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  • Originally posted by slick_miester View Post

    I know for a fact that UFT "volunteered" members to appear at political events for many years, and if individual members declined to "volunteer," then they faced reprecussions.



    In 2008, SEIU Local 1199 organized a phone bank for Barack Obama at the Port Authority Bus Terminal just off of Times Square. The personnel manning the phone bank were 1199 members -- but the phone bank service is an example of a "donation in kind," in that the transport, installation, and hook-up of dozens of phone lines and their associated hardware, desks, chairs, other furnishings -- not to mention the rental of prime office space in Midtown Manhattan -- are services of value, and as such, their donation should be as regulated as mass printings or cash donations. If not, then what's to stop Bill Gates from "making a gift" of millions of dollars of prepaid advertising to the candidate of his choice? After all, it's not a cash donation.
    Well, I do not accept anecdotal evidence from a person who is not even a UFT member as a "fact." But let's say that what you heard or read was accurate. It sounds something that could or should have been challenged in courts. This is wrong regardless of the Citizens' United decision. In order to be fair, we should also recall that such types of blackmail exist in the corporate level as well when workers are trying to create unions.

    As I said, as long as there is no some sort of blackmail, I have no problem with donations in kind because such activity makes the field more even between the wealthier and the less wealthier. Time is measured the same for both
    My most dangerous mission: I landed in the middle of an enemy tank battalion and I immediately, started spraying bullets killing everybody around me having fun up until my computer froze...

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Cambronnne View Post

      Um, no. You didn't explain why it was wrong other than to say union voices good corporate voices bad.
      Now you are pulling your usual defense of claiming you already answered. (you didn't)
      If the decision was wrong, you should be able to explain why, under the 1st amendment, it was wrong. You didn't do that. Instead, you cited to your personal beliefs.

      Even in this answer, where you deny saying unions are good, you argue that unions should be treated differently because they are good.

      The fact that the SCOTUS can reverse itself isn't support for your claim the decision was wrong. It is an effort to avoid admitting you made crap up.
      Also, I note you have dropped your assertion that the SCOTUS made a "claim" about corruption.

      Forgive me if I've lost interest in responding to your ever changing positions.
      Well, I even specifically clarified that Citizen United should not apply just to the unions, and I did not tie my position to the unions. Even if there were zero unions in the US, my position stands as I expressed it since it does not require the existence of any union and it has to do with the voice of the majority of people in comparison to the voice of a few wealthy individuals.

      This does not change even if the majority is of rednecks. In a functional democracy, I want the voice of a million rednecks to be more effective in spreading its message than the voice of a thousand of wealthy elites, liberal or conservative. This has nothing to do with how I evaluate the morality of a particular group.

      I did not drop my assertion that the SCOTUS made a wrong claim about the lack of danger for corruption.



      You make things up and you tell me that I change positions lolol
      Last edited by pamak; 28 Feb 20, 14:02.
      My most dangerous mission: I landed in the middle of an enemy tank battalion and I immediately, started spraying bullets killing everybody around me having fun up until my computer froze...

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      • Originally posted by pamak View Post
        Well, I do not accept anecdotal evidence from a person who is not even a UFT member as a "fact."
        My step-father has been a UFT member since the mid-1970s.

        Originally posted by pamak View Post
        But let's say that what you heard or read was accurate.
        Let's . . . .

        Originally posted by pamak View Post
        It sounds something that could or should have been challenged in courts.
        UFT has deep pockets -- thanks to its members' dues. How else were they able to pursue keeping the editor of the NAMBLA newsletter in the classroom all the way the US Court of Appeals?

        Originally posted by pamak View Post
        This is wrong regardless of the Citizens' United decision. In order to be fair, we should also recall that such types of blackmail exist in the corporate level as well when workers are trying to create unions.
        A union compelling a member to participate in a political campaign is analogous to an employer twisting his employees' arms to reject union organization? We all know up front that the employer represents his own interests. The union is SUPPOSED to represent the employees' interests. How is a union's leadership compelling members to participate in political actions against their wishes representing the members' interests?

