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New Slate Targets Labor “Machine”

by Paul Bass | Jun 30, 2013 9:14 pm

(91) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Posted to: Labor, Campaign 2013

Paul Bass Photos The insurgents of 2011—the Yale union-backed candidates who toppled the City Hall-backed “machine”—became the targets of a new anti-“machine” insurgency Sunday evening.

The new insurgents carry the banner “Take Back New Haven.” So far they have six Democratic candidates running for alderman on a platform to return “transparency” and the “people’s” voice to a “machine”-dominated city government marked by “backroom deals” and “pay-to-play politics.” They held a supper-hour coming-out event in Pitkin Plaza.

Their target: Yale union-backed Democrats who won a supermajority on the Board of Aldermen two years ago and then won control of the Democratic Party Town Committee in 2012. Those Democrats made the same promises two years ago. And they say they’ve kept them.

Let the campaign for New Haven voters’ hearts and minds begin.

“It feels like New Haven Spring!” declared Downtown Alderman Doug Hausladen as he greeted the 70 supporters gathered in Pitkin Plaza Sunday night, referring to the flowering of democracy in the city this campaign season. Hausladen formally began his campaign for a second term at the event. He also introduced five aldermanic running mates, all fellow Democrats, on the “Take Back New Haven” slate. He invited other “freethinkers” to run for alderman on the slate. He urged supporters to make donations to campaigns (by calling 203-654-9648 or visiting this website, which he said should be active by Monday morning). Hausladen said that the group will not act as a political action committee, funding campaigns. Rather, supporters will be directed to specific candidates’ campaigns to make contributions.

Other Democratic candidates on the slate include former Dwight Alderman Greg Smith, running to regain the Ward 2 seat; block watch captain and theater director Peter Webster in Wooster Square’s Ward 8; parent activist Anna Festa (pictured) in East Rock’s Ward 10 (which also includes Cedar Hill and part of Fair Haven); retired city social worker Patricia DePalma in Bella Vista’s Ward 11; attorney Michael Stratton in East Rock’s Ward 19 (which also includes parts of Newhallville).

Before the event started, Hausladen kept his remarks diplomatic in referring to his colleagues on the Board of Aldermen.

“What the unions did in 2011 is exactly the way you win an election. You knock on doors and you listen to people. Whether or not you deliver is how you win reelection,” Hausladen said.

“Myself and the five people I’m running with have a different vision” of a local government with more open debate and differing opinions and an agenda of “putting New Haven interests in front of your own.”

Fellow “Take Back” Democrat Stratton was blunter when he addressed the crowd.

“I am not anti-union,” Stratton began, noting that as an attorney he defended workers injured in the 2010 Middletown gas plant explosion.

But “UNITE HERE”—the parent of Yale Locals 34 and 35—“has abused their leadership” while not doing “anything of value for this city. ... We’re here to take back New Haven. Not so another group can control New Haven.”

In an interview before his speech, Stratton accused Yale union leaders of “abusing their membership” and “improperly using members’ dues” in order to “use their control of the Board of Aldermen as a bargaining chip against Yale in negotiations.”

A similar theme resonated earlier Sunday from the pulpit of New Trinity Temple Church of God In Christ on Dixwell Avenue, where Democratic mayoral candidate Kermit Carolina addressed the weekly worship service. He closed with a reference to the Yale unions: “Watch out for the suburban leadership that’s going be here in two weeks. They’re going to bring busloads into our community to try to take us to the polls to vote for those who represent their interests, not yours.” Bob Proto, president of UNITE HERE Local 35 and of New Haven’s Central Labor Council (which has endorsed one of Carolina’s mayoral opponents, Toni Harp), lives in East Haven.

Who You Calling A “Machine”?

Underlying Sunday’s critiques is an ongoing debate about the roles of “machines” in politics—and how to define them.

Machine is a loaded term.

On a basic level, it describes vote-pulling organizations that candidates, especially at the citywide level and beyond, need to assemble to win elections. Candidates need to find people who have a similar set of interests or positions on issues, then organize grassroots door-knocking and voter-identification and election day get-out-the-vote operations. No machine, no victory. No ability to carry out an agenda. At one point, mainstream political scientists—inspired by the late Yale professor Robert Dahl’s book Who Governs—saw urban machines as the ultimate democratizing force, enabling waves of immigrants otherwise barred from employment to gain their footholds in the American system by winning government jobs through political support.

Machines good.

The term has taken on a more sinister cast since the mid-20th century, with the rise of urban machines like Chicago’s under Richard Daley and New Haven’s under former Democratic Town Chairman Arthur Barbieri and Mayor Biagio DiLieto. “Machine politics” came to describe a way of holding onto power—doling out jobs to ward-level politicians and then contracts to big-dollar donors in the private sector based on continued electoral support rather than good government. Decisions about whom to hire, or whose streets to plow, or how to staff a school, or how to rebuild neighborhoods or tear down buildings, to whom to give government loans or contracts, became based not on the broader public interest, but on the parochial self-interest of the small group of insiders clinging to power. Ethics were flouted daily, and often criminal laws, as well.

Machines bad.

Dahl himself developed doubts late in his career. Lincoln Steffens exposed an earlier incarnation of urban machines as early as the 1904. The definitive modern primer on machine politics (and the most fun to read, over and over again) is this book.

Organizers affiliated with Yale’s Locals 34 and 35 and a think tank called the Center for A New Economy spent years seeking to develop an alternative to the Democratic Party machine. They formed a vote-pulling operation that rivaled, then in 2011 exceeded, the party establishment’s. They developed new candidates in neighborhoods across the city from the ranks of activists in various area unions. They surveyed thousands of neighbors and held conferences to draw up a “people’s” agenda. They demanded more democracy and openness in government. In 2011 they ran a slate of aldermanic candidates calling for a return to community policing in New Haven, a new “pipeline” to local jobs for local unemployed and underemployed people, and a focus on rec centers for youth. They clobbered the party establishment in those elections, claiming control first of the Board of Aldermen, then the party itself. They became the new power in town. Soon after the 2011 elections, Mayor John DeStefano acknowledged that because he heard the results at the polls, he brought in a new police chief who brought back walking beats and an ambitious new community-policing plan.

Click here, here and here to read a three-part series on the labor-backed majority’s first full year in office as well as the developing critique of its performance. Click here for a story about the opening of New Haven Works, the result of the “jobs pipeline” effort.

The question for voters in 2013 is whether the new group in power has listened to popular demands for change, and delivered; or whether it has become self-serving and a closed club like its predecessors.

Laurie Kennington, president of Local 34, argued Sunday that the labor-backed aldermen have injected more democracy into New Haven politics, not less. She called the emergence of Hausladen’s new slate part of that democratic resurgence.

“I think it’s great to have more candidates in the race and to have competitive elections. It’s exciting to see so much action in the city. I think the whole thing is really great for our city in the long term,” Kennington said. “Knocking on doors, pulling votes, talking to people is only going to make for better policy, better government in the long run.”

She noted the cornucopia of candidates for different offices this year: Five Democrats still in the running for mayor. Three for city/town clerk. New people seeking to become aldermen. “The last few years we’ve seen more participation and more democracy in this city than in the previous 20 years combined. We’re very excited to be a part of that,” Kennington said.

Kennington, who lives in Fair Haven, also contested the depiction of UNITE HERE as “suburban-led.” A clear majority of the executive boards of Locals 34 and 35 lives in the city, she said, as do a majority of the locals’ members.

“The board is more democratic than it has been in the last 11 years,” argued Hill Alderwoman and Democratic Town Chairwoman Jackie James. She cited the extensive public hearings by the committee drawing up proposed charter revisions, the moving of annual budget hearings into the neighborhoods, and a general rise in the number of citizens testifying at public hearings.

Aldermanic President Jorge Perez argued that the board’s top priorities—jobs for New Haveners, more youth centers, reducing violence through a return to community policing—mirror those of the voters. He said the board will continue to “work with anyone who wants to work with us” on those priorities. Perez chaired the jobs pipeline working group, which included leaders from the Chamber of Commerce, Yale-New Haven Hospital, and other private-sector groups.

Streets For Sale

One issue arose repeatedly in the “Take Back New Haven” speeches and conversation in Pitkin Plaza as the touchstone for the complaints against the Yale labor-backed majority: The approval of the sale of portions of High and Wall streets to Yale for $3 million.

