Arnold and the State Budget; SEIU and UNITE-HERE Fight …

by on July 10, 2009

To the Editor:

Schwarzenegger and the rest of the GOP in California have said “it’s my way, or else.” They see this as a chance to destroy programs they don’t like, and if it destroys the state or impoverishes people they could care less. The idiots who live here bear a large share of the blame for recalling Gray Davis and approving programs (like prop 13) that have taken revenue from the state. The Republicans do not care about people, the state, or the country, only the party.

Michael Jones

To the Editor:

I too was extremely upset with the SF Chronicle’s view of the state budget problems. So what do we do? I noticed the article directly underneath Carla Marinucci’s was about the letter that 300 of UC’s top scientists have written to legislative leaders, explaining that the proposed cuts to the UC system would have devastating effects to the future California economy. We also need to take this kind of action. What do you suggest?

Norman Degelman

To the Editor:

This is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s corporate end game. He’s literally demanding “statutory relief” — meaning the legislative repeal of environmental and worker protections — in exchange for basic decency and dignity in the state budget.

His biggest beef is “waste, fraud, and abuse” for in-home health services for the disabled and terminally ill, even as he insists that Big Oil shall pay no tax for the privilege of extracting oil and gas from the land and water in the State of California.

Most Democrats, however, haven’t really done much better. Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico urged them to discard Schwarzenegger’s budget and send him their own, so as to negotiate from strength, offensively rather than defensively, but they wouldn’t do it.

Torrico explained why, procedurally, they could have discarded Scwarzenegger’s budget and sent him their own this year. I asked Torrico why and he said he didn’t know, but I think it’s safe to say they didn’t have the vision or conviction.

A Democratic offense rather than defense on the budget might have demanded widespread cuts in corporate welfare, built into all the “public private partnerships,” and huge subsidies to the state’s enormously wealthy utility monopolies, PG&E and SoCal Edison, proferred by the Caliornia Public Utilities Commission (PG&E).

Raising revenues without budget cuts is so unpopular with voters, no matter how hard they’re being hit, that the Democrats should have launched a real offensive against real fraud and abuse in the state budget, at the same time that they proposed new budget cuts like an oil and gas severance tax.

Ann Garrison
San Francisco

To the Editor:

Thank you, Randy Shaw for publishing and responding to The Nation‘s cowardly rationalizations for its refusal to expose and confront the Andy Stern regime at the scandal-plagued SEIU, and for providing the link to the Stephen Greenhouse article in the New York Times. Who would have imagined that the New York Times would outdo The Nation in covering this story?

While it certainly has an owner, its own advertisements tout the magazine’s independence with the claim that “nobody owns The Nation.” Maybe by continuing to shine a light on The Nation, we can nudge it to step up and speak out, and show that it is not ‘owned’ by SEIU.

Charlie Ridgell

Dear Randy Shaw:

And you aren’t a “partisan” in the SEIU conflict? Please. Your bias to the HERE/NUHW side is so very obvious.

This point: “Memo to Professor Freeman: had SEIU not told Bruce Raynor it would fully back his effort to have the former UNITE secede from UNITE HERE, this “dispute” would have remained an internal matter, with the constitutional and democratic processes of UNITE HERE controlling the process.

This is completely false and shows your totally partisan position. Do you actually think that a union leader like Bruce would have given up and let Wilhelm and all take total control of the union? Never.

This is what I don’t get about your side — your contention that the UNITE side should have given in. I don’t get it. Luckily, I don’t think too many folks are reading this just the NUHW nuts and folks like me who are super depressed that this whole movement is eating itself alive.

I blame all actors about evenly, have friends on all sides and have left to work for a different union. I wish you were writing stuff that would help bring this thing to some kind of close, Wilhelm’s refusal to
negotiate a close to this is totally nuts.

Nick Rudikoff

Randy, maybe you should pay more attention to serving working people of Northern California instead of obsessing on Andy Stern. Your stories are like a small child having a temper tantrum. It’s quite embarrassing to read, you are so obviously twisting the truth. Maybe it’s just HERE your frantic about. That would explain your wild rants, maybe you’ve been pink sheeted, who pays you anyway?

Rose Morono
Just Curious in Wisconsin

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