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 31, 2010

Red Lake forum: DFL candidates pledge to honor treaties, create partnerships

The article below, which appeared in the Bemidji Pioneer Newspaper--- the largest circulation daily newspaper in northern Minnesota, raises a number of very interesting and important questions as well as providing important facts about the racist unemployment and racist poverty plaguing the Red Lake Nation Indian Reservation and other Indian Reservations in Minnesota--- and across the entire United States.
Important to note is none of the candidates were willing to broach the topic of "why" there is this great differential between the unemployment and poverty on Indian Reservations and urban areas with high concentrations of Native American Indians like Minneapolis-St. Paul, Duluth, Detroit Lakes, Warroad, International Falls, Thief River Falls, Mankato, Hinckley.

Very importantly, perhaps not as intended, this article raises questions about the role of the state of Minnesota in Indian Gaming; and, also, the State' role in creating this horrendous unemployment which breeds so much poverty and all the misery associated with poverty--- from homelessness, hunger, disease and crime.

Most incredible, is that we see how completely ignorant these candidates are about what is the source of the EXTREME POVERTY on Indian Reservations; or perhaps they are being allowed to escape an explanation by not being asked by reporters because these candidates would be offended being asked this question knowing that they each have played a role in creating and allowing this shameful and disgraceful poverty to continue unabated when the solutions are at hand and resolving the problem so simple.
The issues of unemployment and poverty, in general, are very complex--- or at least the mainstream media, the politicians and the capitalist sooth-sayers and apologists would have us believe these are complex issues and the reason for the existence of unemployment and poverty exist side-by-side with such tremendous wealth having been created by the working class---- perhaps the discussion is just too controversial for them to under-take; but, the racist unemployment and the racist poverty resulting from institutionalized racism is actually very easy and simple to solve--- so simple to solve, in fact, that these politicians like the ones below--- and their colleagues in positions of decision-making and power can only be called racists because they have refused to solve the unemployment and poverty problems associated with institutionalized racism.
Look at the track records of the candidates below:

Susan Gaertner: as a prosecutor she is responsible for putting more Native American Indians behind bars simply because they can't afford the high prices charged by her colleagues in the legal profession. 

Tom Bakk admits that he saw the tremendous poverty of Native Americans living all around him; yet, what did he do as a leader of the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Unions in Minnesota? He helped to exclude Native American Indians from membership in his own and other unions... and, then, if this wasn't bad enough, he helped orchestrate highly illegal "sweetheart contracts and deals" with the Indian Gaming Industry where members of his union and others could purchase jobs on casino construction projects which by-and-large have excluded Native American Indians from these good jobs with very good pay and extremely good benefits.

Mayor R.T. Rybak is a very special phenomenon when it comes to these candidates as he has fought tooth and nail against implementation of affirmative action in hiring in the City of Minneapolis.

And then we have John Marty, the slick and sophisticated middle class racist and bigot who likes to conduct survey after survey doing study after study to find out how extensive poverty is among Native American people. Senator Marty, like all the other candidates appearing at this forum are fully aware of the controversy now swirling around the Bemidji Regional Event Center... affectionately known in these parts as "the BREC." This is the high-priced boon-doggle forced upon tax-payers, who happen to have among their ranks--- surprise, surprise, Native American Indians who pay taxes but weren't employed in the planning and design, aren't being employed in the construction of the BREC and aren't being considered for the management, staffing or maintaining the BREC... because of the historic and continuing institutionalized racism in the City of Bemidji, Beltrami County and surrounding political subdivisions.

It is interesting to note, that in this article it mentions that only two women are vying for governor of Minnesota--- but, what is not mentioned, even though the event is held on an Indian Reservation, is that among the more than 20 candidates seeking to become Minnesota's next Governor--- there is not one single Native American Indian in the race nor any person of color.
Nor, does the article mention that there isn't one single Native American Indian sitting among Minnesota's more than 200 state legislators in either the House or Senate; nor does this article mention there isn't one single Native American among Minnesota's Congressional delegation in the U.S. House or U.S. Senate.
There is one Native American Indian sitting on the Beltrami County Board of Commissioners; retired Minnesota Highway Patrol Officer Quentin Fairbanks whose heart acts up every time he is asked to initiate action to enforce affirmative action but then he manages to recover in time to run for re-election.

There is only ONE solution to the institutionalized racism bred unemployment and poverty--- and this solution is the strict enforcement of affirmative action.
If anyone else knows of any other solution, other than affirmative action in hiring, to the unemployment and poverty bred by institutionalized racism, I would like to hear the suggestion and I am sure lots of people without jobs or income would like to hear the answer, too.
For years, the City of Bemidji has had the "distinction" of being "the most racist city in North America" and its elected and appointed public officials and businesses still hold this title even if they would rather tout that the community is the headwaters of the Mighty Mississippi River, a tourist mecca and home to that great American hero--- Paul Bunyan and his faithful companion Babe--- the big, blue ox.

Bemidji's Mayor and City Manager would just like Native Americans to pay their taxes and remain unseen; or, at least, unheard. Why upset the apple-cart with complaints about bigotry and racism as long as a few rich people have a good thing going for them?

I was prevented from attending this forum because of death threats made against me originating from this telephone number in Red Lake: 218-679-1850. Anyon have any idea where this is located?
So, if I am missing anything or accusing anyone of anything I should not be doing, I make no apologies because I can only go by what I have learned of this gubernatorial forum--- held at the Seven Clans Casino-Red Lake where casino workers are forced to work in a smoke-filled casino receiving poverty wages without the protections all other Minnesota workers enjoy under state and federal labor laws--- from this article in the Bemidji Pioneer Press.
What I find so astounding is that these candidates all say they can't do anything about these most Draconian and deplorable working conditions even though it was they who supported and initiated the "Compacts" creating the Indian Gaming Industry and this situation.

How does John Marty or any of these other candidates like Tom Bakk or Susan Gaertner or R.T. Rybak have the audacity and the unmitigated gall to suggest to the people of Minnesota they are concerned about POVERTY when they are sitting face-to-face with the very casino managements at this forum who are paying their employees poverty wages? Are these candidates so incredibly stupid that they can't figure out that anyone being paid a poverty wage is going to be living in poverty?

How much longer are these politicians going to use ":poverty" as a political football at election time trying to get one up on the other candidates as they each indulge in such racist hypocrisy?

Each of these candidates for governor, and all the rest running, have intentioally evaded this issue because they know and understand the only way out of this racist unemployment and racist poverty is to implement good strong affirmative action in hiring policies--- especialy when it comes to huge public works projects like the Bemidji Regional Event Center where implementing affirmative action in hiring would serve a dual purpose:

1. Provide Native American Indians with jobs they have been historically frozen out of because of this institutionalized racism which so permeates every aspect of life in and around the City of Bemidji; and,

2. Implementing affirmative action would serve to push wages in the casino industry up as would improved working cnditions in a smoke-free BREC where workers will be protected under state and federal labor laws while experiencing and participating in a union organizing drive would serve notice on these casino managements that they are going to have to reconsider their wages and benefits packages in competition with a unionized work-force because, no doubt, if affirmative action is implemented in hiring at the Bemidji Regional Event Center many casino workers will be the first in line to apply for the jobs--- leaving these casino managements forced to offer better wages and working conditions.... because, as has been pointed out, there will be a huge hospitality industry springing up around the BREC and all of these workers will be organizing for union contracts--- hundreds of workers; and, if affirmative action is implemented in this entire hospitality industry springing up around the BREC... here come more Native Amercan Indians quitting their jobs at the casinos in quest of real living wages, a healthier working environment and good benefits--- not to mention the protections offered by state and federal labor laws.
I find it very interesting that not one of the candidates sitting inside participating in this "candidates forum" so much as mentions institutionalized racism, racial discrimination or affirmative action or what the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association is buying from them--- but, outside in the cold, in sub-zero temperatures, the article notes that there is a candidate for the Minnesota State Senate, Greg Paquin... with the article concluding:

"Meanwhile outside the casino, Senate District 4 DFL candidate Greg Paquin was holding an informational picket against the forum held on an Indian reservation, citing the heavy influence of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association in lobbying."
We must all ask the question:
What is it the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association is purchasing from these candidates with their bribes to the tune of millions of dollars every year?
If the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association is not purchasing from these politicians a pool of cheap labor; what then are they getting in return for their bribing these politicians who come to this forum at Red Lake's brand new Seven Clans Casino-Red Lake--- financed with a loan from Stanly Crooks--- with their hands out looking for casino money for their campaigns--- money that could just as well be going to pay heating bills and to buy food for hungry children on the Red Lake Indian Reservation --- but, instead, this casino money is going to purchase poverty by making sure the Indian Gaing Industry has a pool of cheap labor.
Figure it out, why else would all these politicians be talking to people in Red Lake... four hundred miles north of the Twin Cities, about why they don't want a state-owned casino competing with Stanley Crook and his Mystic Lake Casino?
It doesn't take a genius to figure out that people in Red Lake aren't worried about this state-owned casino in the Twin Cities... four-hundred miles south, competing with any of their three casinos. There simply is no competition to be concerned about--- is there?
Why, then, did all of these politicians running for governor, focus on saving Stanley Crooks and his Mystic Lake Casino/Resort empire employing over 5,000 casino workers at poverty wages in a smoke-filled casino without any rights under state or federal labor laws from competition from gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton's call for the state to get into gaming for the express purpose of "competing with Mystic Lake Casino?"
In fact, Mark Dayton made this proposal only days after I gave him the suggestion that he should come out strongly, not just for the state of Minnesota getting into the gaming business to fund education and healthcare; but, my suggestion was that he declare such a state casino venture would be in open competition with Stanley Crooks in order to force wages up and better working conditions, while helping us give our union organizing drives a boost across Minnesota since the Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council would be representing those employed at a state-owned casino.
In fact, hundreds of Minnesotans heard former Senator Mark Dayton and myself discuss this and saw us shake hands as Mark Dayton agreed that he would become engaged in the struggle against racism and against poverty and for worker's rights... making a promise to use his campaign to help destroy institutionalized racism.
Dayton is the one and only candidate to make good on any promises by any politicians to date. 
Make no mistake, I know I am speaking for Mark Dayton: A state-owned casino would have affirmative action in hiring as its policies.
Under a Mark Dayton Administration, thousands of casino workers, many of them Native American Indians, including many wokers from Red Lake who now live in poverty in the Twin Cities... would have real living wage jobs and work in a smoke-free casino, in addition to being protected by state and federal labor laws, they would enjoy decent jobs and good livelihoods negotiated collectively and enforced through a good union contract--- none of this $8.00 an hour crap like the AFL-CIO and Change To Win unions enter into sweetheart contracts with the employers in the hospitality industry. WE are talking real living wage jobs... pay like union miners and union mill workers receive through their union contracts. Workers are entitled to real living wage contracts in return for paying union dues.

AFLACK and these other scam health insurance outfits wouldn't get through the doors of a state-owned casino.
And, the crooked and corrupt Alerus funds wouldn't be allowed to steal the pension monies of casino workers.

So, what "competition," besides real living wages and better working conditions in a smoke-free state-owned and operated casino would such a venture be for Red Lake Tribal officials operating three Seven Clans Casinos employing over one-thousand casino workers?
I guess we will have to wait to see what people from Red Lake now living in the Cities call home about when they have full equality free from racism employed in a state-owned and operated casino venture free from mobster domination where the money being plunked into the slot machines will fund public education and health care instead of line the pockets of some vicious and violent little mobster in Boca Raton, Florida who owns all the slot machines in Red Lake Gaming Enterprises' three casinos... including in the brand new casino these politicians pledged their loyalty to, to the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association rather than towards eradicating the last vestiges of institutionalized racism which breeds unemployment, poverty and despair.
How do these politicians like John Marty even have the nerve to talk about any financial rewards Native American Indians are receiving from these casinos when the only thing they own is a great big pile of debt?

All the profits leave with the owners of the slot machines and table games.
How much longer are these brazen lies about the casino industry going to be perpetuated by these racist, dirty, filthy, corrupt politicians like John Marty, Susan Gaertner, R.T. Rybak and the master of them all, Tom Bakk?
I have complete confidence in the Bemidji Pioneer Press' writer, Brad Swenson, that had any of these candidates mentioned the need to enforce affirmative action beginning with the BREC... he would have reported such.
Minnesotans were represented by one lone politician--- a Native American worker and union member representing us all, standing in the cold--- as reported by Brad Swenson:
Meanwhile outside the casino, Senate District 4 DFL candidate Greg Paquin was holding an informational picket against the forum held on an Indian reservation, citing the heavy influence of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association in lobbying.

If we really think about what is going on in our state; aren't we all locked out of the decision-making process by big-business with big money buying off politicians?
When is enough really going to be ENOUGH!
Alan L. Maki
Director of Organizing, 
Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council
A few additional thoughts...

Please note: This should not be considered an endorsement of former United States Senator Mark Dayton for Minnesota Governor... though, it could be leading to that depending on how Mark Dayton responds to the request we made for his help in getting affirmative action in place as the hiring policy at the Bemidji Regional Event Center... I would note that Mark Dayton has been the first and only candidate to note that state agencies and departments are not enforcing affirmative action and he wants to see the affirmative action laws enforced... we simply don't think, as good as it is, that Mark Dayton has taken the initiative to help us focus on the problem of institutionalized racism in this way that it is yet enough to warrant endorsement... not yet.
Dayton needs to act to become involved more pro-actively in helping us see to it that the largest public works project in northern Minnesota since the Great Depression; that hiring is based upon full equality through full enforcement of affirmative action which will signal the death-knell of institutionalized racism in the City of Bemidji, Minnesota, Beltrami County and throughout northern Minnesota.

We are asking Minnesotans to join with us in doing what is morally right and just... become pro-active in helping us push forward into the public vision the need for strict enforcement of affirmative action laws and to develop and implement further measures where required--- in the long and short terms, this will stregnthen our democracy and push wages and living conditions for everyone up while restoring Minnesota to a place where we can all be proud again to be living in the most progressive and liberal state in the nation.

We call on all Minnesotans to participate in local party caucuses on February 2 and bring forward into discussions about candidates their stands, or lack of taking a stand or their racist opposition to, affirmative action.
Don't be dismayed with politics because of the betrayals of Barack Obama and the Democrats who campaigned on a theme of "hope" and "change." We will overcome this corruption in politics; to do so requires persistent efforts to create real change. The time has come to push aside the flim-flam men and con-artists like Barack Obama who seems to be an apprentice in training to become an insurance salesman for AFLACK who will follow around Wayne Newton and his quacking white duck; working people need to bring forward real solutions to problems that will make life better for us all.

Please consider introducing resolutions in support of affirmative action at your local precinct caucus... after all these years, the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party doesn't even have a position supporting affirmative action in public and private employment as part of its Action Agenda... which just goes to demonstrate my point, that none of these candidates who appeared at this Governor's Forum care one iota about ending racism, discimination and institutionalized racism in our state.
Let us be very clear as long as this discussion is taking place. While racist discrimination is part and parcel  of institutionalized racism--- the insidiuos institutionalized racism permeating every facet of life in northern Minnesota is what is maintaining the racist levels of unemployment and poverty--- we must break the back of this institutionalized racism if working people in Minnesota are going to stop this overall decline in living standards because it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that when there are huge pools of cheap labor resulting from this institutionalized racism, this racism is just as powerful a weapon in the hands of all employers as those billy clubs used by the police brought in by Susan Gaertner that pounded on the heads of a bunch of kids daring to protest the reactionary, racist, warmongering, anti-labor policies of the Republican Party at the Republican National Convention... make no mistake, if Susan Gaertner is ever allowed to become governor of the State of Minnesota, she will not hesitate to call out the police to beat the heads of anyone who dares to speak out against racism, for social and economic justice... after all, as a prosecutor, she had no qualms about participating in a forum where I was prevented from attending because of death threats made against my life and she didn't seem to indicate in the least that law enforcement refused to respond even though the number has been given to them: 218-679-1850. Talk about your hypocrites--- can you imagine if such a call had been plced to Susan Gaertner what would have been the response by law enforcement personel?

Anyways, there were only 70 people in attendence at this forum in a brand new casino which tells us quite a bit about what the people of the Red Lake Nation think about these politicians... and over half the people in attendance were policians and their racist backers who are opposing implementation of affirmative action at the BREC... and, like we are saying; these are politicians coming looking for bribes as they turn their heads in indifference to the racist unemployment, racist poverty and racist despair... because this casino is on the "Reservation line," these politicians could spare themselves seeing the result of the 55% unemployment rate R.T. Rybak cited, but has refused to do anything about. And make no mistake, R.T. Rybak chose to ignore the racist hiring practices now being employed surrounding the Bemidji Regional Event Center just like he intentionally ignores the plight of casino workers.

R.T. Rybak had the perfect opportunity to use his stature as a candidate for governor when pointing out this most atrocious racist unemployment rate of 55% (official figures and we all know the official figures are low) to then proceed to look these public officials in the eye who had come begging for their bribes... and say to them--- the heads of the Beltrami County DFL whose silence on the racist hiring practices surrounding the BREC have been shameful, and politicians like Brita Sailer and Mary Olson whose responses to calls for enforcement of affirmative action on the BREC were to go play on the beach of Lake Bemidji and smile for cameras at the ground-breaking ceremonies as they applauded Native American dancers and drummers while they worked to undermine affirmative action with racist Bemidji City officials including the Mayor, the City Manager and even the Bemidji City Attorney Al Felix and each and every member of the Bemidji City Council and the racist City Planner, Rita Albrecht, who was responsible for all aspects of every single detail involving the Bemidji Regional Event Center... including figuring out how the City of Bemidji could get out of its legally mandated and required responsibility to enforce affirmative action.
Of course the regular foundation flowers like those in "SharedVisions" are hard at work doing surveys and studies but even with affirmative action shoved right under their noses they evade the issue so as not to offend the many fingers feeding them--- as if they are ducks in a pond quacking for crumbs from tourists.
In my opinion, the day is fast approaching when working people will be able to declare our indepedence from the racism, war and corruption foisted upon us by the Democratic and Republican parties... we really do need a new political party built upon the foundation and along the lines of our Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party; a Party that wsn't afraid to stand up and try to dismantle institutionalized racism and understood that as long as working people were treated like crap and paid poverty wages they would continue living in poverty.