“I don’t want the unions running the city. They’re in cahoots with Yale. I’m not happy with that,” said Eliza Lopez (at right in photo, with Ann Diamond.)

“We’re selling New Haven away. The streets. It’s like a conspiracy going on,” said City/Town Clerk Ron Smith (at center in photo), who said he supports the new Take Back New Haven group.

“This is not something I would have ever done,” said Dwight aldermanic candidate Greg Smith (at right in photo alongside former Dixwell Alderman Greg Morehead, who lost his seat to a labor-backed candidate in 2011).

As it turns out, some of the labor-backed aldermen voted against the Yale streets deal; others voted for it. The majority argued that it wasn’t a one-time asset sale, because Yale also agreed to make permanent its annual voluntary payments to the city and its fire-service payments that were part of the original, temporary streets deal struck in 1992.

Read more about the larger debate here and here.

Meanwhile, even before it gains traction, the new anti-machine insurgents already found themselves accused of “machine” tactics of their own Sunday night.

That accusation came from Wooster Square’s Andy Ross. Ross is running for alderman in Ward 8—as a Republican. He was told he couldn’t include his candidacy in the Take Back New Haven slate, which is backing Democrat Peter Webster. And which is a purely Democratic slate.

“While this may be a movement, it is a politically charged movement,” Ross wrote in an email message to the Independent following the event, which he attended. “While Doug [Hausladen]’s message may be to rid New Haven from the so-called political machine, all he is really doing with his slate of candidates is building a new machine, and no machine is a good machine. Politics needs to be open and not suffer the influence of any organized contingent.”

“I appreciate anyone willing to espouse our values and principles,” Hausladen responded. “But we’re talking about Democrats in New Haven. Peter Webster is our Democrat in Ward 8.”

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posted by: DownTownNewHaven on June 30, 2013  9:58pm

The street sale, the street cars, yeah this was bound to happen. It seems to have some promise, when is their next event?

posted by: dorothy25 on June 30, 2013  10:41pm

Wow, according Hausladen’s atomized assembly of individuals (dare not call them a group), any group that’s coming together with any semblance of organization is a machine.

The current BOA deserves praise for taking on three very real crises in this city, crises that voters talked to the candidates about consistently.  First, they successfully got New Haven Works up and running and it is connecting residents to real jobs.  Second, they are holding the police department accountable for implementing community policing in every neighborhood. And third, they are embarking on the difficult task of pooling existing youth resources with potential ones to come up with a real network of opportunities for youth.  These actions were motivated by conversations candidates and volunteers had with voters on the doors.

It seems that Mike Stratton has been asleep for the last 18 months, or maybe he’s just slinging mud.  Just over the last two weeks, every person I’ve talked to on the doors has asked me how they can connect (for themselves or for someone else) to New Haven Works.  The BOA’s accomplishments clearly hold value for New Haven residents.  The fact that Stratton doesn’t see this makes me question if he has ventured very far from his block on Huntington St.

posted by: SaveOurCity on June 30, 2013  10:54pm

Wow - the citizens rising up against the system.  It will be very interesting to see how this turns out.  I wish them luck (but I’m also scared for them).

posted by: Eddie on June 30, 2013  11:01pm

It seems that when Paul is describing the good aspects of machines, (e.g. GOTV efforts, and cooperating as a coalition), machines are indistinguishable from social movements engaged in grassroots political campaigns.  Paul are you accusing this current BOA engaging in any of the bad machine activities?  I’m unaware of any NHI article that indicates they have.  Moreover a crucial aspect that distinguishes a machine is it’s reliance on material incentives to motivate voters and canvassers.  Yet this BOA has relied upon an army of volunteers, who have persuaded voters with door-to-door footwork.  It is a long-standing conservative strategy to accuse unions that become involved in politics as corrupting politics and malign social movements as machines.  Neither this article nor this group have convinced me that this Board of Aldermen is a machine.

After a massive grassroots campaign, that depended upon numerous volunteers such as myself, this BOA has delivered.  As noted it is partially responsible for community policing and has continued to ensure that the police are accountable to New Haveners.  New Haven Works is busy connecting New Haveners with jobs.  The charter commission was the the most productive and inclusive in decades.  We will have a chance to vote for a hybrid Board of Education.  We will have more access to public employment.  The revised charter decentralizes power, by making many mayoral appointments subject to BOA approval.  On other issues Jorge Perez and Justin Elicker made inroads on the problems of illegal dirt biking.  Delphine Clyburn and Brenda Foskey Cyrus lead the fight to win a community benefits agreement with Acheivement First.  Their leadership ensures good jobs for New Haveners and more opportunities for youth.  Honestly, I could go on and on, but I’m running out of characters. Suffice to say, the list of this BOA’s achievements far exceeds anything this group has currently promised.  And promises are easy!!

[Paul: I was trying to lay out the philosophical parameters of the broader debate over what makes a “good” and a “bad” machine, not trying to weigh in on this particular debate.]

posted by: jennifer klein on June 30, 2013  11:12pm

Apparently, Mike Stratton and Doug Hausladen’s “Take Back New Haven” parlay does not see much compunction to be fact-based. Stratton’s accusation that union leaders “abuse their membership”, “improperly using members’ dues” in order to control of the Board of Aldermen is a propagandistic, ideological charge that reveals factual ignorance concerning unions and politics. By federal law, unions cannot use dues for political activities. Unions therefore establish a COPE, Committee on/for Political Education, a VOLUNTARY fund that is kept separate from the general treasury. Union members voluntarily choose to make a contribution to COPE. COPE funds are used for political campaigns and activities, voter registration, get out the vote drives.
Historically, the stale “unions’ abuse their members and dues” is dragged out for ideological purposes whenever conservative opponents get worried that working people may have actually found some way to act collectively. Their organized power just has to be delegitimized.
An additional side note, Yale union members discuss, engage in democratic deliberations over, and VOTE on the contents of their contracts. [By the way, I am not a union member, so you need not chalk this up to mere self-defense].
Where’s the transparency on your end?

posted by: NewHavenTaxTooHigh on July 1, 2013  12:19am

Great news for the taxpayers and citizens of New Haven. Thank you!

posted by: Curious on July 1, 2013  6:27am

The only way to kill the machine is to create term limits for every office.  Period.  Twelves years is long enough for any one person in any office.

This is a good step, though.

Make no mistake: if it comes down to what’s best for New Haven versus what’s best for Local 34 employees, the unions WILL sell New Haven out. 

At the end of the day, Laurie Kenington’s salary gets siphoned out of the paychecks of thousands of union workers.

posted by: robn on July 1, 2013  6:35am

Why is Kennington asserting that a majority of the locals live in town? I thought the ratio was more like 4:1, out of town vs in town.

posted by: Wildwest on July 1, 2013  6:49am

Nice work TBNH, people do need to know that the folks knocking on their doors most of the time for candidates are union paid cronies that may not even live anywhere near NH or even know what the candidate stands for. They are there because of $$$$.

posted by: anonymous on July 1, 2013  6:53am

Ever since the Union “machine” bought the Board of Aldermen in 2011, New Haven has gone from being one of the most progressive to one of the least progressive cities in the nation.

Now thanks to Harp-Looney, the several hundred Keno terminals are on their way, which will send New Haven even farther down the list.

posted by: Noteworthy on July 1, 2013  7:17am

Un-Machine Made Notes:

1. There has not been a political machine in history that has benefited the public as its primary mission. First and foremost, it is about power, control and its desires. If there is any benefit for the public, it is a byproduct of the machine’s agenda.

2. The agenda of jobs, community policing are just show horses to convince the public there is a machine made benefit and even those ideas weren’t original.

3. Is there a difference between the Yale Machine and DeStefano Machine? NONE. It’s about control and power, about a coordinated message that sells hope like snake oil.

4. The labor machine is not about democracy or even good governance. Public hearings mean nothing unless those sitting on the hearing panel act on what they hear. They don’t. They act according to their own agenda - from the budget to selling city streets - ignored conflicts of interests, embraced higher spending, higher debt, higher taxes and failed to make intelligent, informed, coherent decisions.

5. If you want to be controlled and pay dearly for it - vote Yale Unions and those they endorse. Then on the other hand, it may mean none of us have to pay our mortgages or our taxes anymore since they endorsed Toni Harp.

posted by: Threefifths on July 1, 2013  7:44am

Give me a break.The major of the former Alderman in these picture and present one"s were up holders of the Democratic Party Machine and Puppets of King John.Deals were being cut for years under the Democratic Party Machine.

