Tag Archive: AFSCME

Romney: Michigan Tree Height Explained, for Anchorman Fans (+ Bonus Christie Morning Joe)

Mitt Romney should be owning the Michigan GOP primary. But unless his decent performance last night in Arizona gives him a bump, it’s close. Close enough that Chris Christie had to be yanked in to manage the expectation game for the Romney campaign this morning.

Romney, a rich guy who made his money by plundering companies and firing workers, grew up rich in the same place I grew up: Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Romney’s father George was governor when we moved there; his son Mitt a subject of social chatter in the Detroit papers. Mitt graduated from Cranbrook Schools, the tony, park-like (and architecturally significant) private school campus I lived right near, where he met his wife Ann. He hung out at the Mormon Temple on Woodward Avenue (where his father was President), I hung with the anti-war Unitarians half a mile down the road. He’s older, but he would have bored me anyway.

You’d think Michigan would be easy pickings for Romney. Hometown boy. Son of the father. But Michigan culture, even its Republican culture, is deeply rooted in the working class that built the place, that fell when manufacturing shifted away and is showing life again thanks to Obama’s auto bailout. The one Romney famously opposed and is now struggling to paste over with revisionist suggestions of how the auto industry his father was once a titan of could have been saved. Chris Christie, Romney apologist and saver-of-his-bacon on numerous occasions, tried strenuously to back Mitt on Morning Joe (MSNBC) this morning (that video’s on the jump page).

You could understand why Mitt would be rattled landing in the state where he grew up among future Masters of the Universe, where Daddy ran the show. But his rambling (druggy, if we didn’t know better) breathless chatter about trees …lakes .. and cars is just the weirdest shit I’ve ever seen come out of a politico’s mouth (even with Michael Moore’s defense of Romney).

I didn’t get it. Till I saw this awesometown little AFSCME video cutting Romney in with the slightly slow Brick Tamland from Anchorman. Just naming stuff. I love lamp.

Click below to get to the meat: Chris  Christie’s contentious, revisionist, sputtering interview on Morning Joe this morning (and they like him there).

Romney Michigan Trees Explained, for Anchorman Fans

close enough that Chris Christie had to be yanked in to manage the expectation game for the Romney campaign.

Romney, a rich guy who made his money by plundering companies and firing workers, grew up rich in the same place I grew up: Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Romney’s father George was governor when we moved there; his son Mitt a subject of social chatter in the Detroit papers. Romney graduated from Cranbrook Schools, the tony, park-like (and architecturally significant) private school campus I lived right near, and where he met his wife Ann.

You’d think Michigan would be easy pickings for Romney, hometown boy, son of the father. But Michigan culture, even its Republican culture, is deeply rooted in the working class that built the place, that fell when manufacturing shifted away and is showing life again thanks to Obama’s auto bailout. Same auto bailout Romney famously opposed and is now struggling to paste over with revisionist suggestions of how the auto industry his father was once a titan of could have been saved. Chris Christie, Romney apologist and saver-of-his-bacon on numerous occasions, tried strenuously to back Mitt on Morning Joe (MSNBC) this morning (that video’s on the jump page).

You could understand why Mitt would be rattled landing in the state where he grew up among future Masters of the Universe, where Daddy ran the show. But his rambling (druggy, if we didn’t know better) breathless monologue about trees, lakes and cars is just the weirdest shit I’ve ever seen come out of a politico’s mouth (even with Michael Moore’s defense of Romney).

I didn’t get what Romney was even talking about. Till I saw this awesometown little video cutting Romney in with the slightly slow Brick Tamland from Anchorman. Just naming stuff.

Click below to get to the meat: Chris  Christie’s contentious, revisionist, sputtering interview on Morning Joe this morning (and they like him there).

Some of the People Who Work for You in NJ

To begin to dissolve the collective bargaining rights that New Jersey’s public workers have counted on for decades, Gov. Chris Christie employed a masterful communications strategy. It isn’t easy to convince well-educated voters that the people who live down the street, or across town, are your enemy.

To do it, Christie had to turn … the bus driver you see every day … your kid’s math teacher … the guy who works at the library … the lady who makes lunches for the folks at Vineland Developmental Center .. the cop … the firefighter … the woman sitting up all night helping a WWII veteran die peacefully … into caricature. They are middle class, or working class. But he calls them rich, tells you they’re cheating you every day, that they’re the ones responsible for a deadened economy. Because they’re greedy. Bloodsuckers.

