Saturday, March 12, 2011

Public Employee Unions Threaten Businesses In WI – Letters Sent to Business Owners Who Supported Walker’s Campaign – Shakedown! Read the Letter (PFD)

The Man who has held WI teachers hostage for 40 years - John Matthews, Professional Union Organizer - image

Business Owners who had contributed to Governor Walkers campaign are being sent threatening lettersby the public employees unions.(WTMJ is reporting.). The copy of the “Facsimile and Regular Mail” can be found here at the stations website, and now in PDF form around the web.

Apparently, the brain trust at the public employees union assumes that extortion is only illegal if one is not “taxpayer labor” – and cannot connect the dots between businesses paying taxes, which hire individuals who pay taxes, which allows those who have the best wages and benefits in the nation to exist. One must understand that paid union bosses are not the rank and file – union members’ dues are used to hire “professionals” who then basically run the public employees unions. Therefore, for the most part, the police officers, firefighters and teachers in the State of Wisconsin (as well as those states that allow Public Employee Unions to run unfettered) are not threatening to destroy businesses and potentially ones gainful employment - It is the few professional bunglers who are up to the task.

From the facsimile (Bosses never apparently heard of an e-fax) :

As you also know, Scott Walker did not campaign on this issue when he ran for office. If he had, we are confident that you would not be listed among his largest contributors. As such, we are contacting you now to request your support.
The undersigned groups would like your company to publicly oppose Governor Walker’s efforts to virtually eliminate collective bargaining for public employees in Wisconsin. While we appreciate that you may need some time to consider this request, we ask for your response by March 17.
In the event that you do not respond to this request by that date, we will assume that you stand with Governor Walker and against the teachers, nurses, police officers, fire fighters, and other dedicated public employees who serve our communities.
In the event that you cannot support this effort to save collective bargaining, please be advised that the undersigned will publicly and formally boycott the goods and services provided by your company. However, if you join us, we will do everything in our power to publicly celebrate your partnership in the fight to
preserve the right of public employees to be heard at the bargaining table.
Wisconsin’s public employee unions serve to protect and promote equality and fairness in the workplace. We hope you will stand with us and publicly share that ideal.

This was signed by the following individuals: James L Palmer, Professional Police Association, Mahlon Mitchell, Professional Fire Fighters, Joe Conway, International Fire Fighters, John Matthews, Madison Teachers, Inc., Keith Pratt, Green Bay Education Association, Bob Richardson, Dane County Sherriff’s and Dan Frei, Professional Police Officers Association.

Mr. Matthews has represented the 5,500 teachers in WI for over 40 years, and is, for all intents and purposes a paid rabble rouser. Union “Operatives” make in excess of of $100,000, some up to $165,000 per year (via MacLver Institute, U.S. Department of Labor and Guidestar – a database on non-profits such as the SEIU Greater New York Worker Participation Fund)

One cannot argue the need for police and fire personnel to have union representation,(dangerous working conditions) which, said representation should be someone who is from the ranks, and or those who may have retired from the profession.

If one feels the need to become a professional extortionist, merely head over to U Mass or any other public funded university that offers a Masters in union leadership and administration. Visit:

The police, fire and teachers of Madison should be looking to their leadership at this point and asking some serious questions about why their livelihood is run by individuals who are not remotely familiar with the profession (with the exception of perhaps the teachers).

The facts about Governor’ Walkers proposal: Agreed to by unions: a slight increase in the employee contributions for health care and pension. Not agreed to by unions: limited collective bargaining, whereby the public employees unions must by open roll call, reorganize each year, and members are not obligated (forced) to join the union, rather the rank and file are able to “opt out”.

