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Mark Connolly Send An Open Letter To Chris Sununu To Support Planned Parenthood Funding

CONCORD — Today, Mark Connolly released the following statement regarding the New Hampshire Executive Council’s upcoming consideration of a contract to fund Planned Parenthood of Northern New England’s healthcare clinics in five cities.

“When the health of tens of thousands of Granite Staters—and their access to safe, affordable care—is at stake, there’s only one way to vote,” Connolly said. “That’s why I urge the Executive Council to approve this critical funding for Planned Parenthood. Earlier today, I sent an open letter to my councilor, Chris Sununu, laying out the case for this contract and noting my expectation that he will do the right thing and vote to support it, along with his fellow councilors.

“I recommend that others who care about the vital services provided by Planned Parenthood do the same. I look forward to receiving Councilor Sununu’s response to my email and will continue to trust that he will put the health of countless Granite State women and families before politics.”

Connolly’s open letter to Councilor Sununu was sent via email earlier today. Its text is below:

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Mark Connolly is a New Hampshire native and a former State Representative who has served over 30 years as a business and community leader. From 2002–2010, he served as New Hampshire’s top financial watchdog. Mark currently resides in New Castle. 

The Nashua Labor Coalition Endorses Daniel Weeks For Executive Council In District 5

“We need a strong leader like Daniel Weeks to represent us as our Executive Councilor, who will put the people above partisan politics.”

Nashua Labor Coalition LogosToday, the Nashua Labor Coalition, a group of local union members and community activists, are proud to endorse Daniel Weeks for Executive Council from District 5, highlighting his commitment to bringing commuter rail to Southern New Hampshire.

Deb Howes, Chairwoman of the Nashua Labor Coalition released the following statement:

“We are proud to endorse Daniel Weeks for Executive Council,” said Deb Howes, Chairwoman of the Nashua Labor Coalition. “Daniel has spent many years advocating on behalf of working families, eliminating poverty, and restoring our democracy. Now he will be able to continue to fight for the working people of New Hampshire as our Executive Councilor.”

“Over the last few years we have seen the Executive Council take a decidedly partisan turn. Executive Councilor David Wheeler, and others on the council, attempted to block the expansion of Medicaid to thousands of low-income families, to defund women’s healthcare facilities, and most of all, blocked the expansion of rail service to Southern New Hampshire.

“Study after study has shown expanding rail service  in Southern New Hampshire will significantly boost our local economy. Yet David Wheeler continues to vote against expanding rail service, and against the people he represents. Daniel Weeks is committed to expanding rail service to Nashua and beyond, and will continue to do what is necessary to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.

“We need a strong leader like Daniel Weeks to represent us as our Executive Councilor, who will put the people above partisan politics.

 


The Nashua Labor Coalition is a chapter of NH AFL-CIO. It includes Nashua Area Affiliated and Non-Affiliated Unions, as well as community organizations.

Upcoming Vote To Restore Planned Parenthood Funding Shapes NH Governor’s Race

Approximately 1 in 5 women have relied on a Planned Parenthood health center at some point in their lifetime.

planned-parenthood-logoEarlier this week, the New Hampshire Executive Council meeting agenda was announced. On June 29th, Executive Councilors will vote on whether or not to restore funding to Planned Parenthood health centers throughout New Hampshire.

The lines are quickly being drawn as Colin Van Ostern urged his fellow Councilors to restore funding to Planned Parenthood.

“For nearly a year, New Hampshire women and families have been deprived of significant funding for critical medical care for birth control, cancer screenings, and annual exams when the Executive Council voted to restrict funding for Planned Parenthood,” said Colin Van Ostern, Executive Councilor and Democratic candidate for Governor. “It’s well past time to vote yes, and approve these funds, and stop playing politics with women’s health.”

“I will vote to approve funding for women’s health care on Wednesday and I encourage Councilor Sununu and his colleagues to vote yes, as well,” Van Ostern concluded.

Van Ostern has consistently been an outspoken advocate for Planned Parenthood and against any attempts to take away women’s reproductive rights. He has made women’s health a priority by working to restore funding for Planned Parenthood three of the past four years. In 2015, he was recognized by NARAL Pro-Choice NH for his work on this issue and was named the state’s “Champion for Choice.”

Executive Councilor and candidate for NH Governor, Chris Sununu is also weighing his decision on the upcoming vote. However, WMUR tweeted that Sununu has no comment on the upcoming Planned Parenthood vote and said, “He hasn’t seen the contract yet.”

