By on April 11, 2014

Governor_Bill_Haslam

Tennessee governor Bill Haslam and U.S. Sen. Bob Corker are just two of the 20 prominent Tennessee witnesses subpoenaed by the United Auto Workers to appear at the union’s hearing before the National Labor Resource Board later this month, where the UAW will appeal the results of the organizing election held at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga back in February of this year.

The Detroit News reports the 20 witnesses subpoenaed are ordered to bring emails and documents related to a state government incentive made to VW in the aim of bringing production of a planned midsize SUV to Tennessee. Outgoing UAW president Bob King defended his union’s decision:

The purpose of the NLRB’s investigation is to determine the truth concerning the third-party interference in the February election at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant. The NLRB’s rules call for the use of subpoenas as part of this truth-seeking exercise. The UAW hopes that all parties who receive subpoenas will fully comply by providing the NLRB with the requested documents and with their testimony.

The action comes on the heels of an exposé conducted by Nashville CBS affiliate WTVF-TV regarding documents linking the Haslam administration to an incentive proposal made to the German automaker on the alleged condition the plant in Chattanooga remain unorganized; the proposal was withdrawn in January ahead of the election.

Among the others subpoenaed by the UAW include Tennessee house speaker Beth Harwell, economic development commissioner Bill Hagerty, and anti-tax activist Grover Norquist.

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122 Comments on “UAW Subpoenas Haslam, Corker To Appear At VW NLRB Appeal Hearing...”


  • avatar
    Omnifan

    Bob King needs to give it up and go home.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      No, in this case he’s right. Just as it’s wrong to coerce a workforce to unionize, it’s wrong for a government or a corporation to do the same.

      And yes, removing incentives that were promised counts as coercion. You can’t renege on a tax break (and I feel _so dirty_ saying this) just because you’re having an ideological hissy-fit and/or want to look lilly-white (or Elephant Red, in this case) to your rabid primary base.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        What promised incentives were there?

        Also, you should feel dirty. Let’s not trade political renege incidents. Unionizing with the UAW changes the status quo in a way that changed the whole deal. If you like unions, you might disagree but be realistic. Some people pay for truck loads of manure, and some react negatively.

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          No, unionizing doesn’t change the status quo. If you promise tax incentives for a factory, the factory is built, and then you start rumbling about reneging on the incentives because the workers you hire aren’t kowtowing to your ideology, that’s rather a bit dirty.

          It would be just as bad if, say, the Ontario government scuttled investing in or incentivizing of Ford’s Oakville Assembly because they _de-certified_ and left CAW/Unifor. It’s also only one small step away from “If you hire non-whites…” or “If you adopt marriage equality legislation…”.

          If the workers unionize, or not, should have no bearing on the negotiations between VW and the state government because it’s not within the rights of either to set that kind of condition on a third-party.

          It’s bald-faced ideological wankery. Whether it’s being done because they want to look tough-on-commies to Primary voters who demand Purity, or because unions tend to donate to the Blue Team, or simply because they’re just short-sighted “My Way” types, it’s still wrong, and likely illegal.

          What I feel dirty about is corporate welfare and the endless race to the bottom it engenders. I’d like to see governments, en masse, take a stand against this kind of thing, but since that isn’t going to happen, I’d appreciate politicians trying to at least act like rational adults and not spoiled children.

          • 0 avatar
            tonycd

            Thanks, psar. Well said.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Once again, the phantom promises fail to appear. No comment? Your argument really does depend on those promises. Where are they?

            And yes, unionization, or the alternate certainly changes things for anyone with objectivity. You have shown some objectivity in the past, so I will explain.

            The folks in Ontario would very likely respond to decertifications by pointing out how it was all done in an underhanded way, that the company in question was likely not a good corporate citizen, and that future support from the government was very much in doubt. Their voters could then judge as they will here. That is all that is ever going to be worthwhile in these situations unless there were any serious hijinx which other than the very set of rules which are usually biassed in the extreme towards unionization there were not in this case that we know of. I am of course talking about threats and fraud, not rhetoric.

            The wankery here is the wonkery. The endless boards and bad laws and partisanship which is not limited to the anti union reactionaries.

            The whole idea that unions are by nature a good thing is partisanship and ideology.

            We agree on the corporate welfare.

      • 0 avatar
        jlharvey254

        What does that have to do with how people voted in the election? discovering this (several weeks after the election) has no bearing on what has already transpired. Additionally, VW continually stated neutrality. Whatever happened between the government and the company was not relevant to the election.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        You’re wrong. No existing incentives were removed or even threatened to be removed. What they did say was the government would offer no further incentives beyond what was agreed to if the UAW muscled its way in – including incentives for future expansion.

        Oh, the UAW must have known they would lose and gave up:

        UAW Withdraws Appeal of Volkswagen Union Vote
        http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/uaw-withdraws-appeal-volkswagen-union-vote-23404363

        The US government should allow the formation of works councils w/o unionization.

  • avatar
    challenger2012

    Bring some popcorn. This should get interesting, just like Bridgegate in New Jersey only better. All those who were so vocal against the UAW, now will become so silent as the spot light is shown on them. What will be real interesting is the exposing of all the interconnections between those mentioned and the flow of money between them as well, a GOP cesspool created by the Religious Family Values crowd. And I thought the “Game of Thrones” was twisted.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Both sides have their dirty laundry, doesn’t change the facts of the matter.

    • 0 avatar
      RogerB34

      By law, are elected representatives of The People required or prohibited from speech in union negotiation matters?
      Are Religious Family Values inferior to Progressive Values?

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        The representatives aren’t allowed to hang a condition on the employees of the company they’re trying to negotiate with, and they’re certainly not allowed to do it post facto.

