Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, and Rick Santorum joined forces today and filed a joint motion with a district court in Virginia, joining Rick Perry’s effort to force the Virginia Board of Elections to put them on the ballot for the state’s March 6 presidential primary.
The candidates are seeking to intervene as plaintiffs in a case filed by Rick Perry for ballot access to the Virginia primary pursuant to an order issued by the court on December 29, 2011.
Here’s a link to the motion.
Tatler Exclusive: DOJ Source Says Texas Attorney General Abbott Is Blowing the State’s Voter ID Defense
Justice Department sources report to Tatler that DOJ lawyers are flabbergasted at the ineptitude of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott on a variety of election related issues. The latest example is yesterday’s Fort Worth Star Telegram story about voter ID. In it, Abbott spokeswoman Lauren Bean says Abbott will defend Voter ID, but only after DOJ objects to the law. The Star Telegram says:
“The Department of Justice’s decision to deny pre-clearance to South Carolina’s Voter ID law is inconsistent with its own previous decisions and flies in the face of U.S. Supreme Court precedent,” Bean said.
The DOJ sources report that Texas seems unaware that the Georgia preclearance was conducted using an old legal standard, no longer in effect. A new standard was passed by Congress in 2006 and Texas’ misplaced reliance on the Georgia Voter ID approval by DOJ is making Texas seem out of touch with the environment they face. They also say there is nothing in Supreme Court rules that are inconsistent with the South Carolina objection, and Texas doesn’t seem to understand that. More from the story:
“The Texas attorney general’s office is prepared to take all necessary legal action to defend the voter ID law enacted by the Texas Legislature,” spokeswoman Lauren Bean said.
The DOJ source reports that “if that were really true, then Abbott would have filed in federal court against us after the South Carolina objection. They have no clue what they are doing and the damage they are doing to Texas Voter ID. They think they can win after an objection. Good luck. They have no idea what is about to happen.”
In this conversation with Roger Simon, Victor Davis Hanson discusses his PJMedia article on race that prompted the Stanford Daily newspaper to demand his ouster from Stanford. He also talks about the difference between elite and middle class notions of what is racist and actual racism. Click on the image to watch.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer talks to Bill Whittle about the illegal immigration problem along the southern border. The border is starting to resemble a war zone. Brewer is outraged about the approach the federal government is taking on border issues. Has the Obama administration surrendered sovereign US territory to illegal immigrants? Will drug cartels take over the United States? Hear what Gov. Brewer has to say.
Whatever you think about Herman Cain’s guilt or innocence regarding sexual harassment, the candidate clearly has his issues when it comes to choosing campaign staff. From Katrina Trinko on The Corner:
On Fox News’ Hannity tonight, Cain chief of staff Mark Block said that Karen Kraushaar — who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment during his time at the NRA – was the mother of a Politico reporter. But while there is a reporter named Josh Kraushaar, he denied on Twitter tonight that he is any relation to Karen Kraushaar. Josh Kraushaar did used to work for Politico, but is now at National Journal.
When Hannity inquired if Block was certain about this, Block replied, “We have confirmed that he does indeed work at Politico and that is his mother, yes.”
We guess it depends on what your definition of “confirmed” is.
Bill Bennett – a man with his own problems, but nonetheless concerned with ethics – has called on Herman Cain to speak up completely and forthrightly on the allegations against him:
Four women are not an insignificant number. One or two anonymous charges, perhaps. Three anonymous charges (where, as I understand the story, Cain knows of at least two of the women) plus one woman who went very public and opened herself up to all manner of investigation are a lot. It is no longer insignificant. Neither is it insignificant that the Cain campaign discounted the charges in the initial stories, saying they were based on anonymous sources, only to make a mockery by blaming other campaigns with less substantiation than the original stories.
If Herman Cain wants to be taken seriously as a public advocate for anything, never mind running for the chief executive and commander in chief of the most powerful and important and blessed country in the world, he needs to give a full press conference dedicated exclusively to this issue and these allegations.