It is simply amazing to what lengths these politicians will go to today in trying to evade this very basic and simple truth.

I cannot believe the audacity of Minnesota State Senator John Marty, a candidate for governor, talking about how he is all for living wages.. yet, so cowardly he doen not dare to look those casino managers sitting in front of him in their eyes and demand they pay their employees living wages... I guess this is what is meant by not biting the hand that feeds you... and this is what is thoroughly corrupt and rotten with politics in Minnesota today.

What the heck kind of "partnerships" are these racist and corrupt politicians thinking of creating beyond the damage they have already done in creating these "Compacts" in the name of "sovereignty" enabling a bunch of mobsters to go goose-stepping over democracy while expoiting and abusing over forty-thousand casino workers in Minnesota?
I shudder to think what kind of "partnerships" these politicians have in mind.

Did anyone notice that Susan Gaertner's nose seems to be getting longer?

Something to think about...


Published Sunday, January 31 2010

Red Lake forum: DFL candidates pledge to honor treaties, create partnerships

SOUTH OF RED LAKE — Four Democratic candidates for Minnesota governor said here Saturday they’d honor treaty obligations with American Indian nations and oppose a state-run casino. By: Brad Swenson, Bemidji Pioneer

SOUTH OF RED LAKE — Four Democratic candidates for Minnesota governor said here Saturday they’d honor treaty obligations with American Indian nations and oppose a state-run casino.

And they pledged to create partnerships with Indian tribes as well as communities across Minnesota, and not bash them as Gov. Tim Pawlenty did Friday about Bemidji.

Sponsored by the Red Lake Political Education Committee, invites to the forum went out to all Democrat and Republican gubernatorial candidates. But only DFLers came – Sen. Tom Bakk of Cook, Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner, Sen. John Marty of Roseville and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak.

About 70 people attended the forum, which included a chili and fry bread lunch as well as candidate booths with literature. There was also social time for candidates to mingle.

Republican Pawlenty used his Friday radio show to make a point about cities bemoaning Local Government Aid cuts. He was critical of Bemidji raising its property taxes by nearly 20 percent purportedly to make up for LGA unallotments by Pawlenty.

He said Bemidji’s taxes will collect $2.4 million more while state aid fell only $189. Pawlenty called Bemidji “a government town in a lot of respects.” He blasted contract talks that lead to higher public sector wages and benefits while the private sector is “not doing so well.”

“I hear tell that he called Bemidji one of the most dysfunctional cities in this state, or words to that effect,” Gaertner said. “What kind of government bashing is that? And what good comes from that kind of disrespect that he shows to local elected officials?

“I will not be that way,” Gaertner said. “I make decisions that are right for my community, not my political career.”

Jobs are a big issue in every part of the state, said Marty, “and in Beltrami County and the northwest part of the state, it is a particularly serious problem. … One thing the governor should do in times of high unemployment is not make the problem worse.”

Pawlenty’s budget cuts have greatly affected the public service sector, he said. “Tim Pawlenty’s budget cuts have laid off school staff, bus drivers, teachers, food service people in the schools, ended up with cutting back in nursing homes. Because of cuts in child care we lose child care workers.”

He’d call for higher taxes on those able to afford it, and would rewrite state laws to mandate “living wages” for every job.

The challenge in rural Minnesota is not to attract big manufacturers but instead to develop local value-added industries, Bakk said. “Everything that sustains life comes from the ground. There is a huge opportunity in rural Minnesota, both in the ag region and in the forested region of the state for renewable energy.”

Using biomass energy can provide a constant power source, rather than occasional as wind or solar power.
Northern Minnesota wood products plants now shuttered, including Bemidji, used 1 million cords of wood a year, he said. “That wood is now available in a sustainable harvest. There is a significant opportunity for us to build a significant biomass industry here to provide energy not only to the communities but to export out.”
Bakk would create state incentives to spur biomass development, as it did with ethanol plants.

“We are in very tough times, and what we need is someone to walk into the governor’s office on Day 1 and have a proven record of creating jobs,” said Rybak, adding that he’s created thousands of jobs as mayor of the state’s largest city.

“First, we have to invest where there is the greatest unemployment right now,” he said. The construction industry suffers with unemployment in the 40 percentile, demanding immediate jobs attention. And the Red Lake Reservation has 55 percent unemployment.

“First, you invest in people,” Rybak said. “Everyone one of us now needs continuing, ongoing education, because the economy is changing. We need to restructure education to do all that training as we go along.”
Second, “we have to invest where there is the greatest possibility of growth,” Rybak said. “It’s always been in small business.”

All four said they would oppose efforts for a state-run casino which would compete with American Indian gaming.

“I don’t believe the state should be in the gaming business,” said Bakk, adding he also opposed the creation of the State Lottery.

Growing up between the Bois Forte and Nett Lake reservations, Bakk said he has seen the opportunities created by Indian gaming. The Nett Lake elementary school provides laptops to all children, paid for by the Fortune Bay Casino.

“I have seen how it changed Indian communities for the better, created a lot more opportunity that was not there when I was kid when I watched the poverty between those two communities,” he said.

Marty recognized the need for the new Red Lake Casino, but said that “the state reaches out and tries to work with the tribes to find new ways for economic development as well, because the unemployment and poverty is way too great.”

Marty said that “we have to make sure we do more than just this, but for now the gaming is (it), obviously as you see here with this beautiful new facility with beautiful things happening. I do not support a state casino.”
Rybak said he opposes any expansion of gambling more than it is currently. “Gaming with Indian tribal governments in this state is something that is about righting historical inequities, about leveling the playing field.”
But that does not end the state’s responsibility to work with tribal governments, he said. “The tribal governments and the state of Minnesota need to be a partnership, an ongoing partnership.”

As a prosecuting attorney, Gaertner said she opposes gambling because of the social ills and criminal activity that springs from it. “I am very opposed to a state role in gaming at all.”

The state should not “be taking money out of the pockets of the tribes” with a competing casino, she said.
All four DFLers also said they would honor treaty responsibilities with Minnesota’s tribes.

Bakk said he met with the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe chairmen in Walker on Wednesday.

“We need to work more together on economic development on and off of tribal lands,” he said. “For me, it’s not telling you that I support; I’ve demonstrated that.”

There are “generations of inequities that we need to take care of,” Rybak said.

The state needs to recognize that the tribes are independent governments, Marty said. “I, as governor, would treat you as equals, treat you with respect and dignity.”

Meanwhile outside the casino, Senate District 4 DFL candidate Greg Paquin was holding an informational picket against the forum held on an Indian reservation, citing the heavy influence of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association in lobbying.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

We need jobs, not Obama's wars

Richard Trumka, the President of the AFL-CIO and its think-tank, the Campaign for America's Future--- who, together, derailed the single-payer universal healthcare movement--- are now attempting to derail the struggle for jobs in the exact same way by bringing foreward a so-called, "Five Point Program for Jobs;" and, with this program, they are trying to prevent a grassroots and rank-and-file working class movement from developing instead of having to kill the movement like they did with single-payer.

For Trumka and the Campaign for America's Future, the objective is to keep electing Democrats like Barack Obama whose loyalty is to Wall Street, not working people.

This "coalition" has forgotten a few things... and apparently, neither the AFL-CIO or the Campaign for America's Future, wants to hear what they forgot to include in their "Five Point Program for Jobs" because they have had their webmasters constantly deleting these comments below.

I ask Richard Trumka and Robert Borosage and Roger Hickey:

What is it that you find so offensive in my comments below that you stoop to censorship after saying you welcome all opinions?

Your "Five Point Program for Jobs" is short a few "points"...

By Alan Maki
January 30, 2010 - 10:43am GMT

...Beginning with the need to enforce affirmative action.

That this "coalition," which is really nothing more than a press conference get-to-gether, has refused to demand "jobs, not Obama's wars" is all telling because we cannot possibly turn this country and the economy around as long as these expensive and costly wars are going on.

What happened to "America needs a raise?" What good are millions of poverty wage jobs?

What about saving existing jobs like at the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant? How do you save jobs so you don't have to talk about creating more jobs? How much longer before the labor movement in this country confronts the "ownership issue" and the "right" of corporations to make all the decisions? The time has come to consider public ownership and nationalization of plants and industries as the way to SAVE and CREATE jobs.

