Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Minnesota Senate File 607; First step in saving the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant

SF 607, or Senate File 607, has become one of the most controversial issues in the State of Minnesota; why?

SF 607 is also known as: "Motor vehicle manufacturing plant maintenance requirement"

Workers are for SF 607; big-business is opposed to SF 607.


Because it takes the power out of the hands of the corporation: The Ford Motor Company.

SF 607 is the legislation that was brought forward at the urging of United Auto Workers union Local 879 representing the two-thousand workers employed at the huge, sprawling St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant which has long been the foundation on Minnesota's industrial base, a major contributor to making the surrounding communities of St. Paul and Minneapolis along the Mississippi River thriving communities.

Ford announced plans to close this Plant and UAW International President Ron Gettelfinger,

together with Bob King who heads up the UAW's National Ford bargaining unit,

colluded with company management to exclude Ford workers and the people of the Twin Cities from the decision making process.

Workers who created the wealth which Wall Street coupon clippers banked were without a voice at work in the decision making process.

For over eighty years Minnesotans bank-rolled Ford Motor Company's entire operation with tax-abatements, tax-credits, and outright subsidies for the manufacturing plant and the hydro dam which completely powered the operation for free creating two-thousand jobs; and, this wasn't even enough for the Ford Motor Company, which insisted the tax-payers create a super-modern, state-of-the art training center to the tune of over thirty-million dollars which still isn't paid for.

Real-estate speculators, architects, contractors, bankers and a variety of investment firms have moved in like vultures over road-kill all wanting a piece of the action when the wrecking-ball hits.

Red Lake Gaming Enterprises has even indicated they want to place a huge new casino, the largest and most elegant in Minnesota, along the River Front as part of the "green, upscale, yuppie, racially segregated community" which the Ford Site Planning Committee and Task Force is calling for.

Heading up the efforts to bring an end to over eighty years of industrial manufacturing at the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant now manufacturing Ranger pick-up trucks is the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce and the "Summit Hill Crowd" along with the "Business Caucus" of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party.

Mark Moeller of R.F. Moeller Jeweler, Inc. from the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce is their lead spokesman in opposing SF 607.

Here is the information on SF 607:

Legislative Session number- 85

Bill Name: SF0607

Requiring a closed motor vehicle manufacturing plant (Ford) and related facilities to be maintained for a certain period of time after operation discontinuation for purposes of finding a new owner and operator



S.F. No. 607, as introduced - 85th Legislative Session (2007-2008)

Posted on Feb 06, 2007

1.1 A bill for an act

1.2 relating to economic development; requiring a closed motor vehicle

1.3 manufacturing plant and related facilities to be maintained for a period of time;

1.4 proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 116J.




1.8 When the owner or operator of a motor vehicle manufacturing or assembly plant

1.9 determines to discontinue the operation of the plant for any reason, the owner or operator

1.10 must maintain the plant and any related facilities [this includes the hydro dam--- ALM]in salable operating condition for at least

1.11 two years after it discontinues operation in order to allow the state of Minnesota and other

1.12 interested public and private bodies to seek a new owner and operator. This requirement is

1.13 enforceable on all owners and operators and successors of owners and operators and shall

1.14 be enforced by the state in any action in bankruptcy or other litigation that may affect it.

1.15 Sec. 2. EFFECTIVE DATE.

1.16 Section 1 is effective the day following final enactment.

DFL Senator Jim Metzen, a vice-president of Key Community Bank, failed to get SF 607 through the Senate Committee on Business, Industry and Jobs which he Chairs where there is a DFL majority (11 Democrats; 7 Republicans).

Senator Metzen and his DFL colleagues on this Committee now have the opportunity to revisit this issue and bring it forward for reconsideration in the upcoming Legislative Session scheduled to begin February 12, 2008.

During the first vote where the DFL members of this Committee shamefully voted down this very simple and uncontroversial--- to working people--- piece of legislation aimed at saving two-thousand union jobs, there was no ACCOUNTABILITY; there was no roll-call vote so there is no record of how these Senators voted.

