Monday, February 27, 2012

Greed is not Good

Greed is not Good

I was thinking about the Gordon Gecko line out of the movie Wall Street, you know the scene where he is standing in a room full of stockholders trying to convince them his plan for the corporation is better than management's. He blasts the company for losing money, blasts them for having too big an overhead and no real stake in the company, then tells everyone how much they stand to make if they vote for his proposal.”Greed, for lack of a better word, is Good!”

Greed is not good, since it goes hand in hand with power. Remember the “golden rule: He who has the gold makes the rules”? More properly, an old saying is still true today. "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." An article on today confirms the theory. People who have more money tend to be less aware of people who do not. They are more likely to disobey the law, be rude to others, and disregard the rights of others in favor of their own self-interests.

So how do we deal with that? After all, they have the money, and that means they can afford lawyers we cannot to twist the law in their favor and buy off whoever they can't manipulate.

There is a way to make things right, but it involves getting off your ass and voting for candidates who are willing to change the government back to a Citizen Government. President Obama and the Buffett rule are one example of making things right. If we eliminate the tax breaks and the loopholes for the rich, we can start putting money back into programs to educate poorer Americans, maintain our Social Security system and Medicare/Medicaid system, and eliminate Career Politicians who are only interested in lining their own pockets instead of representing the people of their districts.

If you are reading this, and you are saying to yourself something along the nature of “Bullshit! We will never change the system, and the rich will always win, so I am not going to vote.”, Congratulations! You have just voted to maintain the status quo, to watch your Social Security benefits and Medicare/Medicaid entitlements dwindle down to nothing, and allow the corrupt and uncaring incumbents the opportunity to continue to screw you over. If you do not vote, you are voting for the rich. They do not want you to vote. They do not want you to care. They do not want you to believe.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Is Decency really that uncommon?

For those of you on Facebook, I've been having a little debate with a man who seems to think he is entitled to be judge, jury, and executioner for a woman who was arrested for DUI and several other offenses after running into the One World Cafe at the corner of University and Main a couple of nights ago. Somehow, he doesn't seem to understand that prejudging that woman is wrong. Yes, she was arrested for DUI, and yes, she drove a car into a building near the college. But what he doesn't seem to get is our ability to judge based solely on the account of the media is limited, at best. If fact, Decent people do not judge others without ALL the facts

So we are all on the same page, this is one definition of Decency found on the web. (There are many others, but basically they all contain the same information.)

de·cen·cy n. pl. de·cen·cies
1. The state or quality of being decent; propriety.
2. Conformity to prevailing standards of propriety or modesty.
3. decencies
a. Social or moral proprieties.
b. Surroundings or services deemed necessary for an acceptable standard of living.

Now, I am probably just flapping my jaws here, but being decent means I don't prejudge another's actions until all the FACTS are in. I wasn't the arresting officer, I wasn't on the scene, I wasn't in the car, and I wasn't a witness. To my knowledge, neither was the individual who is assuming the woman is guilty without all the facts beyond the media. And that is not only a mistake, it is Indecent.

Indecency is when you prejudge without all the facts. It is a lot like prejudice or discrimination. In this case, it is akin to being a vigilante, a person with no regard for the rule of law or the system of government under which we live. A person who, unwittingly or not, is advocating "Lynch Mob" mentality instead of letting the system do its job is a person who would be willing to set fire to a neighbor's house if they were caught dealing drugs. Granted, it is a tempting thing to do, but doing it make you an arsonist, and perhaps a murderer.

Indecency is a slippery slope, just like prejudice or discrimination. Once it is "okay" to prejudge some people and not others, once it is okay to obey some laws and not others, like say walking in the street instead of using the sidewalk, or walking across private property without the permission of the owner, the individual begins to think, "Well, its not really that important." Once the law is not important, the police become just another thing to keep you down. Once the law is not important, you begin to think society is not important. And the end result is what we have in many areas of the country today. People who respect nothing and continue to justify anything.

At the end of the movie "Bonfire of the Vanities", Morgan Freeman addresses an unruly courtroom and tells people that decency "is what your grandmother taught you. Its in your Bones!". I think he was addressing something I was taught by my parents many, many years ago. They used to call manners Common Decency. Perhaps it is uncommon now, but I would like to think it is still there.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Citizen's Rights are not exclusive!

