Friday, July 11, 2014

And Really, Exactly Who Benefits?...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

The AFSCME union has decided to no longer support the United Negro College Fund. Its sin? Accepting a 25 million dollar grant from the Koch Industries.

Principle or Partisan Political Considerations?

Intelligent or Stupid?

Story from the New York Post.

WASHINGTON — A powerful government workers’ union will end its support for the United Negro College Fund after the group accepted $25 million from the conservative powerhouse Koch brothers and the college fund’s president appeared at a Koch event.

In a letter made public Thursday, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees said it will no longer partner with or raise funds for the fund, known for its iconic motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”
AFSCME President Lee Saunders said the actions of the college fund’s president “are not only deeply hostile to the rights and dignity of public employees, but also a profound betrayal of the ideals of the civil rights movement.”

The fund supports historically black colleges and universities and provides scholarships. It accepted a $25 million grant last month from Koch Industries Inc. and the Charles Koch Foundation.

The Koch brothers are major contributors to conservative causes and are often vilified by Democrats and liberals. After accepting the grant, Saunders says, UNCF President Michael Lomax spoke at a Koch brothers summit in California.

Saunders called the Koches “the single most prominent funders of efforts to prevent African-Americans from voting” and said Lomax’s appearance at their function was “a betrayal of everything the UNCF stands for.”

Lomax said the fund never had a litmus test for donors.

“While I am saddened by AFSCME’s decision, it will not distract us from our mission of helping thousands of African-American students achieve their dream of a college degree and the economic benefits that come with it,” Lomax said.

AFSCME is the nation’s largest public services employees union and has more than 1.6 million working and retired members. The union will sever its relationship with the UNCF on Sept. 1.

AFSCME gave between $50,000 and $60,000 annually to the UNCF for its AFSCME/UNCF Union Scholar Program, which has served 94 students since 2003. The program will continue, the union said, just no longer in partnership with the UNCF.

What say you?

Via: Memeorandum


  1. Its a pity that in so much of the country, workers don't have the choice of refusing to pay dues in this union (based in their support or opposition to its funding policies) without being fired.

  2. I applaud AFSCME's stand, as well as their decision to continue the program, just not in partnership with the UNCF. Also, the Koch brothers are not "often vilified by Democrats and liberals", unless you regard "vilification" as truth telling about the Koch's efforts to keep African Americans from voting. The Kochs make themselves the villains with their efforts to keep legally entitled citizens from casting ballots.

    As for refusing to pay union dues: one cannot refuse to pay taxes to our (democratically elected) government, regardless of what the tax money is used for. Why should union members be able to refuse to pay dues to the institution that representing them (whose leaders they democratically elected)? Vote for different leadership if you don't like what your union dues are being spent on. And, you can apply for a rebate, if eligible.

  3. To answer your questions - partisan political considerations and stupid. Guilt by association, too. And this whole comparison of governments to private businesses is patently ridiculous. The former is something that we all by our birthright share in equally while the latter are entities which are owned by specific people and the associations voluntary.

    1. Agreed, and the latter must have it's influence in politics and government severely curtailed. Corporations are not people. I know, not what this post was about per se but had to throw it out there.

    2. RN said: " Corporations are not people."

      Correct. But individuals associated with corporations are people. and there is nothing in the Constitution to censor or otherwise curtail the rights of citizens based on their association with corporations.

      i.e. The filmmakers involved with the organization known as "Citizens United" have a right to criticize a sitting US senator through the art of film. Regardless of the individuals association with this group. And this is the main issue: that they criticized someone in government. Most on the Left I have talked to about this have high emotional scorn for the film itself ("hatchet job", etc) and that it should not be allowed at all.

      Any 'move to amend", repeal of "Citizens United" must leave this freedom intact and protected, even if it gets rid of the corporations are people part.

      The so-called "Move to Amend", unfortunately, would once again make criminals of individuals who dare to speak truth to power. Thankfully, this pressure movement, long on partisanship and short on principle, is a failure, unpopular, and won't get anywhere.

    3. People who work for organizations are free to express their political opinions without encumberances from the government.m,lways have been and were prior to CU.

      Film makers, expressing a portion of societies views on a sitting president and his politics, philosophy, and record is far game and always was under te constitution.

      What is patently wrong is for wealthy corporations to use their money to influence politicians to act in the corporation's best interest without regard to individual citizens.

      "The term corporation comes from the Latin corpus, which means body. A corporation is a body--it is a legal person in the eyes of the law. It can bring lawsuits, can buy and sell property, contract, be taxed, and even commit crimes. It's most notable feature: a corporation protects its owners from personal liability for corporate debts and obligations--within limits.

      The corporation is considered an artificially created legal entity that exists separate and apart from those individuals who created it and carry on its operations. With as little as one incorporator, a corporation can be formed by simply filing an application for a charter with the respective state..."


