Thursday, November 26, 2015

Hillary's Campaign Is Bragging About Being Endorsed By LIUNA. Meet LIUNA And The Right-wing Nut Who Runs It


Just before the Thanksgiving break, the Clinton campaign stiffed MoveOn and its 8 million grassroots members just as they were playing kissy-kissy with the worst and most degenerate of the right-wing labor unions, LIUNA, which disaffiliated from the AFL-CIO in 2006 and, earlier, was prosecuted by the Department of Labor for racketeering, corruption and ties to organized crime. It’s a shame," said Anna Galland, the executive director of Civic Action, "that Secretary Clinton declined to participate in the MoveOn member forum. She missed an opportunity to speak directly to and energize the progressive base she’ll need in her corner not just to win the nomination but also the general election, if she is the party’s nominee." Now let's look at a little background on the conservative unions that have been lining up behind Clinton and particularly the Laborers Union and their corrupt right-wing boss Terry O'Sullivan.

Although unions have been maligned, denigrated and marginalized by Big Business and their conservative political allies and by the right-wing propaganda machine, the contributions unions have made to the lives of ordinary working men and women are profound and undeniable. From abolishing child labor laws to pushing for Social Security, Medicare, health and safety standards and the minimum wage-- not to mention the whole concept of the weekend!-- unions have been in the forefront of every battle between democracy and the nefarious forces of plutocracy. The Republican Party and the plutocrats behind them understood that by weakening unions, they would be weakening the effective opposition to their greed and selfishness-based agenda. The Democratic Party, without the backbone of the millions of working people represented by unions is, for the most part, just another set of craven politicians eager to sell out. Unions have kept the Democrats on the right path-- at least most unions have.

For years we've been warning readers about the Building Trades Unions. When I was growing up, these were the pro-war, pro-Nixon, racist, hippie-hating disgraces to the union movement. Today, the Building Trades Unions, have basically not changed all that much. They're still the conservative end of the union movement and they still give more support to Republicans than to Democrats.

In 2012 the 4 biggest recipients of Building Trades congressional campaign contributions were all conservative Republicans: Steve LaTourette (R-OH), Jon Runyan (R-NJ), Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) and Michael "Mikey Suits" Grimm (R-Gambino).

At the height of the Keystone XL Pipeline LIUNA threatened progressives in Congress that they would help Koch-backed Republicans beat them in November. (We already saw them back conservative New Dem Colleen Hanabusa in Hawaii against progressive Senator Brian Schatz over Keystone XL.) O'Sullivan decided threatening House incumbents that they will help Republicans was the best tactic for his members and he singled out several top targets-- all 100% union backers: Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Tim Ryan (D-OH), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Carol Shea Porter (D-NH), Alan Grayson (D-FL), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Mike Honda (D-CA) and Judy Chu (D-CA). Here's part of a letter O'Sullivan sent to members in Jan Schakowsky's Illinois district, where she's facing a crackpot Republican who wants to abolish unions altogether.
As we head into the 2014 election season, I want to bring your attention to an issue of critical importance to our Union; your member of Congress is trying to destroy job opportunities for our LIUNA brothers and sisters. Representative Jan Schakowsky recently signed a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urging him to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline, a vital infrastructure project that would create millions of hours of work for LIUNA members, increase U.S. energy independence, and safely transport a resource that will be developed with or without the pipeline.

To all proud, strong and united LIUNA brothers and sisters, I say, enough is enough! Our members and their families are angry, disappointed and disillusioned with out-of-touch, job-killing politicians who choose to side with environmental extremists over work for our members. There so-called "friends" of ours are destroying good-paying work opportunities with family-supporting benefits, at a time when LIUNA members are trying to put food on their tables, keep roofs over their heads, and maintain middle-class lifestyles.

For every action, there is a reaction, and our reaction to this frontal assault on our way of life needs to be loud and clear. If you do not stand with us, we sure as hell will not stand with you.

…[Your] member of Congress has chosen to side with hard-core anti-Keystone organizations rather than with hard working LIUNA members and their families. Please keep that in mind when Congresswoman Schakowsky seeks your vote this fall, and be sure to let her know how angry and disappointed you are that she is trying to keep your brothers and sisters from working.

If Congresswoman Schakowsky and other politicians continue to stand in the way of jobs for Laborers, let's make sure they "feel the power" and fury of LIUNA this November.
Schakowsky was reelected 134,070 (65.7%) to 69,876 (34.3%). I don't know how big of a bribe the Koch brothers have given LIUNA General President Terry O'Sullivan, but I bet it's pretty big. His whole assertion could have come right from an episode of the union-busting Rush Limbaugh show. He should be very proud of himself and he's completely in the tradition of other labor leaders who sold out their own members-- Ronald Reagan, of course, comes right to mind. When Republicans challenged Van Jones' assertion that the whole Keystone Pipeline project would only create 35 permanent jobs-- no, not 35 thousand or 35 hundred, just 35-- Politifact investigated and they found Jones telling the truth and the Republicans lying-- as usual. O'Sullivan is lying to his members as well.