Yesterday, a bit more bark was whittled off the tree of intolerance that has grown in Washington, D.C. and in the United States. U. S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White, a Bush appointee, handed down a decision ruling the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be unconstitutional. He is the second U.S. District Court Judge to do so.

In 2010, U. S. District Court Judge Joseph Tauro of Massachusetts made a similar ruling. Yesterday's ruling falls at the heels of a ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court that California's Proposition 8, which makes illegal same sex marriage in California, is also unconstitutional. It seems the message of the Judiciary is clear. President Clinton was wrong. DOMA is wrong!

It also seems that people are starting to realize gay Americans are entitled to the same rights as all Americans. What is upsetting to me is why has it taken this long? We continue to nitpick and haggle over "Citizen's rights", when it is obvious. The Declaration of Independence did not equivocate, and neither should we.

We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created Equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these rights are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness...

Pretty plain, isn't it? The authors, when they penned this note to the British, they went through at least two drafts before they came to language they could all agree on. And while the political infighting led to a document less than satisfactory (slavery was shamefully allowed in the new nation, women were not allowed to vote or hold office, etc.), the principles remain the same. Are they Utopian in nature? Of course they are, and because they are people are likely to look at them and try to explain away the better parts to some weakness of character or undue sympathy. But the principles are what they are.

It is time we start that to realize to deny rights in this nation to anyone is to deny them to everyone. We can no longer afford the human failing of intolerance to continue to segregate us. We are at a critical time in our history, and we need the best and brightest of all of us, not the chosen few. We need men and women who are able to own up their mistakes and work forward to overcome the problems we have, just as they have overcome their own. We need men and women from all walks of life, from all groups represented in this great nation, to lead, to envision, and to overcome the greed and corruption of career politicians. We need vision, we need diversity, and above all, we need participation. The apathy of the American voter has led us to these circumstances. The involvement of people who care can change it. But only when we agree that every American citizen is endowed with those "unalienable rights!"

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Repeating the same old thing is not news!

A story in the Pantagraph today seems to think it is cutting edge. In Fact, it is old news. Matt Woodmancy has a felony conviction in his past. The part they left out? He has since turned his life around and is currently seeking office as the US Congressional Representative for the 18th District of Illinois.

I am amazed the same people who want to talk about using the system and respecting the law never want to give the guys with obvious errors in their past the benefit of a doubt. Let me clue you in on something. Our system of justice says that once someone has paid their debt to society, the slate is wiped clean unless they continue to screw up. Officially, this is called recidivism. That's if the man or woman continues to screw up. If they don't, they are deemed fit to return to society.

As far as Matt goes, I can tell you a few things that may or may not surprise you. For one, he isn't owned by anyone. He has no great political favors outstanding, owes no one in politics, and is not beholding to any company, corporation, or PAC for any reason. For another, he went into his race knowing it would be an uphill battle, and is still standing there, with a clearly posted platform he has not backed off on since he started his campaign. Lastly, he is not only running for office and holding down a full time job, but also caring for his invalid grandmother and standing by his mother in her battle against cancer, a battle that recently included brain surgery.

If you want to talk about issues and answers, lets talk about issues and answers. If your only reason to print an article is to further defame someone, then not only are you pursuing the path of sensationalism and dirty politics, but you are obviously unable to cite any real objections to the man's qualifications or platform.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pancakes and Politics at State Farm.

Matthew A. Woodmancy (D) was one of two candidates for the 18th Congressional Seat who attended the State Farm Insurance "Pancakes and Politics" event at corporate south this morning. In addition to him and Steve Waterworth (D), there were many others running for Illinois Congressional seats. With the number of politicians in the room, there were at most 30 employees gathered to listen to a brief introduction and comments from each candidate.

Of particular note was Republican candidate Tom Pliura (R), running for the State Senate for the 51st District. Instead of the normal intro and bio, he instead began with a diatribe in favor of Term Limits and a return to Citizen Government. "I'm running because I am fed up!" It was refreshing because the remainder of the candidates had little to say about why they were running, although plenty to say about what needs to be fixed.

