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Ear to the Ground

Democrats as Big Brother?

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Posted on Oct 8, 2008

(The Secret Money blog is a joint project of the Center for Investigative Reporting and National Public Radio.)

The National Federation for Independent Business calls itself “the nation’s leading small business association.” It’s also a lobbying powerhouse with an emphatically pro-Republican political action committee.

The NFIB is spending nearly $1 million on TV advertising pounding Democratic Senate candidates in Minnesota and Maine for supporting legislation that would make it easier for workers to unionize. Opponents of the bill say it will take away secret ballots in union elections.

The ads portray Al Franken in Minnesota and Tom Allen of Maine as backing Big Brother-style surveillance of American workers. An undercover agent with a walkie-talkie and a control room with multiple video cameras monitor an ordinary worker entering his workplace. Each ad cites labor contributions to the candidate and concludes, “Give him enough money and American freedoms go right out the window.”

NFIB also placed newspaper advertisements opposing the candidates. And it has helped lead and fund the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, which also ran ads against Allen and Franken with the same theme.

Business associations tend to veer conservative, but NFIB has especially strong Republican credentials. ...

The association’s executive VP for political affairs, Dan Danner, served in the Reagan Administration. Its head of lobbying, Susan Eckerly, served in the Labor Deptartment under the first President Bush and worked at the conservative organizations Citizens for a Sound Economy and the Heritage Foundation. NFIB’s chief of staff, its VP for political affairs and the director of the association’s legal foundation all worked for Republican senators.

NFIB’s political action committee gives the vast majority of its money to Republicans, according to OpenSecrets.org.

On the other hand, NFIB has also teamed up with organized labor for the Divided We Fail coalition, which is running the TV ad below, bringing attention to health care costs. The coalition advocates an end to partisan gridlock. Go figure.

—By Will Evans, Center for Investigative Reporting.

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By Edward Obeda, October 10, 2008 at 6:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Your artical ” Purple Girl” hit it right on the spot. It is about time some Americans are telling the truth about who is running this country and stealing from it. Let’s put some of those bastards in jail instead of giving them a bailout. I would go all the way to the top and they should not get a hotel stay at our expence. Put them in the cells with the terriost that they created. Maybe if they were treated like the rest of us, they would wake up and stop cheating for fear of answering to their crimes.

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By KDelphi, October 9, 2008 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment

The people giveth ( the Union)

The neo-cons taketh away.

You can actually trace the death of Unions in the US (we dont really have any strong ones now), to a direct, but slow, decline in the middle class.

Like the proverbial “frog in heating water”, the upper and upper middle classes, sat and waited until it hit them—the stock mkt.

The average person has been “down” for years.

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By P. T., October 8, 2008 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment

Capitalists think they should be Big Brother.  And they think workers are overpaid.

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Purple Girl's avatar

By Purple Girl, October 8, 2008 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment

This attempt to deflect accurate assessmentof their Intentions is nothing new.
So they ‘team up’ with ‘Divide We Fail’, they have an ‘escape hatch’ if their covert UnAmerican operation to undermine OUR Right to ‘Life Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness’ is ever Realized.
What has Unions given to this Country..the Middle Class.
Has there been some Graft in the History of the union movement- Yes, I Knew Hoffa’s ‘EnForcer’- scary man even at 84! Has there been skimming and dirty deals -YES, but that can be easily rectified if the Rank and file Demand Transparency and actually take an active role in their Locals Again. But after 30 yrs of Stagnate or diminishing Jobs,Wages, Benny’s.. Enthusiasm is a Bit Low.
What the Unions did was as much a Declaration of Independence and Self governance as the American Revolution.That was when we broke the distinct possiblity we could return to a 2 Class Cast System, as under an English Monarchy. Workers built the Big 3 (industry) and UNIONS, not the Big 3, Built US.
What’s the benefit of a Union Worker..First and foremost they set the bar for Workers Rights and Compensation-Union & Non Unin alike. If Unions did not demand a Just pay for skilled work, then all those not in a Union would have No Bar to compare with or bargin for.
Second, Union Should always indicate the Best of the best in quality work,‘More Bang for Your Buck’ ..won’t need to ‘Shovel Shit twice’ on screw-ups and errors. This is an area Unions need to be more proactive about..Every Rank & file member is the Face of Your union/product/Company/future… To assure the Company remains viable and Profitable (Thus You all keep Your Jobs) all should be working with that Prime Directive in mind
Unions workers also afford college for the next generation and made it a Middle Class Standard. Only the Wealthy could afford to send their children to College Before the upsurge in the Middle Class. So Instead of just providing ‘Replacemnt workers’ for themselves they once again Raised the Bar with Education, thus Innovation.
Unions are also a community which provides support and inclusiveness where it may be lacking in this ‘Nuclear Family’ modern isolation .
And then of course we can not diminish how unions, by creating a middle class, inspired people to expect more from themselves, their countries and their dreams all Around the World.the Mexicans are Not ‘Stealing Our Jobs’ the Corps are undercutting US with the Mexicans ( used to be the Irish, or the Asian, or the Italian..flavor of the Decade- Mexicans.)Same Shit Different Scapegoat Culture.And Even funnier is the FACT the Majority of the work they are ‘Taking’ is Agriculture- Did you really aspire to shovel shit or pick artichokes? It is a disservice to our immigrant ancestors (Some of Mine were called WOPs) when ever we fail to offer a helping hand up to any other ‘Tired,Poor’ immigrant ...‘yearning to be Free’
Both Grandfathers Worked for one of the Big 3, One was a coalminer prior to that…I would never spit on their graves, disregard their sacrifics and dishonor their memory by EVER Failing to Support any Person’s, let alone American’s, Right to Unionize!
This Group hiding behind a Facade of a ‘DoubleSpeak’ title is Working for a Corp Ideal of a Renessance of the 2 Cast System, except their Fifdoms ‘Royal Houses’ will be followed by Inc.That Sounds Pretty Damn UNAMERICAN TOO ME!!

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