The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

St. Louis in the news

Congratulations to Anne's home-town team, the St. Louis Cardinals, winning the World Series against the team that the Cubs last played for the same title. As a Cubs fan, I had some difficulty rooting for the Cardinals (the teams' rivalry goes back to the beginnings of professional baseball in the 1880s), but since the Tigers are in the American League I managed to do so.

Also of note to St. Louisians, it was on this day in 1965 that engineers completed the Gateway Arch.

Cintas intimidates its own employees

Cintas, a uniform company (they make and launder uniforms for nurses, security guards, etc.), has decided to follow a DHS proposal—it doesn't have the force of law—that encourages employers to fire workers who have Social Security-number mismatches or in other ways fail to re-verify that they are authorized to work in the U.S. The effect of this action will be to intimidate immigrant workers, legal or not, and help them keep their payroll costs down.

The thing is, this is none of the company's business. The affected workers may have legal problems with the IRS or with ICE, but for all practical purposes this doesn't affect the company one way or the other. I don't think Cintas can make a straight-faced claim that the legal status of a minimum-wage seamstress or launderer threatens their business. On the other hand, if their workers worry that in addition to having an expensive and frightening experience with Immigration they also might lose their jobs, they'll be a lot less likely to agitate for a living wage or safe working conditions.

One of my long-standing clients, a labor-rights organization, has documented so many of Cintas' anti-worker policies (starting with poverty wages) that this is really only the latest, not the worst. So if you ever have to rent uniforms for your business, don't use Cintas.

Tribune endorses Bean

The Chicago Tribune has endorsed two suburban Democrats in one week. How unexpected. Imagine the Wall Street Journal endorsing Hillary Clinton or Maxine Waters, and you have some idea why I'm surprised. Today they've endorsed Melissa Bean:

Rep. Bean has recognized the need to listen very carefully to her constituents--she's a Democrat in a district that gave 56 percent of its vote to President Bush in 2004. She has charted a moderate, independent course and earned the support of Republicans and Democrats. She has been strong on national defense. She took a risk by voting for the Central America Free Trade Agreement. She knew that would anger some in organized labor—but that it would help businesses in her district expand and create jobs. She is an advocate for small business, gaining her the endorsement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She has the Tribune's endorsement for a second term in the 8th Congressional District

Of course, they managed to be flip and condescending in their endorsement, headlining it "Melissa Bean's Moxie," but still, it's a step. They go on to refuse, pointedly, to endorse my representative, Jan Schakowsky; but since no one knows who's running against her, and last time she won with 76% of the vote, I'm not too worried.

Go Tammy!

Congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth (D, IL-06) is on WBEZ-Chicago's 848 right now, wiping the floor with her right-wing opponent, Peter Roskam. Tune in if you aren't already listening.

"Well, Peter, I've been to Iraq, where I had steak and lobster every night but I didn't have armor on the truck I drove that carried 5,000 gallons of aviation fuel."

Update: The show is available for download (.mp3, 26.2 MB).

Disclosure: I have contributed money to the Duckworth campaign.

Want a better Congress?

Here are three ways to help, right in TDP's back yard. You can contribute a few bucks to Melissa Bean, running for re-election to Congress from Illinois' 8th district, to Tammy Duckworth, running for Henry Hyde's seat in the Illinois 6th, or to Dan Seals in the Illinois 10th.

Duckworth is currently polling within the margin of error against her opponent, Peter Roskam, who continually sinks to new depths in his desperate campaign to keep the seat in Greedy Old Party hands. The GOP has just given almost half a million dollars to Roskam, all for negative ads attacking Duckworth. So her campaign might need a little more than the other two right now.

Update: Duckworth picked up the Chicago Tribune's endorsement today. The Tribune generally leans right of center, in much the same way that Ronald Reagan did; so their endorsement is notable.

Disclosure: I have contributed money to all three campaigns mentioned in this post, and I plan to volunteer for Duckworth on election day (19 days, 4 hours).

Cook County, Illinois, judge guide for voters

The Chicago Bar Association has released its recommendations for judicial retentions in the upcoming elections. Illinois voters have the opportunity to reject judges each year. A judge needs to get 60% yes votes to keep his or her seat, and every year, the CBA and other organizations recommend that a few not be retained. This year's losers include:

CYNTHIA BRIM - NOT RECOMMENDED

The candidate declined to participate in the Judicial Evaluation Committee (JEC) screening process and, therefore, according to The Chicago Bar Association's governing resolution for the JEC, is automatically found NOT RECOMMENDED.

BARBARA J. DISKO - NOT RECOMMENDED

The candidate declined to participate in the Judicial Evaluation Committee (JEC) screening process and, therefore, according to The Chicago Bar Association's governing resolution for the JEC, is automatically found NOT RECOMMENDED.

LORETTA EADIE-DANIELS - NOT RECOMMENDED

Judge Loretta Eadie-Daniels is not recommended for retention as a Circuit Court Judge. Judge Eadie-Daniels was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1977 and has served as a judge since 2000. Judge Eadie-Daniels enjoys the respect of those who appear before her for her integrity. However, it is the considered view of the Committee that Judge Eadie-Daniels does not possess the necessary depth and breadth of legal knowledge to serve as a Circuit Court Judge.

DONNA PHELPS FELTON - NOT RECOMMENDED

The candidate declined to participate in the Judicial Evaluation Committee (JEC) screening process and, therefore, according to The Chicago Bar Association's governing resolution for the JEC, is automatically found NOT RECOMMENDED.

MARCELLA CARMEN LIPINSKI - NOT RECOMMENDED

Judge Marcella C. Lipinski is not recommended for retention as a Circuit Court Judge. Judge Lipinski was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1980 and has served as a judge since 2000. Judge Lipinski does not possess the necessary temperament and demeanor to serve as a Circuit Court Judge.

P. SCOTT NEVILLE, JR. - NOT RECOMMENDED

The candidate declined to participate in the Judicial Evaluation Committee (JEC) screening process and, therefore, according to The Chicago Bar Association's governing resolution for the JEC, is automatically found NOT RECOMMENDED.

AMANDA S. TONEY - NOT RECOMMENDED

Judge Amanda S. Toney is not recommended for retention as a Circuit Court Judge. Judge Toney was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1985 and has served as a judge since 1994. Judge Toney needs to improve her punctuality and diligence in managing her courtroom call. Many cases assigned to her sit for much too long a period without disposition.

PAMELA E. HILL VEAL (D) - NOT RECOMMENDED

The candidate declined to participate in the Judicial Evaluation Committee (JEC) screening process and, therefore, according to The Chicago Bar Association's governing resolution for the JEC, is automatically found NOT RECOMMENDED.

GLORIA CHEVERE (D) - NOT RECOMMENDED

The candidate declined to participate in the Judicial Evaluation Committee (JEC) screening process and, therefore, according to The Chicago Bar Association's governing resolution for the JEC, is automatically found NOT RECOMMENDED.

ELLEN L. FLANNIGAN (D) - NOT RECOMMENDED

Ellen L. Flannigan is not recommended for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Ms. Flannigan was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1988. While Ms. Flannigan is well respected for her integrity and diligence, she does not possess the breadth and depth of experience to serve as a Circuit Court Judge.

JILL C. MARISIE (R) - NOT RECOMMENDED

Jill C. Marisie is not recommended for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Ms. Marisie was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1990. While the candidate has a fine demeanor, she lacks the requisite depth and breadth of legal experience to serve as a Circuit Court Judge.

DANIEL PATRICK BRENNAN (D)- NOT RECOMMENDED

The candidate declined to participate in the Judicial Evaluation Committee (JEC) screening process and, therefore, according to The Chicago Bar Association's governing resolution for the JEC, is automatically found NOT RECOMMENDED.