        Originally posted by pamak View Post
        As I said, as long as there is no some sort of blackmail, I have no problem with donations in kind because such activity makes the field more even between the wealthier and the less wealthier. Time is measured the same for both
        So then by your rationale, I can purchase $100,000 worth of printed materials, hire personnel to distribute them, and call it a "gift in kind" to the candidate of my choice. Thank you, counselor.
        I was married for two ******* years! Hell would be like Club Med! - Sam Kinison

        Comment


        • Originally posted by slick_miester View Post

          My step-father has been a UFT member since the mid-1970s.



          Let's . . . .



          UFT has deep pockets -- thanks to its members' dues. How else were they able to pursue keeping the editor of the NAMBLA newsletter in the classroom all the way the US Court of Appeals?



          A union compelling a member to participate in a political campaign is analogous to an employer twisting his employees' arms to reject union organization? We all know up front that the employer represents his own interests. The union is SUPPOSED to represent the employees' interests. How is a union's leadership compelling members to participate in political actions against their wishes representing the members' interests?



          So then by your rationale, I can purchase $100,000 worth of printed materials, hire personnel to distribute them, and call it a "gift in kind" to the candidate of my choice. Thank you, counselor.
          An employer in the case of corporations (where unions exist) does not represent a monolithic group of stockholders. While the majority of stocks may be concentrated on some relatively few and more wealthy stockholders, it does not mean that there are not stockholders (including employees investing in the company) who have competing interests and may very well be pro-union. The same can be true with blue collar middle class small stockholders in general. Any organization, union or corporation will not be able to fully express the views of all its members. In both cases, there will be times where certain members will disagree with some decisions of the organization. And by the way, regardless of what the employers' interest are, there is still a labor law which gives workers certain rights which contrast to the employers' interests.

          Wait, purchase of $100,000 material is not in kind donation. But yes, I have no problem if you volunteer to distribute this material and I do not care about your wealth when you choose to support your favorite candidate in this way. A person way less wealthy than you will still be able to visit the same amount of places and spread the message with similar effectiveness. You are welcome.
          Last edited by pamak; 28 Feb 20, 14:36.
          My most dangerous mission: I landed in the middle of an enemy tank battalion and I immediately, started spraying bullets killing everybody around me having fun up until my computer froze...

          Comment


          • Originally posted by pamak View Post
            An employer in the case of corporations (where unions exist) does not represent a monolithic group of stockholders. While the majority of stocks may be concentrated on some relatively few and more wealthy stockholders, it does not mean that there are not stockholders (including employees investing in the company) who have competing interests and may very well be pro-union, especially if they come from blue collar middle class small stockholders.
            Are you suggesting that shareholders purchase stock in joint-stock corporations for reasons other than realizing profits?

            Originally posted by pamak View Post
            Wait, purchase of $100,000 material is not in kind donation. But yes, I have no problem if you volunteer to distribute this material and I do not care about your wealth when you choose to support your favorite candidate in this way. A person way less wealthy than you will still be able to visit the same amount of places and spread the message with similar effectiveness. You are welcome.
            I've distributed flyers. A carton of 8.5x11" costs next to nothing -- but distributing those 5,000 sheets can easily consume six hours for a two-man crew.(learned that the hard way.) Pray tell, what mighty individual can distribute $100,000 worth of printed materials -- Stakhanov?

            By the way, according to the Federal Elections Commission, SEIU's phone bank counts as a "contribution in kind," and thus by law has to be reported, both the reimbursement requested by the donor, and the real cash equivalent value of the donation in kind.

            An in-kind contribution is a non-monetary contribution. Goods or services offered free or at less than the usual charge result in an in-kind contribution. Similarly, when a person or entity pays for services on the committee’s behalf, the payment is an in-kind contribution. An expenditure made by any person or entity in cooperation, consultation or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate’s campaign is also considered an in-kind contribution to the candidate.
            The value of an in-kind contribution—the usual and normal charge—counts against the contribution limit as a gift of money does. Additionally, like any other contribution, in-kind contributions count against the contributor’s limit for the next election, unless they are otherwise designated.
            Reporting on candidate forms

