Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

Trump: Valueless

Warren Buffett threw down the gauntlet to Donald Trump again last week. It happened after Trump lied about Buffett’s federal income tax payments on national TV.

During the second presidential debate on Oct. 9, Trump said Buffett “took a massive deduction,” suggesting it was the kind that the Republican nominee used for years to dodge income taxes.

The next morning, Buffett reported to the world that he paid federal taxes every year since 1944 when he was 13. He owed $7 then. Last year, he paid $1.8 million, about 16 percent of his $11.6 million income. He gave $2.858 billion to charity that year. Yes, that’s billion with a b.

By contrast, Trump’s “charitable” foundation is under investigation for self-dealing, and he is the first presidential candidate in 40 years to refuse to disclose any federal income tax information.

In August, Buffett, who is six times richer than Trump, challenged the Republican nominee to a tax throw down. The point of honor in that duel would be revealing their returns. Buffet pointed out that both men are under audit, so that would be no excuse to chicken out. Still, Trump begged off.

It’s not enough for a presidential candidate to boast before adoring crowds. It’s crucial that candidates both embody and demonstrate American values. Those standards don’t include lying or shirking taxes or bragging about sexual assault or creating a charity to pay a candidate’s own bills. Buffett demonstrates American values in both words and actions. Trump displays utter obliviousness to those values.  

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When Donald Trump Had a Choice, He Chose Nonunion Labor for His Construction Projects with IBEW

Donald Trump has admitted before that when he has a choice between union and nonunion labor for his construction projects, he'd go with nonunion labor. Just how often was that? A new report from the Electrical Workers (IBEW) reveals some figures about his dealings with IBEW contractors.

From the IBEW investigation:

A review of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee's projects reveals that he hires union when project labor agreements or dominant market share forces him to. But more than 60% of his projects developed outside New York City and Atlantic City—which includes most of his recent projects—were built nonunion. When you exclude developments with project labor agreements, that number jumps to nearly 80% built nonunion.

Except for his own house. 

Trump has developed or licensed his name to eight projects in Florida, for example. The only one using IBEW workers is his palatial home and private club in Palm Beach. "For everything he sold to other people, he went nonunion. But for his house, he went with us," said IBEW Local 728 Business Manager Dan Svetlick. Svetlick says it's something he's seen with other billionaires like Trump. When it comes to their own homes or the homes of their family members, "They want that to last," he said.

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The Third Debate Was a Sexist Mess

Natasha Geiling

Natasha Geiling Reporter, ThinkProgress

Running for office as a woman is never easy — and during the third and final presidential debate, sexist attacks against the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton were on full display.

It began when Republican nominee Donald Trump characterized Clinton’s reaction to the D.C. v. Heller decision — in which the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess firearms — as “angry” and “extremely upset.”

“The D.C. v. Heller decision was very strongly and she was extremely angry about it,” Trump said. “I watched. She was very, very angry when upheld. And Justice Scalia was so involved, and it was a well crafted decision, but Hillary was extremely upset, extremely angry.”

Moderator Chris Wallace then doubled down on Trump’s characterization, asking Clinton, “Were you extremely upset?”

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Another Woman Just Came Forward to Say Trump Assaulted Her

Esther Yu-Hsi Lee

Esther Yu-Hsi Lee Immigration Reporter, Think Progress

Just one day after the third and final presidential debate, another woman has come forward to say that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump groped her 18 years ago after a U.S. Open tennis tournament in Queens, New York.

Karena Virginia — a self-described yoga instructor and life coach who lives in the New York City region — said at a press conference on Thursday morning that Trump approached her in 1998 while she was waiting for her car service in Flushing, New York.

“As I was waiting, Donald Trump approached me,” she said. “I knew who he was, but I had never met him. He was with a few other men. I was quite surprised when I overheard him talking with the other men about me. He said, ‘hey look at this one. We haven’t seen her before. Look at those legs’ as though I was an object rather than a person.”

Virginia became visibly emotional when she described Trump groping her.

“He then walked up to me and reached his right arm and grabbed my right arm,” she said. “Then his hand touched the right inside of my breast. I was in shock. I flinched. ‘Don’t you know who I am?’”

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Union Matters

Election 2016: Members Speak Out

Al Smith
Local 54

Al Smith, 39, of Fulton, N.Y., is president of Local 54 at a Huhtamaki paper plant that produces ice cream cartons. He is married with two children, both girls, and has been a USW member since the PACE merger in 2005.

“Obviously, being president of a local union, the election is important as far as labor goes and talks on overtime and those types of things. As far as being a parent, trade is a huge deal for me and my family. I work in a paper packaging plant and it wouldn’t take much to move. The machines can go up anytime.”

“Hillary’s stance on trade is huge for me. That she is against the Trans- Pacific Partnership trade deal is a big deal. And her positions on equal pay and women’s rights for women are near and dear to me as a father with two girls. The best way to have equal pay for women is to be organized and have union labor.”

Smith said Clinton could help the middle class through her infrastructure and jobs program and with labor-friendly appointments to the National Labor Relations board and other agencies that affect the workplace.

“She has a strong jobs plan. Her infrastructure program will create jobs, union jobs,” he said. “Labor is a big part of the middle class.”


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Hillary v. Trump on Jobs

Hillary v. Trump on Jobs