These five points make for nice sound bites at press conferences but do little as far as taking a campaign for jobs out into working class communities and into the mines, mills and factories in this country.

Here is a further concrete proposal for Jobs and health care, not wars--- the time has come for some specifics and real solutions and not just these nice progressive sounding policy directives:

How can anyone even have the nerve to suggest that it is possible to have a jobs creating program capable of tackling the massive unemployment this country is experiencing at this time without ending Obama's wars?

We need this money being spent on these wars to finance the creation of jobs.

The best jobs program would be the creation of a public health care system:

  • No-fee/no-premium
  • comprehensive
  • all-inclusive
  • prenatal to grave
  • universal
  • public health system

  • publicly financed
  • publicly administered
  • publicly delivered 

What we need are 800 public health care centers spread out across the United States instead of financing and funding over 800 U.S. military bases dotting the globe.

Such a public health care program built upon the VA, Indian Health Service and the National Public Health Service models would create hundreds of thousands of decent, good-paying jobs while providing the kind of world-class health care the American people are entitled to.

Tell Barack Obama and the Democrats:

  • No peace; no votes.
  • No public healthcare system; no votes.
  • No jobs; no votes.

To get America working is going to take a real fight!
You better think about adding a few points and providing some real specifics if you are serious about mobilizing working people for real change.

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

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dayton considers Twin Cities casino to raise money

Best idea yet from any DFL candidate running for governor!

It's about time that creep Stanley Crooks has some competition with casino workers employed in a smoke-free casino at living wages with all the rights enjoyed by other workers under state and federal labor laws.

All the casinos should be taxed to pay for schools and health care; after all, these smoke-filled casinos are causing very expensive heart, lung and cancer health problems.

The Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council is looking forward to representing the workers in a new state-owned casino.

All of these casinos should have been state-owned casinos in the first place with good, strict enforcement of affirmative action policies for Native American Indians; because, like former long-time Red Lake Nation chair Roger Jourdain always said, "As long as a bunch of mobsters own the slot machines the only way Indian people are going to get anything out of these casinos is if they get paid good living wages."

Mark Dayton should now be asked by the media what he intends to do to enforce affirmative action so Native American Indians, other people of color, women and the disabled will get good paying jobs in a healthy and safe working environment in the state-owned casino in the Twin Cities.

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

Associated Press
Last update: January 25, 2010 - 4:24 PM
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark
says he would consider supporting a
Twin Cities casino to raise money for
Minnesota's ailing budget
, but not for a new
Vikings stadium.

Dayton talked about the idea at a wide-
ranging Capitol news conference Monday.

The former U.S. senator says a metro-area
casino would raise about $200 million a year.

He says such a facility would bring "much
needed competition" to Mystic Lake Casino,
the only tribally run casino in the Twin Cities
The Prior Lake establishment is owned by the
Shakopee Mdewakanton  Sioux Community.

Dayton says he wants to raise taxes on the
wealthy, including tribal members who have
received million-dollar casino pay-outs
. He
says the money would pay for services such
as public schools.

Floyd "Buck" Jourdain and his thugs, death threats and USIS and Altegrity

I received a death threat from someone at phone number 218-679-1850 at 10:19 A.M. this morning.

The phone number is "unpublished."

I was told that if I ever again step foot on the Red Lake Indian Reservation there is a bullet waiting to be put in my head.

This is not the first time I received such threats from phone numbers on the Red Lake Indian Reservation; nor is it the first threat of violence.

In fact, two of our casino workers with the Red Lake Casino, Hotel and Restaurant Employees' Union Organizing Committee were beaten up by thugs who entered their homes early in the morning. Others have been repeatedly threatened.

Floyd Jourdain, according to the New York Times, heads up an administration that is thoroughly involved in the drug trade operating through Red Lake's three "Seven Clans Casinos."

Former Pennington County Prosecutor, now State Representative--- Dave Olin--- is fully aware of this situation where the drug trade, prostitution, loan-sharking and illegal gambling on everything from high school basketball games to professional sports and the ponies is taking place in direct violation of the terms of the "Compacts" under which Red Lake operates its Seven Clans Casinos.

On top of this, mobsters own every single one of the slot machines in these three casinos.

The Red Lake Tribal Police Department has been a party to all of this dirty, filthy corruption including being the "protection" of the drug traffickers as was pointed out in the New York Times and often the direct dope dealers.

Drug dealers fly onto the Red Lake Nation and land in float planes and on runways cleared on the ice  routinely, unhindered and under the protection of the Red Lake Nation Police and the Red Lake Nation Department of Natural Resources.

The FBI, instead of arresting these dope peddlers and mobsters involved in every kind of sleazy crime known to "civilization," continue to "investigate" and harass me without out let-up because of my union organizing activities.

Red Lake Gaming Enterprises has hired the most viciously violent union-busting outfit in the world known for its participation in violence against union leaders and activists on every continent--- USIS (United States Information Services) http://www.altegrity.com/Usis.aspx which is composed of retired FBI, CIA agents and a sundry of the most crooked and corrupt law enforcement personnel and private detective agencies like the Pinkertons. USIS had a "detail" of its "Special Agents" assigned to follow my every move and record every word I spoke including on my telephone. USIS Special Agent George Armstrong was linked to previous death threats made against me but was never prosecuted after intervention on behalf of USIS by the U.S. National Security Administration and the United States Department of Justice. George Armstrong made repeated threats to friends and relatives and targeted their employers trying to get them fired. 

Floyd "Buck" Jourdain and his drug dealing casino buddies are responsible for the violence plaguing the Red Lake Indian Nation. Now, Floyd Jourdain has joined forces with Stanley Crooks who heads up one of the vicious and violent casino enterprises in the world, Mystic Lake Casino and Resort, employing over 5,000 Minnesotans at poverty wages in smoke-filled casinos without any rights under state or federal labor laws; just as Red Lake Gaming Enterprises does. Altogether, in Minnesota alone, over 41,000 casino workers are employed under these abusive, unhealthy, unsafe working conditions as the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party and its partners in the Minnesota AFL-CIO and Change To Win turn their heads in indifference as John McCarthy and the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association bribe these politicians with this dirty money--- often by the brown paper shopping bags full of money with no accounting.

In the United States, over two-million workers are employed in this Indian gaming Industry under the same circumstances and conditions in complete violation of all established human rights recognized by all other nations--- all of this injustice, all of this corruption and violence takes place in the name of "sovereignty."

No other "sovereign" nations on the face of this earth can get away with this kind of injustice and perpetuation of every human indignity known to man... except these "nations" which have been taken over by this mis-named, Indian Gaming Industry which is nothing but a front for a bunch of dirty, vicious and violent mobsters.

Floyd Jourdain and these dirty bastards who called me with these death threats this morning from 218-679-1850 can go to hell.

Is it any wonder that Floyd Jourdain's son would think nothing of his friend planning to go to school and killing his class mates when he knows this same kind of violence is encouraged and approved by his father--- Floyd "Buck" Jourdain.

I have news for Floyd "Buck" Jourdain, his hired hit-men and USIS an Altegrity Company... when they start making death threats against me they aren't making very "smart decisions"--- Mike Cherkasky, the creep running USIS, is making very dumb decisions with his death threats against me.

In addition to repeated threats against me from the "leaders" of the Red Lake Nation and Red Lake Gaming Enterprises who physically attacked me; threats have come my way from Frank Fertitta, Jr. and even his attorneys, the notoriously corrupt, Brownstein/Hyatt/Farber/Schreck, who make the boast that they can get a gaming license for "anyone"... and, indeed they have--- from casino skimmers to drug dealing pimps to loan-sharks and murderers.

Let us hope that the state owned and operated casino that former United States Senator Mark Dayton has in mind should he be elected Governor of Minnesota--- and he leads the pack right now--- does not include entering into business with these mobsters and the state of Minnesota will maintain complete, 100% ownership and control of the slot machines and table games... the Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council looks forward to working with Mark Dayton as we intend to be representing the casino workers employed in this state-owned casino venture, which, of course, we expect to be smoke-free like all other workplaces in the state of Minnesota and a place of employment where casino workers are fully protected under all state and federal labor laws protecting all other workers.

We don't see a problem with casino workers attaining real living wages under a Dayton Administration because Mark Dayton has told me that he understands poverty can never be ended as long as workers are paid poverty wages... something none of the other Democratic candidates for governor here in Minnesota seem to understand. 

This is not an endorsement of support for Mark Dayton for Governor, though, such consideration might be given should Mark Dayton follow through on his promises to use his campaign as a tool to force state agencies to comply with affirmative action beginning with the Bemidji Regional Event Center now being picketed for employing a racist rat contractor in its construction.