Considering that Sununu voted to defund Planned Parenthood last year and the Republican Party as a whole is against Planned Parenthood, I expect he will vote against it as well.

Mayor Ted Gatsas, who is also running for Governor, was quick to show his misguided opposition to Planned Parenthood in a statement urging Chris Sununu to oppose the contract.

“I have consistently opposed public funding for Planned Parenthood and believe that there are many community health organizations that can provide alternate, high quality health care options for women. As governor, I will ensure that Planned Parenthood does not receive tax dollars.”

Jennifer Frizzell, Vice President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, was quick to point out how as Mayor, Gatsas has failed the people of Manchester when it comes to providing quality healthcare.

“For fifty years, tens of thousands of New Hampshire women, men, and young people have chosen Planned Parenthood of Northern New England as their healthcare provider, while Ted Gatsas has been working against public policies and programs that improve their health and safety.

“Under Ted Gatsas’ tenure as Manchester mayor, the City has consistently had the highest teen pregnancy rate in the state and the Manchester Health Department even shut down its STD/HIV clinics. Now Gatsas wants to further deny women, men and young people life-saving medical services such as cancer screenings, breast exams, access to contraception and STI testing and treatment.”

“Ted Gatsas is campaigning to spread his dangerous anti-women’s health agenda across the state and it is clear that the reproductive health of women and families and the public health of our communities is at great risk.”

“When it comes to funding for critical women’s health services Ted Gatsas is on the wrong side of public opinion, the wrong side of public health, and the wrong side of history. New Hampshire voters are watching and they will remember in the fall,” Frizzell concluded.

Thousands of working women rely on Planned Parenthood to provide quality, low cost healthcare in the Granite State. This should not be a partisan issue. These Councilors should put the health and safety of the people they swore to represent above partisan political bickering.

We urge all of the Executive Councilors to vote to restore funding to Planned Parenthood in New Hampshire.

 

 


Planned Parenthood Action Fund will be hosting a “rally in pink” to urge Councilors to restore funding to Planned Parenthood prior to the Executive Council meeting on June 29th at 9am.
(More details on PPAF’s Facebook Event)

Also take a few seconds to sign the petition urging Executive Councilor to restore funding for Planned Parenthood health centers.


 

Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump: The GOP Grifters

By BERRY CRAIG
AFT Local 1360

Four sentences from Hillary Clinton’s Columbus, Ohio, speech should be tacked on bulletin boards in every union hall:

“Trump ties are made in China. Trump furniture in Turkey. Trump picture frames in Indiana. Trump barware in Slovenia and I could go on and on, but you get the idea.”

Donald Trump Fool AidIndeed most union members do, including this retiree who voted for Bernie Sanders in the Kentucky primary. We’re backing Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee who the AFL-CIO recently endorsed.

But it’s crucial that she keep hammering home the fact that Donald Trump is as phony as his orange-is-the-new blonde hair hue. That’s especially so on issues vital to those of us who pack union cards.

Oh, Trump the big-time outsourcer never misses a chance to trash U.S. companies that ship jobs and production to cheap labor countries—often after busting stateside unions.

It’s funny, though. The all but certain GOP nominee hasn’t denied what Clinton said about him. Nor did the self-appointed media “fact checkers” cry foul at her remarks.

Anyway, with Trump “it’s déjà vu all over again,” to quote the late Yankee great Yogi Berra. Trump is running a scam on working stiffs that reminds me of Ronald Reagan’s almost identical con job.

The Gipper, the most anti-union president since Herbert Hoover, claimed to champion blue collar America. The Donald does, too.

Sad to say, Reagan’s sucker play worked on more than a few union members. They helped elect the guy.

“Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost!” pre-President Reagan said. Only months after he took office, he smashed the Professional Air Traffic Controllers, one of the few unions that endorsed him.

When PATCO members went on strike for better pay and working conditions, Reagan fired them. Their union was decertified and strikers were prohibited from ever working for Uncle Sam again. (President Bill Clinton lifted the ban.)

By crushing PATCO, Reagan flashed “an unambiguous signal that employers need feel little or no obligation to their workers, and employers got that message loud and clear – illegally firing workers who sought to unionize, replacing permanent employees who could collect benefits with temps who could not, shipping factories and jobs abroad,” the Washington Post’s Harold Meyerson wrote.

(Before he decided to run for president, Trump was on board with outsourcing.)