I have watched long enough and held my tongue long enough to give him the benefit of the doubt, but can no longer say this is a witch hunt, “a lynching” to use his word, or any other euphemism. There are allegations out there that matter and they have stacked up. For we who led the charge against Bill Clinton on a number of related issues to continue to blame the media or other campaigns or say it simply doesn’t matter makes us the hypocrites as well.
To paraphrase Steven Den Beste on an earlier mid-century warning on the dangers of statism run amok, Atlas Shrugged: A warning for the rest of us, a user manual for the Obama Administration:
Given the mid-budget production values of the film, I suspect it will play better on the small screen than it did in theaters, but as a both timely and eternal message, it’s well worth checking out on DVD.
Wednesday night, November 2nd, I went to the Occupy Los Angeles Protests in front of City Hall with my flip cam to take footage. At 5:30 PM approximately one thousand of the protesters gathered in the middle of the street and started marching. Mind you, this was at 5:30 PM, rush hour, in Downtown Los Angeles, where the traffic is already atrocious on a regular night. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I wondered how on earth these protesters got a permit to march in the middle of the street during rush hour, blocking traffic and making the drive home for thousands of people even worse. However, as you will see in the video I took, these protesters did not have a permit. They just marched in the street, completely breaking the law. And the most amazing part, the cops did not seem to care. In fact, they were escorting the marchers through the streets of downtown, as thousands of people sat in their cars waiting for these selfish brats to pass by. In fact, to my knowledge, not one single person was arrested. Unbelievable. This got me thinking: Would the city and the police be so accommodating if a tea party rally spontaneously started marching into the streets and obstructing traffic during rush hour? That, of course, is a rhetorical question.
- Sammy Levine (Associate Producer PJTV)
From Atlas Shrugs:
I am on the road but just got word that CAIR thugs intimidated Hyatt Place Houston/Sugar Land into cancelling their event tonight where I was scheduled to speak. Giving tea party organizers little time to find a new venue, the Hyatt Place in Sugarland caved to Islamic pressure yesterday and agreed to enforce the blasphemy law under the sharia. Cowards. Dhimmis.
Free speech, the cornerstone of our constitutional republic, is in serious jeopardy. Under the sharia, criticism of Islam is blasphemy (punishable by death in Muslims countries living under the sharia). This is the death of free speech in the continuing Islamization of America.
Hyatt Place Houston/Sugar Land received a couple of threatening calls and they surrendered to Islamic supremacists without even firing a shot.
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today released the following statement on the release of Gilad Shalit:
“Anita and I rejoice that Gilad Shalit is finally free more than five years after he was captured by Hamas. The perseverance and faith of the Shalit family is a testament to the fortitude of the people of Israel.
“We must remain on our guard against the terrorist enemies who held Gilad for so long, and who may be emboldened by the release of so many prisoners in exchange for him.
“The Palestinians need to condemn the terrorist activities of Hamas, or expect to pay a price in terms of U.S. aid and support for the peace process. It is important for the Obama administration to make the Palestinians understand the importance of rejecting terror and blackmail.”
TOTUS has been stolen! If you are currently in the White House, the sensible thing to do now is run for your very life.
Who are the Other 99%? PJTV went to the Occupy Wall Street protests in Los Angeles and Washington D.C. to talk to protesters and find out what exactly they are protesting. Listen to the demands of socialists, crazies, and people who think American capitalism needs to be destroyed. If this is the 99%, then what does that say about the rest of America? Find out.
“Each American is going to have 1 million dollars and then we’re going to restructure this whole planet.” — Occupy LA Protester
Apple Inc. is poised to sell as many as 4 million units of its new iPhone 4S this weekend as customers around the world clamor for one of the last products developed under Steve Jobs.
The device, available today in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and U.K., is projected to outperform last year’s introduction of the iPhone 4, which topped 1.7 million units in its introductory weekend.
There has been much speculation over who is financing the disparate protest, which has spread to cities across America and lasted nearly four weeks. One name that keeps coming up is investor George Soros, who in September debuted in the top 10 list of wealthiest Americans. Conservative critics contend the movement is a Trojan horse for a secret Soros agenda.
Soros and the protesters deny any connection. But Reuters did find indirect financial links between Soros and Adbusters, an anti-capitalist group in Canada which started the protests with an inventive marketing campaign aimed at sparking an Arab Spring type uprising against Wall Street. Moreover, Soros and the protesters share some ideological ground.
