So who owns the governor of Illinois?
Earlier today, we reported on the developing pay-for-play scandal involving humiliated Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich which allegedly involved offer the SEIU the power to name Barack Obama's replacement as Senator in return for a cushy job with the SEIU's Change to Win coalition or a new SEIU-funded lobby group.I guess organizing labor is no longer enough for the unions. It appears that they are organizing government as well.
One news source indicated the SEIU official mentioned in the indictment was none other than SEIU president Andrew Stern. But NPR reports that the official involved was one step down from Stern -- Tom Balanoff, the union's Illinois chief
Our research today indicates that Andy Stern's SEIU has been Blagojevich's biggest financial backer for years. According go the Illinois Sunshine Database, the SEIU Illinois Council PAC was the governor's top contributor in his re-election effort, giving $908,382 in the 2005-2006 cycle. That same cycle, PACs for the Laborers and Teamsters unions, also Change to Win partners, were also among Blagojevich's top 15 contributors.
The relationship between Blagojevich and the SEIU's political fundraising arms go back years. In his first gubernatorial election in 2002, the SEIU PEA International gave his campaign $821,294, making the PAC his second largest contributor that cycle (the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had contributed $900,000 to the then-Congressman).
And the SEIU is not the only labor union trying to organize government. The auto unions are right in there. Except they have their sites set higher than a mere State. They are going after the Feds.
DETROIT (AP) -- Festering animosity between the United Auto Workers and Southern senators who torpedoed the auto industry bailout bill erupted into full-fledged name calling Friday as union officials accused the lawmakers of trying to break the union on behalf of foreign automakers.Not so fast. Was it really the Republicans who torpedoed the bill? I don't think so.
The vitriol had been near the surface for weeks as senators from states that house the transplant automakers' factories criticized the Detroit Three for management miscues and bloated UAW labor costs that lawmakers said make them uncompetitive.
But the UAW stopped biting its tongue after Republicans sank a House-passed bill Thursday night that would have loaned $14 billion to cash-poor General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC to keep them out of bankruptcy protection. The Bush administration later stepped in and said it was ready to make money available to the automakers, likely from the $700 billion Wall Street bailout program.
Nancy Pelosi says that Senate Republicans were "irresponsible" for opposing the auto bailout, which failed on a cloture vote last night 52 to 35.Me? I blame the unions. If they had only bought 8 more Senators they could have gotten the legislation they wanted.Senate Republicans’ refusal to support the bipartisan legislation passed by the House and negotiated in good faith with the White House, the Senate and the automakers is irresponsible, especially at a time of economic hardship. The consequences of the Senate Republicans’ failure to act could be devastating to our economy, detrimental to workers, and destructive to the American automobile industryThe problem with Pelosi's statement is that 10 Republican Senators voted with the Democrats last night, which means the Democrats could have reached 60 votes if the entire Democratic caucus voted for the bill.
But eight Democrats bailed on the bailout (Reid, it should be noted, voted against it for procedural reasons, in order to bring it up for a vote again).
Four Democrats voted 'nay': Baucus, Tester, Lincoln, and Reid.
Four Democrats did not vote: Biden, Kennedy, Kerry, and Wyden.
(And, of course, the Democrats would have another member right now if Blagojevich had sold that Senate seat before he was busted.)
Does Pelosi think that these Democrats, who had the ability to pass the bailout, are "irresponsible," too? And, for that matter, why didn't she simply call them "unpatriotic"? Isn't bailing out the auto industry a better indicator of your love of country than bailing out Wall Street?
What is a matter with those unions? Don't they believe in investing in America?
H/T Anthony Riedel Deputy Legal Information Director, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation via e-mail and Instapundit
Cross Posted at Classical Values