'Didn't see that coming' will be the election mantra this Fall. WYPR in Baltimore will have Ben Cardin on the show today. I've written a list of questions for Dan Rodricks that I'm sure he will have forgotten to ask. Cardin's Northern Park Heights home is rolling in local and state tax credits, Federal Grant money, money from Wall Street. I heard a developer for Park Heights say that they never in their wildest dreams expected all this money for Park Heights. Cardin will say 'he didn't see that coming'.
MY QUESTIONS DAN SHOULD ASK CARDIN:
SO BEN, ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE 2008 DEMOCRATIC PLATFORM.....STRONG MIDDLE-CLASS AND SAFETY NETS FOR THE POOR? IF SO, GIVEN THAT YOU HAVE BEEN IN OFFICE THE ENTIRE 20 YEARS IT TOOK TO CREATE THIS HUGE MESS THE COUNTRY FACES, HOW DO YOU SEE YOURSELF RUNNING AGAIN THIS FALL? BEN SAYS: 'I DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING'.
NOW BEN, YOU AND ALL THE OTHER MARYLAND DEMOCRATS VOTED TO END THE GLASS-STEAGALL WALL IN BANKING EVEN AS HEATED DEBATES ON HUGE INCOME INEQUITY AND MEGA-INDUSTRIES WITH NO ACCOUNTABILITY RAGED....EVERYONE KNEW THEN WE WOULD HAVE TODAY'S SITUATION.....DOESN'T THAT MEAN YOU ARE A BAD DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE? BEN SAYS 'I DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING'.
WHEN YOU JUMPED ON BOARD DURING THE DEBT CEILING CRISIS FOR THE GRAND BARGAIN THAT MAKES HUGE CUTS IN SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE WHILE CUTTING TAXES ACROSS THE BOARD FOR THE RICH AND CORPORATIONS....THE ONLY THING STOPPING THIS BEING A TEA PARTY REVOLT, YOU HAVING A 14TH AMENDMENT SAYING DEBT CEILINGS ARE UNCONSTITUTIONAL, DO YOU THINK YOU ARE REALLY MEETING THE OBJECTIVES OF THE PARTY PLATFORM? BEN SAYS 'I DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING'.
SO BEN, WHEN YOU SAY THAT TIERED WAGES FOR GOVERNMENT WORKERS ARE JUST FINE AS MARYLAND'S MIDDLE-CLASS IS CRUSHED WITH LABOR CONCESSIONS AND PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS THAT DRIVE ALL WORKERS TO POVERTY, DO YOU REMEMBER THAT IT WAS THE PUBLIC SECTOR UNIONS 20-30 YEARS AGO THAT DROVE THE MIDDLE-CLASS BOOM BY FORCING PRIVATE BUSINESS TO RAISE WAGES AND BENEFITS TO COMPETE FOR WORKERS? BEN SAYS 'I DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING'.
EVEN AS THE CAUSE FOR THE SHORTAGES IN PENSION FUNDS AND HOUSING FORECLOSURES WERE CAUSE BY MASSIVE BANK FRAUD, WE DON'T HEAR ANYTHING FROM YOU ON BRINGING BILLIONS OF AS YET COLLECTED FRAUD PENALTIES BACK TO MARYLAND WITH NO ONE GOING TO JAIL. WITH FINANCIAL REFORM BASICALLY GUTTED AND BANKS OPERATING AS USUAL, DO YOU THINK IT ODD NOT TO HEAR ELECTED POLITICIANS SHOUTING OUT FOR THAT SOLUTION RATHER THAN PUBLIC SECTOR PAY CUTS AND ENTITLEMENT CUTS?
BEN, WE ALL KNOW THAT HEALTH CARE REFORM IS CHIEFLY A MECHANISM FOR CREATING HEALTH SYSTEMS THAT WILL BE AS LARGE AS WALL STREET BANKS, JUST AS PROFIT-DRIVEN AND UNACCOUNTABLE. KNOWING THAT THEY WILL NOT CARE FOR THE POOR AND ELDERLY ....HOW DO YOU THINK YOU ARE SUPPORTING ENTITLEMENTS, WHEN THEY WILL NOT EXIST IN TEN YEARS WITH THIS GROWTH OF CORPORATE SIZE? BEN SAYS 'I DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING'.
SO BEN, YOU TOTED 'KOOL SMILES' AS A DENTAL CARE FOR THE UNDER-SERVED. THIS IS AN EXAMPLE TO COME OF WHAT HEALTH CARE FOR SENIORS AND THE POOR WILL LOOK LIKE WHEN NATIONAL CHAIN HEALTH INDUSTRIES FORM. KOOL SMILES IS UNDER INVESTIGATION ACROSS THE COUNTRY FOR MASSIVE ENTITLEMENT FRAUD AND PATIENT ABUSE AND YET IN MARYLAND POLITICIANS EMBRACE THE COMPANY. BEN SAYS 'I DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING'.
