Archive for Monday, July 8, 2013

Labor, community groups plan to rally against Americans for Prosperity

July 8, 2013


— Labor and community organizations will hold rallies in Topeka and Wichita this week to protest Americans For Prosperity, which they say helped produce one of the most anti-worker legislative sessions in state history.

"Their (AFP's) agenda is extreme austerity aimed at all working people and our communities," said Lisa Ochs, president of the American Federation of Teachers-Kansas.

The rallies will be at 5 p.m. Wednesday in front of AFP offices in Topeka and Wichita.

AFP is a nationwide organization that describes itself as "advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity." It supports cutting both taxes and government spending and was founded by billionaires Charles and David Koch, who run Wichita-based Koch Industries.

As a tax-exempt "social welfare" organization, AFP does not have to disclose its donors.

When the legislative session ended in June, AFP-Kansas applauded legislators who voted for spending cuts and a provision that limits growth in state spending to no more than 2 percent per year.

“In the last few years, legislators have made great strides to bring the state of Kansas on a path toward fiscal responsibility,” said AFP-Kansas state director Jeff Glendening.

AFP also praised legislators for making any expansion of Medicaid more difficult, giving Gov. Sam Brownback more power in naming appeals court judges, and a new law that bars public employee unions from taking voluntary deductions from members' paychecks to help finance political activities.

The group also expressed disappointment that the Legislature failed to de-fund Common Core education standards and said it hoped the issue would be taken up again in the 2014 legislative session.

AFP has been seen as a key factor in making the Legislature more conservative.

Groups that have endorsed protesting against AFP include American Federation of Teachers-Kansas; Communications Workers Local 6401; Communications Workers Local 6402; Cross Border Network; IBEW Local 1523; Interfaith Worker Justice-Wichita; Kansas AFL-CIO; Kansas City Federation of Teachers and School Related Personnel (AFT Local 691); Kansas Equality Coalition-Topeka Chapter; Kansas Families for Education; Kansas National Organization for Women; Kansas People's Action; Kansas Organization of State Employees; Kansas Progressive Caucus; Kansas Young Democrats; Lawrence Center for Peace & Justice; Manhattan Alliance For Peace & Justice; MoveOn Johnson County; MoveOn Oklahoma; MoveOn Topeka; MoveOn Wichita; Moving Kansas Forward; SEIU Local 513; Sunflower Community Action; Topeka Federation of Labor; True Blue Women; Wichita-Hutchinson Federation of Labor; and the Working Kansas Alliance.


Hooligan_016 4 years, 10 months ago

Good. Finally getting some opposition and not letting AFP get away with everything unchecked.

kansanjayhawk 4 years, 10 months ago

What is amazing is that the Lawrence Journal World would not look at this with a more critical eye. These organizations are the heart of the liberal Democrat agenda and it is not a surprise that they are opposed to a conservative organization. I wonder why liberal organizations are not targeted those funded by Soros etc.? This is a complete agenda driven effort because they are liberal and AFP is conservative! The hypocrisy of the outrage is stunning and the hypocrisy of these organizations using their influence to bring personal attacks is also very sad.

Hooligan_016 4 years, 10 months ago

What in the world are you getting on about?

Mike1949 4 years, 10 months ago

Our politicians listen to the AFP, so who is being hurt, every Kansan that is making $25 grand or less. The poor pool keeps getting bigger, so who is prospering? Not 75% of Kansans!

Alyosha 4 years, 10 months ago

You seem to think the phrase "liberal Democrat agenda" has some kind of objective meaning. It does not.

Can you list the policy items on this supposed "agenda"? Can you define in objective terms the word "liberal" as you are using it? Do you know how to form an adjective out of a noun?

Can you try to explain what this meaningless sentence is supposed to communicate? "I wonder why liberal organizations are not targeted those funded by Soros etc.?" Are we supposed to be able to understand the non-grammatical phrase "Are not targeted those"?

