Revealed: Democracy Alliance Member Nick Hanauer Crafted Seattle Minimum Wage

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Hanauer is now at the center of a lawsuit filed by the International Franchise Association.

 reports: Radical venture capitalist Nick Hanauer served on a city advisory committee that eventually produced the legislation boosting minimum wages to $15 per hour. The legislation takes special aim at franchisees, forcing them to adopt higher wages than other small businesses under a shorter timeframe.

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“The truth is that franchises like Subway and McDonald’s really are not very good for our local economy. They are economically extractive, civically corrosive and culturally dilutive.”

— Hanauer, in an email obtained by the association

Hanauer, a private-jet-owning multi-millionaire who once had a speech scrubbed from the TED conference website for being “too political,” is a member of the Democracy Alliance, a shadowy collection of liberal millionaires and billionaires that funnels money into Democratic causes.

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The group has pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into various liberal foundations, Media Matters, and Democratic super PAC Priorities USA. The group is secretive and does not divulge membership rolls, fundraising goals, or allow reporters at its annual meetings.

“Franchising has been under intense scrutiny by union activists and hostile labor regulators in recent weeks.”

Hanauer is now at the center of a lawsuit filed by the International Franchise Association to overturn the law, according to the Seattle Times.

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Wealth Destruction: Target Franchises.

“The truth is that franchises like Subway and McDonald’s really are not very good for our local economy. They are economically extractive, civically corrosive and culturally dilutive,” Hanauer wrote in an email obtained by the association.

The business group claims that the law is discriminatory because many franchisees are themselves small business owners akin to mom and pop shops. Franchisees pay licensing and other fees to large corporations to operate under the company umbrella, but the vast majority are independently owned and manage their own affairs. Read the rest of this entry »


Workplace Democracy Gets Ambushed

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The National Labor Relations Board’s new election rule runs roughshod over the rights of nonunion workers.

Peter Schaumber writes: You may have heard of the National Labor Relations Board’s new “ambush election” rule—so-called because it hurriedly schedules union elections within as little as two weeks, depriving employers of the time needed to learn about the union and express their views to employees.

But what you may not know is that the rule requires an employer to provide union organizers with the personal cellphone numbers and email addresses of its employees before they vote in a union election. So much for the right to privacy.

It doesn’t seem to matter to the Obama-era NLRB that a worker may have provided this personal information on condition that it be kept confidential and used only in an emergency. Read the rest of this entry »


Rich Lowry: ‘Obama’s Hilarious Lawlessness’

Don’t miss Rich Lowry‘s Politico column today:

President Barack Obama styles himself a wit, and some of his best material lately has to do with his abuse of his powers.

“Middle-class families can’t wait for Republicans in Congress to do stuff,” Obama told a crowd on the Georgetown Waterfront on JulyRich-Lowry 1. “So sue me.” Hilarity ensued.

He cracked them up in Austin last week. “You hear some of them,” he said, referring to Republicans, “‘sue him,’ ‘impeach him.’ Really? Really? For what? You’re going to sue me for doing my job?”

He must have killed in a private meeting last month with activists who were pushing him to waive more immigration laws. According to POLITICO, the president resorted to one his favorite comic riffs: “You’re not going to get me impeached, are you?”

One can only imagine the comedic possibilities in his 9-0 defeat in the Supreme Court in June for his blatantly abusive recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board or any of the court’s other recent unanimous rebukes of his executive overreach.

It takes a truly blithe spirit to play the constitutional deformation of his office, and the ensuing congressional reaction, for laughs…(more)

National Review Online – Politico


Obstructionism is Patriotic

Screen-Shot-2014-06-27-at-1.46.28-AM-246x300Michelle Malkin writes: Three cheers for right-wing obstructionism. Can we have more, please, and louder?

This week’s unanimous Supreme Court ruling on President Obama’s illegal recess appointments is a double smackdown. First, it’s a rebuke against arrogant White House power-grabbers who thought they could act with absolute impunity and interminable immunity. Second, the ruling is a reproach of all the establishment pushovers on Capitol Hill who put comity above constitutional principle.

In a nutshell: The high court determined that Obama lawlessly exceeded his executive authority when he foisted three members onto the National Labor Relations Board in 2012, during what Democrats declared was a phony-baloney Senate “recess.” In reality, the Senate was holding pro forma sessions over winter break precisely to prevent such circumvention. The ability to convene pro forma sessions is a power retained in both the House and Senate. It’s a time-honored, constitutionally protected tradition.

No matter. Our imperial president and his crafty lawyers declared that the Senate wasn’t in business despite the Senate’s declaration that it was, and the White House rammed through the appointments of Terence Flynn, Richard Griffin and Sharon Block while the Senate took a brief weekend break in between the pro forma sessions. The steamrolling gave the NLRB a quorum — and a green light to issue hundreds and hundreds of legally suspect decisions. Read the rest of this entry »


NPR Struggles to Defend Obama in Supreme Court Defeat: ‘In Narrow Ruling’… ‘Least Significant Loss Possible…’

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On the radio this afternoon, in my car, I heard this opener on NPR:

“In a technically-unianimous” ruling…”

Which I think accurately reflects the tone for how the Left Wing Media will be covering today’s news. To be fair…NPR is technically a news organization.

To insert the word “technically” in the lead sentence in their main news broadcast coverage of the Supreme court decision is bias bullshit political cover predictable spin from an organization whose executives, managers, and employees have been exposed as donors to Obama’s campaign. Note: A Supreme court decision is either unanimous, or it isn’t.

In NPR’s web version of the news report the word “unanimous”, thankfully, stands all by itself, with no fabric softener, no qualifier, no soothing delegitimizer.

