Category Archives: Unions

Connecticut spiraling into financial despair

dannel malloy

Gov. Dannel Malloy (Demorat)

Odd how high taxes can lead to a financial crisis…

From Fox News: While Illinois Opens a New Window. Connecticut has been under the microscope for its $15 billion backlog of unpaid bills, multi-billion dollar pension crisis and paralyzing political polarization, it is not the only state facing pressure to pass a spending deal by June 30.

The nation’s wealthiest state, Connecticut, is also facing a series of challenges as it remains unable to strike a budget deal with the new fiscal year approaching on Saturday. It is likely the state will enter the new month without an approved two-year budget, but a so-called provisional “mini budget” is still on the table. This last-ditch option includes $300 million to balance out spending cuts the state would be prompted to make in order to keep up with the deepening deficit.

Revenue shortfalls in the state register around $450 million for the current fiscal year alone, while estimated deficit totals are projected to clock in near $5 billion for the 2018 and 2019 fiscal years combined, according to The Connecticut Business & Industry Association. Debt outstanding levels and unfunded pension liabilities relative to revenues are among the highest of any state in the country, Moody’s Investors Service said in May.

As previously reported by FOX Business, income-tax collections are projected to fall Opens a New Window. in fiscal year 2017 for the first time since the recession.

Connecticut’s financial despair comes despite the state government’s approval of one of its largest tax rate increases ever in 2015.

The three major rating firms have downgraded the state’s credit rating in response to the ongoing budget crisis. In its most recent downgrade, which landed Connecticut with the third-lowest rating out of every state behind only New Jersey and Illinois, Moody’s said “the downgrades reflect continuing erosion of Connecticut’s finances, evidenced by the pending elimination of its rainy day fund, growing budget gaps and rising debt levels.”

However, the situation could get worse still.

On Thursday, health insurance giant Aetna announced it would move its Hartford, Connecticut-based headquarters — after more than 150 years in the state — to New York City in late 2018. The company cited a lack of access to talent as one reason it was leaving its Connecticut base, and said Thursday its long-term commitment there will depend on the state’s “economic health.”

Earlier this year, General Electric (GE) announced a similar move, shipping its headquarters from Fairfield, Connecticut to Boston, Massachusetts.

DCG

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One pic shows American Federation of Teachers is monolithically Left

American Federation of Teachers (AFT) describes itself as:

The American Federation of Teachers, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, was founded in 1916 and today represents 1.6 million members in more than 3,000 local affiliates nationwide.

Five divisions within the AFT represent the broad spectrum of the AFT’s membership: pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; and nurses and other healthcare professionals. In addition, the AFT represents approximately 80,000 early childhood educators and nearly 250,000 retiree members.

AFT publishes the quarterly journal American Educator.

Below is the pic that is on the front page of the latest, Summer 2017 issue of American Educator. Note the pink pussy hat, the Obama t-shirt, and the signs held by the public school teachers:

  • Black Lives Matter
  • DeVos: Public Schools Enemy No. 1 (Betsy DeVos is the Trump administration’s Secretary of Education)
  • To America’s 1st Russian Prez: Where’s Your Birth Certificate

Teachers are supposed to be objective and impartial. But like America’s journalists, they are rabidly partisan and biased. (See “Harvard University study finds MSM coverage of President Trump overwhelmingly negative”)

Just remember we are paying teachers like those in the pic with our tax dollars.

If you vote for any bond measures to funnel even more tax dollars to your local and state public schools, you are aiding and abetting AFT’s indoctrination and infesting of America’s young with their filthy Marxist ideology.

H/t FOTM‘s stlonginus

~Eowyn

Obese NY judge hasn’t worked in years but still collects fat paycheck

serious

From NY Post: An obese judge did not do his $193,000-a-year job for over three years because he was too fat — and will still retire with a hefty pension even though an ethics panel found he milked the system, The Post has learned.

Acting Supreme Court Judge Daniel J. McCullough, 65, stepped down last month, after a state ethics probe determined that he “persistently failed to report to work” since April 2014 instead of going on proper medical leave.

Had he taken such leave, McCullough would also have taken a pay cut. His decision to remain an “active” judge prompted the state Commission on Judicial Conduct to find last month that McCullough failed “to respect and comply with the law.”

“He was basically forced out,” a court source said.

Despite being pressured to leave, McCullough will take home a $143,000-a-year pension.

McCullough — who neighbors say weighs some 300 pounds — suffers a host of maladies, from morbid obesity to herniated disks in his lower back and intestinal bleeding, according to commission records.

He earned full pay even though other judges were forced to pick up the slack in his absence.

In December 2014, about eight months after he first stopped working, a judge ordered McCullough to undergo a medical exam to find out how bad his problems were.