The lack of rhetorical control in your comment strongly suggests out-of-control emotional reactions, not the kind of calm thinking necessary for civil society.

blogme 4 years, 10 months ago

There is nothing civil when labor unions are involved.

chootspa 4 years, 10 months ago

Kansas has taken "great strides toward fiscal responsibility" if you mean they've introduced radical tax giveaways to the Kochs with no evidence it will improve the economy, left economically stimulative federal money on the table, and slashed services for the disabled and poor... all while passing extremist government restrictions that will cost the state millions to defend in court.

In my book that's the opposite of "fiscal responsibility."

jhawkinsf 4 years, 10 months ago

Given the reality of today's current events, a comment such as this is certainly not funny, should be taken seriously and passed on to law enforcement.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 10 months ago

My comment was in response to a now disappeared comment, not in response to chootspa's still standing remark.

chootspa 4 years, 10 months ago

Thank you for clarifying. I hate it when comments disappear like that and make it look like you're replying to something different.

chootspa 4 years, 10 months ago

They did exactly that to one of your later posts.

Brian Hall 4 years, 10 months ago

Considering three-fourths of this article talks to an AFP spokesperson about how great the legislature is, how is this article skewed to the left?

Seth Peterson 4 years, 10 months ago

because boiled lacks reading comprehension.

Alyosha 4 years, 10 months ago

Try, if you can, to detail this "unhidden agenda" you seem to perceive. I suggest it's all in your head. Try to prove me wrong by describing this so-called "agenda."

bad_dog 4 years, 10 months ago

If only the teachers would have thought to schedule the event for a time when classes wouldn't conflict. Oh wait, they did.

straightforward 4 years, 10 months ago

Hold on a second, you're telling me the labor unions don't like the big bad conservative Koch brothers? Shocking!!!

The only difference between AFP's political activity and the labor unions' political activity is that AFP funds its operations with money given to them, not money taken out of their union members' paychecks.

chootspa 4 years, 10 months ago

So undisclosed rich corporate donors > workers' voluntary donations? Why?

straightforward 4 years, 10 months ago

Are you saying you want union members' names disclosed?

AFP isn't protesting against the unions' freedom of speech.

chootspa 4 years, 10 months ago

I am absolutely in favor of any political organization disclosing the names of donors. You still didn't answer my question, although you made a confusing accusation. The groups protesting AFP aren't protesting "freedom of speech." They're protesting the message.

The AFP doesn't have to protest against the unions' freedom of speech, btw. Why bother, when they can just buy legislators who will curtail worker freedoms for them? You know, the sorts of things that the unions are showing up to protest.

bad_dog 4 years, 10 months ago

Whether it comes from a Koch's pocket or a union member's pocket, both are voluntary donations.

Are the Koch's afraid of the cumulative power of organized working men/women?

Apparently so. Cowards.

Armstrong 4 years, 10 months ago

Guys you need to play the Guess the author by title game. Can't really say guess the reporter, reporters report facts. Currently I'm at 95% spotting the author.

Alyosha 4 years, 10 months ago

That's quite an accomplishment of yours, Armstrong, guessing that a story about Kansas politics / statehouse issues is written by the LJW's ... statehouse reporter.

Good for you! Keep up the amazing work!

Armored_One 4 years, 10 months ago

If I might ask a question, boiled. By all means, feel free to not answer.

In reference to two posts that you have posted on this particular article, would you clamor for the author to be shoved into the op-ed section of the paper if he continuously did nothing but write about the positive aspects of conservative topics?

I, personally, find nothing overly slanted about this article, for the record. There are articles that this author has posted in the past that have been a bit skewed, but they have teetered both directions, not just to the left. He states information about AFP, and all but the last paragraph is dedicated to AFP. The last paragraph consists of nothing but a list of groups endorsing the protest.

I'm having extreme troubles delineating your objections given the above material, so if you would be so kind to expound, I'll gladly listen. I might agree, or I might not.

Alyosha 4 years, 10 months ago

Show me, boiled, just one example where Mr. Rothschild criticizes in his writing — not in a quote by someone else, but by himself, in a news piece — a conservative cause.

You believe things which are not true.

Alyosha 4 years, 10 months ago

Your challenge was too easy, boiled. Here's an example of what you seem to believe does not exist:

Maybe you yourself should look for examples of Mr. Rothschild's writing that contradict your wildly hyperbolic and off-base assertion. The above was quite easy to find. Simply click on Mr. Rothschild's name above and you'll get a list of all his stories.

