Posts Tagged ‘Democrats’

GOP Price Tag #GOPvalues

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Do Public Employees Have The Right Not To Piss In Public? #union

When you consider the information that should be public for public employees, you need to ask a few reasonable questions.
What is it that can legally be made public?
And what information must be protected?
Those should be the first two questions.   The answers will vary from place to place, but how you answer them may determine the solvency of our government itself. Clearly we don’t want released any personal information on these non-elected employees that is not related to their public function.
So the next question is what is personal information?
I will leave it to you to decide, but consider the consequences of your answer. Can you imagine what danger we put the public employee in by releasing personal information if we are asking public employees to deal with potentially dangerous individuals and demanding they deny them services?  The class action suit by such a release could cripple the country, especially if some irate individuals start going after public employees they have a grudge against. The necessary information can be obtained by filing a freedom of information act (FOIA) request, but does that mean that information can be freely be published on the internet in total?  It is being so released in many areas, particularly areas with Republican administrations.  This information is being published unchallenged in many cases.
What does someone’s full name, gender, race, town of residence and zip code have to do with their function as a public employee? How about how much sick time they use or their personal 401k contribution?
A sociopathic parolee denied services somewhere like the board of elections, the department of motor vehicles, or social services are just as likely to find those employees on the internet and go after them as their arresting officer, the judge, the parole officer or the district attorney. My understanding is that some district attorney’s offices can and have blocked their information from being published.  How are they a protected class and how are they any more in danger than any other public employee?
On top of all that, I have found less information on many elected officials (whose information is supposed to be the less private) than their employees across the country.
This cannot go unchallenged.  It is the Republicans (with the exception of Ron Paul, a libertarian)  that so strongly object to the Anonymous or Wikileaks release of private information (although the Democrats have condemned the release of what they consider state secrets).  But these same Republican representatives do not appear to be so concerned about the same information being released on their employees. The fact that a public employee’s salary is public already and can be found at any public library (or over the phone) without a FOIA request is telling.
This pertinent fact suggests we are dealing with harassment, not transparent disclosure.
The fact that you can look up and see how much  earned sick time and vacation time each public employee has used in some areas is not related to their public function.  You can see how much time they are allowed from the same public library (or on the internet) along with their current and historical salary.  To publish 25% of the population’s information on the internet is clearly harassment and not furthering any specific state interest.
It is part of a union busting process and, as such, must be stopped.
Public employees do not give up their constitutional rights at the door.  They do not work for you personally.  To think they do is to abrogate the whole of the progressive civil service movement whose legislative intent a hundred years ago was to keep politics out of non-elected public service, and it is a matter of established law.  For Republicans to tout the rule of law is a myth in this area as it is in most others.
Many public employees are paid out of local general funds and you do not have any reason or standing to see any information on the county clerk’s secretary in Bakersfield unless you happen live in Kern county.  The idea that I can look it up and see an employee’s personal 401k information that they pay for themselves is unconscionable. What right do I have to know that the program coordinator of the HR department of University of Arizona has not gotten a raise in three years and is grossly underpaid? The publication of this information on the internet is an arbitrary and capricious  release of information to people that have no business knowing it. That we have so many lawyers in this country and so few have successfully brought a challenge to these unconstitutional practices is mind boggling to me.
You may might think that this must have passed the muster of the local government attorneys that reviewed it, but those attorneys are not civil service attorneys, they are appointed by the local elected administration and their jobs depend on their decisions.  This is the very reason for civil service itself and is being worked around. I challenge all of you to start looking for the personal information released on public employees around the country and write, email and call your local legislatures telling them what you think about the release of such personal information. How is that release any different than let us say, all corporate employee information for corporations that receive any government funds? That will be next. In many areas that may involve more taxpayer dollars than the government employees. Also consider the pension information that is released.  These people are no longer public employees, and most of them, around the country, contributed from their paychecks for that pension.  What right does the general public have to that information?  What state interest is served by its release?
If you are still not moved by my arguments, then consider it the next time you call the police or fire department, get a call from the school, want your road plowed, ask for an increase in your child support, have to call child welfare, need to apply for some public benefit or just want to live in a civil society.  I assure you, your decision to allow the disclosure of private information could influence all public employees’ decisions.   Every public employee in the nation will have to consider whether his life is put in jeopardy by the decision that he should make,  even though it is his job to not consider it, by law.  That is what you risk changing by insisting on such disclosure.
In sum, every public emplyee is required by law to give every citizen the right of due process and equitable treatment.  The very thing you are denying to that employee.
I continue to look:
To continue the argument consider that NJ releases information to the press to maintain a public database on USPS workers salary and positions, yet taxpayers have not funded the USPS since the 1980s. What public interest is being served by this release of private information? Even when you feel as a taxpayer it is your right to know the salary and benefits of those public employees in your area, does everyone everywhere have a right to know it? For example, school boards and budgets are locally voted on and debated in a public venue.  What public interest does publication of individual information outside of the that school district serve?  Clearly this is done to incite rather than inform.

President’s Weekly Address: A Bipartisan Approach to Strengthening the Economy 07/23/11 #FYW

The government budget is not a business budget, nor is it a family budget. The Democratic party has not thought this to be the case for the last 70 years. What has changed? It appears they are about to crave in the face of the GOP meme.

