Monday, November 09, 2009

Big Labor will kill the Water Bond

It is clear to me that the Water Bond recently approved for the voters’ approval is a piece of proposed legislation whose ultimate cost and even its ability to be completed is not really known. I’d like to think that more than just the $1 billion set aside for water recycling and other dithering on the issue will actually get built. But in California, no high profile Public Works construction project can be expected to sail through construction without the special interest groups getting their piece of the action. I speak specifically about LABOR UNIONS. For more than a decade, a suedo-environmental group of Big Labor activists, represented by a powerful San Francisco law firm have filed repetitive and erroneous environmental objections against power and infrastructure projects to the end of securing union-only Project Labor Agreement (PLA).

PLA’s are under indictment for being wasteful and discriminatory but that has not stopped Big Labor from utilizing their endless supply of money (derived from union membership dues) to force contracting bodies in California to sign these agreements. The Merit Shop community in California is opposed to PLAs because they require all labor on a construction project to pay dues and be registered with the union, even if the workers are with a non-union firm. We are not talking about the State Prevailing Wage and the benefits that come along with it. A PLA is an additional bureaucratic tool that unions use to keep non-union contractors from bidding and to fill the coffers of their bankrupt Pension Plans.

California desperately needs a solution to the crisis it now faces, but water recycling programs are not the answer. They are simply a small part of what must be a comprehensive plan for getting water where it is needed. California Labor Unions are more concerned with hegemony over public works than they are with solving California’s water crisis.

UPDATE: Several hours after I wrote this blog post, a friend sent me a link to this Los Angeles Building Trades publication where BIG LABOR'S efforts to pass the Bond through the California Legislature is revealed. From the article, one can only come to the conclusion that BIG LABOR wants this water bond to pass. What is implied but not overtly sited is the fact that Labor will require that the projects be built under union-only Project Labor Agreements. PLA's raise the cost of construction projects and discriminate against those that choose to work non-union. If the union insist on PLA's, there going to get some pretty significant push-back from the non-union construction industry.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Orange County Board of Sups Votes 5-0 To Ban union-only Project Labor Agreements

The Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC), Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction (CFEC) and the Western Electrical Contractors Association (WECA) are proud to report that open competition in public works construction got a huge boost in Orange County California today. Supervisoe John Mo0rloch was key to the success. Here is the OC Register article. From Eric Christen, executive director of CFEC:


With over 100 merit shop employees, contractors, and association reps in attendance, the Orange County Board of Supervisors in a 5-0 vote banned Project Labor Agreements with an ordinance. This precedent setting vote puts into law the Supervisors' stated support for open competition, non-discrimination, and the best quality construction at the best price for taxpayers.

Please email the Orange County Board of Supervisors and thank them for their vote!

OC Supervisor Janet Nguyen - janet.nguyen@ocgov.com
OC Supervisor John Moorlach - john.moorlach@ocgov.com
OC Supervisor Bill Campbell - bill.campbell@ocgov.com
OC Supervisor Chris Norby - chris.norby@ocgov.com
OC Supervisor Patricia Bates - patbates@ocgov.com
You can be sure this is just the beginning!

Here is a pro-building trades article leading up to today's unanimous vote in favor of open competition.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Frank Luntz on Language

I am listening to Polster Frank Luntz who is right now speaking to Merit Shop construction contractors about the vocabulary they use when battling the unions. The polling his firm did just prior to this event clearly shows that Americans find little or no value in organized labor unions today. He also found that more Americans can name one of the Three Stooges than can name a Supreme Court Justice.

Other findings...

More people would rather be mugged than would like to be audited by the IRS.

Slightly more people would undergo an IRS audit before they would undergo a root canal.

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Saturday, September 05, 2009

A Liberal Questions, A Conservative Answers

A friend who runs the Santa Clarita Republican website forwarded these comments received by email.

I am ashamed to admit that I was a Republican, the way Republicans such as you are acting about President Obama's speech to our school children. He is urging them to study hard and do well in school. What's wrong with that? Did you react this way when other Presidents gave similar words of encouragement to our children? We should be teaching our children to respect our President. Actions such as you are trying to take here will only confuse children or turn them against our President. But I guess that's your object, right?

This speech is intended to be a positive message. Please see it that way. Your calling it a 'highly intrusive Federal manipulation of our local school curriculums" (sic) makes me sick!

