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Jase Bolger, who once toured Detroit, might scuttle Detroit bankruptcy deal just to be a dick

by: Eric B.

Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 17:15:42 PM EDT

A few months ago, everyone made a big deal that Jase Bolger visited Detroit and said that something needed to be done to help out the people of Detroit. Today, we learn what it is that he thinks needs to happen to help Detroit: Detroit's unions need to be extorted or else he's happy to let Detroit's bankruptcy drag on. Along the way, Ari B. Adler burns yet another bridge.

Ari Adler, a spokesman for Bolger, said: “I think it’s entirely reasonable to expect the unions to give back to the very people they profited from.”

“The union leaders made these deals that couldn't possibly have been afforded; they built up their own savings from membership dues paid for by unaffordable contracts,” he said. “Now they want to walk away, effectively leaving the retirees they are supposed to have represented holding the bag.”

The great thing is that he essentially waited until the last minute to say this, rather than letting everyone know ahead of time that it was his expectation.

Eric B. :: Jase Bolger, who once toured Detroit, might scuttle Detroit bankruptcy deal just to be a dick
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That's the party of personal responsibility for you
They want to impoverish rank-and-file retirees for the alleged bad decisions made by their leaders, most of whom are dead, retired, and/or living in Florida.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

Bad decisions?
Since when did responsibility for agreeing to contracts obligating public dollars transfer from elected officials to labor leaders?  This whole idea that unions are accountable to taxpayers for spending tax dollars is really strange.  Unions exist to advocate for the interests of workers.  Public officials are responsible for representing taxpayers.

[ Parent ]
That's why I used the word "alleged"
Even assuming for sake of argument that the union leaders made bad decisions--and I agree with you; they did exactly what their job description say they should--Bolger is blaming the wrong people.

Bolger and Adler have made it clear: the Republicans want to kill organized labor in this state. They're not even subtle about it--but then again, Republicans abandoned subtlety when the Tea Party oozed up out of the depths.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

[ Parent ]
You got it
Word from a source inside the Snyder administration is that if they win in November it's full steam ahead with privatization and gutting unions with new laws essentially eliminating public employee labor organizations and banning lobbying by unions.  

[ Parent ]
I've heard this as well
I definitely see them trying to do this. However, I did read about banning lobbying from unions. How is that even possible? First of all, I would assume something like this would be unconstitutional (that whole free speech thing). How can you ban a collective group of individuals represented by someone they choose to push for legislative reform?

[ Parent ]
They also want to screw over the unions
Welcome to the next step after Right to Work for Less.  Let's suck money out of the unions so that they can't spend it on Democrats.  I guess waiting for RTWFL to weaken unions was taking too long.  Bolger is getting like the vultures in the cartoon from the 1970s.

Greetings from Detroit, Ground Zero of the post-industrial future!

[ Parent ]
I laughed
I laughed out loud when I was reading the papers talking up a probable legislative solution to the court rulings the other day, as if this was a done deal.  Even if Bolger and Richardville wanted to help - and I actually think Richardville actually might - neither of these two can promise their caucus.  It was but by the grace of god the Medicaid expansion was passed.  

A bankruptcy deal for Detroit that requires the legislature?  The city Republicans use as a racial code in casual conversation?  Rick better call in another favor from the good lord.

Never underestimate the hatred of Detroit in Michigan politics
Case in point.

Greetings from Detroit, Ground Zero of the post-industrial future!

[ Parent ]
Michigan voters
Well, come November we'll find out just how disgruntled and fed up with Republicans, tea baggers, right wingers, far right nut cases, patriots and the numerous arse holes derived therefrom that just love to play the race card. Unfortunately those clowns must believe they have, God forbid, some evidence that such a prurient approach is winning them votes. Sad to say but there's a good bit of evidence that it does have appeal when we see the refusal of states to expand health care, take away voting rights and so many other subtle ways of denigrating people.

If they really thought these things were political winners, they wouldn't have passed something like Right-to-Mooch in a lame duck after a presidential election.  If this stuff worked, they wouldn't have lost five state house seats because of Snyder's pension tax.

Let's be clear about something, the only thing that has kept them from completely  being turned out in 2012 was gerrymandering.  It's all they have left.  This isn't North Carolina.  This sh%t is not popular here.  Not a single poll has shown majorities or pluralities supporting RTW, even right-wing pollsters.  Not a single poll has shown support for that horrid "rape insurance" bill.

I don't want people to forget that the Red Wave happened in 2010 when Dems fell asleep.  Republicans have not made gains in Michigan, since, and they won't come this November.  The question isn't whether Dems will make gains in November.  The question is how much work and money and time are we willing to put in to maximize gains in November?  I know that for me, simply coming close again is not good enough.  I want the state house back, sizeable gains in the senate, the governor's office, the AG's office, gains on the Supreme Court...

[ Parent ]
UAW can afford to help out
This year, GM workers got bonuses of approximately $7,000 per employee, Ford employees got $9,000 and Chrysler $2,250. They got similar bonuses last year. Shouldn't they be expected to contribute more than us other taxpayers - taxpayers who contributed $billions to the bailout of the auto industry?

Let's put this into perspective
The government paid about $80 billion to bail out the auto industry, including the major suppliers. Had there been no bailout, Michigan's unemployment rate would have risen to Depression-era levels and tax revenue would have fallen to the point that the state would struggle to provide essential services.

Now compare that to what the government paid to bail out the financial sector. It was $700 billion, almost an order of magnitude greater. And the companies that received this bailout were very companies that caused the financial crisis that necessitated the auto bailout.

While we're on the subject of compensation, why aren't you asking Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, to give back some of the $20 million he got last year. By the way, Dimon's bank got a $25 billion federal bailout, even though it is debatable whether it needed the funds in the first place.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

[ Parent ]
LOL wut?
That money is not the union's money--it is compensation earned by workers under their contract with their employer. Those workers are also taxpayers, taxpayers who have already paid their fair share. They even pay taxes on their bonuses, which they received, BTW, because the companies are now making fat profits, due in large part to concessions made by the workers.

[ Parent ]
This is indicative of a larger problem. Many of these folks on the fringe right have no clue about how unions work -- despite their willingness to legislate on union-related issues. Sort of like vaginas, really.    

[ Parent ]
Rank ignorance
Their ignorance of the basic mechanics of unions and even just the economy - sometimes willful sometimes not - is astounding and worrisome.  I'm not even sure who is to blame for this, because you even find people on the left who have bought into some conservative arguments about unions.

[ Parent ]

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