In fact, the catch words of "Fiscal Conservative" came up in almost every candidate's presentation. Dan Brady (R), the incumbent from the 88th District, spoke passionately instead of being accessible to his constituency. Keith Sommer (R), the Illinois House Incumbent from the 106th District, bemoaned the size of government, emphasized the need to fight Obamacare, and applauded State Farm for hiring veterans. Bill Mitchell (R), currently the incumbent for the 87th District, showed up in a sweater and blue jeans, claiming he had another event that would be outdoors and apologized for being dressed "down", then proceeded to tell us this upcoming election was one of the most important in decades. He claimed that Public Assistance programs have grown by 96% in the last 10 years, and left us with the question, can we afford it?

Three of the five candidates for the newly formed 106th district were also available. Tom Bennett (R), had no qualms about telling us he has recently been endorsed by the Illinois Farm Bureau, and is in favor of Concealed Carry. He wants to make Illinois more "Business Friendly" to keep the businesses we have and attract more. Richard Thomas (R), a Nurse and outspoken advocate for Fiscal Conservation, was at least entertaining. He has an excellent manner about him and a firm handshake. Brian Gabor (R) was the last of the three to speak, and is a solid proponent of smaller government and lower taxes. He also wants to make Illinois more business friendly.

You may have noticed with the exception of the two candidates for the 18th Congressional District, all of the other candidates were Republicans. Seems like sort of a stacked deck to me. Or, perhaps, the rumors are true and the Democrats have written off the 18th Congressional District. The incumbent, Aaron Schock, did not appear, although there was a placard for him at the atrium at corporate headquarters after the meeting.

Overall, the event was nice, but only a few individuals dropped by the breakfast, and just a few managed to drop by the atrium at corporate headquarters.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Some Thoughts on "Inside Job"

So I went to a screening of "Inside Job" last night, and was incensed by the content of the movie. Charles Ferguson who wrote, produced and directed the film, has created a film that should piss you off. If he is correct, the United States government is complicit with various firms of Wall Street in perpetrating the single largest financial fraud in history. Not only have the criminals escaped with their proceeds, something we passed laws to prevent racketeers from doing, but to date not one of these criminals has been punished, tried, or even indicted for their crimes.

There's a full synopsis on Wiki, just click the link above. I'm not going to bore you with the details here, but there is one item in particular that puzzles me. Obama claimed he would return fiscal responsibility to our government, that he would insist the wealthy pay their share of taxes, and the guilty would be punished.

Now that should mean he would clean house, starting with the Treasury and the Cabinet, don't you think? So why is Timothy Geithner Secretary of the Treasury? Why is Lawrence Summers the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council? Both of these men have questionable background in the events that surrounded the collapse of 2008. Both of these men figure prominently in "Inside Job".

I do have one important question for Mr. Ferguson. If your documentary is this important, if this information is so vital to the millions of Americans who need it, then why are you charging for it? If I know a bridge is out, and I see people heading for that bridge and say nothing unless I am paid for that information, what does that make me?

I am not questioning the validity of the information. But I do question the motives of anyone who wants to profit to do good.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Business of America is Equality, not Business.

Okay, so back in 1925, a guy named Calvin Coolidge is reported to have said, “The Business of America is Business.” But that is not the case. The actual statement was: "After all, the chief business of the American people is business." However, Coolidge goes on to say that, "Of course the accumulation of wealth cannot be justified as the chief end of existence." So the 30th President of the United States is continuously misquoted by historians and the press, when the actual quote is available to anyone with a web browser. I wonder why that is?

The same is true of the often misquoted line from Timothy in the New Testament, “Money is the root of all evil.” In fact, the statement is : “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1 Timothy 6:10, KJV.) I guess something gets stuck in our heads and we just keep repeating it. Or is it something else, something a bit more insidious?

Now, I'm not going to start some great conspiracy theory of the Illuminati or some other secret group that is dedicated to keeping the lower classes in their place. But you have to wonder why thoughts like these are constantly put in our heads. I mean if you take the misquotes as ideals of capitalism, then we must be out of our minds to continue as capitalists. Especially when you consider that money is power in our modern world. An accurate quote from Baron John Acton is:”Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” The baron was speaking of monarchies at when he said this, but the saying can be applied to wealth in this century. And the evidence is abundant.