A report in Space Travel, Exploration and Tourism that “Iran failed with space monkey launch” has led to speculation that IRI’s guidance systems have been compromised.
“The Kavoshgar-5 rocket carrying a capsule with a live animal (a monkey) was launched during Shahrivar,” an Iranian calendar month spanning August 23 to September 22, Deputy Science Minister Mohammad Mehdinejad-Nouri was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.
“However, the launch was not publicised as all of its anticipated objectives were not accomplished,” Mehdinejad-Nouri told reporters.
He said the launch of a live animal into space was “strategic, and a priority,” and expressed hope that future launches would attain more of the objectives set.
On October 3, Iran indefinitely postponed plans to send a live monkey into space, without giving any reasons.
Last year, according to multiple reports, a computer virus of unknown provenance named Stuxnet wreaked havoc with Iranian nuclear facilities. Whatever the case, bad luck for the monkey.
From the Perry campaign, after the Dartmouth debate:
HANOVER, N.H. – Gov. Rick Perry this evening reiterated his unmatched job creation record at the Washington Post/Bloomberg Republican Presidential Debate at Dartmouth College.
“Americans want a president with the experience and understanding of how to create jobs and get our nation’s economy back on track,” said Gov. Perry. “I am proud of my work to establish the environment necessary for job creation. I look forward to applying the Texas jobs blueprint to the rest of the country by implementing a predictable tax structure, placing a moratorium on unnecessary regulations, creating a fair legal climate and putting an end to out-of-control government spending.”
During the debate, Gov. Perry shared his record of implementing fiscally conservative policies that have helped Texas lead the nation in job creation. Texas has created more than one million net new jobs under Gov. Perry, and since June of 2009, the state of Texas has been the source of 40 percent of all the jobs created across the nation. In contrast, under President Obama, America has lost 2.5 million jobs.
Gov. Perry emphasized his dedication to implementing low, flat and fair taxes, repealing job-killing regulations, establishing a fair legal climate and restraining government spending in order to get America working again.
Gov. Perry also reiterated his steadfast commitment to repealing Obamacare, the government-mandated healthcare plan President Obama modeled after Mitt Romney’s job-killing and signature accomplishment in Massachusetts. Additionally, while Gov. Perry has presided over the nation’s number one job creating state, Gov. Romney’s Massachusetts ranked 47th in job creation during his term in office.
For information setting the record straight about various statements made during the debate, please visit http://www.rickperry.org/washington-post-bloomberg-debate-recap/, or follow @PerryTruthTeam on Twitter.
For more information about Gov. Rick Perry’s record, presidential campaign and plan to get America working again, please visit: www.rickperry.org.
Charleston, SC – Today, Mitt Romney delivered remarks on U.S. foreign policy at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. The following speech was prepared for delivery:
It’s a great honor to be in South Carolina, where patriotism is a passion that tops even barbeque and football.
And it’s a great honor to be here at the Citadel.
Every great university and college produces future engineers, doctors, lawyers and entrepreneurs. Here at the Citadel, you do all that but you have another specialty – you produce heroes. Over 1400 of your alumni have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere fighting the war against terrorism. And sixteen have paid the ultimate price.
Since 1842, every tyrant, petty thug or great power that threatened America learned that if you wanted to take on America, you were taking on the Citadel. That’s a line of heroes that’s never broken and never will be.
This is a true citadel of American honor, values and courage.
The other day I heard the President say that Americans had gone “soft.” I guess he wasn’t talking about how hard it is for millions of Americans who are trying to get a job or stretch a too small paycheck through the week.
As each of you looks beyond this great institution, to the life before you, I know you face many difficult questions in a world fraught with uncertainty. America is in an economic crisis the likes of which we have never seen in our lifetime. Europe is struggling with the greatest economic crisis since the Cold War, one that calls into question the very definition of the European Union.
Around the world we see tremendous upheaval and change. Our next President will face extraordinary challenges that could alter the destiny of America and, indeed, the future of freedom.
