Posts Tagged ‘mary kay henry’

[original post 8/12/2010]

The Democracy Alliance is alive and well, and its Vice-Chair is about to be born again.

Today, the “Queen of Labor”, SEIU Secretary-Treasurer and Chair of the Change to Win labor federation, Anna Burger, announced her retirement.

Anna Burger was defeated by current SEIU President Mary Kay Henry when she ran against Henry for the spot vacated by outgoing President Andy Stern.  Despite that loss, Burger had insisted that she’d be staying on as Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU.  Instead, she will be replaced as the head of Change to Win by United Food and Commercial Workers president, Joe Hansen.  Henry is likely to appoint one of her own insiders as SEIU Secretary-Treasurer, a practice that was already causing tension between Burger and the new guard of SEIU (even though both guards are not all that different from one another).

Burger’s departure marks not just the end of an era for SEIU, but more importantly it’s indicative of a new era for the Progressive movement.

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[original post 6/9/2010]

Yesterday’s story on the “Cry Wolf” project has exposed a dangerous pretense that has been prevalent, yet well disguised, for some time in our institutions of higher learning. It’s an important post.  A small committee of professors and academic professionals, normally held in high regard, have blatantly betrayed the trust of the public and quite possibly smeared the reputations of all colleges and universities nationwide.  By soliciting “paid activists” to create research papers that are intentionally designed to silence opposing viewpoints, they have undermined the political system and manipulated the governmental policy making process.  And in the meantime, they’ve also implicated all of academia in the manufacturing of their propaganda.

It is an abuse of their power, and an abuse of the institutions they represent.  It is appalling and repellent.  Perhaps even against their employers’ rules or the industry’s ethical code. Consider it an ominous warning — this will have a dire impact on our political and economic system in the future, if we remain apathetic in the face of such a rhetorical and intellectual assault.

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In fact, both the rhetoric and the intentions demonstrated in Peter Dreier’s email are a classic example of much of what is wrong with today’s educational institutions: hypocrisy, bias, recklessness, and a blatant disregard for differing beliefs and viewpoints.

As Americans, we place an enormous amount of pride in the quality of our nation’s system of higher education.  In our country, colleges and universities have long been the bastions of research, the sources to which we turn for information that is expertly developed; for data that is honestly mined, analyzed, reviewed and responsibly published by noted researchers so that individuals, business people and policy makers can make well-informed decisions.

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[original post 4/24/2010]

“After a great amount of my own thought, hearing opinions from many of you, and holding them up against my own criteria—I recommend that Anna Burger not only temporarily—but then permanently—become the 10th President and first woman to lead our union.”

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That’s what outgoing SEIU President Andy Stern requested in his April 16th letter to the International Executive Board of SEIU, as he named Anna Burger as his preferred successor.

But locals from New York, Los Angeles, Oregon, and Washington State, as well as Canada, all lined up behind Mary Kay Henry tonight to commit their votes.  According to Politico’s Ben Smith,

“It’s done,” an SEIU insider emailed moments ago.

Tonight’s development comes only days after Anna Burger’s plea to the International Executive Board:

“During my 38 years in SEIU, I’ve held every position but one and now I’m asking for your support… to be the next International President.”

However, building tensions between locals across the country that saw Stern as a divisive figure, too politically entrenched and connected to the DC complex, have left the union itself divided.  Some have seen Mary Kay Henry as a more uniting force that might break the national union away from the chains of the DC operations and bring the power of the locals back to the members again and keep the peace amongst other locals. Others (including me) speculate that she’ll infuse new life into those very DC operations and could possibly even accelerate some activities; she apparently has fewer enemies than Stern or Burger did.  As Politico reports,

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