He made the trains run on time and controlled the Unions

image - October 23, 2003

Fascism is recognized to have first been officially developed by Benito Mussolini, who came to power in Italy in 1922. To sum up fascism in one word would be to say "anti-liberalism".

...............Socialism and Democracy. Political doctrines pass; peoples remain. It is to be expected that this century may be that of authority, a century of the "Right," a Fascist century."

Image Source Page: http://marxistleninist.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/glenn-beck-champions-u-s-pro-nazi-text/

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Candidates talk with State Employees Union

Peter Mills and Libby Mitchell both promised to appoint State Employees to a commission to find cost savings in State Government

 There is more below the fold

Among other candidates addressing MSEASEIU this past Friday night was Libby Mitchell (D) and Peter Mills (R), both candidates for the gubernatorial nomination of their respective parties. Both candidates for office addressed MSEASEIU members in an informal setting, not only did they give short speeches they took questions.
While there were several other candidates attending I did not have a chance to ask all of them the two questions I had prepared. I will be sending emails to all of the other candidates with the same questions and others. If you have questions you think are important for all Mainers please send them to Tom@Unionmaine.org
During the most recent legislative merry go round State Employees pay was slashed, benefits cut, and they were told by some that this was only the beginning. Some politicians wanted more cuts.
Times are tough all over, times are tough in Maine and State Employees are Mainers and taxpayers. We know there is no bottomless purse. Taxes cannot go up and up, but on the other hand decades of negotiated wages and benefits were tossed under the bus by a legislature that refused to listen when their employees offered ways to save money.
Union members knew that the only way to protect their wages and benefits was to find savings not increase taxes and they offered their help to the legislature. They were rebuffed. They were told “if you find ten million in savings we will say thanks and still cut your pay and benefits”.
The collective bargaining process was ignored by both sides, Republican and Democrat with little to no reason given for the refusal to let employees voice an opinion on where the cuts should come from. Instead cuts were imposed by law, not bargaining and to serve political necessity not in the interest of public service.
The questions were these:
1: Will you support hiring State Employees to do the jobs of any contractors, new or existing where it can be proved that State Employees can do the work less expensively?
Both candidates answered yes with no qualifications and no hesitation. As a State Employee I know of numerous examples of contractors being hired year after year and being paid far more than state employees to do the same work. Don’t ask about the benefits! We have auditors, CPAs, and we play the game straight. The contractors are earning more than State Employees with all costs considered.
The Maine Revenue Service (the tax man) hires contractors to collect taxes and then lets them keep a percentage, so not only are private companies taking a rake off on the revenues we do have coming in, they are allowed access to your private tax information. Not to worry though, they are supervised, right? Yeah right! We hire an outside supervisor to oversee outside contractors to rake off your taxes and look at your information.
The second question:
Will you agree to appoint a cost savings and contracting out commission for the purposes of finding waste and studying the true cost of contracting out and will you appoint State Employees to that commission?
This is truly the most important question. For years State Employee suggestions have been solicited and then fallen into a black hole if they run afoul of private interest. Save a million? No way, it might cut work for a private contractor. Save five million? No way! Using existing State buildings would cut the revenue of landlords in Augusta where every citizen in the state sends taxes to enrich a few millionaire landlords.
Both candidates immediately agreed to appoint such a commission, again with no quibbles and no hesitation.
Now we have to see, but we don’t have to wait for the election. Peter Mills and Libby Mitchell are both active in the legislature now, the fiscal crisis is not getting better yet. Maine needs to find another $200,000,000 or even $300,000,000 to balance the budget. Judging by the accuracy of the past predictions I won’t say that even $300,000,000 would fill the hole. They should appoint that commission now.
We need to save money now, not wait for promises in the future. Send and email to the candidates and ask them to show us what they stand for now. We need that commission appointed now here are the candidates email addresses.
Peter Mills    pmills@mainelegal.net
 We don't have to wait for them to keep a promise. They are in office now.
Suggested Email

As a candidate for governor and an active legislator in these trying times I request that you appoint a Cost Savings, Contracting out commission and appoint State Employees to that commission because they know where the waste is.

Without prompting Libby Mitchell expanded her answers and while she made no rosy predictions for State Employees she promised to do everything in her power to guarantee that any further cuts demanded of State Employees whether it be monetary cuts, benefit cuts or layoffs would be discussed in the collective bargaining process.

The Same topic was covered indirectly in Peter Mill’s speech, not as strongly but showed a clear understanding that a legal process should be followed and that law makers should not ignore the law.
I will be adding a question about respecting the collective bargaining process to any questions sent to the candidates

Libby Mitchell for Governor at  http://www.libbymitchellforgovernor.com/ 

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