Senator Metzen as the Chair of this Committee should now have a very intense discussion with his colleagues on this Committee and explain to them that this is an election year.

The local leadership of the United Auto Workers union has been abandoned by their International Union, its President Ron Gettelfinger and the head of its Ford Bargaining Unit Bob King. As a result, the UAW Local 879 leadership will have to bring the membership into full action in support of SF 607 which it encouraged Senator Cohen to draft and support.

The UAW Local 879 leadership made a fatal error the first time around in ignoring the very first rule of trade union political activity: Always Bring A Crowd.

This time around the Local 879 leadership must see to it that every active member, every retiree together with their family members turns out when SF 607 comes up in the Senate Committee on Business, Industry and Jobs so these bankers and lawyers can look into the faces of all those who are being hurt by the callous decision of the Ford Motor Company to abandon the Twin Cities and take the wrecking ball to the plant as they try to sell the hydro dam to add to their profits.

The Ford Motor Company is intending to give Minnesota tax-payers one more "kick in the ass" before leaving the Twin Cities as this money-grubbing company leaves the rubble of the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant behind--- millions of dollars of debt yet to be paid, for a Plant which will no longer exist.

It is clear for all to see: Minnesota Legislators have a fiduciary responsibility to the tax-payers to see to it that our investment is protected by passing SF 607.

Here are the names and telephone numbers of the Senators on the Committee on Business, Industry and Jobs... they need to hear from YOU.

Here are their names and phone numbers (direct calls to their offices insisting on a written response is best--- they all have voice mail so you can call them day or night):

Please tell them you would like a written response to these two questions:

1. How did you vote on SF 607?

2. Will you consider moving to reconsider SF 607 in the upcoming legislative session as is being recommended by Chair James Metzen?

Attaining the answers to these questions will be a real eye-opener and education for everyone as to how these people conduct the peoples’ business on such an important issue.

Senator James Metzen, Chair: 651-296-4370 ; Home: 651-451-0174

Lisa Sarne is Senator Metzen’s Legislative Assistant: lisa.sarne@senate.mn

United Automobile Worker Local 879 helped initiate this legislation… contact: Bob Killeen, Secretary-Treasurer: rjkuaw879@yahoo.com

Senator Kathy Saltzman, Vice Chair: 651-296-4166

Senator Tom Bakk: 651-296-8881

Senator Terri Bonoff: 651-296-4314

Senator Jim Carlson: 651-297-8073

Senator Ron Latz: 651-296-8065

Senator Steve Murphy: 651-296-4264

Senator Linda Scheid: 651-296-8869

Senator Rod Skoe: 651-296-4196

Senator Dan Sparks: 651-296-9248

Senator David Tomassoni: 651-296-8017

Here are the Republican members for what its worth…


Senator Dick Day: 651-296-9457

Senator Chris Gerlach: 651-296-4120

Senator Joe Gimse: 651-296-3826

Senator Amy Koch: 651-296-5981

Senator Geoff Michel: 651-296-6238

Senator Thomas Neuville: 651-296-1279

Senator Julie Rosen: 651-296-5713

Let me know how these Senators respond to your calls to them. Our movement to save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant/hydro dam and two-thousand jobs also requires accountability.

Mark Moeller of R.F. Moeller Jeweler, Inc. has been the lead spokesman for the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce in opposition to SF 607. After selling engagement and wedding rings to Ford workers for over fifty years, making millions of dollars from Ford workers, Mark Moeller now has the audacity to call for the destruction of this Ford Plant and two-thousand jobs because he sees an even more lucrative market coming from the upscale, yuppie community planned to take the place of the Ford Plant. A boycott of Moeller Jewelers, Inc. is definitely something which should be considered. R.F. Moeller Jewelers, Inc. is just a few short walking blocks up the hill from the Ford Plant on Ford Parkway.

Perhaps during the Republican National Convention there should be a picket line stretching from the gates of the Ford Plant to R.F. Moeller Jewelers, Inc. Something to consider. A picket line from 2 pm to 6pm.

This is the listing of the officers of the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce. A number of people are now suggesting that their businesses--- or a selected business like R.F. Moeller Jewelers, Inc.--- should be boycotted. What do you think?

