Union Gangsters: Stephen Lerner


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One of Lerner’s favorite pastimes is conflating often-violent labor activism with the civil rights movement of the 1960s. At the Sept. 22 SEIU pow-wow, he said

“When you look at every great movement in history from the abolitionists to the suffragettes to the auto workers who seized the auto factories to the civil rights movement to the immigrant rights movement, everywhere in the world, what do they all have in common? People willing to march en masse and people willing to go to jail in greater and greater numbers and if we really believe that the richest, most powerful people in the world, that their goal is to destroy us, then there’s an urgency that our actions and our words and the crisis all put together [creates].”

Lerner led SEIU’s much-ballyhooed “Justice for Janitors” campaign. In 1988 the campaign went after employers in a dozen cities. In Washington, D.C., the campaign used political theater in order to make labor activism seem noble and public-spirited.

Like any good disciple of Saul Alinsky, Lerner dressed up union thuggery in priestly robes. He utilized tactics of civil disobedience and conducted an ecumenical church service, a 24-hour candlelight vigil, “human billboarding,” and provided Easter dinner for the homeless.

Lerner is an expert at cloaking union intimidation tactics in what Alinsky called “moral garments,” first offering the carrot, and then the stick if the victim doesn’t comply.

In an interview with Mergers & Acquisitions in 2007, Lerner said private equity firms should, in a sense, honor SEIU’s picket lines if –wink, wink— they know what’s good for them.

He held up the “Responsible Contractor Program” of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) as a politically correct model to be emulated in the financial world. Equity firms “can adopt a policy to hire only companies that respect the rights of their employees” as judged by Lerner and SEIU.

“It might seem like a small number of people who are being helped, but if all firms do this it can affect hundreds of thousands of workers,” he said. “I believe the poorest workers can do better and we can afford it.”

This is the same warmed-over “corporate social responsibility” mush that Ralph Nader has been peddling for decades, but this time it’s backed by Big Labor’s brass knuckles. It’s also a cousin of the “fair trade” movement that presupposes Third World coffee growers are too stupid to get the most they can get for their product on world markets – so they need liberals to strong-arm traders into paying artificially high prices.

Like all neo-communists Lerner, who used to work for Cesar Chavez’s United Farm Workers of America (UFW), is a control freak who aspires to bully others.

“We literally have a handful of billionaires that are marauding around the globe, buying and selling things, and they need to be held accountable,” Lerner told Australian TV in 2007. (How dare rich people spend their own money!)

Lerner is infected with a visceral contempt for economic freedom that rests upon a pathological hatred of human diversity. This viewpoint treats differing levels of intelligence, aptitude, and job skills among people as social aberrations that need to be remedied. Leftists like Lerner have long believed the mere fact that there is material inequality among people is proof of the supposed unfairness of capitalism.

It all boils down to a simple idea.

People like Lerner have no interest in teaching people how to fish so they might feed themselves for a lifetime, as the old adage goes. They prefer to teach people how to steal fish from their neighbors.

This is the principle that animates America’s parasitic public sector unions.

It is also the essence of so-called social justice.

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  • http://www.fxexchangerate.com/ fxgeorges

    As loony as this all sounds, I would not dismiss him out of hand. He has most certainly chosen the right target. There is a boiling cauldron of populist anger against the big banks out there, and someone is sure to try and harness it for political advantage.

    • Anamah

      It seems to be not only their way to provoke chaos but also an strategy to make Obama win his reelection. Is a Machiavelli c plan to ruin America we know and love. Very sick and destructive people.

      • trickyblain

        Uh, Machiavelli never had ruining his own society as a tactic.

        • alexander

          we are discussing our own "commie-leader-wanna-bes", so do not try to change the subject. And do not start again calling us names (typical leftist's tactic) – just STAY ON THE SUBJECT.

  • kafir4life

    Don't buy union whenever possible.

    • Jim Catano

      Yeah, buy "Made in Asia by slave labor" instead. Great idea. Btw, send your kids there for jobs. They can usually house them 20 to a room in dormitories where the even get to sleep a few hours a night.