Reagan’s bare-knucks union-busting shouldn’t have surprised PATCO. The AFL-CIO repeatedly warned that his sometimes pro-union rhetoric was a far cry from his anti-union positions. Reagan touted “right to work” laws when he ran for president.

The AFL-CIO endorsed President Jimmy Carter’s reelection. So did nearly every union.

“A union member voting for Ronald Reagan is like a chicken voting for Col. Sanders,” said a sign in a Paducah union hall 26 years ago.

I don’t know if anybody saved the sign. But if somebody did, it ought to go back up with “Ronald Reagan” painted out and “Donald Trump” painted on.

Like Reagan’s in 1980, Trump’s record is out there, plain for all to see.

Trump says he prefers “right to work” states to non-RTW states.

Trump is fine with U.S. companies pulling up stakes in one state and relocating in another. Translation: Trump is cool with companies busting unions in non-RTW states and moving to RTW states.

Trump is fighting tooth-and-nail to keep his Las Vegas hotel workers from organizing a union.

“Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.,” is the tagline The Huffington Post puts on its stories about the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

I’ve packed a union card for more than 20 years. Trump mocks the fundamental principle of trade unionism: In a union, everybody is a brother or sister, regardless of race, creed, religion, ethnicity, sexuality or anything else.

In a 1967 speech, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, one of labor’s best friends ever in Washington, told a story that captured the essence of our movement:

“…Trade unionism is about human dignity, just as much as it is about wages, hours and working conditions. I remember vividly what ·an old Polish-American worker told a good friend of mine here:

“‘You know what the union really means to me. Twenty years ago, when I first came to this shop, everybody called me ‘dumb Polack.’ Now they call me ‘Brother.'”

Grifters Reagan and Trump also put me in mind of the old expression, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Reagan was once. Trump would be twice.

LiUNA Calls On Congress To Pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform

 Supreme Court Split Decision on Immigration Underscores Importance of this Election and Urgency for Congress to Act on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

(Terry O'Sullivan is the General President of the Laborers International Union of North America - LiUNA)

(Terry O’Sullivan is the General President of the Laborers International Union of North America – LiUNA)

Washington, D.C. (June 24, 2016) – Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – made the following statement today on the Supreme Court’s split decision on the President’s Executive Order to provide relief to immigrant families:

The Supreme Court’s inability to make a decision; thereby blocking any potential relief for immigrant families, underscores the importance of this election at all levels of government. The next President of the United States will have the critical job of filling the vacant seat on the Supreme Court—a seat that will be the deciding vote on critical issues that have an impact on families, workers, and our nation for years to come.

President Obama’s Executive Order was a temporary solution that was put forth after the U.S. House rejected the Senate’s bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform legislation. LIUNA was proudly founded in 1903 by immigrant workers and we have long been a proud and united advocate for comprehensive immigration reform. The current system is broken and leads to unfair results in far too many cases; including tragic family separations and worker exploitation. It is outrageous and perplexing that while this Congress cannot get comprehensive immigration reform done, it is able to get expansion of exploitative H2B visa programs passed.

It’s up to Congress to right the injustices in our current immigration system and it’s urgent that they do so. The 2016 elections, which are around the corner, will set the stage for action on immigration and many other issues critical to our members. LIUNA strongly supports candidates like Secretary Hillary Clinton for President of the United States, who will champion working class families, fight for immigration reform, and put the right person on the Supreme Court so that America continues to be a country that provides protection from exploitation and grants every person the opportunity to prosper from hard work.

The Alliance For Retired Americans Blasts Paul Ryan’s “Better Way” Plan

(HTTP://ABETTERWAY.SPEAKER.GOV)

(HTTP://ABETTERWAY.SPEAKER.GOV)

Ryan’s “Better Way” for Health Care Would be Dangerous for Seniors and Inferior to Current Medicare System

Seniors Would Have to Wait Until 67 for Coverage 

The following statement was issued today by Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, in response to House Speaker Paul Ryan’s release of “A Better Way” health care plan: 

“U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan calls his health care plan ‘A Better Way,’ but it is far inferior to the current system and dangerous for Americans.

“Seniors should not be misled. The Speaker wants to raise the Medicare eligibility age to 67 and change the program away from guaranteed benefits to a system of ‘premium support.’

“Premium support is a paltry substitute for the earned health care benefits that Americans have paid into throughout their lives and which they have a right to once they turn 65. 

“Ryan also wants to double down on one of the weakest parts of the current Medicare system. He would have Medicare adopt the so-called ‘competitive structure proven successful by Medicare Part D.’ Of course Part D has done nothing to rein in skyrocketing prescription drug prices for taxpayers or retirees and includes unnecessary giveaways for private insurance companies.

