Infuriating Washington Politics; NUHW Victory at Kaiser; Hope for Obama; More on Massachusetts …

by on January 28, 2010

To the Editor:

I hate to say this, but I think that George W. Bush had more effective control over Congress than Obama does. Bush would have NEVER let his agenda (domestic or foreign) get filibustered. Obama needs to be more like Dubya when it comes to our healthcare, or lack thereof.

Kevin Bard
San Francisco

Dear Paul:

Thanks for all you are doing. You inspire me to hang in there. I am distraught by the way the Obama Administration has blown 2009, and are well on to wrecking 2010 and November. I thought the whole fucking awful Primary battle with Hill/Bill was to rid ourselves of the 90’s Clintonistas and their ilk. To wrestle control of the Party away from them.

Nope. Barack from day one just loaded up on their ilk. He is paying the price now. He is now just an average Dem President. When – when we HAD to have an FDR type moment – he punted. We just have to elect better Democrats – that is the Daily Kos mantra and has been a long while and that it would take nearly a decade starting with 2006 to accomplish. Barack though taking a chapter out of the Clintons book called “How to Kick the Progressives to the Curb” has been most devastating. I’m already sick of Barack’s constant “every-day” public pontifications. All Yak and not much Do. Not on the scale that is needed nor to keep the Republicans down. They can smell blood in the water right now. Barack and Company will reap what they’ve sown.

Austin McDonough
Oakland, CA

To the Editor:

Many Public sector chapters in SEIU would like to go with NUHW. NUHW is what SEIU once was, a union that was Member Driven. A Union that believed in Democracy. SEIU is a good lesson of what happens when the top becomes so big that they believe their own lies. SEIU has had to lie to the members and raise their Dues in order to continue the fight against NUHW. SEIU is using Eastern Local’s dues monies to fight NUHW in California. I think that what is happening in California will spread through-out the country. “POWER TO THE PEOPLE.”

Harry Gamotan
Salinas, California

To the Editor:

I could hardly wait to get up this morning to check the LA Kaiser Hospital election results in BeyondChron. I was downright exuberant with the Kaiser workers and the NUHW leaders and organizers over the tremendous victory. That overwhelming win was rightly attributed to the profound commitment and conscientious organizing by the rank-and-file leaders and members themselves (not to minimize the crucial role of the Union leaders and organizers, of course.)

That reality reflects what I experienced in the early 90s when I worked here in San Francisco as a union organizer for the Health Care Workers Union (Local 250): That union, under Sal Rosselli’s visionary leadership, was a strong democratic union, one in which the members always played a vital role in decision making, To this day, nothing has changed in that regard. Congratulations to all around. And now, forward to many more such victories!

Forever in solidarity,

Sister Bernie Galvin, cdp
San Francisco

To the Editor:

As a refugee from the trusteed UHW, I am not at all surprised that the NUHW is beginning to clean SEIU’s clock regularly now that they have carved out a base, and once given “permission” to vote by the NLRB, tens of thousands of workers will become part of the wave. The IU is running out of staff from around the country to throw into the grinder, and some of the rank and file is getting hot about dumping their dues and staff on Andy’s Adventures.

A perfect storm is brewing for the purple plague: As the NLRB runs out of reasons to collaborate with SEIU to block dozens of elections, the flood of losses will be growing while their Ralph Kramden scheme to take over UNITE HERE will go belly up and peter out as it wreaks whatever havoc they can manage going down. Meanwhile, the bosses can go from a focus on burying EFCA to an opening to take the offensive with fresh meat on “Union corruption and twisted democracy” supplied on a platter by the former boy wonder of Labor.

As the author noted, just the base of his handpicked SoCal team, entrusted by him to protect and defend the rights of over a hundred thousand workers (Flim Flam Freeman and Annelle Grajeda in LA and now former Corporate lawyer Sharon Frances-Moore in San Diego) has been removed (or “resigned”) and are under investigation for grotesque corruption and/or anti-democratic practices that would make the cast of On the Waterfront proud — and no one with a working brain thinks Stern could be shocked, shocked about real Trouble in River City after countless reports from members, leaders and even his own IU staff.

Stern is now a dilettante who became infatuated with his “rocket age” ideas and persona (which consequently diminished his desire and capacity for critical evaluation) which were once cutting edge bold yet practical and ethical. Like too many other great minds with potential, he got lost in his own ego, masked as a vision of the greater good, leading inevitably to contracting his circle of trusted advisers and valuing loyalty more than even basic competence.

More importantly, fight backs by NUHW, UNITE HERE, other Unions and allies of Labor will force a change in the movement, albeit at a pace more slowly than had SEIU not gone plumb loco and forgotten every one of their former principles. While for now they wade neck deep (with awesome powers of denial) into the Big Muddy, even the biggest gator in the swamp faces his day of reckoning — and that right soon.

Mike Wilzoch
Aurora, CO

Dear Rochelle:

Thanks for not giving up on OUR PRESIDENT. After all, everything did not happen over night that has brought us to the state that we are in — and surely it will not end over night. Sure statement have been made by the President what he wanted to happen, I think that it was naive on his part but not in his heart. Good thing is going to happen, but if we all pull together and stop blaming each party – Each of us have a part in making a hold body, and we can help. My heart goes out to the people in Haiti – I have given my monies and I know it will/can be rebuilt. Let us all pray.

Bobbie Earsey
San Francisco

To the Editor:

During the presidential election, Obama won Massachusetts with 68 percent of the votes. Yet, enough Massachusetts Democrats and Independents, who I imagine are mostly moderate to progressive, cut off their noses to spite their face by voting for Scott Brown. Now Massachusetts citizens — and the rest of the country — have a Senator to the right of his own party. Guess how much progressive legislation will be passed without a filibuster-proof Senate? Talk about voting against your own self interest to make a point. Way to go Massachusetts. (And I was born in Worcester, Mass.)

Ralph E. Stone
San Francisco

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