        I can’t promise you tax incentives, and then later threaten to remove them because you hire people I don’t like, regardless of where I sit on the political spectrum.

        • 0 avatar
          Landcrusher

          What promised tax incentives were threatened to be removed?

          I’ll tell you what. Let’s set a standard for what sort of threats and broken promises are really out of line, and then promise to get rid of all the guys who have gone over that line and see who has more people left standing in Congress.

          I like my chances in any sort of fair and objective game like that.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            NewsChannel 5 Investigates obtained a summary from last August for what the Haslam administration called “Project Trinity.”

            Marked confidential, it offers Volkswagen incentives of some $300 million — in exchange for 1,350 full-time jobs at a new SUV facility.

            The catch?

            “The incentives … are subject to works council discussions between the State of Tennessee and VW being concluded to the satisfaction of the State of Tennessee.”
            ___________

            http://www.newschannel5.com/story/25122909/haslam-administration-linked-300m-offer-to-vw-uaw-process

            (I know that you’ll find a way to completely misunderstand what should be a rather simple article, but at least no one will be able to say that I didn’t try.)

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            I understand it perfectly.

            An offer was made conditional on the state being content with any sort of works council arrangement.

            The offer was later withdrawn before, but likely because, there was a move to unionize the plant.

            As you have stated here many, many, many times, they would have to withdraw that offer because of labor laws. It would be illegal of them to offer the incentives only if they were happy with the choice of unionization.

            The incentive deal was never signed, and therefore never promised. If I offer to deliver a car for a price, and you don’t sign the agreement, your son can’t say I reneged on a promised car which was never contracted or paid for. Why can’t you guys understand that?

            OTOH, I know plenty of veterans who were promised benefits, and plenty of companies, including my own, that were promised tax incentives, that actually were reneged on BECAUSE WE TOOK THE DEAL!

            VW did NOT take the deal. Stop falling for the lies, and stop spreading them.

            The worst thing you have here is that they shouldn’t have promised the deal in the first place with those conditions because they didn’t foresee the ridiculous chain of events and legal reasoning that would follow which, as legislators, they should have.

            I will be happy to recommend Haslam’s group should be labeled as incompetent. Now, if you guys can find some better candidates…

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Not surprisingly, my prediction of comprehension problems was proven in a matter of minutes.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Oh landcrusher, you are such a sweet, simple, lovable, tool of the corporate elites. But lets break this down because you appear to have worked in business or atleast seemed to think so.

            When a group says to the ‘satisfaction of said group’ they are attached to specific demands. If those demands were explicitly linked to preventing unionization or some vague equivalent that does in fact violate the Wagner act because no group can curtail the rights of another and the numerous court cases have acknowledged these incentives as an extension of those threats. Negative or positive demands cannot be put upon any group based on the right to collectively bargain. So while your argument is interesting it is a completely partisan hack job.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Let me summarize that so that all can see what’s going on, Xer.

            Part 1, snide and condescending insult.

            Part 2, Paraphrase of a law with implication, but no actual evidence, that it was broken.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I seriously wonder if Corker and perhaps even Haslam can contest wether the Court issuing the subpoena 1) even has jurisdiction over them, 2) that the subpoena is superceded by governmental immunity, 3) that the information sought is subject to executive priviledge or some other other privilidge which would exclude its production.

    Either way, I dont see either of these men appearing at the hearing without a fight. Nor will they willingly produce the requested documents.

    These two probably deserve a drag through the mud at the hands of the UAW for ignoring the will of the people and the good of their constituents in favor of their personal ideological preferences and their desire to keep a democratic voting block from being created.

    I am no fan of the UAW by any stretch, but the tactics at hand seem pretty underhanded and totally self serving.

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      Isn’t that the game played by cheats and scoundrels though?

    • 0 avatar
      Rick T.

      Will of the people and good of his constituents? Haslam was elected with 65% of the vote in 2010. The Democrats can’t even find anybody to run against him this time around.

      And as an actual citizen of the state I totally approve of both his and Corker’s position on this. I don’t know anyone here who doesn’t.

      • 0 avatar
        thegamper

        Right, I am sure 100 percent of the citizenry of Tennessee supports using hundreds of millions of taxpayer funded incentives as a carrot to Volkswagen and its current employees to keep unions out of Tennessee and avoid creating a democratic voting stronghold among union workers and families so Corker and friends dont have to work to get re-elected. I am sure the good people of Tennessee would vastly prefer no additional jobs coming from Volkswagen as an alternative to unionization. Collecting welfare is preferable to a Union job. I totally understand that reasoning. I am sure you speak for everyone with your insightful commentary.

        • 0 avatar
          Rick T.

          Last time I looked, we elect our representatives with a majority vote to make those decisions and we vote them out if we don’t like what they decided. Where you live it might be different.

          As I pointed out before, the Democrats can’t even round up a credible candidate to oppose the governor this fall. That might give a reasonable commenter a clue about the governor’s base of support. But feel free to keep up the ad hominems and because shut ups. WE don’t really care what you think.

          Where I live there are construction cranes everywhere and commercial space is almost unavailable due to the demand of companies relocating here. Our biggest problem is where to put the extra million people we expect over the next 20 years. So please continue to do whatever you are doing where you live, leave us alone, and STFU.

          • 0 avatar

            > So please continue to do whatever you are doing where you live, leave us alone, and STFU.

            This wouldn’t really be a problem if tax money from the blue areas on the map weren’t continually siphoned off to the red ones.

            Frankly it’s a massive mistake for progressivism in this country to support what amounts to a third-world country in the middle. The civil war should’ve been a “liberation” campaign followed by subsequent withdraw.

            You know it’s bad when even the iraq model is a better deal.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            >This wouldn’t really be a problem if tax >money from the blue areas on the map weren’t >continually siphoned off to the red ones.