Weekly Address: A Bipartisan Approach to Strengthening the Economy 07/23/11

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John Boehner Said Just The Right Thing

John Boehner Said Just The Right Thing

John Boehner said just the right thing last night citing again his early résumé, stating he has just the right job experience to do the job of Speaker of the House as reported on NPR’s Morning Edition, repeating what was reported in CQ Politics on September 20, 2010 as reposted on Yahoo News:

“Listen, I grew up in a family of 12, my dad owned a bar and, as I like to say, all of the training that I need for my job, I learned growing up. … You grow up in a big family, you have to learn to get along with each other, you have to learn to get things done together, you need to work as a family.”

Boehner added: “You work around a bar, I mopped floors, I cleaned dishes, I waited tables, I tended bar. You have to learn to deal with every character who walks in the door.”

What is missing from this is that most of the service industry of this country does not work for their father, they have no union, they have no health insurance, they have no childcare, and they have to work when they are sick because they have no sick days even though it is a public health hazard. They also know that if they wish to get tips that the customer is always right, and they must suck it up and smile no matter what kind of jerk they have to deal with.  They must ask and remember exactly what the customer wants and never assume anything other than, for all their hard work, that most of the time they will be poorly rewarded.

If this was the future Speaker’s experience as a young man, then we can expect his Republican counterparts will not be happy with him. When you are exposed to the real world in this way, your first thought as a disadvantaged young man is not that while chasing that American dream you will need to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. Rather, your first thought is that you never do it alone and you are thankful for all the help you get along the way.  Somehow I don’t think this will be the way he sees it, but we can hope.

Discipline and hard work can only take you so far.  Only talent, resources and opportunity can take you the rest of the way.  Only those that were well insulated and protected from the rest of the world can come to believe they did it on their own.  This does breed a certain self confidence, self satisfaction and a healthy sense of responsibility for oneself, but not a clear view of our responsibility to the rest of the world or a clear sense that not everyone is as fortunate as ourselves.  Again, let us hope that the future Speaker is talking about real world experience when he remembers his early résumé, because this will be the only thing that can reign in the tea party horse he rode in on.

In My Email: My Opponent Says “Ban Bingo”

Dear Dale:

Almost 10% of American workers are jobless. Over 10% percent of all Americans cannot see a doctor when they are sick. America now ranks 50th in the world in life expectancy, just above Albania. And America is dead last in international math scores. What solution does my opponent, Daniel Webster, have to offer to these serious problems?

Answer: ban bingo for seniors.

Maybe you like me, maybe you don’t. But we have GOT to keep Daniel Webster out of Congress. So please support our campaign.

Webster has spent 28 years in the Florida Legislature. Listen to him, and you would think that he is personally responsible for making Florida into Eden. But Webster’s legislative initiatives over the years tell a different story:

Ban bingo for seniors. In 2003, Webster was one of only three Senators to vote against SB 664, which allowed bingo in nursing homes. In case you missed the point, in 2004, Webster was one of only five Senators to vote against HB 187, which allowed pull-tab bingo in church.

No more happy hours. In 1991, Daniel Webster introduced HB 593, which would have banned happy hour in all the bars in Florida. So much for Spring Break.

60 kids in each classroom. In 2006, Webster co-introduced SB 1150. This bill would have increased the class-size limit in Florida elementary schools to 60. Webster was OK with that; his six children were all home-schooled.

Landscaping for millionaires. In 2005, Webster slipped a $500,000 earmark into the state budget to pay “lakefront property owners” for landscaping. Under Webster’s earmark, the state would pay waterfront millionaires $200 for each 100 feet of lakefront property.

Men can cheat, but not women. Webster’s infamous “covenant marriage” law (1990 HB 1585) would have prevented “adulterous” wives – but not “adulterous” husbands, from receiving alimony.

Dan Webster wants to keep government out of your life, except when you are working, resting, eating, drinking, sleeping or breathing. We cannot let Daniel Webster make the laws that all of us will have to live by. Please help us defeat Daniel Webster.


Alan Grayson

Paid for and Authorized by the Committee to Elect Alan Grayson

In My Email: I am not a special interest.

Organizing for America
Friend —

Right now, my job — along with those of my colleagues — could be in jeopardy.

I’m a public school teacher in Philadelphia. And, like most states across the country, Pennsylvania is facing some bad budget shortfalls.

Without federal help, a lot of teachers like me — as well as other public servants like police officers and firefighters — will lose their jobs. Maybe you know some of these people. Maybe it’s you.

Democrats in Congress are trying to do the right thing, proposing emergency assistance for states to preserve more than 100,000 jobs like mine. They’re racing back to the Capitol for an emergency session this week to pass this bill and save these jobs.

But Republicans are standing in the way. Minority Leader John Boehner is calling the bill a “payoff” to “special interests” and attacking every Democrat who is fighting for us.

But I’m not a special interest. I’m a teacher.

Can you join me in telling House Democrats that they have our support as they fight for our jobs?

Speaker Nancy Pelosi — and the entire Democratic Caucus — have decided to rush back to Washington to make sure that hundreds of thousands of workers like me will get to keep our jobs. In addition, the bill will actually create even more job growth by closing tax loopholes for companies that ship American jobs overseas.

But the Republicans are going to do everything they can to prevent this aid.

Please stand with me, in support of Democratic leaders who are standing up for folks like me:

Thank you,

Wendy C.
Ambler, Pennsylvania

Paid for by Organizing for America, a project of the Democratic National Committee — 430 South Capitol Street SE, Washington, D.C. 20003. This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

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