Today, I want you to join me in looking forward. Forward beyond that next Recognition Day, beyond Ring Weekend to four years from today, October 7th, 2015.
What kind of world will we be facing?
Will Iran be a fully activated nuclear weapons state, threatening its neighbors, dominating the world’s oil supply with a stranglehold on the Strait of Hormuz? In the hands of the ayatollahs, a nuclear Iran is nothing less than an existential threat to Israel. Iran’s suicidal fanatics could blackmail the world.
By 2015, will Israel be even more isolated by a hostile international community? Will those who seek Israel’s destruction feel emboldened by American ambivalence? Will Israel have been forced to fight yet another war to protect its citizens and its right to exist?
In Afghanistan, after the United States and NATO have withdrawn all forces, will the Taliban find a path back to power? After over a decade of American sacrifice in treasure and blood, will the country sink back into the medieval terrors of fundamentalist rule and the mullahs again open a sanctuary for terrorists?
Next door, Pakistan awaits the uncertain future, armed with more than 100 nuclear weapons. The danger of a failed Pakistan is difficult to overestimate, fraught with nightmare scenarios: Will a nuclear weapon be in the hands of Islamic Jihadists?
China has made it clear that it intends to be a military and economic superpower. Will her rulers lead their people to a new era of freedom and prosperity or will they go down a darker path, intimidating their neighbors, brushing aside an inferior American Navy in the Pacific, and building a global alliance of authoritarian states?
Russia is at a historic crossroads. Vladimir Putin has called the breakup of the Soviet empire the great tragedy of the 20th Century. Will he try to reverse that tragedy and bludgeon the countries of the former Soviet Union into submission, and intimidate Europe with the levers of its energy resources?
To our South, will the malign socialism of Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, in tight alliance with the malign socialism of Castro’s Cuba, undermine the prospects of democracy in a region thirsting for freedom and stability and prosperity?
Our border with Mexico remains an open sore. Will drug cartels dominate the regions adjoining the United States, with greater and greater violence spilling over into our country? Will we have failed to secure the border and to stem the tide of illegal immigrants? And will drug smugglers and terrorists increasingly make their way into our midst?
This would be a troubling and threatening world for America. But it is not unrealistic. These are only some of the very real dangers that America faces, if we continue with the feckless policies of the past three years.
But of course, it doesn’t have to be this way. This isn’t our destiny, it is a choice. We are a democracy. You decide. In this campaign for President, I will offer a very different vision of America’s role in the world and of America’s destiny.
Our next President will face many difficult and complex foreign policy decisions. Few will be black and white.
But I am here today to tell you that I am guided by one overwhelming conviction and passion: This century must be an American Century. In an American Century, America has the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world. In an American Century, America leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world.
God did not create this country to be a nation of followers. America is not destined to be one of several equally balanced global powers. America must lead the world, or someone else will. Without American leadership, without clarity of American purpose and resolve, the world becomes a far more dangerous place, and liberty and prosperity would surely be among the first casualties.
Let me make this very clear. As President of the United States, I will devote myself to an American Century. And I will never, ever apologize for America.
Some may ask, “Why America? Why should America be any different than scores of other countries around the globe?”
I believe we are an exceptional country with a unique destiny and role in the world. Not exceptional, as the President has derisively said, in the way that the British think Great Britain is exceptional or the Greeks think Greece is exceptional. In Barack Obama’s profoundly mistaken view, there is nothing unique about the United States.
But we are exceptional because we are a nation founded on a precious idea that was birthed in the American Revolution, and propounded by our greatest statesmen, in our fundamental documents. We are a people who threw off the yoke of tyranny and established a government, in Abraham Lincoln’s words, “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
Despite predictions he would be just flash-in-the-pan on the Republican side, Herman Cain’s candidacy continues to gain traction in the latest Pew Poll, which now shows the Georgian in clear second place (18%) just four points behind Mitt Romney (22%) and three ahead of Rick Perry (15%). In this poll Ron Paul appears to be holding firm at 13% with the others trailing in single digits.
A fundraising email from the vice president, subject line: What’s stopping you, right now?
I need to ask you one last thing before tonight’s midnight deadline:
If you know you’re going to donate to this campaign eventually, what’s stopping you from doing it right now?