- Laverne B


Here was my response:

Hello Laverne,

I believe you may be missing a few points of considerable importance in your analysis. Presidents have spoken to school Children since Jimmy Carter. Reagan and George Bush Sr. both have had addresses to school children. What is different about this case is the unprecedented participation by the national education apparatus. The existence of this lesson plan should concern everybody. There is absolutely no justification for mandating the buy-in for Obama's message. Depending on what that message will be (political or not) will determine if I support my children hearing it, but I cannot abide the exercise that the Educrats have devised to support it. That is what separates this address from Presidential Addresses of the past. Furthermore, it may in fact be against Federal law for the Department of Education to create lesson plans for students. This needs to be verified but if true, it reveals a particularly disturbing lack of judgment on the part of the Secretary of Education.

While we're on the subject of Presidential Addresses, what is with the joint session of Congress on Wednesday? Past Presidents have saved this forum for the delivery of much-needed attention by the President such as following national disasters or to declare war. It is also the place where the President goes to give his annual report to the American people. Obama has already broken with tradition in this by being the 1st President (I think, so let me know if this is inaccurate) to hold a state of the union-like address in the year he takes office. And will he say anything new? Will he announce a re-commitment to including conservative solutions in the package?
Or will he continue to use more carefully chosen words of spin and misdirection? This is all quite overwhelming to me. What do you think?

BTW: I wrote down 5 of my favorite conservative health care solutions here: http://socalpundit.blogspot.com/2009/09/real-healthcare-reform-options-are.html

Regards,

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Real Healthcare Reform Options Are Available

The problem that President Obama and Democrats have is that very few people believe that government run health insurance will solve any of the problems that plague the delivery of medical services in America. It is pretty much and unspoken truth that the so-called "public option" is nothing more than a Big Government plan to grab another 1/6 of the economy.

So what can Congress do to make health care more affordable in America?

HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNTS


The number one option that small, medium and even large businesses have employed for years is employee health savings accounts. While employers contribute to these accounts, it is really employees own money that fuels the growth of the size of the accounts. The employer and employee contribute to the account before taxes, are not taxed when the money is spent and can only be used to pay deductibles and other a few other health services not covered by high deductible health plans. It is the perfect way keep people invested in their own health care without requiring them to shoulder costs on the fly.

LOCAL CLINICS FOR THE POOR

It is an absolute shame that the poor in America use the emergency room for all of their health care needs. Not only is the ER the most expensive way to deliver health services, but it is also the method least capable of affecting a patient's overall health standards. Small, government and health insurance company subsidized clinics located in poor communities would not only be able to deliver all emergency health services that do not require hospitalization, but could also be clearance houses for education and tools for healthy living. Non-Governmental Agencies have been proving the value of local clinics in other countries for decades. But as a matter of politics, the idea has not caught on here in the U.S.

TORT REFORM


It is worth noting that the "public option" does offer one benefit to the American people. If the government is delivering your health services, you have no right to sue the plan if the quality of health care sucks. Rather than going to that extreme, limits should be placed on the awards that judges and juries can deliver in the case of successful litigation. Changes to what types of incidents that would qualify for litigation would also be advisable. It is a shame that OBGYN's can be sued for millions of dollars, simply because complications during child birth led to issues with the baby’s health. Limiting the scope of issues that could be litigated would go a very long way to bringing down the cost of Doctor's liability insurance. Liability insurance is one of the leading reasons that the delivery of health care in America continues to rise.

CREATE MORE COMPETITION IN THE HEALTH CARE INDUSTRY

One of the siren calls of the need for the public option is that insurance companies are only in it for profit. But the truth is, that because of onerous government regulations, health insurance companies are protected from any meaningful competition. Health insurance costs in states where competition is robust are much less than in states where regulations have limited competition. If consumers could buy insurance from any company in any state, as opposed to being limited to companies in their own state, competition would be energized and costs would ultimately go down.

INSURANCE PORTABILITY

One of the historical errors on the health insurance industry is that policies are tied to employment. Whereas employers should definitely be involved in subsidizing health insurance costs, there is no reason why employers should be hosting health insurance plans. Like Health Savings Accounts, health insurance policies would be tied to the individual rather than the employer. In this manner, consumers would retain their insurance even if they change employers. This is after all, how we purchase our auto and home-owners insurance and it works pretty well.

The bottom line is that there are many options for health care reform. A Phony Health Insurance Replacement Program is not a solution. If the President and Congress are serious about reform, they must drop the talk about a plan centered on a public option and begin dealing with the Republicans on real reform options.

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Socialized Medicine

I scanned this cartoon from the February 2007 issue of World Magazine. It only becomes MORE apropos as time goes by! Click to enlarge.

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Santa Clarita Tax Day Tea Party Videos

First, here are 3 videos that I produced.

The first video depicts an incident of Chase Bank having a Tax Day attendees car towed.



Here is a video montage I made of the Santa Clarita Tax Day Tea Party.



And for my last video, an interview with liberal blogger Jeff Wilson of http://www.scvtalk.com.



Alternately, you can watch Jeff interview me!

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