            The alternative, I think, would be to pay whatever ADM thinks people with no choice in the matter should be paying for the food grown in the red states.

          • 0 avatar
            Rick T.

            Ah, the old blue/red state tax chestnut.

          • 0 avatar
            thegamper

            No reason to throw around ad hominems at someone arguing in absolutes and calling himself “WE”. Woops, that one slipped.

          • 0 avatar

            > The alternative, I think, would be to pay whatever ADM thinks people with no choice in the matter should be paying for the food grown in the red states.

            Fluctuation in food prices tend to be far more influenced these days by commodities speculating, yet people (esp in the first world) still get fed fine.

            If things go badly, if the first-world US can manage commodity producers halfway around the world it can certain keep them in line in its back yard.

          • 0 avatar

            > Ah, the old blue/red state tax chestnut.

            It seems an enduring economic fact that unfortunately hasn’t changed any more than the culture.

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            “The alternative, I think, would be to pay whatever ADM thinks people with no choice in the matter should be paying for the food grown in the red states.”

            Gee… why didn’t he think of that? To busy being a smarmy chucklehead.

          • 0 avatar

            > Gee… why didn’t he think of that?

            I do wonder if the reply just above GeneralMalaise was too long at >20 words or too complicated.

            To find out, lets see if something <20 works:

            The third world needs to sell their crops more than the first world needs to buy any particular batch.

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            Describing the middle of our country as third world won’t win the hearts and minds of folks who hold different values than you, fever swamper. Red states (or red counties in blue states) grow the majority of food, tin guy, so flip your blue state tax monies inordinately going to red states bologna. Should be easy enough for you to figure out.

          • 0 avatar

            > Red states (or red counties in blue states) grow the majority of food,

            I know you’re trying to defend red state culture or education or something, but insinuating that I have even worse literacy is not the way to establish that credibility.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            @Jack – I love your remarks because they admit to the basic problem of the red states as a group. They’re agricultural centers that are largely paid off with farm bills and migrant laborers. The rest of the red state welfare goes to keeping those states running in their current subservient manner, but if you think doubling the price of food would affect blue state incomes harder I would point out that as a country we produce far more food than we can eat, in fact most of those farm bills are used to keep land in use.

            So to put it bluntly: Our food is cheap, it would get cheaper as the bottom fell out of the red state agricultural industry then increase in price for a time but only after the red states were completely bankrupted.

          • 0 avatar

            > So to put it bluntly: Our food is cheap, it would get cheaper as the bottom fell out of the red state agricultural industry then increase in price for a time but only after the red states were completely bankrupted.

            For illustrative examples we only have to look at other agricultural republics within our sphere of influence. AFAICT bananas aren’t exactly expensive.

      • 0 avatar

        > And as an actual citizen of the state I totally approve of both his and Corker’s position on this. I don’t know anyone here who doesn’t.

        This is the relevant context for the discussion surrounding the issue. Anti-unionism is basically equivalent to anti-communism and general fascism in southern politics.

        Funny it’s often the same folks accusing other cultures of the crab mentality.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Crab mentality … as in crab people?

          youtube.com/watch?v=tV5wmDhzgY8

        • 0 avatar
          Rick T.

          “General fascism in Southern politics”

          Really? Got any examples of that or you just trying to slur people instead of making an argument?

          • 0 avatar

            > Really? Got any examples of that or you just trying to slur people instead of making an argument?

            Fascism is by definition corporatism + property rights + nationalism. It started in europe as a reactionary alternative to socialism as a way for some of the middle to preserve existing class structure propped up by their material possessions. It was by its very nature quite exclusionary thus the rampant bigotry.

            As we can plainly see, American conservatism checks all the boxes. It’s not even different in that both came to be adopted by the trailer crowd half living on the dole.

          • 0 avatar
            Rick T.

            Ah, I’ve got it. You’re still in college, aren’t you?

          • 0 avatar

            > Ah, I’ve got it. You’re still in college, aren’t you?

            Interesting retort given your question:

            > Really? Got any examples of that or you just trying to slur people instead of making an argument?

            My reply is what’s called an argument proper, but I can see how that’s confusing to those who acknowledge education was meant to exclude them.

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            Weak suck insults is all the guy has. Must have had his lunch money stolen every school day as a child and he’s never recovered.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            General fascism in southern politics:

            Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act – Classic Orwellian title to essentially allow the dominant evangelical Christians to enforce their view on others. (Before you start, I’m a Catholic and recognize this law for what it is)

            http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/billinfo/BillSummaryArchive.aspx?BillNumber=HB1547&ga=108

            Louisiana is trying to make the Bible their official state book.

            The fact that unions are so hardly fought against in these states while their median income, standard of living, health insurance rates, and basically any reasonable economic indicator lags behind every other state in the union. Before you crow about ‘jobs’ just remember the jobs those states have gotten have been lower wages than the rest of the country.

            Basically the south is our stupid, poor, bastard of a child we have to coddle and keep happy lest they baulk and hold our entire government hostage until we give them a lolly to suck on and go away again. We had to coddle them over everything and when we finally cut down Jim Crow they ran to the far-right economics model to maintain their social fascist identity.

          • 0 avatar

            > their social fascist identity.

            It’s not just some derivative of the “social” sort. The politics is pretty much *identical*.

            1. Real G̶e̶r̶m̶a̶n̶s̶ Americans™
            2. Militaristic
            3. Primacy of corporate rights/power
            4. Anti-socialist
            5. Property rights
            6. Bigotry/xenophobia
            7. Dole exclusive to said real mericans
            8. Maintenance of social stratification

            Hardly a coincidence since it plays to the same “temporarily embarrassed millionaires” with aspirations for exceptionalism.

