For those of you who didn’t know, Wal-Mart isn’t a very good corporate citizen. And over the last four years, two of the nation’s largest unions –the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW)– have been engaged in a campaign to make the world’s largest retailer a better employer, neighbor, and corporate citizen.
Through their sites, Wake-Up Wal-Mart.com and Wal-Mart Watch, SEIU and UFCW has educated the public about the high cost of low price pointing to the store’s abysmal environmental record, negative impact on the communities they serve and union busting activities.
Friday, the two unions announced that they were combining their efforts to form one organization to maximize the ability for Walmart workers to win a voice on the job and bring change to the entire retail industry.
Late Friday afternoon, the gubernatorial campaign of Karen Handel announced that she would be joining Erick Erickson and Texas Governor Rick Perry in the first (and hopefully last) RedState Republican riot against the Democrats’ tyrannical regime.
The day is expected to be filled with profanity-laden tirades about how the nation’s 44th president is not a natural-born citizen; why Texas should be allowed to leave the union, and a slew of other incendiary rhetoric designed to whip the mostly white male crowd into an uncontrollable frenzy.
Karen Handel is scheduled to deliver remarks tomorrow morning at 10:45AM right before President Obama is burned in effigy.
This morning, the Athens Banner-Herald reports that Gov. Perdue offered his counterparts in Alabama and Florida forty dates between August 12 and November 5 to meet and hammer out a deal that will put an end to the tri-state water wars [Evans, Ben, and Bluestein, Greg (July 31, 2009). Perdue starts pumping water talks. Athens Banner-Herald.].
Yesterday, the White House Press Office announced Vice President Biden hosted a conference call with local elected officials across the nation –including DeKalb County Commissioner Lee May– to discuss implementation of the Recovery Act.
Consider this an open thread to discuss all these issues and more on this, the thirty-first day of July.
In an email Thursday morning, David Poythress claimed a “deafening silence” from fellow Democrats Thurbert Baker, Roy Barnes and DuBose Porter on two major issues facing the state — the growing budget crisis and the recent judicial ruling concerning the tri-state water wars. It didn’t take long for one of Poythress’ Democratic rivals to push back against those accusations.
This afternoon, the DuBose Porter campaign pointed to a July 20th story by Atlanta Journal-Constitution political reporter Jim Galloway as evidence that the House Democratic Leader was not closemouthed after a federal judge’s ruling that metro Atlanta could no longer depend on Lake Lanier for its water supply [Galloway, Jim (July 20, 2009). Two ‘water war’ reactions that weren’t by the book. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved on 2009-7-30.].
The Porter campaign also re-issued a July 17th statement reacting to the decision of Judge Paul Magnuson:
In his latest email to supporters, Democratic gubernatorial candidate David Poythress criticizes his competitors for a “deafening silence” on issues of importance to Georgians. Below are a few excerpts:
On the teacher furloughs –
When Governor Perdue proposed a three-day furlough for all state workers (including teachers and law enforcement) last week, few candidates for Governor raised a voice in opposition.
Baker and Barnes didn’t go on record at all about these drastic pay cuts. Dubose Porter at least offered an alternative, but his call for a special session of the legislature would cost as much as $45,000 a day.
And on the recent water ruling –
I seem to be the only Democratic candidate who appreciates the critical nature of this situation. Baker and Porter haven’t said anything at all on the issue. Barnes wants to “take it to the Supreme Court,” but he ignores the fact that we have lost in Court time and again.
For anyone looking for a preview of next summer’s Atlanta Press Club debate among the Democratic candidates for governor, expect to see David Poythress go on the attack from the opening statements to the closing remarks.
During the waning months of 2008, Delta and Northwest airlines announced a merger that created the world’s largest air carrier based in Atlanta, Georgia. Since the Department of Justice approved the deal last October, both companies have been steadily working towards rebranding old Northwest planes as new Delta planes; consolidating routes to avoid overlapping; and most importantly, collaborating with the unions to ensure continued representation for all of the new Delta’s valued employees.
Monday, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) asked the National Mediation Board (NMB) to declare that the Delta/Northwest merger has created a single transportation system that requires the NMB to conduct a representation election for the carriers’ flight attendants. Northwest Airlines flight attendants are currently represented by AFA-CWA. Delta flight attendants are not represented by a union.
Delta and Northwest flight attendants have been working together for AFA-CWA representation over the past year. As the largest group of flight attendants at any U.S. airline, Delta flight attendants have a rare opportunity to exercise a decisive voice in the industry.
