Congressman Al Green is Serious About Trump Impeachment

New Orleans   Before you say anything, let me be clear. We’re big Al Green fans. Huge, simply, huge! Houston’s Democratic Congressman Al Green has been our go-to-guy for the last dozen years, whenever Local 100 United Labor Unions or ACORN needed help on anything, anytime. When there was a resolution in Congress to ban ACORN, Al Green wasn’t voting for it, even as many of our friends folded like cheap suits. When ACORN International wanted a delegation of Korean mayors and legislators to meet a Congressman, who do you think agreed to meet them? Al Green, that’s who. When Local 100 has a leadership conference anywhere within shouting of Houston, and sometimes even in New Orleans, who has keynoted unfailingly? Yes, Al Green. When we needed help to fight for better remittance policies and against payday lending, Green took our cause to the House Financial Services Committee. He brought us to his office to discuss a national living wage bill and an increase in the federal minimum wage. He represents Houston, but was born and raised in New Orleans. Don’t ever tell me that we don’t support Congressman Al Green.

So, were we surprised when Al Green took the floor of the House of Representatives and formally offered Articles of Impeachment against President Donald Trump? Heck no, he had told us last June in Houston that he was going to ask that Trump be impeached then. It was just a matter of time, and the time had obviously come. Al Green had had enough.

The Washington Post catches the weight and drama of Green’s move:

Rep. Al Green (D-Tex.) came to the House floor at 12:13 p.m… to offer articles of impeachment under special House rules requiring a floor vote; he returned to the floor at 1:34 to force that vote. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) offered a motion to table the resolution, which was adopted on a 364 to 58 vote. Every lawmaker who opposed the motion was a Democrat, as were four others who voted present.

The top two House Democrats both voted to table the resolution after coming out against Green’s effort shortly before the House voted.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) issued a joint statement opposed Green’s push, though they stopped short of calling on Democrats to vote to kill it.

 

The leadership’s argument was to keep working hard to oppose Trump initiatives and to let the special counsel proceed with investigations into Russian collusion in Trump’s election. They had made the argument before, and Green was not to be dissuaded this time.

So, sure, it’s also not a surprise that he got beaten, but he got 57 other recorded votes besides his own for articles of impeachment, and that’s something, even if 12% is a long way from a majority. Don’t tell me that Mister Hypersensitive in the White House didn’t notice that as well. Win or lose, it’s not a good day in the West Wing when there’s a vote to impeach you for malfeasance in office.

Notice has been served, and, we know Congressman Al Green, so trust us, this is serious, and he’s not going away, so someone in the White House better straighten their act up and do it ASAP.

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Players, NFLPA, and Local 100 ULU All Seem Winners After Owners Meeting

Demonstrators rally outside the location of the annual NFL owners meeting in New York City, NY, U.S. October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

New York City   It’s never over until it’s over, but for at least one meeting, the bully-boy owners and the National Football League have been forced to back away from their threats and ignore the even bigger bullying and Twitter threats of President Trump as well.

Reports from the NFL owners’ meeting in New York indicate that almost a dozen owners were present at the meeting physically along with the NFL Players’ Association chief and about a dozen players. There was supposedly a dialogue on the issues of racial discrimination. Supposedly, there will be some initiatives taken by the league to support efforts at alleviation racial discrimination. Among the players were some who had been part of protests.

Importantly, despite earlier statements by some owners, like Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys, there was no discussion of any rule changes for the anthem. In fact there were commitments that there would be no fines, penalties, or discipline for any players continuing to protest throughout the season.

Before the meeting former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kapernick, whose initial actions last year triggered these on-going protests over racial discrimination and police brutality, filed a grievance accusing all of the owners and teams throughout the league of “collusion” in their continuing refusal to hire him despite his record last season. The grievance goes to an arbitrator and, if successful, could trigger triple damages. Since his salary was $15 million, if awarded back pay because of the league’s blackballing, he could collect up to $45 million.

All of this seems to be pretty much a hands-down victory for the players, their union, and our own union, Local 100 United Labor Unions, who filed a charge with the NLRB Region 16 in Fort Worth over the disciplinary threats of Dallas Cowboys owner Jones. Not to be a wet blanket in the celebration, but this is likely to be a celebration for a battle won, rather than the end of the war. The owners had been caught red-handed in violation of labor law, as pointed out by Local 100, but also according to other noted academic observers in violation of basic free speech protections of the First Amendment of the Constitution as well as the Civil Rights Act. They were also going to be in violation of their own labor agreement with the NFLPA which blocks unilateral changes or in fact any rule changes once training camp ends and the season begins.

The owners and the league though are still worried about the continued harassment from President Trump, though the 49ers owner publicly indicated that they just had to ignore all of that. The impact of fan reaction potentially accelerating the recent attendance decline and television ratings slide is likely something that will command their attention more than the President since it hits their pocket books directly. Is this now a “charm offensive,” as the owners try to win back their own players first and try for a wink-and-nod at stepping up against racial injustice in hoping to exchange the public protests seen by the fans for private discussion and concessions brokered by the union? Given that they seem to be willing to invite Kapernick to future meetings, and he seems open to attending, I would almost bet on it.

Some measure of the current victory though is a report that Jerry Jones when confronted by Black Lives Matter protests in the lobby of the New York meeting hotel, listened, and kept his mouth shut. For Local 100’s part, that is a huge victory in itself and, depending on how the weekend games play out, could be sufficient for us to withdraw out charge at the labor board for now.

We’ll have to wait and see, but in the meantime, as organizers everywhere would say, “a win is a win.”

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