I could go on forever on Ben's voting record and how he is single-handedly responsible for the state of our union. He in fact knew all of this would occur because he is a Third Way politician working for free-markets and protecting wealth.....what we have now was Third Way objectives. Why are they running as Democrats? To give you and I no choice but corporate. Why will Dan Rodricks not ask one of these very basic questions....we in fact never hear any of this on any news media discussion in Maryland? BECAUSE THE MEDIA IS CAPTURED. WYPR LOVES BEN CARDIN!
IS IT REALLY A GOOD THING TO ELECT POLITICIANS WHO JUST KEEP SAYING IT ISN'T THEIR FAULT.....THEY DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING?
my·o·pi·a (m-p-) n. . 2. Lack of discernment or long-range perspective in thinking or planning: "For Lorca, New York is a symbol of spiritual myopia" (Edwin Honig). A lack of foresight or discernment : a narrow view of something.
PLEASE SEND BALTIMORE BREW FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR THEIR HARD WORK IN PROVIDING INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM IN BALTIMORE. THEY DON'T NECESSARILY AGREE WITH MY TAKE OF THESE SITUATIONS!
Union: Sparrows Point workers should expect loss of benefits Mark Reutter August 14, 2012 at 4:22 pm Baltimore Brew
Today, Local 9477 President Joe Rosel revealed that, in fact, the 1,600 laid-off steelworkers face the loss of all health, supplemental unemployment and life insurance benefits in the very near future.
While Hilco Industrial, the successful bidder, intends to preserve the “core assets” of the Baltimore steel mill for at least six months, it has made no promises to pay – or retain – the workforce, said Rosel in a letter issued today on the local’s Facebook page.
The sale of the mill to Hilco and a St. Louis property developer is expected to be approved tomorrow (August 15) at a hearing before U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Kevin Carey.
RG Steel will soon cease to exist as a corporation, which also terminates the USW’s contract.
Rosel said the union “is trying to negotiate very short extensions of the benefit programs,” but that the current owner of the mill, RG Steel, is “under pressure” by its bank creditors to ask the judge to immediately end all employee benefits.
(Apparently, employee health insurance is prepaid through August 31.)
Once the mill is sold to Hilco, RG Steel Sparrows Point will end as a company, and the union would have to negotiate a new labor contract with Hilco
No Need for Steelworkers?
A Chicago-based liquidating and industrial auction company, Hilco has indicated that it does not plan to operate Sparrows Point as a steel mill, hence it is questionable whether it would need more than a minimal number of steelworkers to maintain and protect the mill’s assets.
Its partner, Environmental Liability Transfer Inc. of St. Louis, remediates industrial brownfield sites.
Rosel wrote that he and chief USW negotiator David McCall “will reach out to Hilco later this week after the hearing regarding the sale approval.” He reiterated his earlier vow to find “the right owner for Sparrows Point” that will operate the plant as an ongoing concern and recall the idled force of steelworkers.
Underscoring the union’s connection to Maryland Democratic officeholders, including Gov. Martin O’Malley and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, Rosel said the USW “will continue to work with local and state government officials and agencies to assist in our endeavors.”
“In the meantime,” he concluded, “we would be remiss not to warn you, our members, to prepare for the worst even as we hope for the best.”
IT IS INTERESTING THAT THIS HILGO CORPORATION IS OUT OF CHICAGO......EXELON OUT OF CHICAGO GOT MARYLAND'S ENERGY COMPANY...........BOTH AN OBAMA CONNECTION......GAMBLING MGM OF NEVADA IS A SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER HARRY REID CONNECTION. ALL THIS IS NO COINCIDENCE. CITY ASSETS ARE BEING GIVEN UP FOR O'MALLEY'S RUN FOR NATIONAL OFFICE. HILGO HAS IN ITS INVESTOR MEMBERSHIP THE SAME PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THE ORIGINAL PURCHASE OF THE MILL. IT WAS ALL STAGED.
New Sparrows Point owner can void labor contract with Steelworkers
The "successorship clause" in the current contract will have little impact once Sparrows Point is sold. A hearing to approve the sale is scheduled for this morning.
Mark Reutter August 15, 2012 at 7:28 am Story Link 39 BALTIMORE BREW
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley confers with RG Steel President John Goodwin last January after Sparrows Point escaped a cash crisis.
Under terms disclosed in court documents last night, the new buyer of Sparrows Point can tear up the existing United Steelworkers labor contract and cease paying wages and benefits to the existing 1,600-member workforce.
The “successorship clause” of the current contract between the USW and RG Steel will have little impact once Sparrows Point is sold because the new owners can terminate RG Steel employees at their discretion.
This morning Judge Kevin Carey is expected to approve the sale of the mill during a hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware.
Whether the new owners plan to exercise their legal rights was not disclosed in last night’s Asset Purchase Agreement. Nor have the purchasers made any public statements of their intentions since they won the August 7 bankruptcy auction.
Steelworkers Local 9477 President Joe Rosel said yesterday that he plans to “reach out” to the new owners after the sale is completed and pursue his plan to find the “right owner for Sparrows Point” that will return the mill to active production and recall its idled workforce.
That might be difficult given the terms of the purchase agreement between RG Steel and the new buyers.
