ and asking, ‘are (his) children okay today?’”
The labor dispute began in February 2013, when United Grain Corporation – a wheat exporter that runs a terminal in Vancouver, Washington – locked out 44 ILWU workers following six months of “fruitless negotiations” and after an ILWU member allegedly sabotaged the company’s equipment. […]
In addition to the acts alleged by the NLRB, the union has used religious leaders to accuse the company of sins, “including the sin of ‘theft in stealing the right to work,’ the sin of ‘heartlessness in failing to acknowledge the humanity of their workers’ and the sin of “manipulation in hiring replacement workers who need the money.’”
Ten members of a Philadelphia ironworkers union are charged with conspiring to commit extortion, arson, destruction of property, and assault to force construction contractors to hire union workers, according to the FBI.
The FBI this week said the members of Ironworkers Local 401 collaborated with allies who sought out construction sites that employed non-union workers, threatening personnel there with “violence, destruction of property or other criminal acts unless union members were hired.”
So-called “goon squads,” including a group calling itself “The Helpful Union Guys” (or THUGs) went into action. Some “set a crane on fire and cut steel beams and colts” at a Quaker Meeting House construction site in 2012, according to the indictment. In 2010, union members assaulted non-union workers with baseball bats at another construction site.
In 2013, they “threatened the contractor of an apartment complex… if he did not hire Local 401 members,” the indictment said. As a result, “the contractor relinquished his profits and turned the job over to a union-affiliated contractor.”
Experts say such incidents go both underreported and unprosecuted. National Institute for Labor Relations Research has documented over 9,000 reports of union violence since 1975, of which “barely 3 percent… have led to an arrest and conviction.”
The institute noted that in many cases, police and company reports “indicate that the actual number of assaults, threats and property damage is tens of times greater than the news reports collected” document.
In the Ironworkers Local 401 case, four of the 10 defendants face minimum prison sentences of 35 years if convicted of all charges.
On Friday workers at the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee delivered a bitter defeat to the United Auto Workers union, voting against the union 712 to 626, according to The Wall Street Journal. The union had expected to win the vote easily due to cooperation with Volkswagen. Heck, VW officials were even coordinating with the union, but workers rejected it anyway. Now union officials are whining about “outside interference.”
“If the union can’t win [in Chattanooga], it can’t win anywhere,” said Steve Silvia, a economics and trade professor at American University who has studied labor unions.
The UAW said that “outside interference” affected the outcome of the vote. “Unfortunately, politically motivated third parties threatened the economic future of this facility and the opportunity for workers to create a successful operating model that that would grow jobs in Tennessee,” Gary Casteel, the union official in charge of the VW campaign, said in a statement.
Gary, do us a favor and STFU!
One would think that protecting children from adult predators would be pretty much a universal. I was cheered that while myself and others were covering the #FreeKate story, we found that protecting children from predators had supporters that were gay and straight, from right and left, and Christian and not so much. However, as much as a no-brainer that protecting children from sexual exploitation would seem, there are still a disturbingly large number of people that would allow adults access to children for the worst of purposes. Even more disturbing is that two groups are apparently supporting pedophiles; The National Education Association, and the American Federation of Teachers, the two largest teachers unions in the US. TPNN, notes that while the teachers’ unions favor background checks for gun owners, they have a different opinion on background checks for teachers…
But, that is not the case. Two of the most powerful teachers unions in the country, the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federations of Teachers (AFT), are against a proposed bill that would require better background checks for teachers. Of course, like clockwork, the excuse made by these unions, namely AFT, is wrapped around race baiting.
In the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, Campbell Brown addresses their opposition.
Anyone with violent or sexual convictions against a child – whether a misdemeanor or felony – would be ineligible for school employment. Background checks would be more thorough, using expanded databases including the FBI’s fingerprint database, the national and state sex offender registries. And districts would be prohibited from knowingly unloading sex abusers on other schools – a practice known as “pass the trash.”
These are sensible measures that are overdue. Yet the two most powerful teachers unions in the country have voiced objections to the bill. Both the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers complained about the bill before it passed the House. The NEA claimed in a letter to House members that background checks “often have a huge, racially disparate impact.” Randi Weingarten, the AFT chief, warned of inaccuracies in the FBI database and cautioned that teachers would be inconvenienced by potentially long screening delays.
So, keeping pedophiles away from kids is racist? Are they suggesting that there is a racial component to pedophilia? Or, are they just willing to protect and employ pedophiles in order to satisfy a political agenda? Or course, who cares if a bunch of kids get raped in the process? I would assume that it’s a small price to pay for for collecting more dues!
