April Showers bring May Flowers on the month’s ides. Let’s get to it as some of this news is not making the media conglomerates due to revelations of Trump’s continued incompetence as the commander-in-chief.
From the Observer, Mike Sainato reports:
On May 12, CBS reported another class action lawsuit was filed against the DNC for stiffing dozens of field organizers all over the country for overtime work during the 2016 election while the DNC gave out $1 million in bonuses, including more than $300,000 to Democratic National Convention Host Committee Executive Director Kevin Washo. The lawsuit was filed by Justin Swidler of Cherry Hill, N.J. on behalf of 40 to 50 field organizers against the DNC, Pennsylvania state Democrats, and five other state Democratic Parties. “These workers were out there in a campaign that was promising $15 an hour minimum wage and expanding the overtime rights of workers,” Swidler told CBS. He added the lawsuit seeks “fair pay for fair work” and to hold the Democratic Party accountable to the ideals it markets itself with.
Chair of the Democratic National Convention Host Committee and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell alleged that the Democratic National Convention was separate from the operations noted in the lawsuit. Many of the plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit worked 80 to 90 hours a week for Hillary Clinton’s campaign and were compensated only $3,000 a month.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that although Rendell claimed the large bonus to the Executive Director Kevin Washo was in part due to volunteer work before the convention, they found that Washo, who was vice president of the political consulting firm New Partners, was paid $243,000 to help Philadelphia win the bid to host the Democratic National Convention. At the same time, Washo was paid a salary by the consulting firm and received a monthly salary of $13,000 from the Democratic National Comittee. “We might have double-paid him. I’ll have to check into it. That’s interesting,” Rendell told the publication on May 12. He also claimed that no Democratic Party donors should be upset over the bonuses. “No donor did this out of the kindness of their heart. They all wanted access,” he said. “They got exactly what they donated for. No donor should feel cheated.”
And that isn’t all. In response to the revelations about the bonuses, Pennsylvania State Senator Joe Scarnati requested an audit by the state’s independent auditor.
Some of us are still wondering about those seats that were possibly sold to the public to take up Sanders delegates’ seats on the convention floor when the walk outs were going on last July. Isn’t it coincidental (or likely not) that this afternoon Clinton unveiled to her former campaign donors her
Ownward Onward Together PAC to work with organizations such as Swing Left, Indivisible Team, Color of Change, Emerge America, and Run for Something today. Howard Dean will be a primary leader to work with these “like minded groups.” Direct funding is also available to amplify the work, according to The Hill.
In other news…
Sanders has endorsed two candidates running in this Tuesday’s Los Angeles school board race, which has pitted Democrats’ labor movement allies, who support traditional public schools, against prominent corporate moguls who have pressed the party to embrace privately run charter schools.
“Billionaires should not make a profit off of public school children,” Sanders said in a statement. “That’s why I’m supporting Steve Zimmer and Imelda Padilla for the Los Angeles School Board. They will fight against the Trump/DeVos agenda to destabilize and undermine public schools.”
A longtime ally of the labor movement, Sanders is backing the two candidates who are supported by the local teachers union in a race that could shift control of the nation’s second largest school district. The Sanders candidates are opposed by attorney Nick Melvoin and teacher Kelly Gonez, who support charter schools and whose candidacies have been backed by millions of dollars from groups funded by (among others) Walmart heir Alice Walton, Netflix founder Reed Hastings and real estate magnate Eli Broad.
While the election is local, the outside money flooding into the race shows the stakes are high. The powerful Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education oversees a school district with nearly 640,000 students and a $7.6 billion budget — in a Democratic city that has become a key battleground in the fight over whether to strengthen traditional public schools or move more of the public education system under private control.
Following up to an op-ed in the WaPo which criticized Sanders’ drug importation bill as it would be a regulatory burden to Canada, Dean Baker penned in Common Dreams today that Canada has the capability to expand the size of its agency by imposing a small tax on the drugs to pay for the inspection but still sell them cheaper to American markets.
Of course, Ms. Aglukkaq is correct that this is not a good solution to the problem of making drugs affordable in the U.S. We should be looking for alternatives to supporting research through government granted patent monopolies, as Senator Sanders has been doing. Along with Sherrod Brown and 15 other Democratic senators, Sanders has proposed money for a prize fund which would buy up the patents for approved drugs and put them in the public domain so that they could be sold at their free market price.
The bill also proposes that the government pay for the clinical testing of new drugs. The test results would be in the public domain, which would enormously benefit researchers and doctors when deciding which drugs to prescribe. And, the approved drug would also be available at free market prices.
The big problem is that, while drugs are cheap, patent monopolies make them expensive. Unfortunately, the Washington Post doesn’t like people pointing things like this out on its opinion page. (It is probably worth mentioning that the Post gets large amounts of advertising revenue from drug companies.)
(Kudos to Polarbear4 who wondered if this might be possible)
The information the president relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said.
The partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russia, and officials said Trump’s decision to do so endangers cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State. After Trump’s meeting, senior White House officials took steps to contain the damage, placing calls to the CIA and the National Security Agency.
— Lee Camp [Redacted] (@LeeCamp) May 15, 2017