Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Say "NO" to the Viking Stadium boon-doggle

The iron Range has nothing to gain by tax-payers footing the bill in any way, shape or form when it comes to building a new Viking's Stadium.

The present stadium is good enough for a second-rate football team.

The owners of the Vikings should foot the bill not expect tax-payers to subsidize their profits.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Money for jobs; not for war... unemployed workers shouldn't have to pay any taxes.

Make the minimum wage a real living wage based upon all the cost-of-living factors as scientifically calculated by the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics and then legislatively tie the minimum wage to cost-of-living increases.

A National Conference to Create Living-Wage Jobs,
Meet Human Needs and Sustain the Environment

November 13-14, 2009

New York, NY

The Problem: Even before the onset of our current, deep recession, we faced chronic unemployment, low and stagnant wages, myriad unmet needs and unprecedented environmental degradation.

Today’s rapidly escalating unemployment has put job creation back on the public agenda for the first time in recent history. Nearly 15 million workers were officially unemployed in June 2009, and hidden unemployment brings total joblessness up to almost 30 million with nearly 12 seekers for every available job. If it is possible to ignore the chronic unemployment that besets millions of people in normal times, it is much harder to ignore this current, mass unemployment and its staggering social and economic costs.

 What should progressive activists concerned about economic justice, labor, the religious community and other concerned people do about mass unemployment?
 What long-term goals should we have for the economy?
 How can we build a strong, effective unified movement to achieve full employment and living wage jobs for all?

A strong economic stimulus is imperative to meet the current emergency. Yet, even if the current stimulus package that achieves its intended goal of creating 4 million jobs, it would only reduce official unemployment by a third!

Nor is it good enough to return to official unemployment of 5 million women and men and millions more working poor even in the “best” of recent times, or to be satisfied with the host of unmet needs with which this recession began. In the words of FDR, “We cannot be content, no matter how high the general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people … is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.”

The Challenge: Crises present opportunities for progressive change. This is the time for Progressives people of good will to mobilize and to develop goals and strategies for an economy that provides living wage jobs for all, sustains the environment, and repairs our social and physical infrastructure and begins the transition to a more stable, productive economy that provides for shared prosperity.

Conference Goals and Intended Outcomes:

1. Expand public debate and action on the future of the U.S. economy
2. Increase public awareness of chronic unemployment and underemployment and its human and economic toll, even in better times
3. Build on Increase public awareness of current mass unemployment, its dire consequences for human beings and its waste of potential economic output;
4. Raise public awareness of our current economic dead-end—high personal and foreign debt, inequality, wage lag, environmental degradation, military overreach….
5. Steer public debate and action toward:
• Government promotion and creation of living-wage jobs, strengthening of the safety net and supportive fiscal, monetary and trade policies;
• Government promotion and creation of jobs that improve the physical and social infrastructure (repair of bridges, upgrading public transportation, building affordable housing, improving and expanding public education and child, health and elder care).
• Government promotion and creation of jobs that further the goal of a sustainable economy and begin to restructure it.
6. Develop plans to pay for this program of reconstruction through more progressive taxes and confinement of military spending to genuine defense needs

7. Initiate a movement for living-wage jobs for all and develop strategies for achieving this permanent economic reform-- including similar conferences in cities across the country and a mass mobilization in Washington on behalf of economic reconstruction.

You Are Invited to Be a Conference Convenor/Co-Sponsor: We seek broad participation and sponsorship for this National Conference, especially organizations with a primary focus on the quality and quantity of jobs, economic justice, social security, the safety net and poverty prevention. Other critical participants will be organizations not primarily concerned with employment, but whose goals for union rights, health care, education, child care, elder care, disability rights, housing, economic restructuring, public transportation, environmental sustainability, and the arts would be furthered by job creation in their areas of interest. The hope is to gain their ongoing commitment to conquering unemployment and low wages-- even after the crisis subsides. This would build on a plans of the National Jobs for All Coalition and the Chicago Political Economy Group to simultaneously create living wage jobs for all and, through a renewed public sector, to repair our deeply deficient social and physical infrastructure.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Remember Medicare for All in the healthcare reform debate

Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Remember Medicare for All in the healthcare reform debate

Remember Medicare for All in the healthcare reform debate

By Kay Tillow, Coordinator, All Unions Committee For Single Payer Health Care--HR 676, Nurses Professional Organization - 11/03/09 10:06 AM ET

We are in danger of losing the opportunity to bring Improved Medicare for All, a single payer plan, before the Congress. Last July Congressman Anthony Weiner and six of his colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee attempted to substitute the real public option—HR 676, a single payer plan—for the healthcare reform in the House. Speaker Nancy Pelosi assured them that if they withdrew the amendment in committee they would have an opportunity to bring it to the House floor for a debate and vote. Now Pelosi is threatening to keep the Weiner Single Payer Amendment from seeing the light of day.

If we were able to get this plan really on the table and before the nation in a meaningful way, we could win this hands down. Even Blue Dog Mike Ross, in an unguarded moment, asked why not just have Medicare for All. HR 676, the national single payer legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers, would cover everyone for all medically necessary care through an Expanded and Improved Medicare for All. The bill and its advocates have been blocked, excluded, and beaten back in the current national healthcare reform debate.

Yet Medicare for All continues to raise its head. When single payer advocates were excluded from the White House kick off meeting for health care reform, doctors’ opened the door to two single payer advocates with a plan to protest at the White House gate. When Senate Finance Chair Baucus ruled single payer off the table, thirteen doctors, nurses, and others rose to protest. Baucus had them arrested. Those gutsy advocates pried open another door and won a round of publicity for single payer. But still not a place at the table.

Yet support for single payer continues to grow. Its simplicity, humanity, and economic efficiency win more supporters each day. The Kentucky House of Representatives, four other state legislative bodies, scores of cities and counties, a half dozen giant religious denominations, NOW, the NAACP, and the National Conference of Mayors have called for passage of HR 676. For unions, it’s the plan of choice. At each contract deadline the double digit rise in health care costs gobbles up the lion’s share of bargaining power. For that reason, 578 unions including 39 state AFL-CIO’s and 134 central labor councils have endorsed HR 676. In September the national AFL-CIO Convention declared unanimous support for single payer as the social insurance plan necessary to achieve social justice.

When Physicians for a National Health Program founder Quentin Young, testified before a House committee last June, Representative Weiner listened and was impressed. Weiner turned HR 676 into an amendment that would transform the House bill into a single payer plan. He popularized it as Medicare for All and catapulted the discussion into the national media with his feisty good humor and popular style.

Now Pelosi wants to renege on her promise to Weiner. We have sent an action alert to over 19,000 unionists asking them to contact Pelosi, and Waxman (who relayed Pelosi’s commitment publicly) and Slaughter (who heads the rules committee) to assure that they allow the Weiner amendment to come to the floor.

The “public option” that remains in both the Senate and the House bills is pitiful and powerless--totally incapable of providing cost control. Those bills, with their forced mandates and fines, their massive transfer of public funds to the insurance industry, and their ban on bulk buying power to rein in the pharmaceutical companies, will fail woefully to cover our people and to make that care affordable.

Pelosi should stick to her promise. We’ll keep up the effort to make her do so. Either now or later Medicare for All will have to come to the table. We’ll keep building the movement to make that happen.

The contents of this site are © 2009 Capitol Hill Publishing Corp., a subsisiary of News Communications, Inc.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Iron Range lose second-most construction, mining, logging jobs in the nation in last year

Published October 02 2009

Duluth (MN) area, Iron Range lose second-most construction, mining, logging jobs in the nation in last year

By: Andy Greder, Duluth (MN) News Tribune

The Twin Ports and Iron Range lost the second-most construction, mining and logging jobs in the past year of any metropolitan area in the U.S., according to a report released Wednesday.

Carlton, Douglas and St. Louis counties suffered a 33 percent decline in employment in those three sectors from August 2008 to August 2009, according to the Associated General Contractors of America.

Only Reno-Sparks, Nev., at 35 percent, suffered a steeper decline, the association said. Of the 337 metropolitan areas analyzed, 324 lost jobs. The association, using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, said about 1 million jobs were lost nationwide in those industries during the period.

The bulk of the job losses in the Duluth-Superior metro area were in mining and logging on the Iron Range, said Drew Digby, regional labor analyst with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The number of miners collecting unemployment skyrocketed from 300 in January to more than 2,000 in June, he said. About 1,000 miners collected unemployment benefits in August, DEED numbers show.

About 3,600 Northland residents were employed by the mines in September 2008, before the mining companies began cutting production.

What the August-to-August report doesn’t show are the recent improvements on the Iron Range, where most mining operations have ramped up production this fall.

The latest bit of good news comes from Minorca Mine in Virginia, where employees returned to work this week after a five-month shutdown. All 290 employees were back on the job Thursday, said David Zasadni, vice president of United Steelworkers Local 6115.

Since the mine was idled in April, ArcelorMittal kept more than 100 workers busy doing $10 million worth of maintenance and repairs. Now that those repairs are done, the company wants the mine operating at full production, Zasadni told Fox 21 News.

Five of the six Iron Range taconite companies are recalling workers, said Craig Pagel, president of the Iron Mining Association of Minnesota. The lone exception is Hibbing Taconite Co.

“They are changing on a daily basis; they are all calling back people,” Pagel said. “We are cautiously optimistic and want to keep moving at a steady rate.”

Bad summer

August employment in mining, logging and construction hadn’t fallen below 9,000 workers this decade — until this year. Employment in the sectors totaled about 9,400 workers last August, but plummeted to about 6,300 in August 2009, said the association’s chief economist Ken Simonson.

“Pretty dreary,” Simonson said from his office in Washington, D.C. “This is quite a recent change for Duluth.”

While the brunt of the job losses happened on the Iron Range, construction employment regionwide also took a hit and remains weak as fall begins.

The Duluth Building and Construction Trade Council, the umbrella organization to 15 unions and 10,000 workers in the Northland, is mired in about 30 percent unemployment.

Craig Olson, council president, said about 50 of the council’s 200 painters were without work on Thursday alone.

“Normally, this time of year, we have no painters available this late in the fall,” Olson said. “There is usually a last-minute rush until the snow falls, so when I see 49 painters for one local union, that is troubling.”