          • 0 avatar

            ^ Hot damn, almost forgot the one of key relevance to this article given the list is basically endless:

            9. Vehemently anti-union

            Just to be clear, this isn’t about the south or even red states per se since the same ideology pervades the country in more than geography.

            Plenty of folks just happen to live where they don’t fit in the US, just as plenty of folks in the axis powers who didn’t care for it, even if the rest were essentially interchangeable between the two.

      • 0 avatar
        GeneralMalaise

        Rick T, stop making sense and don’t confuse them with facts.

  • avatar
    redav

    Will they also subpena IG Metall? Threatening to starve (or even shutter) a US plant that won’t unionize certainly seems like interference to me.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Good point. It’s funny how UAW supporters have such finely tuned myopia.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      I don’t think IG Metall can really do anything, and it’s not really relevant either way.

      The supplier base for Chattanooga is mostly local, and IG Metall is, if anything, a UAW _competitor_. I’d say that the era of transnational labour unions is dead, but it never really existed, much to my chagrin.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        IG Metal’s influence over the VW board in Germany is why this whole farce had to play out. They don’t want to compete with an unafflicted US factory for product allocations. It is the most relevant issue here, although I’m not sure if they’d have to answer to the NLRB even if we had an objective and sincere NLRB. It isn’t about transnational labor unions. It’s about making VW factories in the US as unproductive and expensive as ones in Germany, so IG Metal doesn’t see more new products escape their reach.

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          I think you’re misunderstanding this, IG Metall doesn’t want to compete with a non-IG Metall factory.

          Whether that factory is represented by the UAW, Unifor, JAWA or the BasketWeavers and Bindertwiners of America Local 25 doesn’t really matter. IG Metall is interested in IG Metall.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            No union is a threat to IG Metal. Other unions serve the purpose of making TN as unaccommodating to management as Germany. That’s why IG Metal insisted that the US plant have a Works Council. They don’t want to compete with a flexible and efficiently run factory and they know from experience that the UAW will make TN a non-issue to their hegemony over VW production. IG Metal never made it a secret that they are completely behind the UAW taking down TN.

            http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/ig-metall-warns-against-yellow-union-for-chattanooga-vw-plant/#more-766121

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      Ironic, isn’t threatening to shut down a business that operates in a way you don’t like the very core of unionism?

    • 0 avatar
      GeneralMalaise

      Indeed. Thuggery isn’t winning the UAW any friends.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      IG Metall is the standard defense line except you forget they have actual seats on the board of VW. You understand that they are for all purposes a member of VAG and act accordingly. If they wish to see an union implanted that is their right as an active corporate member. Don’t confuse the relationship, they’re a corporate member of the company compared to outside interlopers.

  • avatar
    Crosley

    So basically when there’s a union vote, politicians aren’t allowed to make political statements and the 1st Amendment shuts down. Elected Senators and Governors will get subpoenaed if they offer their opinion to the public.

    If a Democrat politician said something favorable about VW bringing in the UAW, and the vote passed, would the results also be tossed out because of “interference”?

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      There’s difference between “I don’t like unions” and “If this plant unionizes, we’re going to welch on our agreement”

      They can say what they like. They can’t threaten. The First generally doesn’t allow you to make threats that you’re quite capable of following through on.

      Otherwise, it would be perfectly okay for members of the Mafia to claim the same thing.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The point that you’re making should be obvious. But you’re dealing with a crowd that has a tendency to miss the obvious.

        Union affiliation shouldn’t be a litmus test for granting or withholding subsidies. Unionization (and the desire to avoid same) is a worker’s right under the NLRA.

        And in any case, a company is not in any position to make any promises about union affilation, as the NLRA requires companies to maintain neutrality. In essence, the state of Tennessee was inducing Volkswagen to violate federal law by making promises that it could not keep. It would be illegal for VW management to impose a unionization requirement or ban on its workers, and it certainly can’t horsetrade that with anyone else.

        • 0 avatar
          DevilsRotary86

          Agreed, we are focusing on the first amendment right of politicians to speak freely, but what about the people’s right to freely assemble? A right also enshrined in the same amendment. For a politician to say “we will base spending tax dollars on who you choose to associate with” is a concept that I am not comfortable with.

          • 0 avatar
            Crosley

            So if anyone gives any pushback to unionization, it should be illegal? Only pro-union politicking is legal?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            There is no First Amendment issue here. I see that TTAC’s Butcher the Constitution League is out in force here, but speech rights play no role in this. The issue here is one of a state government endeavoring to violate federal law.

          • 0 avatar
            Crosley

            You don’t think elected leaders and political activists getting subpoenaed and dragged in front of a federal agency because they publicly stated their views on the UAW is a form of regulating speech?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            It’s like talking to a wall, except the wall would have better comprehension.

            The issue is one of using taxpayer money to pay for illegal activity. States don’t have a right to induce a company to violate federal law.

          • 0 avatar
            Crosley

            States can grant tax incentives and they can threaten to take them away. That’s the rub of doing business with politicians.

            The idea that it’s illegal or that politicians aren’t allowed to make comments if some sacred union plant vote is going on is absurd and the UAW will only lose again.

            The only people that can’t seem to understand are the union shills that want a do-over because things didn’t go their way.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            If the state had a litmus test for providing subsidies only to companies that didn’t hire Republicans, then I’m guessing that you would understand the legal problem here.

            In any case, unionization is protected under federal law. How exactly is Volkswagen supposed to deliver a union-free shop when that would blatantly violate the NLRA?

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            “You don’t think elected leaders and political activists getting subpoenaed and dragged in front of a federal agency because they publicly stated their views on the UAW is a form of regulating speech?”

            No. They can say “I don’t like unions, and here’s why” followed by all sorts of reasons. They can say the same thing about blacks, or gays, or whatever. They can go quite far this way and say all sorts of offensive and repugnant things.