By Jeff Rainforth aka iResistAll on Twitter
Update 5: There is a new Facebook page mocking Airman Brian Kolfage, and posting pictures of his 4-month-old child with disparaging messages attached to them. A few of the memes the owner of the page made are below. Leave it to a leftist to mock a war veteran’s injuries. Brian Kolfage lost both legs and an arm in Iraq. The comments this person makes are utterly disgusting. Visit the page, and report it to Facebook. The page is HERE.
An image tagged in kolfage,scumbag
Update 4: Leftists on Facebook are creating bogus accounts and using them to say they “raped” Brian’s 4-month-old child. The left claims to care for people. Is this their idea of “caring”? Absolutely disgusting, despicable behavior. Airman Kolfage’s Facebook page is at Brian Kolfage
Note: The “John Kimball” in this picture is from an account that a leftist copied from a real person. The real John Kimball on Facebook had nothing to do with this.
Update 3: Airman Brian Kolfage provided screenshots of an admin of the Facebook page (Republican Family Values) that Janet Vrotsos is or was connected to. The admin used one of Brian’s photos of his 4-month-old child, and turned it into a disparaging meme. It appears there is more than one person behind this, not just Janet.
Janet’s union, IBEW Local 2222, has issued a statement that they don’t believe she made the comments, and that her Facebook account was hacked. Because of the other screenshots of disparaging remarks made towards Brian, and his family by other members/leaders of the Facebook group “Republican Family Values,” it appears that someone may be trying to cover this up. I suppose IBEW Local 2222 will say that all of the Facebook accounts that were used to disparage Brian & veterans were hacked. Of course, it’s highly unlikely that they were.
There is no way to verify what the union is saying is true. In any case, Facebook is being contacted to see if Janet’s account was truly hacked. If it was, that still leaves the other admin who made vile comments about veterans. We will update as information comes in.
Update 2: I contacted Airman Brian Kolfage via Twitter to confirm that Janet Vrotsos had indeed said these things about him and other disabled veterans. He verified that she was the one behind the comments, and provided screenshots. More updates to follow.
@AirmanKolfage Hi Brian. I have a story about Janet Vrotsos on war correspondent @PatDollard‘s site. Can u confirm? http://patdollard.com/2013/12/scumbag-union-director-says-all-disabled-veterans-should-lose-their-limbs-die
@AirmanKolfage Hi Brian. I have a story about Janet Vrotsos on war correspondent @PatDollard‘s site. Can u confirm? http://patdollard.com/2013/12/scumbag-union-director-says-all-disabled-veterans-should-lose-their-limbs-die
Update: Janet Vrotsos has deleted her personal Facebook page. I visited it once, and it has since disappeared.
Making the rounds of the Twitterverse this week is a disgusting display of hatred towards our military veterans. A woman named Janet Vrotsos, Chief Steward and assistant to the Business Manager of Local Union 2222 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers posted this stunningly crude remark on Facebook to triple amputee, Senior Airman Brian Kolfage.
Her disgusting comments go beyond the pale even for those on the left. To wish that military veterans would lose their arms and legs in war is something that cannot be ignored, and hopefully the left will stand up and discipline their own. Those veterans are someone’s sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers, etc. To wish this on them and their families is truly despicable.
Please spread the picture around, and contact her union where she is an official. Also contact her elected representative.
Janet runs a Facebook page that vilifies Republicans called “Republican Family Values.” You can visit the page and comment here:
Republican Family Values
Her union (IBEW Local 2222) can be contacted at 617-929-6000, and the Fax # is 617-929-6099.
The president of her union is Ed Fitzpatrick.
Phone: (617) 929-6006
The vice-president of her union is Kevin Holland.
Phone: (617) 929-6018
Her Congressman is Michael Capuano.
Phone: (617) 621-6208
Send him an email here: http://www.house.gov/capuano/contact/email.shtml
This kind of disgusting hate speech towards our military men and women needs to be addressed, and the woman held accountable for her vile words. If she represents her union in any official capacity, one would hope she would be stripped of her title, and that the union would state their support for our veterans. Let’s see how they respond. Please share this article far and wide.
A few days ago, Obama quietly slipped a change into the regulations on Obamacare, gives a back door pay-off to unions.
The unions were very unhappy because under Obamacare, the favorable programs that they had negotiated with employers were going to go away. They wanted the subsidies that the people in the exchanges could get.
So how did Obama address this anger?
J. Justin Wilson, from the Center For Union Facts, said now the unions will be given a tax break, exempting the unions from having to pay $600 million dollars in fees they would otherwise have to pay under the law. This would leave the fund that is intended to prevent Obamacare from going into a death spiral even more lacking in money, especially given the failure of young healthy people to sign up.
Other groups, insurance companies and self-insured employers that hire outside claims administrators would still have to pay the fee, which begins at $63 per insurance plan per member next year and is projected to raise $25 billion over three years.
Only the unions would really benefit from this change.
Wilson called out Obama calling this a “$600 million dollar pay-back”.