The construction trades have been buoyed by some of the larger public construction projects in the area, including the new Duluth Entertainment Convention Center arena and the Enbridge Energy pipeline among others.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Racism and the Minnesota DFL

This letter is making the rounds on the internet.

For once someone isn't afraid to challenge the racism that pervades the Minnesota Democrats.

The only question now is what will be done to correct this disgraceful problem where not one single Native American holds a seat in the Minnesota House or Senate.

Now a Native American worker has challenged this and rightly so.

The letter writer proposes a just and innovative solution to a problem no one has dared to articulate.

This letter deserves the full and immediate attention of everyone in Minnesota regardless of political affiliation.

Iron Range Club, CPUSA

--- On Wed, 7/8/09, greg paquin wrote:

From: greg paquin
Subject: Minnesota Senate District 4 (seat)
Date: Wednesday, July 8, 2009, 7:15 PM

Wednesday, July 8,


Brian Melendez, Chair, Minnesota Democratic
Farmer-Labor Party


Dear Mr. Melendez,


I am writing to inform you that I will be running for the Minnesota State Senate for the District 4 seat.


I would like to run with the endorsement of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party in the Primary Election.


As you are aware, there isn’t one single Native(Anishinabe) American sitting in the Minnesota State Legislature; not in the Senate, not in the House.


This needs to change.


And the change needs to take place now.


Barack Obama promised change. I intend to fight on behalf of
Indian(Anishinabe) people to see to it that we get the change that we assumed was coming. Real jobs at real living wages. Our children going to school, not tossed behind bars and forgotten. We lack adequate health care. Native(Anishinabe) American women suffer sexual abuse at rates far higher than the general population.


Our land and our resources, the wealth of our Nations, were stolen out from under us in the most brutal manner and nothing has been done to make things right.


Native (Anishinabe)Americans are the largest single minority population in the State of Minnesota and we have no representation in the State Legislature; anyone can see that this is unfair.


I intend to try to change this with or without the support
of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party; I would like to do this with support from the DFL if at all possible, if not, I will use other means.


As a long-time union member of the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United
States and Canada (UA), I have always been a loyal supporter of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party.


Should I not hear from you in seven days, I will decide after consulting with my campaign committee and my many friends--- Native and
non-Native--- whether to seek the DFL endorsement during the Primary process and Election or run as an independent candidate in the General Election.


Minnesota Native(Anishinabe) Americans, including myself, have repeatedly sought assistance from the local DFL elected public officials who we helped in every way to elect. WE now need their help on a variety of issues of importance to us from jobs to education, housing and health care and environmental concerns, we find ourselves shut out of the political and decision-making process by these same politicians who could not have been elected without the votes of Anishinabe people who are now ignoring our problems and concerns when it comes to doing things by way of finding solutions. Solutions which are often as simple as doing what is right to make sure Anishinabe people get jobs. Often we don’t even hear about jobs until the work is completed. How do others hear about jobs, even in our own communities, before we do? This is not right.


I organized the “We Shall Remain” conference in Bemidji.


Many Native Anishinabe and non-tribal people, from all walks of life showed up at this conference fully expecting to be able to explain and tell elected officials what our problems and concerns are. The only public official who showed up was the Beltrami County Sheriff who informed us that he didn’t know how many Native Americans worked on his staff but he knew the population in the Beltrami County Jail was more than 50% Native American. This was a figure not lost on those in attendance since the current unemployment on most Minnesota Reservations is 50% or more. There is something terribly wrong with this picture and the present DFL State Senator from District 4, Mary Olson, refuses to talk about resolving the injustices creating these problems.


I want to most vigorously point out to you that the MN DFL claims to have a policy that decries discrimination; yet, for all these years the MN DFL has done not one thing to assure Native( Anishinabe) Americans are elected to state and federal offices. There is something wrong with this picture here; you want our money and our votes but you don’t want us sitting as equals with all other Minnesotans in the State Legislature or the halls of Congress.


Certain measures have to be taken in order to ensure that Minnesota Indigenous,Anishinabe people get the seats they are entitled to in the Minnesota State Legislature; those measures have not even been considered, let alone taken.


We are entitled to at least two seats per tribe. I am quite sure most Minnesotans will find this very reasonable. Democracy requires this.

 Anishinabe Native Americans are entitled to District 4, 4a, 4b, 2, 2a, 2b seats in the Minnesota State Legislature as a beginning to right this wrong of no representation.


I intend to do everything I can do to make sure that Senate seat 4 is held by an Native Tribal Member citizen, because this is what justice requires.


It is my hope that other Native(Anishinabe) Americans will join my efforts to secure the other five seats.


Most Anishinabe, Native Americans are working people, yet you treat us as if only the cash you get from the casino managements counts for anything. This, too, will change once I am elected to the Senate District 4 seat because the people of Minnesota will be hearing the truth about gaming revenues. If these revenues can be used to elect non-Tribal Natives to political office who then turn around and ignore our problems we can find a way to make sure these gaming revenues remain in our communities being used for meeting the needs of our own people now living in dire straights as the economy declines. I know many families who need food more than politicians need campaign contributions.


It is my hope you will also broach my concerns, distributing this letter, with the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party’s State Central Committee.


I await your response,


Gregory W. Paquin
651-503-9493 cell  
218-209-3157 home
1511 Roosevelt Rd SE Bemidji, MN 56601

Monday, June 22, 2009

Support for single-payer universal healthcare comes from Deer River, Minnesota

Good example of Letter to the Editor (approximately 50 words). If you haven’t sent a Letter to the Editor on the health care issue here is a good example of what to send---

From the Mesabi Daily News

Bailouts first; then comes the single payer

Published: Saturday, May 23, 2009

Well you bailed out Wall Street, the same people that got us in this mess now it is time to give something to the people who are going to pay to get us out of this mess, the American citizen.

Single payer health care now.

Mel Thoresen
Deer River, Minnesota

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Chicken Shit Patriots; War, Peace and Democracy

This post by right-wing bigot Nancy L. LaRoche to the "e-democracy forum" pretty much tells us the truth behind all the statements coming from the two-bit, half-assed fascist right-wing talk radio big-mouths who host these programs that somehow these teabaggers are putting on some kind of "non-partisan" events open to all who decry wasteful government spending.

Check out this response to me very closely because the truth is in what Nancy L. LaRoche posted in opposition to what I posted.

Here is what I posted which she is responding to:

Alan wrote: "Yes, you want people to attend your "Tea Party" rallies but you exclude those with a left view from speaking... wow! Real democratic.

Invite me to speak; I'll be there."

Now, notice what she says:

Alan: Do you leftist protesters pass their bullhorns and allow the other side to speak at their rallies?

This is a very frank admission that only those from the right side of the political spectrum are welcome at these "Tea Parties."

This statement here makes Mitch Berg, Chris Baker, Shawn Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the chicken shit patriot crowd so eager to send others off to kill and die in these dirty imperialist wars being waged for control of the oil fields and gas pipeline routes along with regional domination and control of the poppy and heroin trade nothing but outright liars afraid to defend their fascist, racist, warmongering, pro-capitalist, pro-imperialist ideas. They lie when they say these "Tea Parties" were organized by "concerned citizens" from grassroots, when, in fact, these right-wing bigots and blowhards of talk radio have organized these "Tea Parties" for two reasons: 1.) As promotional publicity stunts to promote the now largely discredited right-wing talk radio; and, 2.) To try to move the country firther to the right THAN WHAT BARACK OBAMA, THE DEMOCRATS AND THE WALL STREET CROWD are already trying to take us. Make no mistake, Barack Obama is not liberal, progressive or left in any sense of the meaning of these words... Obama is definitely not a "socialist" as these racist, bigots of right-wing talk radio of are charging.

In other words, the teabaggers are not going to allow me (or any known "leftist" to address their Tax Day Rallies with the message that military spending is wasteful government spending.

The organizers of these "Tea Parties" do not want people hearing the truth that the most excessive, wasteful government spending is for wars and militarism.

These right-wing blow-hards like Mitch Berg are afraid to have me addressing their crowds saying things like:

The United States government, dominated by Wall Street bankers and coupon clippers, is wasting trillions upon trillions of dollars of tax-payer monies borrowed from Wall Street bankers to finance a vast and far-flung network of over 800 U.S. military bases on foreign soil dotting all parts of the globe instead of building 800 public health care centers right here in the United States providing free health care from cradle to grave for everyone.

Now, this self-avowed, Bircher--- this two-bit, half-assed fascist--- Nancy L. LaRoche declares that I have denied people with differing viewpoints from my own the right to speak at anti-war rallies.

This is another outright and brazen two-faced lie and she is well aware she is a liar in making this statement.

I have never in my life prevented anyone--- from any political perspective or persuasion--- with an anti-war view to speak at any anti-war rally.

To the extent it has been within my power (as one vote on a committee), I have never allowed anyone with a pro-war view to speak at an anti-war rally.

Why would I give consideration to anyone with a pro-war view to speak at an "anti-war rally?" Only a complete idiot and fool like this Birchite, Nancy L. LaRoche, would make such a statement... it is up to her and her warmongering friends who support these wars but never go off to fight them to organize their own "pro-war rallies."

However, I have organized (and participated as a debater in debates I had no part in organizing) dozens of debates all over Minnesota--- some ninety debates, in fact--- prior to the start of the war in Iraq, around the question and issue:

Should the United States Government Go To War in Iraq?

Participants in these debates, generally consisted of two or three pro and con views. As the main organizer of these debates across Minnesota I did not seek out and select participants according to my personal left-wing views. In fact, these debates included retired military people--- both pro and con--- on the question and the issue. In fact, there were even some right-wing talk show hosts who participated in these debates--- several times as the moderators. Not once was I ever accused of stacking these debates. And not once was the discourse anything but cordial. I would note, the bigots and the Birchites did condemn these debates because they included the anti-war view! You see, these two-bit, half-assed fascists do not believe in democracy or any concept of democracy. To them, democracy is only them getting out their views. These is an obviously perverted view of democracy; the same perverted view of democracy that almost thoroughly permeates right-wing talk radio--- with a very few notable exceptions of those who hold genuinely conservative views but welcome all other views into the "battle of ideas in our modern world."

Nancy L. LaRoche intentionally tries to blend "debate" with demonstrations and rallies. She does this intentionally as do all of her bigoted friends because they know that people get their ideas together when they hear the many sides to these complex and complicated questions in the process of public and democratic debate--- and, then, after formulating opinions based upon what they believe to be the best information they can gather; from this informed position they go out a try to convince others to rally and demonstrate with them to try to move government, corporations or whatever in the direction they think society should be moving.

But, where has the debate been on the Obama/Wall Street agenda?

In fact, there has been no debate.

In fact, the "left" which our bigoted, Birchite friend Nancy L. LaRoche so bemoans, has had no voice what-so-ever in a debate, which I would remind the reader, has largely been an attack on socialism.

Denying a voice to the adherents of the socialist viewpoint and perspective under these circumstances can hardly pass for democracy.

By Nancy L. LaRoche's own words here, these "Tea Party" and tax-protests are nothing more than right-wing rallies; her own words give lie to the words of those like Mitch Berg, Chris Baker, Shawn Hannity and Rush Limbaugh along with the "fair and unbiased" FOX news crew that these rallies are anything but anti-communist, pro-war and pro-corporate bash the working class and attack the rest of the world rallies.

That two-bit, half-assed fascists from both the Republican and Democratic Parties participate in these rallies does not mean these rallies are open to all who oppose wasteful government spending; it means that those on the right from both political parties support and sponsor--- and exclude--- anyone not right-wing from participation.

After all, when you openly state as Nancy L. LaRoche has done that "leftists for peace" are excluded; here in the state of Minnesota you are excluding a good 40% of the population.

And, if you are "not going to pass the bullhorn" to leftists to speak about their concerns about inappropriate government spending no one, not Mitch Berg or Chris Baker or Shawn Hannity or Rush Limbaugh, can make the claim they are speaking for all Americans... they are speaking for a very, very narrow slice of America... perhaps 3% to 4% of the population... no more than this.

But, here we are supposedly talking about bringing people of "all political persuasions together" in these Tea Parties who are opposed to "government waste."

Are these "Tea Parties" also "pro-war parties and rallies?" If we listen to Nancy L. LaRoche they really are.

Not only do the American people have to ask:

Where is the change?

We also have to ask:

Where are the debates on these issues?

Nancy L. LaRoche knew better than to demand the microphone at an anti-war rally because she was pro-war.

In her small little demented and perverted mind, patriotism is equated with being pro-war. Waving a flag is equated with being pro-war. That she convinced someone to put down a peace sign and hold the American flag tells us absolutely nothing... did she convince that person to become pro-war? No. And she knows it. That person waved the American flag to demonstrate that peace is patriotic, and war is unpatriotic.

I'm not a "flag-waver" but I will stand my patriotism for this country up against the chicken shit patriotism of these right-wing bigots hosting these Fox radio programs any day... and it they who run from the challenge of debating these issues.

That they can convince a few stupid fools like Nancy L. LaRoche to join them tells us everything we need to know about this perverted crowd of "teabaggers."

Nancy L. LaRoche tells us that she and her friends "don't bite." However, they sure want to give the working class a good "teabagging."

Teabaggers have more in common with the "steal the land from the Indians," pro-slavery, pro-Hitler crowd than with the sons and daughters of the American Revolution and Tom Paine and Benjamin Franklin or Thomas Jefferson.

Again, I reiterate my suggestion for real--- face-to-face--- debates in every city where the teabaggers are planning their events... come on Nancy L. LaRoche, your idols Mitch Berg and Chris Baker refuse to debate me... let's me and you tour these sixteen cities debating the issues involved... let's me and you debate what constitutes wasteful government spending...

bak, bak, bak, baaakkk, bak, bak, baakk, baaakkkkk, bak, bak.

No doubt Hitler was a "teabagger," just like Mitch Berg and Chris Baker in every sense of the word.

Something to think about around the dinner table--- if you can keep from gagging.

Yours in the struggle,

Alan L. Maki

From a posting to "e-democracy" to which the "moderator," Rick Mons, would not allow me the above response.

The posting was from: Nancy L LaRoche Date: 07:23 CDT Short link

Alan Maki wrote:

"Yes, you want people to attend your "Tea Party" rallies but you
exclude those with a left view from speaking... wow! Real democratic.

Invite me to speak; I'll be there."

Alan: Do you leftist protesters pass their bullhorns and allow the other side
to speak at their rallies?
I've attended some anti-war protests and had great
conversations with those opposed to my views. I didn't demand the microphone.
In fact, at one three years ago I made friends with a homeless Native American
who was given an anti-war sign to carry. After we talked for a while, he put
his sign down and picked up a flag. That's what democracy is - the right to
have differing opinions and discuss openly with others. You seem to want to
dismiss and shut up those who disagree.

Come out and talk with us May 2. Try to understand our side face to face.
Again, we don't bite.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Global steel industry awaits auto turnaround as layoffs on the Iron Range mount and MN DFL twiddles thumbs

Statement of the Iron Range Club of the Communist Party, USA

Barack Obama in an Easter Sunday holiday message had the nerve to lie to the American people about the nature of the economic depression we are in. Obama said he sees "glimmers of hope."

We ask: Where are the "glimmers of hope?"

Obama has not been to the Iron Range.

We ask: Where's the change?

Here on the Iron Range there are no "glimmers of hope;" only the despair that accompanies growing joblessness and dire poverty making the Iron Range, what Alan Maki has referred to "the Appalachia of the North with the same pits, pollution and poverty."

The economic situation and social conditions are worsening by the day on the Iron Range as working class families are now experiencing dire economic straits our grand parents tell us they have not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930's.

We and our grand parents were assured such conditions would never come about again.

We were told that Karl Marx was wrong. We were told that the capitalist system could be managed by flaky, weirdos like John Maynard Keynes and Alan Greenspan.

This generation was assured by the best paid economists Wall Street could buy that this generation would never live through an economic depression where the capitalist system collapses.

Yet, today, all economic indicators--- contrary to Barack Obama seeing "glimmers of hope," are pointing to the worst depression ever along with all the misery for working people such a catastrophe will most certainly entail as this "ball continues to drop" if we don't push back against Wall Street, and push back hard.

Larry Summers, Director of the National Economic Council--- Barack Obama's chief economic adviser--- describes the economy like a "ball dropping from the table that has not stopped falling."

Something is terribly wrong with this entire scenario. We are being played for suckers and fools as if we do not have the brains or capacity to reason and think.

Vice-president Joe Biden stated months ago that he and Obama are trying to "dropkick the ball." Here we are, months later, with Larry Summers telling us "the ball is still dropping" and hasn't even touched the ground yet.

Key to Obama's lies is that he continues to state economic troubles were caused by the "crisis in the housing market." This is an outright lie. The housing market, sabotaged by a bunch of greedy crooks not of which one has been prosecuted to date as millions of people lose their homes, is part of the problem; part of the problem contributing to the main problem. But not the primary source of the problem that Barack Obama and his over-paid economic advisers are well aware of but refuse to acknowledge because to do so would expose the capitalist system for what it has become: rotten to the core.

The present crises the capitalist economic system is experiencing is the direct result of the corporate assault on the standard-of-living of the working class that has been well underway in this country for over thirty years, and Wall Street has intensified this assault on the working class over the last eight years of Republican domination over our lives while Democrats sat back like cowards and did nothing.

The problem is one from which the capitalist economic system cannot escape:

Workers not being paid enough to purchase back what they have produced. Most working people in the United States have been receiving poverty wages; unable to purchase even the minimal basic necessities required to live decent lives.

Capitalist exploitation is THE PROBLEM. Capitalists stealing the wealth created by the working class is the source of this economic mess.

Common sense tells us that if the wealth created by the many is being constantly stolen by the rich few there is going to be severe economic problems down the road; we are now at the end of that road.

High-paid corrupt union leaders like Leo Gerard, Ron Gettelfinger and John Sweeney have worked in cahoots with big-business in forcing concession after concession from the very workers whose dues are paying their big fat salaries when they should have been putting the unions' resources into organizing the unorganized. Instead, they plowed union dues into supporting Barack Obama and the Democrats who are now kicking workers in the head while down on the ground.

How else can one explain taking away the homes of working people who are jobless and going hungry?

A moratorium on all foreclosures and evictions should have been and still is the NUMBER ONE requirement needed by hard-hit workers. This is so basic to common human decency we Communists should not even have to be stating this.

Minnesota Senator David Tomassoni could not even get the vote of one single Democrat in support of "the Minnesota People's Bailout." And the United Steel Workers and United Auto Workers unions are pumping money into getting these servants of the Chamber of Commerce, the mining, auto, banking and power industries elected!

If Senator Tomassoni and any other DFL'ers who consider themselves "progressive" don't see the need to leave the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party after this (first it was betrayal and sell-out on saving the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant) now these same rotten Democrats have defeated "the Minnesota People's Bailout" which would have halted foreclosures and evictions so widespread across the Iron Range and the rest of the state and the entire country.

Now these same Democrats are kicking the living daylights out of the working class at every opportunity; not missing an opportunity to kick workers in the head. Case in point: the auto workers; and miners right here on the Iron Range.

No two unions did more to help elect Barack Obama and the Democrats than the United Steel Workers union (USW) and the United Auto Workers union (UAW).

Steel workers and auto workers are now getting kicked in the head by Barack Obama and the Democrats without any help from the Republicans.

What does this tell us about the two-party system?

It should tell us what Communist Party leaders William Z. Foster and Gus Hall said over and over again:

Labor needs its own political party.

The time has come for working people to get up off the ground and fight back.

Since the labor "leadership" is not willing to fight back; the rank-and-file is going to have to stand up and slug it out with these corrupt and wholly incompetent labor leaders, the Democratic Party and Wall Street.

Military recruiters are not shy about walking into our public schools trying to convince our children to go fight Barack Obama's dirty imperialist wars.

A third of the ore that has been taken from the ground on the Range has gone into wars and militarism as our children die in these senseless wars that Barack Obama said were "stupid" when he wanted our votes.

Barack Obama and the Democrats are not as eager to solve our problems as they are to ship our kids off to war.

In fact, to a large extent the social and economic problems we are experiencing are directly related to these dirty imperialist wars.