            And that’s totally okay.

            What they can’t do is say “Volkswagen can’t allow the plant to unionize, or we’ll revoke tax incentives and generally make life hard for VWoA”. Substitute “Unionize” for “Hire Blacks” or “Adopt spousal benefits for homosexual couples” and it results in the same problem.

            If it makes you feel any better, you could also sub in “Force co-workers to adhere to something like Quebec’s secular charter” or “Sing `Deutchsland Uber Alles` at the start of their shift” if you need right-wing examples.

          • 0 avatar

            > What they can’t do is say “Volkswagen can’t allow the plant to unionize, or we’ll revoke tax incentives and generally make life hard for VWoA”. Substitute “Unionize” for “Hire Blacks” or “Adopt spousal benefits for homosexual couples” and it results in the same problem.

            The fact that it’s in quotes means it’s something he said and therefore protected by the first amendment.

            Conservative Reasoning™.

        • 0 avatar
          thornmark

          I guess the UAW didn’t have much faith in your posts. They threw in the towel.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Would you be happier if he was throwing tax dollars at the creation of another Detroit?

      • 0 avatar
        Crosley

        Then why are figures like Grover Norquist being subpoenaed? He doesn’t have the power to “welch” on any government agreement, he’s a political activist. Sen Corker is a US Senator in federal office that has zero power to restructure any sort of state tax incentives the state made with VW.

        Regardless, elected leaders are allowed to discuss the possibility of taking away tax incentives if they don’t like the direction a company is headed. They don’t get to be muzzled, they have 1st Amendment rights that trump a Union plant vote. If a Democrat state rep said he would like to expand tax incentives if the plant organized under the UAW, would that nullify the union vote?

        This is a desperate case where the UAW thinks somebody must have cheated because they lost.

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          “why are figures like Grover Norquist being subpoenaed”

          Because he’s one of the most powerful and influential people in right-wing political circles? Less so now than in the past, but still.

          • 0 avatar
            Crosley

            It looks like you spilled the beans.

            This is about the 1st Amendment and the UAW doesn’t like the political speech coming from Grover Norquist because it’s effective.

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            It’s liberal azzhattery, all the way around.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        Nice ethnic slander their, psar.

        What promises and threats. How about some quotes from real people that actually make your argument. I have been asking for this from the beginning of this issue, and no links have materialized that include both the promises and the threats.

        Also, any given legislator only has his own vote, and is supposed to vote in the interest of his constituents. These guys all believe, and I suspect most of their constituents also believe, that keeping the UAW out of Tennessee is in their best interest. You may disagree, but that isn’t the point.

      • 0 avatar
        Rick T.

        It’s also only one small step away from “If you hire non-whites…” or “If you adopt marriage equality legislation…”.

        Ah the irony of attributing racism and homophobia to your opponents motives and then using “welch” in one of your following comments.

    • 0 avatar
      Crosley

      And you don’t think Democrats bend over backwards to help out union businesses? How about the car bailouts for starters? Or laws that don’t allow union membership to be voluntary?

      Somebody needs to drop the Pollyanna act.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        Bush started the car bailouts; Obama expanded them. Yes, you lay with pigs when you do business with politicians. Here’s the rub: it’s illegal for a politician to state “do things my way or I’ll withdraw my support and more importantly; free government money”. Boss Tweed and Mayor Daley where (in)famous for that. If you don’t won’t to deal with those “Northern Types”, fire up your VCR and watch ole Boss Hogg. Oh Lord, I’m gonna throw down Godwin’s Law and say way too many in the South want to make this an issue about States Rights. Still not getting it in over 150 years.

    • 0 avatar
      Crosley

      Again, if this is about state tax incentives only, why are people like Grover Norquist and Senator Corker being dragged into it?

      This about free speech and the UAW trying to muzzle people that push back against them. And they’re going to keep losing these fights.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      The fact that you replied with the same stupid remarks after Pch explained this to you is a sign you’re either ignorant or so partisan that you’re willing to accept the stupidity of your own remarks to remain in your bubble of disbelief.

      Simply put, nobody is saying that Corker or Haslam is in the wrong for saying ‘Unions are bad for Tennessee’. In fact this hasn’t been argued because those are subjective statements that fall safely under the first amendment. Making an economic threat of ‘If you unionize I will not give you further tax benefits’ is not protected under the first amendment and again is grounds for a revote under the NRLA. How hard is this to understand? Nobody on the left has ever said that ‘unless you unionize we won’t give you tax benefits’ because it isn’t an issue. Don’t setup false dichotomies you clearly aren’t ready to handle.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        NRLA being a big pile of crap set up to keep useless, non productive slime out of doing actual work or taking any risks, I don’t doubt it has all sorts of ridiculous rules. OTOH, I am pretty sure the 1st Amendment still protects the legislators here.

        Also, your statement that no one on the left ever threatened tax benefits over unionization is in no way supportable. It is quite likely that this happened in several smoke filled rooms of yesteryear. It would be naive in the extreme to assume no businesses were ever threatened to get their workers into some union by leftist legislators. If you wanted to do some worthwhile research, you could grab a notepad and go interview some old black union activists and see how many got threatened not to unionize by leftist racists in the rust belt as well.

        • 0 avatar

          > If you wanted to do some worthwhile research, you could grab a notepad and go interview some old black union activists and see how many got threatened not to unionize by leftist racists in the rust belt as well.

          There’s no doubt that racism is quite pervasive in the US, but anyone “researching” it will find that backers of democratically popular merican apartheid (you know, “state rights”) had a hard time figuring out whether they hated minorities or commies more.

