Obama appoints an SEIU man with ties to Blago.
One of Big Labor’s priorities in Washington is to place allies in key government jobs where they can overturn existing labor policy without battles in Congress. This is a very good reason for the Senate to hold a hearing on the nomination of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Mr. Becker is associate general counsel at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which is most recently in the news for its close ties to Acorn, the disgraced housing shakedown operation. President Obama nominated Mr. Becker in April to the five-member NLRB, which has the critical job of supervising union elections, investigating labor practices, and interpreting the National Labor Relations Act. In a 1993 Minnesota Law Review article, written when he was a UCLA professor, Mr. Becker argued for rewriting current union-election rules in favor of labor. And he suggested the NLRB could do this by regulatory fiat, without a vote of Congress.
Yet now that he could soon have the power to act on this conviction, Mr. Becker won’t tell Congress if this is what he still believes. In written responses to questions from Republican Orrin Hatch, Mr. Becker promised only to “maintain an open mind about whether [his] suggestions should be implemented in any manner.” That sounds like his mind is made up but he won’t admit it lest it hurt his confirmation.
Mr. Becker also won’t give a clear answer about his role in preparing several pro-labor executive orders issued by President Obama shortly after inauguration. Mr. Becker’s name was found in at least one of the documents, suggesting that he had written it.
When asked by Sen. Hatch if he was “involved or responsible in any way” for these executive orders, Mr. Becker responded: “I was not responsible for [the specific executive orders] except as described below. As a member of the Presidential Transition Team, I was asked to provide advice and information concerning a possible executive order of the sort described. I was involved in researching, analyzing, preliminary drafting, and consulting with other members of the Transition team.” In other words, Mr. Becker was the main author but would rather not say so explicitly.
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by Kyle Olson
Several days ago, Capital Research Center’s Matthew Vadum published research here indicating an ACORN alumni in the White House (other than the president): Political Director Patrick Gaspard. As I did three weeks prior at ACORNcracked.com, Matthew used a Wade Rathke blog as the source, which Rathke, the founder of ACORN, immediately changed after Vadum’s report, citing “memory tricks.” Politico led the way in poo-pooing the connection once Rathke played cover-up.
Rathke said it not only on his blog, but also at a book signing in New Orleans, which was recently covered in the Fox News Special: The Truth About ACORN.” While we attended that book signing and were not able to get that portion on tape, the Fox documentary crew did. Sadly, the remarks apparently ended up on the cutting room floor.
The fact is, Patrick Gaspard, Obama’s “Glue Man,” is more important than Van Jones ever hoped of being. The fact is, one of the most critical and influential jobs in a White House, the Director of Political Affairs, is occupied by a former SEIU health care lobbyist and ACORN organizer. To be exact, he was Executive Vice President–the #2–at SEIU 1199 in New York City.
After Gaspard was appointed to the White House, Carribbean Voice quoted him as saying, “I grew up in 1199…and I will always be an 1199er wherever I am.” SEIU’s luxury is that now taxpayers are paying for it.
Wade Rathke, current organizer with SEIU Local 100 (in New Orleans) and ACORN International (now “Community Organizations International”), called Gaspard a “great friend” on his ChiefOrganizer.org blog. Additionally, Rathke theorized how Gaspard was likely instrumental in working with SEIU to bring “big health care operators” to the table. [Figuring once scrutiny came to someone high-level in the White House, the evidence would be changed, we turned Rathke’s blog posting into a PDF.]
That is curious, given the Obama Transition team’s pledge that Gaspard would refrain from issues he had lobbied previously. According to the Washington Post, a transition spokesman said, “Patrick and Mark [Gitenstein] have jobs on the campaign that are general in nature, but per the unprecedented ethics policy laid out earlier this week they will recuse themselves from the fields of policy or agencies they lobbied in the previous 12 months.”
So we are to believe the Political Director of the White House—one of the most important players in the administration—is sitting on his hands while Obama attempts to salvage his biggest “reform” yet, and likely ever? Ethics schmethics.
When Sean Bell was shot by New York City police in 2007, Al Sharpton reached out to Patrick Gaspard (while he was at SEIU 1199) to formulate a response. According to Politicker NY, “In December 2006, Mr. Sharpton asked Patrick Gaspard to help him assemble an emergency meeting of about 300 activists, black nationalists, union and political leaders to decide on an appropriate response to the police shooting…”
Sharpton used the SEIU 1199 office to hold a protest organizational meeting. According to The Observer, the union was represented by Gaspard at the meeting.
The People’s Organization for Progress, along with the New Black Panther Party, organized protests against the New York City police department, carrying signs saying such things as “KILL THE PIGS THAT KILL OUR KIDS.”
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Yesterday, Rep. Mark Kirk offered a great illustration of the relationship between ACORN and SEIU. A part of that chart is worthy of a further look: The relatively unknown story of how SEIU and ACORN took their act from Illinois Southward to mess with Texas and allegedly threatened to kill one man’s business because he wouldn’t toe the union line.
Most people know that unions haven’t done as well in the South as in industrialized (and economically troubled) Northern states such as Illinois and Michigan. So, in 2006 SEIU decided it would bring its brand of “justice for janitors” to Houston to set up a new foothold in the South.
First, SEIU set up a swank new office in a bank building and budgeted $1 million to organize Houston janitors. Then it took to the city streets, disrupting traffic and drawing the ire of Houstonians. A local judge even sentenced out-of-state SEIU protesters for their actions.
Eventually, they got several big janitorial companies to cave to a card check organizing campaign. But one man, Brent Southwell of Professional Janitorial Services, said it wasn’t his choice of whether his employees joined the union– it was his employees’ choice.
That’s when the union turned goonion. In addition to setting up the notorious inflatable union rat that unions love, SEIU took to contacting Southwell’s clients and protesting outside buildings. The Wall Street Journal reported:
Among other things, the union sent letters to Houston building owners, questioning whether Mr. Southwell’s workers were paid fairly and urging them to reconsider their business relationship with his company. A Labor Department investigation — the department wouldn’t comment on the reason for the probe — didn’t find any wage violations. Still, the letters and leafleting continued, and Mr. Southwell sued the union, saying its tactics amounted to defamation. Mark Jodon, a lawyer for Mr. Southwell, contends that his company will lose nearly $10 million from the loss of 14 existing and five prospective accounts with building owners.
But here’s what no one else has mentioned: The allegation contained a bombshell. The suit says a top SEIU organizer “has stated directly to PJS that SEIU wants ‘to kill’ PJS.”
Imagine a union threatening to come “kill” your company because it didn’t want you to have the choice to choose a secret ballot. No wonder they’re spending so much time and money trying to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, which would effectively eliminate secret ballots altogether.
Mr Southwell’s suit against SEIU continues. Read More at Big Government.comRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( 4 so far )