I LISTEN TO OUR CONSERVATIVE RURAL AREAS BLAST OBAMA FOR DISMANTLING DEMOCRACY----AND AGREE WITH THEM. YET I NEVER HEAR THEM SHOUT THAT GEORGE BUSH AND THE NEO-CONSERVATIVES ARE DOING THE SAME THING. THE CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA ADMINISTRATIONS ARE SIMPLY ONE MOVEMENT TO INSTALL GLOBAL CORPORATE CONTROL.
JUST SAY NO!!!!
THE SAME ECONOMIC STRUCTURE CAPTURING BALTIMORE AND CENTRAL MARYLAND HAS TAKEN HOLD IN RURAL MARYLAND.
WOW!!! I was captured by the beauty that is Western Maryland and did not come back until late. I do want to take this week to discuss the primary elections before coming back to policy issues. The 2014/2016 elections will decide if the US will continue to move towards global corporate rule and third world status-----the end of our US Constitutional Rights and people's public justice with neo-conservatism and neo-liberalism-----our do we reverse this global corporate grab and return to a domestic economy, equal protection, Rule of Law. Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland is the only candidate in this race taking us back to a sovereign Constitutional nation. THAT'S WHY I'M RUNNING.
I had a great experience in Western Maryland at an event at a large baptist church. It was an inclusive event that allowed all candidates attending a minute to introduce their campaign and talk a few minutes afterwards. I wanted to speak of two issues with the church involvement beyond my experience with the black pastors in Maryland that have worked against my appearance in this primary. Whether it is the Catholic Church or the Christian coalition making Right to Life/contraceptive/abortion issues central to election support-----please ask your religious leaders this question-----
AN AUTOCRATIC SOCIETY HAS LEADERS WHO DO NOT CARE ABOUT RELIGION OR JUSTICE AND THEY OVERWHELMINGLY USE POPULATION CONTROL AGAINST THE CITIZENS UNDER THEIR CONTROL. SO, GROUPS ADVOCATING FOR THE FETUS AT CONCEPTION NEED TO BE SHOUTING AGAINST NEO-LIBERAL AND NEO-CONSERVATIVE POLITICIANS AND EDUCATING THEIR MEMBERSHIP AS TO WHERE GLOBAL CORPORATE RULE LEADS.
Whether Pro-Life or Pro-Choice-----global corporate rule will make sure populations be controlled through forced contraceptive/abortions, etc just as China and USSR under Stalin did. THAT IS WHAT AUTOCRATIC SOCIETIES DO. Yet, I do not hear one church group shouting against this neo-liberal/neo-conservative capture of America. They are often working as private non-profits breaking down the public sector that will protect the American people's rights as citizens allowing Americans to have this Pro-Life/Pro-Choice debate. Please think what happens as citizens lose their rights, their equal protection, and global corporations are allowed to act with impunity-----
I want to say as well to my friends in Western Maryland-----ask why this open forum for candidates came after the June 3 primary cutoff to change political parties. Cindy Walsh for Governor was never invited to the early Western Maryland political events and The Western Maryland Chamber of Commerce backed Brown early because Brown is Clinton and Clinton is Bush-----the neo-con/neo-liberal tag team. The concern I have for Western Maryland is that the backing of Brown/Clinton means fracking on steroids and exportation of natural gas. I would warn citizens that it did not end well for people in PA and WVA who signed contracts for fracking drills and wells when these corporations failed to pay what they agreed.....they are simply ignoring agreements with citizens because that is what Trans Pacific Trade Pact TPP-----does. It allows global corporations to operate in the US and ignore US laws that curb profits. So, Brown is the choice because Western Maryland Chamber of Commerce leaders want to make a mess of this beautiful region. There are other ways to bring business and jobs to the area----you do not have to settle for massive environmental destruction.
Brown, Gansler, and Mizeur will allow natural gas export. The fracking study being done is simply locating drilling sites......you do not see a baseline study and pols shouting that they are going to use these baseline studies to sue for Marcellus Aquifer contamination to force fracking corporations to work carefully.....no, they are working with impunity. All these candidates know that O'Malley was head of the task force on the Democratic Governor's Association for developing natural gas export terminals. Mizeur says she is against it yet she is not shouting that all policies and pols are moving this forward......and TPP will not allow the American people to stop it.
IF YOUR POLS ARE NOT SHOUTING THIS----THEY ARE NEO-LIBERALS AND NEO-CONS. FRACKING WILL DEVASTATE WESTERN MARYLAND AS COAL MINING AND MOUNTAIN TOP-REMOVAL HAS WVA.
