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SEIU Targets Tea Party Candidates in Illinois

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In an interesting display of political muscle, the SEIU has added a new tactic to its activism against the Tea Party movement with the launch of a website targeting three candidates in tomorrow's Republican primary in Illinois called The Tea Party is Over.

While these are not the most prominent Republican candidates, neither are they among those who have the highest chance of victory in the primary, they are all unified by their fiscal conservatism, opposition to the policies of the Obama administration and substantial support from various Tea Party groups.

The message of the SEIU site is clearly stated. They declare:

"This movement is a fad. Some of their ideas include the belief that programs like Social Security and Medicare are socialistic and should never have been created in the first place and that President Obama is a Socialist… So our strategy is to spread the truth about their dangerous ideas and prevent their policies from taking root in America."

Their complaints are largely accurate, but it is debatable that an angry public, even in a union stronghold like Illinois, will share their belief that opposition to socialism and excessive spending are a bad idea. Certainly the Tea Party has had much more success in motivating the grassroots in the past year than the unions have.

Strangely they have overlooked more prominent and more radical candidates like David Ratowitz, apparently preferring to go after the low hanging fruit who are running in districts with strong union presences, perhaps so that they can claim easy victories for the strategy after the primary.

The Illinois primary is unusually early, but it seems likely that we will see similar targeting of Tea Party backed candidates by union groups as the primary season moves forward in other states.

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About Dave Nalle

Dave Nalle is Executive Director of the Texas Liberty Foundation, Chairman of the Center for Foreign and Defense Policy, South Central Regional Director for the Republican Liberty Caucus and an advisory board member at the Coalition to Reduce Spending. He was Texas State Director for the Gary Johnson Presidential campaign, an adviser to the Ted Cruz senatorial campaign, Communications Director for the Travis County Republican Party and National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus. He has also consulted on many political campaigns, specializing in messaging. Before focusing on political activism, he owned or was a partner in several businesses in the publishing industry and taught college-level history for 20 years.
  • Ruvy, #32,

    Funny you should say that buddy, that’s what I think when I read most of these comments.

  • #31,

    Sounds pretty familiar…

  • Comment #26,

    Was addressed to Silas, and the last time I read one of his posts I believed it was his own.

  • What happened? Did they kick you out?

  • Ruvy

    SEIU, UAW, NEA, POTUS, COTUS, AIG, Big Oil, Big Pharma, the HMO’s and the rest. They’re all thugs

    That essentially says it all. You in America need to get rid of the lot, including the corrupt scum in your houses of “Congress”, and start over. You need to cancel the foreign debt, and tell the Chinese and all the rest that if they don’t like it, they can go complain in Ban-ki-Moon’s Burmese eatery in Manhattan – and that with six, they get egg-roll.

  • cannonshop

    #22 True Dat! There’s a reason that Vought employees decerted IAM after Boeing bought Vought out-sad but true, they were getting screwed from both ends (Union and management) and had been for years.

    Unions are good-when they SERVE the membership, they’re necessary in some cases to act as a check on bad management, but once the Union Officials become more important to the Union than the Union Membership, they need to go.

    (Just hope the guys can send some DECENT organizers down to the Carolinas, and maybe get the union down there back and back on track where it should be…)

  • Later, Silas. I’m glad you wrote a piece on this. I suspect you’re right in that there’s more to this story than meets the eye.

  • I would have thought that the longshoremen have a bad reputation – but waiters and bellhops? They’re mince meat.

    No reflection on you, Dreadful.

  • Well, speaking as an SEIU member myself, I don’t generally suffer from an overwhelming compulsion to beat teapartyers up.

    I can tell you, however, that Andy Stern is not a popular dude in our chapter.

  • Comments allows three links, so here are classic examples of SEIU thugs at work:

    Threatening a town for letting a boy scout clean up a path in a park.

    Bullying other unions.

    Beating up a peaceful protester.


  • Silas,

    Where is your proof? Show us all just why you think the American Worker Unions are a bunch of thugs.

    You’d think that I was talking to a bunch of Billionaires here, but I suspect your all just basic working stiffs just like me and mine!

  • You should have said COITUS, Silas.

    Where is your sense of irony?

  • Service employees is the fastest growing segment of America’s workforce – from MacDonald’s and Burger King’s employees to security guards. So it’s poetic justice, perhaps, that their union has a political clout.

  • Glenn, you’re missing something very important here. The SEIU and the big medical interests are paying the SAME democrat congressmen for different benefits. They aren’t competing against each other. The SEIU doesn’t have an interest in unionizing doctors or patients, though I guess they’d take them if they thought they could use the government to force them to join.

