posted at 9:21 am on April 22, 2014 by Mike Antonucci
My apologies if this ends up sounding like a dispatch from some war-torn Third World country, but it really is a tale from southeastern Maryland.
The elected officers and members of the board of directors of the Wicomico County Education Association (WCEA) scheduled a rank-and-file vote for the 1,000-member local union to end its affiliation with the Maryland State Education Association and the National Education Association. The issues were the usual ones in such cases – the local officers felt an awful lot of dues money was going up the line to the parent unions in exchange for not much in services for the local. After last week’s events, that vote – scheduled for April 28 and 29 – is very much up in the air.
Upset by the actions of WCEA’s board, Gary Hammer, a union site representative at Bennett Middle School, began circulating petitions to recall all the WCEA officers and members of the board, and to suspend them from office until the recall took place. Hammer and his supporters claim to have gathered 700 signatures, which would constitute a majority of the bargaining unit.
Last Tuesday, Hammer and others “entered the WCEA offices, changed the locks and codes, removed or altered office equipment and purported to illegally fire the Association’s only employee.” According to WCEA president Kelly Stephenson, “These actions were not taken in accordance with the governing documents of WCEA or in accordance with the law.”
Stephenson insists the disaffiliation vote will go on as scheduled.
As any good coup plotters would, Hammer and his associates seized the radio station, er, union web page. They have posted this message while deleting much of the site’s previous content:
On April 15 a majority of the members of the Wicomico County Education Association stood together and took necessary steps to prevent a small minority of members from dismantling the union with attempts to disaffiliate from our state and national Associations. The members have spoken and have declared that we are stronger together, and the support we have from the Maryland State Education and National Education Association adds to that strength. We have collected the necessary signatures to recall the officers of WCEA and have put an interim board of managers in place, effective immediately. This board will assume day to day operations of the Association and will move to conduct an election of a new slate of officers. These actions clearly reflect the wishes of the majority of our members who are anxious to move forward and who remain committed to giving Wicomico County’s public school students the excellent instruction and service they deserve.
It seems almost beside the point to note that there is no provision in WCEA’s by-laws to remove the union’s entire elected leadership with a single petition whose signatures have not been verified by any independent authority. Nor is there any provision for the summary displacement of elected officers by an unelected “board of managers.” Nor have the charges contained in the recall petition been examined to see if they meet the recall requirements set out in the by-laws.
It is beside the point because the legality of such actions becomes secondary once you have succeeded in pulling them off. The American Federation of Teachers has turned into an art the recapture of rogue locals, with one such incident being declared illegal by the U.S. Department of Labor, and moot at the same time. A similar disaffiliation vote will take place next month in Modesto, California, though the California Teachers Association does seems to regard it as a legitimate election.
A legal battle will almost certainly arise out of this, but if the WCEA officers want to retain office, they had best respond to the coup’s tactics in like manner.
This is just another, among many, example of thuggish behavior by unions. This time it is the unions sending union goons against their own members to oust legally elected officers and Board members. It matters not that the actions of the state and national unions were illegal. If the local union doesn’t act quickly, it will become moot. The national unions have the force and assistance of the NRLB behind them.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is all in a twitter. Those nasty Republicans are planning on cutting taxes and he’s vowed to veto the bill if it arrives on his desk. He’s so upset that he and his budget director will tour the state today to announce his response against those evil Republicans who want to cut taxes.
From PoliticMO Newsletter, April 22, 2014:
NIXON’S NEW TAX MESSAGE — A FATAL LAW. Gov. Jay Nixon dispatched his legal counsel and budget director to carry a new line on monday that Senate Bill 509 carries a fatal flaw that could cost the state billions. The issue is with Line 43 on Page 2, which reads, “The bracket for income subject to the top rate of tax shall be eliminated once the top rate of tax has been reduced to five and one-half percent.” Counsel Ted Ardini: “The bracket for income subject to the top rate is… over 9,000 dollars… Once that hits 5.5 percent, this provision tells us to eliminate the top tax bracket. Once you eliminate the top tax bracket, it becomes over #8,000 and under $9,000… If your Missouri income is greater than 9,000 you have no tax bracket and no tax rate. … By the elimination of the over 9,000 tax bracket, there’s no where to go.”
State Representative John Diehl responds:
HOUSE MAJORITY FLOOR LEADER JOHN DIEHL: The “Governor’s contention of #SB509 flaw is laughable. MO SupCt would never take his position on that reading of that bill.” “It’s a pattern of scare tactics and deception to avoid the real issue… Never once did they identify some hole in the bill.… We were and are confident that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this bill.” — PoliticMO Newsletter, April 22, 2014.