            House and Senate committees report in-kind contributions from individuals on Form 3, Line 11(a). In-kind contributions from party committees are reported on Line 11(b), and in-kind contributions from PACs are reported on Line 11(c).
            When determining whether to itemize an in-kind contribution, treat it the same as a monetary contribution. In-kind contributions from other committees are itemized regardless of the amount. In-kind contributions from individuals are itemized if the contributions from the source aggregate over $200 during the election cycle.
            The amount of an in-kind contribution must also be included in the committee’s total operating expenditures on Line 17 in order to avoid inflating cash on hand. It is itemized as an operating expenditure on Schedule B, supporting Line 17, only if it has to be itemized as a contribution on Schedule A.


            "How to report in-kind contributions," Fedeeral Elections Commission
            I was married for two ******* years! Hell would be like Club Med! - Sam Kinison

            Comment


            • I thought that Athens put to bed forever the idea that democracy was a desirable form of government :-)

              The problem with unions is that they are not meritocratic not that they are not democratic. It's the type of people that are chosen to represent union members that make them vulnerable to poor decision making. It's very much like what happened in the Soviet Union when factories were turned over to party members.

              That said crony capitalism suffers from the same defect. As does our politics. People people are often open extroverts and not good managers. Building networks of people is unfortunately unrelated to the ability to systematize.
              We hunt the hunters

              Comment


              • Actually, unions have lost the battle repeatedly to coerce members into donating to political campaigns, or vote a certain way. The biggest was probably Beck v. Communications Workers of America back in the late 80's. It ended the ability of unions to collect dues specifically for political purposes or use dues for political purposes without a member's approval.
                Yes, they still get around this in various ways, but they were put on notice.

                The reason this occurred, is in many states you have "closed shops." That is, if you are employed somewhere there is a union, then in a closed shop state you are required to join. You can be a "dues only" member or pay the full amount now, but the "dues only" is usually like 90% of the full membership. It's a way for unions to still collect large sums and spend freely on political campaigns. Workers in such states have no choice about not being union members.

                With corporations, the stockholders are free at any time to divest themselves of their shares if they object to the way the corporation is doing business. They are not forced to buy or to participate the way union members are. That's why a corporation is free to spend on political campaigns, etc. They are a free association as opposed to a forced membership group in many states.

                Now, if the state is "Right to Work," then the union cannot force you to join or pay dues. But, many states aren't RTW.



                One might note that states that are Closed Shop tend to be ones dominated by Democrats. Makes you wonder...

                Comment


                • Originally posted by slick_miester View Post

                  Are you suggesting that shareholders purchase stock in joint-stock corporations for reasons other than realizing profits?



                  I've distributed flyers. A carton of 8.5x11" costs next to nothing -- but distributing those 5,000 sheets can easily consume six hours for a two-man crew.(learned that the hard way.) Pray tell, what mighty individual can distribute $100,000 worth of printed materials -- Stakhanov?

                  By the way, according to the Federal Elections Commission, SEIU's phone bank counts as a "contribution in kind," and thus by law has to be reported, both the reimbursement requested by the donor, and the real cash equivalent value of the donation in kind.
                  I am suggesting that a worker who invest in his company may have more complicated views regarding his interests and not sacrifice a union benefit for some relative minor increase in his stocks. This is no much different from the debunked ideology that tried to convince workers in the previous decades to support the outsourcing of the jobs in the name of more profits which now comes back to hunt them.

                  Again, the type of activity you describe creates a more level field between wealthier and less wealthy participants. On a broader point, does it mean that there will not be cases where money for some reason will give some advantage to some people? Of course, there will be such cases and I do not expect that this can be addressed by a micromanagement of everything that people can do. But creating a system of political campaign which makes the field more equal is doable and is the right thing to do for the reasons I mentioned in previous posts.

                  I assume that since this "donation in kind" has to be reported, that it is also regulated and has a limit. Otherwise, there should not be a reason to report it. The regulations concerning political campaign are quite complex. What I find interesting is that there there are restrictions of individual contributions to candidates despite the claim that money is freedom of speech and despite the existence of the 1A.


                  My most dangerous mission: I landed in the middle of an enemy tank battalion and I immediately, started spraying bullets killing everybody around me having fun up until my computer froze...