Somehow, the problem the unions have is with the later limits to their power over the rank and file – should enough of the teachers, (specifically) decide to opt out, the unison lose cash – it’s as simple as that – if the unions lose cash and clout – then the Union Directors do not have the wherewithal to make donations to their favorite politicians (which is where that money goes). The Math: (figures are hypothetical – and by way of example: however, it has been reported Madison

WI teachers do earn six figures, and union dues are upward of $1000) if an average Madison WI teacher, earning 100,000 per year, has to fork over union dues of $1000, it’s not a great hardship (thus the grossly inflated salary), however, 5500 teachers forking for $1000 to the union annually – that’s $5,500,000 for Wisconsin Union administration (not rank and file) to do with what they will. If these bright individuals were in charge of one’s pension, one might want to rethink the stability of that pension and start socking away money into an alternative fund. (Outside of the Union)

To recap: the union directors, are shaking down the businesses that, although they did give to a Republican (information available on line as to whom gives to which party/politician), are still paying taxes in WI, their employees are paying taxes in WI, and those taxes – pay the teachers and other Public Employee Unions. Should the businesses decide that Wisconsin is no longer a desirable place to set up shop, and say move over the border, along with their tax contributions, and their employees either do the same or end up on unemployment – everyone loses.

This is beyond reason, and if it were not so sad, to think that our educators are being led by individuals who are so clueless, one might find the entire fiasco of the unison in Madison (and elsewhere for that matter) to be comedic. Is it no wonder the national reading scores are so dismally low?

P.S. The Business sent this letter - which the citizens of WI and elsewhere might want to support:

Mr. Tom Ellis, President
Marshall & Ilsley Corporation
770 N. Water Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Do Business with:

Friday, March 11, 2011

AP - Mike Huckabee’s “Gaffes” Real or Ploys? – 2012 Frontrunners – Show Me - Huckabee Leads Obama in Missouri PPP Poll

Huckabee Taking it All in Stride photo sogoodblog

The Associated Press released an article this morning entitled : “Analysis: Was Huckabee's week a stumble or a ploy?” in which the probing questions are – would two comments Huckabee made during radio interviews last week, derail any hopes of a presidential run. The piece includes the obligatory Professor of Political Science, and one Political Insider – giving one the impression that this is an article that is complete with authority. Seriously. Huckabee’s comments on Obama’s place of birth, given his stance on the “birthed issue” as being ridiculous, is fodder for his competition, nothing more nothing else, and easily explained away. Any politician who has never made a gaffe, of any sort, including the current President, is non-existent. It happens, that is hardly calculated.

When he spoke about a Hollywood starlet who was pregnant as being a poor role model, he actually has a point, which drives the left and left coasts crazy, along with Hollywood. This of course, from a mother’s point of view only – those whose one children’s tend to idolize, have great influence. Big deal? Only to the parent whose child actually pays attention to those matinee idols whose morals are what they are – and who have the financial capital to support themselves – unlike most 15 to17 year olds.

They wonder if Huckabee will make more gaffes of this sort – you betcha – so will the rest of the candidates or potential candidates as the political season of 2011-2012 goes into full swing. Are they calculated, one would be living under a rock not to thinks so.

Huckabee, a two and a half term Governor (State of Arkansas), is leading in polling nationwide, along with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin, who round out the top three – anything any of them say or do from last November (immediately following the 2010 midterms) is bound to be “fodder” for the press. What this article tells us, is that the AP is keeping Huckabee front and center, as this is truly non-news as all was rehashed over the preceding week.

Public Policy Polling released their latest state by state Presidential Race poll Missouri, where Huckabee leads Obama by 49-43 – an actual improvement for the President, over the last poll (49-42). Romney continues to do well, but Obama has gained some ground there, with a lead of 43-42. (See entire poll analysis here).

