Day: December 8, 2012

126th Anniversary Of Founding Of American Federation Of Labor: The Struggle For Labor Rights Never Ends!

On this day in 1886, the American Federation of Labor, the first long term successful national labor union, was founded by Samuel Gompers and others, with Gompers being its leader for nearly four decades.

The battle for labor rights was a tormenting, and often bloody, struggle, and despite many victories and contributions to the lives of working people in and out of labor unions, the struggle of workers for justice and human rights in America is a never ending battle, with major losses since the administration of Ronald Reagan, and facing new challenges from the “Bully” Republican Governors, many elected in 2010, who have declared war on workers and their basic rights to collective bargaining, and decent pay, benefits, and working conditions.

And we have seen the rise of new monopolies, best personified by Walmart as a symbol, who have reneged their responsibilities to their work force, and used their power and influence to leave it to taxpayers to support underpaid workers on food stamps and Medicaid.

And the Tea Party radicals, and their corporate backers, best personified by the Koch Brothers and other billionaires, have tried to gain control over Congress and the White House through their spending and lobbying, with success in Congress, but thankfully, failing to defeat President Barack Obama!

This is a day to celebrate about organized labor, but also a day to recommit ourselves to revive the labor movement which has made so many lives much better than they might have been, by leaving all power to corporate influences and the Republican Party, which has been anti labor for many decades!

Famous Party Switchers (51) In American History

The news that former Republican Governor Charlie Crist of Florida, who left the GOP in 2010 and became an Independent, has now registered as a Democrat, and is certain to run for Governor again in 2014 in the Sunshine State, brings to mind the interesting list of famous party switchers in American history, whether from one party to the other, or from one party to an independent or third party.

This is nothing new at all, and some of the most courageous and outstanding political leaders, many of them historic, have done the same thing that Charlie Crist has done.

Among the best known are the following:

Future Or Past Presidents Who Switched Parties

Martin Van Buren
Millard Fillmore
Abraham Lincoln
Theodore Roosevelt
Ronald Reagan

Presidential Candidates Who Switched Parties

Martin Van Buren
Millard Fillmore
Theodore Roosevelt
Robert La Follette, Sr.
Wendell Willkie
Henry A. Wallace
George Wallace
John Anderson
Pat Buchanan

Senators Who Switched Parties

Robert La Follette, Jr.
George Norris
Henrik Shipstead
Wayne Morse
Harry Byrd, Sr.
Strom Thurmond
Richard Shelby
Ben Nighthorse Campbell
Robert Smith
Jim Jeffords
Joe Lieberman
Arlen Specter

US Congressmen Who Switched Parties

Donald Riegle, later Senator
Phil Gramm, later Senator

Others Who Switched Parties And Later Identity

William Seward, Senator And Secretary of State
Salmon Chase, Senator, And Chief Justice Of Supreme Court
Raymond Moley, Brain Trust Adviser to FDR
Jesse Helms, Senator
John Connally, Governor and Secretary Of The Treasury
Trent Lott, Senator
Elizabeth Dole, Senator
Hillary Clinton, Senator And Secretary Of State
Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State
Jeane Kirkpatrick, United Nations Ambassador
William Bennett, Secretary Of Education And Drug Czar
Rick Perry, Governor
Susana Martinez, Governor
Norm Coleman, Senator
Michael Bloomberg, Mayor Of New York City
John Lindsey, Mayor Of New York City
Rudy Guiliani, Mayor Of New York City
Howard Dean, Governor
Leon Panetta, Secretary of Defense
Carolyn McCarthy, Congresswoman
James Webb, Senator
Charles Barkley, National Basketball Association Star
Arianna Huffington, Journalist And Blogger
Lowell Weicker, Senator
Lincoln Chafee, Senator
Jesse Ventura, Governor

What an ALL STAR list this is, 51 individuals, a lot of the most outstanding political talent in American history!

Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist Now A Democrat: First Step Toward Candidacy For Governor Against Rick Scott In 2014

Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist, who spent his whole political life as a Republican in various public offices in the Sunshine State, then ran as an Independent for Senator in 2010 and lost to Marco Rubio, is now a newly minted Democrat!

Crist registered as a Democrat while celebrating with President Obama at the Christmas lighting event at the White House, and was warmly greeted by the President, who he has stuck his neck out for in a courageous manner, since Crist backed the President on the stimulus funds which helped keep Florida afloat in 2009-2010, and in so doing, alienated his Republican brethren.

This is the first step to one of the most dramatic gubernatorial elections of 2014, when Crist will, most certainly, challenge the reelection of his successor as Governor, Rick Scott, who has been a nightmare to millions of Florida citizens, working against labor interests and the poor, and is seen as one of the “Bully” Governors, who also has refused to cooperate on ObamaCare and has done everything possible to make it more difficult for people to vote, through various voter suppression methods.

Scott should be in federal prison for Medicare-Medicaid fraud, but instead paid a heavy fine, and had the gall to run for public office, based on his own fortune, and sadly beat Democrat Alex Sink by the small margin of 50,000 votes statewide in 2010, the closest gubernatorial election in state history.

This demonstrated yet again the power of the vote, and how if only more Floridians had taken the election seriously, the Sunshine State would not be burdened with one of the worst Governors of any state in the history of America over the past 223 years of our history under the Constitution!

There will be other contenders for the Democratic nomination, but the best hope for the state would be if Charlie Crist wins the nomination, and takes the fight to the GOP and Rick Scott, no holds barred, and hopefully, will be able to regain the Governor’s office in January 2015!