Calling Senator Hagan

Isn't it always the case? The new guy/gal on the block is the one getting all the attention.

North Carolina's newly minted Senator Kay Hagan is targeted for heavy lobbying over two high-profile issues on their way to showdown Senate votes soon--the first on children's health care, and the others before too long on labor organizing rights.

Democratic leaders in Congress are pushing for early passage of an important bill to expand the Children's Health Insurance Program for the children of low-income working families. This is the legislation twice vetoed by the shameless George W. Bush, and which helped cement his reputation for ethical and political cluelessness.

The U.S. House just passed the bill again today (January 15), and Barack Obama has already expressed his hope that it will be one of the first pieces of legislation presented for his signature.

Normally, this is an item which would be universally considered a no-brainer for any progressive or moderate Democrat. (I still think it is.) However, Senator Hagan is high on the opposition lobbying target list because of the bill's finance mechanism: an increase in the federal excise tax on tobacco.

Some "conservatives" and business lobbyists are bemoaning that approach, as well as the fact that the bill would permit (not mandate) states to remove restrictions on coverage of the non-citizen children of LEGAL immigrants. (Some folks just seem to have no working human decency at all.)

Both of those issues have been higher-profile disputes in tobacco-manufacturing and "conservative" North Carolina than in most of the country. Thus, opponents target our new North Carolina Senator.

Let's return the favor. Let Senator Hagan's office know that we look for her leadership in supporting the immediate expansion of health insurance for children of working families. I'd hope that she will take that position in any case, but let's make sure that she can point to overwhelming constituent support for doing the right thing.

Less immediately on the horizon, but already in lobbyists' talking points, are two major labor-law proposals which stalled over the last two years under lame-duck Bush. One, the "Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act", would require cities and towns to collectively bargain with labor unions representing public safety employees (law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services, corrections). (At present, North Carolina and Virginia are the only two states which PROHIBIT local governments from negotiating with labor unions.)

The other labor organizing bill, the "Employee Free Choice Act" (a.k.a. Card Check) would permit unions to organize a workplace via persuading a majority of employees to sign cards supporting the union as their collective bargaining agent. At present, the only way for a union to force an employer to bargain with it is to win a secret-ballot vote supervised by the National Labor Relations Board, a far longer and more difficult process.

Both proposals have majority support in the House, and the only hope for opponents to block the bills lies in holding at least 41 votes in the Senate to maintain a filibuster. Opponents of labor organizing have targeted Hagan as a key to their hopes in this regard.

Senator Hagan: Welcome to the Senate!


Calling Senator Hagan

Here's contact info for Senator Kay Hagan in Washington:
phone: 202-224-6342
fax: 202-224-1100

That's what I have as current. Any more recent updates are appreciated.

Dan Besse

Kay's Raleigh #

Sen. Hagan retains Elizabeth Dole's # in Raleigh 856-4630

Thanks, Dan

Here is a good opportunity to assist our new Senator with her decisions via the wishes of her constituants vs. the rhetoric of the lobbyists.

I'll send her a constituant message right away.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

"Card check"...why???????????

Why do unions want "Card Check"?  I'm curious about this.  Yeah...I see that rhetoric "a far longer and more difficult process" that Dan has presented...but just WHY is there opposition to a secret ballot to bring a union into a business?  What is wrong with taking away any kind of possibility of intimidation?  Just what are the union arguements?


I'm curious here. 

The best thinking is independent thinking.

I'm willing to listen...

Explain this part of what you presented:


 "If enacted, this bill would require the NLRB to certify a bargaining representative without directing an election if a majority of the bargaining unit employees signed cards, the card check process".


Just askin'.


The best thinking is independent thinking.

The intent is right there

More is the key word.  Think of an election.



North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Aw...c'mon...quit with the "one word clues" thingy

Answer the questions presented...let's hear 1). why the union doesn't want a secret ballot and 2). who will see which employees select the option to have a secret ballot. 

The issue is intimidation by the union.  Yeah, yeah...everyone knows the companys have intimidated.  Is this just a way to "equal the intimidation playing field"??? 

