11 March 2014
AFSCME Sub-chapter 161
We will meet again at Ruby Tuesdays Restaurant at 5203 Old Orchard Road, Skokie, Il. On Wednesday, March 19th.The meeting starts at 11 AM.
Our guest speaker is Ms. Bea Lumpkin, an author and union activist. You won’t want to miss her talk. Click here to RSVP when you finish reading this.
This is primary election time and early voting has started. Please read about Bruce Rauner at our blogsite. Tell you friends, family and neighbors about his past financial dealings. Get a Republican ballot. Vote for Dillard. At this time, I’m asking you to do political damage control.
I also want you to ask you to help John Metz staff his blog operation with people who enjoy reading, researching, and writing. Join his group or act as scouts who suggest people we should invite to join. Click here if you are interested in working on our eCommunications Committee.
As members, we want this blogsite to be a tool and a place we can go to find information that affects us. Information we might not have the time to research on our own . With the information we find and share, we help build a consensus about what we must do to repeal last December’s law. That is why staffing and building this site is everyone’s business.
Last January, I closed with this message:
“If politics is the art of the possible, then grassroots community action is required to create a basis for new political possibilities. We will have to build the required power to get reform in Illinois. No one will give it to us. We’ll have to fight for it, then use it . Doing nothing isn’t an option. The legislature will cut our pensions, benefits, and needed services because of money. Illinois has a debt problem because the legislators never dealt with the structural revenue problem. Our job is solving that problem.”
Let’s get with it.
Subject: The REAL Bruce Rauner
From: AFSCME Council 31 (AFSCME31crafscme31 org)
Date: Monday, February 17, 2014 12:58 PM
Who is the REAL Bruce Rauner? The top 10 things you should know
Republican gubernatorial hopeful Bruce Rauner bills himself as a –breath of fresh air– in the race for governor, but when you do your homework, you’ll find his words and actions are polluted. Take a look at the top 10 things you need to know about the REAL Bruce Rauner before casting your ballot. Spoiler alert: he’s a hypocrite.
1. Just like Governor Scott Walker, Rauner wants to dismantle unions. He wrote about his hostility toward unions in the Chicago Tribune, claiming they are “harmful.” He doesn’t believe public employees should be allowed to be union members, saying “by their very nature” public employee unions represent a “fundamental conflict of interest with the people of Illinois.”
2. Rauner wants to eliminate public pension benefits, forcing all public employees into 401(k) s, but he readily reaped huge profits investing OUR pension benefits. Numerous media reports indicate that Rauner made millions in investment fees by managing pension funds for the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) and the State Employees Retirement System (SERS), as cofounder and former chairman of Chicago’s second largest private equity fund (GTCR).
3. Rauner says he’d “shake up” Springfield, but he’s tied to those who shook it down, like a corrupt Blagojevich crony now in prison. Rauner’s firm owned part of CompBenefits, a company that paid $1 million to convicted felon Stuart Levine to get city and state contracts by “whatever means necessary, including payoffs.” Levine admitted to paying a bribe to get a contract for the company, and while on the payroll, voted to award Rauner’s firm a $50 million contract from the Illinois teachers’ pension fund in his role as a board member.
4. Rauner was earning $25,000 an HOUR but called for cutting the Illinois minimum wage by $1/hour. As soon as the media exposed this comment, the billionaire scrambled to explain his indefensible position, but more video had already surfaced of him saying he was “adamantly, adamantly” opposed to an increase for the lowest income workers.
5. Rauner brags about his “average Joe” Carhartt jacket and $18 watch, but he’s no regular guy underneath the costume. The billionaire owns NINE multi-million dollar homes, including ranches out West, a mansion in the Chicago suburb of Winnetka, two upscale properties in Chicago, and a penthouse in New York City among others.
6. Rauner pulled strings and clouted his daughter into an elite (union) public school in Chicago after her application was rejected. He personally called then-Chicago schools CEO Arne Duncan to make sure that she was offered one of only 300 spots at Walter Payton College Prep, leapfrogging over 7,000 city applicants. Then, Rauner donated $250,000 to Payton Prep a year later. Rauner lives in wealthy suburban Winnetka, not Chicago
7. Rauner invested in nursing homes that dramatically cut costs for profit, resulting in wrongful death and patient-neglect lawsuits that at one point totaled more than $2.3 billion in damages. After Rauners firm GTCR bought Trans Healthcare Inc., the now-bankrupt nursing home chain was sued at least a half dozen times by patients and their families. Attorneys have alleged that Rauners firm and other investors failed to provide proper funding for care, then shielded their assets to avoid paying damages.