As Alan Maki has pointed out, we need "800 public health care centers spread out across the United States instead of over 800 U.S. military bases dotting the globe."

On this Easter Sunday, we on the Iron Range don't see Barack Obama's "glimmers of hope."

The steel and auto industries need to be nationalized and brought under public ownership and the democratic control of the people.

We will not get a "people's bailout" until we organize some kind of "people's lobby" as part of a "massive people's front" in the struggle for an end to foreclosures and evictions and a legislated minimum wage that is a real living wage directly based upon and tied to all cost-of-living factors.

Polls now show the American people have completely lost confidence in capitalism.

The same polls demonstrate that the time is now to place socialism on the table; socialism is the only way working people are ever going to get out of this economic mess.

The time has come for working people to create a people's political party to challenge the monopolies for power, and put us on the high road to peace and jobs through socialism.

We ask Barack Obama and the lying, warmongering Democrats: Where's the change?

As the article below points out, the steel and auto industries are the key to any healthy economy.

We ask: Does anyone see any indication of these two industries ever recovering again under capitalism?

China bailed us out and saved thousands of jobs for us here on the Iron Range.

Now that Chinese "leaders" have betrayed their people like union "leaders" here and jumped in bed with Wall Street after having been sold a bill of goods by Alan Greenspan, the CATO Institute and the Heritage Foundation that capitalist markets could provide a "quick fix" to their problems there is no place else for us to look other than to our own strength which comes through our own working class unity in getting out from under this mess.

Make no mistake, this economic mess was made by Wall Street capitalists in their never-ending drive for profits; there is no reason for the working class to have to shoulder the burden by way of being driven into poverty to get these vultures and parasites out of this mess that they created.

The corporate CEO's and bankers who created this mess are walking away with multi-million dollar "unemployment checks"--- our tax-dollars; and Barack Obama and the Democrats who expect our votes can't even come up with unemployment checks for workers from time of unemployment until time of re-employment as part of a "people's bailout." This is a disgrace.

We ask: Where's the change?

Since working people are called upon to solve the problems we had no part in creating, we need to resolve these problems in a way that benefits the working class by improving the lives of working class families and not Wall Street pigs gorging themselves at the public trough provided courtesy of Barack Obama and the Democratic Party at our expense.

Again, we ask Barack Obama and the Democrats: Where's the change?

In response to those still saying: "Give Obama a chance;" we say:

Join the Communist Party.

Join the fight for peace and jobs through socialism.

Iron Range Club, CPUSA

Global steel industry awaits auto turnaround

PARIS (AFP) – Steel is on edge and the global industry is cutting back hard, hanging on for either a budget blast from China, new credit for vast Middle Eastern building schemes or resurrection of the US auto industry.

Demand has dwindled and steelmakers, notably the giant of them all, ArcelorMittal, are damping down surplus furnace capacity while waiting for credit to flow, construction cranes to turn and factories to roll.

A decision by ArcelorMittal last week to pursue temporary production cutbacks, slashing European output by more than half from the end of April according to a union source, dramatises the extraordinary ride and role of steel in the last few years.

In just months the global industry has gone from a boom driven largely by China, emerging markets and a property extravaganza in the Middle East to a narrow line between excess capacity and the costs of waiting for recovery.

"Over the past six months, demand for steel has dropped dramatically and, as a result, producers have been cutting production," analysts at Barclays Capital said in a study last week.

In another report, Morgan Stanley predicted "the current demand shock to lead to excess steel capacity."

Consequently, the bank said, steel plants should operate at rates below 75 percent of capacity until 2012.

"The steel market is not very different from base metals as a whole, but steel has reacted more rapidly and dramatically since September," said commodities analyst Perrine Faye of London-based FastMarkets.

She said the future of the steel industry depended on three factors -- the impact of Chinese economic stimulus efforts, a pick-up in the Middle East construction sector and a revival of the once mighty US auto industry.

"Chinese imports and exports are at a standstill. Everyone is waiting for the Chinese stimulus package to see if it will revive demand."

The Chinese government last month announced a four-trillion-yuan (580-billion-dollar) package of measures that it said could contribute 1.5 to 1.9 percent to the country's economic growth.

Industry experts have meanwhile spoken optimistically of China's prospects.

Thomas Albanese, chief executive at steel maker Rio Tinto, said earlier this year that the company foresaw "a short, sharp slowdown in China, with demand rebounding over the course of 2009, as the fundamentals of Chinese economic growth remain sound."

Analysts have said steel inventories are falling in China in anticipation of projects expected to emerge from the country's huge stimulus package.

"It is encouraging that the inventory of steel products, especially long products, which are mostly used in construction projects, have started to fall (since the end of March), likely suggesting that end-demand is gathering momentum," Frank Gong, a Hong Kong-based economist for JPMorgan, wrote in a research note.

On-the-ground evidence suggested that the Chinese industry had been re-stocking in the first two months of the year, followed by a pause in March before major infrastructure projects were expected to start in the second quarter, Gong wrote.

In the Middle East, according to Faye, the big problem is a shortage of credit, notably for real estate developers and builders.

Construction planners had "counted on a higher price for oil and on credit to finance their huge projects."

In addition, demand for such facilities, especially in the Gulf, has died.

"They were hoping that Americans and Europeans would buy apartments. But property prices have collapsed in the Middle East as well."

In the United Arab Emirates more than half the building projects, worth 582 billion dollars or 45 per cent of the total value of the construction sector, have been put on hold, a study by Dubai-based market research group Proleads found in February.

In Dubai, one of the states of the UAE, prices in the real estate sector have slumped by an average of 25 percent from their peak in September after rallying 79 percent in the 18 months to July 2008, according to Morgan Stanley.

Faye said the fate of the steel sector was in addition tied to that of the struggling US auto industry, once a thriving steel market but one in which two of its giant players, General Motors and Chrysler, are staring at bankruptcy.

The two companies are currently limping along thanks to billions of dollars in government aid.

"We are waiting to see if the auto sector in the US will get out of the crisis intact," she said.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The United States has 800 military bases on foreign soil...

What we need--- instead--- is 800 public health care centers spread out across the United States where people can universally access, for free, all their health care needs from pre-natal care, to general health care to eye, dental and mental care right through to burial.

Instead of moving in this progressive direction, President Barack Obama and the United States Congress are moving in a most reactionary direction towards establishing military bases in outer space as they seek to insure the profits of both the merchants of death and destruction and the profit-driven health care industries... talk about skewed priorities and your wacky ideas devoid of common sense.

In addition to these 800 U.S. military bases on foreign soil, Barack Obama and the United States Congress continue funding--- with our tax-dollars--- the Israeli killing machine to the tune of tens of billions of dollars.

A network of 800 public health care centers spread out across the United States would create over four-million good-paying, decent jobs--- talk about your "economic stimulus" package!

We would be planting the seeds of socialism while helping to eradicate poverty as we keep people healthy and get them well when sick.

Think about this kind of solution in relation to what Barack Obama, the U.S. Congress and the Wall Street bankers and coupon clippers are offering the American people, and the peoples of the world... just what is the reason for bailing out the banks and AIG and maintaining more than 800 expensive U.S. military bases of foreign soil?

The Mt. Carmel Clinic in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada offers us a glimpse at what militarization and wars continue to rob us of.

The problems created by Wall Street will not be solved as long as the military-financial-industrial complex is allowed to squander human and natural resources on militarism and wars... we might just as well be dumping these resources out into the ocean... at least no one would die in wars.

These merchants of death and destruction must be stopped if humanity is to survive in a livable world.

The time has come to talk about the working class Marxist politics and economics of livelihood... capitalism has failed humanity miserably and left us a real mess.

Something for working people to think about and discuss around the dinner table... the capitalist sooth-Sayers certainly are not going to broach such solutions to the problems of working people as they hide behind the skirt of Rosy Scenario as this global capitalist economic depression intensifies.

Alan Maki

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The big lie about AIG

The big lie about AIG:


U.S.News & World Report (see complete article following my comments)

What's Good, What's Bad About the AIG Bailout

“It's keeping AIG's insurance businesses stable. Here's something that's really startling: The entire problem at AIG was caused by one unit, the Financial Products division, whose employees constituted less than one percent of AIG's overall workforce. AIG's insurance units - the core of its business - essentially had nothing to do with the fiasco. But if AIG had been forced to liquidate, it could have affected the insurance units and millions of policyholders. With a more orderly process underway, the policyholders are now completely protected.”

This is the truth:

The entire problem at AIG was caused by one unit, the Financial Products division

But if AIG had been forced to liquidate, it could have affected the insurance units and millions of policyholders. With a more orderly process underway, the policyholders are now completely protected.


Who are these AIG “policyholders?”


These AIG “policyholders” are the largest multi-national corporations in the world… and include corporations from every industry, from media to banking/mortgage to auto and steel to toys.


What kind of insurance policies have the multi-national corporations purchased from AIG?


These “policyholders” have purchased insurance from AIG to protect their profits.


What kind of “claims” are they filing?


These multi-national policyholders are making claims based upon their loss of profits due to the recession/depression.


Our tax-dollars are paying on “claims” being filed by these multi-national corporations for losses in profits as the economy goes south.


While the disgraceful tens of millions of dollars in executive “bonuses” paid by AIG are now the justified topic of wide-spread discussion; these “bonuses” are being used a “Trojan Horse” of sorts by the media and politicians who don’t want to disclose to the American people where the hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars are going.


Make no mistake, the $170,000,000,000.00 (one-hundred seventy billion dollars) paid out to AIG is just the beginning… as the depression deepens these multi-national corporations will continue filing claims and AIG will have to honor the policies these corporations purchased to protect their profitability… our tax-dollars are going directly into the pockets of the Wall Street coupon clippers and the very mortgage company crooks who ripped off the American people.


For the American tax-payer, there is nothing “good” about the bailout of AIG… except to the stock and bondholders and bankers and mortgage companies and the big industrialists and investors who will continue to pocket profits at tax-payer expense, everything about the AIG “bailout” is bad.


The “bailout” of AIG with our tax-dollars is doing nothing but stabilizing Wall Street “profits.”

AIG’s insurance business is the business of protecting multi-national corporations against a loss in profits.

Once the tax-dollars stop flowing into the coffers of AIG and flooding out to the multi-national corporations, the world stock markets will collapse and we will be in the midst of the worst capitalist economic depression humanity has ever known--- complete with all the accompanying human misery and social strife one would expect--- now being widely predicted by many diverse voices.

On top of all of this, the American dollar will become worthless and we will be forced to purchase oil with Euros and Rubles… then what?

And if the Chinese aren’t dumb enough to buy into the American capitalist economic mess… then what?

In spite of what the highest-paid capitalist sooth-Sayers are telling us, capitalism as an economic system is finished… it is time to explore a socialist solution where production takes place to solve human needs rather than for profit… there is no other solution.

The multi-national corporations purchased insurance policies to protect their profits against recession/depression incurred losses from AIG, a private--- for profit--- insurance company, which assumed the risk in underwriting such policies.

The multi-national corporations did not purchase insurance policies from the United States government; so why should tax-payers be the ones paying out on these claims?

This is the biggest corporate swindle in history… in comparison, Bernie Madoff is a piker… we are being played for suckers.

We need a national “people’s bailout” based on the “Minnesota People’s bailout.”

The time has come to take a “left turn” to get us off this road to perdition as the capitalist system collapses.

Big-business created this economic mess as they reaped the profits while leaving working people with ALL the problems.

Alan L. Maki

U.S.News & World Report
What's Good, What's Bad About the AIG Bailout

Tuesday March 17, 1:52 pm ET
By Rick Newman

"There are times when one would like to hang the whole human race, and finish the farce."

The latest surreal twists in the AIG bailout bring to mind Mark Twain, who could spot folly as if he were hunting for it with a spyglass. Had Twain had AIG to work with as raw material, we'd probably have another couple dozen enduring epigrams skewering the greedy and the foolish.

Many Americans would like to finish the farce and simply cut AIG off, especially now that the company has paid $165 million in bonuses to executives at the very unit that nearly caused the firm's downfall and triggered an unprecedented taxpayer bailout that now totals $170 billion. To almost everybody, it seems self-evident that traders shouldn't be rewarded for wrecking their company and then burning through vast amounts of public funds. Yet AIG insists it is legally obligated to pay the bonuses, because of contracts signed before the damage occurred and taxpayers got involved. There have also been suggestions that the rascals who devised these complex derivatives deals may be the only ones who know how to unwind them, so AIG has no choice but to keep them around - and pay for the privilege of their company. In other words, the bonuses amount to extortion.

Okay. Breathe deep. Think calming thoughts. Find your center. Amidst this outrage, it's worth keeping in mind that the AIG bailout is actually doing some good. It's also a kind of learn-as-you-go experiment that's never really been done before. Here's a rough scorecard of what's working and what's not:

What's working

The AIG bailout has helped stabilize the financial markets. Take a moment to revisit September 2008. That's when Lehman Brothers failed, Merrill Lynch almost did, and AIG would have been forced into a chaotic bankruptcy if the feds didn't arrange an emergency $85 billion loan. With a bit of hindsight, it's starting to seem that AIG, which brokered more than $2.5 trillion worth of derivatives known as credit-default swaps held by many of the world's biggest banks, was the death star of that troubled troika.

We've survived the Lehman bankruptcy, after all, and Merrill found a buyer. "The real surprise wasn't Lehman Brothers, it was AIG," Frederic Mishkin, a Columbia Business School professor and former member of the Federal Reserve Board, said in a recent speech. "Who would have thought that an insurance company would have been affected by all this? When that happened, all bets were off."

All that federal money has helped AIG redeem some of those derivatives contracts, getting them off its books and out of the system. The financial markets still aren't back to normal, but they're heading in that direction. Forestalling another industrial-strength financial failure, and the chain reaction it would have triggered if AIG had collapsed, has certainly helped.

It's also helping AIG unwind itself. AIG's problems snowballed in September when suddenly it had to produce billions of dollars worth of collateral to back up those credit-default swaps. The collateral call was triggered by an unexpected drop in AIG's credit rating, along with the plunge in value of mortage-backed securities around the world. AIG didn't have the cash, and to come up with it, the only option would have been to sell off illiquid assets like its highly profitable insurance divisions or its aircraft leasing company. Try doing that in a week.

Had AIG been forced to liquidate those assets, it would have had to accept fire-sale prices, which would have led to a sudden collapse in the prices of other similar assets and companies throughout the world. AIG would have gotten pennies on the dollar for valuable assets and many other businesses would suddenly have been devalued, too.

AIG is still in the process of selling off assets, to pay off the government loans that effectively served as its collateral. But it's doing that in a more orderly way, seeking the highest bidders and the best terms. That's generally good for everybody, and it's also the best way for taxpayers to get most or all of their money back.

It's keeping AIG's insurance businesses stable. Here's something that's really startling: The entire problem at AIG was caused by one unit, the Financial Products division, whose employees constituted less than one percent of AIG's overall workforce. AIG's insurance units - the core of its business - essentially had nothing to do with the fiasco. But if AIG had been forced to liquidate, it could have affected the insurance units and millions of policyholders. With a more orderly process underway, the policyholders are now completely protected.

What's not working

Revolting bonuses. It simply goes without saying that giving bonuses to the people who brought down AIG is a perversion of justice. Officials at the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Dept. should have put terms into the original bailout agreement that prevented this. They didn't. It was a chaotic time, and legitimate worries about a global financial collapse obviously clouded thoughts about rules to prevent rapacious traders from holding the government hostage. If it's any consolation, the $165 million bonus pool is relatively small. Still, it grates.

Counterparty payouts. AIG has used much of the $170 billion in government aid to basically refund money to big banks and other "counterparties," to cash out some of those credit-default swaps and reduce AIG's massive liabilities. That's sensible, and it's basically the original idea behind the "Troubled Assets Relief Program," which was intended to get the worst derivatives and other securities off the market.

The problem is that the government has apparently agreed to $105 billion worth of payouts - at the full face value of the securities. That means that banks like Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Societe General and Deutsche Bank - among the world's most sophisticated investors - are taking no loss at all on securities that had a market value of half their face value or less when AIG redeemed them in full. It's like house prices falling in your neighborhood by 50 percent, and somebody coming in and buying one house for what it was worth at the market peak a couple years ago. And using a government loan to finance it.

Regulators at the Fed, Treasury, and other departments still haven't explained why the counterparties got all their money back. They're certainly going to be asked at upcoming Congressional hearings. But in a situation where just about everybody is taking a loss - taxpayers and consumers especially - it will be tough to make a case that the world's richest banks deserve full redemption.

Secrecy. We keep learning the terms of the AIG bailout well after the fact. Obviously there are times when the feds need to move quickly and can't have a 60-day comment period. But it's not the same crisis atmosphere as last fall. In general, we should learn the details of the bailout as they occur.

AIG strongly resisted releasing the list of counterparties that have been paid back with bailout money, for instance. As recently as March 5, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Donald Kohn defended that secrecy, saying that firms might be reluctant to deal with AIG in the future if they knew their dealings could become public.

Then a week later, under mounting pressure, AIG released a list of counterparties. The world didn't end. AIG is also refusing to release the names of individuals in the Financial Products division who are getting bonuses. They may lose that battle too, since New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has asked for the names and started an investigation, much as he has with Merrill Lynch. Information is going to come out one way or the other, and AIG and its regulators should stop trying to protect the failing company any more than they already are. When AIG pays back that $170 billion in taxpayer money, they can keep all the secrets they want. In fact, once we've got our money back, the less we hear about AIG the better.

Alan L. Maki

58891 County Road 13

Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Phone: 218-386-2432

Cell phone: 651-587-5541


Check out my blog:

Thoughts From Podunk

Friday, February 20, 2009

U.S. Steel lays off half its workers at Minntac

Minnesota Democrats continue to play games with "The People's Bailout" the same way they played games with legislation that was supposed to save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant.

Over 1,000 Rangers employed in the iron ore mines and taconite industry have now joined the unemployed in the past few months.

What is wrong with these politicians? These politicians owe their jobs to us but they do nothing except pretend doing something for working people.

Working people are being played for fools.

We want to know why Minnesota State Senator James Metzen is dragging his feet in getting "The People's Bailout" through his Committee on Business, Industry and Jobs?

There is no end in sight to the problems plaguing the economy.

Workers have a right to expect those politicians they elected will now bail them out of this mess.

Here on the Range these mining companies have been taking out the profits leaving us with poverty, pits, pollution.

The mining companies run off with the profits; we get stuck with the problems.

This has been going on for over 100 years.

We have been fed the line, "Everything will be alright; recovery is in sight."

The problem is every "recovery" results in fewer and fewer jobs here on the Range. There has never been a recovery. Never.

The time has come to nationalize the steel industry under public ownership... we can do better than United States Steel. We can't do any worse.

We want action not speeches at election time from DFL politicians.

We say to the politicians in the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party: You brought forward this legislation called "The People's Bailout" thinking that it would be enough to pull the wool over our eyes again. You knew you had no intent in pushing this legislation through the Minnesota Legislature. You knew you were grandstanding. We call your bluff. Now get this "People's Bailout" out of the Committees in the House and Senate and bring this legislation to a vote so the many hurting and suffering working people can get a little help to get them through this mess.

If there is going to be a recovery then you should have no problem making this help available to workers and their families from time of unemployment to re-employment.

If you can't write this into "The People's Bailout" it means you know there is never going to be a recovery.

If there isn't going to be a recovery, than let's bury capitalism in the pits and start anew with socialism.

Iron Range Club of the Communist Party USA

U.S. Steel lays off half its workers at Minntac


U.S. Steel Corp. said Thursday it is laying off 500 union and 90 management employees at its Minntac taconite facility on Minnesota's Iron Range, nearly half the plant's workers.

The layoffs, which will occur over the next few weeks, affect two of the Mountain Iron, Minn., plant's five taconite production lines, increasing the number idle to three, said Courtney Boone, a spokeswoman for Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel.

It was U.S. Steel's second production cutback in Minnesota since early December, when it stopped work at its smaller Keetac taconite plant in Keewatin.

