Was he at work? Iowa aide sent no emails in last 2 months on the job

A top aide of the Iowa Secretary of State who was paid for seven months following when his position was officially axed sent no emails during the last two months on the job.

A top aide to the Iowa Secretary of State who was paid for seven months after his job was eliminated sent no emails during his last two months in the office, records obtained by The Des Moines Register show.

The paucity of electronic correspondence is raising new questions about how much work the former chief deputy actually did while he remained on the state payroll and fueled calls on Thursday that taxpayers be refunded that portion of his salary.

“He wasn’t too damn busy, was he?” said Rep. Bruce Hunter, D-Des Moines and member of the House State Government Committee. “You can’t do a job like that without sending electronic communications. It’s just more evidence of cronyism.”


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Clinton WIN Committee Meeting

Reminder that we are holding our regular monthly WIN meeting in Clinton on Monday, April 28th at 7PM

We have Maggie Stafford, Candidate for Recorder  arriving for her interview at 7PM and Gayle Dolan, Candidate for Supervisor will come at 7:30.
Hope to see you there.
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Join us on Sunday, May 4th, from 1-2pm for a dedication service for Dick Fallow’s Memorial Tree.

Dear Friends, Join us on Sunday, May 4th, from 1-2pm for a dedication service for Dick Fallow’s Memorial Tree. A white swamp oak was planted in Dick Fallow’s honor last fall and is now established. For those who know about … Continue reading

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Patrick Hughes and Iowa City Fed Honored

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As a part of Earth Week, the Johnson County Board of Supervisors issued a resolution of appreciation to honor Patrick Hughes (President of the Iowa City Federation of Labor) and the Iowa City Federation of Labor thanking them for their … Continue reading

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Citizenship Day 2014 Highlights Growing Partnership between NPNA and AFL-CIO

15 naturalization workshops planned this Saturday across the country This Saturday’s Citizenship Day 2014 marks another milestone in a campaign spearheaded by the AFL-CIO and the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) to help eligible immigrant workers across the country … Continue reading

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Labor History

April 25

The New York Times declares the struggle for an 8-hour workday to be “un-American” and calls public demonstrations for the shorter hours “labor disturbances brought about by foreigners.” Other publications declare that an eight-hour workday day would bring about “loafing and gambling, rioting, debauchery and drunkenness” – 1886

2014.04.21history-lexicon-bookcoverIWW Marine Transport Workers begin West Coast strike – 1923
(The Lexicon of Labor: Learn what “IWW” stands for, and many other labor terms in this invaluable resource for all unionists, from rank-and-file activists to newsletter editors and webmasters to union leaders. It offers readable, informative descriptions of more than 500 key terms, places, people and events in American labor history, from explaining who the Wobblies and Knights of Labor were to reporting on the 1997 Teamster strike at UPS. It includes dozens of new terms and developments and introduces a new generation to the labor lexicon.)

The Reverend Ralph David Abernathy and 100 others are arrested while picketing a Charleston, S.C., hospital in a demand for union recognition – 1969

Supreme Court rules that employers may not require female employees to make larger contributions to pension plans in order to obtain the same monthly benefits as men – 1978

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Matt Schultz aide kept $126,000 salary after job was cut

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz, who is running for Congress as a budget-cutting conservative, allowed his top aide to keep collecting a $126,000 annual salary for months after deciding to eliminate his job, The Associated Press has learned.

Schultz decided in May 2012 to cut the office’s chief deputy position held for 17 months by Jim Gibbons, a former Iowa State wrestling coach and Republican congressional candidate, under a restructuring that ultimately saved money. But rather than dismiss Gibbons quickly as he did to four career workers laid off that summer, Schultz took unusual steps that kept his political appointee on the payroll through the end of the year.


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Branstad accused of sweeping allegations against former Vet’s Home chief “under the rug”

There’s still an open investigation of allegations the former commandant of the Iowa Veterans Home mistreated residents of the home, plus new questions are being raised about a previous investigation of allegations the home’s manager sexually harassed and threatened employees.

Jeff Panknen of the Iowa Department of Administrative Services conducted two investigations into complaints about former Iowa Veterans Home Commandant David Worley, but Panknen told legislators today he cannot disclose many details.

“I’d want to make sure I’m allowed to share that information before I shared that,” Panknen said during a nearly two-and-a-half hour long Senate Oversight Committee hearing.


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Raise the Wage May Day March and Cash Bomb Thursday May 1st

Americans for Democratic Action in partnership with the Raise the Wage Iowa Coalition

5-5:30 Cash Bomb at Popcorn Heaven 403 Franklin St Franklin St.
Show your support for a brand new local small business who despite just opening is paying all of their employees well above the proposed new minimum wage of $10.10 an hour. Come and spend a few bucks on delicious gourmet popcorn and show your support for responsibly run local business.
5:30pm May Day March for Minimum Wage
Join Americans for Democratic Action as we march from Popcorn Heaven down Franklin St to the 220 East Gallery located at 220 East 4th Street where there will be live music, speakers, and a free dinner provided by ADA.
For questions contact:
Chris Schwartz
Americans for Democratic Action
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Workers Memorial Day Events Around Iowa

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Workers Memorial Day 2014 Events All Around Iowa Working  families, faith leaders, and local officials will gather around Iowa, Friday through Monday, for a vigil to commemorate those who have perished or suffered injuries or illness on the job and … Continue reading

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Testimony alleging sexual harassment by Iowa official released

The identity and testimony of a former Iowa government employee who alleged she was sexually harassed by her boss has been made public by Senate Democrats.