The 2010 Supreme Court decision of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission is the latest step of the wealthy and privileged to exert their power in the form of Political Action Committees, or PACs, over the poor by claiming the right to act as private citizens under the First Amendment. This flawed decision means a corporation can spend as much money as it chooses to promote the candidate of their choice, regardless of the qualifications or political affiliation of the candidate. Wealthy individuals as well, although barred by Federal Election rules from making single massive contributions to a candidate, can now give without limitation to these PACs. At the very least, this places the candidates who do not favor corporate policies at a disadvantage, since they will not receive the same funding as the favored candidates. At worst, this allows the wealthy and the corporations to inevitably place a stranglehold on the U. S. Congress that will lead to the only benefits for the wealthy and nothing for the poor.

Am I being an alarmist? Hardly. If you look at the trends around the country to curtail the rights of workers and the middle class, you can see the signs. We now have 23 states with Right To Work laws, laws that prevent unions from building their funds to fight unfair management practices. The argument is that unions are no longer needed to defend workers because the NLRB and OSHA are government agencies with the purpose of protecting labor. But a closer examination of this argument shows these agencies are simply administrative and have no real power to intervene. Their recommendations end at congress, if the corporation is unwilling to accept them, and if the congress is filled with corporate elected representatives, I am sure you can imagine what will happen to those recommendations.

So the bottom line to all this? We need to elect men to office who are willing to re-balance the laws of this nation to level the field for all. In order to do this, three fundamental goals must be accomplished.

1. Term limits must be imposed on all members of congress. Career politicians are much more subject to corruption and are much harder to catch. They learn the “ins and outs” of accepting PAC and Special Interest money without being caught. They learn to deceive, and once they learn that, someone has something over their head. To quote the plaque on Colson's wall during the Nixon administation, “When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.”
2. The Citizen's United ruling must be overturned. Whether this be by an amendment to the Constitution specifically limiting the rights of the individual to mean the individual citizen, or by an attorney who is capable of arguing this through the Supreme Court, the idea of Corporate Personhood needs to be eliminated.
3. Eliminate the tax shelters and Social Security caps for the wealthy. It seems to me unconscionable those who have benefited most from living in a free nation by the labor of those who have provided their income are unwilling to contribute their fair share of revenues. Exercising our legal right to tax fairly, and eliminating caps on Social Security earnings for the individual will not significantly affect the lifestyle of the wealthy, but it will help this nation to provide vital services which are in danger of being cut to the millions of Americans who need them.

There are other issues to be addressed, but these three will level the field, and return us to what the founders intended … A Citizen Government!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Gay Marriage and DOMA - it IS about equality

A few weeks ago, Matthew Woodmancy and I met with some college students at ISU who were part of the LGBT Support Group. When we got on the subject of Gay Marriage and DOMA, I was amazed that some of them were of the opinion it was not the same as the fight for civil rights in 1963, or the suffrage of women in the early 20th century. It frankly amazes me that anyone could see this as anything else.

When the founders of this nation first declared their independence, they did so with a declaration that proclaimed all men as being equal. We have since come to define "men" as meaning "mankind", and have spent a little over two centuries correcting the wrongs of the initial constitution, passing the 14th Amendment to prevent discrimination. And that amendment needs to be modified to include "sexual orientation".

It is a sad thing to even have this discussion in a free society. When will we realize that until everyone is equal, no one is equal. Representative Maureen Walsh of the Washington Legislature presents one of the clearest, most compelling arguments I have ever heard, and I hope you will listen carefully. DOMA needs to go away. The Federal Government needs to modify the 14th amendment to include "sexual orientation", and those of us who are fighting this on some sort of religious level need to keep your faith to yourself. You have the right to practice your faith in your home, you have the right to attend the church of your choice, but you do not have the right to impose your beliefs on others.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Citizen's United - The Not so Phantom Menace

Citizen's United – The not so Phantom Menace

A couple of weeks ago, I spent two hours in the cold at the corner of Main and Monroe outside the Federal Courthouse protesting the 2010 Citizen's United ruling that Corporations are Persons. The crowd was not very large, given the time of day and the temperatures, but that shouldn't have stopped the people who cared. Inference: not enough people cared. And that is not only a tragedy, it is a real catastrophe.