Citizens in Pennsylvania did not even get the royalties promised by signing their land rights away=====their land and water supply was completely destroyed. Don't believe these pols that embraced fracking now pretending to fight against eminent domain----that was the plan all along.
SEE HOW THIS LOOKS LIKE CORPORATIONS OPERATING IN THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES! YOU BETCHA!
Sadly, every candidate I've seen in these Pennsylvania elections are neo-liberals who will continue this-----
PLEASE RESEARCH THESE CANDIDATES AND STOP VOTING THE SAME GLOBAL CORPORATE POL INTO OFFICE. A MILLIONAIRE BUSINESS PERSON IS NOT A DEMOCRAT FOR GOODNESS SAKE!
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Frustration Mounts Over Fracking Royalties A Chesapeake Energy natural gas well site is seen near Burlington, Pa.,
April 23, 2010. (Ralph Wilson/AP)
Hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, has made Pennsylvania one of the most productive natural gas producers on the planet.
But how much gas is coming out of the shale and how much money is being made? The state doesn’t keep track of it.
Some residents who have leased their land for drilling are filing lawsuits, arguing they’re not being paid fairly.
Marie Cusick of WITF in Harrisburg, Penn., reports.
Top PA Papers Ignore Fracking Law That "Shreds" Private Property Rights
Blog ››› April 14, 2014 9:49 AM EDT ››› DENISE ROBBINS
A gas company is attempting to use a half-century old Pennsylvania law to frack underneath the land of property owners who refuse to allow the controversial practice on their land, yet a majority of Pennsylvanians may be unaware as two of the state's top three newspapers have failed to mention the contentious issue.
Hilcorp Energy, a Texas-based oil and gas company, is pushing legal action in Pennsylvania to be able to drill underneath the property of landowners that have refused to sign a lease if enough of their neighbors have already signed, a practice known as "forced pooling." The "unused and outdated" law, which is "pitting neighbor against neighbor" as reported by the Associated Press, would "shred private property rights" according to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, the only of the three highest circulating papers in Pennsylvania to cover the story. The other two, The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, have completely overlooked the issue which has received national attention.
The "forced pooling" law would force landowners to allow the use of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," to extract natural gas reserves underneath their property without their consent, creating concerns about the impact on property values and the threat of water pollution. A leaked document from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stated that natural gas extraction has caused methane to leak into domestic water wells, causing "significant damage" to the drinking water supply of the town.
Pennsylvania isn't the only state dealing with the "forced pooling" issue. Energy companies have been exploiting similar laws in many states including in Illinois and Ohio to the outrage of unsuspecting landowners. In Ohio, citizens are "furious" about the ruling that one citizen fears will "make him legally responsible for spills and other damage" according to the Associated Press. Some residents have "resigned to losing future income," while dozens of others are pushing forward lawsuits in an attempt to stop the forcible drilling.
There is a similar sentiment in Pennsylvania even among those who support natural gas drilling and fracking. For example, Pennsylvania's Republican Governor Tom Corbett -- a strong proponent of natural gas extraction in Pennsylvania -- opposes the law, likening it to "private eminent domain." And Marcellus Drilling News, a pro-fracking news site, has expressed disapproval of Hilcorp's use of the law, calling it "the low road."
Hilcorp first requested to use the 1961 Pennsylvania law in July, when property owner Bob Svetlak refused to give up the land he has lived on since 1949, and moved forward with a legal action in October. The case bounced around different ruling bodies in the state with a final hearing eventually scheduled for late March 2014 that was subsequently postponed until early May due to the controversy surrounding the issue.
Since Hilcorp's first request in July, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review has published an editorial against the law, saying it "shreds private property rights" and is "patently unconstitutional." But the two other top Pennsylvania newspapers -- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Philadelphia Inquirer -- have remained silent on the issue over the same period*:
While never addressing the "forced drilling" issue, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which publicly "supports a well-regulated gas drilling industry," has been calling for fracking underneath the state's public lands -- an issue that also has many citizens concerned -- praising a deal to drill underneath a county park and decrying a proposed moratorium on drilling underneath state parks. The Philadelphia Inquirer, on the other hand, has been publishing editorials calling for prudence and accountability when it comes to fracking, but like the Post-Gazette, has never addressed the "forced drilling" issue.