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

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bemidji, Minnesota lays out the welcoming mat to Republican racists

Bemidji, Minnesota lives up to its title as "The most racist city in North America" as Republicans pander to the racism that Democrats have done nothing to end...
This is the way the Bemidji Pioneer reported the the Republican gubernatorial forum in Bemidji, Minnesota, held on the campus of Bemidji State University which has become a pillar of support for perpetuating institutionalized racism in northern Minnesota by providing the intellectual justification for the continued rape of Native American Indian lands of resources from peat to iron ore as air, water and land is contaminated and polluted in the process. Feeling right at home and comfortable, these racist Minnesota Republicans were arrogant, smug and confident their "South Carolina" appeal to racism would go unchallenged in Bemidji.... but, as reported in the Bemidji Pioneer, these Republican supporters and defenders of institutionalized racism who openly stated their unanimous opposition to affirmative action, were vigorously challenged...  
It was Herwig who answered Greg Paquin and two others questions about affirmative action. Paquin is seeking the DFL endorsement in the Senate 4 race, a seat held by DFL Sen. Mary Olson of Bemidji.

“It [affirmative action] doesn’t work,” Herwig said, adding he worked for a time at an American Indian casino [Grand Casino] in Mille Lacs. “You need to have people in jobs because of the ability and talents that they have that they can offer their employer what is required in the job.”

“I couldn’t help but notice that your answer was more based on competence of the worker and not really the legal hiring practices,” said Nicole Beaulieu. Using Herwig’s example, she said why would he question an American Indian’s ability to assume a white person’s supervisory position on the reservation, where preferential hiring is the law.

“Affirmative action, preferential hiring practices, preferential promotion practices, never work,” Herwig said. “It’s going to work to the detriment of the one getting the preferential treatment, because what happens in society is it polarizes. Rather than having advantage, you become the object, the target, of ridicule because you have an advantage over someone else for something not characteristic.”

What I find very interesting and equally informative is that these Republicans never attempt to explain how it is that there are such vast discrepancies in unemployment and poverty in communities of people of color in this country.

Nationally, unemployment stands at around ten percent and rising... on Indian Reservations and in the City of Bemidji, Minnesota, unemployment among Native American Indians is over 65% and climbing and for over eight years affirmative action in Minnesota has not been enforced; non-enforcement has been the de facto policy.

What are these Republicans saying, if affirmative action had been enforced unemployment and poverty would be even worse? What kind of utter fools, except a bunch of racist bigots, would advance such "logic?"

All of the candidates urged attendees to turn out to precinct caucuses next Tuesday.

All of the candidates in public and private conversation stated their opposition to affirmative action.

Of the some twenty candidates from various political parties presently in the race to become Minnesota's next governor, former liberal United States Senator Mark Dayton who occasionally expresses some progressive and even left views, is alone among the candidates in defending affirmative action by going so far as to call attention to the fact affirmative action is not being enforced as the law requires by state agencies; however, Dayton has yet to take these state agencies to task nor as he used his campaign for governor to coerce these state agencies to come into compliance with federal, state and local affirmative action guidelines and policies by insisting on the enforcement as constitutionally mandated.

Dayton has promised, as a result of discussions with this writer and others, that he would use his influence and his campaign for governor to force the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development into full compliance with affirmative action requirements.

The most cited violation of affirmative action in Minnesota centers on the Bemidji Regional Event Center where the most glaring and disgusting institutionalized racism was brought to light by Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party candidate for state Senate District 4, Gregory W. Paquin running against the present DFL Senator Mary Olson whose campaign is financed almost solely by the Minnesota Indian gaming Association and those profiting from this lucrative business that thrives off the poverty it inflicts on the majority of the Native American Indian people now experiencing over 65% unemployment and up to 80% living in poverty.

Paquin is a union pipe-fitter by trade who has struggled for years against the institutionalized racism  of the building trades unions citing example after example of jobs employing 600 to 700 workers like at the power generating facilities where it was a good day for affirmative action if two or three of the hundreds of workers are people of color even though many of the jobs are on projects sitting right in the middle of thousands of people of color languishing in poverty.

Paquin decided to run for the state Senate after he made repeated attempts to convince Minnesota State Senator Mary Olson to meet with Bemidji City officials and Dan McElroy the head of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to insist on the enforcement of affirmative action.

Paquin initially approached Senator Olson at the ground-breaking ceremonies for the Bemidji Regional Event Center where Rita Albrecht brought in Native American dancers and drummers for the event. Previously, prior to even establishing a committee to begin planning for the Bemidji Regional Event Center (BREC), City Planner Rita Albrecht was quoted in the Bemidji Pioneer that full involvement of the Native American Indian Community would be included in everything surrounding the BREC.

Except for the Native American Indian dancers and drummers entertaining the dignitaries at the ground-breaking ceremony--- and a commitment to install some Native American art work and sculptures, there has been no Native American Indian involvement in anything surrounding the BREC; especially, and most notably, when it comes to employment opportunities. Albrecht made a commitment to the Native American Indian communities in the area that they would be able to rent the BREC facilities for Pow-Wows.

At the present time, VenuWorks, the private firm the City of Bemidji has brought in to manage and profit from this public works project is working on deals with the six local casinos to transport people from BREC events and the casinos back and forth. VenuWorks' on-site manager, Mr. LeBarron, for the BREC explains this as a "win-win deal" for the BREC and the casino managements.

VenuWorks has promised these casino managements that wages paid to hourly employees will not be in competition with the wages paid to casino workers so as to prevent an increase in the pathetically low wages in the Bemidji area hospitality industry where the poverty wages paid to thousands of casino workers has set the standard.. in other words, the pathetic poverty wage minimum wage is the standard although many casino managements refuse to even honor the minimum wage which neither the state nor federal departments of labor will enforce at the casinos. Pay stubs obtained from casino workers show pay two and three dollars an hour below the minimum wage. 

That Mark Dayton has now acknowledged that DEED and MNDOT are not enforcing affirmative action policies as required by law has caused many people in Senate District 4 to realize that MN DFL Senator Mary Olson, MN DFL Representative John Percell, Congressmen Collin Peterson and James Oberstar, along with United States Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken have failed in their jobs by refusing to insist on the state and federally mandated enforcement of affirmative action.

At the center of this controversy swirling around this blatant failure to enforce affirmative action is the role of Bemidji City Planner Rita Albrecht, City Manager John Chattin and Bemidji City Attorney Al Felix all of whom admit they intentionally refused to implement affirmative action in hiring for the planning, construction, management, staffing and maintenance of the Bemidji Regional Event Center (BREC), the largest public works project in northern Minnesota in decades.

Bemidji City Manager John Chattin, in the most outrageous example of the extreme institutionalized racism which permeates the City of Bemidji, had the unmitigated gall and the audacity to acknowledge under oath that he told Gregory W. Paquin that he was not going to enforce affirmative action and that if Paquin didn't like his answer he should go talk to the manager of the general contractor, Kraus-Anderson, himself.  

Everyday that Rita Albrecht, John Chattin and Al Felix go to work, they view the long lines of impoverished, hungry people--- with Native American Indians far in excess of their 25% population of the City of Bemidji--- people waiting to get food at the Beltrami County Food Shelf which is right across the street from the Bemidji City Hall.

The only place where Native American Indians are found in greater numbers than their population than at the Beltrami County Food Shelf is at the Beltrami County Jail a couple blocks down the street from the Bemidji City Hall where over 50% of the jail population is Native American Indian and even the Republican Beltrami County Sheriff acknowledges the primary reason for the high rate of incarceration of Native American Indians is the poverty resulting from joblessness.

As anyone in this country understands, working people without jobs are going to be poor. And the employers understand that large numbers of unemployed people living in poverty are nothing but pools of cheap labor driving down wages; an observation not lost on the Indian Gaming Industry and the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association whose profits thrive because of the low wages assured to them by this web of injustice spun by institutionalized racism. 

Recently, racist Bemidji Police murdered a Native American youth after police were called to help him. The full details of this police shooting have yet to be made public after many months. Many people want to know how it is that police responding to a call to help someone end up shooting and killing him.

No Native American Indians sit on the Bemidji City Council, one Native American Indian is on the Beltrami County Board, Quentin Fairbanks a retired Minnesota Highway Patrol officer who says he prefers not to become involved in questioning racist hiring practices but is quick to defend the casino industry--- Fairbanks complains of heart problems every time he is asked to assist victims of racism, but recovers in time to run for re-election; not one single Native American Indian is sitting among the more than two-hundred state legislators and there are no Native American Indians among Minnesota's Congressional delegation in the U.S. House or U.S. Senate in spite of the fact that the casino managements and the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association have spent tens of millions of dollars contributing to the campaigns of candidates like Senator Mary Olson who comes looking for campaign contributions and votes from Native American Indians at election time but refuses to intervene to make sure affirmative action is being enforced; and, then, even after having the facts pushed right under her nose that affirmative action is not being enforced, she refuses to act.

Olson and the other Democrats have been very smug in thinking that the game they are playing in ignoring the plight of injustices of Native American Indians while continuing to get the campaign contributions from the casino managements would go unchallenged forever.

Now people are demanding to know how it is that an industry creating billions of dollars in profits is also responsible for tens of thousands of Native American Indians living in the most deplorable conditions of the most shameful poverty?

