Joe Kenehan Center

Saturday, October 05, 2002
What Would Willie Do?

Check out Adam Gopnik’s enlightening profile of Willie Nelson in the current New Yorker.

Johnny Cash gets all the acclaim with the handsomely packaged re-release of his Columbia catalog and his recent Rick Rubin projects, but Willie has also put out a number of good records lately (as long as you ignore the embarrassingly awful Great Divide, Willie’s album from the beginning of this year).

Friday, October 04, 2002
The More They Stay the Same

Congressional Republicans are going back to basics: working hard to coddle powerful corporations. Embattled SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt was considering supporting TIAA-CREF executive John Biggs to head a new accounting oversight board, but now that Big Accounting and its Republican lackeys are yelping in protest he’s backing away.

The accounting industry is touting a hand-picked candidate who's described as someone who in the past “has been very loyal to the profession and maybe was a little reluctant to meet the profession head on.”

Go Lula, Go Lula

Will Lula get 50 percent?

Thursday, October 03, 2002
Sweden on the West Coast

Check out Nathan Newman on the big momentum shift in the land of Nixon and Reagan. The Los Angeles Times goes back to find out how the United Farmworkers persuaded Gov. Davis to ignore agribusiness’ fierce objections and sign farm labor reform legislation.

Oh, That Income

Washington State Sen. Joe Zarelli has had a rough week. First, word leaked out that Zarelli, a conservative Republican, didn’t bother to mention his $32,800 legislative salary when he filed for unemployment after getting laid off from his day job. Zarelli insisted that this is no big deal because other legislators do this sort of thing all the time. But it turns out that‘s not true.

None of this is coming at a good time for Zarelli's run for Congress against Rep. Brian Baird.

Labor and the Party of Lincoln

The Forward’s take on unions reaching out to the GOP.

Workplace News Roundup

California farmworkers like Baudelio Aguayo and Jose Garcia explain why it's important that Gray Davis signed a bill to prod agribusiness to conduct real negotiations with the people who work the fields, David Bacon files an update on the West Coast port lockout in the American Prospect, and Boston Herald columnist Margary Eagan explores the rat factor in Boston’s janitor strike.

Shame on the Weekly

The LA Weekly’s effort to stop its advertising staff from uniting with the paper’s journalists in a union succeeded, unfortunately. It’s all too common a result when an employer decides to interfere with its employees’ right to form a union.

Management says that now it’s time to heal, but Erin Aubry-Kaplan -- one of the Weekly’s best writers and president of the journalists’ union -- says it‘s more complicated than that: "I'm not interested in healing, because it just sounds like a cover-up. I'm interested in the issues, and they are not resolved. This isn't going to die. This campaign was a defining moment for us because it showed people here in their true light as nothing has before. We assumed the paper stood for certain things, and it turns out not all of it does."

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

West Coast ports are shut down because the ILWU is locked out. Conservatives urge Bush to rattle the Taft-Hartley saber, while the predictably anti-worker Seattle Times editorial page lectures Longshore workers to get with the program and understand that the march of progress means destroying good jobs.

Janitors in downtown Beantown are on strike. You can support them here.

The GOP and the Unions

From the American Prospect . . . David Bacon writes about Bush's efforts to use the war as a political weapon against the labor movement. Harold Meyerson on the markedly different reasons why some unions are reaching out to a few Republican officials.

Gray Did The Right Thing

Give California’s Governor at least a little credit. In the past week Gray Davis signed legislation to strengthen farmworkers' ability to negotiate with their employers, an innovative new family leave bill, and set first-of-their kinds rules to establish minimum staffing levels for nurses in hospitals.