Fellow “Take Back” Democrat Stratton was blunter when he addressed the crowd.“I am not anti-union,” Stratton began, noting that as an attorney he defended workers injured in the 2010 Middletown gas plant explosion.

He must be on the phone with the Koch Brothers asking them for advice.And how much money did your firm make from them. Spoked like a true One percenter.Never be deceived that the rich will permit you to vote away their wealth.—Lucy Parsons

Meanwhile, even before it gains traction, the new anti-machine insurgents already found themselves accused of “machine” tactics of their own Sunday night.That accusation came from Wooster Square’s Andy Ross. Ross is running for alderman in Ward 8—as a Republican. He was told he couldn’t include his candidacy in the Take Back New Haven slate, which is backing Democrat Peter Webster. And which is a purely Democratic slate.

This proves my point on why we should have Proportional Representation.

My Bad what is the groups take on Term Limits. And how many of the people in this group benfits from this. “Every advance in this half-century: Social Security, civil rights, Medicare, aid to education…  one after another- came with the support and leadership of American Labor.”
~Jimmy Carter

posted by: cedarhillresident! on July 1, 2013  7:49am

Each and everyone of these candidate are tremendous! Anna has my vote and I will spread the word in the other ward that we are taking our city back from leaders that seem to do what the are told…not what is best for their wards!

THANK YOU to each of you!!!

(side note…thank you Paul for finally not calling Ward 10 just East Rock in this story because when you do it is an injustice to the other side!)

posted by: Fairhavener on July 1, 2013  7:50am

The sale of our streets for a quick buck and the voting down of an exploratory study for a potential street car system was a joke.

Improvements in our dismal public transportation system would have likely most benefited the working poor of New Haven who mainly use public transportation and are trying to get themselves out of poverty. Increased efficiency offered by a new better transportation system would have ensured increased time at home with family in some cases and better air quality in our already asthma ridden neighborhood corridors. Maybe clean and green street cars was the answer—maybe not, but at least give it a chance. 

Who’s side are the union alders on? I reckon after two years of back-room deals that it is not with the people of New Haven.

posted by: Fairhavener on July 1, 2013  7:52am

Edit: That was “whose side”, sorry.

posted by: robn on July 1, 2013  7:59am

VOTER NOTES

Fascism is the perfect convergence of business interests and government. It doesn’t matter if that self-interest is coming from management or labor; its still wrong.

I’m going to borrow NOTEWORTHY’s bullet point format to comment…

the Union Board of Alderman supermajority:

1) Put forward a splotchy slate including one candidate who went AWOL and later resigned from office. Textbook puppetry.
2) Ran their campaign in stealth fashion, not self-identifying when canvassing and only uncovered by an NHI expose.
3) Has failed to convince this reader that they didn’t bring in ringer canvassers from the suburbs and elsewhere (UNITE modus operandi in the past)
4) Failed to reduce budget; increased it (and your taxes) by 3 percent (50% higher than last years inflation and on top of a decade of taxes/rent doubling and tripling)
5) Created a “Jobs Pipeline” which is miniscule and looks like a PR stunt.
6) Killed (or maimed) a ready-to-go Star Supply project that would have reduced our taxes.
7) Gained a historically generous contract for Yale unions using BOA as leverage (conflict of interest?).
8) Sold a city street to Yale University without retaining right-of-way. (quid pro quo for sweetheart contract?)
9) Continue to discuss expensive restoration of Dixwell House and Armory for youth programs even though we have over a billion dollars of new school facilities.
10) Ceded a public school property to a charter school for half of appraised value (plus environmental cleanup) in trade for partial unionization (feathering one’s nest).

It’s wrong.

posted by: Dwightstreeter on July 1, 2013  8:01am

How many jobs has New Haven Works filled?
How many people applied?
Were the jobs long term or short term, part-time or full time?
How many people work in the office?
What is the budget for this project and how long will it last?
Is this a PR project or a real one?

posted by: anonymous on July 1, 2013  8:10am

Fairhavener, the CCNE/Perez/Marchand-led refusal to accept millions of free State & Obama dollars to improve our bus/transit/streetcar system is reason enough to vote the entire Union-backed slate out of office, immediately. 

Public testimony was overwhelmingly in favor of accepting the funding, as it could have resulted in enormous improvements to our crumbling bus system. Like the street sale, public testimony was ignored and the issue was decided in a back room Caucus before information was even made public.

Clearly they are not on the side of low income families, youth, elderly and disabled residents, who make up the majority of our population but who unlike most Union members, require transit to get around our city.

posted by: newhavenlover on July 1, 2013  8:12am

Does Alderman Hausladen really appreciate anyone willing to espouse his values and principles? Why then is he shutting out other Parties to join forces? “I appreciate anyone willing to espouse our values and principles,” Hausladen responded. “But we’re talking about Democrats in New Haven . So this is only for democrats? Wow! I am a lifelong democrat but I pick and choose my candidates based on their platform and social values. Andy Ross may be a lone wolf out there at this point but having read his positions and platforms I can tell that he is a solid moderate. Why should he or any other candidate get shut out of a movement they believe in? This whole thing smells like common democratic hat tricks. Just pull a rabbit out of a hat and call it a frog.

posted by: David S Baker on July 1, 2013  8:16am

I believe, based on some conversation with this movement prior to Sunday, that this is an attempt to give access to comparable funding, resources, and support for independent minded democrats daunted by the prospect of fighting a spending war… and then become completely hands off.  You can accurately call it a machine, but I was given assurances it would be dismantled and sold for scrap the day after the election. 

It will be nice to see some BOA members who are primarily focused on serving their respective constituencies.  The BOA using broad sweeping city wide policy has it’s place, but the old Latino addage “many little things make a big thing” never seems to enter the picture.  The tactics of the current “machine” seem to do little for building neighborhoods that feel like communities.

posted by: anonymous on July 1, 2013  8:24am

Robn, that is an accurate assessment. Time to hold this group accountable for worse-than-poor leadership.

posted by: Curious on July 1, 2013  8:25am

@ dorothy25,

What jobs have been created?  Who’s been connected to a job?  How many people? 

@ Jennifer Klein,

Right, you’re not in the union.  I am.  You didn’t see how they push-polled the membership to advance this jobs network that Kennington and company wanted to increase their political pull.

Make no mistake, Local 34 is in the “help New Haven” business solely to help themselves.  They are helping advance some projects that New Haven residents feel are worthwhile, but that’s not their MAIN goal.  Their main goal is advancing Local 34.

posted by: anonymous on July 1, 2013  9:02am

Jennifer wrote: “Their organized power just has to be delegitimized.”

Although you seem to want to view it that way, Labor History isn’t black or white. 

In many cases, it is critical to question the organized power of Unions.  Although Unions at a State and Federal level have been key in retaining higher pay for workers, at a local level, their influence (which robn calls “fascism”) can be highly destructive.

Case in point: Detroit. Unions pushed for the destruction of that city, in order to level neighborhoods and build more highways. To some extent, we did the same in New Haven - leveling the Hill neighborhood, for example, to build a new school in 2002. 

It’s a shame that there wasn’t a free-thinking group of individuals who could have stopped the suburban-led Union machines before they leveled large sections of American cities, in clear opposition to the interests of most residents and Union members, and in clear violation of their supposed “social justice” mission.

Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

posted by: ISR on July 1, 2013  9:05am

Interesting how the worm has turned. Yale used to be famous for its bad labor relations.

For example: “Costs Mount for Yale and Union as Strike Drags On”

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/11/nyregion/costs-mount-for-yale-and-union-as-strike-drags-on.html

And: “In Ivy League, Yale Is Leader In Labor Unrest;Old Town-Gown Hostility Confers a Dubious Honor”

http://www.nytimes.com/1996/04/04/nyregion/ivy-league-yale-leader-labor-unrest-old-town-gown-hostility-confers-dubious.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

But then they got into bed together in 2009: “After Years of Rancor, Yale and Unions Reach Deals Early”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/16/nyregion/16yale.html

Bring bad the bad old days?