      It should be obvious that corporations should not now, or at any time, have influence over PUBLIC policy affecting the general population and citizenry and their interests..

    4. Well stated.

      "Film makers, ... fair game and always was under the constitution."

      Except before this decision, this had become a crime. Whatever happens to reign in the excesses of Citizens United, I hope the part that ended this remains.

  4. RN,
    $25 million at 1% yields $250k or five times the union contribution. Koch is not asking for a quid pro quo. So five times as many kids benefit from their contribution. Koch(s) probably hope one or two might appreciate it long term.
    If the result is that a deserving (academically, financially, etc.) student benefits, SUPER. Of course I don't view oil as an evil, so it is not like the Koch's are drug dealers or rapists.

    1. Correct Keith. Not drug dealers nor rapists, and they haven't tried to suppress in real vote. But those who engage in and support election fraud (ACORN etc) are understandably defensive when people try to end their crimes.

    2. ACORN no longer exists. ACORN never supported "election fraud". Nor did they support voter fraud. I'm not defensive in regards to ending imaginary crimes. I object to laws designed to stop imaginary crimes that have the REAL effect of disenfranchising people legally entitled to vote... which is a goal of the Kochs. They absolutely are working to suppress the real vote.

    3. I try not to impugn the motivation of philanthropic actors. Like with Bill O'Reilly. I don't particularly care for the fellow but the fact that he continues to give gobs of money to Wounded Warriors and various other charities is a good thing and I always try and give the schmuck, er, I mean, dude, credit for it.

  5. The point is twofold:

    1) The decision was political and stupid because in the end it will hurt young aspiring adults

    2) Koch Industries uses money to by influence and while this grant is admirable and not quid pro quo there are those who will see it that way.

    1. RN,
      If a person gets the grant, gets an education (which can't be taken away) and gets a job, they are free to decide whether they pay any homage to the Koch Brothers. If they feel that they have been bought and want to let that affect them in a negative way, that is their own decision. If they take the money, undoubtedly the Koch brothers have bought influence in some way. if they were hoping for a result that doesn't materialize, they won't give any more money but the money $25 million is already out of their control.

    2. Regarding how anyone sees it, if the children are getting and education (presumably not at the Koch Brothers' Indoctrination University). If some obtuse little weasel whines about it, let them provide the equal funding (exactly) without the supposed quid pro quo they are attaching to the Kochs' gift.
      Hillsdale College did this after their fight with the USG over loans to students, went to the Supreme Court, they told any prospective student subsequently that Hillsdale would match the USG restricted dollars with money from their own sources.

  6. dmarks, speedy fingers inadvertently deleted your comment. Sorry. Please feel free to repost and I will be more careful.

    1. Thanks, RN... I know I mentioned the rebates. When individuals apply for rebates, they are blocked,threatened or met with recriminations. It takes a lot of effort by the workers. Which is why this is best left to individual choice with no forcing: this puts the workers first.

      Also I think it is farcical to equate paying taxes to government with being forced to pay money to such corrupt lobbying/campaign fundraiser groups.

  7. I see WD is frying up old bones in canardo oil. In a kettle heated by his own pants-on-fire.

    I am not interested in a taste of this sordid brew. The record and facts on ACORNs voter fraud racket, and the Koch Bros' lack of any voter suppression are well established.

    1. I tell the truth, unlike the commenter above who baits me with laughable canards and ad hominem in an attempt to start a "crap fest" for which the proprietor of this blog will blame me. I won't participate in his games.

  8. I have no need to blame, or play games, nor to justify.

    Truth speaks for itself. People often must search to find it however.

    1. exactly. after all you have blamed me, criticized me, or deleted my comments based on content many times. however, rest assured, I will not react by making multiple fake "Rational Nation" blogs festooned with fanboy-style giant pictures of you and filled with pure crapfest. Nor will I whine about it.

      I have a life, and it is not sending hundreds of love letters to Willis/Dennis/Lester or making more blogs devoted to these three than a 11 year old girl might typically make about "One Direction"

    2. More ad hominem... obviously this commenter's speciality. And I have no idea if any comments from the individual commenting above were rejected or deleted. Many bad ones still get through, in any case. As for "fake Rational Nation blogs", I am unaware of the existence of any, and I reject the implication that I created any. And, in regards to "old bones", Iook here and you will find a hypocrite digging up some of the oldest of old bones.

  9. Not ad hominem at all: you still do in fact have all those fangirl adoration sites.

    The fake RN blog was there yesterday. A good move if you have taken it down. And then you can take down the 4 or so other deception/impersonation blogs you also have going.

  10. I have zero "fangirl adoration sites". There is no "fake RN blog". I also have no "deception/impersonation" blogs. And your descriptions contradict each other: Why would I try to deceive or impersonate someone I "adored"?

    You can stop talking about "taking down" blogs. I have more than one (this I admit)... but I will be taking down NONE of them.


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