Lisa Purvis, a former executive at the Iowa Veterans Home, made the allegations against former Commandant David Worley in February of 2012.

Purvis shared the 2012 audio recording of the testimony she gave to the Iowa Department of Administrative Services with members of the Senate Government Oversight Committee, which is investigating a string of government actions that include confidential settlement agreements with state employees costing taxpayers more than $500,000 since Branstad resumed office in January of 2011.


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Resolution of Appreciation to Patrick Hughes and Iowa City Federation of Labor

Johnson County Board of Supervisors Resolution

Resolution of Appreciation to Patrick Hughes and Iowa City Federation of Labor

Thursday, April 24

9:00 am

Johnson County Board of Supervisor’s Meeting

County Administration Building 2nd Floor

913 S Dubuque St, Iowa City

As a part of Earth Week, the Board will be issuing a resolution of appreciation to Patrick Hughes and the Iowa City Federation of Labor thanking them for their partnership in securely recycling outdated license plates.  The proceeds from this recycling is donated to local charities serving the people of Johnson County.  Many agencies have received funding from Iowa City Federation of Labor from the proceeds of recycled plates.  Since the program began in the 1990′s approximately $30,000 has been raised and donated to local charities. Since the new drop box was installed in front of the Administration building last year donations have increased.

Please join us this Thursday to honor Patrick Hughes and Iowa City Federation of Labor.

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Labor History

April 242014.04.21history-Mumia-Abu-Jamal

The Int’l Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union halts shipping on the West Coast in solidarity with Mumia Abu-Jamal, a Philadelphia journalist who many believed was on death row because he was an outspoken African-American – 1999

An eight-story building housing garment factories in Dhaka, India collapses, killing 1,129 workers and injuring 2,515.  A day earlier cracks had been found in the structure,  but factory officials, who had contracts with Benneton and other major U.S. labels, insisted the workers return to the job the next day – 2013

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Colfax-Mingo Schools Outsourcing Proposal Fails to Pass

Last night, the Colfax-Mingo School Board considered a plan to outsource custodial services at Colfax-Mingo Schools. The plan failed because no school board member would second the motion!

AFSCME members worked hard to stop this outsourcing proposal: they attended multiple school board meetings, called school board members, and collected petition signatures from the public.

Thank you to the many AFSCME members who successfully fought this outsourcing proposal.

Colfax-Mingo students, parents, teachers, and staff can rest assured knowing they will continue to have experienced and trusted custodial staff in their schools.

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Of Monarchs, Wages and Schools

Of Monarchs, Wages and Schools It’s Earth Day, and We Need More Jobs and Better Budgets Today is Earth Day: IPP’s David Osterberg puts a good focus on it today in a column for the Cedar Rapids Gazette: http://thegazette.com/subject/opinion/guest-columnists/go-green-on-local-level-help-monarchs-20140422. Excerpt: When … Continue reading

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NEW POLL: Branstad Approval Rating Plummets After Scandals

  22 Apr 2014 — 02:46 PM   Governor Branstad’s approval rating has plummeted after a series of scandals in his administration, and Iowans do not believe the Governor is being honest about his knowledge of those scandals, according to … Continue reading

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Labor History


2014.04.21history-stullApril 23

The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) is founded through a merger of the Trades and Labour Congress of Canada (TLC) and the Canadian Congress of Labour (CCL), the two major union congresses in Canada at the time. The CLC represents the interests of more than three million affiliated workers – 1956

Death of Ida Mae Stull, nationally recognized as the country’s first woman coal miner – 1980
(I Knew I Could Do This Work: Seven Strategies That Promote Women’s Activism and Leadership in Unions: Although nearly half of union members in the United States are female, little more than one leadership position in five is held by a woman. This report is designed to promote women’s activism and leadership within unions across the country at the local, state, regional, and national levels.)

United Farm Workers of America founder Cesar Chavez dies in San Luis, Ariz., at age 66 – 1993

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Keeping Score: Old Fashioned Cronyism Alive and Well in the Branstad Administration

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By Charlie Wishman, Secretary Treasurer Iowa Federation of Labor I’m someone who actually likes to keep score through all nine innings at baseball games.  It’s an odd habit, but when you finish the game you have a better understanding about … Continue reading

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Voters: Don’t forget Chiodo’s voter suppression

As a union member, president of the South Central Iowa Federation of Labor and the chief lobbyist for the Iowa Federation of Labor before I retired, I worked to pass progressive legislation for working people. I’ve worked with Democratic officials for years to pass legislation designed to increase voter turnout.

That’s why I’m outraged to see Ned Chiodo who’s running as a Democrat for state Senate trying to strip 50,000 Iowans of their right to vote. I’m equally outraged at the silence of Democratic leaders who have remained mute as Chiodo continues his voter-suppression effort.

Does Ned Chiodo think he’s so important that it’s worth risking control of the Iowa Senate so he can remove a candidate from the ballot that he knows he can’t beat?


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Settlements scandal: Was there a mastermind?

It’s been five weeks since the public first learned that Gov. Terry Branstad’s administration engaged in secret settlements that included offers or actual payments of thousands of dollars to some former state employees in exchange for their silence.

That news has resulted in Branstad launching his own private work group to assess the issue, more than 10 hours of testimony before state lawmakers and the highly publicized termination of a state executive.

But despite the political stir and hundreds of pages of internal state documents being made public, Iowans have yet to learn how the administration wound up signing 24 agreements with confidentiality statements that cost taxpayers more than $500,000 over three years.

The agreements involved a dozen state agencies and were signed by two assistants in the Iowa attorney general’s office and eight state directors.


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