What in the world is wrong with employees having a free choice to say whether or not they want to be represented by a union in private?  Just an easy question.

The best thinking is independent thinking.


How is a union supposed to intimidate an employee?  Even the Heritage institutes incredibly biased report on the subject says that unions were found guilty of charges of intimidation in less than 1000 cases over the past 60 years, and a tiny portion of that was in an election setting.  What this means is that the anti-free choice corporations have aired more ads in the last 6 months saying that unions are scary mafia thugs than actual incidents have occured.


As for the Secret Ballot question, you obviously didnt like that I answered this once already, so I will try again.  First of all the Employee Free Choice Act does not ban a secret ballot.  Second, its not actually a secret ballot.  Under current law if a company stuffs the ballot box the result is a slap on a wrist followed by a new election.  So if there are 1000 workers who can vote, and there are 700 yes votes and 800 no votes there is no union until after a new election.  In what way is that at all a fair process?

"Keep the Faith"

Fine, Blue South...whatever

Look, you and I can go back and forth with this pro...this con...this argument...this positive...this negative...and, truth is, I'm not for "card check" and you are.

I just want to know why unions don't want secret elections..."stuffing election box"?????  c'mon, can do better than that.  It's an NLRB sanctioned/monitored thing. 

Give us some credit.

'The point will actually be moot in just a few months after the Obamaman gets into office.  This is gonna be a payback to the unions both from the majority democratic congress but for their support given to Obama.

I'm just gonna live with it.  If you believe it's a good thing...then, you'll be elated it gets passed.  I don't.

End of story.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

Just to say something here....

BlueSouth has actually been involved with union elections. Have you?


If he says that companies will stuff the ballot boxes, making the results invalid, then I'm going to believe him.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Of course you will...

Why would I not expect that?

Look, I've also been involved in union elections. I've been involved on the management side when the company was being organized. But, what I say here won't be taken seriously, of course, for obvious reasons....and I think few here don't know what I mean by that.

I post what I believe and know from experience here. Others say they do the same. It's what this venue is all about, isn't it?

The best thinking is independent thinking.

I am sorry

I am sorry that you don't like admitting that you lost. Besides, this isn't about you. This is about me not allowing your nonsense to go unanswered. There a lot of lurkers on this site, and I want all of them to know that you are wrong, regardless of if you admit it or not.

"Keep the Faith"

The question.....

By the way....the question is:

Why do unions want to eliminate the secret ballot?

Just thought I'd present it to ya. With all the rhetoric and innuendo and so forth you've put here...I'm thinkin' you forgot the question.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

answered it twice

and presented you with questions that you have ignored. thanks for playing along, your parting gift today is a nice picture of this blender. not the actual blender though, this isnt a freaking game show.

"Keep the Faith"

How is a union supposed to intimidate an employee?

Thanks for the best laugh I've had today.

You're either very naive or being purposely disingenuous.

Do you have any actual experience in a union environment? I guessing no. (I do have direct experience with the UAW.)

Thanks again for the laugh.

So that is a no

So what you are saying is not at all. I can only assume this because you have zero actual explanations. You don't address the central question, which is "how in an election environment..." And, you didn't even attempt to dispute or address
any facts that were presented.

In terms of labor disputes if you take the numbers presented in the biased heritage report that I saw they claim that unions claim 32,000 instances of intimidation by employers every year. They dispute that number, but what is important is that even if you cut that yearly number in half it is still 10 times more than the total amount of complaints (both guilty and innocent results) against unions over the past 60 years.

Now I am not here to say that because businesses intimidate workers that unions should be able to. What I am saying is that intimidation by unions is extremely rare, happening at a rate of barely 20 incidents a year, only a fraction of which are in an election setting. Yet, because of those 20 incidents you believe that the millions of americans who want a choice to join a union don't deserve to make that choice.

And, in a move that is blatantly hypocritical, you don't support more crack downs on employers breaking the law, even though a minimum of 40 to 60 violations happen every DAY by employers.

"Keep the Faith"

Oh, by the way.......