“All rights, obligations and interests in or relating to any labor agreements, collective bargaining agreements, shop agreements, work rules or practices” are null and void after the property is sold to Hilco Industrial, a Chicago liquidator, and Environmental Liability Transfer (ELT), a St. Louis brownfield developer, according to the purchase agreement.
In addition, the new buyers “shall have no obligation to pay wages, bonuses, severance pay, benefits or any other payments to employees of the debtors [RG Steel],” the document says.
Today’s sale hearing before Judge Carey will cap an expedited bankruptcy proceeding that began when Sparrows Point’s parent, RG Steel, filed for Chapter 11 protection last May 31.
No Provision to Preserve “Core Assets”
The asset purchase document also does not require Hilco and ETL to preserve the core assets of the steel mill for six months.
Last week, mill manager Glenn Mikaloff wrote in an internal memo saying that Hilco did intend to preserve the plant’s assets for six months, reportedly in hopes of reselling the mill to an operating steel company.
Hilco and ETL did agree to assume the existing environmental agreements with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Maryland Department of the Environment, including a 1997 consent decree to clean up the heavily-polluted property.
In a separate document, James Tumulty, RG Steel’s investment banker, disclosed that six companies were involved in last week’s auction of Sparrows Point’s assets.
In addition to Hilco-ELT, they consisted of three demolition companies, one steel distributor and one unknown entity.
Brazilian steelmaker CSN – widely reported as interested in buying the mill – did not participate in the auction.
The bidders were Niagara Worldwide LLC (demolition), C.J. Betters Enterprises (demolition and property redevelopment), D.H. Griffin and Gibb International (demolition), SB International Steel (steel distributor), and Georgia Financial IV LLC, an entity formed in Delaware last May.
Tumulty Denies “Any Collusion or Fraud”
Tumulty denied in his affidavit that Cerberus Capital Management, which owns 24.5% of RG Steel and advanced more than $200 million to the steel company, has any involvement or interests in the new owners of Sparrows Point.
“I an not aware of any collusion or any fraud or attempt by the purchasers to assert any unfair advantage over any other potential bidder,” Tumulty stated.
“Also, to the best of my knowledge, none of the purchasers is an affiliate of any of the debtors’ lenders, including without limitation, any affiliate of Cerberus Business Finance LLC, the agency for the debtor’s second lien lenders.
“As a result, I believe that the purchasers are good-faith purchasers and the auction process was open and fair.”
Last Friday, The Brew cited public records and press accounts that indicated that Cerberus owned a stake in Hilco’s parent company, Hilco Trading.
The article noted the existence of Cerberus Hilco Investments LLC, whose business address is the same as the New York offices of Cerberus Capital Management
EVERYONE CHOSEN TO SPEAK AT THE DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION ARE THIRD WAY CORPORATE POLITICIANS. THIS IS THE VENUE FOR ELECTIONS AFTER OBAMA SO YOU SEE THEY HAVE A FARM TEAM THEY PROMOTE WHILE PROGRESSIVES HAVE NO NATIONAL CANDIDATES. WHERE ARE LABOR AND JUSTICE ORGANIZATIONS AND THEIR CANDIDATES?
THIS IS MY COMMENT TO THE ARTICLE BELOW:
Someone will have to give him a quick heads up as to what the Democratic Platform says. It doesn't say work for health system consolidation that will rival Wall Street's unaccountability and profit-drive killing entitlements. It doesn't say push charter schools as a way to create a tiered education system and hand K-college to Wall Street. It doesn't say privatize all public assets like Transporation knowing that routes will tell people where they can live and fares so high will have people moving only to work. It doesn't say let widespread fraud diminish the assets of the people without politicians saying a word about the as of yet failure to bring billions back to the state in outstanding fraudulent profits. It doesn't say supplant all labor rights and wage laws by allowing subcontractors to bring in Right To Work states and employees while Maryland's workforce pickets for work.
Let me count the ways that a corporate politician like O'Malley cannot run as a Democrat. His being at the Democratic Convention shows how the party is captured by corporate Democrats.
O'Malley to speak at Democratic Convention Gov. Martin O'Malley will have a speaking role at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC next month -- another example of his burgeoning leadership role in the Democratic party.
He was one of six speakers announced early this morning by the DNC, and one of four current or former governors on the program.It'll be the second time O'Malley has spoken to the convention. He gave a speech in 2004 that was remembered for its over-the-top rhetoric. ("America the beautiful, whose alabaster cities gleam undimmed by human tears; oh, my friends, to govern is to choose.")
That year the Democrats nominated Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry for president. And another young star also took the stage: Barack Obama.
Other speakers for this year's convention announced today include: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, CA Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, CO Gov. John Hickenlooper, former VA Gov. Tim Kaine, Kerry, MA Gov. Deval Patrick, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland.
They will join: Former President Bill Clinton, Elizabeth Warren and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro (the keynote speaker.)
The DNC did not say when O'Malley will take the stage. The committee also promised to unveil additional speakers and details in coming days -- which may come as a relief to other rising Democratic stars who haven't made the list. Like NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo.