Obama and Wright's shakedown letters for the SEIU

obama letter to IHFPB.jpg

As my WorldNetDaily.com column today details, I became involved in 2004 with the Service Employees International Union trying to keep Advocate Health Care from building a new hospital. I opposed Advocate because it committed abortions; SEIU did because Advocate's 25,000 employees weren't unionized....

As my WorldNetDaily.com column today details, I became involved in 2004 with the Service Employees International Union Local 880 trying to keep Advocate Health Care from building a new hospital. I opposed Advocate because it committed abortions; SEIU did because Advocate's 25,000 employees weren't unionized....

Upon gaining a better understanding of the relationship between the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now and SEIU following the release of undercover videos indicting ACORN last week, I thought I'd review my dusty 5-year-old SEIU file.

In it I found a letter from then state Sen. Barack Obama to the IL Health Facilities Planning Board drawing attention to SEIU's accusation that Advocate engaged in predatory collection practices of the poor and uninsured, clearly in an effort to sway IHFPB against Advocate's expansion.

I also found a letter from Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, pastor of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ, Obama's home church, to area United Church of Christ churches. One of Advocate's 2 religious affiliates is the UCC.

Wright was more pointed, also drawing attention to Advocate's "anti-union conduct," and enclosing a "Hospital Sunday Jubilee" brochure published by SEIU. Click to enlarge...

jeremiah wright seiu.jpg

In a February 20, 2004, article, Crain's Chicago Business questioned SEIU's allegations as a "strong arm tactic," quoting a GWU professor who studied union tactics noting "the campaigns often use unconventional methods, such as issuing reports that call attention to a hospital's shortcomings."

SEIU/ACORN did worse, jeopardizing patients' health and safety to terrorize Advocate, according to The Daily Southtown, December 22, 2005:

The union denies that ferrying people in groups to emergency rooms is part of the Care For All strategy. But the SEIU-affiliated ACORN has been transporting small groups of people beyond their own communities to Advocate hospitals.

Obama went much further than simply writing a letter. In October 2003, as chairman of the IL Senate Health and Human Services Committee, Obama launched an investigation of Advocate he reportedly said was due to " a recent report by the Service Employees International Union," according to Crain's Chicago Business.

And in February 2004 Obama introduced legislation in the IL State Senate, SB2579, the "Hospital Discriminatory Pricing Reform Act," clearly targeting Advocate. This legislation died in the House.

Here is a helpful document giving more insight into ACORN/SEIU's history and shakedown practices:

  • "Rotten Acorn," by the Employment Policies Institute. Read pages 10, 13, and 14 for specific information on SEIU's tactics in IL on pages 10, 13, and 14.

  • Comments:

    My head is spinning, Jill.

    Paging Glenn Beck...

    Posted by: carder at September 23, 2009 10:55 PM

    Not all pro-lifers are right-wing union-bashers. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops is a case in point. You need to broaden your horizons a bit, Jill. Antagonizing organized labor is not exactly a winning strategy for the pro-life movement.

    Posted by: HuckFinn at September 23, 2009 11:19 PM

    So Jill can't be pro-life AND criticize organized labor for their glaring shortcomings?

    My dad's in a union affiliated with UAW, and he says they're all corrupt as they come, and do nothing but raise prices on the consumer while lining their pockets.

    He's been trying to change things, but it's bleak...

    Posted by: xalisae at September 23, 2009 11:29 PM

    You're misdirecting your criticism, Huck.

    The antagonizers, in this case, are clearly, hands down, without a doubt, the ACORN/SEIU hydra we got going here, not Jill Stanek trying to stop stealth abortion outlets passing for hospitals.

    Jill is being specific in this debate. Notice she's not saying, "All unions are bad." She's pointing out specific tactics by specific organizations.

    And if they're corrupt, they need to be called out.

    And think about it: she was actually working WITH organized labor, albeit for different reasons.

    You mentioned the USCCB. They caught a bit of heat last year for supporting ACORN through their annual Campaign for Human Development collection. The relationship, I believe, has been severed.

    Just goes to show...

    Posted by: carder at September 23, 2009 11:52 PM

    Organized labor largely helped create the middle class in this country. You might appreciate this a bit more in a few decades, when we become economically stratified like any number of the Latin American oligarchies we've propped up for so many years.

    Posted by: HuckFinn at September 23, 2009 11:57 PM

    Organized labor did NOT create the middle class in this country. Labor unions have actually retarded economic growth and therefore middle class development in this country. The free market alone created the middle class because it is the only way known for creating the economic growth and prosperity which are essential for the middle class to develop.

    Unions are essentially extortion rackets which use political force and the "right" to trespass on other people's private property so that they and their members can extract above free market wage rates from their employers.

    Without unconstitutional depression era labor statutes, unions would not even be able to operate. They need a federal override of local anti-trespass laws to be able to force companies to accept them on their property. They are unjust organizations by their very nature.

    Unions harm nonunion workers by driving jobs overseas and reducing employment through higher labor costs. Unions increase costs for consumers, especially poor ones. Unions hurt shareholders by reducing the value of their companies. Unions hurt taxpayers through inflated wages, benefits and pensions for government workers. Unions devastate young minority workers through high unemployment caused by minimum wage increases. Unions interfere with other people's right to trade freely with people in other countries.

    Unions also increase government power by supporting statist Democratic politicians. This leads to higher taxes and spending and more political disruption of the free market. Teachers' unions keep poor minority kids trapped in bad schools run for their benefit (the unions, not the kids), guaranteeing them a bad education and a lifetime of poverty.

    Most horrifically, unions help keep criminal abortionist Democratic Party politicians in power decade after decade, keeping the abortion holocaust going and costing millions of human beings their lives. They support abortionist left wing politicians around the world and have cost tens of millions of lives by their actions.

    Unions are an enormously destructive force in human society, causing both economic and humanitarian devastation to human beings.

    Posted by: Joe at September 24, 2009 5:33 AM

    Posted by: xalisae at September 23, 2009 11:29 PM

    My hubby is a teacher. Talk about a corrupt union! He can not stand anything the union does and opposes almost all the people the union endorses.

    Posted by: Kristen at September 24, 2009 6:45 AM

    My husband was a Teamster for a time. All I can say is that Joe is exactly right.

    Posted by: Lauren at September 24, 2009 9:52 AM

    I am a union member. SEIU, actually (hangs head in shame!). I have been a member of unions almost my entire adult life and I am 71. They (unions) are good and bad; those that work for the downtrodden against management are the good ones; those that simply line their pockets at the members expense are not.

    I don't think unions created the middle class rather they added to the middle class. Many union workers now make money approaching that of management.

    I've been a member of both kinds of unions, good and bad.

    I have to agree with Kristen, when I get the flyer in the mail about who and what to vote for from the union, I take it to the polls and vote the opposite.

    Posted by: Andy at September 24, 2009 9:58 AM

    I have worked as a secretary and office manager for a law firm specializing in the misnamed "family law" field for over 14 years. I find the biggest talkers about compassionate care for strangers by government are most often the least compassionate toward spouse and children. So much easier to "love" a stranger on some taxpayer's dime than put yourself on the line for the lives you created and the life you vowed to love and honor til death.

    Thus, I wonder how many SEIU and other union men who demand "care for all" at my expense (both pocketbook and future rationing) care for NONE of their various Baby Mama's and assorted bastard children. How many of the SEIU female thugs leave those kiddies for grandmas to raise while they are busy beating up people like Kenneth Gladney a button vendor outside a townhall event.

    Posted by: Bev C at September 24, 2009 10:39 AM

    God is my provider:

    I would never be unequally yoked with non-believers.

    Posted by: Phil Schembri is HisMan at September 24, 2009 11:06 AM

    The leader of the SEIU is on the board of ACORN.
    Corrupt people are drawn to corruption. That is where the money is.
    Andrew Stern, the president of SEIU

    Posted by: xppc at September 24, 2009 12:24 PM

    I too was a union member for over 30 years, and held an executive board position (vice-president) in my Local, as well as serving as a negotiating committee member for over 11 years.

    As Andy said, there is good and bad. Some unions (and company managements) are overtly corrupt, most are not. Some union leaders (and company CEO's) are criminals, others might succumb to what I call "soft" corruption, and then most are hard working people.

    Most unions, like companies, do not take a public stand on abortion. Sometime in the 1980's union bigs had a conference in which they discussed how they were going to treat the abortion issue. Union members on both sides of the issue were pressing them to take up the cause. Basically, they decided on a neutrality policy. In some ways it was a victory for pro-lifers in that the head of the AFL-CIO at the time (sorry, I do not recall the name) was known to be a pro-abort. Obviously most unions are in the bag for democrats, so even of they do not specifically support abortion, most of their policies and bargaining positions support the supporters of abortion.

    From most appearances the SEIU seems to be steeped in leftist agitation and bargaining tactics. Many, probably most, unions can trace their philosophical underpinnings to leftist orientations. This is probably one of the main reasons they encounter resistance from center and right leaning individuals.

    We also have to keep in mind that union membership (within a few percentage points) by and large reflects the profile of the populace at large when it comes to things such as party affiliation, religious background, and the like. So now with polls showing the majority of Americans identifying themselves as pro-life it is probably safe to say the same goes with union members.

    In the final analysis my take on unions is that for the most part they primarily seek their own survival. After that they engage in practices and policies that are statist, and provide some, but very little actual protection and representation for their members. There are some union officials that work as hard as they can for their members but do so with one hand tied behind their back, in that they do not get a lot of support from their leaders.

    Posted by: Jerry at September 24, 2009 6:42 PM

    Corrupt people are drawn to corruption. That is where the money is.

    The money, huh? Have you heard of Haliburton? Or how about Blackwater? And you think the big money was in an urban get out the vote organization called Acorn?

    Posted by: Dhalgren at September 24, 2009 8:43 PM

    Liberals certainly are fond of changing the subject when the topic isn't to their liking.

    Posted by: xalisae at September 25, 2009 12:11 PM

    Posted by: Dhalgren at September 24, 2009 8:43 PM

    "And you think the big money was in an urban get out the vote organization called Acorn?"



    Corruption is NOT peculiar to any particular people.

    But as one political punster once commented, "A few billion here, a few billion there, sooner or later it adds up to some real 'big money'."

    Blackwater and Haliburton have not been accused of attempting to manipulate the American electoral process by bribery and/or intimidation.

    The same can not be said of planned parenthood or ACORN, two progressive/liberal organizations who have been intractably attached to the federal teat for decades and have been actively involved in 'electioneering'.

    Please identify a conservative equivalent.

    yor bro ken

    Posted by: kbhvac at September 27, 2009 12:56 PM