The decision of the Supreme Court made it possible for large corporations, like Caterpillar, ADM, John Deere, IBM, to seek protection under the First Amendment for Freedom Of Speech. That may not seem like a big deal, but this means Political Speech. Speech that includes promoting whichever candidate will act in their best interests. That's correct. Any large corporation or Political Action Committee (PAC's) can place as many ads on television, radio, internet, or any other media as they like and there is nothing we can do about it.

So if a candidate represents bailouts, tax breaks, and incentives for corporations, they now have a means to saturate the media with their image and their name. And we all know what happens in the ballot box. Most Americans are likely to vote for the name they are most familiar with. If you hear it over and over and over again, you are more likely to vote for that person simply by association.

This means the corporations who just ripped you off with their bailouts and mismanagement and bonuses to their executives, the very same people who have led this economy to the brink of economic ruin, are now able to insulate themselves by electing politicians who will owe them. Politicians elected by the media, not by the people.

And if you read my article about the passing of the Right to Work legislation in Indiana this week, you also know while corporations are getting stronger, unions are getting weaker. Much weaker. Union membership is down, union revenues are down, and unions are fast losing their clout for the workers of this nation.

Right now there is a movement to enact an amendment to the Constitution to eliminate Corporate Personhood. It is called Move to Amend, and it is one of two movements you need to be aware of. The second has to do with the root cause of our problems in Washington, D.C.: Career Politicians. The movement is called U. S. Term Limits , and they propose to place a limit of three terms on Congressmen and two terms on Senators.

Both groups are acting in the best interest of the citizens of this country to return the United States to a citizen government, a government Abraham Lincoln called of the people, by the people, and for the people. Not huge corporations. Not Career Politicians. The People, the 99% who have made themselves so vocal and visible this year. If you are a part of the 99%, you need to be involved. If you decide to do nothing, the results will be on you.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

"I'm from the government, I'm here to help you."

When the EVGC TIF commission was first formed, Mayor Jim Ardis assured us this was not a plan for Gentrification. Apparently he was either unaware of the plans of the Diocese, or he was just flat out lying.

Definition of GENTRIFICATION: the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents (Miriam Webster)

In this case, the affluent people are OSF St. Francis and the Catholic Diocese. I often questioned the presence of two OSF members on the EVGC TIF commission, when every other entity involved had only one member. Since OSF is controlled by the Diocese, it seemed apparent the hospital/medical complex and the church had something up their sleeves. That sentiment was echoed many times by the Peoria Journal Star.

Once the EVGC TIF was in place, the next step was to remove the teeth of the Historical Preservation act by including the owner of the property in the provisions of the act. Without the owner's permission, no property can be declared to be a historical site unless the owner agrees to that designation. So if I am a large corporate entity and want to buy a block of property where some of the houses are being considered for historical preservation, say the home of Thomas Detweiller, I can do so without fear that some civic group is going to come in and ruin my plans or at least tie me up in a lawsuit.

The article in today's Journal Star shows us the beginning of their plan. Mr. William Ordaz, the president of the Central Illinois Landmarks Foundation, laments “It's heritage resources that are gone.”

I have to disagree, Mr. Ordaz. Its much more than that. Its the beginning of the end for the near North Side and the East Bluff. Slowly but surely they will be swallowed up by the OSF machine for their purposes. Those of us who still own houses and live here will be forced out either by unreasonable tax assessments or simply by attrition, since most of us are in our 60's or above. And isn't it interesting that this was done with the blessing of the City Council, and in particular Mayor Jim Ardis?

Remember the three greatest lies in the world? One of them is:

“I'm from the government, I'm here to help you.”