  • Fred

    The last thing our economy needs is for anybody to hold the big banks accountable for crashing it!

    • Reality

      Banks did not crash the economy. They just gave people access to too much credit, and people gladly spent their money on Asian made crap. People would finance and refinance, and spend all the extra funds on vacations. People like Steve Learner want to blame everyone rather then hold themselves accountable. You want to help build the American economy, then buy American and stop overspending.

  • tullamore

    what's his address? name of and location of wife, children/? Hold his actual physical ass accountable!

    • Jim Catano

      Nice threats, but tell me now who the real "terrorist" is?

      • Barry

        Coward

  • tinkerthinker

    Ys, where is his personal info? Inquiring minds want to know…

    • Jim Catano

      Wow, a junior terrorist, but one only capable of following but with no original ideas.

  • William Griffith

    Fred – If you are looking for accountability – and you really are not – Try starting with Sens Dodd, Schumer and Durbin. Try Reps. Frank, Waters and an entire cadre of Leftists who drove Freddie and Fannie – with the help of DEMOCRATS Frankilin Raines and J Gorelick – off a cliff. Try J Reno and 13 US DOJ lawsuits to make banks make loans to people – No income, no jobs, no assets – NINJAs to buy votes for the Democrat Party.
    Google "Cloward and Piven" and tell us that this damage to the US economy by accident !

    • Arboreal Penderghast

      Make banks make loans to people?

      Actually it went a bit more like this:

      Congress and the Bush administration are addressing the worst housing slump in 16 years by trying to expand the role of the F.H.A. The agency’s loan terms, which are more stringent than those of many lenders, may have caused some borrowers to turn to subprime mortgages. Housing officials estimate that the legislation will help about 200,000 homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments.

      The legislation was pushed by the housing industry, including groups of home builders and real estate agents who stand to benefit from an expansion of F.H.A. loans. Government auditors criticized it in Congressional testimony, saying looser loan requirements should be accompanied by greater oversight.

      • William Griffith

        I did NOT claim that the banks or "the housing industry" are without culpability.
        Your assertion that the housing bubble was Bush 43 's doing is laughable !
        There is tape floating all over the historical record of 43's regulators warning of problems and being excoriated by the above mentioned Sens and Reps.
        Yes Bush 43 should have put his foot down but that is 20 – 20 hindsight and he was/ is no Conservative.

      • Sound&Fury

        You conveniently left out the part played by the Clinton administration's expansion of the CRA in 1993, along with support given by Jim Johnson at Fannie Mae, and congressional enablers like Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and the CBC. But of course, you knew that, didn't you?

    • ptsargent

      Wm Griffith — you named most of the culprits however you missed a couple of the bigger ones: Kerry and Obama. Kerry received more cash contributions from Fred/Fan than anyone and Obama was a close 2nd, including contributions when HE WAS A STATE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS. Why would a State Senator get a payoff from federal backed entities who operate on a national basis ? Very good question none of our “alert” media bothered to ask during the campaign of ’07. Think it might come up during the campaign of ’08???? Also the Repubs tried on 6, as in S-I-X, different occasions to reign in Fred/Fan with regulations and were and were shot down by the CBC, Barney, Schumer, Kerry and all the rest of the plantation managers. Think we need some house cleaning!!!!!!!!!!

    • mlcblog

      I think starting with this Lerner creep is just fine.

    • Jim Catano

      Wow, and not a single conservative Republican helped dismantle financial protections. This isn't even revisionist history. It's revisionist current events.

  • Brujo Blanco

    Big banks were forced by the government to provide bad loans. Government put us in the situation wenare in now. Unions are indeed the brownshirts doing Obama’s dirty work. They are willingly capable of violence to get their way. Union violence is generally tolerated by the courts if their violence is promoting union policy. They are ideal for joining other leftist thugs.

    • Jim Catano

      Yeah, right. But wouldn't that have been the Bush government? And those poor banks were "forced" to give out those loans, repackage them and sell them as prime. And the execs were forced to take all those bonuses, too. This sounds worse than the Holocaust. Let's get relief for those poor bankers.