The Minntac layoffs are a response to declining demand for steel products worldwide, Boone said. However, stopping plant production lines doesn't mean they're being closed permanently, she said. The plant's future "depends on U.S. Steel's customer orders and on market conditions," Boone said. At full production, the Minntac plant produces 16.5 million tons of taconite a year, Boone said.

It's unclear how the plant's output will be affected by the layoffs. The Minntac plant had 1,100 union and 180 management workers before the layoffs. The idled Keetac plant previously produced more than 6 million tons of taconite annually.

The layoffs came as U.S. Steel's stock dropped nearly 3 percent to $24.77 Thursday, the day after an analyst reduced U.S. Steel earnings estimates for 2009 and 2010, citing weakness in the market for steel pipe and the firm's pension liabilities and capital-spending expenses.

Steve Alexander • 612-673-4553


Friday, February 13, 2009

It's about time: Iron Range DFL'er pushes "The People's Bailout"

Much of what this legislation contains is what the Iron Range Club of the Communist Party USA has been advocating for a long time and we encourage Rangers to get behind supporting this legislation in full force.

We wonder why the USW and the Iron Range Labor Council have been so slow in mobilizing support for this important legislation that will help thousands of Rangers cope with pressing problems associated with this capitalist economic crisis.

Members of the Iron Range Club of the CPUSA see no end in sight of this economic crisis. Without the kind of help embodied in "The People's Bailout" many working people will suffer needlessly.

Alan Maki has called on Minnesota workers to step up and fight for The People's Bailout.

Alan Maki at Wellstone Memorial on Bodas Road

Maki, in his blog says, "Don't let the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party betray working people like they did with workers employed at the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant when Senator Tomassoni brought forward SF 607; we second Maki's astute observation.

With mines closing down and workers on the Range being thrown out of jobs left and right Rangers need this "People's Bailout" legislation and we expect ALL Range legislators to fight like hell to get it through the state legislature and mobilize all out support to force Governor Pawlenty to sign "The People's Bailout."

We urge Rangers to read what "red" Finn, Alan Maki, has to say and check out his blog for all the information. Maki has done a great job in bringing all the tools we need together at the top of his blog. Check out Maki's blog and check it out often:

Thoughts From Podunk

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Support S.F. 542 "The People's Bailout" by Minnesota DFL State Senator David Tomassoni

Support and follow this legislation:

-----Original Message-----

From: Alan Maki []

Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2009 8:53 PM

To:;;;;;;;;;;; 'Peter Rachleff';;;;;; 'Ley and Lea Soltis'; 'Joshua Frank';;

Cc: ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; '';; 'Dee DePass';; 'Charley Underwood';;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; 'Baker, Mary'; 'Maldonado, Alejandro';;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Subject: Re: People's Bailout (SF 542)

Re: SF 542; The People’s Bailout

Senator David Tomassoni;

First, let me commend you for having the courage to bring this legislation forward; I am sure the opposition will be enormous even from your DFL colleagues, not to mention from Republicans and Governor Pawlenty.

I hope you intend to call for roll call votes at each step of the process on (SF 542) The People’s Bailout so there is more accountability than we had on S.F. 607 to save the Ford Plant; legislation you so courageously brought forward in the Senate Committee on Business, Industry and Labor where your fellow DFL'ers so shamefully let you, and more importantly, Ford Workers and Minnesotans, down. We need to keep in mind in the struggle ahead over The People's Bailout--- S.F. 542, that it was in this same Senate Committee where you failed to get help from your DFL colleagues in moving S.F. 607 forward--- out of Committee and through the Minnesota State Legislature and onto the Governor's desk.

We need to keep in mind that Senator Jim Metzen, while being a DFL'er, is also a banker--- an officer with Key Community Bank known for its very dirty deeds against working people. It is up to you and the rest of us to push Senator Metzen to do his job as Chair of the all-important, heavily DFL dominated Committee on Business, Industry and Labor and twist the arms needing twisting to get The People's Bailout through the Committee... again, I stress the need for a roll call vote to assure Minnesotans have complete accountability--- unlike with S.F. 607 where you received no support from your DFL colleagues yet none of the other Democrats or Republicans would acknowledge their very dirty and shameful role in sending S.F. 607 down to defeat.

Why haven’t you included something along the lines of SF 607 to automatically apply to any business closing which has received any kind of local, state or federal subsidies, tax abatement or public assistance of any kind in your People’s Bailout? This would be particularly important in trying, again, to save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant.

I am very leery that this is one more gimmick the DFL is using to make it appear the DFL is trying to do something when the intent is all show since the DFL did nothing to push SF 607 through the legislature; hopefully I am wrong about this since many, many Minnesotans will need such assistance.

Might I also suggest that you include rescinding “at-will hiring, at-will firing” legislation as part of The People’s Bailout since this would place Minnesota workers in line to benefit from the Employee Free Choice Act.

Also, might I suggest that you include a provision in this legislation that would establish the minimum wage in Minnesota to be in accordance with the calculations of the United States Department of Labor and its Bureau of Labor Statistics based upon the scientific facts pertaining to real cost of living factors and the minimum wage should be recalculated every time these cost of living factors are recalculated.

I agree with you that we can not spend our way out of this economic crisis and instead we need to work our way out of this mess which obviously requires all working people to be paid real living wages as a way to completely and thoroughly redistribute wealth in this country.

At the heart of this economic mess is the fact that wealth created by the working class has in fact been stolen in the form of huge profits by corporations not paying workers real living wages in accordance with cost of living factors; common sense tells us that depressions occur when working people cannot purchase back the goods they have produced which are required for human survival.

Common sense also dictates that we cannot allow the Ford Motor Company to start bringing Ford Rangers produced in Thailand into the United States instead of continuing production at the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant.

Hopefully you will include something in this legislation protecting the rights of Minnesota’s 30,000 workers employed in the Indian Gaming Industry who are forced and compelled to work in smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages without any rights under state or federal labor laws… I am sure you understand with so many workers employed under these deplorable conditions these workers serve to drive down the standard of living of all workers in Minnesota. I am sure you are aware that casino workers, such as the thousands of workers employed at casinos like Mystic Lake Casino are forced to sign their names to statements that they know they will be terminated should they engage in union organizing. I think you should include something in this People’s Bailout directing the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development that casino workers fired for union organizing cannot be denied unemployment benefits as they presently are.

In order to protect the rights of all workers in Minnesota to unemployment compensation which you want to extend (and your proposal for such extension is not long enough in my opinion given the fact that this economic mess is going to be with us for many years--- perhaps you should include unemployment coverage from time of layoff/firing to time of re-employment); but, getting back to the rights of workers to receive unemployment benefits in the first place, you need to eliminate the right of employers to challenge a worker’s right to unemployment benefits without having to provide a reason for the challenge.

Combined with “at-will hiring, at-will firing” this places workers in a real bind… fired without reason and then subjecting workers to the further injustice of being denied unemployment compensation due to an employer’s challenge without that employer having to provide a reason… this process can drag on for many months leaving workers without any income or public assistance--- meager as public assistance is in Minnesota… not to mention leaving workers and their families without health care. But, it does little good to extend unemployment compensation if employers are allowed to challenge a worker’s right to compensation without reason or just cause.

Without massive mobilization of members from the unions affiliated with the AFL-CIO and Change To Win this legislation has no chance of passing as you fully know and understand.

Have you heard from labor’s registered lobbyists concerning this legislation?

What have you heard from the Chamber of Commerce and other organizations representing employers and the business community regarding this legislation?

When will the first reading of this People’s Bailout take place? I can’t find anything on the legislature’s on-line calendar.

Please keep me informed of any hearings on this legislation as I would like to testify in support of this legislation.

Don’t forget; request there be recorded roll call vote at each step in the process so Minnesotans have full accountability; this not only assures accountability, but will cause those business oriented DFL’ers in the Summit Hill Club to think twice should they decide they want to join with their Republican colleagues in opposing this legislation.

Might I suggest you develop a newsletter--- printed in hard copy and e-mail format--- pertaining solely to SF 542 (The People’s Bailout) to keep its supporters in and out of the legislature fully and completely informed; a newsletter which requests supporters to do specific tasks in bringing the full weight of Minnesota’s working class--- organized and unorganized--- into support for this important piece of legislation… we certainly don’t want a repeat of only a handful of proponents showing up like what happened with SF 607. We should do everything possible to make sure that Minnesota’s working class “owns” this legislation and that we work together to mobilizes huge turn outs of working people supporting this legislation at each and every stage in the legislative process.

In my opinion, we should be looking at organizing Minnesota’s workers to mobilize fully in support of this important piece of legislation, S.F. 542 The People's Bailout, you are bringing forward.

You are most certainly aware that your legislation can serve as a model in winning new needed reforms comprising an extension of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal; just as the struggles for Roosevelt’s New Deal received powerful, decisive support from Minnesota’s socialist Governors Floyd Olson, Elmer Benson and John Bernard and other Farmer-Labor Party elected officials along with Minnesota’s working class--- especially the “red” Finns of the Iron Range. Let “The People’s Bailout” become a rallying point for the working class movement, and become a model for Barack Obama and the United States Congress along with other states to emulate and follow through on.

I assume you have spoken with Congressman Jim Oberstar and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar about developing similar legislation in Congress.

Might I suggest you request an appearance on Amy Goodman’s television program--- “Democracy Now!” to promote national working class unity in support of The People's Bailout.

I hope you will suggest to the Minnesota AFL-CIO and Change To Win they bring all their affiliated unions into support for this legislation and these unions in turn fully mobilize their memberships to every extent possible.

Your final item regarding state employees is very weak given the intent of leading Republicans to push for things like using the powers of state government to abrogate union contracts. As you know, Barack Obama and Congress are already doing the same thing with autoworkers; whereas, in France the government is prohibiting the abrogation of union contracts and requiring those businesses receiving government bailouts not to cut employment. You might want to take a look at what the French government is doing to protect the rights and jobs of working people.

I would encourage you to look at what action can be taken to make the Minnesota government the employer of choice for road building, bridge repair and maintenance so more jobs are created rather than contractors and engineering firms reaping huge profits, keeping in mind the reason for New Deal make work projects being so successful was that the government was the employer--- not private industry and corporations… again, common sense dictates that when you cut out profits more can be paid out in wages for more workers thus, as you say, and I agree, we work our way out of this mess rather than trying to spend our way out of this most severe crisis.