“If the Ryan plan were to be adopted, seniors would pay through the nose – with both their physical health and their financial health.”

Three Gubernatorial Hopefuls Face Off for First Time

Forum-062016-120SEA/SEIU Local 1984 Hosts Candidate Forum for Members 

Earlier this week, the three Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates met on the same stage for the first time.  Colin Van Ostern, Steve Marchand and Mark Connolly participated in a town hall style forum hosted by the State Employees’ Association/SEIU Local 1984.  The Forum took place at NHTI in Concord and was open only to union members and their families. 

Members of the union asked questions the candidates each had the opportunity to answer. Candidates were asked what they would do, if elected, about issues that are important to the state’s public workers. Topics included high student debt, revenue shortages, infrastructure challenges ranging from bridges to passenger rail, and retiree health benefits.

“This was a great opportunity for members to hear from the candidates face to face,” said Rich Gulla, President of SEA/SEIU Local 1984. “This sort of interaction with the potential new Governor will allow members to make a more informed decision when they head to the polls this fall.” 

Member reaction to the Forum was positive and many stated they liked some of what each candidate had to say. “This experience has given me more knowledge about my choices in the election of our next Governor, and will help me make a decision about who I support in the upcoming race” said Cheryl Towne, a member of the union. “Each of the candidates came across well and they all seemed capable of the job.  I was very happy to have had this opportunity, I know this doesn’t happen easily and I thank the union staff and members who made this event possible,” she added. 

“I think it is very important for public employees to get to know all of the candidates,” said Towne. “After all, the person who wins this race will be our ‘boss’ and they will be the one putting together the next state budget. I like hearing that they have been listening to our issues. I thought they answered our questions with ease and showed they were very knowledgeable about our concerns.  Their budget will fund the services that we provide and drive policies that affect the delivery of services, as well, so we need to learn as much about the candidate’s as possible.”

“All three of them have great vision for what New Hampshire should look like going forward,” said Diana Richard, Chapter 16. “Because there were a lot of similarities between all three of them, it’s going to make the choice very difficult on who would do the best job as governor.”

Candidate Mark Connolly agreed that the forum was a positive experience. “Monday night’s SEA Candidates Forum offered an important and thoughtful debate, and I was excited to join state employees to directly discuss the issues that matter to them and to working families across the Granite State,” he said. “As Governor, I look forward to partnering with SEA and its members to continue building a government that works for all of us. Together, we’ll push for more secure retirements for public employees and forward-thinking state budgeting, and we’ll keep New Hampshire moving in the right direction.” 

Executive Councilor Van Ostern also commented on the event. “It was a privilege to meet and learn from the hardworking members of SEA,” said Van Ostern. “I’m proud to have stood with state employees against so-called right to work legislation and as Governor, I’ll work with state employees to continue moving New Hampshire forward.” 

Candidate Marchand also spoke highly of the evening. “I appreciate the opportunity to speak with public employees in New Hampshire. We need to be honest about the need for additional revenue to make the public investments which attract private investment, young talent, and new jobs to New Hampshire. Maintaining a high-quality public sector workforce is a critical part of that vision,” said Steve Marchand.  “As Governor, I am committed to strengthening and valuing the partnership with our public employees essential to making New Hampshire an amazing place to start a family, and start a business.”

SEA/SEIU Local 1984 is currently planning a similar forum for the Republican Gubernatorial candidates to take place later this summer.

VA Employees Hold Dozens of Rallies Across the Country to Protest Proposed Closing of Veterans Hospitals

AFGE VA ProtestsAFGE members organize 38 rallies outside VA hospitals this week and next

WASHINGTON – Veterans Affairs employees are holding dozens of rallies outside VA hospitals this week and next to protest plans to privatize veterans’ health care and shut down VA hospitals and medical centers.

The Commission on Care, a group that was created by Congress to recommend ways of improving veterans’ health care, is close to finalizing a set of recommendations that would significantly weaken the VA’s world-class health care system and pave the way for privatization and future closures of VA medical centers, sending veterans to for-profit hospitals for care.

The rallies are being organized by the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents 230,000 VA doctors, nurses, psychologists, benefits specialists, and other workers across the country who provide health care and other vital services to our military veterans.

“Even though the vast majority of veterans oppose privatizing the VA, there are many people who would benefit financially from dismantling the VA and forcing veterans into a network of for-profit hospitals and insurance companies,” said AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr., who was a VA registered nurse for 20 years.