A few weeks ago, when Obama finally nixed the Keystone Pipeline, O'Sullivan told his half-million members that "President Obama today demonstrated that he cares more about kowtowing to green-collar elitists than he does about creating desperately needed, family-supporting, blue-collar jobs.  After a seven-year circus of cowardly delay, the President’s decision to kill the Keystone XL Pipeline is just one more indication of an utter disdain and disregard for salt-of-the-earth, middle-class working Americans... Barack Obama’s disdain for working people is evident. The President may be celebrated by environmental extremists, but with this act, President Obama has also solidified a legacy as a pompous, pandering job killer."

Tuesday he told those same members that "LIUNA is proud to endorse Secretary Clinton for President of the United States. The strong, proud and united members of LIUNA will be on the frontlines of the 2016 elections; on the streets, knocking on doors, making calls and encouraging family, friends, and neighbors to elect Hillary Clinton as the 45th President of the United States. LIUNA members and leadership believe that Secretary Clinton is the right leader to move our country forward and the most qualified candidate to address the many challenges facing the United States."

Last year LIUNA contributed large amounts of money to the worst Blue Dogs and New Dems in Congress, anti-working family fake Dems like South Jersey's Donald Norcross (the top recipient of their cash), John Barrow, Nick Rahall, Cheri Bustos, Ami Bera, Pete Gallego, Steve Israel, Dan Lipinski, Sean Patrick Maloney, Patrick Murphy, and Kyrsten Sinema. But LIUNA also gave $10,000 pops to reactionary Republicans like Lou Barletta (R-PA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Dave Reichert (R-WA), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Peter Roskam (R-IL), Steve Stivers (R-OH), Pat Tiberi (R-OH), Fred Upton (R-MI) and Greg Walden (R-OR), the chair of the NRCC. They only gave Paul Ryan $5,000 last year, the same amount as they gave him in 2012 and the same amount they had gifted to far right extremists Mean Jean Schmidt (R-OH) and Joe Walsh (R-IL).

And over on the Senate side their biggest contributions went to right-wing corporate Democrats Joe Manchin and Claire McCaskill. Obviously, not one nickel to Bernie Sanders.

So far this cycle LIUNA has given thousands of dollars to House Republicans again-- racist Lou Barletta (R-PA), Paul Cook (R-CA), Ryan Costello (R-PA), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Dan Donovan (R-NY), Sean Duffy (R-WI), Chris Gibson (R-NY), Richard Hanna (R-NY), Randy Hultgren (R-IL), Evan Jenkins (R-WV), Bill Johnson (R-OH), David Joyce (R-OH), John Katko (R-NY), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Peter King (R-NY), Leonard Lance (R-NJ), Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Thomas MacArthur (R-NJ), David McKinley (R-WV), Patrick Meehan (R-PA), Tim Murphy (R-PA), Tom Reed (R-NY), Dave Reichert (R-WA), Jim Renacci (R-OH), Ileana Ros Lehtinen (R-FL), Peter Roskam (R-IL), Paul Ryan (R-WI), Bill Shuster (R-PA), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Pat Tiberi (R-NJ), Steve Stivers (R-OH), Michael Turner (R-OH), Fred Upton (R-MI), Greg Walden (R-OR), Ed Whitfield (R-KY) Don Young (R-AK) and Lee Zelden (R-NY).

And in Florida, they don't care who wins the open Senate seat, as long as it isn't progressive icon Alan Grayson. They've already started funding the Senate campaigns of two right-wing anti-worker candidates, Republican David Jolly and New Dem Patrick Murphy. LIUNA has also given to Joe Heck's Senate campaign in Nevada. Their biggest single investment (so far) though was $30,000 to the Boehner for Speaker Committee, although they've also given thousands to the Blue Dog PAC and the New Dems' Moderate Democrats PAC. And although almost all their other contributions this cycle have gone to incumbents, they managed to connect to the most corrupt Democrat in Sacramento, Isadore Hall, a candidate for the open CA-44 seat and gave him $5,000. Birds of a feather.

Below is a video of the MoveOn forum that Hillary snubbed while she was plotting with LIUNA's Terry O'Sullivan how to move America backwards. You can contribute to Bernie Sander's campaign here.

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At 6:53 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

This was very good by MoveOn Bernie did a terrific job answering questions in the forum it figures you know who didn't participate who claims to be a Progressive.

At 10:38 AM, Anonymous Dorothy Reik said...

Whenver the Dems cite "union opposition" to a good policy the really mean "Building Trades" opposition. Thanks Howie, for calling them out for the conservative creeps they are.


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