Every republican in America doesn't subscribe to or listens to or takes direction from Rush and Hannity.  Some of us...and this is happening in increasing numbers...know they're "out in right field".  

Don't brand me.  That's a mistake on your part if you do. 

The best thinking is independent thinking.


Not every one does.


However, your debate here shows that in this instance, you did.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Your opinion...

And, I expect nothing less here.

At least you need to consider what is being said here.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

Research the legislation

and then tell me it my opinion.


Until then, I am telling you I know what I'm talking about first hand.  I'm also telling you that you do not.  Now point for point debate this legislation with me.  Then we can decide what is opinion and what is real.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

This is crazy

Look,'re wanting the card check initiative to couldn't care less if it's fair or secret or what the majority just want it passed.  I'm thinkin' you're a union member...probably active in a union...but we won't know regardless what you say about that. 


I am against taking away the secret ballot to unionize a business.  I think that's just fair.  I think it takes away the possibility of union organizers to intimidate those that are asked to decide if they want to be represented by a union. 


I doubt if we're EVER agree for me, it's a done deal.

Next issue.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

It is a done deal

You cannot debate the issue, so I'm done with you.



North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!


Bye.  Thanks for playin'.

The best thinking is independent thinking.


If you personally sign a document that states that with your signature attached that you agree to the contents of the document, is that secret? 

Consider that for a moment.


Sure, you can sign the document with a group of people and state your intent, which would make the signing of said document NOT secret.  Or, you could sign the document quietly (secretly as it were) and wait to see how many others did so as well when the final tally was announced.

Do you see how this has been twisted to make it sound as if you have to sit in a room full of fellow workers and stand up and state your personal opinion on the matter?  That is what you are being led to believe.  Now you have the facts.  Go forth and spread the reality.






North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Oh geezzz...we're know better than that funluvn

C'mon, man.  You're grasping at straws.  The union reps know who signs the cards and how they selected.

I see you understand that.  Thanks.

The best thinking is independent thinking.


You are making no sense.  Kinda sad is your entire Limpbaugh-inspired arguement on this issue.


Read the above again and REALLY read it this time.  Smitty, the libruls aren't trying to put one over on you.  The konservative have already gone there and obviously it was a success.  This is real, my friend.  Read it.  Use "the" Google and explore the realities.  Then check back in and tell me I was correct.



North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

You're playing to the crowd here, my friend're using Hannity and Rush and so forth to try to muster up support here on your arguments.  It's just TOO obvious.

I'm no Hannity or Rush clone...much as you want to make me that. 

You haven't answered my questions...just trashed me with your remarks.

I see what's up...and, I'm betting so do others here.

Yeah...I know this is a liberal blog...but I present my arguments legitimately and with an element of civility.  You haven't really answered my questions and I'm thinkin' it's obvious to not just me here.


The best thinking is independent thinking.


then debate.


Everyone here understands that you are wiggling and squriming.  Come back with a debate on the issue.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Employers DEFINATELY intimidate employees with regard to unions

Look, I'm not here saying that employers don't put out flyers against unionization, march employees into rooms to have to watch anti-union films...been there, done that.  I've been a manager involved in that.  I knew then it was intimidation in a very clandestine way..but it was also legal in NC.  Not sayin' it was right...just that it happened and it was legal. 

I've been both a manager of Teamster's union employees and a Teamster's union member.  Few folks have that distinction.  And, my opinion is that no one should intice any employee to either decide FOR or AGAINST representation by a union.  That's a personal choice. 


The best thinking is independent thinking.

I agree

And that is why I support the Employee Free Choice Act.  So that workers are given a choice, instead of forced by their employers to reject union representation.

"Keep the Faith"

I'm weary of discussing this...

Blue South...I'm sure you've seen my presentations on this issue here.  I really am kind of burnt out on this one.


The best thinking is independent thinking.


are a bitch, aren't they?  Finding them and then defending them? 


You aren't weary Smitty.  You are gettin' your ass handed to you by those that have facts. 

On a librul website.

Even though we know you don't do facts.

'Cause they change the odds and don't allow you to gripe as much.


