The Economists Rate Meg Whitman

Meg Whitman's economic plan for California will dig our state into an an even deeper hole, not help us get out. It's long on political rhetoric, short on sound economics, and today the Center of American Progress hosted a press call in which a UC Berkeley economist, Michael Reich, explained why.

Reich recently wrote an analysis of Whitman's economic blueprint entitled Can Californians Trust What Whitman is Selling? which was released today by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. In addition to Reich's report, a letter to California voters from over a dozen prominent economists from universities around the state was also released endorsing the analysis. The voters deserve the facts.

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Rants & Raves for the Week of August 2nd

* Schwarzenegger vetoes farmworker overtime bill * Meg Whitman's new ad leaves out the facts about her failures at eBay *

* CSEA members converge on Capitol to speak out against budget cuts * US Senate passes bill to preserve public service jobs * Protesting workers bombard the opening of Whitman's East LA office * UC postdocs reach tentative agreement on union contract *

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New Approaches to Organizing Women and Young Workers

by the Labor Project for Working Families, Cornell ILR Programs and UC Berkeley Labor Center takes a closer look at organizing women and young workers on the issues they value most using a burgeoning organizing tool: social media.

From interviews with young women organizers, the report finds that many unions are using social media to create online identities to build credibility,  disseminate information and coordinate action, and communicate with workers via technology both in real time and at flexible times. Although not a replacement for face to face interaction with workers, young women organizers are calling for greater social media training, resources and support to use these new tools more effectively.

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UC Postdoctoral Researchers Reach Tentative Deal

They are some of the smartest people in the nation. Proving just how smart they are, the 6,500 postdoctoral researchers in the University of California (UC) system became union members and negotiated a first-ever union contract even though Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed cutting $2.5 billion from education in his budget proposal. These members of Postdoctoral Researchers Organize/UAW (PRO/UAW) reached a tentative agreement with university administrators Aug. 1

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What Else Whitman Could Have Done With Her $100 Million Shopping Spree

Amidst the nation's worst economic recession since the Great Depression, and continuing problems in California with health care, education funding, home foreclosures, and lack of jobs, how do you explain the disgraceful spending by candidate Meg Whitman in her campaign to buy the governor's office?

According to campaign finance reports filed yesterday, Whitman has spent $99.7 million the past two years, a figure that the Associated Press notes climbs to $100.3 million when including donated services. Those numbers, which shatter campaign spending records in California and presumably exceed the amount any candidate running for any office in the U.S. other than President has spent, signal a campaign that is out of control and that shows little regard for the real life of most Californians.

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Cut Budgets From The Top, Not Bottom

The recent controversy over the intriguingly high salaries of three public officials in the City of Bell should serve as a template for all budget negotiations throughout the state going forward and into the future.

Every time a budget deficit appears, it is always the lowest paid and most vulnerable citizens who are asked to sacrifice.

The furor over the salaries that public officials in the City of Bell have been paying themselves shows that in all matters regarding city, county, and state budgets, we must cut from the top.

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PG&E Engineers Get the Word Out At Work About Whitman’s Wall Street Agenda

) stuck around after work to talk with their co-workers one-on-one about the upcoming election and provide educational materials on Meg Whitman’s history of outsourcing jobs, as well as Jerry Brown’s strong track record on job creation.

This worksite outreach effort is one of hundreds happening around the state. More than 250,000 flyers are being distributed at union worksites throughout California this week, and hundreds of thousands more will be distributed by Election Day. Our goal is to reach out to a million union members at work between now and November. We may be outspent, but we will never be out-organized.

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Arnold Ignores Kennedy Legacy in Vetoing Farmworker Overtime

While it’s no longer news that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is a fraud (which helps explains poll numbers that are lower than George W. Bush and the pre-recall Gray Davis), his veto this week of an overtime bill for California farmworkers is particularly disgraceful.

Schwarzenegger’s wife, Maria Shriver, is the daughter of Peace Corps founder Sargent Shriver. Her mother was Eunice Kennedy Shriver – sister of John, Robert and Ted Kennedy. Schwarzenegger likes to say how influenced he was by his father-in-law, but his record in office exposes that lie. No politician fought harder for farmworker rights than Robert Kennedy, and the Governor’s veto insults the Kennedy legacy.

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