The Commission on Care includes four high-level private hospital executives who would profit from privatization and not a single mainstream veterans service organization. Actual veterans groups are unanimously opposed to any proposal that would privatize veterans’ health care.

“VA employees across the country are speaking out against these corrupt business interests with a clear message: it’s time to put people ahead of profits,” Cox said.

“Veterans should not be reduced to a line item on a budget sheet. They have served our country with honor and distinction, and their medical care shouldn’t be left to the whims of profiteers and claims adjusters.”

AFGE locals have organized 38 rallies to date in 19 states: Alabama, Alaska, California, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Photos from some of the rallies can be viewed by clicking here.

The VA is working hard to resolve the staffing shortages and wait times that emerged in 2014, hiring 14,000 health care workers and overhauling its patient scheduling system, Cox said. In the past two years, 97 percent of appointments in the VA were completed within 30 days, with an average wait time of 6.5 days to see a primary care doctor – compared to 19.5 days on average for non-VA patients in the private sector.

“Our country makes a solemn promise to every man and woman who volunteers to serve in our military: that they will be treated with dignity and respect when their service is complete,” Cox said.

“One of the best ways to honor our veterans is to ensure they continue to have access to specialized, quality health care through the VA’s integrated network of medical centers and clinics.”

Senator Ayotte Targeted For Choosing Monsanto $$$ Instead of Food Safety and Constituents Health

tell_Senator_Ayotte_it_doesnt_pay_2_take_Monsantos_Money_2016Concord, NH – Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) is being featured on a new billboard advertisement highlighting the amount of campaign money she has accepted from the agri-giant, Monsanto.  Ayotte, running in a tough re-election against Governor Maggie Hassan (D-NH), has taken more than $10,000 from the St. Louis-based biotech seed and chemical giant despite overwhelming support in New Hampshire for genetically modified organisms (GMO) labeling. 

The billboards are traveling around New Hampshire this week, stopping in Manchester, Portsmouth and Nashua. The campaign is sponsored and paid for by Food Democracy Now!, a grassroots community of more than 650,000 farmers and citizens dedicated to building a sustainable food system that protects the natural environment, sustains farmers and nourishes families. 

In a statewide survey conducted in 2013, 90% of people polled in New Hampshire believed that they have the right to know if their food contains GMO’s.  This mirrors national polls that consistently find 90% of Americans support on package labeling of GMO food. 

AyotteMonsantoShillBucks_Food_Democracy_Now_2016“New Hampshire consumers are looking to Senator Ayotte to stand up for our right to know what is in the food we feed our families,” said Gene Jonas, owner of Hungry Bear Farm in Wilton, New Hampshire. 

Dave Murphy, founder of Food Democracy Now! explained why his group has chosen to target Senator Ayotte. “Despite the overwhelming support for GMO labeling in her state and across the country, Senator Ayotte continues to do Monsanto’s bidding. In March, she voted for a bill being pushed by them that would have taken away states rights to pass common sense GMO labeling laws.” 

Supporting a strong national GMO labeling standard does not require Ayotte to take a position on the question of the health or environmental implications of GMOs.  Mandatory labeling of GMOs, such as the Vermont law scheduled to go into effect on July 1, will not ban GMOs, increase hardship to farmers or reduce the number of offerings at the grocery store. 

As the clock ticks down to implementation of the Vermont law, Monsanto and other big food and agriculture groups continue to pressure Congress to stop Vermont’s historic labeling law from taking effect. Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and ranking member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) are attempting to negotiate a compromise before Congress breaks for recess. 

“Food Democracy Now! is asking New Hampshire voters to contact Senator Ayotte and urge her to oppose any federal mandate that would delay implementation of the law in Vermont or preempt the rights of other states,” said Murphy.  “Congress should not replace existing clear, on-package labeling laws with a national standard that would allow producers to label GMOs with intentionally deceptive “QR codes”, telephone call-in numbers or a symbol.”

Leo W Gerard: Billionaire Trump Fleeces Workers, Small Businesses

Using rape-and-pillage corporate practices favored by Wall Street, Donald Trump made himself billions while swindling and bankrupting untold numbers of hourly workers and small businesses.

In recounting his “deal-making” experience, Trump says the important thing is that he made a buck, that he came out rich. He ignores the father of five who lost his business when a Trump casino didn’t pay for cabinets. He discounts the minimum wage workers that a Trump resort cheated out of hundreds of dollars of overtime.