If you’re going to be a part of history in 2012, it’s time to get off the sidelines.
So, before midnight, will you chip in what you can and say you’re in?
This has never been about Barack and me.
We’re just two guys. It’s folks like you out there who will decide this election.
And what you’re capable of is incredible — if you decide to do it.
P.S. — That deadline also applies to the dinner Barack is having with four supporters. Donate today and you’ll be automatically entered for the chance to be there.
Disturbing post at Big Peace that deserves more attention:
At a time when Senator Lindsey Graham, Admiral Mike Mullen, and many others see the reality of Pakistan’s involvement in aiding enemies like the Haqqani network, very few accept or comprehend the magnitude which Iran plays into this mix supporting Pakistan’s ISI. Yes, Iran supports Pakistan’s ISI and yes, Iranian agents have been known to operate in the region.
Iran has also been a major contributor to the ongoing violence in Iraq. In fact, a great majority of the weapons used against U.S. forces comes directly out of Iran. The Shiite nation patiently awaits the departure of U.S. forces so it can eventually take over.
Not only does Iran support the ISI and patiently awaits U.S. withdrawals in Iraq, they have also supported numerous Shiite and non-Shiite terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, Hezbollah, and Hamas. Since the release of the 9-11 Commission Report, U.S. policy makers have understood Iran’s involvement with terrorism yet very few politicians have been willing to deal with the threat they pose.
Now, Palestinians seek statehood. The Palestinian people have constantly engaged in terrorist activities against Israel and the great majority of their operations have been directly tied to Iran. If the Palestinians get their wish, they will be the little child of Iran.
We can worry about Iran’s nuclear endeavors all we want. The real threat posed by the Shiite terror sponsoring regime stems from its current activities of proxy warfare throughout the Middle East. President Obama, or a newly elected American President, will be forced to deal with Iran. Sanctions will not marginalize Iranian activities so the real question must be asked—how will any American President deal with Iran?
Read the whole thing.
Nationally syndicated talk show host and former Saturday Night Live comedian Dennis Miller has endorsed Herman Cain for the Republican nomination for president.
Miller, who mentioned his support for the Cain campaign on his national radio show, will headline a fundraiser for Cain in Los Angeles and has donated to the campaign, a Cain spokeswoman confirmed.
“I’d like to thank [Miller] for his support,” Cain said in a statement on his campaign Twitter feed. “I look forward to working with him as we continue our journey to the White House!”
Miller has been supportive of Cain for months–his website directed readers to the Georgia businessman’s campaign site in July–but had not formally endorsed him until today.
Miller has come up with the slogan of the campaign for the Georgia businessman if he were to run against Obama: “Cain Versus Not Able.”
Are Ron Paul libertarians tolerant conservatives, or just people who want to legalize everything, thus inviting big government to clean up the mess? Find out what AlfonZo Rachel thinks.
PJ CEO Roger Simon interviewed former Vice President Dick Cheney this week, about a range of topics including the Palestinians’ moves in the UN and the overall Middle East peace process. Roger kicks off this preview with a quote from Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s speech on the subject earlier this week, to get the former vice president’s reaction to it.
The full and fascinating interview with former Vice President Dick Cheney will be available on PJTV.
PJTV Exclusive: Roger Simon Talks with Rick Perry Adviser Dave Carney About the Governor’s Stance on Social Security
Is Social Security a Ponzi scheme? Rick Perry adviser, Dave Carney, discusses the status of entitlement programs and the trickery employed by the political elite to make these programs appear under control. What does Carney think about global warming? Find out as Roger L. Simon catches up with Carney at the Reagan Library following the GOP debate.
Click the image to head over to PJTV and play.
Ed Rollins was recently moved to a “Yoda” advisory role in the Bachmann campaign, but he is still clearly her fierce advocate. Tony Katz caught up with Rollins in the post-debate spin room.
PJTV’s Tony Katz catches up with the man many consider to have won Thursday’s Iowa debate, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Tony asks Gingrich about “bureaucratic socialism,” which he uses to describe President Obama’s behavior in using the federal regulatory state to impose Washington’s will on Americans at every level.
