Unions as a Civil Right

In a recent Op-Ed by written by Richard D. Kahlenberg and Moshe Z. Marvit, who advocate for adding the right to organize a labor union, without employer discrimination, to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Here is an excerpt, I recommend the whole read:

Other skeptics suggest that because laws now exist providing for worker safety and overtime pay, American employees no longer feel the need to join unions. But polling has shown that a majority of nonunion workers would like to join a union if they could.

In fact, the greatest impediment to unions is weak and anachronistic labor laws. It’s time to add the right to organize a labor union, without employer discrimination, to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, because that right is as fundamental as freedom from discrimination in employment and education. This would enshrine what the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. observed in 1961 at an A.F.L.-C.I.O. convention: “The two most dynamic and cohesive liberal forces in the country are the labor movement and the Negro freedom movement. Together, we can be architects of democracy.”

The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes that “everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.” The First Amendment has been read to protect freedom of association, and the 1935 National Labor Relations Act recognized the “right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations,” but in reality, the opportunity to organize is a right without a remedy.

Tracey Corder to hold fundraiser on March 15

From my email inbox…


We made it past the Primary and now it’s on to the April 3rd General Election! In just a few days we will have our final fundraiser of the campaign, hosted by State Senator Lena Taylor.

Thursday March 15, 2012
MJ Café
6901 West Brown Deer Road

Host: $522
Sponsor: $250
Friend: $100
Suggested Donation: $50

Wisconsin Family Action, a pro-Scott Walker political action committee has become involved in our race by endorsing my opponent and helping to finance their campaign. Our grassroots campaign has been “people-powered” from day one.

Can you contribute $100, $50, or $25 or more towards our next mailer?

Can you donate 2 hours or more of your time before April 3rd to help us win?

Please contact us at 414.301.3538 or
votecorder2012@gmail.com to find out more ways that you can help.

Thank You!

Tracey Corder

Verify the Recall – Still Working

We have been chronicling "verify the recall"'s results. We have pointed out that their endgame was never ever “integrity of elections” but intimidation of Wisconsin Citizens who signed the recall petitions.

Here is another "success" story that Verify the Recall can hang their hats on:

The University of Wisconsin System’s chief spokesman said he regrets signing a petition to recall Gov. Scott Walker.

“It’s my job to represent the UW System – its policies, positions and perspectives,” wrote David Giroux in a statement to the State Journal. “I have never let my personal opinions affect the way I do my job, and I will not in the future. In light of my unique role, however, I should not have signed the petition.”

The State Journal found Giroux’ name in an online database of signatures called Verify the Recall, which is run by a tea party group. Giroux is executive director of communications and external relations for UW System and part of President Kevin Reilly’s cabinet.

In addition to working with the news media, Giroux’ team is also “responsible for maintaining open lines of communication with the executive and legislative branches of state government,” according to the UW System website.

Four members of the UW Board of Regents, the governing body of the university system, also signed the petition, according to the website. Edmund Manydeeds, of Eau Claire, and Mark Bradley, of Wausau, confirmed that they did.

Both Manydeeds and Bradley said they can separate their personal, political opinions from their duties as UW Regents.

Now they are going after people who work for the UW system. Shame on the Wisconsin State Journal for covering this to begin with and for using VTR database for stories.

At least one good story came out of today regarding VTR: The GAB treated them with the disdain that they deserve!

One last thing: Is there a bigger tool than Bill Osmulski? He is lucky that impersonating a journalist is not illegal.

Republican State Sen. Mary Lazich to have a Democratic challenger

From my email inbox comes this interesting tidbit:


Target of Senate Recall to Face Challenger

Greendale, WI – March 12, 2012 – Resident Jim Ward announced today that he is running to represent the people of the 28th State Senate district. He will run as a Democrat against State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin).

“I want to give my neighbors a choice that they haven’t had for years in our district,” said Ward. “Senator Lazich has been in Madison for 20 years, and she has failed to make the important choices to help people move forward in this area.” Lazich spent the last 14 years in the senate. She was unopposed in the past two elections. Ward stated, “I am running because I want to see an undivided focus on creating more and more jobs in our area of this great state. The partisan and extreme politics that Senator Lazich has engaged in have divided hard-working people in our area and throughout Wisconsin. More importantly, her polarizing tactics have distracted politicians from finding real solutions that will work.”