          • 0 avatar

            While at the National Automotive History Collection I picked up Charles Hyde’s new book on the Arsenal of Democracy. I just opened the book at random and found myself in the middle of a number of pages about race relations in the war plants. There were dozens of what were called “hate strikes” by UAW locals whose members refused to work side by side with blacks or for blacks who had been appointed supervisors.

          • 0 avatar

            > National Automotive History Collection

            For the detroit editor interested in history you should be well aware that racism in the US is hardly limited to the south. Recall post-war the black migration from the jim crow south to auto jobs against an openly racist police force, redlining (de facto segregation) and white flight to the suburbs with white-only covenants, race riots, etc.

          • 0 avatar

            “For the detroit editor interested in history you should be well aware that racism in the US is hardly limited to the south.”

            You’re correct. Progressives in every region of the U.S. have been racists at least since the days when they promoted eugenics and segregated the U.S. armed forces.

            When someone on the right is called a racist or a bigot, rightly or wrongly, it’s stated or implied that the fault is due to being on the right. When anyone points out the racist history of the Democratic party and American progressives, that’s when we hear about how racist America is as a society in general.

          • 0 avatar

            > When someone on the right is called a racist or a bigot, rightly or wrongly, it’s stated or implied that the fault is due to being on the right.

            Before you get too excited about this racist-off, it’s worth pointing out that more or less the same group of people in this country only resorted to apartheid because slavery was forcibly taken away from them, and only to whatever they’re doing now because apartheid was banned from above.

            To this day they’re still bitching about “statists” for this historical reason, and they’re certainly not voting for the Democratic party.

            That’s not the side you want to take in such a comparison.

            > When anyone points out the racist history of the Democratic party and American progressives, that’s when we hear about how racist America is as a society in general.

            It’s also worth repeating out that the southerners (eg. Strom Thurmond) behind segregation switched party affiliation after ’64 for rather conspicuous reasons, but you knew that.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Somewhere further down I believe I was called a ‘tabla rasa’ on my historical knowledge even though I hold an advanced degree in the field and another in a related field. Yet the journalist major is held up as a champion because he learned in a textbook in his undergrad class how evil the democrats were!

            Lets go ahead and describe this in detail just because I feel like schooling you and I had broken sleep this weekend. You wrongfully imply that the ‘left’ and ‘progressives’ are still racist while conveniently leaving out the post-war history part of this argument. In fact the ‘progressive movement’ as we understand it is divorced from the ‘left’ as we would understand it until the 1920s going into the 1930s. This is why ‘progressive’ and ‘left’ are synonymous for political reasons but not in practical realities. The eugenics progressives and others were left and right, but mainly were focused on the idea of progressive ideology, that through practical learning we could overcome all obstacles. This is where the Teddy Roosevelt Progressive wing were forcibly divorced from reactionary conservatives in the Republican party. The TR progressives were conservatives compared to the socialists and northern democrats (Those dreaded Hyde Park Roosevelts!)

            Now we can look at the progressive labor movement that sought political gains through the democrats and gained major benefits and advances in the New Deal and later programs. These people were and are blue collar whites who by and large considered non-whites a threat to their economic sovereignty. The sad reality was true though, wealthy industrialists had long used race as a dividing wedge because specifically black Americans were in a constant economic malaise (a word so overused here…) that they were willing to take lower wages than whites but higher than what they made as share croppers and other manual jobs. This in turn bred racial animosity. But that is the collected identity of racial feelings in the US at the time.

            Shift to Post-World War II America and we have a changing demographic with a changing identity. Republicans who had long been conservatives with a moderate northern wing and Democrats who had a liberal north, a conservative south, and a moderate west had to contend with shifting goals. The Liberal northern wing had a growing pressure of Black Americans who wanted social equality and saw Jim Crow as a slap in the face because they couldn’t gain further social equity with a serious regressive regime in place. So the liberals pushed for a social change in the south. This in turn drove conservatives that were southerners into the conservative Republican party welding their racial animosity to the Republicans ultra-pro-business ideology to create a party that aligned social conservatism with ultra-pro-business ideology. Instead of racism being a status quo that both parties accepted because the south was willing to vote for mild economic reforms in exchange for Cart Blanche on the racial issues and the Republicans unable to make gains there but saw their goals atleast possible as long as the south would drag their feet there was no need to change. Once the civil rights movement broke the stalemate the flood of conservatives into the Republican party basically re-created two different parties. Instead of one party that spanned from right-to-left and one that spanned center-right to right, we have two parties that span from their respective center to their far wings. No greater overlap and due to the regionalism of the system (with a long list of reasons for why our system isn’t proportional) has made the right synonymous with racism. To be a racist isn’t to be right, but it means in the US that the greater right-wing identity is undeniably tied to racism.

            If you dislike that, stop electing officials that promote clearly racist policies and use dog whistles to try and make the argument for them. People will differentiate on what is ‘perceived racism’ but in the last 6 years the blatant actions have increased and it has become more obvious as the demographics are making the white identity of America change and creating fear over what should be a joyous moment of diversity.

            So simply put: Racism is everywhere but not as strong as before. You want the right to stop being equated with it? Stop trying to sell it.

            EDIT: Re-reading my own writing, I think I gave you 1 college credit of what I teach in 20th century US in a nut shell. Normally we go into this subject with greater depth and talk about the differences and go into great detail how America became what it is today but the current US we know dates back to about 1957-1972 (Depending on when you want to stop the transition phase) which is actually very explanatory of the attitudes and perceptions here. Most of the more severe right-wing types came of age in that period who saw their white privilege deteriorate while their elders bemoaned the changed and put on racist-colored glasses to promote the nostalgic views that the current Republicans are trying to shill over the Civil War. Which in turn is another example of how the party is forced to pander on the federal level to the ‘Old Confederacy’ states in order to remain relevant. As an ideological platform it is a battle between urban and rurals, but on a party level it is a bitter battle between the empty Midwest and ‘Old Confederacy’ South and the leftist Northeast, Close West, and West Coast.