The tests revealed that the Corona, Queens, resident, who had been on the bench since he was appointed by then-Gov. David Paterson in 2010, had “a complicated medical history which involves morbid obesity,” in addition to the other problems.

In November 2015 the chief judge ordered McCullough to undergo a second medical exam, but he ignored the order, according to the report. He was in a Long Island rehab facility at the time and vowed to return to the bench.

McCullough, a former officer with the city’s Department of Correction, learned in October 2016 that the Commission on Judicial Conduct had started investigating his absences.

On May 4, the commission found that McCullough failed “to act in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.”

The next day, McCullough filed for his retirement. On Monday the commission announced McCullough’s resignation, effective May 29.

“By any reasonable standard . . . three years is too long for a judge to be out of work . . . while others absorb his caseload,” said commission administrator Robert H. Tembeckjian.

McCullough escaped punishment aside from agreeing to stay off the bench.

​McCullough’s attorney, Roger Adler, said his client is still recovering from a 2016 surgical operation, never contemplated going on disability leave — and nor did the administrative judges suggest that option. “It’s a tragic situation,” Adler said. “He really hoped to come back.”

DCG

Seattle guidance counselor fined twice by state regulators – and fired as a coach over a decade ago – continues to advise students

raymond willis ap photo

Raymond Willis: Liar guiding children in Seattle/AP Photo

What a role model he is for the students. And very telling about how the unions will go to a great length to protect liars – all to “help young people.”

From Seattle Times: A guidance counselor in Seattle Public Schools has twice been fined by state regulators for selling stocks without a broker’s license. But violating the Securities Act of Washington — and misleading investorsdoes not disqualify Raymond Willis from continuing to advise students at Garfield High School, where he has worked since 2007.

As of last fall, the state Department of Financial Institutions had fined Willis and his nutritional-supplement company, the MiniHYA Corp., $37,000 in penalties and associated legal costs for fraudulently selling securities.

Willis, reached by phone last month at a Miami Beach hotel, would not discuss the matter. “That’s all been resolved,” he said, before hanging up.

Not to the satisfaction of regulators in Olympia, who say Willis failed to show up at his most recent hearing and has not paid the fines.

Michael Galletch, a lawyer representing Willis, said the guidance counselor and his company will make good. The dollar amounts collected from outside investors were very small, Galletch added, each about $1,000.  “Whatever issues they’ve got, they’ve corrected,” Galletch said. “And as they go forward, they will comply. They are not taking any more money in.”

Violating state finance laws does not necessarily bar Willis from holding onto a job providing guidance in schools, according to Nate Olson, a spokesman for the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. “There are specific offenses that would trigger suspension and generate an investigation,” Olson said. “Fraud is not on that list.”

Short of violence or sexual crimes against a child — which can automatically trigger action by the state — it is up to school districts to file complaints. And so far, Seattle has taken no such action against Willis.

“Mr. Willis is currently employed by Seattle Public Schools. We are aware of the situation and are looking into it and will follow state law,” said a district spokesman in an emailed statement.

Neither the Washington Education Association nor the Seattle teachers union would comment on Willis’ legal situation or whether they support the fact that he continues to guide young people.

In 2014, state documents say, Willis raised more than $40,000 from several dozen investors in MiniHYA, which he said would soon market an anti-wrinkle product. It had been patented, approved by the Food and Drug Administration and subjected to “extensive ‘research clinical studies,’ ” the documents quote Willis as saying. But few of those things were true, investigators said.

“A search of filings with the United States Patent Office does not reveal that MiniHYA Corporation or Raymond Willis had any patent applications pending or that they hold any patents,” they wrote in a statement of charges dated December 2015.

Meanwhile, Willis continued to portray himself as a successful entrepreneur. Last summer, he contacted Florida real-estate agent Chris Rey, who says Willis told him he owned three large pharmaceutical companies and wanted to purchase two luxury properties for his investors — each valued at about $50 million. “That’s a life-changing commission for me,” said Rey, who works at The Nickley Group in Orlando.

Rey got to work. But his suspicions were quickly piqued. “He said his investors were part of the royal family of Abu Dhabi! It was this tall tale that just seemed extremely bizarre,” recalled Rey in an interview.

He began searching online for information about Willis, and the legal proceedings from the Department of Financial Institutions popped up, as did Willis’ day job as a guidance counselor at Garfield. “It floored me — big-time,” Rey said.

Willis has a checkered history in Seattle schools. He was fired from his coaching job at Chief Sealth High in 2005 for improperly recruiting athletes for the girls basketball team. Two years later, the district reassigned him to work as a counselor at Garfield, saying only that the loss of his coaching job didn’t affect his status as a counselor.

There, Willis, who is African American, has worked primarily with black students. There is no evidence that Willis approached students or their families about his businesses.

