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Jim Lane

Profile Information

Name: Jim Lane
Gender: Male
Hometown: Jersey City
Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 10:22 AM
Number of posts: 11,175

About Me

I spend most of my online time on Wikipedia, where we desperately need more people to help counter right-wing bias. Please PM me whenever you want help with a Wikipedia-related issue. (Remember that Wikipedia material must be neutral, but we can and should include facts that conservatives would prefer to suppress.)

Journal Archives

Vile smear against 12 Democratic Senators exposed as false

Last week saw the introduction in Congress of the Workplace Democracy Act. Its goal is to make it easier for workers to form and join unions and to bargain collectively. The sponsors were Bernie Sanders in the Senate and Mark Pocan in the House. Each introduced the bill, put out a press release crediting the other, and posted the text to his website. (Sanders press release and bill text; Pocan press release and bill text) In each chamber, several Democrats signed on as cosponsors.

Congressís website reported the billís introduction but didnít yet have the text. The website itself noted that bills arenít posted immediately after introduction. Nevertheless, the charge was made that Sandersís bill didnít even exist, meaning that twelve Democratic Senators Ė Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Edward Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) Ė were being accused of cynically touting themselves as supporters of a nonexistent bill.

Well, the text of the Senate bill, S.2810, introduced on May 9, is now available at Congress.gov, along with the previously posted list of cosponsors. This should dispel the lie that those twelve Democrats were backing a bill that didnít exist. Props also to the Democrats in the House whom Pocan identified as the cosponsors there: Representatives Brendan Boyle (PA-13), Katherine Clark (MA-05), Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Keith Ellison (MN-05), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Robert C. ďBobbyĒ Scott (VA-03), Mark Takano (CA-41), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12).

We can assume that the bill isnít likely to pass in this session. Still, itís a good thing for progressives in Congress to persist in putting ideas like this into the public dialog. Thereís also the practical point that it can provide a campaign issue for Democrats who are challenging vulnerable Republican incumbents.

Governor Andrew Cuomo supports taxpayer ripoff to help developers

In New York City thereís been a decades-long dispute about the future of the Hudson River and its waterfront. Increasing attention is being paid to the way that the State and City are misusing their powers to aid well-connected commercial developers instead of emphasizing a public park and environmental protection.

The Village Voice has a good article by Jake Offenhartz about the impact of a bill that Cuomo signed: ďHudson River Development Could Stick Taxpayers With Cost of Storm RepairsĒ. The main feature isnít surprising Ė the private developers stand to reap the profits while shifting much of the cost to state or city taxpayers. Another feature of the bill is the fanciful notion of selling ďair rightsĒ (i.e., transferable development rights) for the area over the Hudson River itself. The whole thing, besides the fiscal issue, has great potential to harm an important ecosystem.

Iím one of the people quoted in the article. The reporter got a response from the quasi-government agency thatís handling this, and followed up with me to get a comment. I explained to him why the response was fundamentally dishonest. It was, in fact, such a crock that he didnít even deem it worthy of mentioning and refuting in his piece.
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