  • Tchiock

    Obama and Soros are not going to stop this "Paid Thuggism." Soros is bankrolling it. The bastard came here in 1956 to presumably get away from Communism—but it turns out after stealing money in the free market, he is a Marxist.. We need to educate America and turn on this Money-Power-Mad-Thug!

  • PhillipGaley

    . . . . comes across just a whole lot like "the Che", . . .

  • Carol

    Didn't Lerner make a six-figure salary while head of the SEIU? And doesn't he have a huge pension? And access to the WH? Sorta makes him part of the 1%, doesn't it. Too bad the kool-aid drinkers in OWS can't think for themselves or they'd know how they're being used. Some of them will wise up when Mommy & Daddy stop sending $$ and they actually have to get jobs The others….they'll probably wind up getting PhDs in such useful subjects as "Gender Studies" and "Anti-Colonialism Poetry of the 20th Century" and teaching yet another generation how to "bring down the Man." Sigh….

  • Arboreal Penderghast
  • Oceander

    Stephen K. Lerner & Marilyn G Sneiderman
    (202) 291-8533
    7400 12th St NW
    Washington, DC 20012-1724
    http://www.whitepages.com/name/Stephen-K-Lerner/W

  • Sound&Fury

    What is his home address? Maybe we ought to return the favor & pay him a little visit.

  • Ellman

    George Washington thought he had problems in the 'Whiskey Rebellion' of 1792. I wonder what would he think if he lived today about how many traitors we have inside this country and this government? His primary concern as President was to maintain the union of the 13 original states. How would he react to the deliberate goals of people like George Soros and Obama to disintegrate this union entirely? We are suffering the consequences of a federal government grown to monsterous proportions, a government far more tyrannical than that of King George III, a society with more traitors than Loyalists in 1776.

  • alexander

    "everybody will get goods according to his/her needs" – says one of communist mottoes ..And who decides how much you'll get??
    HE (the "quick Lerner"of socialism) does – and the REST OF THAT CROWD. Everything for them, and the rest, if anything is left, for "the masses" – i.e. the rest of us.

  • alexander

    "everybody will get goods according to his/her needs" – says one of communist mottoes ..And who decides how much you'll get?? He and others like him… and they live better than kings, and, if there is anything left, "the masses" – us – get it.

  • deserttrek

    treason against The People pure and simple. this goon should be tried and then ………

  • StephenD

    “It’s one thing if we say JPMorgan Chase crashed the economy. It’s another thing if we say Jamie Dimon makes $20 million a year, who is involved in the opera and all these philanthropies, and thinks he’s a nice guy, and he’s destroying our lives.”

    Let's be honest, regardless of what Jamie Dimon makes for a salary, it doesn't influence our paycheck one iota. Those that are able to be misled by such statements don’t have much going on as individuals to begin with.

  • http://internetfraudsissues.blogspot.com Internet Frauds

    Nice post.Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very useful!
    I’m still waiting for some interesting thoughts from your side in your next post thanks

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  • Hmmm…

    Only 60 billion dollars went to Obama in 2008, not 85 Billion.

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  • Randolph Rivers

    What a jackass.

  • Randolph Rivers

    All unions suck. Go to work and shout up. You are suppost to be working and building things. However, all you want is free stuff. Lazy worthless scum. Marina Seerin what a sad little girl. Stephen Lerner why don't we teach people to buy only what they can afford not what they want because somebody else has it. They forget some us do earn what we have and we currish it because we earned it. Enough with the free stuff. I said it before go to work and shout up we don't care what you think is important….we don't care.Shout up.

  • Randolph Rivers

    Unions suck.

  • mlcblog

    You are so right. Commies abound, only in every disguise imaginable.

    What is so hard for me is that people buy it…because I think our wonderful way of life has not been taught to them. We were given a peaceful way to have revolution every four years and the means to keep our government in check but we must be involved and work at it, not take it for granted, or we see this type of idiotic machine trying to take us over.

  • Jim Catano

    Oh, an actual terrorist operative. I'm sure the FBI will want to know a little more about Oceander.