John McCarthy and the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association have refused to answer this question.

What DFL State Senator Mary Olson does not want to talk about now is that John McCarthy, the flamboyant racist and flaunter of wealth who is the Executive Director of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association, is her campaign manager and political confidant; and the racist Bemidji City Planner Brita Albrecht is deeply involved in Olson's campaign in every way from fund-raising to logistics, and Rita Albrecht's daughter serves on the staff of State Senator Tom Bakk who is known as one of the most notorious racist politicians in Minnesota history to whom affirmative action is akin to the plague... Bakk gets oodles and oodles of money from the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association. Bakk is now one of the DFL candidates running for governor. When questioned about affirmative action at a recent Governor's Forum on Native American issues, Bakk's red face twisted in dis-configuration as his anger grew after being asked his position... all that he would say is that he supported the Indian Gaming Industry... and after this remark, John McCarthy wildly applauded.

Check out the article below... the Republicans spout the racist, reactionary and anti-labor views; the Democrats, with a very few exceptions like former United States Senator Mark Dayton now a Minnesota gubernatorial candidate and Gregory W. Paquin running to unseat Senator Mary Olson, are implementing the Republican agenda...

Encouraging is the fact that State Representative Tom Rukavina has stated that, if elected governor, his door will be open to discussing the enforcement of affirmative action.

The question remains, why aren't any of these candidates (Dayton might, but I'm not going to hold my breath) using their campaigns as a bully-pulpit calling for enforcement of affirmative action.

When Mark Dayton and R.T. Rybak asked me what I suggested they do, I told each of them, "Whether or not you are nominated for governor, we know you will be supporting whoever the DFL chooses to run. Therefore, why don't you talk to your colleagues and all go down to the Bemidji City Hall and insist that this bunch of racist bigots fully implement affirmative action in all facets surrounding the BREC--- it is still not too late to get Native American Indians jobs on construction, for sure it is still not too late to hire Native American Indians for management, staff and maintenance positions. You need to insist that all of these jobs pay real living wages because as you know when you pay someone a poverty wage poverty is the result. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak asked me, "How many jobs would you say would be 'fair' for Native Americans to get at the BREC?" I told R.T. Rybak he should "ask Native American Indians sitting in this room that question."

However, I did tell R.T. Rybak that since he asked me and I posed this problem to him, that I would provide him with my personal opinion.

And this is what I told R.T. Rybak and Mark Dayton:

The City of Bemidji has a 25% Native American Indian population and three huge Indian Reservations nearby with people living in poverty.

Therefore, since 25% of the construction jobs should have gone to Native American Indians initially because affirmative action was intentionally not enforced;

Therefore, when it comes to managing, staffing and maintaining the BREC;

Native American Indians should receive not only the first quarter of all jobs, but the second quarter of all jobs plus 10% of all of the jobs as a penalty imposed for intentionally failing to enforce affirmative action.

Therefore, using this formula, Native American Indians are entitled to 60% of all future jobs at the BREC and this should be enforced for the longevity of the Bemidji Regional Event Center.

One candidate for governor, Paul Thissen told me I was being a "little unrealistic."

I told Mr. Thissen, "No, what is not acceptable in the year 2010 is the fact that not one single member of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party--- including you--- is sitting in that state legislature without one single Native American Indian sitting at your side and not one of you has the moral or political courage to insist that the affirmative action laws in the state of Minnesota be enforced even though you are fully aware of the disgraceful levels of unemployment and poverty permeating Native American communities. This is a moral outrage and a disgrace."

I'm very confident that if Tom Rukavina is elected and people start coming through his open door that he will see to it that affirmative action is enforced in Minnesota... the thing is, when it comes to the BREC, all the jobs will have been filled by then... and so goes institutionalized racism in the City of Bemidji for another 75 years until the next major public works program comes down the pike.

Mr. Thissen walked away from our discussion without comment; we know what to expect from him when it comes to affirmative action if he were to be elected the next governor--- more of what Republican Tim
Pawlenty has dished out--- racism and poverty.

The time is now, not after the election, for Tom Rukavina to open his door to people like Greg Paquin fighting and struggling for justice.

The time is now for these Democratic candidates to gather behind former United States Senator Mark Dayton and do just what former Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party United States Senator and  then Governor Elmer Benson did; he personally went to the City of Bemidji and looked these racist bigots in the eye and told them that he demanded to see Native American Indians being employed on the public works jobs being financed with their tax-dollars, too. And the very next day Native American Indians were hired.

Minnesota Governor Elmer Benson--- the most popular Governor in this State's history, bar none--- made it crystal clear that his socialist Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party Administration was not going to tolerate racism in any of its ugly forms--- including in hiring--- and so should all of these Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party candidates seeking the DFL nomination today.

And what is with the silence of Minnesota AFL-CIO President Shar Knutsen? She should bring those big-mouth supporters of Barack Obama like Richard Trumka and Leo Gerard into Minnesota to have a talk with these racist bigots perpetuating institutionalized racism out of the Bemidji City Hall.

Where is this group SharedVisions when it comes to advocating for enforcement of affirmative action at the BREC.

Where is Sally Fineday and her Native Vote Alliance of Minnesota?

Where is Audrey Thayer and her ACLU-MN Racial Justice Task Force?

Where is Penny Flanagan and her Wellstone Action?

Where is TakeAction Minnesota/reNEW Minnesota?

Study after study after foundation funded study has demonstrated time and time again that Bemidji is the most racist city in North America; and, at the very core and center of this institutionalized racism lies racist hiring practices by public and private employers--- yet, here is the BREC going up before our very eyes, the largest public works project in Bemidji since the Great Depression, and none of these organizations or their leaders are willing to join the struggle to coerce the City of Bemidji to enforce the law by implementing affirmative action.

I will say this... I am certain that 98% of the Native American Indians sitting in the Beltrami County jail today have not violated any laws to the extent of these high-paid elected and appointed Bemidji public officials who have knowingly, intentionally and with malice refused to implement affirmative action in hiring which is denying at least 150 Native American Indians the jobs to which state and federal laws say declare they are entitled to.

Are we fed up yet? 

If not, you should be after reading this story from the Bemidji Pioneer below; because, once again, we see how Elmer Benson was correct in pointing out how racism always is present with other forms of corruption and reaction.

Has anyone noticed that out of some twenty candidates running for governor, they are all white? South Carolina... here comes Minnesota.

Yours in the struggle,

Alan L. Maki
Director of Organizing,
Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council
Published January 27 2010

Candidate forum: Republican gubernatorial candidates want smaller government

Six Republican candidates for governor differ little on the issues, but provided their own tweaks on issues ranging from the state budget to climate change. 

By: Brad Swenson, Bemidji Pioneer

Six Republican candidates for governor differ little on the issues, but provided their own tweaks on issues ranging from the state budget to climate change.

A few candidates also sparred with some American Indian audience members over affirmative action policies, with Republican candidates saying affirmative action has been detrimental to equalizing opportunities in the workforce for minorities.

The six major GOP candidates appeared Wednesday night at a forum hosted by the Beltrami County Republicans and the Bemidji State University College Republicans at BSU before about 200 people.
They answered prepared questions posed by two moderators befor3 spending 20 minutes on audience questions directed at only one or two candidates.

“I believe the people who use governor services ought to be paying more of their fair share,” former House Minority Leader Marty Seifert said to a question posed by former Bemidji schools Superintendent Rollie Morud about what blend of taxes he could support.

As examples, Seifert of Marshall said the indigent should pay something toward a public defender, and not leave it to taxpayers. And poor people on Medical Assistance should pay something toward their health care.
“We need to make sure there’s skin in the game from the people using the service,” he said. “When it comes to income and sales tax, I’m more of a consumption –based person because if you tax job providers, you will have fewer jobs.”

Morud also directed his question to Sen. David Hann of Eden Prairie, who said he favored a flat tax where everyone pays the same income tax rate.

“A very complicated tax structure needs to be simplified,” Hann said. “I would suggest moving to a flat-rate tax structure. That would make sure everyone has skin in the game … everyone is paying something.”
Estate taxes and capital gains taxes need to be reduced if not eliminated, Hann said.

State government needs to be redesigned and restructured, Rep. Tom Emmer of Delano said to a moderator question on government reform priorities. “We must eliminate the excesses, the redundancies in government.”
Taxes must be lowered, Emmer said. “We must eliminate excessive and unnecessary licensing requirements and overly burdensome regulation. We must have tort reform and we must have workers compensation reform.”

“Under my administration, we’re going to take the budget apart,” said former Rep. Bill Haas of Champlin, advocating for zero-based budgeting where the new year starts with zero. Jobs and businesses are leaving Minnesota, he said, because of taxes, the cost of doing business and regulation.

“We’re going to redo the tax system in this state,” Haas said. The only way to grow jobs is to put more money into investors’ hands, he said.