*Based on a Nexis search of hydraulic fracturing or frack! or Hilcorp from July 1, 2013, to April 13, 2014.
I love the Eastern Shore so much as my family has generations of living and working on the Chesapeake Bay as watermen and farmers and their families. I have emphasized over and again to my friends on the Eastern Shore-----
DO NOT ALLOW GLOBAL CORPORATIONS COME IN IN THE GUISE OF JOBS. WE CAN BUILD A DOMESTIC ECONOMY WITH SOLID MANUFACTURING/SMALL FARMING.
The neo-cons/neo-liberal plans for the shore will mirror what all third world countries have as an economy-----tourist resorts and gambling. This places a great, big global corporation controlling all of your economy in your communities and then the jobs are poverty-----third world poverty. Even the Maryland Assembly's Wind Farm project involves Texas and global corporations developing and operating this facility.....it will give a toe towards control of this region and none of this had to happen. We only needed local businesses given the money and the Federal Corp of Engineers to build a thriving local economy over this one issue.
Get rid of industrial farming and meat and rebuild the wonderful network of small and regional farms that allow all citizens to be business people working for people in their own communities!
I want to emphasize that the problem is not only unionizing----it is the politicians who allow these conditions to exist. A democratic governor and Maryland Assembly would not allow Maryland citizens to toil as second going on to third world labor. The rural areas are particularly abandoned when it comes to good, strong jobs. Global corporate pols----whether democrat or republican are going to allow only jobs that are poverty and allow wages to be pushed as low as possible. $10.10 by 2018 is a farce of a minimum wage increase that will not even happen if Trans Pacific Trade Pact is allowed to move forward.
Whether it is the minority and small business contractors being pushed out of business by government contract awards going to only national and global corporations----or these same job categories in rural areas----it is all happening because of the building of a global corporate economy.
Trans Pacific Trade Pact is all about outsourcing US jobs and bringing third world working conditions to the US.
Tuesday, Jul 3, 2012, 11:05 am
On Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Labor Rights Elusive for Poultry Industry’s Chicken Catchers
BY Bruce Vail Email Print (Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP/Getty Images)
A wave of outsourcing by giant poultry producing companies is sparking new union organizing efforts on Maryland’s famed Eastern Shore, and in the adjoining chicken producing areas of Delaware and Virginia.
A small group of workers in Pocomoke City, Md., is currently negotiating a first contract with one employer, after a quick and decisive union election earlier this year. In that election, some 50 chicken catchers won representation by the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) union, the nation’s leading labor organization for employees in the meat processing industry.
According to the National Labor Relations Board, UFCW Local 27 filed for an election Jan. 30 to represent the workers at Nipcam Group, a Georgia-based pesticide company that has recently entered the labor contracting business. A March 1 election produced an overwhelming 3-to-1 margin of victory for the union, and the win was certified by the federal labor agency March 14, NLRB said.
Ellis Staten, an organizer for Local 27, told Working In These Times that the workers are angry and determined to stand up for their rights. By outsourcing the jobs to Nipcam, meat processing giant Tyson Foods has slashed their income and all but eliminated any benefits. What were once good-paying positions with Tyson are now near-poverty-level jobs with an unknown out-of-state labor contractor, Staten said.
And the workers at Nipcam are not alone in this sort of treatment, the union organizer added. Last year Perdue Farms, the largest producer of poultry on the DelMarVa peninsula, eliminated the jobs of about 100 chicken catchers at its processing plants in Milford, Del., and Accomac, Va. The jobs were transferred to a North Carolina labor contractor who offered pay rates at about half the level previously offered to the Perdue workers, Staten said.
The former Perdue chicken catchers are also interested in winning union representation, according to Staten. Organizing efforts among them are underway, he said, but there are no immediate plans for another union election.
The work of chicken catching itself is by all accounts a difficult and dirty one. Under the system employed in the DelMarVa peninsula and elsewhere, independent chicken farmers produce birds for specific processing companies—such as Tyson and Perdue —under exacting conditions. When the animals are ready for slaughter, crews of catchers from the processing company appear at the chicken houses with trucks and hundreds of empty cages. The catchers enter the houses and collect the birds by hand, stuffing the frightened creatures into the cages and loading the trucks.
Pay for this work is done under a piece-work system. Catchers are paid a standard rate per thousand chickens caught. The catchers that worked directly for Perdue until last year were among the best paid. Rates as high as $5.80 per thousand have been reported, which allowed for an annual gross income of about $54,000. Such rates appear to be a thing of the past, however, with the rates offered by contractors now starting at around $2.30 per thousand. At these rates, Staten said, many Nipcam catchers can only expect to realize $16,000-$17,000 annually.