Should Huckabee, after finishing his "Should I run for President fact-finding book tour at end Spring/early summer", decide to run, it is going to be interesting to see how a minor statement over a minor Hollywood celebrity will, undoubtedly be – front page news!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wisconsin, Walker’s Watch: Unemployment Down 7.4% Public Sector Jobs Climb, Union Continues to Fight On as Relevancy Wanes

One of many Wisconsin Union Protesters - Image:

Wisconsin: Unemployment dropped in February to 7.4%, the lowest since January 2010, under Governor Walker’s administration, while Democrats and Public Employee Unions continue to protest in Madison, WI. The hubbub yesterday (politely put), was over the Republican Legislature, in Committee, separating the language specific to reducing collective bargain for public unions in the budget bill, and then going to the floor for a vote – where it passed. (AP) According to the AP report, there were upwards to 7,000 protestors at the State Capital – 7,000. The 14 Wisconsin Senate Democrats are still “in hiding” in neighboring Illinois, and are calling foul – threatening to return to Madison WI, where they might resume the work they were hired to do. Polling, at this point in time, is with the public employees union, as millions have been poured into the state in the form of television and radio ads by both sides (Union and Republican).

However, would that poll be in favor of the public union if it was understood exactly what the contracts contained? Public Employee unions, with exceptions for those who are employed in dangerous fields (i.e. police and firefighters) are somewhat ridiculous, in an age where the federal government regulates everything in the workforce through a variety of federal laws.
Wisconsin’s law does not affect: steel workers, or unfortunately the UAW, nor any other public sector union, nor does it affect any public unions in any other states (although most of the other 49 are now considering a Walker move - including Massachusetts!)

Although the media is making it appear as though the “Republicans” in the Wisconsin government, from the Governor down through the legislature are attempting to strip unions nationwide of rights, the fact is they are limiting collective bargaining for public employee unions, not stripping all rights, and allowing teachers to choose between joining the union or not. At the moment, public schools teachers are forced to join a union, and opt outs in some states are possible, with a “fee” paid by the prospective teacher, in order to keep out of the union. In addition, once told there is a nominal fee ($500), one is told that if one opts not to join the union, one might feel the pressure of being ostracized by the union teachers. So much for a free country. In Wisconsin, prospective teachers are then free to make the choice, with this legislation.

Rarely, if ever, quoted here, Conservative Pundit, Ann Coulter, has a column this week regarding the Wisconsin brouhaha, which, if ads were run based on Coulter’s column, one would bet the residents of Wisconsin would poll in favor of the Governor, the Republicans in the Senate, and anyone else who would stop the excesses of what is known as a public union. Coulter, when one puts aside the dripping sarcasm (which can be amusing, deepening upon the subject), is impeccably researched: From

“Because of the insane union contracts in Wisconsin, one Madison bus driver, John E. Nelson, was able to make $159,000 in 2009 -- about $100,000 of which in overtime pay. Jackie Gleason didn't make that much playing bus driver Ralph Kramden on "The Honeymooners." Seven bus drivers took home more than $100,000 that year.

When asked about the outrageous overtime pay for bus drivers -- totaling $1.94 million in 2009 alone -- Transit and Parking Commission Chairman Gary Poulson said: "That's the contract."

It's ludicrous to suggest that these union contracts were fairly bargained. Only one side was at the negotiating table. Ordinary people with jobs were not at the meetings where public sector compensation was discussed”
(read the entire article here).

Meanwhile, the 14 Democrats hiding out in Wisconsin, are vowing (with help from their friends at the SEIU, to have the Republican Senators and the Governor recalled. They are in the process of rushing back, three weeks after they first learned there would be a vote, and refused to return, some Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin suggesting that the Unions have more sway over when they come or go, than those Senators on the proverbial lam.

It is, to be blunt, a cruel joke on the people of Wisconsin, it is further, a cruel joke on those teachers and employees involved in the public unions, that there possibly “preferred Senators” are not in the fray fighting for their “rights” to filch every nickel and dime out of the taxpayers in Wisconsin, especially now, when they have learned there are new public sector employees, able to pay taxes and support the “contracts” that place bus drivers on a pay scale above the local MD’s. (Who, with the costs of regulation, malpractice insurance for self and staff, and overhead, make less per hour than say, the local veterinarian.)

