Opinion

Alan Grayson, What’s your Definition of ‘Good’?

Submitted by Linda O’Keefe

On April 13 in an AFL-CIO-Now webcast, Congressman Alan Grayson, “progressive” Democrat of Florida, hailed the “union movement as the strongest proponent of good government.”

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka conducted this online interview. Given Trumka’s history within the labor movement, it is especially interesting to characterize his endeavors a “force for good.”

These are some facts about the AFL-CIO that  www.UnionFacts.com  points out: 

  • Richard Trumka, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO and second in command under President John Sweeney, has held his office for more than a decade despite multiple ethical clouds swirling above his head. Trumka was implicated in an illegal scheme to fund Teamsters President Ron Carey’s reelection campaign with union dues. Rather than give an accounting of his involvement, Trumka repeatedly pled the Fifth. When he invoked his Fifth Amendment rights to avoid appearing at a Congressional hearing in 1998, the Congressional report noted: “Trumka remains the second highest ranking official at the AFL-CIO despite an AFL-CIO Ethical Code provision holding that officials who assert their Fifth Amendment rights are deemed ‘unfit to hold union office.'” The New York Times editorialized: “Refusing to testify on grounds of self-incrimination may be acceptable in a criminal trial, but it hardly instills confidence in his leadership of the AFL-CIO.”
  • Prior to becoming Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO, Trumka served as International President of the United Mine Workers of America from 1982 to 1995. In 1993, while Trumka was president, a man named Eddie York was shot and killed by a striking mineworker when he tried to drive past a picket line. A little over two months later Trumka demonstrated his remorse when he told the Associated Press: “[I]f you strike a match and you put your finger in it, you’re likely to get burned.”

(As a side note, the striking workers proceeded to throw rocks at the car of fatally wounded Eddie York to prevent rescuers from administering life-saving help to Eddie York)

  • It seems that any time a major company announces layoffs, the AFL-CIO issues a comment condemning the move. Companies, the AFL-CIO insists, should have a greater commitment to job security — regardless of competitive challenges. So it was ironic when the AFL-CIO announced in May 2005 that more than a third of its own staff positions were being eliminated to make the organization more competitive and increase its chances of survival. And despite its customary calls for businesses to avoid buying any new plants or equipment when faced with tough times, the union acknowledged that a steep decline in its assets during recent years was due to a $25 million mortgage it took out to upgrade its headquarters overlooking the White House.

It is no secret that Big Labor spent millions to get Barack Obama and other democrats elected. Union members’ dues are being used to support socialist policies that benefit union workers at the expense of nonunion workers, which is 90% of the American force.

Alan Grayson sees the rise of union dominance as the future of America. He openly mocks the Tea Party principles of financial responsibility, limited government, and individual liberty. 

Alan Grayson’s use of intimidation and ridicule in American politics is an embarrassment to his constituents in Florida District 8. We need to demand he conducts himself in a professional, civil manner or resign right away.

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