Julie DeYoung, a spokeswoman for Perdue Farms, did not dispute any of the essential facts laid out by Staten, but defended the company on the basis of economic necessity and evolving industry standards.
All chicken processors have been hard hit by recession and intense competition, she said, and must find ways to cut costs. Perdue has been contracting out select functions at its plants for a number of years, she said, including jobs in company cafeterias, in sanitation work and other areas, including bird catching. Prior to 2011, Perdue had contracted out chicken catching at its Milford, Del., plant and also at a Perry, Ga., plant, according to DeYoung.
Furthermore, Perdue is one of the last processors in the enormous DelMarVa poultry industry to contract out its catchers, she said. Virtually all of the chicken catching work in the region—estimated at more than 500 million birds a year—is now contracted out , and Perdue has followed the industry pattern because “the economics of the situation left us with no other choice,” according to an official company statement.
Christopher Brown, a Baltimore labor lawyer, does not see the problem as a question of temporary recession or passing industry trends, but of endemic labor abuses in the regional poultry industry. Brown, of the firm Brown Goldstein Levy, has brought fair labor practice suits on behalf of workers at Tyson, Mountaire Farms, and others in the area. He was recently successful in a long court proceeding that won compensation for about 250 production line workers at a Mountaire Farms chicken plant in Millsboro, Del. He has also represented chicken catchers in the past.
“DelMarVa is an isolated, rural area and it has all the problems that go along with that,” he said. Labor abuses are rife and any new efforts at effective union organizing should be welcomed, Brown said.
We heard from the Maryland minority contractors association that after all the hoopla about minority contractors and the National Harbor gambling deal that again.....none of what was said actually happened. In Baltimore massive layoffs of black city and state employees with the dismantling of the public sector now having private non-profits handling all public business. The problem with this for minority contractors and business people is that the goal will be for global and national private non-profits to take all of these non-profit jobs and the black leaders supporting this will again be thrown under the bus once the public sector is dismantled.
This is why we see black minority contractor leaders and black justice leaders supporting the dismantling of the very public sector that protects and serves the black communities------all people want are jobs.
WHEN PUBLIC WORKERS ARE DISPLACED BY OUTSOURCING TO PRIVATE CONTRACTORS-----THEN, WHEN PRIVATE NON-PROFITS ALL BECOME NATIONAL NON-PROFITS CHAINS----black leaders are supporting the global corporate takeover that will have everyone at third world poverty.
This is a strategy of Johns Hopkins and the global corporate pols working for these policies.
STOP ALLOWING THE DISMANTLING OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR UNDER THE GUISE OF JOB CREATION WHEN THE GOAL IS HANDING THE ENTIRE ECONOMY AND CONTROL OF GOVERNMENT TO THESE GLOBAL CORPORATIONS.
PLEASE STOP ELECTING THESE CORPORATE POLS WHO KNOW THIS IS THE PROGRESSION AND GOAL----THEY ARE KILLING THE PEOPLE THEY ARE REPRESENTING AND THEY KNOW IT.
Monday, January 28, 2013
Minority contractors: Nonprofits skew Maryland’s MBE program Legislation would help level playing field, lawmaker says
by Lindsey Robbins Staff writer
Minority business executives hope changes in a state contracting program will open new opportunities for them.
House Bill 48 — one of three bills filed by Del. Barbara Robinson (D-Dist. 40) of Baltimore under review by the House Health and Government Operations Committee — would remove nonprofits from consideration for set-asides under the Minority Business Enterprise program. The committee read the bills this month and has scheduled a hearing at 1 p.m. Feb. 6.
Minority-owned business advocates have long challenged the state’s reporting of MBE participation, saying that including nonprofits that deal with developmentally and physically disabled people skews the results. The state’s Department of Transportation is responsible for certifying a business as an MBE.
Maryland procurement agencies overall contracted 23.8 percent, or more than $1.64 billion, of their work with minority-owned businesses in fiscal 2011, according to the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs. Cabinet procurement agencies achieved 24.2 percent, and Statestat reporting procurement agencies achieved 26 percent.
This is the highest level ever during the program’s history; its goal is 25 percent. About $478 million of the 2011 amount, or 29.1 percent, went to certified nonprofits and community service providers.
