Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bailed-Out Execs Plotting Against EFCA [Employee Free Choice Act]

Bailout Recipients Hosted Call To Defeat Key Labor Bill

Via Sam Stein, Huffington Post

Three days after receiving $25 billion in federal bailout funds, Bank of America Corp. hosted a conference call with conservative activists and business officials to organize opposition to the U.S. labor community's top legislative priority.

Participants on the October 17 call -- including at least one representative from another bailout recipient, AIG -- were urged to persuade their clients to send "large contributions" to groups working against the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), as well as to vulnerable Senate Republicans, who could help block passage of the bill.

Bernie Marcus, the charismatic co-founder of Home Depot, led the call along
with Rick Berman, an aggressive EFCA opponent and founder of the Center for
Union Facts. Over the course of an hour, the two framed the legislation as an
existential threat to American capitalism, or worse.

…"If a retailer has not gotten involved in this, if he has not spent
money on this election, if he has not sent money to [former Sen.] Norm Coleman
and all these other guys, they should be shot. They should be thrown out their
goddamn jobs," Marcus declared.


"Bank of America is now not only getting bailout money. They are lending their name to participate in a campaign to stop workers from having a majority sign up [provision]," said Stephen Lerner, Director of the Private Equity Project at SEIU. "The biggest corporations who have created the problem are, at the very time, asking us to bail them out and then using that money to stop workers from improving their lives."

UPDATE: Via Lawrence Lessig, Huffington Post

Not only are some of the most non-trusted companies in America blatantly
trying to buy off Congress, but they're using our bailout money to do it.

If there was ever a time to join Change Congress's political "donor
strike" in support of fundamental campaign finance reform, this is it.

Click here to
join the fight for reform.

Together, thousands of us have pledged not to donate a penny more to
politicians unless they support "citizen-funded elections" for Congress -- a
combination of public financing plus Obama-style small-dollar donations. We have
removed $431,000 from the campaign coffers of those who oppose reform, and it's
growing by the hour.

Instead of politicians spending their time begging those who got us
into this economic crisis for big-dollar checks, politicians will have to spend
their time being responsive to regular people.

That's the way democracy should work. And now, at this moment of outrageous
news, all of us can do our part.
Please join the fight for
reform today by clicking here
, and then forward this news to some friends

Thanks for changing Congress,
Lawrence Lessig & Joe Trippi (co-founders, Change Congress)

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