He has to depersonalize them in order to do all that. He’s good at it, too. We hear he’s going places. And some Democrats stand behind him. The ones that do not deserve to know how many people are standing behind them. Waving across the country now, with some powerful interests behind it, is an effort to get people to turn against each other, blame each other, instead of seeking better governmental solutions, better lawmakers, better spending priorities.

Tomorrow, the NJ Assembly votes on a bill hostile to our public workers. It will make national news. If you can get there, come to the State House at noon. Thousands of people will await the vote. As Couch Potato Politics tells us, it’s not too late to call Assembly members.

Meanwhile, here’s a reminder of who Chris Christie’s talking about when he tells you who New Jersey’s public workers are:

Where are the great New Jersey labor writers?

Assembly Race to the Top hearing is still going on. Listen here LIVE.

Prepping for Labor Day’s morning News Roundup, I pulled a lot of great national Op-Eds about labor and the world of work. Mother Jones‘ profile of Mother Jones. AFL-CIO’s Richard Trumka reminding me of the “greeters” at Wal-Mart. Later in the day, Michael Moore hit us (and Rahm Emanuel) with humor, and Roger Ebert & Open Left provided the soundtrack.

Norma Rae

But I only linked the national stuff when I gave Google  “Labor Day + NJ” I got mostly weather. Beach traffic. So, here I am.

Where are the great New Jersey labor writers?

Look, I admit ignorance here. My father was a union organizer, back when that got you blacklisted, and tracked by Sen. Joe McCarthy. My mother, in a teachers union. But I have never been a union member, despite my sometime nickname Norma Rae. And I frankly think the days of Which Side Are You On? have grown more complicated in this suburbanized state where a union-busting governor pits the rest of us against union workers and tells us they’re our trouble. More complicated because sometimes unions are, as E.J. Dionne, Jr. points out (in a post outing himself as a union romantic), union movements can have failures; corruption, undemocratic action, some union contracts excessive, “solidarity” that can turn into intimidation.

This site is dedicated decoding the political zeitgeist, but I’m convinced we’re not telling the whole story. The issues, problems, and victories of work, of working people, and of unions? Women’s wages. Immigrant working conditions. Cooperation/struggles between unions. Successes. Failures. Challenges. Stories.

Who is staying up late nights thinking about this? Who wants to write about that here? Drop us a line.  

Hey, Organizing for America – What the hell?

Organizing for America (OFA), the DNC-ruled “grassroots” organization formed from the massive Obama ’08 email list, is asking people in NJ-2 & NJ-7 to drop what they’re doing and call Frank LoBiondo and Leonard Lance and ask them to vote Yes on the public option. The debate has been going on all day on the floor of the House. Watch LIVE.

Obama voters in 31 other districts got the same email, districts Obama won but have GOP congressmen. But it’s a complete waste of time to call Republicans, and the DNC/OFA knows it. This is a muscle-flex for the GOP. They’ve spent all day, in some ridiculous, dramatic and even toddler-juggling vignettes, telling you they’re voting no. So why is OFA trying to get you to waste your time on Lance & LoBiondo when you could be calling an actual Democrat who plans to vote no on Public Option?

As Scott pointed out today, with the GOP unanimous, if this is to pass, all the 218 votes have to come out of the Democratic caucus. And Rep. John Adler (NJ-3) is one Democrat threatening to vote no.

In fact, our friends at AFSCME have an easy tool for you Adler constituents to call him now. Just click the green flashing ad to the right of this diary.

OFA is making some very questionable decisions. This is the 2nd thing I’ve heard just today that makes me wonder what the hell they’re thinking over there. The first is news that OFA contacted Maine voters and assigned them voters in NJ to call (read the email) apparently never mentioning the vote on the same day for marriage equality – in their own state!. That email supposedly benefitted NJ, but I don’t care. We lost on marriage equality in Maine. I’ve emailed DNC on this, and if their answer adds to the discussion, I’ll print it.

Public option on C-SPAN – right now.

 

Adler sends regrets. Hint: he had a really good excuse! (+POLL!)

With the S-CHIP bugaboo at a fevered pitch, I was hoping we could get NJ Sen John Adler onto Blue Jersey BlogTalkRadio over the weekend.  I reckoned Sen. Adler — who’s running for Congress — would welcome the opportunity to share his views on the timely topic of kid’s health care. 