As if Atlanta didn’t have a large homeless population before, today we learn from WSB-TV that New York City is buying one-way plane tickets to ship their homeless down south.
New York City is buying one-way plane tickets for homeless families to leave the city and head to Georgia or anywhere else they want to go.
It’s part of a Bloomberg administration program to keep the homeless out of the expensive shelter system, which costs $36,000 a year per family. More than 550 families have left the city since 2007. All it takes is for a relative to agree to take them in.
Families have been sent to 24 states and five continents, mostly to Georgia, Florida, the Carolinas and Puerto Rico
Earlier this year, House Democrats introduced legislation that would pump an estimated billion dollars into the state budget without raising taxes at all. The point of sales bill, HB356, was described by state Representative Virgil Fludd (D – Tyrone) as a plan that would empower local governments, end the state’s monopoly on sales tax collection and reduce the size of government.
[House Bill 356] brings in over $1 billion in new money to the state budget, and it does so without raising taxes one dime. Right now, when you buy something and pay sales tax on it, far too often the sales tax you pay doesn’t make it to the state’s bank account. In fact, the Department of Revenue estimates that we leave about $1.6 billion a year on the table in uncollected taxes. Some of that money is income tax, but most of it is sales taxes that were collected at the point of sale, but not remitted to the state and local government.
Seven years ago, the Republican-controlled Congress allowed the Pay-As-You-Go law to expire ushering in a new era of unbalanced budgets and budget deficits. Wednesday afternoon, because of Democratic leadership, the U.S. House continued on a path towards fiscal discipline and responsibility passing the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2009 (HR 2920).
According to Congressman Sanford Bishop (D – Georgia), a supporter of the legislation, the PAYGO act marks a crucial step in bringing the federal budget under control by following the most basic of budgeting rules: don’t spend money you don’t have.
“With the Blue Dogs leading the way, the Congress is committed to addressing the country’s long-term fiscal challenges,” Bishop, an original co-sponsor of the bill, said. “The Blue Dogs have worked tirelessly over the years to require the federal government to spend within its means. Today our goal is one step closer to becoming a reality. It is time to put an end to the out-of-control deficit spending that has led our country down such a fiscally disastrous path.”
In an op-ed emailed today, Democratic gubernatorial candidate DuBose Porter chastised the Republican leadership for cutting over a billion dollars from education and not offering solutions to the state’s problems.
Teacher furloughs are bad for Georgia’s students, but with the current economic woes you may think there is no choice. Think again. Last session, I co-sponsored HB 356, which allows for the collection of sales tax at the point of sale; thus allowing local governments to collect their own, as well as the state’s sales taxes, instead of the Department of Revenue. Had this bill been allowed out of committee by the Republican leadership it would have brought in an additional 1 billion dollars in revenue without raising taxes or fees. It was not like this was an experimental or untried idea. Alabama has already passed a similar bill which, when implemented, brought them an additional 1 billion dollars without raising taxes.
HB 356 enables local control, something Republicans ran on and then promptly ran from. The death of the Point of Sales bill is just the latest in a line of bad economic choices that the Republican leadership has allowed due to its adversarial relationship with local governments and its willingness to cut education. Local communities, not the state, would do a much more efficient job of collecting sales taxes. The Department of Revenue, by their own admission leaves millions of uncollected taxes on the table every year.
In an email Tuesday, Republican gubernatorial candidate John Oxendine stated his support for an amendment to the state Constitution “proclaiming a paramount right to life” and granting personhood status to fetuses.
Georgia, like most of this country, is facing a health care crisis: many without health insurance and reduced access to basic health care as free or low cost services dwindle. Georgia has some of the highest unintended pregnancy rates, STD rates, lowest birth weights and many other poor health outcomes. What Georgians need is political leadership to help support preventive health services, like those provided by Planned Parenthood. Georgians do not need political saber rattling from gubernatorial candidates who are clearly out of step with needs and desires of most Georgians.
For two years, short sighted legislators have been promoting HR 5, a proposed constitutional amendment to establish the “personhood” of each citizen from fertilization until natural death. Unpopular with the legal, health care and political community, the broad implications of this amendment could potentially ban abortion in Georgia. Further, it could ban certain forms of contraception and prevent women from utilizing assisted reproductive technology. Bottom line, this bill puts politics above the health and safety of women.
Now let us dismiss for a second the fact that Erick Erickson is reacting to a nine year old story. Erickson proclaimed our nation’s thirty-ninth president, and one of only two Georgians to win the Nobel Peace Prize, “history’s greatest monster.” Regrettably, the freshman city council member from Macon didn’t provide a lick of evidence to support his audacious claim.