Ward believes he can bring people together to find effective solutions to complex problems. “We need to change the political climate of our state so even people with strong convictions can work together to solve problems. This will only happen when ordinary citizens lead the charge, instead of career politicians.” He continued, “I come with an open mind, will be able to listen to all sides, and will be able to work for the people.”

Jim’s supporters consider him to be an independent and he believes politicians should work to serve the best interests of the people.

Ward graduated from Marquette University with a degree in History and Education. He has been a teacher for 13 years, the past twelve years he has taught at Milwaukee Academy of Science, a charter school. Jim and his wife Tricia are home owners in Greendale.

Given the political makeup of the district Sen. Lazich represents, Jim Ward certainly has his work cut out.

Co-Founder of Congressional Progressive Caucus endorses Mark Pocan

Citing Mark Pocan’s “record of accomplishments on behalf of working people,” Democratic Rep. George Miller of California’s 7th Congressional district announced his endorsement of Pocan in the race to succeed Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin’s 2nd Congressional district.

“We all know the challenges we have in Washington. We’re up against people who want to tear apart the safety net we’ve built for working families over decades.” Rep. Miller said. “Congress could use a few more union members like Mark Pocan who understand what the stakes are for working people and who will fight to protect them. Mark has spent his career fighting for middle class families and he’s gotten results.”

Ben Juarez files election complaints against Bob Donovan

You heard it here first…

Benjamin Juarez, who is challenging Ald. Bob Donovan for the Common Council seat from District 8, filed a complaint with the Milwaukee Election Commission on Monday, alleging irregularities in Donovan’s campaign finance reports.

He said complaints are also going to be filed with the Government Accountability Board in Madison and with the Milwaukee County district attorney asking for an investigation.

Having had a chance to review campaign finance reports for another incumbent Milwaukee Alderman (more on that in another blog entry), it certainly seems that Bob Donovan’s penchant for accepting campaign contributions in excess of legal limits isn’t isolated to Donovan.

While Donovan has chalked the excessive contributions up as “much to do about nothing,” he certainly seems to have a long history of accepting campaign contributions in excess of legal limits, considering that from 2004 to 2008 Donovan’s campaign gave back over $4,000 in contributions that exceeded legal limits.


Judge Richard Niess permanently enjoined the state's new voter ID law!!

Friday’s ruling by Dane County Judge Richard Niess goes further than the one issued by another judge last week because it permanently halts the law. Tuesday’s order by Dane County Judge David Flanagan blocked the law for the April 3 presidential primary and local elections, but not beyond that.

The latest order may make it harder for the state to put the voter ID law into effect before the April 3 election because it would have to win two appeals in less than four weeks. Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has asked for a stay of the earlier order, and he is expected to appeal it this week.

Whether Wisconsin’s photo ID law will stand is widely considered to be decided by a higher court. There are four lawsuits pending against it – two in Dane County court and two in federal court in Milwaukee.

The rulings come just weeks before likely recall elections for four Republican state senators. Recall elections are also likely for Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, but they have not yet been ordered.

The decision came the same day the U.S. Department of Justice blocked Texas’ voter ID law, which it said would disproportionately affect Hispanic voters because they are less likely to have appropriate identification.

Wisconsin and Texas were two of the seven states the passed voter ID laws after Republicans swept statehouses in the 2010 elections. Supporters argue the new laws prevent voter fraud and boost confidence in the election system. Detractors note instances of voter impersonation are incredibly rare and say the laws will disenfranchise voters.

In case you are wondering:

Judge Niess did not sign the recall petitions, according to his office.

So by republican Logic, not signing makes him a strong supporter of Governor Walker thus making this ruling even stronger. Although I will be curious to see what the Dane County republicans use to attack Judge Niess’s character after this.

Scott @ Badger Democracy has more including links to full documents.

Kurt Schuller tweet update.

I was so intrigued by Kurt Schuller’s Sunday tweet regarding the ” planned switch ” where-in the have nots will have the ability to dictate to the haves, that I decided to give him a call and see if I could figure out what in the hell he was tweeting about. Here’s a one sentence summary of what his tweet meant.

Mr. Schuller told me he believes that the Democratic Party intends to coax a majority of the American people into dependence on the federal government such that one day soon they will vote in their best interests and usher in socialism. That’s the gist of it. Yup, you read me correctly.