“It overstates what the agencies have actually done,” said Wayne Frazier, president of the Maryland Washington Minority Contractors’ Association.
He said that while he does not want the government to hinder nonprofits, he would prefer to see them have their own separate set-asides and not be included as MBEs.
HB 48 would prohibit the state from counting nonprofit participation toward the state’s MBE goal and exclude them from being eligible for MBE contract set-asides. Nonprofits that receive contracts through MBE set-asides before July 1 would be allowed to finish their contracts. A similar bill to adjust the way nonprofits are counted was also submitted last legislative session, but it received an unfavorable report from the House committee.
“A nonprofit does not qualify for MBE certification just by the sheer definition of MBE,” Robinson said.
The state defines a minority business enterprise as a business that is organized to engage in commercial transactions, is at least 51 percent owned and is controlled by at least one socially and economically disadvantaged person who manages and handles the daily business operations.
Robinson said nonprofits can draw on numerous outside resources unavailable to commercial businesses. This disadvantage “cripples” MBEs competing with nonprofits for contracts, as nonprofits can get free space, property and staff donated to them, sometimes as a tax write-off.
Robinson has been a minority business owner for 30 years. She owns Star Associates, a human resources company in Baltimore.
“It’s very hard to get contracts, even with our MBE status. Here, we’re not just dealing with MBEs but with a lot of other factors. Not just anyone should have that status,” said Nancy Kelbaugh, owner of All Pro Placement Service in Cockeysville. Kelbaugh said she has often had to bid so low to get a contract that she almost lost money on it.
LaVerne Johnson Reynolds, owner of Security Education Environmental Design Services in Temple Hills, said she has fought hard for contracts, being both black and a woman, so she understands having a vested interest in profit.
“It’s not the same for nonprofits. They shouldn’t be in the same arena as MBEs,” she said. “They should have their own category.”
Tony Hill, managing partner of Edwards & Hill Office Furniture in Columbia, agreed with removing nonprofits from MBE certification, but he questioned whether the state would have to offset the change by lowering the 25 percent MBE participation goal.
“There’s not a lot of work in state business,” he said. “I don’t think there’s such thing as truly level playing field because the dynamics are varied, but we should try to make it closer.”
Robinson said nonprofits also have their own procurement preference areas that MBEs cannot use.
“Drive in your own lane,” she said.
Nonprofit advocates acknowledge that the current system skews the results and welcome revisions, said Henry Bogdan, managing director of public policy and public affairs for Maryland Nonprofits, the industry’s advocacy group in Maryland. But officials need to ensure these revisions do not come at the expense of nonprofits, he said.
His group has been working with state officials to come up with ways to improve the program to everyone’s benefit, he said.
“We don’t need this bill in order to change the way you count these things,” Bogdan said. “We’re hopeful that one way or another, something can be worked out.”
Zenita Wickham Hurley, special secretary to the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs, weighed in on the bill.
“I believe removal of non-profit organizations from Maryland’s MBE Program would benefit the program overall, as long as this action is accompanied by legislation or policy that supports the continuation of State procurement opportunities for this specialized group of organizations who work so hard to serve the needs of our citizens with physical and mental disabilities,” she said in an email to The Gazette.
Prompt payment soughtRobinson also has introduced House Bill 24, to ensure state agencies authorize payment to a prime contractor within 30 days after completion of work involving MBE participation. It also would require the Board of Public Works to work with the governor’s office to establish a process to monitor the timeliness of payments.
Reynolds said she has waited up to 100 days to get paid while subcontracting for the state and has a client that waited more than two years for payment.
“They know we don’t have the resources to come after them and sue,” she said about the prime contractors.
Robinson’s third bill, HB 26, has drawn more mixed responses from the minority-owned business community. It would require the Board of Public Works to allow minority business owners to use years of experience they gained while with a previous company that contracted with the state to help qualify for prime contracts for their current company. Many prime contracts carry experience requirements that are difficult for minority-owned businesses to meet, Robinson said.
Jay McElroy, owner of McElroy Enterprises, a small-business vetting and training company in Upper Marlboro, disapproves of the bill, saying businesses that are using previous company experience do not have the right to win prime contracts because they have not earned it through the business they own.
Frazier also disapproved, saying businesses should first prove that they are responsible enough to handle a prime contract.
But Barbara J. Bauer, president of MedMarket Intelligence, a marketing consulting company in Germantown, said it should not be a problem, if businesses have a good record of subcontracting with their current business. Bauer is seeking MBE certification for her company.