    The SEIU is targetting small businesses who don’t have lobbyists and who can’t afford to be forced to unionize and whose workers will be laid off when they do.


  • SEIU, UAW, NEA, AIG, POTUS, COTUS, and the rest. They’re all thugs. Union leadership is just as self serving as a member of Congress. Not only do we need to throw the incumbents out of Washington but we need to get rid of incumbents in Unions. They’re all jerking us off and not one of us gets a bit of gratification!

  • Wow. So many accusations against SEIU…but not one against AIG, Big Oil, Big Pharma, the HMO’s – and each one of these are far more powerful (and far more moneyed) than SEIU.

    no truer words were ever written…

  • God, I hope they do unionize Wal-Mart! So that their paid full-time employees, will no longer have to find local social services for health Care and WIC checks to buy baby formula.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    I really don’t see how you can begin to pretend that SEIU’s anywhere near as powerful or as moneyed as the corporations. The health care industry alone was spending a million dollars a day just for lobbyists – SEIU cannot compete with that.

  • There I go again – true Robespierre.

  • Re comment #15,

    Getting rid of the PACs is the surest way of bringing transparency into the electoral process and who supports whom.

    That’s probably a good idea. However, the Citizens United decision did not do it. It merely made it administratively and legally easier for corporations and unions to advertise in their own names should they wish to do so; they can still use PACs if they prefer.

    It would probably be useful for the Congress to take on PACs. Unfortunately, that would mean chewing on the hand that feeds them, which is unlikely.


  • Glenn, I think you’re underestimating the power of the SEIU. It’s the fstest growing union in the nation, has a warchest in the billions of dollars and the same restrictions which were lifted for corporations were also lifted for them. They’re going to be all over the place spending money like mad this fall, a lot of it through surrogates and front groups. You may change your tune when you see how powerful they really are.


  • I do agree, Cannon, with that aspect of the recent SCOTUS ruling.

    Getting rid of the PACs is the surest way of bringing transparency into the electoral process and who supports whom.

    So let the voters decide.

    You’re also right about the lack of backbone on the part of the Democrats. They’re just as implicated in supporting socialism for the wealthiest as the Republicans are. So there is no cause for any outrage here – whether on the part of Mr. Nalle or anybody else. Both parties are equally complicit, and the doings of one does not whitewash or excuse the doings of the other.

    It’s American politics at its finest, reduced to its lowest denomination – mob rule on the one hand, and corporate greed on the other.

    If one didn’t know any better, one could easily mistake these goings on for a comic strip.

  • cannonshop

    Well..Glenn brings up ACORN and rushes to their defense-even in their absence from the discussion. That’s pointless.

    SEIU is running ads targeting people who aren’t even all that likely to GET the Republican Nomination-and if they do, are just as unlikely to get the support of the RNC and National level Republican Party. The GOP’s leadership is more hostile to the so-called “Tea Party” than the Democrats, because the TP’s represent a rebellion against the bloated leadership of the GOP as much as they do a rebellion against the misconduct of the current congress-remember, Glenn, it started while GW was still in office-over the bailout of fraudster investment bankers in 2008, with TARP.

    If the Democrats had taken a principled stand THEN against socialism for the wealthiest 1%, those protestors wouldn’t BE THERE.

    but that’s ALSO beside the point.

    The singular significant benefit of the recent court decision, is that SEIU’s ads dont’ have to pretend to be from someone else-thus, people who don’t like SEIU (or trust them) can look at those ads, and factor in sponsorship in their decision process come election day, without having to sift through paper-trails or do investigative citizen-journalism first.

    This is a good thing, just like it would be a good thing to see who Boeing, or General MOtors or Goldmann-Sachs thinks should be elected INSTEAD.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    All of you are so worried about SEIU and how they – in your view – try to bully their way to gain political and social influence.

    The corporations do the same thing and have a far, far greater political influence.

    It’s sorta like complaining about ACORN (when there’s not a SINGLE fraudulent vote cast) while ignoring the deliberate voter disenfranchisement campaigns waged by Republicans. It doesn’t mean that we should ignore SEIU or ACORN – but we should pay a lot more attention to the much bigger problems first.

  • Glenn, are any of the other groups you bring up mentioned in the title and subject of this article?

    And do the abuses of the groups you mention magically excuse the abuses of the SEIU or is that an example of fallacious reasoning?


  • Glenn Contrarian

    Wow. So many accusations against SEIU…but not one against AIG, Big Oil, Big Pharma, the HMO’s – and each one of these are far more powerful (and far more moneyed) than SEIU.

    It’s like you’re all worried about the yapping chihuahua while ignoring the pack of four pit bulls.