Or as Aretha asks: Who’s zoomin’ who?

posted by: Christopher Schaefer on July 1, 2013  9:29am

“six Democratic candidates running for alderman on a platform to return ‘transparency’ and the ‘people’s’ voice”. TRANSLATION: as long as those “people’s voices” are registered Democrats and/or buy into the agenda and mindset of the Democratic Party. Hausladen: “’Myself and the five people I’m running with have a different vision’ of a local government with more open debate and differing opinions”. Then why wasn’t Any Ross, the only non-Democrat running for Alderman, invited to this event? Hausladen: “I appreciate anyone willing to espouse our values and principles”. As long as they’re a Democrat. “More open debate and differing opinions”? (A note to ThreeFifths: progressive ideas like term limits and proportional representation have to be introduced at the state level; unfortunately cities cannot change CT state rules on such matters.)

posted by: HewNaven on July 1, 2013  9:30am

With 2/3 of Local 34 members residing outside of New Haven, its about time we stood up to these carpetbaggers and took back the BOA!

I was happy the City Hall-backed BOA members were mostly defeated in 2011, but I was equally disheartened that it was accomplished by using out-of-towners to knock on doors in New Haven. Why is that so hard to understand?

No one is anti-union in this town, are you kidding? Most of us have family members, or are ourselves, union members. But, there are plenty of us who are anti-corruption, anti-collusion, and pro-democracy.

posted by: CarlosR on July 1, 2013  9:40am

Anti-union drivel, mainly by a bunch of has-been politicians and closet Tea-Baggers (lower my taxes! improve City Services).  I don’t love everything the Yale Unions do.  I do love the fact that in THIS city, workers have the power to be taken seriously, and that is because of their union.

posted by: HewNaven on July 1, 2013  9:54am

I guess if Local 34 wants to make it fair they could guarantee that only the 1/3 of their membership that actually lives in New Haven will participate in the campaign, and only their dues will go toward the candidates. No out-of-towners being used as piggy banks or door-knockers!

What do you say, Local 34? You should at least play fair if your platform is really such an obvious choice for voters. No one expects TBNHV to use out-of-towners to deliver their message, why would Local 34 do that? Is that how democracy works?

posted by: EastRockIndependent on July 1, 2013  10:28am

“No Machine” seems to be made up of various disparate elements of the “old” machine (Greg Morehead, Ron Smith, Doug Hausladen, Greg Smith) and some others who find themselves without a political patron in the current moment. It is unfortunate that there is no real engagement with issues other than The Yale streets issue - which was complicated, to be sure, and there are lots of legitimate discussions to be had about it, but it is by no means the defining issue of the Board.

I continue to think that this Board, more than any previous Board, has sought to represent and serve the city together, rather than remaining atomized within their communities.

Voters will at the end of the day make clear choices about our future in September. I hope they will continue to choose people that want to work together with their colleagues from every neighborhood to make real lasting change.

posted by: Curious on July 1, 2013  10:39am

Why is a labor union actively committing resources to anything BUT advancing the workplace for their employees?

Have you ever seen a labor union spending major resources on something that didn’t directly benefit themselves?

The political efforts of Laurie Kennington and Local 34 are 95% about them…not you.

posted by: Razzie on July 1, 2013  10:53am

City Town Clerk Ron Smith, Greg Morehead, Greg Smith, need I say more. Half of Hausladen’s new Party are firmly imbedded in the DeStefano Administration. Former office-holders who were voted out by their Democratic constituents. Now they want a re-do…like Elicker and his Lieberman 2-step.

posted by: Curious on July 1, 2013  12:05pm

Do you people even bother reading the articles?

Greg Smith is the only one running again for a seat.

I guess the some of you are so eager to criticize that you don’t bother to read before clicking on the Comment button.

posted by: Christopher Schaefer on July 1, 2013  12:46pm

From Take Back New Haven’s website: “TBNH candidates are NO MACHINE DEMOCRATS. The group and its candidates will not support those who are not democrats”. Pretty funny: the first sentence is contradicted by the second sentence LOL.

posted by: Curious on July 1, 2013  12:53pm

Razzie, funny how 19 DeStefano-affiliated aldermen can back Toni Harp, but that’s okay in your book.

posted by: Greg-Morehead on July 1, 2013  1:08pm

@ Jennifer Klein…

You said,
Apparently, Mike Stratton and Doug Hausladen’s “Take Back New Haven” parlay does not see much compunction to be fact-based. Stratton’s accusation that union leaders “abuse their membership”, “improperly using members’ dues” in order to control of the Board of Aldermen is a propagandistic, ideological charge that reveals factual ignorance concerning unions and politics. By federal law, unions cannot use dues for political activities. Unions therefore establish a COPE, Committee on/for Political Education, a VOLUNTARY fund that is kept separate from the general treasury. Union members voluntarily choose to make a contribution to COPE. COPE funds are used for political campaigns and activities, voter registration, get out the vote drives.
.........................

I beg to differ with your statement.  I know for a fact that isn’t the case.  I have relatives that pay Union dues and former constituents that are Union employees and the Unions came to them and stated that they had to vote a certain way because they were union employees and if they wanted them to represent them against Yale, they had to.  So, please don’t give me your assumptions when you don’t have factual proof to back up your statement.  If it was happening to a handful of people that were Union employees, who else did this same type of strong arm tactics happen to across the city?  And, NONE of them voluntary made ANY contributions to COPE.  Looking at one of my former constituents paystub, all it said was Union dues, $9.74.  That is EACH pay period.  Again, don’t try and speak for the Unions when what you are saying is false.  I wish that someone from the Unions would speak about this or refute this claim, BUT that will never happen because what I just stated is FACT not fiction!

Lastly,everyone is putting my name in their comments because I was there, thats cool.  I guess guilty by association, but, as I stated yesterday, I am not running again.

posted by: Greg-Morehead on July 1, 2013  1:39pm

Ok, I ran out of room with my last comment.

But, I don’t mind being associated with the “sensational six”,(just made that up) because I believe in what they are trying to do.  I was at the event because i believe in Doug, Greg, Mike, and the other candidates that they will put the residents first.  I think we should applaud their efforts and get behind them.  How is it when the Unions got 19 candidates to run last term, people on here commented, this is going to be great, we need new leadership, fresh ideas etc, until you saw what their agenda was after they got into office.  Now, there are 6 people that are trying to take back the city in their prospective Wards, and people are against their efforts.  That mentality is twisted!  These 6 are putting the residents first in their ideas and vision.

Anyone, Please tell me this…

What change has the Union backed candidates brought to their prospective Wards?

Why is it that the Union backed Alderman can’t meet with people in their Wards or other Wards WITHOUT Scott Marx being present or a phone call first from Jackie James?
That is not representation.
Please people, wake up!
Where are all of the progressive people that care about the citizens of New Haven to run in these Union, Alderman Wards?
How come no one in these Wards, 3-4-5-6, has come forth to challenge these Alderman?

SMH

posted by: Threefifths on July 1, 2013  1:44pm

Let us take a look at this statement.“It feels like New Haven Spring!” declared Downtown Alderman Doug Hausladen as he greeted the 70 supporters gathered in Pitkin Plaza Sunday night, referring to the flowering of democracy in the city this campaign season. Hausladen formally began his campaign for a second term at the event. He also introduced five aldermanic running mates, all fellow Democrats, on the “Take Back New Haven” slate.

Is Hausladen saying that the present people on the BOA are not fellow Democrats.How many times did Hausladen vote with them.I will say it again.The people voted the BOA in not based
on Union membership,But the people voted based on being members of the Democratic party.When I go to the BOA meetings and look on there desk.I see a name plate with a D for Democratic not union.Blame the voters not the union.

posted by: Christopher Schaefer on July 1, 2013 10:29am

(A note to ThreeFifths: progressive ideas like term limits and proportional representation have to be introduced.

It can be done.We start at the top.

posted by: accountability on July 1, 2013  2:04pm

Although I find the particular anti-union rhetoric of these candidates just as offensive as that normally spewed here, this is a great development. Nothing wrong with political competition.

The NHI commentariat will suck its thumbs and whine about machines and secret deals and all the other crap all summer long, and then the voters will decide whether or not the Board majority has done an effective job trying to figure out how to help connect local residents with good jobs, holding Mayor DeStefano accountable for community policing and beginning to put together a citywide youth agenda, and whether or not to give them the chance to move that agenda forward with a new mayor.