            There I go again…Are you just arguing with me to get a free education? I can just send you some lesson plans and a book list if you feel that way. It would save me from writing up these treatise for you…

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Xer,
            That’s a neat and tidy pile of owl poop. Slick how you weave in the necessary falsehoods so that you have some legs appear to support your rationalization. At least you didn’t try to simply jump a logical chasm though. Also, you couldn’t have gotten a job as a janitor where I went to school, and it was a waste of money and time in my opinion, so I hardly need more BS from you.

            Outside of liberal academia, where folks have a different idea what left and right classifications mean these days, it’s apparent that there were plenty of pro redistribution statists in the GOP as well as social conservatives and classical liberals. At the same time, there were social conservatives and some people who still thought the law needed to be respected in the Democratic Party. The resorting took three decades and there were lots of more important factors than racist tendencies including television.

            I talk about politics more than most people, and I do it in Texas. Racism just isn’t an issue with anyone of any consequence. When you do hear racist political comments (I am not counting the racial politics stuff that liberals ignorantly spout ceaselessly) it’s clearly reactionary. It’s not about skin color, it’s about attacks on white males by liberals. The only exception is basically gangland tribalism from convicts who hate everyone outside their tribe.

            Racism is now a crutch for you guys because it’s an easy argument of last resort. Listen to yourself. “Dog Whistle”? Jeez.

          • 0 avatar

            > Also, you couldn’t have gotten a job as a janitor where I went to school, and it was a waste of money and time in my opinion, so I hardly need more BS from you.

            That does rather explain things. It’s interesting that many students, esp of this sort, never realize what’s taught in intro classes (that they’re having trouble with) is a purposely digestible summary of substantive fields of human knowledge. So it’s not hard to figure out where those who believe the entire extent of their folk-learning compares well with the tip of the iceberg fit into the picture.

            > Outside of liberal academia, where folks have a different idea what left and right classifications mean these days,

            To further clarify the problem here, folk-learning tends to be confused by words that happen to be spelled similarly (often willfully) but mean different things.

            Humorous follies of word-association include how “state rights” refers to either legal doctrine they lack the education to understand nevermind apply, contrast with the pop def of feds constantly meddling in democratic racism. More hilariously poignant here is the favorite of hating on “socialism” in a party name by those oblivious that “national socialism” is basically their own ideology.

            Personally I’m still waiting on the one where “Democrats” means more populist than those representative “Republicans”.

            > I talk about politics more than most people, and I do it in Texas. Racism just isn’t an issue with anyone of any consequence. …It’s not about skin color, it’s about attacks on white males by liberals.

            It’s really too bad slavery and segregation are now at least legally outlawed in this former slave state so a contemporary demonstration is out of the question.

            However, it’s still worth pointing out that the same people still aren’t beyond blaming the oppressed for being poor, then try to turn it around by casting themselves as the real victims of the white man’s burden.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Short Response: Landcrusher you haven’t the ability to refute my post because every 20th century history book written by a credible source that has been peer-reviewed agrees with me. I kept it basic and sweet. Thanks for playing the pa kettle of stupidity here.

            If you feel like writing your own version I’ll atleast read it…and laugh…then cry for it being so terrible and wrong. But I will read it.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Nice, I can’t refute your post because I disagree with a bunch of inbreds. Peer reviewed politics is genius, it’s all settled, you all agree.

            You guys all agree with a warped view of the world, so I’ll stick with my version. I can explain my version because it makes sense. You guys have to fall back on sophistry that the commies cooked into the books decades ago. Orwell must be looking down and laughing.

            You need a sophomore to follow you around all day whispering, “You have all been wrong about most everything”, into your fuzzy ears all day. Maybe you could get come up with something useful then.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            I laughed so hard, LC because you are the exact type of person who hates that I know more than you on the issues you desperately cling to and instead of opening up to the idea that your views may be imperfect (or wrong in this case) you double-down because that’s the only way you know how.

            The sheer anti-intellectual view you espoused is so hilarious I can’t help but wonder how you would do having to face me in a real debate. I can only imagine you would wet yourself and run away because I won’t be talked down to.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            What I’ve learned from this thread:

            Facts aren’t to be trusted if they don’t match the party line.

            Words don’t mean what they mean if we don’t like what the words are saying.

            The best way to deny a fact is to not understand it.

            People who study things don’t know the truth. It’s preferable to hold an opinion without knowing anything — when in doubt, just feel it more strongly.

        • 0 avatar
          Landcrusher

          You guys try every fallacy in the book almost every time. You go on believing that racism is the driving force behind everything. I’ll stick with money and power being the main drivers.

          All of your insistence on my stupidity gets you nowhere. You can’t string together even a few facts to win the main arguments.

          There was no threat to remove promised incentives in the event of unionization. The so called threats were made after the offered, not promised, incentives were withdrawn likely because it became apparent there was going to be a unionization vote.

          If you want to pull that argument apart, have at it. Or, just call me names and I will just ignore it.

          • 0 avatar

            > You guys try every fallacy in the book almost every time. You go on believing that racism is the driving force behind everything. I’ll stick with money and power being the main drivers.

            It’s not hard to figure out what drives the declarations that segregation or close enough (only because slavery, ie “property rights”, was recalled), which had a dominating effect on american culture within living memory wasn’t really about racism.

            I suppose the money and power hungry feds had to end these alternate not-racist economics, again.

            > All of your insistence on my stupidity gets you nowhere. You can’t string together even a few facts to win the main arguments.

            An observation that someone seems insufficiently educated to judge the facts doesn’t sound like an invitation to judge the facts.