8. Rauner sharply criticizes “pay-to-play” politics, but received millions in state business after donating $300,000 to former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell during his campaign. The donation was a clear conflict of interest; Rauners firm was managing state pension funds at the time. After Rendell was elected, the state doubled its stake in GTCR funds, resulting in an additional $4 million profit for Rauner. And he has the nerve to accuse union members of bribery?
9. Rauner loves to bash Democrats, but fails to mention that he’s a big supporter and personal friend of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. While working with Rauner in the late ’90s, Emanuel made $18 million, which helped spur his run for elective office.
10. Rauner supports “right-to-work” laws that would rob you of your rights to form strong, viable unions. These laws also drive down wages, benefits, and the overall standard of living for anyone outside of Rauners 1%, who stand to get richer as the income inequality gap widens.
Billionaire Bruce Rauner has already contributed more than $2 million of his own money to his campaign, with a number of wealthy friends chipping in six-figure contributions and more to come. He is trying to determine the outcome of this election the only way he knows how: by buying it. Rauner is saturating the airwaves with deceptive commercials, hoping you won’t read or share these facts. His money won’t talk if we speak truth to power. Spread the word today.
From: “Dave Amerson” <DAmerson@afscme31.org>
Sent: Sunday, March 9, 2014 2:26:08 PM
Subject: AFSCME and the Primary Elections
My name is David Amerson and I am the Retiree Coordinator for AFSCME Council 31.
As all of you are likely aware, the past year has been an especially hard time to be a state retiree. Politicians have come after your dental, your medical insurance, your pension, and they show no signs of stopping there.
The primary election is March 18th, and this is our best opportunity to send a message to anti-retiree politicians that AFSCME Retirees is a force to be reckoned with. In the governor’s race for the GOP, the AFSCME PEOPLE committee has endorsed Kirk Dillard. Kirk voted NO on the pension bill in December that would diminish your COLA if it is allowed to go into effect. But even more importantly, he is the Republican with the best shot of beating Bruce Rauner. As many of you know, Bruce Rauner has dedicated his campaign to making villains out of retirees and unions, and has even said that the December pension-theft bill “did not go far enough” in stealing your retirement benefits.
Bruce Rauner presents a very real threat to your retirement security and the union’s ability to defend your benefits.
Well, now it’s our turn to fight back. But for us to be successful, we need to get the word out to our fellow retirees.
Next week there will be a phone-banking opportunity for retirees looking to get involved in the primary election. We will be calling our fellow retirees to get the word out about Kirk Dillard and Bruce Rauner, as well as other Chicago-area candidates that we are supporting.
The phone-banks will be at the Chicago AFSCME Headquarters 205 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 2100 at the following time:
Wednesday, March 12th– 12pm-3pm
Lunch will be provided.
Some of us may have never pulled a Republican ballot in the primary before, some of us may be life-long Republicans. For this particular election though, to defeat the very real threat that Rauner poses to your retirement security I urge you to not only pull a Republican ballot and vote Dillard, but also to help get the word out to our fellow retirees on the phone this week. I hope to see you then.
AFSCME Council 31, Retiree Program Coordinator
615 South 2nd
Springfield, IL 62705-2328
W (217) 757-3314
F (217) 753-2005
Click here to see a related comment by David Rolston in our Member’s Forum.
From: “Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Monday, March 10, 2014 3:04:23 PM
Subject: Fair Tax Lobby Day at State Capitol
Dear Illinois Alliance member,
Join us for a fair tax lobby day on Thursday, March 27th to call on our legislators to support a fair tax – with higher rates for higher incomes, and lower rates for lower incomes. Please see below and the attached flier for the details.
It’s time to get our priorities straight and give seniors and working families a fair shake. We need a more accountable government that protects health care, public safety, education and services for seniors. We hope you will join us for this important lobby day.
Fair Tax Lobby Day at State Capitol
6:30 AM – First Stop
Walgreens @ 55th & Wentworth
6:55 AM – Second Stop
Jewel Osco @ 87th & Dan Ryan
7:15 AM – Third Stop
Kmart @ 176th & Halsted
Service Employees International Union @ 2229 S Halsted
11:00am: Training & Lunch at State House Inn
11:45am: Go to State Capitol Rotunda
12:00pm: Rally at State Capitol Rotunda
12:30pm: Legislative Visits
2:00pm: Debrief at State House Inn
2:30pm: Buses Depart
– Breakfast, snacks and box lunches will be provided
– Transportation from State House Inn to the Capitol will be provided for anyone that needs it
– There will be sufficient seating in the rotunda for those that need it
TO RESERVE A SEAT, CONTACT:
Hannah Lloyd, A Better Illinois
(434) 238-2194 or email@example.com
Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans
27 East Monroe Street | Suite 1100 | Chicago, IL 60603
Office: 312-427-2114 ext. 207 | Fax: 312-379-0313