It’s accountability time. See you on the doors.

posted by: accountability on July 1, 2013  2:12pm

After looking more carefully at the list of candidates, this is pretty thin gruel.

There are only two challenges to incumbents from among the progressive movement that ran together in 2011, one of whom is a doofus ex-Alderman who got caught illegally stealing his opponents’ signs. As citywide movements for “transparency” and “fairness” go, not that impressive a leadership group, but as Laurie Kennington says, if they can stimulate debate about the city’s future, more power to them.

see you on the doors.

posted by: Jim Berger on July 1, 2013  2:52pm

For what it’s worth, I was canvassing yesterday for Taisha Walker and Toni Harp– also getting signatures for a New Haven Rising petition calling on employers to sign on to the New Haven Works jobs pipeline program.  There were about twenty of us; we met at Yvette Hamilton’s house on Edgewood Ave. and set out from there.  All of us were New Haven residents–some union members, some grad students, some non-of-the-above… just concerned, motivated people.  What we have, what we’re trying to build, is not a Machine but a MOVEMENT.  A vehicle for people–particularly working class people, the poor, African Americans and Latinos, those who generally have little political voice or power–to articulate their wishes and needs and acquire the political power to try to achieve them.  There, I’ve spilled the beans: that, in a nutshell, is the secret “agenda” the unions are up to in New Haven.  That’s why we knock on doors, why we hold rallies, why we show up at hearings, why we run people for office, why we pull out the vote.  And when we talk to people at their homes, we always ask, “What do you think? What do you want for this city?”
 
I’m out of space… to be continued!

posted by: Jim Berger on July 1, 2013  2:54pm

Part 2 of my comment:

  To say that now, after one victorious election and 18 months in office, the union coalition on the BOA and their supporters constitute a “machine” is just silly–and ideological.  What ultimately will come of the jobs pipeline or the movement’s efforts to build youth programs or reduce crime and generally create more prosperity and social cohesion in New Haven… well, we’ll see.  But, as someone not in the union who has worked with the union people in CCNE, CORD, the aldermanic campaigns, and New Haven Rising for something like a decade, I don’t have any doubt at all that their goals are to benefit all of New Haven.  If you’d spend some time with us, you’d find that’s all we talk about.  Social and economic justice in New Haven and building a movement to achieve them.  This is a genuinely cross-class, cross-race, all-across-the-city group.  For all its shortcomings, I don’t see any other groups like it in this town.
  In national politics, this is a tough time.  It’s hard to see reason for much hope that the progressive policies so many of us want will be actively pursued.  But here in New Haven, there is a bit of hope that poor and working people will get some voice, and power, and justice.  And the hope–whether Mike Stratton and others like it or not–is coming from this movement, from Unite-Here and its friends.  I’d like to see the movement’s critics work with us, criticize us constructively when it’s called for (as I did, for instance, in my article on the sale of High and Wall Streets), instead of bellyaching over imaginary cabals

posted by: Jim Berger on July 1, 2013  3:00pm

Oh, just a note to “anonymous”: if you think you can win a “who knows more about labor history” contest with Jennifer Klein, you’ve got another think coming.  She’s written two books on labor history that have won national awards.  She teaches the subject at Yale.  Also, I live with her, so I get the picture first-hand.  You ought to talk with her.  You’ll learn a lot.

posted by: Curious on July 1, 2013  3:07pm

Accountability, who was stealing the signs?

posted by: David S Baker on July 1, 2013  3:09pm

@ accountability

Were the union slate honestly interested in creating jobs they would have used their ‘united super friends’ power to ease regulations and encourage business to the area rather than attempting only to squeeze positions out of companies that directlty serve their interests. 

Don’t worry, I’ll still give those work study students who REALY believe in Candiate X and my neighborhood directions back to the bus stop even tho they vanished after the last election without even cleaning up the signs.

My is door attached to the jamb.  See you AT it.

posted by: Curious on July 1, 2013  3:13pm

Jim Berger of Yale faculty?

The view from INSIDE the union isn’t as rosy as you think it is.  Maybe from the outside it looks like benevolence and helping your bother man, but Local 34 is about bolstering Local 34’s power…pretending they’re in it to help everyone is a nice front.

posted by: robn on July 1, 2013  3:17pm

But JIM,

Strictly speaking, the union takeover of the BOA WAS a cabal. It was surreptitiously organized, kept under wraps until the exposed by the NHI, delivered in some part by self-interested outsider, powered by demagoguery, and resulted in an immediate conflict-of-interest gain for its backers.

No amount of altruism can change those facts.

posted by: anonymous on July 1, 2013  3:50pm

Jim Berger, I am familiar with the books, but anyone who thinks they know labor history should live outside the NY, New England, or DC area for a few years, and set up camp in one of the American inner cities that was completely and utterly gutted by suburban-controlled Union machines who trampled on local interests and sold out the poor.

Ironically, these are the same places where Unions are now disappearing - so self-interest should dictate that the Unions should adopt a more encompassing perspective than they have, even if that’s never happened at a local level in the United States.

Recent projects resulting in the widening of Whalley Avenue and Route 34 and leveling of the Hill are recent examples of malfeasance in the service of suburban elites and suburban-controlled Unions, presented by some of our CCNE/Local 34/35-affiliated Aldermen and City Hall as projects to “help the poor.”

posted by: accountability on July 1, 2013  3:51pm

Curious: My apologies to Greg Smith. It was prolix NHI commenter Greg Morehead who did his constituents a “service” by removing opponent’s signs. Thanks for asking. My bad.

David Baker: “Work study students?” Really, what in the world are you talking about? Of all the bizarre stuff I’ve seen written about the 2011 elections, that’s one of the weirdest yet.

The major job creation in this town is driven by its large—constantly expanding (and mostly tax exempt)—employers. The University, Hospital, UI and K of C hire far more people every year than the rest of the business community and the city government combined.

Getting them to hire well-qualified people from our city instead of the suburbs is the fastest way to reduce unemployment in New Haven. The unions took that issue on at the bargaining table and got Yale to agree to increase its city hiring, then worked with the city, the Chamber and other stakeholders to create New Haven Works, donated a top staff person to the effort, and now, as NHI has reported, Yale is starting to hire people for good jobs who otherwise never would even have been interviewed.

if you have a specific set of regulations that need to be eased to encourage business, over which the Board of Aldermen has power, well, put it out there. Otherwise, you might want to lose the “ease regulations” Republican boilerplate. Random GOP bumper sticker rhetoric hardly adds up to a substantive critique of the Board’s work.

And let me second Jim B—LOL NHI commenters trying to lecture Jennifer Klein on labor history. A classic NHI moment.

posted by: Jim Berger on July 1, 2013  4:03pm

Oh phooey…

To “Curious”: if it’s all a front, it’s a damn persistent one… there must be a simpler and easier way to achieve their narrowly interested goals than this!!  So, no, I really don’t buy that explanation…

And to Robn: of course, they had a goal and a strategy—who doesn’t? Esp. if you’re trying to win a political campaign. But who were the outsiders and what was the demagoguery?  Since being in office, they’ve worked to achieve exactly the things they campaigned on.

I mean, if one’s definition of “cabal,” is any form of strategizing, well, that just seems too weak a definition to be worth using.
I’d think that Mike Stratton and his friends have been planning this move for a month or so.  that’s not a cabal—it’s a plan and a strategy of how and when to put it into operation.

posted by: accountability on July 1, 2013  4:50pm

Hooray! After years of droning on with the dullest possible anti-union rhetoric after every NHI story, anonymous has finally figured out what the yale unions are up to:

“self-interest should dictate that the Unions should adopt a more encompassing perspective than they have..”

Good job anonymous. Took awhile, but you’re catching on.

posted by: lawrence st on July 1, 2013  5:00pm

when i first heard about “take back new haven,” i thought maybe it was about violence or poverty. nope. doug wants to take new haven back from the voters. from the people. i don’t see how a bunch of alders who went door-to-door, heard what their constituents wanted, and then worked to deliver it, is something that the city needs to be “rescued” from.

i find this kinda offensive.

also, why are there several people from destefano’s machine in doug’s “no machine” party?

posted by: robn on July 1, 2013  5:14pm

JIM and ACCOUNTABILITY,

Examples of outsider chicanery and demagoguery are listed in my post above. I hope that on election day, taxpayers remember this rare glimpse at the academy blatantly sneering down upon them.

posted by: Anderson Scooper on July 1, 2013  5:35pm

How much money did the Unions spend on those aldermanic races in 2011? Wasn’t it something like $200,000?