According to Department of Financial Institutions documents, Willis told would-be investors that by 2018 MiniHYA would be worth $160 million, and a $2,000 investment could net them up to $40,000. They also said he solicited blacks, in particular, as investors, contacting them through an online chat room aimed at African Americans.

One woman earned a salary barely above the minimum wage and had used money from her retirement account to buy into MiniHYA, hoping it would help her “earn enough money from the investment to live independently,” investigators wrote.

It was not the first time Willis has been in trouble with financial regulators.

Documents show that in 2013, after an investor sued him, alleging fraud, Willis agreed to stop selling stock in two other companies — a skin-care firm called AuJeune, and a health-care company called Ra Ghala that was marketing a mammogram machine, a bandage and “a device to pick up pet waste.”

He’d solicited more than $250,000 from 40 investors to fund those two enterprises, according to state regulators, who fined Willis $4,000 for violating securities law, an amount determined based on Willis’ ability to pay, not the gravity of the charges, said Suzanne Sarason, chief of securities enforcement with DFI.

Willis, who earns about $70,000 through his guidance-counselor job, paid the penalty and agreed to stop selling stock. But it did not stop him from advertising himself as a CEO, trusted board chairman and respected health-care industry official — all titles that appear on the CV Willis submitted to real-estate agent Rey.

That paperwork makes no mention of his job with Seattle Public Schools. “Mr. Willis’s work as a guidance counselor is community effort,” said Galletch, the lawyer. “He doesn’t do it as a regular source of income. He does it to help young people.

DCG

Seattle City limits concession hours, after complaint from labor union

mafia

From MyNorthwest.com: A business operating on Seattle Parks and Recreation property was told to stop serving food during school lunch hours, to avoid conflict with the union representing school cafeteria workers, who serve lunch at Garfield High School next door.

Artez Ford, who owns Garfield Eats, said he has lost 70 percent of his business since October, when he was forced to sign an amendment to his Parks and Recreation contract promising not to sell food between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

I signed it under distress because we had spent an awful lot of money. We had invested – our whole family – cousins, sisters, brothers,” he said.

This happened just days after Ford said a union representative came to his stand. The man told Ford he was representing cafeteria works at the school district. “He told me that there are real American families up at the cafeteria that’s trying to make a living,” Ford said.

KIRO 7 reached out to that union, Local 609B. KIRO 7 did not receive a response to our request for an on-camera interview, but a representative named David Westberg responded to initial questions over email. Westberg said that Garfield Eats was selling junk food, tobacco and beer. When KIRO 7 asked for evidence of this, Westberg did not reply.

Ford said he has never sold tobacco or alcohol. Students told KIRO 7 they had not seen those products for sale either. Tobacco and alcohol are prohibited in Seattle parks.

As for the claim of junk food, Ford said, “We’re totally disappointed. We really thought we were providing nutritious meals.” He said he sold four kinds of salads, cheeseburgers and hot dogs, among other things.

Students told KIRO 7 they preferred Garfield Eats, because of the low cost and vegetarian options. They now go to Ezell’s for fried chicken, or to AmPm, a gas station convenience store.

KIRO 7 asked the Department of Parks and Recreation for an explanation of the circumstances. While representatives declined a request for an interview, they said in an email that “we have had a vendor there in years past, and we have always tried to be good neighbors with the school district and have asked previous vendors to not sell during school lunch hours.”

In an email sent to Artez Ford directly, a Parks and Recreation employee named Antoinette Daniel wrote about Ford selling during lunch hours, “This is in direct conflict with the Garfield High School cafeteria staff’s efforts to serve lunch and their union.”

KIRO 7 looked through the contract between Local 609B and Seattle Public Schools. There was no language referencing activity off of school property. While a Seattle Public Schools spokesperson did not want to confirm this, he did write in an email that “SPS wouldn’t tell a vendor to stop selling food off school grounds.”

KIRO 7 obtained data from Seattle Public Schools, showing that the number of meals served per lunch hour at all high schools is below the target goal.

A third-party study of SPS nutritional services, sent to KIRO 7 by Local 609B, shows that only 18.9 percent of high school students participated in school lunch from 2015-16. It also said that 38.2 percent of high school students in the district qualify for free or reduced lunch.

“I used to come down here [to Garfield Eats] for lunch, like, all the time, because it was so much cheaper,” said freshman Makayla Clegg.

Ford said that his family struggled financially over the past season and cut back on spending, especially during the holidays “I haven’t been to the movies. We had no Thanksgiving, no Christmas. (on) Dec. 16, I decided, ‘I’m going to buy my daughter a Christmas tree.’ And I opened this store in violation,” he said.

Ford said someone from the Department of Parks and Recreation came that day to stop him.