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by wolfhnd View Post
                    I thought that Athens put to bed forever the idea that democracy was a desirable form of government :-)

                    The problem with unions is that they are not meritocratic not that they are not democratic. It's the type of people that are chosen to represent union members that make them vulnerable to poor decision making. It's very much like what happened in the Soviet Union when factories were turned over to party members.

                    That said crony capitalism suffers from the same defect. As does our politics. People people are often open extroverts and not good managers. Building networks of people is unfortunately unrelated to the ability to systematize.
                    Wrong conclusion since Athens was too small to have good chances for a long term-survival. Part of the problem for Athens is that they wanted to remain relatively "pure" Greeks and did not adopt the much more culturally inclusive strategy of the Romans.
                    My most dangerous mission: I landed in the middle of an enemy tank battalion and I immediately, started spraying bullets killing everybody around me having fun up until my computer froze...

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by pamak View Post

                      Well, I even specifically clarified that Citizen United should not apply just to the unions, and I did not tie my position to the unions. Even if there were zero unions in the US, my position stands as I expressed it since it does not require the existence of any union and it has to do with the voice of the majority of people in comparison to the voice of a few wealthy individuals.

                      This does not change even if the majority is of rednecks. In a functional democracy, I want the voice of a million rednecks to be more effective in spreading its message than the voice of a thousand of wealthy elites, liberal or conservative. This has nothing to do with how I evaluate the morality of a particular group.

                      I did not drop my assertion that the SCOTUS made a wrong claim about the lack of danger for corruption.



                      You make things up and you tell me that I change positions lolol
                      No one said the case applied just to unions.
                      That wasn't what the hue and cry was about.
                      So, why was the decision wrong?

                      As for the alleged SCOTUS claim about lack of corruption please share that as I suspect you are relying on something other than the actual decision. Again, the Court doesn't "make" claims. It resolves them.
                      please share.
                      Avatar is General Gerard, courtesy of Zouave.

                      Churchill to Chamberlain: you had a choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor, and you will have war.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Cambronnne View Post

                        No one said the case applied just to unions.
                        That wasn't what the hue and cry was about.

                        As for the alleged SCOTUS claim about lack of corruption please share that as I suspect you are relying on something other than the actual decision. Again, the Court doesn't "make" claims. It resolves them.
                        please share.
                        I did not say that the case applied just to unions. I rejected your claim that somehow I want to see a preferential treatment of unions because I think that unions are "good." I explained that this was not my position.

                        I do not know what you try to argue. The SCOTUS made a decision based on some rationale. And in that decision part of the calculus was the claim that such unlimited contributions can create an issue of corruption. Such considerations are always present in political activities. Why do you think that there is a limit of personal contributions directly to candidates?

                        I explained why I see the SCOTUS decision being wrong. I explained that they have underestimated the danger of corruption. I also explained that I do not see the level of money equating with freedom of speech.This is a made up concept which one can easily challenge by saying instead that the level of money equates with the volume of speech. Saying that money is essential for speech does not automatically mean that unrestricted amounts of money should also be essential in spreading a political message. This is certainly not the case with the individual contributions directly to a candidate. So, the whole idea that somehow there is a "holy cow" of free speech which we cannot touch through limiting the level of certain contributions is unconvincing.

                        Get the SCOTUS decision, search corruption and read the 63 cases of mentioning the word during the decision.

                        https://transition.fec.gov/law/litig...08_opinion.pdf
                        Last edited by pamak; 28 Feb 20, 15:26.
                        My most dangerous mission: I landed in the middle of an enemy tank battalion and I immediately, started spraying bullets killing everybody around me having fun up until my computer froze...

                        Comment


                        • I believe Bernie has kicked Florida to the curb... haha
                          SPORTS FREAK/ PANZERBLITZ COMMANDER/ CC2 COMMANDER

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                          • Originally posted by pamak View Post
                            I am suggesting that a worker who invest in his company may have more complicated views regarding his interests and not sacrifice a union benefit for some relative minor increase in his stocks.
                            Is this based on some anetode, or you can document such occurences?