In a unanimous ruling, the justices said the Constitution’s recess-appointments clause gave Congress the power to decide when it is in recess, and that there was no recess when Obama acted. The case is National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning…

…but it only takes a few paragraphs for NPR to assert its view of the (in)significance of the ruling. Quoting an obscure fragment dug up from an AP report to help fortify the validity of NPR’s sullen attitude:

As The Associated Press notes, “[T]he outcome was the least significant loss possible for the administration. The justices, by a 5-4 vote, rejected a sweeping lower court ruling against the administration that would have made it virtually impossible for any future president to make recess appointments.”…(read more) NPR


Obama Administration Wants to Require Companies to Give Workers’ Numbers, Addresses to Unions Before Labor Elections

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For  The Daily CallerPatrick Howley reports: The Obama administration is poised to change regulations to allow for union “ambush elections” in which workers have less time to decide whether or not to join a union — and in which workers’ phone numbers and home addresses are provided to unions.

The administration’s National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) proposed rules would allow for union elections — in which workers at a company vote whether or not to unionize — to be held 10 days after a petition is filed. And what, exactly, would be happening to the unions during those 10 days? The new rules require employers to disclose workers’ personal information, including phone numbers, home addresses, and information about when they work their shifts.

Insiders close to the situation believe the new rules will almost certainly go into effect with few or no fundamental changes. Read the rest of this entry »


Promises, Promises: The 180-Degree Legal Transformation of Barack Obama

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Obama once disparaged presidents who use executive action to bypass Congress. How quickly things change…

Tom Rogan writes:  Few politicians are disciples of truth. But when it comes to President Obama and executive power, the gap between rhetoric and reality is truly astonishing. The candidate who once promised a presidency of humility is long gone. Instead, this president has defined his administration by a naked and extreme exertion of executive power. And now he’s been caught.

In its unanimous ruling late last week that the president’s non-recess appointment of three officials to the National Labor Relations Board was unconstitutional, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals didn’t pull any punches. Unfortunately, the court’s ruling is a little late. For the past four years, Obama’s executive authority has been restrained only by the limits of the president’s imagination.

Of course, unilateral executive action is not new. George W. Bush was hardly an infrequent fan of executive orders. Nonetheless, Obama is worse — if not in quantity, than at least in quality. Just look at the record.

Read the rest of this entry »


Bench Update: Supreme Court Poised to Stick a Fork in Obama’s Recess Appointments

U.S. President Barack Obama holds a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington July 15, 2011. Obama on Friday said he would not support a $2.4 trillion plan to reduce the federal deficit without some tax hikes to increase revenues. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS HEADSHOT)

“Wait..wait..strike down..okay now, hold on..”          REUTERS/Larry Downing

Ken Klukowski writes: On Monday, the Supreme Court heard arguments regarding whether President Barack Obama’s appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) are unconstitutional. The case will probably be a lopsided defeat for the president, with his own Supreme Court appointees expressing deep skepticism of the Justice Department‘s arguments.

If the Court goes the route it signaled during argument, all the rulings and regulations from that powerful body over a period of a couple years will be declared illegal, at least temporarily until a new Board can reconsider them.

Read the rest of this entry »


The Age of Obama: A Stronger Government And A Weaker America.

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DAILY BEAST: The Age of Obama: A Stronger Government And A Weaker America. Well, that’s been the plan all along.

What does Obama get in return for his push for big government? A government that loves him back. Unlike the financial, insurance and real-estate industries that have been fickle about him — showering him with hosannas and cash in 2008, while offering a relative trickle of support in 2012—Obama remains the living end for government workers.

IRS employees donated to Obama over Romney by a 4-to-1 margin, IRS attorneys favored Obama by 20-to-1, and government lawyers at the National Labor Relations Board and the Department of Education shut out the Romney campaign completely. The federal bureaucracy had effectively lined up against nearly half the country.

Meanwhile, the White House press secretary dissembles daily; the intelligence community appears incapable of delivering a complete and truthful answer to Congress, and IRS employees apparently enjoyed a giant tax payer funded party catered by Wolfgang Puck.

Given this totality, public distrust of Washington should come as no surprise.

For the record, spending $2.4 million on an Olympics-themed confab, complete with an open bar while America’s housing market was crashing, is not prudent. Using credit cards to buy bottles of wine and $140 dinners is not what we want from the IRS’s green-eyeshade brigade. Trust, what’s that?

via Instapundit.


Obama’s Dangerous Contempt for the Rule of Law

By Ramesh Ponnuru – May 27, 2013

Whatever the investigation into misconduct at the Internal Revenue Service reveals, we already have all the evidence we need to understand President Barack Obama’s fundamental attitude toward the rule of law. That evidence is right there in the public record, and what it shows is indifference and contempt.

The Constitution gives the president the power to appoint officials to fill vacancies when the Senate isn’t in session. In 2012, Obama made such “recess appointments” to the National Labor Relations Board and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — even though the Senate had stayed in session precisely to keep him from doing so.

Obama’s lawyers argued that the Senate wasn’t really in session even though it claimed to be: It was going through the motions to block Obama, but it wasn’t taking up bills or nominations. No previous president had ever tried this maneuver, and an appeals court has just ruled that it was unconstitutional.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the sweeping health-care law that Obama signed in 2010, asks state governments to set up health exchanges, and authorizes the federal government to provide tax credits to people who use those exchanges to get insurance. But most states have refused to establish the online marketplaces, and both the tax credits and many of the law’s penalties can’t go into effect until the states act.

Obama’s IRS has decided it’s going to apply the tax credits and penalties in states that refuse, even without statutory authorization. During the recent scandal over the IRS’s harassment of conservative groups, many Republicans have warned that the IRS can’t be trusted with the new powers that the health law will give the agency. They are wrong about the verb tense: It has already abused those powers…

…More via Bloomberg