Tony’s interview with Speaker Gingrich is also up on PJTV.
Who does Iowa blogger and insider Craig Robinson think will win today’s Ames Straw Poll? Tony Katz finds out.
Tony’s interview with Craig Robinson is also up on PJTV.
PJTV’s Tony Katz catches up with pollster Frank Luntz at the Iowa State Fair, site of today’s Iowa Straw Poll. Luntz addresses Newt Gingrich’s combative stance against the media during Thursday’s debate, and whether the straw poll itself is a reliable gauge of a candidate’s support in the GOP race.
Tony’s interview with Frank Luntz is also on PJTV.
PJTV’s Tony Katz catches up with Fox News anchor Brett Baier, and asks him about his thoughts on how the GOP debate in Iowa went. Who does Brett Baier think won the debate? He gives a very even-handed answer, as you can find out by watching.
Tony’s interview with Brett Baier is also on PJTV.
Oftentimes, interests know an effective way to win public support on Capitol Hill is to demonize a particular group or industry. Invariably what happens in this most cynical of processes is that the public is left with caricatures or impersonal abstractions of the debated subject.
Put simply, we’re left with oversimplifications when it comes to complicated policies that will affect the lives of millions of Americans.
In the debate over a new regulation known as the “gainful employment” rule, which singles out private sector colleges and universities with burdensome new restrictions on financial aid, it seems that nobody has stopped and considered the qualities of these institutions that have attracted so many degree seekers in the first place.
For example, one of the most valuable aspects of Herzing University is our online degree program. Corporate Report Wisconsin magazine recently named Herzing University Online the “Best School for Online Education,” winning the prestigious Platinum Award, part of the magazine’s annual Best of Wisconsin reader’s choice awards.
These online degree programs allow working adults or parents to attain a degree without forfeiting their ability to work day jobs or care for children. It allows flexibility that few college degree programs offer, because we know how difficult it can be to balance work, family and course work.
And in these difficult times, those who are employed know how fortunate they are to have a job. With online degree programs provided by private sector schools like Herzing, these nontraditional students don’t have to make the difficult choice between keeping their current job and advancing their skills – they can work, provide for their families and earn a degree.
Another aspect of private sector schools and universities that has gotten lost in the oversimplified debate surrounding the “gainful employment” rule is the family environment and nurturing structure of our programs. For example, our focus at Herzing of “Employment from Day One” encourages students right at the beginning and throughout their educational program to consider the kind of career they will want and even where they would like to work. Their employment goals are supported by the advice and guidance of a fulltime staff of 28 professionals, many more than at a typical public academic institution of the same size, but typical of private sector schools. And to sharpen students’ interviewing and job seeking seeks, each student is required to enroll in and successfully complete a Career Development Seminar.
As a result, the success rate for these online programs at Herzing has been overwhelmingly positive, with six out of seven available graduates from 2010 finding jobs in their particular field of study. Part of the reason for this success is the specialized programs we offer. When there is a void in higher education training for a particular job sector, we take pride in making a niche out of that specialty area and then providing students then the expertise that is needed. To ensure our educational programs are up to the task, like most private sector colleges, we have curriculum advisory committees composed of practitioners who know the skills employers want.
At the same time we want to support the many communities we serve by strongly promoting community service It gives our students a chance to volunteer, reach out and give back to their communities by utilizing their own various talents. As a result, the students gain the pride of helping individuals with health issues, assisting in fund raisers or developing better computer skills for community service.
One of the driving forces behind the industry-specific programs at Herzing and other similar private sector schools is the idea that these programs represent the future of higher education inAmerica. This sort of flexible, family-oriented, career-focused atmosphere is not just good for our students; it is good for a strong 21st Century American workforce.
These are the programs and success stories that will be hit hardest by unnecessary regulations coming out of Washington. If we are to continue to be a world leader, we must ensureAmerica has a broad and flexible approach to higher education as it directly impacts our ability to compete in a global marketplace. I am proud to have founded an institution that is training our citizens and helping them obtain the skills to drive our economy in a new, technological era.
Henry G. Herzing is the chancellor and founder of Herzing University.
The Workforce Fairness Institute has sent the following letter to the National Labor Relations Board today:
August 8, 2011Wilma B. Liebman Chairwoman National Labor Relations Board 1099 14th Street, NW, DC20570-1000
Docket ID: NLRB-2011-0002 Agency: NLRB RIN: 3142-AA08
Dear Chairwoman Liebman,
The Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI) is an organization committed to educating workers, their employers and ordinary citizens on important issues affecting the workplace.
We respectfully submit this comment in opposition to the National Labor Relations Board’s (the Board or NLRB) proposed rule, published in the Federal Register on June 22, 2011, which would, if implemented, dramatically change the Board’s representative case law and procedures.
At a time of near double-digit unemployment and increasing economic anxiety, the proposed rule would further undermine business confidence in the ability of the NLRB to deal fairly and neutrally on issues involving labor and management. It represents a sweeping change in Board law and procedures, which would tip the election process decidedly against legitimate employer interests adding to a regulatory climate that will discourage domestic business investment.
The Board’s proposal shortens the period of time from a petition to an election from a current median number of 38 days, with 95% of all elections taking place within 56 days, to as little 10 to 14 days. It flips the nature of the pre-election hearing, moves to after the election the resolution of most pre-election issues, and changes the Board’s standard of review for post-election challenges and objections from a de novo review of the record to a discretionary standard based on compelling circumstances. Currently, representation elections generally occur within five to seven weeks of a petition’s filing and unions win nearly 68 percent of them. By all indications, the Board’s election process that has been in place for decades under both Republican and Democratic Administrations has worked exceptionally well. This raises the question: Why is there a sudden need for such sweeping changes? The majority’s proposal makes no effort to establish a predicate for it.
While the Board cites election delay as the motivation for the proposal, it never defines when a reasonable period of time between a petition and an election ends and delay begins. The Board fails to cite cases where unacceptable delays have occurred and the reasons for them. Since delays occurs in a relatively small number of election cases, it is difficult to avoid concluding that the proposal is a rushed effort to achieve a result long favored by organized labor, but without regard for workers’ and their employers’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act (Act).
The election rule, if implemented in its current form, will stifle, if not eviscerate, the ability of an employer to express its views on unionization and the right of employees to hear those views and make an informed choice. In many instances, the only story the employee will have heard is the union story. While that may be perceived by the current Board as promoting collective bargaining, it does so at the expense of workplace democracy.
The decision whether to be unionize, however, is one of the most important workplace decisions a worker will make in his or her time on the job. As a result, when workers vote for union representation, the election should be preceded by a full and fair exchange of information on the issue from the union, the employer, fellow employees and others. The NLRB’s current pre-election period allows for such an exchange, for the “robust debate” on the issues dividing labor and management that Congress intended. The proposed rule does not.
It would be considered undemocratic if in a political election only one party was given the opportunity – or the predominant opportunity – to speak with voters and the ability to set an election date only days away without prior notice to the other side. Shouldn’t the same principles that guide our political democracy guide the workplace democracy that is guaranteed workers under the Act?
The proposed rule gives union bosses who are familiar with Board law and procedures an unlimited amount of time to organize and prepare for an election, while it gives small businesses mere days to respond. The employer, who may never have heard of the NLRB much less be familiar with some of the Board’s arcane election law principles, will have seven days to prepare for an adversarial hearing. The result, as pointed out by Board Member Brian Hayes in his dissent, is likely to deprive smaller employers of legal representation and due process.
The Board has long favored the informal resolution of labor and management disputes. The NLRB’s current election procedures reflect that preference; they foster the informal resolution of pre-election disputes. Last year, this resulted in 92% of all elections proceeding on the basis of pre-election agreements. The proposed rule threatens to undermine this success, while imposing on employers a rigid obligation to identify all pre-election issues in a maximum time of seven days of the petition’s filing. And at the pre-election hearing, the employer, not the Board’s agent, will be responsible for developing a full record. To suggest that this new procedure is analogous to the summary judgment procedures of the Federal Rubles of Civil Procedure ignores the time and the discovery available under those rules and smacks of either antipathy, or a stunning lack of sensitivity, for all that is involved in operating a financially successful enterprise.