$10,000 per contested seat comes out to something like $20/vote, which amounted to a lot of paid canvassing and voter contact. Fwiw.

posted by: beyonddiscussion on July 1, 2013  5:49pm

Democracy and lively debate is good. Ultimately, the people decide. But I do think the city is in much better shape than when DeStefano ruled with an iron hand. A lot of credit goes to the folks who came in two years ago and the many good things they’ve done and their new tone. I’m not quite sure why this group is so angry or feels so threatened.

posted by: Threefifths on July 1, 2013  5:52pm

posted by: anonymous on July 1, 2013 4:50pm
Jim Berger, I am familiar with the books, but anyone who thinks they know labor history should live outside the NY, New England, or DC area for a few years, and set up camp in one of the American inner cities that was completely and utterly gutted by suburban-controlled Union machines who trampled on local interests and sold out the poor.

Sold out the poor.As far as poor african americans if it was not for A. Philip Randolph who was a leader in the African-American civil-rights movement, the American labor movement and the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters.Poor african americans would still be poor when it came to wages.Also
the Irish men Mike Quill, founder and president of the Transport Workers Union (TWU).Help the poor.In fact my granfather worked with him.He also worked with Dr.King.

http://youtu.be/yNVPSIm7vR0

In fact the unions made the middle class.

Unions Make the Middle Class
Without Unions, the Middle Class Withers
David Madland, Karla Walter, and Nick Bunker April 2011

http://www.americanprogressaction.org/wp-content/uploads/issues/2011/04/pdf/unionsmakethemiddleclass.pdf

Who sold out the poor was not the unions.It was the crooked Bankers and Hegdefunders. Starting with the Enron scandal,Goldman Sachs.

How Goldman Sachs Gambled On Starving the Poor - And Won.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/how-goldman-sachs-gambled_b_633436.html

And we cannot forget good old Wells Fargo.

http://www.wellsfargomortgagefraud.com/

My bad.Conn.Is number 3 when it comes to States With the Most ‘One-Percenters’

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/states-with-the-most—one-percenters-.html

posted by: Hieronymous on July 1, 2013  6:06pm

I was hoping there’d be a slate (formal or informal) of independent-minded candidates for the Board, but I have to say it was blindingly stupid to limit this slate to capital D Democrats. How can you put a premium on “independence” while requiring allegiance to a party (and by extension its platform)? I really don’t think there is, was, or will be any risk of a Republican takeover of the Board, and the core constituency who want to support independent-minded candidates, though almost assuredly liberal on a national spectrum, really don’t care what party their aldermen and women belong to. The exclusionary stance just opens this slate up to the criticisms you see below (above?) that “independent” simply means “anti-Union” or that this is just the old DeStefano backed board trying to regain power. 

On another note, I’d like to see some facts from one side or the other about the efficacy of the “jobs pipeline.” If it has actually served the purpose of putting New Haven residents to work, it’s a pretty powerful counterargument to the “suburban union interests” schtick. I see comments that it’s just empty marketing, but aren’t there actual statistics out there from which we can discern the truth?

posted by: HhE on July 1, 2013  6:52pm

I guess if I stayed in school long enough to earn a PhD, then persevered in a post doc in a political theory or construct, and participated in a political revolution—of ballots, not bullets—that was an expression of that same thesis, then I would have a very hard time understand that what I did was wrong.

posted by: Curious on July 1, 2013  7:10pm

@ Accountability,
I disagree.  The good jobs in the union are not going to be filled by well-qualified people from New Haven in the short-term.  You’re not going to take a kid graduating high school with grade school math skills and get that kid a good job.  I think creating more jobs in small businesses, helping them grow, is a better way to employ more people in New Haven, faster. 

Go ahead and search all our open jobs.  This isn’t a growth area for most of New Haven.  The new science building that’s being built on top of Route 34 isn’t going to be hiring new grads.  It’s going to hire people much like the ones these open jobs are looking for.

http://www.yale.edu/hronline/careers/application/external/

@ Jim, we have a fundamentally different view of the unions.  Do you have a line in every one of your paychecks from Yale that shows how much money the union is taking out of it?  No.  I do.  Have you been push-polled to further an agenda?  No.  I have.

posted by: Claudia Herrera on July 1, 2013  8:04pm

Community assisted on this event.

4 or 5 Black.

Zero Hispanic.

The other 95% white. 

“Take back NH” for whom?

posted by: anonymous on July 1, 2013  8:08pm

Curious and accountability, any economist can tell you that the best if not only way to boost wages and standard of living for so called “lower-skill” employees (like hairdressers or bus drivers) is to 1) attract more college graduates to your region, 2) build affordable housing through zoning such as eliminating parking requirements, and 3) invest in transit and bus expansions (FTA grant). This is called the “talent dividend.” And it is huge.

The Union backed supermajority has miserably failed on all three of these fronts, moving New Haven far down the list of the most progressive cities.  Therefore, relative wages here may actually decline, no matter how many pipelines, PR stunts, and CCNE door knockers we create. 

Hopefully we can train immigrants and residents for high skill jobs too, but that takes major investments in education over 1-2 generations, something that is impossible to do unless the region is more successful economically. Witness the dismantling of Detroit, a labor stronghold where the local Union machine destroyed the city, resulting in many cases in a student:teacher ratio of 60 to 1, no buses, and no police. To Jim’s point, there aren’t any books on what is happening there right now- spend a few years in Detroit and let’s talk.

posted by: HhE on July 1, 2013  9:21pm

Claudia Herrera, take back the city for all of us—not for one ethnicity (or to the exclusion of another).

posted by: Greg-Morehead on July 1, 2013  10:08pm

@accountability…

You said-
There are only two challenges to incumbents from among the progressive movement that ran together in 2011, one of whom is a doofus ex-Alderman who got caught illegally stealing his opponents’ signs.

Thanks for the “doofus” moniker, even though you know NOTHING about me.  I shouldn’t even address your comment since you choose to hide behind an alias of “accountability”, but here it is..
If you look at the article from where Lisa Hopkins was following me back in 2011 and was the one to call the police, I also stated in the article that some of my constituents were the ones that called me and asked for me to remove the signs that the “union” people had put on their lawns.  Get your facts straight before you come into the ring swinging. 

Again people, read the Article, it doesn’t say anything about me running again.
Although, if I did, it would be no holds barred and none of the other candidates would out work me!
Alot to think about…..

posted by: streever on July 2, 2013  12:23am

@Jim Berger
Wow! You don’t know who “Anonymous” is, but they are ignorant, and your Yale colleague has a lot to teach them?

That is the immediate turn-off that you Yale folk are starting to have for me. I’m tired of reading how ignorant everyone who doesn’t have a Yale affiliation is in the comments section of the NHI, and reading how smart everyone with a Yale affiliation is.

posted by: David S Baker on July 2, 2013  7:05am

@ accountability

If the ‘street walkers’ were not work study students, they should not say as much.  As for forcing the big six to hire from downtown why should they be forced to based qualification of geography?  Several mayoral candidates barely live here, should they be less qualified?

As I typed the words “ease regulations” I turned to a co-worker and said, “This town is so uber-liberal I am going to be called a republican for this.”  My co-worker disagreed.  Thanks, she now owes me lunch. 

“eliminate parking requirements?”  Sounds like easing regulations to me, buddy.

posted by: Wooster Squared on July 2, 2013  7:10am

Wow,

A lot of comments! The union machine really has its hackles up.

More and more, the union-backed slate and it’s benefactors are looking like the Tea Party. In their minds, if you’re not with them 100% then you’re an enemy and need to be purged.

Virtually everyone in New Haven is pro-union. What folks have a problem with is the unions using their deep pockets and suburban membership to dominate local politics and make deals that serve the unions first and the public second. That behavior is just plain wrong and it needs to stop.

Unions should have a voice in local politics but they should not have the only voice.

posted by: Wildwest on July 2, 2013  7:24am

@streever- we agree for possibly the first time, I think we all know what good came from the unions BITD without reading his girlfriends book.

@woostersquared- wow, you speak for 99% of the city huh? have you been reading the comments here? We all agree that they need to back off politics and funding campaigns but many people I know in NH do not like unions and have not for 10-20 years.

