Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

Donald Destructo

Donald Trump has perfected the swagger and boast of a professional wrestler.

While a guy like World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Vince McMahon is full of fake bluster and brashness for the sake of TV ratings, Donald Trump is the real McCoy: A reckless bully.  

That violent, provocative behavior makes Trump far too dangerous to get anywhere near nuclear codes. For Americans who want peace and security, not war, this man is too risky to inhabit the White House.   

That’s what 50 former national security officials whose careers span more than four decades said in a letter last week. They are Republicans. They include a former director of the CIA, the first director of national intelligence, and two former secretaries of homeland security. They warned Trump would be treacherous as president.  

And that was before Trump suggested in a speech last week that “Second Amendment” supporters assassinate Hillary Clinton if she’s elected so she can’t nominate judges to the Supreme Court. 

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More Than 180,000 Virginians Still Can’t Vote A Month After Governor Promised To Restore Rights

Alice Ollstein Political Reporter, Think Progress

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has not kept the bold promise he made in July to sign 200,000 individual clemency grants in two weeks, to allow Virginians with felony records be able to vote this November.

On Monday, nearly a month later, McAuliffe announced that he had restored the rights of nearly 13,000 ex-offenders who had already tried to register to vote, but whose registrations were nullified by the Virginia Supreme Court.

“Extending voting rights to people who are living, working and paying taxes in our community is not a partisan act,” McAuliffe said, addressing accusations that the move is designed to help Hillary Clinton win the swing state in November. “I say to Democrats and Republicans alike: ‘Go earn these Virginians’ votes.’”

“I have a duty to all Virginians,” he added, “and I will not let them be condemned for eternity as inferior, second class citizens.”

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Fight for $15 Convention Votes To Continue Drive Beyond 2016 Election

Mark Gruenberg

Mark Gruenberg Editor, Press Associates Union News

Some 3,000 fast food, retail, warehouse and other low-income workers from around the nation, representing the nationwide Fight for 15 And A Union movement, have voted to continue their drive far beyond this year’s election. And they’ve linked economic and racial injustice together.

In addition, the movement plans demonstrations at the sites of the three presidential debates. And it will stage another nationwide fast-food walkout on Sept. 12 as part of what organizers call a “moral revival.” The last fast-food strike, on April 14, saw workers at 320 cities walk out. Workers in another 60 cities worldwide also struck in sympathy.  

Encouraged and supported by Service Employees President Mary Kay Henry and Moral Mondays movement leader the Rev. William Barber, the delegates also took time out from their conclave to march through downtown Richmond, Va., site of their meeting. Dozens of United Food and Commercial Workers joined them.

In a direct message to the two major political parties, the marchers’ main chant was, “If you want our vote, come get our vote!” by supporting their cause.

They chose Richmond, Fight for 15 said, because it was the capital of the Confederacy – and because state governments of the old Confederacy have been the most-resistant to workers’ rights to a decent wage and to unions.

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Chris Christie Vetoes Yet Another Voter Registration Bill

Kira Lerner Political Reporter, Think Progress

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) vetoed two bills on Thursday that would have made it easier for state residents to cast a ballot, including one that would have automatically registered voters when they get or renew a driver’s license.

The second-term governor and Donald Trump surrogate rejected the automatic registration bill, calling it a “cocktail of fraud” because it would “almost certainly register ineligible voters.”

“This bill should be called ‘the Voter Fraud Enhancement and Permission Act,’” he said in his veto message.

Also on Thursday, Christie vetoed a bill that would have allowed 17-year-old New Jersey residents to vote in primaries if they turn 18 by the time of the general election. Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia currently allow 17-year-olds to vote in primaries in order to increase political engagement.

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West Virginia Judge Temporarily Halts State Right-to-Work Law

Mark Gruenberg

Mark Gruenberg Editor, Press Associates Union News

A West Virginia county judge has temporarily halted the Mountain State’s so-called “right to work” law, which the right wing GOP-run legislature enacted last year. The law was supposed to take effect this summer.

After a hearing in Kanawha County Circuit Court in the state capital of Charleston, Judge Jennifer Bailey issued a temporary injunction against the statute. She said postponing it would not materially hurt the state. She’ll hold a full hearing on its legality within 90 days.

Right-to-work laws are a favorite cause of big business, the radical right and their GOP political puppets nationwide.

The laws ban unions from negotiating contract clauses that say workers in a covered workplace must pay either union dues or – if they object – agency fees which cover only the costs of collective bargaining and contract enforcement.

Their practical impact is to make workers “free riders,” by sticking unions with the bill for bargaining and protecting them, but without the revenue to do so. As a result, RTW laws weaken unions’ impact and workers’ pay and benefits.

The West Virginia AFL-CIO and ten unions separately sued in the Kanawha court after state lawmakers passed, and Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed, the RTW law. It made West Virginia the 26th right-to-work state. Several months ago, unions sued to stop it.

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Two Peas in a Pod

Two Peas in a Pod

Union Matters

Debbie Wasserman Schultz' Failed Leadership Facilitated Passage of Fast-Track

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

The Sept. 21, 2014 article Dems turn on Wasserman Schultz reports that the perception of critics is that Debbie Wasserman Schultz spends more energy tending to her own political ambitions than helping Democrats win. This includes using meetings with DNC donors to solicit contributions for her own PAC and campaign committee, traveling to uncompetitive districts to court House colleagues for her potential leadership bid and having DNC-paid staff focus on her personal political agenda.

The 2014 mid-term election resulted in a loss of 13 Democratic House seats and 9 Democratic Senate seats. As disconcerting as this appeared to the Obama White House, the Republican representatives and Senators who gained these seats more than provided President Obama with the margin of victory necessary to pass Fast Track in June 2015, which improved his chances to get  the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal passed. 

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