While SEIU members from across the nation have flooded into Wisconsin to protest (no those are not all Wisconsin Teachers in that Capitol building), one has to ask why it is so important for this particular organization to fight tooth, nail and ad campaigns against union restructuring of this nature. One must only follow the money trail; 27 Million Dollars spent on electing one man, Barack Obama, president. FEC via CNSnews. With the option on the table in Wisconsin of members being able to choose between joining or not joining the public employees union, the SEIU must fear that their popularity is not all that – and those who have a choice, will opt out, leaving them short of cash, which is short of influence in the upcoming elections.

There are not unions that protect employees who work in hazardous situations, or who are working in conditions such as those who endured the horrors of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, (well worth reading for perspective) at the turn of the century. Although this tragedy produced unions for workers rights, specifically the IGLWU (which is now defunct), it bears repeating that throughout the coming decades legislation was passed, departments formed, and workers rights were given a place in the laws of the United States. This Federal action, reduced the need for unions, other than as a body to ensure those with little to no education would be able to receive benefits and maintain safe working environment. Unions, therefore, are in place for those who are perceived as being unable to fend for themselves, ensuring employees a living wage, and safe working conditions, and benefits that might equal those in the “shops” management.

Teachers, and bus drivers who pull down six figure salaries, (plus overtime), with the help of collective bargaining, simply defies logic.

It remains to be seen how this will all play out, however, if one is fond of placing a bet or two, one might put their wager on the Governors, the Mayors, and those in a position of having to balance a budget, by eliminating excesses granted by public (emphasis – public) employee unions, rather than the union bosses who are in the “trenches” fighting for the “teachers” while pulling down similar salaries for being professional rabble-rousers.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

The State of Maine Added to Growing List of Health Care Reform Act Waiver Recipients

State of Maine - Health Care Reform Waiver Granted - image:

The State of Maineis one of the latest entities (and first State) to receive a waiver from complying with Health Care Reform. According to CNBC, the State feared that implementing the Federal Plan would force one of their three health insurers out of the state. Maine joins an ever expanded list of waivers granted; over 1000 waivers had been granted since the inception of Health Care Reform, the cornerstone of the Obama Administration. (CBS News).

The fact that Maine, like many other states, limits the number of health insurance carrier choices is part and parcel of the problem. This practice creates a virtual monopoly, allowing those carriers to set prices based on a state structured risk pool; the end result is an increase in premiums to consumers. The limit of carriers coupled with state mandated coverage of benefits, drives the costs upward annually.

When a state opens its border to competition, however, the end result is a variety of choices in health plans as well as a reduction in premiums. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where previously there were a limited number of auto insurance carriers to choose from and premiums were some of the highest in the nation. When the laws were changed to allow more carriers into the state, insurance premiums dropped rapidly – competing firms were touting savings up to 50% and consumers rejoiced. Although one might think that comparing auto to health insurance is akin to comparing apples to oranges, it is the same principles of broadening the risk pools and competition among businesses that would guide both. – The end result, more choices, lower premiums, no need for the State and or Federal government to intercede.

As the President continues to fight against the Federal Court Ruling that made his Health Care Reform Law, unconstitutional the administration is handing out waivers left and right, mainly to businesses and unions – the list can be found here at It is beyond the time to stop wasting time and dollars on continuing lawsuits, and implementing this program for some not all and look towards a smarter option which allows freedom of choice for the consumer.

For an excellent treatment on proposed changes to Massachusetts Health Care, which, one must be wary, due to the simple fact that the National Model is based on Massachusetts’s plan, read "Proposed Health Care Reform is a Proven Loser” written by Dr. Jay Fleitman. Dr. Fleitman writes a column for the Daily Hampshire Gazette. Dr. Fleitman also served as the Chair of the Board of Health for the City of Northampton; he ran for Congress in 2010 and is the current Chairman of the Western Mass. Republicans.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Obama in Boston, Fundraiser Bound - $5,000 Plate Dinner To Support Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee

Obama will spend the day in Boston MA, education and fundraising priority - image chicagodenfender

The Boston Globeis reporting that President Obama will make two stops in Boston today, one at a public school funded by Bill Gates, the other, a fundraiser for the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee at the at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

The $5,000 a plate fundraiser, in one of the “Bluest States”, is part and parcel of the job the President performs as head of his political party. Normally, a sitting President is seen as the titular head of the political party he or she represents, and Obama is no exception. Massachusetts, according to a recent Gallup Poll,is one of ten states where the President’s approval rating is above 50%, at 52.2% the lowest of the top ten. His highest approval ratings are in DC and Hawaii, rounding out the balance of the ten are: Maryland, New York, Delaware, Rhode Island, California, Connecticut and Illinois.

These were based on 2010 job approval ratings, prior to the surge of gasoline prices at the pump and the crisis in the Middle East.

In the last mid-term elections, the Massachusetts Democrat Congressional Delegation, managed to maintain their district seats, but not without the need to campaign for the first time in decades, some of those with considerable war chests, were kept busy on the home front defending their turf against first-time runners – including Barney Frank (MA4) and Richard Neal (MA2). With redistricting about to take place in Massachusetts, where one Congressional Seat will be lost, speculation regarding which Congressional Representative will be “retired” is ongoing.

Monday, March 07, 2011

2012 Update: Gallup Sees No Front Runner, Boston Globe on Romney in New Hampshire

Gallup Dismayed - GOP Field is Tied! Huckabee, Palin Romney - photo credit:

Gallup, in a study of GOP Frontrunners from 1952 forward, finds that the 2012 “potential candidates” offer no clear frontrunner, in what Gallup terms as an “anomaly” this late in the game. However, in 2008, McCain was paired with Rudy Giuliani, who bested McCain at this stage of the “campaign”, with McCain emerging after Giuliani dropped out of the race, and the New Hampshire and Iowa contests were past. It was the South Carolina primary that gave McCain the green light he needed in order to emerge as a front-runner in the eventual field that included both Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee.

As of the last Gallup Survey taken in February, Huckabee led both Romney and Palin by 2 points, in other words, a statistical tie. Herein lies the conundrum faced by pollsters, there are three strong contenders for the 2012 GOP nomination, none of which have formally announced. Palin has hinted at running, and has made a staff change to her PAC that indicates she may most likely run. Huckabee, with the release of a book and subsequent book tour across early caucus states, as well as the South Carolina battleground, will decide late (in terms of an actual announcement), in June or July of 2011. Romney is declared in all but making the statement official, the former MA Govenor came out this past week with the declaration that he was the most qualified GOP candidate. Although some politico’s may find this to be a negative for the GOP, the fact of the matter is, that overall, a healthy field of strong candidates (and that does not take into account those who have not yet emerged and maybe just as strong as the current well-known three), offers Conservative and Conservative leaning voters the more options than in previous contests, and delaying a formal announcement while laying groundwork for a campaign, is akin to having money in the bank. What will break or make the eventual nominee (which said person will not necessarily emerge until after the South Carolina primary or later for that matter) will be a cohesive effort on the part of all conservative wings of the GOP party to coalesce behind that person – something that may or may not happen, similar in scope to the 2008, doomed from the get-go, GOP nominee.

In 2008, with the taint of the Republican Brand, it was unlikely that whoever ran on the ticket would win the election. However, since the tide has turned, and it is the Democrat brand that is in that position, there will be little difference in who eventually takes the nominee, even if the matter is not settled until the GOP convention.

Strategically, it makes sense that the nominee be delayed over time, giving President Obama no clear rival until the 11th hour – in this scenario, Obama would have to contrast his policy against three or four (unnamed GOP), which would further waste resources. Additionally, if the President’s approval ratings for 2011 do not improve over 2012, it will not matter which front-runner emerges, that individual will most probably be the next U.S. President. Although, it will be a battle, the Gallup favorability ratings for 2010, show few states that will not fall to the GOP, should those numbers hold (currently 10). Gallup, it should be noted is a conservative polling firm, and by conservative, one is not referring to political ideology rather methodology – taking pains to go neither to the right nor the left.