Ford is now trying to obtain a new contract with the department for the next season. He said that the stipulation of not selling during school lunch hours — summer excluded — is still present in the contract. He does not want to sign the contract under those circumstances and is hoping to negotiate with the city.

DCG

Seattle socialist council member Kshama Sawant wants to give city employees May Day off

sawant always screaming

Socialist Sawant…always screaming about something.

Of course, it’s a “right.”

Update: The day off was granted. From MyNorthwest.com:

Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant urged her peers to give city employees the option to take May Day off. They obliged Monday afternoon by unanimously voting to make it official.

From MyNorthwest.com: Seattle councilmember Kshama Sawant is urging her peers to give city employees the option to take May Day off.

On Monday afternoon, Sawant will introduce a resolution proclaiming that city workers have the “right to take the day off on May 1, 2017, without retaliation.” The resolution also asks that city departments inform non-emergency workers that they have the right to request the day off to attend the “celebrations.”

“I urge councilmembers to approve this May Day resolution, which explicitly recognizes the right of city workers to take the day off and provides protection to city workers who may otherwise worry about retaliation,” a statement from Sawant says. “May Day has historically been an important day of action for worker and immigrant rights. It’s especially significant this year, with immigrants, working people, labor unions, women, and the LGBTQ community under attack from Donald Trump. If Seattle is truly a Sanctuary City that supports immigrants and working people, then it should lead the way by enabling City employees to stand in solidarity with immigrants and all workers on May 1.

“Further, I call on everyone who opposes Trump’s bigoted, anti-worker agenda to participate in peaceful May Day activities, particularly the official May 1 Action Coalition march. Join our growing Resist Trump Coalition to actively organize and build the fightback against the billionaire class.”

Prior to a vote on the resolution, Sawant is calling for a rally at City Hall around 1:30 p.m. The resolution will be voted on during the 2 p.m. city council meeting.

Every year on May 1, a workers’ rights march is held in Seattle as part of International Workers’ Day. The march, attended by thousands, is typically peaceful. Other marches, unrelated to the workers’ march during the day, typically occur in the evening and into the night. Those have become known for antagonism, violence, and damage.

According to the Seattle Times, Sawant’s resolution notes that a state law gives public employees in Washington state the right to request two unpaid holidays per year for a reason of faith or conscience or an organized religious activity.

The law says an employee must be allowed to take off the days he or she wants unless the employee’s absence would impose an undue hardship on the employer, or the employee is necessary to maintain public safety.

DCG

After losing 2016 election, Democrats are defecting to Communist Party USA

People’s World, the bilingual news site of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), reports on April 19, 2017, that CPUSA “has been receiving membership requests ever since Donald Trump was elected President.”

Emile Schepers, CPUSA’s International Secretary and an anthropologist by profession who was born in South Africa, told Granma International that “Although the phantom of the McCarthy era still looms across the U.S., there is growing interest in communist ideas. The global financial crisis affected many people and left the sense that today’s youth are worse off than their parents. Neither recent Democratic nor Republican administrations have been able to resolve the serious problems affecting the majority of the country’s citizens. Although the United States is in no way experiencing a pre-revolutionary situation in the communist sense, capitalism is showing terminal signs worldwide.”

What Schepers neglected to say is that Marxist intellectuals have been insisting that “capitalism is showing terminal signs worldwide” for more than a century.

But how to explain the 2016 U.S. election that voted uber capitalist Donald Trump as president?

Schepers attributes that to an “ideological manipulation” that unleashed a right-wing upsurge because “popular discontent doesn’t always take a progressive route.” Even in his current home state of Virginia, not only the wealthy, but also many poor whites with “false class consciousness” voted for Trump. Schepers blames Americans’ “false class consciousness” on the corporate mass media and “local news stations in the interior of the country [that] only broadcast preachers announcing the end of the world.”

Schepers is convinced that if Bernie Sanders had been Trump’s opponent, Sanders would have won — the same avowed socialist Sanders who is a millionaire with three homes, including a $600,000 lakefront estate purchased just five days after the 2016 Democratic National Convention that selected Hillary Clinton as the party’s presidential candidate.

Schepers admits that the great challenge for CPUSA continues to be organizing American workers and trade unions.

CPUSA stopped offering its own candidate in US presidential elections years ago. Instead, CPUSA has endorsed Democratic Party presidential candidates in every election since 1988, beginning with Michael Dukakis to Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The CPUSA opposes U.S. militarism and supports the Palestinian cause, the Cuban Revolution and more recently the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela — the same corrupt regime that mismanaged and destroyed the Venezuelan economy, and ignores and suppresses the tens of thousands of Venezuelans who protest and march against the government. Way to go, CPUSA!

Unlike Emile Schepers, the Democrats who have gone over to the Communist Party USA at least are honest, as the Democrat Party long ago had morphed into the communist party in all but in name. See:

~Eowyn