Why Everyone Should be Concerned About ALEC


ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, is a secretive but powerfully influential group of Corporations who actually write legislation that lawmakers pass off as their own. Recruiting elected officials at every level of State and National government, the organization's most important goal is apparently the subversion of the democratic legislative process and the funneling of public money into private hands. Bill Moyers investigates how a small powerful interest group can literally control national legislation and create laws affecting all Americans.





(via AFSCMEIowa Blog)

DES MOINES – Today, AFSCME Iowa Council 61 filed a prohibited practice complaint (PPC) with the Iowa Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). The complaint was filed against Governor Branstad in response to his recent actions regarding state employee health insurance.

“Iowa law is clear. Health insurance plans and health insurance open enrollment for contract employees are topics covered under collective bargaining. It is a prohibited practice to make unilateral changes outside of the collective bargaining process which is outlined in Iowa law,” said AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan.

Governor Branstad knew that these actions were inappropriate, yet he chose to carry them out anyway. When Governor Branstad vetoed the Government Efficiency Bill (Senate File 2338) earlier this year, he admitted that health insurance matters belonged at the bargaining table. In his veto letter, Governor Branstad said that “employee benefits should be properly bargained rather than codified into law through legislation.”

“Under the Iowa Constitution, Governor Branstad is required to ‘take care that the laws are faithfully executed.’ It is highly disturbing that the Governor has chosen to flagrantly disregard Iowa’s collective bargaining laws. This continues his pattern of putting his own political vendettas ahead of his duty to follow the law. In 2011, he abused his item veto power by vetoing legislative instructions and then trying to keep the associated money; now he is choosing to bully public employees by violating Iowa’s collective bargaining laws,” added Homan.

Mitt Romney’s “Fake-Facts”

JULY 05, 2012

Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney (Photo by Austen Hufford / Flickr)

This column by AFSCME President Lee Saunders on Mitt Romney’s efforts to distort the facts about Obamacare is cross-posted from The Huffington Post and Firedoglake. (via AFSCME Blog)

Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once famously told an opponent in a debate: "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." I was reminded of that last Thursday when former corporate raider Mitt Romney, who made millions out-sourcing American jobs to foreign countries, expressed his opinion on the Supreme Court's decision upholding Obamacare. In just one paragraph of his speech, Romney made six claims that bear no relation to the real world. He created "fake-facts" about health care reform and totally distorted the law's real impact. This is an old Karl Rove campaign tactic - make things up - on steroids. It needs to be exposed.

AFSCME Elects Lee Saunders President, Laura Reyes Secretary-Treasurer

Photo credit: AFSCME Polk County


Delegates to the 40th International Convention of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO (AFSCME), today elected Lee A. Saunders to be president and Laura Reyes to be secretary-treasurer of the union representing 1.6 million public service workers.

Lee A. Saunders received 683,628 votes to 582,358 for Danny Donohue. In the race for secretary-treasurer, the union’s second highest ranking officer, Laura Reyes received 661,413 votes to 603,624 for Alice Goff. The election was administered by the American Arbitration Association.



“Both Laura and I are committed to our members and cherish this union,” said AFSCME President Elect Lee A. Saunders. “We had a vigorous and energetic campaign, but now the union will pull together to win victories for working families and our members all across this great country. We know that Wall Street and their allies are engaged in an all-out assault against our members and the services we provide. They know that AFSCME stands in the way of their efforts to destroy the middle class. We are united in our commitment to stand up for the men and women who care for America’s children, nurse the sick, plow our streets, collect the household trash and guard our prisons. Our members are a cross-section of America, not some elite group as our opponents try to claim. We are energized and ready for the battles ahead.”

Happy May Day!

Teddy bear in a Guy Fawkes mask. Click image for Gallery of Worker's Day images(via BoingBoing)


While the United States recognizes the first Monday in September as Labor Day, the World celebrates International Worker's Day. Inspired by the American Labor movement and the Labor struggles of the late 19th and 20th century in the United States, this Human Rights movement is one of our country's more successful exports. 



Victory Across the Nation

Across the United States, it appears that the right-wing attacks on mainstream values are being defeated by an outpouring of the new, more progressive "Silent Majority."

While most analysts are focusing on the numbers giving a "horse race" commentary on who is winning and losing with these results, the deeper message seems to be that Americans are neither as conservative nor as anti-worker as Republicans and political commentators told us.

Want to Know What Cain's 9-9-9 Plan Looks Like? Here's the Picture

Presidential hopefull Herman Cain has been getting a lot of buzz with his 9-9-9 tax plan. Simply put, it's a variation of the Flat Tax, which nearly every economist agrees puts an excessive burden on the poor and middle class while doing little or nothing to meet our revenue needs. Wealthy people love the idea because it means they pay little in relationship to what they actually take in, and if the burden falls on the working people in this country to take up the slack, so be it.



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