The Boston Globe’s article on Mitt Romney in New Hampshire declares Govenor Romney a “novice no more”, by virtue of his previous run, and offers that he is in a better position to define himself more so than in 2008, as the issues then were less to his abilities (war in Iraq) than now, where the issue is the economy. That said, the article goes on to describe him as more comfortable, rather than “stiff”, as in 2008, but rightly suggests that his greatest hurdle will be his institution of mandated health care (Commonwealth Care) that was morphed into Obama Care on the national level.

There are, of course, differences, however, should Romney emerge as the nominee, it would take the debate over Mandated Health Care off the table, so to speak. Lastly, the subject of Romney’s religion comes into play – the Globe sees his Mormon faith as a deterrent in early states such as Iowa and South Carolina – that said, a quick review of recent (less than 50 years), proves that when the opposition is viewed as not desirable for the nation, and the frontrunner is a Mormon, that faith has little or nothing to do with electability. In 1972, one Richard Nixon, Mormon was elected to the Presidency taking every state with the exception of Massachusetts.

The aforementioned belies the Globes perception that the candidates electability may hinge on religion, whereby, history proves otherwise. In addition, as this nations laws demands a separation of church and state, with freedom of religion the root of the of the formation of the colonies which eventually became these United States, one must understand that, try and the opposition might, regardless of a Presidential Candidates personal choice of religion is concerned, it is that persons perceived ability of governing, that will rule the day. In this opinion, when one has a defined religion, it bodes well for the candidate, rather than detracts, going to personal character and conviction of a named faith. Those that would put labels on Catholics (Kennedy), Mormons (Nixon), and George W. Bush) (Methodist), may have done so but to little avail. ( source

In 2011 (to date), we have Obama (Christian), Romney (Mormon), Huckabee (Baptist), and Palin (Non-Declared Christian – (lack of sources offering a clear definition). In the end run, it will not be a candidate’s religious preference, it will be based on the state of the national electorate and the candidates perceived ability to govern effectively.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Romney Comes Out Gunning for the Nomination – Remarks from the Granite State

Mitt Romney Charges Ahead - GOP 2012 - Photo Politico

In what Politico is calling an “unofficial kickoff” of former Massachusetts Governors, Mitt Romney’s “Granite State Campaign, Romney came out speaking of the President and pulled no punches – from saying it was time for a New President, to pulling down “Obama Care”, to using the “misery Index” term most associated with Former President Jimmy Carter, and attaching Obama’s name (justifiably so), Romney began his “unofficial campaign” hard in the State that gave him the nod in the 2008 GOP campaign.

Of interest is the defense of Massachusetts Health Care System, one which was exported nationally and is now one of the main hot button conservative issues with the President. Romney noted is was a states issue, however, the plan put into motion by the former Governor Romney, and then handed to a tax and spend Mass. Legislature and new Governor Deval Patrick, is not the same plan Romney had in mind originally – although mandates were a part of the original proposal.

The Boston Herald, came in with comments regarding the fact that being first in the first primary in the nation, does not always bode well for a candidate, choosing several recent races where a candidate won New Hampshire and went on to lose the nomination.
It would be hard to fathom Romney not being a front runner in his own state, he should have the support of the Massachusetts Republican Party, that said, rank and file, and independent leaning Republicans, may make other choices, and upend him in his own back yard – note to Huckabee, Gingrich, The Donald, Palin and anyone else thinking they might want to take a shot at Romney in some way shape or form – Massachusetts is not, repeat not, a winner take all state, and it takes more than three weeks to get an organization up and running to get the 15% necessary to put ones name on the ballot.
Since the majority of the front runners do have books in the marketplace, add a few stops to the Bay State, and the results may surprise you (we’re down the road from New Hampshire).

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