And that, Trump says, is how he’d run the country. Trump said that as presidenthe’d treat the nation’s creditors the way he did the creditors in his repeated business bankruptcies, forcing them to accept pennies on the dollar owed. Somebody loses. But it’s never billionaire Trump. When Americans elect a president, they want a leader who will look out for the little guy, not take advantage of him. Exploiting the little guy – and everybody else – to make a buck for himself is Donald Trump’s M.O. That’s not presidential.

2016-06-19-1466349240-9887458-TrumpBlogFLEECING2.jpg

The terrible tale of Trump casinos in Atlantic City illustrates his relationship with money, workers and small business. His casino companies went to bankruptcy court four times. Tradesmen, small businesses and creditors weren’t paid. But Trump made out like a bandit. And he’s mighty proud of it.

“Atlantic City fueled a lot of growth for me,” he boasts. “The money I took out of there was incredible.”

He told the New York Times repeatedly that it wasn’t the bankruptcies that mattered; what was really important was that Donald Trump made a lot of money.

What he said is true: he prospered on the backs of botched casino projects. Even as his three Atlantic City casinos failed, a New York Times investigation foundTrump shifted personal debts to the casino companies and collected millions of dollars in salary, bonuses and other payments.

At one point in 1990, as the Trump empire in Atlantic City neared collapse and Trump was failing to pay his debts to small businesses, Trump’s lenders made him sell his airline and his yacht. And they put him on a budget for personal and household expenses. It was $450,000. A month.

Still, Trump repeats: “The money I took out of there was incredible.” The stock and bond holders in his bankrupt casino corporations can’t make the same brag. They lost $1.5 billion.

The small businessmen and women who Trump fleeced after they completed their work in his casinos aren’t bragging either.

Steven P. Perskie, who was New Jersey’s casino regulator in the early 1990s during Trump’s time there, told the New York Times, of Trump, “He put a number of local contractors and suppliers out of business when he didn’t pay them. So when he left Atlantic City, it wasn’t, ‘Sorry to see you go,’ It was, ‘How fast can you get the hell out of here?’”

Beth Rosser’s father was among those unpaid contractors. His company, Triad Building Supplies, nearly collapsed when the Trump Taj Mahal went into bankruptcy. He waited three years for what Trump owed him and then got only 30 cents on the dollar.

“Trump crawled his way to the top on the back of little guys, one of them being my father,” Rosser told the New York Times. “He had no regard for the thousands of men and women who worked on these projects,” she said.

The vice president of another one of those companies, Marty Rosenberg of Atlantic Plate Glass, told USA Today that Trump was offering the small businessmen less than a third of what he owed them. Trump’s breach of contract and the long wait for any kind of payment cost some of these tradesmen their companies, everything they’d built up in their lives.

But not Donald Trump.  “The money I took out of there was incredible,” he bragged to the New York Times.

It wasn’t just the casinos. Pillage is Trump’s business model. Trump has been embroiled in hundreds of lawsuits for refusal to pay contractors and workers at his projects across the country.

Trump’s Doral golf resort in Florida, for example, denied payment to two painting contractors. It finally settled one claim. But it owes Juan Carlos Enriquez, owner of The Paint Spot, $30,000. Enriquez sued and won. When Trump still didn’t pay, the judge ordered foreclosure of the resort.

Trump’s attorneys, of course, filed a motion to delay the sale. So Enriquez still hasn’t been paid. That’s what it’s like when a small businessman challenges billionaire Trump.

Occasionally, the little guys defeat the Goliath, though. Forty-eight servers at Trump’s Miami golf resort won a suit against him last month for failing to pay overtime. The settlements averaged $800 for each worker.

USA Today found similar cases at Trump facilities in California and New York where hourly workers, bartenders and wait staff sued. The workers allege violations ranging from Trump supervisors refusing breaks to management denying servers their tips.

Trump has no qualms about cheating professionals either. A real estate broker, Rana Williams, sued him in 2013 alleging that he shorted her $735,212 in commissions. She told USA Today the cheat was “based on nothing more than whimsy.” They settled in 2015. In her deposition, Williams, who had worked with Trump over two decades, said it wasn’t the first time he denied her or others their contracted rate.

Americans expect their president to protect their jobs, their savings, their futures. Donald Trump’s business track record shows he has no experience with all that. And no interest in it. He’s always been in business to make even more billions for himself, no matter who got hurt. It’s the same with the presidency. He’s not in the race to make America great. He’s in it to make Donald Trump feel great.

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