Jay Nixon has never met a tax he didn’t like.
In my opinion, Rasmussen is and has been one of the most accurate polling groups in the country. They are not always right, but on the average, they are correct more than any of their competitors. Each week they present a rolling poll on Congress…which party is more preferred. Historically, the dems usually have the edge by a percentage point or two. In fact, I cannot remember when the ‘Pubs were on top.
This week they were.
Generic Congressional Ballot: Republicans 41%, Democrats 40%
Republicans have edged ahead of Democrats on the Generic Congressional Ballot for the week ending Sunday, April 20.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 41% of Likely U.S. Voters would vote for the Republican in their district’s congressional race if the election were held today, while 40% would choose the Democrat instead.
The last time this switch occurred was during the week of February 4th, 2014.
An article appeared yesterday in the American Thinker. Mark Levin spent some time discussing it on his program and his FB page. It is an analysis of John Boehner and it isn’t, by any means, complimentary.
As he moves from lobbyists to the golf course, from press conferences to the tanning bed, he remains oblivious to all that is around him. He has power, incredible power, and yet to this day he has no understanding of the election that made it so. Moreover, all around him are astonishing opportunities for him to be an historic figure — one who could and should be the man who did more than any other single person in turning back the red tide of Obama. It’s all there for Speaker of the House, and yet John Boehner manages to miss it all — as he guarantees his spot as the most spectacular failure in the history of Speakers of the House.
So seriously, just how dense is this guy? I’m not being flippant, or overly dramatic. His performance, in light of the momentous circumstances, necessitates just that question in the most literal and serious sense. Mr. Boehner, I frankly think you’re sort of stupid. Either that, or you are plagued by an amazing lack of situational awareness.
Consider: For months, the IRS has done their best to guarantee that they are known as nothing but part of the Democratic Party election machine. Lois Lerner remains such an unsympathetic figure that the last public photo of her might as well have been a set of legs with red slippers sticking out from under a house. Elijah Cummings has been exposed as a corrupt and inarticulate embarrassment, and an email trail is emerging that would make Nixon’s use of the IRS look like child’s play. This one scandal is an incredible teaching opportunity of the inherent evils of the liberal bureaucratic political state. Donald Rumsfeld understands this. Boehner? Not so much. He’s talking about immigration deform.
If that weren’t enough, there is another epoch-making story unfolding in Nevada, as the Bundy Ranch is being invaded by an army of militarized bureaucrats that most of us didn’t know exists — working for a bureaucracy that is apparently in charge of more land mass than the majority of world governments. Who the hell are these robo-crats, and who is paying for and authorizing their intimidating and dangerous cross-dressing? Apparently, in this case, the boy king of this hidden empire is a former political aide from the office of Harry Reid. Again, a silver platter of an opportunity has presented itself.
But no, Boehner would rather work behind the scenes to spoil the efforts of the Tea Party groups.
Oh, and while we’re at it, the Bundy story is far more than just some delicious viral YouTube videos. It brings up some very important questions, such as why does the Federal Government own more land in Nevada than everybody combined owns in the United Kingdom? Why does the BLM control one eighth of the entire landmass of the country? And just how many dirty Harry Reid deals are going on everywhere while most of us had no idea how big the BLM was and how little of our own country the rest of us own?
Uh, Mr. Boehner, these are questions of stupefying importance, and while millions of Americans are asking them, they will not get the traction they deserve until someone in a position of power asks them. You know, like a Speaker who is in the opposition party?
The column continues at the website. I urge you to follow the title link or the link here to read it in full. I cannot disagree with anything the writer has penned.
Lawfare. If you have listened to the news today, the NC Attorney General has requested a delay in the latest lawfare suit filed in federal court against the state of North Carolina. The suit complains that the state’s anti-same sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. The tactic many such groups are using around the country with, frankly success, is known as Lawfare.
Lawfare is a recently coined word not yet appearing in the Oxford English Dictionary, a portmanteau of the words ‘law’ and ‘warfare’, said to describe a form of asymmetric warfare. Lawfare is asserted by some to be the illegitimate use of domestic or international law with the intention of damaging an opponent, winning a public relations victory, financially crippling an opponent, or tying up the opponent’s time so that they cannot pursue other ventures such as running for public office, similar to a SLAPP lawsuit. Other scholars see it more neutrally as a reference to both positive and negative uses of law as an instrument of warfare or even to the legal debates surrounding national security and counterterrorism. — Wiki.
Lawfare is a particularly vile tactic. It does, however, have a large degree of success by cherry-picking cases that incrementally enhances the agenda of its practitioners.