Executive Committee; St. Paul Chamber of Commerce

Ted H. Lillie
Lillie Suburban Newspapers

Mark Mishek
Chair Elect
United Hospital

Dan Foote
Immediate Past Chair

Kristofer Johnson
Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce

Bonnie Bennett
Adventium Labs

Alex C. Cirillo Jr.

Mark Ellson
Ergotron, Inc.

Song Fawcett
Kelly & Fawcett

Paula Howard
Goff & Howard, Inc.

Lisa Humphreys
UBS Financial Services

Sanjay Kuba
GCI Systems, Inc.

Diane Thormodsgard
US Bank

Jim Westerhaus
Ecolab Inc.

Pam Wheelock
Minnesota Wild

Bill Wright

Board of Directors; St. Paul Chamber of Commerce

Tanya Bell
Wellington Management

Shane Boyd

Mark Dienhart, Ph.D
University of St. Thomas

Gerald Faletti
Lethert, Skwira, Schultz & Co.

Bill Foussard
Best Western White Bear Country Inn

Lori Fritts
Midway Chamber of Commerce

Archie Givens
Legacy Management and Development Corporation

Sherry Hastings
Frauenshuh, Inc.

Bill Kaphing
Xcel Energy Inc.

Susan G. Kratz
Moore, Costello & Hart, P.L.L.P.

Gloria Lewis
Big Brothers/Big Sisters Greater Twin Cities

Jaci Meyer
State Farm Insurance -- Jaci Meyer

Mark Moeller
R.F. Moeller Jeweler, Inc.

Tom Nardini
Nardini Fire Equipment Company, Inc.

Chuck Paton
Morrissey Hospitality Companies, LLC

Altin Paulson
Marketplace Productions, LLC

Gino Pitera

Joe Richburg
Keystone Computer Solutions

Ernie Scroeder
Schroeder Company, Inc.

Tony Schwartz
Beacon Properties

Daniel Scott
Larson -- King, LLP

Bruce Shay
Securian Financial Group

Joan Siewert-Cardona
Ideal Printers, Inc.

Steve Snelling
T.K. Hill Companies

Mark Stutrud
Summit Brewing

Brian Melendez, the Chair of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party does the dirty work for the "Summit Hill Crowd," the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce, and the MN DFL Business Caucus

MN DFL Chair Melendez has yet to suggest to Senator Metzen and the MN DFL Legislative Caucus that they tour the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant to ask workers how they feel about losing their jobs, and asking if they think the Plant should remain open.

Melendez has refused to initiate discussion of Public Ownership among the MN DFL.

AS has been pointed out, repeatedly, there is no other alternative to keeping the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant in operation and saving two-thousand jobs.

Simply put: Free enterprise has failed Ford workers, the Twin Cities and the State of Minnesota... the heralded "market forces" do not work.

Let us remember in previous elections how DFL State and Federal Legislators boasted that their bailouts and subsidies to the Ford Motor Company saved these jobs... then DFL Gubernatorial Candidate Roger Moe boasted, "The St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant has been an important part of Minnesota's industrial base... Under my leadership as the Senate Majority Leader we saved two-thousand good paying union jobs; because of my leadership this Plant and your union jobs will be here for another seventy-five years."

Today, Roger Moe is supporting Mike Ciresi for United States Senate as is Senator James Metzen... what has happened to the talk of jobs for two-thousand workers at the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant "for the next seventy-five years?"

Today United States Senate Candidate Mike Cerisi talks about the Ford plant, on occasion, when campaigning among working people. However, he hasn't spoken to his friend and supporter James Metzen about getting SF 607 through the Senate Committee on Business, Industry and Jobs which Metzen Chairs. Nor has Cerisi confronted the idea that Public Ownership is the last remedy for consideration if two-thousand good paying union jobs are going to be saved.

How can it be that tax-payers' money was invested under the guise of keeping this Plant in operation for another "seventy-five years" as these same legislators refuse to protect the investment Minnesotans have made in this Plant? Where is the "fiduciary" responsibility of these public officials?