@DavidBaker- the same work study kids came to my house numerous times. I dont think any of them could have picked the candidate out of a photo lineup.

posted by: Threefifths on July 2, 2013  7:38am

posted by: anonymous on July 1, 2013 9:08pm

Witness the dismantling of Detroit, a labor stronghold where the local Union machine destroyed the city, resulting in many cases in a student:teacher ratio of 60 to 1, no buses, and no police. To Jim’s point, there aren’t any books on what is happening there right now- spend a few years in Detroit and let’s talk.

Let’s Talk. I love union haters and bad information.You can not just Blame the unions.In fact this is the reason why Detroit was destroyed. Drum Roll.You Know about former Democratic mayor Kwame Kilpatrick who looted the pension fund and who was part of the Democratic machine that has run the city into the ground bemused, involves a real estate firm which gave the felonious mayor massages, golf outings, trips in chartered jets and other perks as this enemy of the people went about his hypocritical business of pretending to care about the poor while robbing them blind. The firm, apparently run by a sleazy low class crook named by the reprehensible Kilpatrick to be the Treasurer of what was left of Detroit’s finances, used Detroit pension funds to buy a couple of California strip malls. Title to the properties was never transferred to the pension funds, and they seem to be out $3.1 million.Kilpatrick’s partner in slime is his ex-college frat brother Jeffrey Beasley, who is accused of taking bribes and kickbacks as he made bad investments that cost pension funds $84 million.

Read the rest.

May 5, 2012
Rogue Democrats Loot Detroit As Nation Sleeps

Walter Russell Mead


http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/05/05/rogue-democrats-loot-detroit-as-nation-sleeps/

24 Shocking Facts About Detroit That You Won’t Believe

http://www.thetradingreport.com/2013/02/04/24-shocking-facts-about-detroit-that-you-wont-believe/

Sorry but you are wrong.Detroit was destroyed by Corruption from crooks in politics.

posted by: Threefifths on July 2, 2013  7:55am

posted by: Wooster Squared on July 2, 2013 8:10am

Unions should have a voice in local politics but they should not have the only voice.

Last I looked the only voice is the Democratic Party.

@ Anonymous

Take a look at Camden, New Jersey.Look at who destroyed the city.It was not the unions.

Why Poverty Spreads Across America

By Sherwood Ross

http://www.laprogressive.com/poverty-spreads-america/

posted by: robn on July 2, 2013  8:14am

3/5,

Your 1st article attributes a half billion dollars of fraud in the Kwame Kilpatrick administration over 8 years. That’s about $62M/yr (which is a lot of money, but small proportionally to the city budget as I’ll show). Detroit’s current annual budget (probably as low as its been) is $2.6B. So that means Kilpatrick was stealing 2% annually. This isn’t a number that breaks a city.

Your 2nd article also discusses corruption but then notes the decline was caused by the loss of about 50% of manufacturing jobs over a decade. This is clearly because it was more costly to manufacture products in Detroit.

Bottom line; Detroit collapsed under the weight of its own success because management failed to adapt to a changing market and labor wouldn’t give up its overly generous contracts, both of which made it impossible to compete internationally.

posted by: HhE on July 2, 2013  8:41am

3/5ths, at the end of the day, the issue is that unions can be destructive, just as they can do real good.  I do not expect you to concede that, but there it is. 

I am disappointed that this is a Democrats Only program. 

 

It appears that accountability is unable to present an argument without seeking to be offensive.  The NHI took down one of his/her comments when I objected to it, and took the time to explain why they let another one through.

posted by: Threefifths on July 2, 2013  8:48am

@robn Corporate and government-controlled media has never focused on who are the real culprits in the underdevelopment and consequent destruction of Detroit.Detroit industrial jobs were being lost in the 1950s and 1960s as census reports document. This was taking place at the same time as the large-scale migration of African Americans into the city of Detroit was increasing when many working class and middle class whites were fleeing the city for the suburbs.in the late 1990s the city was the focus of one of the largest swindles in the history of the U.S. Predatory lending schemes targeted African American and Latino communities in a massive profit-making project that involved the highest echelons of finance capital in collusion with the federal, state and local governments.African Americans were deliberately lured into first home buyer and refinancing programs which the banks knew well in advance would result in massive home losses and the wholesale leveling and cleansing of neighborhood and cities. These predatory lending programs in many cases were racist in character by only providing subprime loans to African Americans and Latinos even if they qualified for what was considered as conventional mortgages.The largest and most profitable banks and insurance companies were involved in these efforts. Even though many of the mortgage loans appeared to originate from small real estate and finance companies, over a period of time the servicing of these loans wound up with some of the oldest and well-established banks such as JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, the Royal Bank of Scotland (Charter One), Wells Fargo, The Bank of New York Mellon Trust and others.The forces behind these fraudulent mortgage packages were so-called securitized trusts and hedge funds many of which are based on Wall Street in New York City. The mortgages were bundled up in exotic financial instruments and backed up by multi-billion dollar firms such as American International Group (AIG). Uti

posted by: Threefifths on July 2, 2013  8:53am

@Robin Part two.

Saving Detroit: Globalization, the Destruction of Cities and the Rights of African Americans

You can read the rest.As I said Blame bankers and hedge funders.


http://www.globalresearch.ca/saving-detroit-globalization-the-destruction-of-cities-and-the-rights-of-african-americans/5332231

posted by: Curious on July 2, 2013  9:03am

I’m a fan of Doug, but I am disappointed that Andy Ross was declared ineligible because of his party affiliation.  If this was about the best candidates for office, that shouldn’t matter.  Besides, what better way to show that you’re anti-machine than to run a slate with mixed party lines?

Also disappointed in the city clerk candidate even being endorsed, that office is a joke, and from what I hear this guy holds a full-time job elsewhere AND collects $50,000 plus benefits and pension for doing NOTHING in the clerk’s office.  His deputy runs the office while he just sits back and collects a paycheck.

posted by: Threefifths on July 2, 2013  9:09am

posted by: HhE on July 2, 2013 9:41am
3/5ths, at the end of the day, the issue is that unions can be destructive, just as they can do real good.  I do not expect you to concede that, but there it is.

Capitalism can be destructive.In his 1942 book Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, the Austrian-born economist Joseph Schumpeter famously likened the capitalist system to a “perennial gale of creative destruction.” Capitalism, Schumpeter wrote, “is by nature a form or method of economic change and not only never is but never can be stationary Corporate profits and workers wages are down. This is why Unions came about.

Recovery in U.S. Is Lifting Profits, but Not Adding Jobs

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/04/business/economy/corporate-profits-soar-as-worker-income-limps.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

I am disappointed that this is a Democrats Only program.

I agree.

posted by: robn on July 2, 2013  10:58am

3/5,

You’ve once again diverted the conversation toward the exploitation of African Americans by others. Do you really want to go there since you started this conversation accusing Kwame Kilpatrick (African American) of destroying Detroit

posted by: David S Baker on July 2, 2013  11:29am

As entertaining (or discouraging) as this homo-partisan bickering is, it would be nice to occasionally see the actual candidates engage each other as agressively.  It seems like Carolina is the only one to pick up a bat at take a swing at another candidate thus far.  More MUD SLINGING!

posted by: HenryCT on July 2, 2013  11:40am

What are the solutions to the city’s problems this new group espouses? Does it oppose community policing? Does it oppose the Jobs Pipeline with other suggestions of how to put people to work? Does it have novel ideas for improving the schools? What are its ideas on providing opportunities and activities for youth? Summer jobs? Does it have proposals for funding repair of the potholes and sidewalks? Maintaining our parks? Calming traffic? Protecting our immigrant neighbors from ICE? 

Or does it afford another outlet for anti-union sentiment, a stalking horse for Scott Walkerism?

Inquiring minds want to know.

posted by: streever on July 2, 2013  11:50am

@Henry
Begging the question much? This is a group that is not united around political platform and policies, as they state in the article. Rather, they are a group of people who are running independently of big money coalitions. Each candidate has their own view on issues, which is why people are excited about this. This isn’t Chairman Mao’s Democratic Bloc.

I think if you’ve been reading the positions and policies of Hausladen and the others endorsed, you’d know that they aren’t opposed to any of the measures you’ve mentioned.

I think—sometimes—we have to take others at their words. These individuals have stated—repeatedly—that they oppose big money being used to keep others outside of the political discussions in New Haven.