In conclusion, I would encourage you to consider some type of resolution calling on President Obama to discontinue his wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as cutting all funding for Israel since it makes little sense to pump three-quarters of a trillion dollars into economic “stimulus” while continuing to squander the exact same amount on wars and militarization, which is like taking our human and natural resources and tossing them into one of those polluted, water-filled, abandoned mining pits on the Iron Range or into U.S. Steel’s “Clear Water Reservoir” in Mountain Iron.

Also, as much as I am for road-building and repair to create jobs… I can’t see spending millions of dollars building a road from Minnesota Highway 71 out into the Big Bog for a Canadian peat mining operation to truck away the profits… you might want to mention to Congressman Oberstar that Franklin Roosevelt spent hundreds of thousands of dollars putting the Civilian Conservation Corps to work trying to protect this very sensitive ecosystem; it just destroys our credibility advocating for public works programs when Oberstar has spent millions destroying the good work the CCC did in trying to protect and save the Big Bog. I find it rather ironic this peat mining boon-doggle is taking place right at the site of the Civilian Conservation Corps camp site in the Pine Island State Forest in the Big Bog.

S.F. No. 542, as introduced - 86th Legislative Session (2009-2010) Posted on Feb 06, 2009

1.1A bill for an act
1.2relating to economic development; extending MFIP assistance; modifying
1.3unemployment compensation; augmenting foreclosure provisions; establishing a
1.4jobs creation program; limiting certain layoffs; appropriating money;amending
1.5Minnesota Statutes 2008, sections 256J.42, by adding a subdivision; 268.035,
1.6subdivisions 4, 21a; 268.07, subdivision 1; 268.085, subdivision 15; 504B.151;
1.7proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 582.

1.9 Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 256J.42, is amended by adding a
1.10subdivision to read:
1.11 Subd. 1a. Temporary 60-month time limit extension. For assistance units that
1.12have reached the 60-month time limit under subdivision 1 or assistance units that will
1.13reach the 60-month time limit under subdivision 1 before the sunset of this subdivision,
1.14MFIP benefits are extended to eligible assistance units until the sunset of this subdivision.
1.15This subdivision sunsets July 1, 2011.

1.16 Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 268.035, subdivision 4, is amended to read:
1.17 Subd. 4. Base period. (a) "Base period," unless otherwise provided in this
1.18subdivision, means the last four completed calendar quarters before the effective date of
1.19an applicant's application for unemployment benefits if the application has an effective
1.20date occurring after the month following the last completed calendar quarter. The base
1.21period under this paragraph is as follows:
1.24 If the application for unemployment
benefits is effective on or between these
dates: The base period is the prior:
1.25 February 1 - March 31 January 1 - December 31
2.1 May 1 - June 30 April 1 - March 31
2.2 August 1 - September 30 July 1 - June 30
2.3 November 1 - December 31 October 1 - September 30
2.4 (1) (b) If an application for unemployment benefits has an effective date that is
2.5during the month following the last completed calendar quarter, then the base period is
2.6the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the effective date of an
2.7applicant's application for unemployment benefits. The base period under this paragraph
2.8is as set forth below follows:
2.11 If the application for unemployment
benefits is effective on or between these
dates: The base period is the prior:
2.12 January 1 - March January 31 October 1 - September 30
2.13 April 1 - June April 30 January 1 - December 31
2.14 July 1 - September 30 July 31 April 1 - March 31
2.15 October 1 - December October 31 July 1 - June 30
2.16 (2) (c) If the applicant has insufficient wage credits to establish a benefit account
2.17under clauses (1) and (3), and paragraph (a) or (b), but during the base period under
2.18clause (1) paragraph (a) or (b) an applicant received workers' compensation for temporary
2.19disability under chapter 176 or a similar federal law or similar law of another state, or
2.20if an applicant whose own serious illness caused a loss of work for which the applicant
2.21received compensation for loss of wages from some other source, the applicant may
2.22request an extended base period as follows:
2.23 (i) (1) if an applicant was compensated for a loss of work of seven to 13 weeks, the
2.24base period is the first four of the last six completed calendar quarters before the effective
2.25date of the application for unemployment benefits;
2.26 (ii) (2) if an applicant was compensated for a loss of work of 14 to 26 weeks, the
2.27base period is the first four of the last seven completed calendar quarters before the
2.28effective date of the application for unemployment benefits;
2.29 (iii) (3) if an applicant was compensated for a loss of work of 27 to 39 weeks,
2.30the base period is the first four of the last eight completed calendar quarters before the
2.31effective date of the application for unemployment benefits; and
2.32 (iv) (4) if an applicant was compensated for a loss of work of 40 to 52 weeks, the
2.33base period is the first four of the last nine completed calendar quarters before the effective
2.34date of the application for unemployment benefits;.
2.35 (3) if the applicant has insufficient wage credits to establish a benefit account under
2.36clause (1), an alternate base period of the last four completed calendar quarters before the
2.37date the applicant's application for unemployment benefits is effective will be used. This
3.1base period can be used only 30 calendar days or more after the end of the last completed
3.2quarter, when a wage detail report has been, or should have been, filed for that quarter
3.3under section 268.044; and
3.4 (4) (d) No base period under clause (1), (2), or (3) paragraph (a), (b), or (c) may
3.5include wage credits upon which a prior benefit account was established.
3.6(e) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), the base period calculated under paragraph (b)
3.7using the first four of the last five complete calendar quarters before the effective date of
3.8the applicant's application for unemployment benefits must be used for an applicant if the
3.9applicant has more wage credits under that base period than under the base period in
3.10paragraph (a).
3.11EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective for applications for unemployment
3.12benefits filed effective on or after July 1, 2009.

3.13 Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 268.035, subdivision 21a, is amended to read:
3.14 Subd. 21a. Reemployment assistance training. (a) An applicant is in
3.15"reemployment assistance training" when:
3.16 (1) a reasonable and opportunity for suitable employment for the applicant does not
3.17exist in the labor market area and it is necessary that the applicant receive additional
3.18training in order to obtain will assist the applicant in obtaining suitable employment;
3.19 (2) the curriculum, facilities, staff, and other essentials are adequate to achieve the
3.20training objective;
3.21 (3) the training is vocational in nature or short term academic training vocationally
3.22directed to an occupation or skill for which there are reasonable that will substantially
3.23enhance the employment opportunities available to the applicant in the applicant's labor
3.24market area;
3.25 (4) the training course is considered full time by the training provider; and
3.26 (5) the applicant is making satisfactory progress in the training.
3.27 (b) Full-time training provided through the dislocated worker program, the Trade
3.28Act of 1974, as amended, or the North American Free Trade Agreement is considered
3.29"reemployment assistance training," if that training course is in accordance with the
3.30requirements of that program.
3.31 (c) Apprenticeship training provided in order to meet the requirements of an
3.32apprenticeship program under chapter 178 is considered "reemployment assistance
3.34(d) An applicant is considered in reemployment assistance training only if the
3.35training course has actually started or is scheduled to start within 30 calendar days.
4.1EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective for determinations and appeal
4.2decisions issued on or after the day following final enactment.

4.3 Sec. 4. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 268.07, subdivision 1, is amended to read:
4.4 Subdivision 1. Application for unemployment benefits; determination of benefit
4.5account. (a) An application for unemployment benefits may be filed in person, by mail,
4.6or by electronic transmission as the commissioner may require. The applicant must be
4.7unemployed at the time the application is filed and must provide all requested information
4.8in the manner required. The commissioner shall accept a valid individual taxpayer
4.9identification number from an applicant who is applying for benefits. If the applicant is
4.10not unemployed at the time of the application or fails to provide all requested information,
4.11the communication is not considered an application for unemployment benefits.
4.12 (b) The commissioner shall examine each application for unemployment benefits to
4.13determine the base period and the benefit year, and based upon all the covered employment
4.14in the base period the commissioner shall determine the weekly unemployment benefit
4.15amount available, if any, and the maximum amount of unemployment benefits available, if
4.16any. The determination is known as the determination of benefit account. A determination
4.17of benefit account must be sent to the applicant and all base period employers, by mail or
4.18electronic transmission.
4.19 (c) If a base period employer did not provide wage information for the applicant as
4.20provided for in section 268.044, or provided erroneous information, the commissioner
4.21may accept an applicant certification as to wage credits, based upon the applicant's records,
4.22and issue a determination of benefit account.
4.23 (d) The commissioner may, at any time within 24 months from the establishment of
4.24a benefit account, reconsider any determination of benefit account and make an amended
4.25determination if the commissioner finds that the determination was incorrect for any
4.26reason. An amended determination must be promptly sent to the applicant and all base
4.27period employers, by mail or electronic transmission.
4.28 (e) If an amended determination of benefit account reduces the weekly
4.29unemployment benefit amount or maximum amount of unemployment benefits available,
4.30any unemployment benefits that have been paid greater than the applicant was entitled
4.31is considered an overpayment of unemployment benefits. A determination or amended
4.32determination issued under this section that results in an overpayment of unemployment
4.33benefits must set out the amount of the overpayment and the requirement under section
4.34268.18, subdivision 1 , that the overpaid unemployment benefits must be repaid.

5.1 Sec. 5. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 268.085, subdivision 15, is amended to read:
5.2 Subd. 15. Available for suitable employment defined. (a) "Available for suitable
5.3employment" means an applicant is ready and willing to accept suitable employment in
5.4the labor market area. The attachment to the work force must be genuine. An applicant
5.5may restrict availability to suitable employment, but there must be no other restrictions,
5.6either self-imposed or created by circumstances, temporary or permanent, that prevent
5.7accepting suitable employment.
5.8(b) Unless the applicant is in reemployment assistance training, to be considered
5.9"available for suitable employment," a student who has regularly scheduled classes must
5.10be willing to quit school discontinue classes to accept suitable employment when:
5.11(1) class attendance restricts the applicant from accepting suitable employment; and
5.12(2) the applicant is unable to change the scheduled class or make other arrangements
5.13that excuse the applicant from attending class.
5.14(c) An applicant who is absent from the labor market area for personal reasons, other
5.15than to search for work, is not "available for suitable employment."
5.16(d) An applicant who has restrictions on the hours of the day or days of the week
5.17that the applicant can or will work, that are not normal for the applicant's usual occupation
5.18or other suitable employment, is not "available for suitable employment." An applicant
5.19must be available for daytime employment, if suitable employment is performed during
5.20the daytime, even though the applicant previously worked the night shift.
5.21(e) An applicant must have transportation throughout the labor market area to be
5.22considered "available for suitable employment."
5.23EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective for determinations and appeal
5.24decisions issued on or after the day following final enactment.