Tax cuts are needed, said Phil Herwig of Milaca, a former 8th District U.S. House candidate and real estate buyer. “I would get government out of it (to create jobs). We don’t need a governor going to South America to massage the South Americans to bring their money here. Money goes where it gets the greatest rate of return.”

Leslie Davis of Minneapolis, founder of Earth Protector, would print money. His “Davis Money Plan” would have state-regulated banks “create ‘debt-free’ money to pay all approved Minnesota public transportation projects.” He’d rescind laws that require taxes to pay for transportation projects, and use those funds to balance the budget and to repay a “Minnesota Budget Bond” issued from state investment funds.
“Money is missing, and we can’t go out and borrow the money, because you can’t pay debt with debt to get rid of debt,” he said. “You need to bring money into circulation in a new way, a paradigm shift. The Davis Money Plan will bring all the money into circulation that we need, to require the state-chartered banks to pay for our entire transportation system — no debt and no taxes.”

Davis was the loner when a moderator asked the candidates about climate change, saying he wasn’t going to debate the merits of global warming but that conservation and energy efficiency is needed.

And he would veto legislation calling for new “central power stations” using nuclear or coal fuels. “:That’s old-fashioned stuff. From people in the Legislature, that’s the same old stuff. … What about efficiency and conservation, and alternatives that are innovative with new ideas and new energies?”

All the other candidates debunked the concept of global warming and agreed that nuclear energy plants should be in Minnesota’s future.

“This is a farce,” Seifert said of the concept. “The reality is to deal with our energy needs. We should build another nuclear plant. It will create over 1,000 new construction jobs. It is safe and most of the wastes can be reprocessed, and the rest can go to Yucca Mountain after Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) loses in November.”
Seifert said he wouldn’t sign any bill that promotes “cap and trade” carbon reductions and would seek to repeal any law that “jacks up” energy bills and makes Minnesota uncompetitive.

Climate change “is nonsense and I think there is an ulterior motive here,” Hann said. “We do not need to focus all our energies on programs that put power into the hands of few people. They say it’s carbon dioxide, and we all breathe it out. That doesn’t mean we need to managed by some bureaucrat in Washington.”
The United States is the Saudi Arabia of coal, Hann said, “and we’re saying we can’t burn coal anymore? We can figure out how to make it very, very clean.”

Emmer said the climate change argument “has been proven to be nothing more than manufactured fear-mongering in creating financial gain for certain people who are involved in the business.”

Haas said common sense is the answer, providing cost-effective energy with clean coal and nuclear. “We need to lead by example; we need some more power plants. Other nations are building them, why can’t we?”
Herwig, a former farmer, said that “the world has been in climate change since time began. Man’s ego is telling us that he really has a significant impact.”

It was Herwig who was Greg Paquin and two others questions about affirmative action. Paquin is seeking the DFL endorsement in the Senate 4 race, a seat held by DFL Sen. Mary Olson of Bemidji.

“It doesn’t work,” Herwig said, adding he worked for a time at an American Indian casino in Mille Lacs. “You need to have people in jobs because of the ability and talents that they have that they can offer their employer what I required in the job.”

“I couldn’t help but notice that you answer was more based on competence of the worker and not really the legal hiring practices,” said Nicole Beaulieu. Using Herwig’s example, she said why would he question an American Indian’s ability to assume a white person’s supervisory position on the reservation, where preferential hiring is the law.

“Affirmative action, preferential hiring practices, preferential promotion practices, never work,” Herwig said. “It’s going to work to the detriment of the one getting the preferential treatment, because what happens in society is it polarizes. Rather than having advantage, you become the object, the target, of ridicule because you have an advantage over someone else for something not characteristic.”

All of the candidates urged attendees to turn out to precinct caucuses next Tuesday.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

SC politician's welfare comments called `immoral'

 Here is what this elected public official said:

"My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed! You're facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further than that."

 And here is the conclusion most politicians are drawing from the anger from people in response to this remark:

"choose our words more carefully."

First of all, does anyone really believe S.C. Lt. Gov.Andre Bauer didn't intentionally choose these words to rally his racist, anti-worker supporters known for their poor-bashing?   

Second, why isn't the video part of the distribution of this story so we get the full force and meaning of the hate embodied in these words?

Third, is this a matter of politicians choosing their words more carefully or politicians who do choose their words carefully while implementing this kind of thinking through administrative mandates and legislation?

The failure of the Obama Administration, the Democrats, Minnesota legislators and Bemidji City officials--- public and appointed--- to fully implement and enforce affirmative action in the planning, construction, staffing, maintaining and operation of the Bemidji Regional Event Center in Bemidji, Minnesota is a case in point.

A racist Bemidji City Planner, Rita Albrecht, who watched the poor, the unemployed, the homeless line up across the street from the Bemidji City Hall on a daily basis at the Beltrami County Food Shelf seeking food, demonstrated her concern for every minute detail involved in this largest public works project to come down the pike in years in northern Minnesota--- except seeing to it that Bemidji's25% Native American Indian population experiencing over 60% unemployment and 80% living in poverty, received the jobs they are entitled to by law through the strict enforcement of affirmative action policies which are legislatively required on such a public works project like this one-hundred million dollar tax-payer financed boon-doggle which public officials intend to turn over to a private firm, VenuWorks, to profit from.

Bemidji City Planner Rita Albrecht, on her FaceBook page describes herself and her views exactly as South Carolina Lt. Governor--- and candidate for Governor--- describes his views: Progressive. It seems no politician or public official has any kind of credibility in this country anymore without in some way describing themselves as "progressive" no matter how racist, twisted and perverted their thinking AND actions are.

Bemidji City officials and Bemidji City Planner Rita Albrecht, in fact--- De facto--- did intentionally and with malice aforethought, refused to implement and enforce affirmative action policies knowing full well that failure to implement and enforce affirmative action policies because they are all fully aware that the City of Bemidji has been designated as the most racist city in North America because of its long-standing institutionalized racism that has become a part of the "culture" of this community ever since Native American Indians were driven from their lands by the greedy lumber and mining barons in quest of profits.  

There are four surrounding Indian Reservations nearby experiencing unemployment rates in excess of 60% and poverty rates as high as 85%.

The racist Bemidji City Manager, John Chattin, is now claiming in an affidavit filed in District Court in response to a law suit filed by the Native American Indian Labor Union #12 and its Business Manager Gregory W. Paquin, union pipefitter by trade and a member of the Pipefitters Union--- who is also running for State Senate District 4, who, if successful would be the only Native American Indian sitting in the Minnesota State Legislature; Bemidji City Manager John Chattin in explaining why he didn't act on Gregory W. Paquin's concerns that affirmative action in hiring policies were neither being implemented nor enforced, is now claiming that he "didn't know who Gregory W. Paquin was." Bemidji City Manager John Chattin, long known for the exact same kind of comments as those made by the South Carolina Lt. Governor so many people are finding disgusting; Chattin told Gregory W. Paquin to go take up the issues of affirmative action with the general contractor Kraus-Anderson's manager, himself; as if Gregory W. Paquin was responsible for implementing and enforcing an affirmative action policy. Bemidji City Attorney Al Felix is now claiming no responsibility in the matter because Paquin "only talked to me about affirmative action for about fifteen minutes."

All of these Bemidji City officials and many others not named saw fit to bring in Native American Indians to dance and drum at the "ground-breaking ceremonies" for the Bemidji Regional Event Center that was attended by elected and appointed public officials like Minnesota State Senator Mary Olson who is supposed to be representing all of the people of Senate District 4 but she only notices Native Americans exist when she wants campaign contributions derived from Indian Gaming and doled out by the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association which views equality in employment opportunities as a threat to the cheap labor pool they want to maintain for the lucrative casinos. Not one tribal politician, not one local or state public official has raised their voices in a call for enforcement of affirmative action policies being implemented in all phases of the Bemidji Regional Event Center. 

Even as these arrogant and racist public officials, the City of Bemidji, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and Kraus-Anderson are in court being sued for violating the civil and human rights of long-suffering--- by intentional design--- Native American Indians for whom equality has been a victim to institutionalized racism... these elected and appointed public officials continue to ignore their responsibility in implementing an affirmative action policy for hiring Native American Indians to manage, staff and maintain the Bemidji Regional Event Center as they look out the windows of their city offices to view long lines of people--- many Native American Indians--- standing in the freezing cold with temperatures ranging down to minus thirty degrees at the Beltrami County Food Shelf.

We are not talking about the warped and perverted views of one demented politician seeking to become the Governor of South Carolina where his supporters whistle "Dixie" and drive around with bumper stickers extolling the "virtues" of the Confederacy...

We are talking about the policies of an entire government, from township up to the presidency and from the presidency down to the township that is so thoroughly corrupt, that S.C. Lt. Gov.Andre Bauer's words and thinking are, in fact--- De facto--- the ideas, even if not stated as such, the current policies of government at every level--- Barack Obama not withstanding. I find it of significant interest that Bemidji City Planner Rita Albrecht was an enthusiastic supporter of Barack Obama who, through his Administration, has signaled governments at every level not to enforce affirmative action in hiring, and this is why we see the vast racist discrepancies in communities of color when it comes to unemployment and its associated levels of disgraceful poverty that we have not seen in this country since before Lyndon Johnson ordered affirmative action to become the law of the land.