That's what thinking people do: they refrain from speaking / communicating until they have all the facts. And they subject their own beliefs to critical analysis to make sure they don't believe things, and make silly statements, which are not true.

You should try that.

Liberty275 4 years, 10 months ago

That's not a good example. At the end of the story we are given the supporters viewpoint. Two paragraphs up, we are told about how it hurts the working poor.

OTOH, critics' opinions are not printed, nor are the downsides to allowing people with mid-level offenses to drive.

I'm for the license thing, but your example of a story that lacks bias is defective. It's subtle, but it's there. There is always bias.

chootspa 4 years, 10 months ago

Yes. I think all groups who get a tax write off should also have to disclose donors.

verity 4 years, 10 months ago

That was my thought. That and all nonprofits who are exempt from taxes.

And I thought "social welfare" as a bad thing for the radical right. I guess not when it means the social welfare for the already very wealthy, but not for the lowly peons who are getting lowlier and poorer because of these "advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity" laws.

Liberty275 4 years, 10 months ago

In a few decades, all states will be right-to-work and the scourge of paying crooks to let you work will be done. In the meantime, have a nice protest in Topeka, Brownback and everyone else of some importance will continue to ignore you because the Koch brothers tell them to.

sci4all 4 years, 10 months ago

Um, Kansas IS a right-to-work* state. Absolutely nobody has to join a union, period.

Liberty275 4 years, 10 months ago

Oh wow. Thanks for the tip! Just curious, what makes you think I didn't know Kansas was a right-to-work state? Something confused you, and I don't want to make that mistake again.

Mike Ford 4 years, 10 months ago

It was interesting watching "Gasland Part II" last night on HBO where the Gas Industry used psyops to try and undermind the opposition to fracking in Pennsylvania. What's scary is that the conservatives on here believe and rely on the misinformation of their own leaders as fact. It must be embarrassing as a conservative to know that you fall for your own think tank's misinformation and we laugh at you. You're smarter than that right? man the Koch Brothers have an easy job as the pied pipers of misinformation.

mycatsrightorwrong 4 years, 10 months ago

You don't have to sit on the sidelines in the fight against the Koch's. Sign up at the following site to use a barcode scanning app to avoid buying Koch products:

Liberty275 4 years, 10 months ago

LOL. Does the bar code say anything about who owns the truck your non-koch product came it?

Biscayne 4 years, 10 months ago

Prosperity is a good thing, if you don't like it leave the country!

PhilChiles 4 years, 10 months ago

The perfect example of conservative thinking! Everything is black or white. If your group claims to be for prosperity, and someone opposes your group, it doesn't mean they object to its radical politics or self-serving agenda; they just hate America and prosperity. If you opposed the Patriot Act, you are not a patriot. I can't believe people actually fall for that trick over and over but it seems to still work.

skinney 4 years, 10 months ago

Could anyone of you please explain to me why you are all so anti-union??

voevoda 4 years, 10 months ago

It's because unions have done so much to improve conditions for working Americans and the make America a better country that I support them.

chootspa 4 years, 10 months ago

Obviously life would be better without weekends or overtime pay or safe working conditions. Gotcha.

Liberty275 4 years, 10 months ago

Unions destroyed American manufacturing by demanding above average compensation while oversea corporations were willing to do the work for enough less to justify shipping products thousands of miles.

Had unions been reasonable everything we buy wouldn't say made in India on it.

Liberty275 4 years, 10 months ago

Corporations are greedy enough to increase profits by a few percent by outsourcing jobs. That's a given. We all expect corporations to be greedy because that's the only reason they exist. If they can increase profits by a few percent even after shipping merchandise across the world, they will. If American labor prices itself beyond the price of foreign labor and shipping, then they want too much money. Everyone wants money, but when you have to choose between less money and no money, you choose less. Unions have consistently priced American labor too high, but when container ships became commonplace, they thought they could keep the price jacked up.

Unions chose to keep the price of labor jacked up and now we buy everything from overseas. So you have a better reason for all the stuff we buy not saying "Made in America"?