The Board’s current election procedures are logical and uncomplicated. The proposed rule is not. Leaving until after the election the resolution of issues some of which will determine whether the election should have taken place to begin with will be a waste of the Board’s and the parties’ time and financial resources. Similarly, leaving until after the election the determination of a voter’s supervisory status will result in additional elections being set aside or, at least being contested for alleged coercive supervisory conduct. A similar result will follow leaving eligibility issues involving up to 20% of the electorate until after the election. A large number of Board elections are decided by a narrow margin of voters. With all of these uncertainties left without a final resolution, it is fundamentally unfair to impose on the employer the risk that if he or she contests the election result, they imperil normal business operations.
It seems clear from the witnesses who testified at the Board’s public hearing, which concluded with Professor Kate Brofenbrenner, that the NLRB is of the view that employer unfair labor practices necessitate a shortened period of time between a petition and an election. There is simply no reliable evidence, however, to support that conclusion or that workers are rejecting unionization because of employer intimidation or other illegal activities. Brofenbrenner is well-known for her research which overstates beyond credulity employer threats of plant closings during a union organizing campaign. A former union organizer herself, Brofenbrenner based her conclusions on the anecdotal information she received from fellow union organizers. She apparently avoided management interviews believing they would be less reliable. The study she and Professor Dorian Warren testified about during the Board’s July 19 hearing references Bronfenbrenner’s flawed prior research and bases its additional conclusions on union charges filed, not unlawful labor practices found, much less complaints issued. Since roughly 65% of all charges are dismissed after an investigation as being without merit, the study’s conclusions are invalid. The report reveals in one column of Table 1 that only 25% of the charges resulted in unfair labor practice findings, but makes no effort to adjust its conclusions for that fact. In addition, there is no evidence that the elections studied constituted a representative sample. The charges studied were filed in connection with 154 elections conducted in 2003. These elections were taken from a universe of 558 elections held over a four year period, which were selected based on undisclosed criteria from a universe of 1000 randomly selected elections.Simply put, employer unfair labor practices do not skew election results against the union as has been alleged by a few of the speakers. Instead, when workers reject unionization in a secret ballot election it is because they have weighed the pros and cons of unionization and have determined it is not in their own best interests. Having an adequate period of time between a petition and an election gives workers a fair opportunity they make that determination.
We take strong issue with the proposed rule’s Excelsior List revisions that require employers to provide labor bosses with proprietary employee contact information such as personal e-mail addresses and telephone numbers. This information, to the extent it is provided, is generally given to the employer in confidence to be used in the event of an emergency. The employee has a right to have this information kept private unless the employee expressly agrees otherwise.
Once again, we want to emphasize, beyond the immediate negative consequences on the principles of workplace democracy, the “quickie” elections being proposed will place additional costs and burdens on small business owners who lack the resources and legal expertise to navigate and fully comprehend the Board’s election processes. In this struggling economy, the Board should avoid making sweeping regulatory changes that will put this critical element of our economy further at risk. The proposed changes in the Board’s election law and procedures will result in more unemployment as scarce business dollars will be used to comply with its new and complex requirements.
We urge the Board to reconsider this proposal and the haste with which it is pursuing it. While we recognize that a Board majority is expected to reflect, to some degree, the policy preferences of the President who appointed its members, to sweep aside decades of Board election law and procedures in this fashion for the perceived benefit of organized labor undermines the agency’s legitimacy as a neutral instrument of government charged with promoting stable labor-management relations.
Sincerely,Fred Wszolek Workforce Fairness Institute
The Brian A. Terry Memorial Act – HR 2668 – will honor the service and sacrifice of fallen Border Patrol Agent Terry, who died protecting Americans and securing the border on December 15, 2010. Semper Fidelis & Honor First.
The Border Patrol station in Bisbee, Ariz., will be renamed to honor the memory of agent Brian Terry who died December 15, 2010 after being shot in the line of duty. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, introduced the bill in the House of Representatives July 27.
Read more here.
Two of the Right’s smartest, together in St. Louis. Dana weighs in on the debt ceiling fight and what Speaker Boehner should have done, and on President Obama’s asinine twitter spam campaign.