Hausladen in particular would know this: he sits on the Board of Aldermen, which has a majority group that largely decides the outcomes of votes before the public meeting by agreeing to vote on party line as a bloc with no public discussion.

Community policing is something that nearly the entire city supports. A jobs pipeline—if successful and we have yet to see ANY metrics at all—is something that nearly the entire city supports. Immigrant residency programs in particular have been supported by Hausladen and the other pols who are part of this group.

You’re absolutely begging the question if you frame a strawman argument around Hausladen et all being in opposition to policies which they have supported over & over again.

posted by: accountability on July 2, 2013  12:19pm

@streever “running independently of big money coalitions?” ROTFLMAO

Michael Stratton is a bazillionaire trial lawyer. Give us all a break, please.

And by the way, how bout an update on the Prince William County Commission or the Alexandria City Council or wherever it is in the Old Dominion that you live now. Are they more or less responsive to your ideas on real estate development than the Board of Aldermen? And sorry about your theocratic governor and legislature. Yuck. Are you actually doing anything to change any of that? You’d be doing the rest of the country a big favor.

posted by: Threefifths on July 2, 2013  2:17pm

posted by: robn on July 2, 2013 11:58am
3/5,

You’ve once again diverted the conversation toward the exploitation of African Americans by others. Do you really want to go there since you started this conversation accusing Kwame Kilpatrick (African American) of destroying Detroit

I have not diverted the conversation toward the exploitation of African Americans by others.In fact I said that Detroit industrial jobs were being lost in the 1950s and 1960s as census reports document. This was taking place at the same time as the large-scale migration of African Americans into the city of Detroit was increasing when many working class and middle class whites were fleeing the city for the suburbs in the late 1990s. Kwame Kilpatrick was the last to put his hand in the cookie jar.

Detroit Corruption Keeps Piling Up

http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2010/01/detroit-corruption-keeps-piling/

Also Detroit is one of the six most corrupt cities in America.

http://nakedlaw.avvo.com/crime/the-6-most-corrupt-cities-in-america.html

It’s not just Detroit. It’s the entire nation.There isn’t a community anywhere in this country that has not been decimated and destroyed because of Corporate Greed not unions.Take a drive and see for your self the ghost towns because of the corporate cancer, thanks to Bankers and Hedge funders, lobbyist and Politicians in both houses Who have revoke all regulations in favor of corporate profits, who pay NO taxes and continue to receive government Welfare in subsidies.Are you not here in this state paying four cent gas tax.

posted by: robn on July 2, 2013  3:37pm

3/5,

Then how do you explain the economic growth of mostly southern non-union states compared with the economic decline of highly unionized northern states?

posted by: Threefifths on July 2, 2013  8:15pm

posted by: robn on July 2, 2013 4:37pm
3/5,

Then how do you explain the economic growth of mostly southern non-union states compared with the economic decline of highly unionized northern states?

It is radically different.Southern states has never been to allow them to compete with other states or countries on the basis of superior innovation or living standards.  Instead, for generations Southern economic policymakers have sought to secure a lucrative second-tier role for the South in the national and world economies, as a supplier of commodities like cotton and oil and gas and a source of cheap labor for footloose corporations.  This strategy of specializing in commodities and cheap labor is intended to enrich the Southern oligarchy. It doesn’t enrich the majority of Southerners, white, black or brown, but it is not intended to.It is cheap, powerless labor.
Before 1900, the cheap labor was used to harvest export crops like cotton and lumber.  Beginning around 1900, Southern states sought to reap benefits from the new industrial economy by supplying national manufacturing companies with pools of cheap, powerless labor as well. For a century now, Southern state economic development policies have sought to lure companies from high-wage, high-service states, by promising low wages and docile workers. Also those Southern states have the highest-unemployment.Like I said Union labor built most of America.Unions created the middle class, fair wages, workplace safety, the 40 hour work week, vacation time, and benefits.We have all benefited from the unions, whether we belong to one, or not. Unions fought an entrenched wealthy robber baron class.Now answer my question which you seem to duck. Did not Corporate Greed make the middle class workers
Fall.

posted by: P Christopher Ozyck on July 2, 2013  9:13pm

This is a band of citizens that need to band together in light of the swarm in the last aldermanic race. It’s only logical to band and recognize the 800 pound gorilla.  It no different from city hall backed candidates.  If organized machines regularly elect local reps - lets just acknowledge it.  It’s not to say good people are not elected by machines, it’s just easier for them.

posted by: accountability on July 2, 2013  9:55pm

Shorter robn: blah, blah, blah, blah, unions bad, blah, blah blah unions kill jobs, blah, blah, blah economic growth.

Just for fun, here are the 12 states with the highest unemployment rates in the US:

40   GEORGIA   8.3
40   INDIANA   8.3
40   TENNESSEE   8.3
43   MICHIGAN   8.4
44   DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA   8.5
45   CALIFORNIA   8.6
45   NEW JERSEY   8.6
47   NORTH CAROLINA   8.8
48   RHODE ISLAND   8.9
49   ILLINOIS   9.1
49   MISSISSIPPI   9.1
51   NEVADA   9.5

Got some high union membership states, and some virulently anti-union southern ststes too. The job creator’s paradise of North Carolina, which has the least unionization of any state in the union, actually has a lousier economy than the collapsing people’s republic of the United Autoworkers. [source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2013]

But yeah, don’t let any facts disrupt your brilliant academic treatise. Carry on with your usual boring anti-unio….., oh, I mean, your well-reasoned economic analysis.

posted by: AaronARC on July 2, 2013  11:30pm

my question for these take backers is WHAT are they going to do? What is there plan? i get the idea of not liking a union affiliated alder-persons but what are the new candidates going to do? there an ANTI movement not a counter movement. They’re coming off like they’re against the current board and not like they are for anything. If they win they are going to take new haven back. there going to take new haven back to how it used to be.

posted by: HhE on July 3, 2013  7:57am

3/5th and robn, may I offer a thought?  It think it is both, along with a number of other issues.

accountability, I find your post to be a mix of anger and lack of nuance.

posted by: robn on July 3, 2013  8:17am

ACCOUNTABILITY

1) I’m genuinely curious about 3/5 pro-union rational; that’s why I asked. Your stats are interesting but they (and your ad hominem attack against me) don’t change the bad conduct of local unions in the last election; that’s a fact, not a treatise.

2)  Picking at your stats a bit, your high unemployment list doesn’t just include “some” anomalies. It includes Nevada, Michigan, Illinois California, New Jersey, all of which all fall into the top 12% most unionized states in the nation. Indiana (20) DC, (24) are within the top 25%.

3) For yuks, I compared your list to BEA economic growth data (real GDP). Most states on your list showed low or negative economic growth. Contradicting the unemployment list, California (pro-union), Indiana (unionized but not pro-union), Tennessee (anti-union), North Carolina (anti-union), showed above average (but tepid by normal standards) economic growth. http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/gdp_state/2013/gsp0613.htm

In the end I’m not sure what these stats mean but I do know that the Rust Belt is real and that unions played a part in their decline.

posted by: robn on July 3, 2013  8:23am

AARONARC,

The difference between Mike Stratton and many in the union supermajority is that he actually knows how to read the law and knows how to read a balance sheet.

This BOA need a BS detector and Mike’s got a finely tuned one. Demagogues should beware when they open their mouths.

posted by: anonymous on July 3, 2013  8:55am

Accountability: Only looking at statewide unemployment rates is a lousy way to measure anything. The issue of Unions backing wildly destructive policies at a local level (typically in partnership with big businesses and government) on hundreds of occasions is far more complex than that, and much less about the economy as much as about the other social issues I mentioned. If you’re not aware of that, read an introductory labor history textbook. History is already repeating itself in New Haven.

posted by: robn on July 3, 2013  9:09am

HHE,

3/5 chooses to only see one side. I agree with you (and 3/5 opinion of irresponsible vulture capitalists) and that’s why I wrote…

“Bottom line; Detroit collapsed under the weight of its own success because management failed to adapt to a changing market and labor wouldn’t give up its overly generous contracts, both of which made it impossible to compete internationally.”

posted by: streever on July 3, 2013  12:36pm

@Accountability
Can you get me an update on the Prince William County issue? I’m 400 miles away, you’re about 350.

Thanks.

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