Just to review:  incumbent GOP Congressman Jim Saxton has the best healthcare taxpayer money can buy.  But when it comes to making allowances for children’s healthcare, Jim Saxton would rather stand by the President.  (Nothing new to look at for Blue Jersey readers, but the context is necessary if folks do a Google search to learn about  this race.)


Anyway, I wasn’t able to track Sen. Adler down, but that’s okay he had a really good reason for being incommunicado. 

Adler:

I had an intense two day training session with top members of Congresss, leading political consultants, and many of the top tier challenge candidates for 2008, including several open seat candidates.

Billed as a sort of “bootcamp” for top tier candidates, the DCCC — along  with AFSCME — has hosted such events for the past several cycles.  In ’06, twelve alums from this bootcamp went on to unseat an incumbent GOP rival. 

(So while John Adler was in Chicago honing the stragety, the Blue Jersey BlogTalkRadio juggernaut rolled on.  If you missed our show, click here and get with the program!)

It’s not surprising that the more steam John Adler gathers, the louder the chatter becomes that Jim Saxton will retire, at least locally. 

To that I can only say: SAXTON BETTER NOT RETIRE!!

After getting clobbered by Jim Saxton in ‘o6, I want another chance to beat him fair and square.  I want the satisfaction of the victory dance after the election is over.  (Sports fans, you know the one.)

For democrats in NJ-3 like me, we deserve to muse about a victory dance.  After twentysomething years of Jim Saxton’s bilge, it’s  been a looooong time coming.

P.S.: Take the poll (after the flip) and let us know what Congressional District you vote in!

AFSCME Union Agreement

While hunting for news about Governor Corzine’s condition, I saw this press release about reaching agreement with the ADSCME union last night.  It seems to be pretty similar to the CWA agreement.  Corzine:

“I am pleased to announce that the State has arrived at a tentative agreement with AFSCME that contains significant health care and pension reforms and will help restrain the growth in spending on public employee benefits.

“This agreement again highlights the importance and success of the collective bargaining process in achieving real savings for taxpayers while safeguarding the health care and pension benefits of public employees.

The details are in the press release above.

News Round-up for Thursday, June 1

  • The Jersey City-Newark area will recieve a total $34.3 million in homeland security funds for FY2006. The area is included in a list of 46 areas across the country at a high risk of terrorist attack. The municipalities will have to decide how to divide up all that money- so let the arguing begin! Overall, Our Fair State will recieve $51.92 million in homeland security grants, down from $56 million last year.
  • The corruption trial of former Middletown Township Committeeman Raymond O’Grady began yesterday, complete with bribes, secret videotapes, undercover FBI agents and a plea deal. Just what anyone who watches the Sopranos would expect.
  • Serious planning is the best medicine to prepare for a flu pandemic, according to health and law enforcement officials who met yesterday at a summit organized by Gov. Corzine. Upwards of 8,000 residents of Our Fair State could perish in such an outbreak. Authorities are attempting to plan for worst-case scenerios by laying concrete outlines of shortcomings in the system.
  • Investigations continue into a small plane crash in a densely wooded area of Stafford Wednesday. All four occupants, two from Manalapan and two from Bernards,  were killed.
  • More budget wars: The “National Taxpayers Union” has set up a video spearing Gov. Corzine’s tax proposals. (I’m not linking to it. I took one for the team and watched it- trust me, it’s not funny and not worth your valuable time.) Meanwhile, actual unions such as Communication Workers of America, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the New Jersey Education Association have planned a rally on June 19th in support of the budget, which they praise as ending the gimmicks and tricks used in the past.
  • Just what you didn’t want to see right at the start of air conditioning season- higher electric bills! PSE&G, Atlantic Electric, JCP&L and Rockland will all raise their rates between 12-13.7% effective today. Boy, that solar option is looking more and more attractive, isn’t it?
  • Also just in time for summer, new boating rules go into effect today. If you were born in 1969 and after, you must pass a boater safety class before operating a powerboat.
  • Republican State Senators have put forward a plan for revising the public pension system, including studying 401K-type plans, banning pensions for contractors, limiting pension calculations to one position. Sound familiar? That’s because most of the ideas were proposed by a task force created during Gov. Codey’s tenure.
  • A cougar has been repeatedly spotted in Greenwich Township, and the state is calling in big game trackers and motion-sensitive cameras to confirm the sightings and find the animal, which is most likely a pet that was set free.
  • Gov. Corzine flew to Ohio earlier this week to take his routine physical. You’d think there should be someone closer who would’ve accepted his insurance.