Schuller allowed that the plan probably wasn’t written down anywhere, and then proceeded to give several poor examples of ” evidence” that it was happening, such as the spike in food stamp usage and the fact that roughly 50% of Americans pay no income taxes. That’s planned, apparently. Hmmm.

If I’ve got any of this wrong I certainly hope Mr. Schuller will call me back with a correction or perhaps even post a comment here straightening me out.

In the meantime, I feel quite comfortable stating that I think Mr. Schuller is suffering from a paranoid delusion. I don’t think there is any such broad, massive, comprehensive plan to situate the have-nots such that we will dictate to the haves, but Kurt Schuller does.

So if he wins a seat in the Assembly, I hope he’ll recommend Sasquatch as the next State Treasurer. We in the northland just don’t have enough representation down there in Madison.

Verify The Recall: It’s Working – Charlie Sykes Style

I recently wrote about how "verify the recall" failed miserably when it came to actually finding fraud within the recall petitions. I also pointed out that, since everyone knew we had way more than enough signatures to recall the four senators and the Walker/Kleefisch ticket, VTR was not about ‘free and fair elections’ whatsoever. “Verify the Recall”(VTR) was was set up strictly to intimidate those people who signed a petition.

Besides the stories we covered here, the GOP is attacking a Dane County Judge who signed. As egregious as those cases are, this one tops them and comes to us thanks to hate radio talker and adulterer Charlie Sykes. It turns out that the leaders of the United Way signed the recall petitions and that is unacceptable in right wing hate world. Sykes posted and promoted an email from one of his listeners(I edited their names, Sykes is pushing them for everyone to see):

“As a 35 year supporter of the United Way of Greater Milwaukee, I have seen first hand the great work done by many of its member agencies. So it was with great disappointment that in reviewing the recall petitions against Gov. Walker, I found the names of MY as well as LM, both on the same page.

“I have started and ended this email several times over the past couple of days, but I have to admit the slow burn has gotten to me. I do not want to do anything to harm the United Way’s great work, and I will continue to support them. But I cannot help but wonder what either of these high ranking employees was thinking when they signed the petition.
“Both of them have significant interaction with not just their board of directors (which as you know includes many business & civic leaders from the Milwaukee area), but the community in general. Their lack of common sense has potentially harmed the United Way’s great efforts, especially among their large dollar donor groups.

“I have no problem with what/who/how they vote when they cast their vote. But I think it is a slap in the face to those of us who support both the United Way and Gov. Walker for them to publicly display their feelings by signing the petition. I think it shows a complete lack of common sense on their part.”

Lets take a quick look at the United Way. Their mission statement reads:

Our Vision

United Way envisions a world where all individuals and families achieve their human potential through education, income stability and healthy lives.
Our Mission

United Way improves lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good.
Our Goals

In 2008, United Way initiated a 10-year program designed to achieve the following goals by 2018:

Improve education, and cut the number of high school dropouts — 1.2 million students, every year — in half.
Help people achieve financial stability, and get 1.9 million working families — half the number of lower-income families who are financially unstable — on the road to economic independence.
Promote healthy lives, and increase by one-third the number of youth and adults who are healthy and avoid risky behaviors.

Our goals are ambitious, but with your help, and by utilizing our core strengths — a national network, committed partners and public engagement capacity — we can achieve them.

Now lets take a look at Fitzwalkerstan:

Improve EducationIn Fitzwalkerstan, we have cut $1.6 billion dollars from public education!

Financial StabilityWisconsin is no where near financially stable.

Promote Healthy Lives
between his cuts to Badgercare and attempts to opt out of the affordable care act, Scott Walker is putting the citizens of WI in danger.

Why wouldn’t the workers of United Way exercise their rights as citizens of Wisconsin and sign the petitions?

These instances show yet again that VTR had no interest in fair and clean elections, they want the names on an anonymously searchable database so that people can harass and intimidate those who did sign.

It is working!

Unfortunately they have the right wing squawker airwaves to really implement this plan. Shame on Charlie Sykes for doing this and Shame on VTR for putting these people in danger! And to the writer of this email (who sykes mysteriously keeps anonymous, maybe he wrote the email?) who the hell are you kidding? You are out tp punish them for signing and that is your ONLY mission here!