Armored_One 4 years, 10 months ago

You own a manufacturing plant producing Widget X. The Widget X union is demanding that you pay their union members 3 times what it would cost to manufacture the item overseas and transport it back to the US for distribution.

Which option do you choose? Pay more or make it overseas?

Seth Peterson 4 years, 10 months ago

I would respond to this if it had any bearing on the way economics work, the way unions work, or the way prices are set.

Seth Peterson 4 years, 10 months ago

Skinney - ignorance mostly. Unfortunately willful ignorance at that.

Mike Ford 4 years, 10 months ago

the kochs have more money and more irons in the fire than any of the soros groups. besides do you do any research or just repeat the same nonsense you've repeated since John Kerry?

Richard Heckler 4 years, 10 months ago

Americans for Prosperity is a lie. This group is lobbying for Always Lower Wages and selling off government services ........... yet collecting trillions in taxes. Lose Lose Lose Lose Lose for the working class.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 10 months ago

Daily CEO Pay Now Exceeds U.S. Workers Annual Salary. And CEO’s sometimes do even better when they quit. What a rip off for consumers. We're looking at one aspect of why the cost living increases beyond reality. CEO's should work for a flat $750,000 a year or less. Consumers cannot afford CEO's , golden parachutes etc etc etc etc etc.

Take for example, James Mulva of ConocoPhillips. He was paid $140.8 million in 2011 but topped that in 2012 when he left the company after 10 years as CEO. Once he cashed out his stock options, took his retirement bonus and got his final paycheck, he collected a whopping $260 million in 2012.

Additionally “golden parachute” arrangements have had a negative impact on corporate performance, say experts. “If you have a safety net of this type of gargantuan size, it starts to undermine the CEO’s desire to build long-term value for shareholders,” Paul Hodgson, a director at corporate governance researcher at BHJ Partners, told Bloomberg. “You don’t really care if you’re fired or not.”

Way more to this nonsense.

Liberty275 4 years, 10 months ago

"CEO's should work for a flat $750,000 a year or less. "

So you want the government to start dictating the wages of private employees?

Intrusion into the private sector like that is the reason you aren't allowed to do anything in the senate and actively fought by the house.

How much will a movie star be limited to? How about a dog groomer?

JayhawkFan1985 4 years, 10 months ago

These are publicly traded corporations which can exist as corporations ONLY because society chooses to allow them legally to do so. Corporations are people...or so mitt Romney would have us believe. They can own property. They can sue. This arrangement should continue to exist only for as long as corporations continue to benefit society. Corporations are by far the biggest polluters in this country...anyone remember what BP did to the Gulf of Mexico? Corporations also do profoundly illegalthings at time because who do you send to prison? Anyone remember Enron? I'm not saying salaries should be dictated, they should pay there fair share in taxes. Some oil executives even had the balls to complain to congress about corporate tax rates when their corporation paid ZERO dollars in taxes the previous year.

straightforward 4 years, 10 months ago

It's sad to see socialism is alive and well merrill. Maybe we should fix everyone's pay so we can make everything as cheap as possible and eliminate any incentive to remain the productive, innovative country we've always been.

Maybe since you're so great at research you should figure out how many millions of dollars Mulva has paid in taxes during the ten years he was CEO. Without wealthy people, who would pay for the social welfare programs that benefit all the people in this country who don't pay income taxes.

Mike Ford 4 years, 10 months ago

you make everything as cheap as possible due to anti union businesses like wal mart. it's crazy how one associates cheap price fixing with socialism. facts don't exist when you speak nonsense right?

Claudean McKellips 4 years, 10 months ago

I would love to see our elected officials get back to serving the needs of Kansas taxpayers and constituents, instead of out-of-state lobbyists like AFP and ALEC.

Armored_One 4 years, 10 months ago

You could put the period in that sentence after the word "serving"

Lobbyists, from AFL-CIO to NRA to Gay Alliance and everything in between need to be thrown out of every governmental building, period. The more clout and voters they can threaten with, the more clout and power they actually gain.

JayhawkFan1985 4 years, 10 months ago

Path to fiscal responsibility? Or, more likely, path to 3rd world status?

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