    • 0 avatar

      > politicians aren’t allowed to make political statements and the 1st Amendment shuts down

      These must be the types who make bomb threats and then rage that their first amendment rights are being violated by statists.

  • avatar
    redav

    Articles like this make me miss the days of the twitching ban-hammer.

  • avatar

    Well, that’s true with all facets of life when honor-culture doesn’t get the respect it believes entitled to.

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    In general the hand wringing and the teeth gnashing are going up amongst the right’s most ardent supporters. They’re facing a reality where their greatest heroes of the moment are being called to the carpet to face their actions. The most interesting discussion I see here is how the few leftists who came out in support of it are practically being shouted at in frustration because the moral economists are trying to figure out how their moral theories are failing them. It’s always difficult when your base your theoretical success on your propensity to be better.

    But I digress, whatever happens I hope that it settles sooner rather than later. This case isn’t unique and in fact has been decided some time ago. Public officials can’t try to intimidate anybody through the use of their power whether with a carrot or stick. Interestingly enough I could see the UAW simply being given the right to organize the workers through a works council system. In effect they are the outside leadership that handles the works council for VW. But we shall see where this all falls.

    • 0 avatar
      GeneralMalaise

      You don’t digress, you bloviate and pollute. Your knowledge and understanding of the past is a tabula rasa.

      • 0 avatar

        > You don’t digress, you bloviate and pollute.

        What most americans only taught whitewashed versions of their history (and by history I mean within a generation) don’t want to know is that the anti-union/anti-socialist parts of the ideology came as a package deal with the rest of fascism.

        > Your knowledge and understanding of the past is a tabula rasa.

        Irony overload. Lemme guess, the civil war wasn’t really about slavery and subsequent “state rights” isn’t about racial segregation.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        Did you learn those words in your business classes or did you use a dictionary? You’ve been cheer leading throughout this thread but offer no concrete evidence. I’m not asking for it either, but it is cute to watch you wail and gnash your teeth even harder. Don’t worry I’m sure some business-backed think tank will soothe your soul.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    “Public officials can’t try to intimidate anybody through the use of their power whether with a carrot or stick.”

    I can only assume you meant shouldn’t. It’s come to that point in the political cycle where folks on the left start questioning whether their support of statism isn’t backfiring and stop going to the polls. It will be interesting to see if the Dems can overcome it.

    In the long term, it will be interesting to see if you don’t snap out of it as well. It’s easy to overlook oppressive moves you agree with for a while, but eventually you realize it wasn’t the best way to change things. In politics, maturity is remembering how little you liked it when the other side crammed their idiocy down your throat and disapproving of your side doing the same.

  • avatar
    jlharvey254

    As interesting as all of the opinions of “Left” and “Right” are on here, I still ask what Haslam’s offer had to do with the vote at VW? No one was aware of it at the time of the actual election. Pointing out what Unions had done for Detroit and companies like Hostess in the past few years were more effective arguments in Chattanooga. Bringing up the history of Chattanooga as being one of the dirtiest cities in America when unions were a major presence, and pointing out what the company and the UAW had agreed to in their agreement was enough to undo 2 years of union activity in about 9 days. Incentives, tax breaks, etc, had nothing to do with the way people voted. IG Metal reps on the Board in Europe threatening no expansion had more effect than anything local.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Haslam was meeting with VW, telling them that incentives would be pulled if the union came in.

      Meanwhile, Haslam was giving press conferences to the media prior to the vote at which he suggested that Volkswagen would go to Mexico if the company unionized, even though the company had said no such thing.

      The governor was threatening both the management and the employees. You’d have to be blind as a bat to not see this.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        “Haslam was meeting with VW, telling them that incentives would be pulled if the union came in.”

        Your linked story, as I pointed out, does not substantiate that. Your story says the incentive offers were pulled previously.

        “Meanwhile, Haslam was giving press conferences to the media prior to the vote at which he suggested that Volkswagen would go to Mexico if the company unionized, even though the company had said no such thing.”

        That might be slimy, but it’s not threatening to renege on promised incentives. Furthermore, it’s likely accurate if history is any guide.

        The present administration has been happy to use regulation to screw up one thing after the other without a bit of concern over previous promises. Of course, you guys don’t see a problem with any of that.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Your inability to understand what you read is so well established that I know that providing more links to articles won’t do any good.

          I would suggest that you perform your own research, but you won’t understand this any better if you find it on your own, so there’s really no point.

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            “Your inability to understand what you read is so well established that I know that providing more links to articles won’t do any good.

            I would suggest that you perform your own research, but you won’t understand this any better if you find it on your own, so there’s really no point.”

            It does take some chutzpah to be shown to be the fool and then to confirm it. Kudos!

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            While I can appreciate that you have no clue what you’re talking about, not all of us are in the same leaky boat as are you.

            This stuff has been widely reported. Nothing I’ve said is a secret or controversial — we know what Haslam said, and the dishonesty of his comments. It isn’t my fault that you don’t keep up with the news or understand it.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            It’s a rather convenient turn of phrase you keep throwing out when your arguments don’t connect to the facts. You consistently over state your case, then try to retreat behind either lesser points or totally biased academic manure. The problem is then always me.

            Have you ever publicly admitted you were wrong about anything? Can you admit it to yourself?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            You devote much of your time on this website to trying to redefine words in the English language when they don’t suit you.

            So it wasn’t at all surprising when I posted a link above that was directly on point, only to see within minutes that you did not understand what it said.

            I’m not sure whether you suffer from cognitive dissonance or a genuine reading disability. But whatever it is, I do know that communicating with you in writing is a hopeless task.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    So what am I redefining not to your taste this time?

    We all wait with baited breath.

    Fair Disclosure, I am not really sure what that phrase means, but I think I used it properly anyway. :)


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