Friday, April 14, 2006

Washington Post Get's Part of the Miller Story -- FINALLY!

They ignored my earlier letter about Miller's past but finally took note of the AFL-CIO, DPE denunciation of Miller's anti-American worker lobbying history.

Still, they couldn't get it right: the letters were published online at this site FIRST.

Darn it, I stayed up VERY late to put these documents online and it would be nice if the Washington Post would get it right. They must not even have bothered reading the Raising Kaine post about this because Lowell told everyone where the docs were -- right here at The Modern Patriot.

I wrote to the Post to correct them and noted that I have opposed Miller for more than 3 years and this site is far more than just "pro-Webb".


Blogger Stomp Allen said...

The bright side, is if people go to Raising Kaine to see the letter, it does source you.
Your compilation of facts has been very helpful, and I am happy to see the Washington Post finally getting some truth in there about who Miller really is. Not a friend to workers, not a friend to Virginia.
You sir, are a friend to both.

Fri Apr 14, 11:36:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Political Junkie said...

I think the other part that people seem to be missing in this equation is that the letter you posted had nothing to do with Webb. It was written before Webb announced his candidacy. The AFL-CIO just plain opposes Miller because of his lobbying history and because of the nastiness he's demonstrated towards unions and union leaders along the way. I've read a lot of the comments that Miller has made over the years, and they're just plain mean.

Fri Apr 14, 12:18:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Info_Tech_Guy said...

On the subject of "meanness", I'll mention this in the context of Miller and his lobbying activities: during one of the hearings in which IT workers affected by outsourcing gave Congressional testimony, an ITAA lobbying aid who accompanied Miller remarked to one of the IT workers something along the lines of "selling your sob story again, huh?" I think that this remark should be taken as a reflection of the attitudes prevalent in the ITAA -- from the top down.

I spoke with Washington Post reporter Michael Shear earlier and we had an interesting conversation. He was rather apologetic about the erroneous attribution and I'm not too upset about it. I was more concerned with people pointing to the RK blog as simply "pro-Webb" and assuming that this issue of outsourcing and anti-worker policies does not have a significance and relevance of its own. This rather odd view has cropped up in strange places -- even on the Daily Kos where JC and I have blogged on this topic.

Fri Apr 14, 12:49:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Union Federal Employee said...

Don't get me wrong, congratulations for the scoop.

However, as a member of the aforementioned union where that letter originated, I was alarmed to read that story in the Washington Post. I decided to send you an email here to point out my concerns and say my peace. I will not comment further.

I have worked as a union employee with the government for 30 years, all of which in DoD. I have seen the calculated, manipulative, and sadistic efforts to reduce unions from policy makers and politically appointed officials. Including politically appointed officials like James H. Webb.

Mr. Webb was an Assistant Secretary of Defense for several years before his one year short-lived stint as Secretary of the Navy. During both of these stints, I was with the Navy. I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that James H. Webb could care less for us union members. He regarded us as the enemy! We were very relieved when he quit his job after only one year.

I do not want to take away the importance of Harris Miller’s need to answer questions about lobbying while at ITAA. This is an important issue. But I also understand that very few of our children’s friends went on to college to earn engineering or science degrees. All of my children work in the Tyson’s Corner area, none of them have technical backgrounds, none of them are union or even want to be in a union, and all of them fully understand that their parents and both of their grandfathers and one great grandfather are/were union employees and union leaders.

If you can stand in my shoes for one minute, I have witnessed the demise of unions and I understand that we will never get the once cherished status of unionization. Ronald Reagan’s political machine made sure that unions would fall from grace. Whether the FAA walk-out or deregulation, our days became numbered.

So I end my rant with a hard criticism of Paul Almeida, the President of the NPE who was quoted in the paper. I’ve met Paul but I cannot say that I really care for him. As in this case, Paul finds tunnel vision easier than looking at the big picture. Paul knowingly allowed that letter to be sent to Virginia, requesting the widest dissemination, because he chose his personal feelings over the sensitivity of an important primary. Paul was sloppy: He produced a document for public release that indicated a de facto endorsement of James H. Webb.

If Harris Miller wins this primary, the Virginia AFL-CIO will have no leverage on him when it comes time for their endorsement campaign during the general election. If James H. Webb wins, then he will have all the leverage possible on the Virginia AFL-CIO. Doris knows this, and I imagine she is pretty angry that this is now so public.

So before we throw ourselves a party and declare a small victory against the corporate lobby establishment, I would like to remind all of you that the AFL-CIO is in its last 10-15 years of existence. That pains me to write that, but this is the truth. The silver bullets and the lucky breaks and the hard-core union constituents are gone. Of the last 10 employees who started to work in my department, none of them, NOT ONE, chose to join the union. Myself and four others are the only ones left in the union, out of 27.

If the likes of Paul Almeida cannot listen to reason, tactfully wait their turn, and work to achieve a balance in white collar workforce union rights, then our days are numbered fewer than I previously feared. I think Paul Almeida is a darn fool for allowing that letter to be sent out instead of gaining leverage within Virginia’s union labor and forcing Harris Miller to confront these issues while remaining an ally.

Think about this: What if Harris Miller loses the primary or election, Warner is elected President, and Harris Miller becomes a cabinet secretary or head of an agency? Senators on both sides respect him, and he will get confirmed (trust me on that). Don’t you understand? That letter from DPE was the ultimate bridge burner. I cannot tell you how mad I am with Paul right now. Another misstep, and another nail in the coffin.

That letter was a lose-lose scenario for all of us. That is my opinon.

Fri Apr 14, 03:09:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Info_Tech_Guy said...

"union federal employee" (UFE) brings up a number of interesting issues.

In the interest of time, I would like to say a few things which are at best only a partial response.

First, the letter and fact sheet. These were in fairly wide circulation among AFL-CIO members for quite some time -- since February. I'm sure that both the Miller and Webb campaigns knew the contents of this material. The wider media and general public were unaware of it.

It was only a matter of time before this material became public knowledge -- a fact which you also agree with.

I released this material only after I was assured that this would not violate any confidentiality. As I said in my posting, my contact is a union president and longtime anti-outsourcing ally.

Though, it appears that UFE is most angry at Paul Almeida of the DPE for allowing the distribution of this letter authored by Mike Gildea.

Frankly, I have to tell you, that while I sympathise, my experience tells me that many elected Democrats take labor for granted and don't treat labor leaders or the rank and file with the respect that they deserve.

I understand that UFE beleives that the AFL-CIO has lost leverage by criticising Miller publicly but honestly, I think that Miller has proven himself such a determined foe of labor that it would be incredible to imagine that he would be anything except the creature of corporations and the enemy of middle class Americans.

You'll note that I haven't said a single word about Webb. These DPE documents aren't about Webb. It's about Harris Miller and the fact that he is such a creature of the pro-outsourcing corporate lobbies.

Can anyone trust such a man to ever keep his word? I wouldn't.

Fri Apr 14, 04:18:00 PM GMT-5  

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