Tuesday, September 22, 2009

One Hand Washes the Other: Democrats and the SEIU

Two Kansas state agencies have ended their efforts to assist SEIU's search for new members by providing contact information of home health care contractors to SEIU. David Klepper of the Kansas City Star:

The state’s Department of Aging and Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services sent more than 1,000 letters last month to the payroll agents of in-home health workers seeking workers’ names, addresses and phone numbers. The workers are not state employees, but they receive state funds to provide in-home care to the elderly and disabled.

The agencies were responding to an open records request by the SEIU, a union that represents health care and government workers. Agency officials said they had no choice but to comply.

The SEIU was "seeking to identify potential members" from the lists, had the state managed to compile and provide it. (Kansas Republicans pointed out that the state isn't required to provide information that it doesn't already have under the state's open records law.)

After receiving complaints from those health care workers about these requests for their personal contact information -- and after the Attorney General was asked to review the request -- the state reconsidered, and decided that the two state agencies, controlled by the Democrat Gov. Mark Parkinson, were not required to comply with the SEIU request after all.

Bret Jacobson of Breitbart's Big Government did some background on a more familiar SEIU/state health care connection:
SEIU — part private sector union and part government union — grows by getting friendly Democratic governments to allow the union to collectively bargain for independent home care workers paid by state agencies.

Sure, it’s a bad deal for taxpayers: rates go up and their side of the “negotiating” table is run by a union toadie. It’s gotten so bad that unions even try to organize foster parents. But it’s a good deal for the union, which then gets to feed off the taxpayer trough, and for the politicians who get coveted union financial and logistical support during elections. SEIU, in particular, has worked this scheme in several states — including in Illinois with its ACORN-founded Local 880 and its game of footsie with disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

A former ACORN organizer studying the group wrote in 2005:
Local 880’s role in the fall 2002 Illinois gubernatorial campaign may hasten recognition of the [childcare] union by the state. Local 880’s political action committee, with major support from the International Union and the SEIU state council, worked hard to elect Rod Blagojevich as the first Democratic governor in Illinois in over twenty years. In return, Blagojevich agreed to support recognition and collective bargaining rights for both homecare and family child-care providers if he were elected governor. In February 2003, he signed Executive Order 2003-8 granting collective bargaining rights to over twenty thousand personal assistants (homecare workers) from Local 880’s DHS/ORS unit …
Of course, Blagojevich went on to give ACORN/SEIU exactly what it wanted, as have other politicians in his place. (Read the rest . . .)
And as long as we're getting back to Kansas - another interesting fact or two reported by the Kansas City Star:

The SEIU has been a key supporter of Democratic candidates across the country. Last year, the union gave $100,000 to a political action committee controlled by Kathleen Sebelius, Parkinson’s predecessor and now the U.S. secretary of health and human services. [Emphasis added.]

The SEIU also gave $31,000 to Sebelius’ campaigns for governor.

Bret Jacobson asks, "Will the SEIU take care of your grandmother?" Well, if Granny is a powerful Democrat, I guess they will.

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