  • cannonshop

    GEe, SEIU is running an ad…

    at least you KNOW who’s running the ad this way, whereas before, the source was hidden behind layers of obfuscation. One means of analyzing the credibility of a claim during an election, is to look at who’s making it, and who THEY endorsed.

  • GRO

    It’s alarming how little the average American (or conservative critics) understand about SEIU. To start, SEIU is not one of the largest unions, it is THE largest union, dwarfing all others, with 2 million members. Andy Stern has long fashioned himself a king maker and has been open in his desire to build SEIU as a POLITICAL ORGANIZATION with next to no concern for the tradition union work of representing members with their employers.

    SEIU is also the fastest growing union in anyone’s memory, having “organized” large masses of new members throughout the 2000’s through political backdoor deals to “represent” state/Medicaid paid home and child care workers.
    At this time, around 600,000 such “home based” workers are “represented” by SEIU. Not one of them voted ever for SEIU in a secret ballot election. (the vast majority do not even realize they belong to a union!) Instead, they were essential bought from governors and legislators with political donations and the promise of armies of door knockers at election time.
    As a result, in California, Oregon, Washington, Illinois, Michigan, Mass and others, millions in tax payer dollars are funneled straight off the top to SEIU in the form of “dues” for these state paid home based workers. From the nearly bankrupt state of Michigan alone, over 4 million dollars a year goes straight to SEIU just for home care . ( this does not include dues paid on other SEIU represented civil servants) It’s one of the greatest scams currently being perpetrated on the American taxpayer and NO ONE is talking about it.

    SEIU has been called the single most powerful political force in the country. It’s annual income dwarfs every other liberal organization including all environmental groups, the ACLU, Move on, and even the Democratic Party. And it has a number of front organizations that it funds and secretly controls including ACORN, Wakeup Walmart, Justice for Janitors and America Votes.

    This empire is funded by forced dues collections from 2 million low wage Americans who have no control over the direction of their union or how their dues dollars are spent. In every election of interest SEIU puts an army of paid organizers and members on the ground to make calls and knock on doors and the cost of that labor is never reported as political donations or activity.

    SEIU emptied it’s bank accounts on the election of Obama and it will not stop there. Andy Stern now fashions himself a king maker with ambitions to build SEIU through any means necessary to 12 million members and their voting age family members by 2015.

    Anyone concerned with civil liberties needs to learn everything they can about the real SEIU.

  • Clavos the Impaler

    Yes, they did, Dave. In the end, Shalala caved, but not before several students were hospitalized as a result of the hunger strike.

  • Wow, Clavos, didn’t know about that incident.

    Isn’t Andy Stern one of the most frequent visitors of the White House? And what about this one? “Obama SEIU’s Agenda is My Agenda” Not to mention the recent back-room, payback for “voting Obama” deal the unions got: exempting them [union members] from a proposed surtax on expensive insurance plans (so-called Cadillac plans).

    But who’s keeping track anyway?

  • Roger, it’s not a big stink, just an article pointing out where their current tactics are directed. I just think it’s interesting.

    Clavos, did the union win at U. of Miami?


  • Glenn Contrarian

    What’s really sad, Dave, is so many Americans – and particularly conservatives – have no idea what socialism really is. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republicans was about as socialist as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is democratic.

  • But isn’t the recent SCOTUS decision permits the very practice of advertising for or against a candidate. So what’s the big stink?

  • Clavos the Impaler

    The SEIU is one of the most aggresive unions in the country. It has long employed shady tactics to grow itself and advance its agendas.

    Here in Miami, attempting to organize the workers of the company supplying janitorial services to the University of Miami in 2006, the SEIU played on the idealism and naiveté of the students by encouraging a student hunger strike in support of their unionization campaign.

    University president Donna Shalala, former Clinton cabinet member and prominent Democrat with impeccable liberal credentials, had this to say about the union’s questionable tactics:

    We are devastated that the union is risking the health and well-being of our students and the Unicco employees by sanctioning an activity as drastic as a hunger strike. Hunger strikes have never been used in this country to oppose an election. We have urged both parties to continue daily discussions until this issue is resolved. A free election for or against unionization is a federal statutory right.

  • And we’ve certainly seen ample displays of their thuggery, along with their deceptive practices in trying to take over WalMart and now this bit of propaganda. They’ll try anything to advance their power and spread corruption.


  • SEIU are just thugs!

    EXCERPTED FROM Chapter 7, “SEIU: Look for the union label,” Culture of Corruption

    “The persuasion of power”
    Asked about his organizing philosophy, Andy Stern summed it up this way: “[W]e prefer to use the power of persuasion, but if that doesn’t work we use the persuasion of power.