I also find it of great interest that Barack Obama has declared a state of silence as his response to the very racist and anti-poor bashing "articulated so eloquently" by South Carolina Lt. Governor Andre Bauer  with his ill chosen words.

But, isn't Barack Obama's silence as ill chosen as the words themselves?

Because, after all, it is this silence in the face of such bigotry that enables racist government officials like Bemidji City Planner Rita Albrecht, Bemidji City Manager John Chattin and Bemidji City Attorney Al Felix to get away with their dirty racist deeds in not hiring Native American Indians--- all according to plan; according to institutionalized racism.

It is not without reason that the City of Bemidji is recognized as: the most racist city in North America

Should S.C. Lt. Gov.Andre Bauer ever decide to run for president, no doubt he will begin his journey on the steps of the Bemidji Regional Event Center after walking from Bemidji City Hall having first met with like minded "public servants"... no doubt the Beltrami County Food Shelf will be closed on this day... and forever, if S.C. Lt. Gov.Andre Bauer has his way... in the very same way Bemidji City officials slammed the door closed to Native American Indians seeking employment and jobs working at the Bemidji Regional Event Center as their only way out of poverty--- with a job.

In closing, I should note that out of all the candidates running to become Minnesota's next governor, only one, after being prodded, has demonstrated any concern for implementation and enforcement of affirmative action--- former United States Senator Mark Dayton a well known liberal; yet, even he has refused to use his campaign as part of the struggle to implement and enforce affirmative action. To Mark Dayton's credit, after being firmly prodded by this writer and several others, while campaigning in Bemidji last week, he did note that state agencies were not enforcing affirmative action and noted this was a serious problem. But, it should have been on Mark Dayton's agenda to meet with Bemidji City officials to insist that they come up with a plan to hire Native American Indians for employment in management, staffing and maintenance of the Bemidji Regional Event Center.

One Democratic candidate for governor, Tom Bakk, has long been associated with Minnesota's notoriously racist building and construction trades unions... he has refused all comment on what he would do to enforce affirmative action... no doubt, the same thing the present Republican Governor and Barack Obama have done--- absolutely nothing... again, State Senator Tom Bakk, like Bemidji City Planner Rita Albrecht, hides his racism by saying he is "progressive" and supports Barack Obama and the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association which just happens to support Tom Bakk, Rita Albrecht and Barack Obama... what a cozy little racist club this makes for.

Of course the nice little illegal sweetheart deals worked out between the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Unions and the casino managements and the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association where union workers purchase their jobs as a condition of foregoing enforcement of union contracts with the unions agreeing not to support the struggles of casino workers for union recognition and their struggles for a safe and healthy work environment with real living wages goes ignored by the Minnesota Attorney General and all other elected public officials... this is the cheap labor pool that is protected for the benefit of the Indian Gaming Industry when affirmative action is not implemented or enforced.

The words of S.C. Lt. Gov.Andre Bauer  have real consequences beyond there utterances; this is in fact the ideology governing the implementation of public policy in our country today--- whether stated or unstated--- none-the-less, these words reflect public policies at all levels of government and these mean and cruel government policies are hurting tens of millions of people.

One only has to read the words written, but seldom discussed in public, by those responsible for government policies... people like Alan Greenspan who have the same kind of arrogant disdain for the poor as S.C. Lt. Gov.Andre Bauer.

This sick ideology permeating every level of government in our country today as articulated by S.C. Lt. Gov.Andre Bauer needs to be challenged and countered with action from the grassroots. We need to develop the ideology of people before profits... 

An ideology based upon the politics and economics of livelihood. 

In my opinion, working people need to take up the ideas of Minnesota's two socialist governors, Floyd B. Olson and Elmer Benson and their Communist colleague United States Congressman John Bernard. 

It was their socialist Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party which blazed the trail against racism and corruption when Governor Elmer Benson was forced to come, in person, to Bemidji to investigate the stealing of government funds by public officials tagged for creating jobs for Native American Indians in the midst of the other Great Depression; and Governor Benson clearly stated what he found in this racist community of Bemidji in no uncertain terms, "Every time we uncover corruption here in Bemidji we find racism; every time we find racism we find corruption." 

Years later, after being driven from his position as governor by the mining, forestry, banking and power generating industries and the huge agricultural cartels in what was dubiously the most racist, anti-worker election in U.S. history; Elmer Benson was to say, "If we could end corruption and racism this entire goddamn rotten capitalist system would collapse overnight."        
As retired labor leader Carl Finamore wrote just a few days ago... we need to put Marxism where it belongs... in the center of the struggles of working people fighting for justice... I agree.

I think it was Bertolt Brecht the great playwright and Marxist who said something like: 

"The rich create the poor but then can't stand to look at them."


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




SC politician's welfare comments called `immoral'

At a town hall meeting Thursday, Bauer, who is running for governor in his own right now that Sanford is term-limited, said: "My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed! You're facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further than that."

FILE - In a Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009 file photo, S.C. Lt. Gov.Andre Bauer AP – FILE - In a Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009 file photo, S.C. Lt. Gov.Andre Bauer gestures as he speaks before …
COLUMBIA, S.C. – When things looked their darkest for Gov. Mark Sanford — when he was in danger of being impeached for running off to Argentina to see his mistress — his best insurance policy may well have been South Carolina's lieutenant governor, Andre Bauer.

Lawmakers knew if they removed Sanford, they would end up with Bauer, a fiercely ambitious Republican with a reputation for reckless and immature behavior.

Now Bauer has folks shaking their heads again, after he likened government assistance to the poor to feeding stray animals.

At a town hall meeting Thursday, Bauer, who is running for governor in his own right now that Sanford is term-limited, said: "My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed! You're facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further than that."

Democrats and others railed at him.

"I am disgusted by these comments. They show an unbelievable lack of compassion toward the unemployed workers in our state who are hurting during these hard times," said state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, a Democrat who is also running for governor. "His comments were immoral and out of line."

South Carolina schools Superintendent Jim Rex, another Democratic candidate for governor, called Bauer's comments "reprehensible" and said he should apologize.

Bauer said Monday that he regrets his choice of words but that government should expect welfare recipients to try to better themselves. He wants to require them to take drug tests and attend parent-teacher conferences if they have children in school.

A child of divorce who benefited from free lunches himself, Bauer insisted he wasn't bad-mouthing people laid off from work in the recession or advocating taking food from children, but rather emphasizing the need to break the cycle of dependency.

"Do I wish I'd used a different metaphor? Of course I do," the 40-year-old said. "I didn't intend to offend anyone."

Bauer has long been a love-him-or-hate-him figure in South Carolina politics. A nonstop campaigner and self-described workaholic, he was the youngest elected lieutenant governor in the country when he first won the No. 2 spot in 2002 at age 33.

Before his 2006 re-election, he shattered his heel when the single-engine plane he was piloting ran into power lines, crashed and caught fire. Bauer's office said the maintenance company that overhauled the engine botched the job. Court records show that a federal administrative law judge in June fined the company for returning the plane with incorrect bolts.

During the campaign, it was also disclosed that Bauer had been stopped for speeding twice, but not ticketed, even though in one instance he was going 101 mph in a 70 mph zone. He said he didn't realize how fast he was going and never asked for preferential treatment.

Bauer twice ran on a separate ticket from Sanford and the two have never been chums. In 2006, Sanford's now-estranged wife, Jenny, supported Bauer's primary opponent.

Bauer almost ascended to the top office last summer, after Sanford disappeared from the state for five days to be with his mistress. But the Legislature stopped short of impeachment.

Politicians who had gubernatorial ambitions of their own, or were backing other candidates, knew that replacing Sanford with Bauer would have given the lieutenant governor a year-and-a-half tryout for the job and the benefit of running as an incumbent.

At least three other Republicans and five Democrats have said they are running for governor.

Neal Thigpen, a political scientist at Francis Marion University, said Bauer tends to speak so fast and enthusiastically ("It's almost like a Gatling gun") that he sometimes "gets his mouth in place quicker than his head." Thigpen said the lieutenant governor's latest remarks could hurt him in the general election in the fall by allowing Democrats to portray him as "insensitive and downright cruel."

But as for the June Republican primary, "don't count him out. The kid's got a fanatical following," Thigpen said. "They're going to forgive him almost anything and stick to him like glue."

Similarly, Winthrop University political scientist Scott Huffmon said Bauer's words "came out as condescending and insulting," but his overall message about government dependency and personal responsibility will appeal to his evangelical Republican base.

State GOP Chairwoman Karen Floyd, who is not taking sides in the race for the nomination, said the flap should be a lesson to everyone to "choose our words more carefully."