                            Originally posted by pamak View Post
                            This is no much different from the debunked ideology that tried to convince workers in the previous decades to support the outsourcing of the jobs in the name of more profits which now comes back to hunt them.
                            If Company A can increase profits by ending one type of activity and engaging it in another, then where does the debunking come in? I mean, the whole of the Rust Belt looks like a friggin' desert, so clearly the manufacturers weren't cutting it playing by the rules. If you don't believe me, then ask yourself how the City of Schenectady NY -- a city whose population has declined 50% in fifty years, and whose private-sector workforce has decline almost 100% in that same time period -- still has the audacity to assess more than $10,000/yr in property taxes for average 60x60' suburban residential properties, of which nearly 50% are abandoned? Of this I sht you not: the demise of a real union town -- right into the toilet.

                            Originally posted by pamak View Post
                            Again, the type of activity you describe creates a more level field between wealthier and less wealthy participants.
                            How many man/hours would it take you to distribute $100,000 worth of printed material -- bearing in mind that Office Depot is offering a carton of 20lb 8.5x11" white for $19.99? By my count, a single carton takes 12 man/hrs to distribute. You'd better get cracking. Bernie's gonna need all the help he can get.

                            Originally posted by pamak View Post
                            On a broader point, does it mean that there will not be cases where money for some reason will give some advantage to some people? Of course, there will be such cases and I do not expect that this can be addressed by a micromanagement of everything that people can do. But creating a system of political campaign which makes the field more equal is doable and is the right thing to do for the reasons I mentioned in previous posts.
                            So treating SEIU Local 1199's renting of Times Square Manhattan office space for Barack Obama's phone bank as an in-kind contribution worth as much as $79/sq ft/mo as real money -- that counts against both the candidate's and the contributor's caps -- is the right thing to do?

                            Originally posted by pamak View Post
                            I assume that since this "donation in kind" has to be reported, that it is also regulated and has a limit. Otherwise, there should not be a reason to report it. The regulations concerning political campaign are quite complex. What I find interesting is that there there are restrictions of individual contributions to candidates despite the claim that money is freedom of speech and despite the existence of the 1A.
                            On the one hand you've argued against Citizens Utd, and now you're arguing in favor of Citizens Utd?

                            And here's a whiff of organized labor's have-cake-and-eat-it-too ethos:

                            Labor unions and political organizers on Tuesday urged the state’s top finance regulator to reverse a proposal that would rein in how much money unions can donate to their preferred candidates, arguing it’s “unfair” and could tip the scales of influence.

                            But that line of reasoning, threaded through testimony to the Office of Campaign and Political Finance, met immediate headwinds: Michael Sullivan, the office’s director, told critics that his job isn’t to “level the playing field” but to clarify the law, signaling the arguments will do little to shape the final regulations due later this spring.

                            The debate stems from a proposal the office released last month to slash the annual limit tied to labor donations. Currently, labor unions are allowed to give up to $15,000 annually to a single political candidate, but the draft regulations would set the limit at $1,000, and cap donations to political action committees at $500 and a political party’s committee at $5,000.

                            While it effectively brings unions under the same limits imposed on individuals, the proposal could alter the state’s political fund-raising landscape by eliminating a decades-old advantage labor organizations have enjoyed in state and local elections. The higher donation limit, set in the 1980s, also applies to nonprofits that aren’t corporate-funded. . . . .

                            The office began reexamining the rules following a Nov. 7 request from the watchdog group Common Cause Massachusetts, and it initially drew a wave of comments from 15 individuals or organizations, including labor unions and business groups.

                            Derided as a loophole by critics, the $15,000 cap survived a challenge before the Supreme Judicial Court in September, when it upheld the longstanding ban on direct corporate gifts. But even then, the court implied — in a footnote — that the campaign finance office should review the regulation. Sullivan said the office intends to release a final version of the regulations by May 1. . . . .
                            "Mass. unions protest new limits proposed for political donations," by Matt Stout, Boston Globe, 5 Mar 2019
                            I was married for two ******* years! Hell would be like Club Med! - Sam Kinison

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                            • Originally posted by slick_miester View Post

                              Is this based on some anetode, or you can document such occurences?