BTW.  Everyone here knows that I'm telling you this up front and personal.  Nothing you can reply with will make my librul reality disappear for them.  Stop whining.  Start stating facts that we can discuss and debate.



North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Okay, fine

Fine,'re the man !!

Feel better now?


The best thinking is independent thinking.

I am now

that your ass AND your testicles have been handed to you, limpy.


Everyone here is laughing.  Not with you.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Jimmy Hoffa was a inside job by Plaxico Burris?

I've been both a manager of Teamster's union employees and a Teamster's union member* Horse Beater Smitty


Thank the Great Architect! I have finally found a inside Teamster to confirmed where Jimmy Hoffa body is! For years I thought he was stuff in the Lincoln Monument under Lincoln's chair. Last year the Giants won the Super Bowl on a tip that Hoffa was the extra man on the field as a wide reciever. This year the Giants went to hell when it was revealed that Plaxico Burris thought he was shooting at the Ghost of Jimmy Hoffa in a night club.

Always entertaining, Max

My grandpa (toward the end) used to entertain me like you do.....thanks for bringing back that memory.


The best thinking is independent thinking.

Give Smitty a Republican Banana?

My grandpa (toward the end) used to entertain me like you do* Smitty

Do you know something that I don't know Smitty about my ending in life like your Grandpa? I understand that you can pick up your anti-union ass at any NAFTA office in Costa Rica after watching you take on the Union folks here!

Your chances of converting these folks here is slim and none Smitty, you should consider a more important mission like converting the John Locke Foundation and Art Pope to a Ancient Atheist Venus Cult?

OMG, Max !!'re so funny !!

Hey, last thing I figure I'll EVER do here is "convert" anyone. I offer up my opinion just like everyone else. If ya don't agree, then you have every option to state that disagreement.

If Ms. Betsy ever puts "Democrats Only" as a prerequisite for posting here...I'll leave. Save that, ya have to put up with me sometimes. One thing about it've got a whole bunch of buds here to support ya when you bash me for what I rest easy.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

If I owned a company

when I got my hands on it, it would not need to be unionized because I would take care of my workers. However, the workers need to realize that every job in the plant belongs to ME. Not them. By ME keeping the doors open, a mutual agreement of labor for pay is joined. I did not hire the union to work for me, I hired the worker.  To be honest, I would shut down my plant and close the doors before an outsider group came in and started demanding things "for my workers".


What good is a union if the doors are shut? Revere Ware Copper and Brass of Rome, New York paid my father $7+ an hour in 1972. The minimum wage was like $2-4 an hour. Guess what, the recession of the 1970s did not allow Revere to stay open and all them wonderful highpaying jobs went away. Revere shut down the plant. The plant was operational in WW2 but died in late 1970s. Part due to the economy, and part due to unions.


Unions as a voice for terrible working conditions and improper labor practices are one thing. Unions as representatives of the worker for saleries is another.


The company did not start the aggreement with a union, but with the workers.  When a union negotiates salary and benefit packages, they have over stepped their authority and I do not have a problem with that company shutting down the doors. Thanks to NAFTA, I would take my company to mexico and start up again. That is what unions enable when they get into salary negotiations.


Having owned more than one, I've found that creating a safe, caring and personally uplifting place of employment for people that have it in their best interest to show up each day, well, this model causes fantastic working relationships and one hell of a teamwork oriented group to emerge from the effort it took to take your employees seriously.


Quite simple. 

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Would you have concidered

it an an insult if your workers tried to unionize at your company with what you did for them? Would it hurt you or maybe even jaundice you toward them?