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Impact of Indiana and the Republican Party on Illinois

Labor suffered a major blow yesterday when Governor Mitch Daniels signed a "Right to Work" law into effect in Indiana. He did so, not surprisingly, with the blessings and support of the Republican party. According to the Indiana Star Press,
Daniels and other Republican supporters characterized the measure as needed for Indiana to attract jobs.
But that sentiment is not echoed by all concerned.
Senate Minority Leader Vi Simpson, D-Ellettsville, disputed the promise of new jobs, saying “there is no empirical evidence... that right to work creates one job.” “It’s a downward spiral to lower wages and fewer benefits,” she said.
The Denver Post in Colorado, a state where Right to Work legislation has yet to be passed, had this to say:
Indiana became the Rust Belt's first right-to-work state Wednesday in a move that is sure to embolden advocates seeking to curtail union rights across the country. But whether other states can replicate the conservatives' success in Indiana is less certain. The political factors that aligned in Indiana were unique, and it is unlikely the same thing could happen in other states — at least for now.

There are currently 23 Right to Work States (see map below), states that have effectively eliminated the rights of Unions to represent their workers with adequate means. You see, the RTW legislation doesn't eliminate unions, or union shops, but it does prevent the unions from collecting dues from workers who decline to join. This means less money for the union to hire legal representation for collective bargaining, contract disputes, and regulations concerning worker safety and conditions. It also means less clout for Unions against Management in the Political arena.

Since 2010, Corporate personhood with respect to Political Spending has become a major issue in the United States.

The corporate personhood aspect of the campaign finance debate turns on Buckley v. Valeo (1976) and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010): Buckley ruled that political spending is protected by the First Amendment right to free speech, while Citizens United ruled that corporate political spending is protected, holding that corporations have a First Amendment right to free speech.

That decision has allowed corporations to pour massive contributions into the campaigns of candidates who will support corporate goals, whether or not those goals coincide with the constituency the candidate is supposed to represent. Even worse, union membership has fallen significantly with the elimination of manufacturing jobs here in the United States.

At the apex of union density in the 1940s, only about 9.8% of public employees were represented by unions, while 33.9% of private, non-agricultural workers had such representation. In this decade, those proportions have essentially reversed, with 36% of public workers being represented by unions while private sector union density had plummeted to around 7%. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics most recent survey indicates that union membership in the US has risen to 12.4% of all workers, from 12.1% in 2007. For a short period, private sector union membership rebounded, increasing from 7.5% in 2007 to 7.6% in 2008.[10] However, that trend has since reversed. In 2009, the union density for private sector stood at 7.2%.[11]

So what does this mean to us in Illinois? According the Labor, nothing good.

Right-to-work is plain-and-simple union-busting. It is designed to encourage "free riders," and to weaken or destroy unions. And that’s exactly what it has accomplished in the states that have these laws. Worst of all, it has translated into lower wages and benefits, a diminished standard of living, substandard legal protections and more dangerous working conditions for all workers – not just union members -- in right-to-work states.
In 2003, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that 19 of the 25 states with the highest worker fatality rates were right-to-work states, while just three of the bottom 25 states were right-to-work states. A study by the Economic Policy Institute showed that workers in right-to-work states earned an average of 6.5% less than their counterparts in states without the law. None of the 22 right-to-work states had an average annual pay level above the U.S. average.
When wages fall, state tax revenues fall. That means less funding for education, transportation and other vital programs. Right-to-work is bad not just for union members, but for everyone.

It would seem Right To Work legislation is a godsend for those who want to bust unions in favor of boosting the economy. But boosting it for who? According to the data I've cited above, the economy might get a boost, but the boost will be in the pockets of the Corporations, not the workers, who will reduce wages, benefits, and safety standards for workers in order to make a buck. Thankfully, our own Governor Quinn, a Democrat, does not share Indiana's enthusiasm:

As Indiana lawmakers head toward final passage of so-called “right to work” legislation, Gov. Pat Quinn is calling it a bad move that won’t help Indiana compete with Illinois for business.
Mocking the legislation as the “right to work for less” bill, Quinn joined opponents who have called such laws an assault on organized labor.

According to, Republican Aaron Schock is beholding to Business for 87% of his more than $2,000,000.00 campaign war chest. Republican Bobby Schilling receives 57% of his donations from business. (I guess Bobby doesn't have Aaron's / LaHood's clout.)

So what's the bottom line? It would seem from my perspective that the age old battle of Unions versus Management is still as heated as ever, but the Republicans are stacking the deck in their favor. If you vote, and you should, and you are in a union or realize the importance of unions in our society, Vote Democrat!

States in teal are Right To Work states.