                              If Company A can increase profits by ending one type of activity and engaging it in another, then where does the debunking come in? I mean, the whole of the Rust Belt looks like a friggin' desert, so clearly the manufacturers weren't cutting it playing by the rules. If you don't believe me, then ask yourself how the City of Schenectady NY -- a city whose population has declined 50% in fifty years, and whose private-sector workforce has decline almost 100% in that same time period -- still has the audacity to assess more than $10,000/yr in property taxes for average 60x60' suburban residential properties, of which nearly 50% are abandoned? Of this I sht you not: the demise of a real union town -- right into the toilet.



                              How many man/hours would it take you to distribute $100,000 worth of printed material -- bearing in mind that Office Depot is offering a carton of 20lb 8.5x11" white for $19.99? By my count, a single carton takes 12 man/hrs to distribute. You'd better get cracking. Bernie's gonna need all the help he can get.



                              So treating SEIU Local 1199's renting of Times Square Manhattan office space for Barack Obama's phone bank as an in-kind contribution worth as much as $79/sq ft/mo as real money -- that counts against both the candidate's and the contributor's caps -- is the right thing to do?



                              On the one hand you've argued against Citizens Utd, and now you're arguing in favor of Citizens Utd?

                              And here's a whiff of organized labor's have-cake-and-eat-it-too ethos:
                              If you want proof that workers can invest in corporations for their retirement, then I want proof for your anecdote with your relative being a union member and having the experience you described.


                              People are both consumers and producers. And most people (at least in the upper 50%) are also employees and investors. Anybody who tries to simplify such complicated reality and argue that people should just focus on how to maximize the benefits they get as just investors sells a dangerous ideology. People have already realized that which is thee reason why we see now a push back towards the idea that corporations should make whatever economic decisions they want and the government and workers should play along expecting that everybody will get the benefits of globalization.

                              I do not understand your point. If a contribution, including donation in kind is regulated, this supports my point that we already have in place the idea that there can still be monetary limitations in political campaigns. And if a candidate has a larger grass root organization to distribute material, that is fine with me.

                              From your link

                              Currently, labor unions are allowed to give up to $15,000 annually to a single political candidate


                              As I have said many times, we already have limitations in direct contributions despite the 1A and freedom of speech. And this applies to even individual donations.One can use similar considerations to include indirect contributions

                              By the way, notice that your quote does not mention any reduction of the limits for nonprofits that are not corporate funded.
                              Last edited by pamak; 28 Feb 20, 16:01.
                              My most dangerous mission: I landed in the middle of an enemy tank battalion and I immediately, started spraying bullets killing everybody around me having fun up until my computer froze...

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by pamak View Post

                                I did not say that the case applied just to unions. I rejected your claim that somehow I want to see a preferential treatment of unions because I think that unions are "good." I explained that this was not my position.

                                I do not know what you try to argue. The SCOTUS made a decision based on some rationale. And in that decision part of the calculus was the claim that such unlimited contributions can create an issue of corruption. Such considerations are always present in political activities. Why do you think that there is a limit of personal contributions directly to candidates?

                                I explained why I see the SCOTUS decision being wrong. I explained that they have underestimated the danger of corruption. I also explained that I do not see the level of money equating with freedom of speech.This is a made up concept which one can easily challenge by saying instead that the level of money equates with the volume of speech. Saying that money is essential for speech does not automatically mean that unrestricted amounts of money should also be essential in spreading a political message. This is certainly not the case with the individual contributions directly to a candidate. So, the whole idea that somehow there is a "holy cow" of free speech which we cannot touch through limiting the level of certain contributions is unconvincing.

                                Get the SCOTUS decision, search corruption and read the 63 cases of mentioning the word during the decision.

                                https://transition.fec.gov/law/litig...08_opinion.pdf
                                You said “The SCOTUS made a decision based on some rationale”.
                                Um they made the decision based on the 1st Amendment.
                                Big difference.

                                But I’m done here.
                                Avatar is General Gerard, courtesy of Zouave.

                                Churchill to Chamberlain: you had a choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor, and you will have war.

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