From my time living in NC, I would say it's not a favorable...

climate for unions. I base that on the fact that most businesses I see are smaller factories and contractors. But having spent my working years in the industrial part of the country, with companies having many thousands of workers, I found unions to be most favorable in getting working conditions improved. For many years, I did the work of a job steward, despite the fact that when I started, I didn't like the idea that I had to pay dues. But as time went on, you come to realize that without a voice in how the job should run, I would have to be leaving my job, and benefits many times in my life. And yes, I had bosses who saw themselves as benevolent, but usually his workers viewed him as a 'Hitler' type. The bosses who did best, knew that to really communicate with the employees on a level field, did the best in the long run. My thought has always been that if a company did well by their employees, they wouldn't be looking to pay dues to any union. We had a very large computer company in the county where I worked, who really worked at keeping the employees from wanting to unionize, but whenever they did building expansions, they only had union contractors involved. They wanted it done professionally, and by the local codes. I did retire some years ago with my pension, and have to say that while living in Florida, or here in NC, the only other people I met who are retired, either owned their own business, were professionals,(doctors, lawyers, etc.) or were former union members. I never met any non-union retired people from the 'right-to-work states.

Not just in your opinion

Its not just unfavorable in your opinion. North Carolina has had the lowest rate of union membership in the country every year for 50 years. Right now our per capita union membership is about 25% of the national average. I won't even attempt to list the reasons, there are way too many.

And your comments about pensions bring up a point that is too often lost when we talk about unions. Unions are about a lot more than better pay for work.

"Keep the Faith"

Musolini said fascism=corporatism

North Carolina's political and financial elite have always been corporatist

Do I have this straight?

Doremus...are you saying that the corporate leaders/owners and the leaders of North Carolina's political parties are fascists? What am I missing here?

I don't know...something about quoting Musolini (Mussolini?) just doesn't sit well with me. He was like the main guy for the fascist movement/philosophy for crying out loud. Being rich or powerful doesn't automatically make someone a fascist.

The best thinking is independent thinking. first order of business is Card Check for Obama

Obama owes the unions BIG TIME.  He's not gonna let this one pass by.  Once the democratic-controlled congress sends this bill to him to sign, you gotta KNOW it's a done deal.  If it doesn't happen, repubs will have an "in" with regard to unions...and if you'll remember, even the Teamster's Union  has supported republican pres and other candidates in the past. 

Demos are on a mission......and seeing what the repubs have done with their 8 years of fame, I can't blame them.  Hard to be as bad as that...and I'm a repub.  But, if it IS as bad or worse....we're in trouble, folks.  If politics for the demos is "all-consuming" without regard to our country's well being, we're doomed.

This "card check" thing is just absolutely and totally wrong for America right now.  We aren't competitive in the world-wide marketplace....unions want to put more and more restrictions on American companies that have a huge disadvantage already because of government regulation and requirements.

Just my beliefs...trash me if ya want, but somewhere along the line, our country is gonna have to change.  "Change"...remember that?

The best thinking is independent thinking.

Your mission

if you choose to accept it, is to use "the" google and research the wording of the legislation regarding what you are calling Card Check. 


When and if you come back with something other than questions to the group here, but with real and insightful reasons why you feel that this legislation is wrong, and I mean point for point, then I will discuss this with you further.  Anything less than an informed debate on your part will do two things.  Hopefully cause everyone here to ignore your uninformed statements as well as give you an opportunity to become more enlightened when you decide to debate the issues.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Change to What

You claim to want change, but change to what?  We saw what happened with unlimited deregulation.  Not just over the past 8 years, but over the past 30 years.  And its incredibly destructive.  Conservatives pushed free trade and claimed unions were being protectionist (as if protecting jobs was a bad thing).  Now thanks to that "free" trade we have even less jobs.  So yeah, I support change.  I support a change away from the deruglation nonsense that has failed us so miserably.


As an additional point when talking about America and freedom.  Right now, only about 1/4 of people who attempt to start a union are succesful.  That is because in half the workplaces the employees are never given a chance to vote and unions lose about half the votes that are taken. (EDIT- Unions win about 60% of votes.  A surprisingly low number considering you only need 50%+1 and have to have 40% of workers ask for an election for one to be called.)  This is in spite of the fact that an overwhelming majority of workers say that they would join a union if given a chance.  So, if a majority of them want to do so but are currently unable to, should we make it harder or easier for them to make a choice?


Ultimately you are arguing against American workers being given an opportunity to make a choice about their lives, and you are never going to win that argument.


"Keep the Faith"