5.25 Sec. 6. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 504B.151, is amended to read:
5.29 Subdivision 1. Limitation on lease and notice to tenant. (a) Once a landlord
5.30has received notice of a contract for deed cancellation under section 559.21 or notice of
5.31a mortgage foreclosure sale under chapter 580 or 582, the landlord may only enter into
5.32(i) a periodic residential lease agreement with a term of not more than two months or
5.33the time remaining in the contract cancellation period or the mortgagor's redemption
6.1period, whichever is less or (ii) a fixed term residential tenancy not extending beyond the
6.2cancellation period or the landlord's period of redemption until:
6.3(1) the contract for deed has been reinstated or paid in full;
6.4(2) the mortgage default has been cured and the mortgage reinstated;
6.5(3) the mortgage has been satisfied;
6.6(4) the property has been redeemed from a foreclosure sale; or
6.7(5) a receiver has been appointed.
6.8(b) Before entering into a lease under this section and accepting any rent or security
6.9deposit from a tenant, the landlord must notify the prospective tenant in writing that the
6.10landlord has received notice of a contract for deed cancellation or notice of a mortgage
6.11foreclosure sale as appropriate, and the date on which the contract cancellation period or
6.12the mortgagor's redemption period ends. The landlord must also inform the prospective
6.13tenant of the tenant's right to continued utility services if the landlord defaults on utility
6.14payments during the foreclosure process.
6.15(c) This section does not apply to a manufactured home park as defined in section
6.16327C.01, subdivision 5 .
6.17 Subd. 2. Exception allowing a longer term lease. This section Subdivision 1
6.18does not apply if:
6.19(1) the holder or the mortgagee agrees not to terminate the tenant's lease other than
6.20for lease violations for at least one year from the commencement of the tenancy; and
6.21(2) the lease does not require the tenant to prepay rent for any month commencing
6.22after the end of the cancellation or redemption period, so that the rent payment would be
6.23due prior to the end of the cancellation or redemption period.
6.24For the purposes of this section, a holder means a contract for deed vendor or a
6.25holder of the sheriff's certificate of sale or any assignee of the contract for deed vendor or
6.26of the holder of the sheriff's certificate of sale.
6.27 Subd. 3. Transfer of tenancy by operation of law. (a) A tenant who enters into a
6.28lease under subdivision 2 is:
6.29(1) deemed by operation of law to become the tenant of the holder immediately upon
6.30the holder succeeding to the interest of the landlord under the lease; and
6.31(2) bound to the holder under all the provisions of the lease for either the balance of
6.32the lease term or for one year after the start of the tenancy, whichever occurs first.
6.33(b) A tenant who becomes the tenant of the holder under this subdivision is not
6.34obligated to pay rent to the holder until the holder mails, by first class mail to the tenant at
6.35the property address, written notice that the holder has succeeded to the interest of the
7.1landlord. A letter from the holder to the tenant to that effect is prima facie evidence that
7.2the holder has succeeded to the interest of the landlord.
7.3 Subd. 4. Holder not bound by certain acts. A holder succeeding to an interest in
7.4a lease lawfully entered into under subdivision 2 is not:
7.5(1) liable for any act or omission of any prior landlord;
7.6(2) subject to any offset or defense which the tenant had against any prior landlord; or
7.7(3) bound by any modification of the lease entered into under subdivision 2, unless
7.8the modification is made with the holder's consent.
7.9 Subd. 5. Rights of tenant of foreclosed property. (a) When a holder takes over a
7.10rental property as the result of a foreclosure:
7.11(1) a tenant is deemed by operation of law to become the tenant of the holder; and
7.12(2) all leases, verbal or written, and all terms and conditions of those agreements
7.13shall be transferred to the holder.
7.14(b) A holder shall:
7.15(1) maintain as rental property, property that was used as rental property by the
7.17(2) offer renewal leases to tenants of the foreclosed property; and
7.18(3) keep affordable rent levels in place.
7.19 Subd. 6. Eviction. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, a holder must not
7.20begin an eviction action against a tenant without cause.
7.21 Subd. 7. Termination of tenancy. Except for lease violations, a holder must not
7.22terminate the tenancy of a tenant of foreclosed property without cause.
7.23 Subd. 8. Periodic leases. A holder must offer a fixed-term lease option to a tenant
7.24with a periodic lease in place at the time the tenant becomes a tenant of the holder.
7.25 Subd. 9. Applicability. The provisions of subdivisions 5 to 8 apply to all tenants
7.26regardless of when a tenant entered into a rental agreement with the property owner or at
7.27what stage the foreclosure process was in when the rental agreement was entered.

7.28 Sec. 7. [582.33] FORECLOSURE MORATORIUM.
7.29 Subdivision 1. Emergency declared to exist. The legislature of the state of
7.30Minnesota declares that a public economic emergency exists in the state of Minnesota
7.31due to the increase in foreclosure rates. The legislature declares that these conditions
7.32have created a housing emergency that justifies legislation creating a moratorium on
7.33mortgage foreclosures.
7.34 Subd. 2. Court stay. In an action to foreclose a mortgage upon residential property
7.35under chapter 580 or 581, in which a judgment of foreclosure has not been entered by the
8.1effective date of this section, the district court having jurisdiction over the matter, upon
8.2motion of a defendant, shall order the action stayed for two years after the entry of the
8.3stay. The court may order that certain conditions relating to the property are met during
8.4the stay, including, but not limited to, possession of the property, payments by the person
8.5in possession, and preservation of the property.
8.6 Subd. 3. Application. This section applies only to mortgages executed before
8.7the effective date of this section.
8.8EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.

8.11 Subdivision 1. Purpose. Federal law currently provides for a federally funded
8.12extension of unemployment insurance benefits for applicants who have exhausted
8.13entitlement to regular Minnesota unemployment insurance benefits. But, because federal
8.14law contains a special requirement that an applicant has earned a certain amount of base
8.15period insured wages, a significant group of applicants who exhausted their regular
8.16Minnesota unemployment insurance benefits do not qualify for the federally funded
8.17extension. The purpose of this section is to provide a state-funded extension to that group.
8.18 Subd. 2. Eligibility. (a) Special state emergency unemployment insurance benefits
8.19are payable to an applicant who does not qualify for a federally funded extension
8.20of unemployment insurance benefits solely because the applicant does not meet the
8.21requirement under section 4001(d)(2)(a) of the federal Supplemental Appropriations
8.22Act of 2008 that an applicant have wage credits of not less than 40 times the applicant's
8.23weekly benefit amount.
8.24(b) Except as provided in paragraph (a), all requirements for federally funded
8.25extended unemployment benefits and all requirements of Minnesota Statutes, chapter
8.26268, must be met in order for the applicant to be eligible for special state emergency
8.27unemployment insurance benefits.
8.28(c) Special state emergency unemployment insurance benefits are payable in the
8.29same amounts, the same duration, and for the same time period as provided for under the
8.30federal Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2008, and any later amendments, but shall
8.31be no less than 13 times the applicant's weekly special state emergency unemployment
8.32insurance benefit amount.
8.33 Subd. 3. Payment from trust fund. Special state emergency unemployment
8.34insurance benefits are payable from the Minnesota unemployment insurance trust fund.
8.35Special state emergency unemployment insurance benefits will not be used in computing
9.1the future unemployment insurance tax rate of a taxpaying employer nor will they be
9.2charged to the reimbursing account of government or nonprofit employers.
9.3 Subd. 4. Expiration. This section expires on June 30, 2010, and no benefits shall be
9.4paid under this section for a week beginning after that date.
9.5EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the Sunday following final enactment
9.6and applies only to weeks of unemployment after that date.

9.8 Subdivision 1. Establishment. The commissioner of employment and economic
9.9development shall develop and implement a jobs creation grant program to make grants
9.10available to cities and towns for public and private projects that will generate new jobs
9.11and produce a stronger state economy.
9.12 Subd. 2. Fund distribution. In distributing funds, the commissioner shall give
9.13priority consideration to projects that are available to begin immediately and to projects
9.14that promote environmental sustainability and a green economy.
9.15 Subd. 3. Funding. To the extent that the commissioner receives funds for this
9.16purpose in fiscal year 2009, funding for the jobs creation grant program shall be done
9.17through federal stimulus dollars. If federal stimulus dollars are not available, funds shall
9.18come from state sources.
9.19 Subd. 4. Appropriation. $....... is appropriated from the general fund to the
9.20commissioner of employment and economic development to develop and implement
9.21a jobs creation grant program. This appropriation is only available if federal stimulus
9.22dollars are not available. This appropriation is available until expended.
9.23EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.

9.25For the 2010 and 2011 biennium, in order to prevent increased unemployment and to
9.26protect jobs, the legislature shall not mandate layoffs of state employees, including, but
9.27not limited to, employees of the University of Minnesota.
9.28EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Please direct all comments concerning issues or legislation
to your House Member or State Senator.
For Legislative Staff or for directions to the Capitol, visit the Contact Us page.
General questions or comments.
last updated: 01/30/2009

Again, thanking you for having the moral and political courage in standing up and fighting for the rights and livelihoods of Minnesota's working class, and for having the common sense and intelligence to know that we cannot spend our way out of this economic crisis; rather, understanding and explaining that for working people and the working class the way out of this crisis, and the way to a better future, will be found in working our way out of this crisis.

In full support of your leadership in bringing forward The People's Bailout--- Senate File 542...

For a living wage job, justice and equality along with a voice at work for each and every worker in Minnesota...

On behalf of Minnesota's 30,000 workers in the Indian Gaming Industry organizing and struggling to survive while employed in smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages, without any rights under state or federal labor laws...


Alan L. Maki
Director of Organizing,
Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council

Posted by Alan L. Maki