April 2011, Week 5


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Fri, 29 Apr 2011 22:40:25 -0400
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1 May Day in Madison
2 May Day in New York
3 Banks Play Shell Game With Taxpayer Dollars
4 Vermont Senate Passes Single-Payer Health Care Bill
5 Sixth Republican Senator Faces Recall in Wisconsin



April 29, 2011 10:44 AM
CONTACT: Voces de la Frontera / National AFL-CIO
Joe Shanksy (414) 218-3331

Voces de la Frontera and National AFL-CIO Prepare for
Historic "Wisconsin Solidarity March for Immigrant and
Worker Rights"

Nationwide - April 29 - On Sunday, May 1, over 100
cities across the United States will be participating
in marches and rallies as part of a national day of
action  for immigrant and worker rights.

In recognition of Wisconsin's role as a national
battleground state, National AFL-CIO President Richard
Trumka will be speaking at the May 1 Immigrant and
Worker Rights' state-wide rally at Veteran's Park in

In Racine, a Sunday mass will be held in the parking
lot of Pick N' Save prior to boarding the bus to
Milwaukee, as a show of support from the faith
community.  The mass will be begin at 11:30 am, at 2210
Rapids Drive.

According to Voces' Executive Director, "The fight for
workers' rights and immigrant rights are cut of the
same cloth. Governor Walker and his corporate backers
are targeting all working people - including immigrants
- to promote an even greater divide between the haves
and have nots and continue their power grab. The only
way to defeat these threats is though our unity as
working people."


Portside readers should know about the breakthrough
agreement between NYC's two May Day demos.

Last year, separate coalition-led events were held -
one at Union Square, and one at Foley Square near City
Hall. The annual Union Sq. event, for several years now
initiated by Workers World Party, brought together
contingents from the area's immigrant communities and
radical-to-revolutionary groups. The Foley Sq. rally
was started last year by union activists seeking to
bring the immigrant rights issue to the forefront of
the traditional labor movement. Both rallies drew good
crowds, but there was tension between the organizing
groups and some confusion about the division.

This year, there will be two events, but the coalitions
have agreed to pool their efforts in the interest of
unity. The Union Sq. rally begins at noon, and the
Foley Sq. rally at 1:00 pm. There will be a march from
Union Sq. reaching Foley Sq. at 2:30, and speakers from
the first event will address the Foley Sq. crowd from
the platform.

The weather is forecast at a lovely 73 degrees, no
rain, so there's no better way to spend May Day than
with the folks who know what this day is about. All

ethan young 



Banks Play Shell Game With Taxpayer Dollars
By Sen. Bernie Sanders, Reader Supported News
26 April 11

A study requested by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) found
numerous instances during the financial crisis of 2008
and 2009 when banks took near zero-interest funds from
the Federal Reserve and then loaned money back to the
federal government on sweetheart terms for the banks.

The banks pocketed interest on government securities
that paid rates up to 12 times greater than the Fed's
rock bottom interest charges, according to a
Congressional Research Service analysis conducted for

"This report confirms that ultra-low interest loans
provided by the Federal Reserve during the financial
crisis turned out to be direct corporate welfare to big
banks," Sanders said. "Instead of using the Fed loans
to reinvest in the economy, some of the largest
financial institutions in this country appear to have
lent this money back to the federal government at a
higher rate of interest by purchasing US government

[Thanks to James E. Vann for this link. -- moderator]


Vermont Senate Passes Single-Payer Health Care Bill

By Caitlin Bronson
April 28, 2011 8:29 AM

The Vermont Senate passed a bill Tuesday designed to
direct the state toward a universal, single-payer
health care system.

After an approving vote of 21-9, the bill passed
through the chamber and will now move to a conference
committee where lawmakers in both the House of
Representatives and the Senate will attempt to work out
the discrepancies between their respective versions of
the bill.

If a final bill is agreed on and signed by the
governor, the system will resemble the single-payer
system in France, according to Forbes blogger E.D.
Kain.  The government would provide a basic public plan
that covers all citizens, with many buying supplemental
private insurance on top of the government package.
The publicly financed system will be called Green
Mountain Care.

The most important difference between the House and
Senate's bills is the inclusion of a series of
thresholds that need to be met before Green Mountain
Care can be implemented.  These thresholds include
ensuring that the new system will lower Vermont's
health care cost growth rate below that of the

Beyond that, the bill's passage looks like smooth
sailing.  Governor Peter Shumlin has expressed his
satisfaction with the passage of the legislation, and
said he looks forward to signing it into law.



Sixth Republican Senator Faces Recall in Wisconsin

by The Intertubes | April 26, 2011 - 11:10am

As of right now, eight petitions have been filed for
recall elections in Wisconsin against state Senators:
five against Republicans, three against Democrats. Via
Dane 101, we learn that the sixth Republican recall
will be filed this week, a week before the deadline
against Sen. Robert Cowles.

     A recall petition against Cowles will be submitted
     to the Government Accountability Board this
     Thursday, putting the number of Republican
     senators facing recall elections at six after
     signatures were delivered against Alberta Darling
     on April 21. Three Democratic senators - Dave
     Hansen, Robert Wirch, and Jim Holperin - have also
     had recall petitions filed against them.

     That puts the total number of Wisconsin senators
     now facing recall elections at nine. There have
     only been four recall elections in the history of
     the state up to this point.

Cowles will be a tougher Republican to defeat than some
of the other Senators on the ballot, but it's not
impossible. The Daily Kos poll shows Cowles' approval
rating at a mere 32%, and the race against a generic
Dem challenger at only 45-43 in Cowles' favor. And that
poll was taken before Cowles voted for Scott Walker's
anti-union bill. So this is definitely a seat in play.

This will probably be the last recall petition filed by
Democrats in Wisconsin. Glenn Grothman and Mary Lazich,
the other two for whom signatures have been gathered,
come from very Republican districts. However, there are
still several days until the May 2 deadline, so
anything is possible.

As for the Democratic Senators, according to the
Government Accountability Board site, two recall
efforts have already failed. The deadline for recalls
of Lena Taylor and Fred Risser passed yesterday with no
action. Another deadline, for Spencer Coggs, is today,
and no petition is expected to be filed. That leaves
Mark Miller and Julie Lassa. There were two efforts
against Miller, one of which expires today and the
other which has until May 4. A late effort against
Lassa has until May 16 to complete. Only Lassa's recall
is expected to have a chance of going through.

The strong likelihood, then, is for 9 recall elections
this summer, six against Republicans and three against
Democrats. The GAB will look to consolidate all those
recall elections in the interest of relieving confusion
about the dates. There may not be one date, but the GAB
wants as few as possible. These should happen sometime
in midsummer.


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