Monday, February 16, 2009

Live from the Knee Breakers Ball: The public hearing on prevailing wage

Here we are at the Iowa House public hearing on the prevailing wage. The first six speakers have been announced. It certainly looks more like the set of FIST. Well, the first speaker is Bill Gearhadt, President of the Iowa Construction Workers Council (labor union boss) and Sly Stallone, as previously advertised.
Here we go.
After action addendum: Sorry to everyone whose names I missed, misspelled or misapplied. I didn't have the benefit of a speakers list so I will try and clean up the name problems.


The Real Sporer said...

Bill Gearhardt came up with nothing but conclusions, the bill is good because it would pay labor union employees more.

Jim Pizza Jr is now speaking on behalf of a group of what appear to be union shop heavy road contractors.

Jim's first argument was a direct plea that the prevailing wage was good for his contractor clients because they cannot bid against non union shops.

So-Jim we should pass a 20% tax on all of the people so as to benefit some out of state union shop contractors? Doesn't sound very fair to everyone-does sound like a "special interest" pay off.

The Real Sporer said...

Rory Horshman is now speaking for some Quad City area construction labor group.

Rory came up with more conclusions. Prevailing wages are good because they build strong communities.

Rory did claim that public contracts cost no more in Illinois where they have prevailing wage. That is a factual claim that bears investigation.

Rory also is now digressing into a claim that prevailing wage will keep more young people in Iowa. NOt sure how that works.

The Real Sporer said...

Someone from Waldinger Corp (another large union contractor). This guy "feels" that the union wage payoff bill would enable them to better compete for bids.

Buddy, that is what we call a "special" interest.

This guy also came up with the novel theory that the small start up contractor has it too easy in Iowa.

Do you think so?

The Real Sporer said...

Finally an opponent.

Mike Webster from the Iowa trade group representing over 500 of Iowa's contractors. (Sorry, I cannot catch all of the acronyms).

Mike smartly argues both the invasion of the employer employee relationship.

Mike also smartly argues the costly inefficiencies of the union labor system.

Mike is also arguing the very specific reality that rural school districts simply won't be able to afford build.

The Real Sporer said...

Jeff Blisky-Scott County Iowa.

Qualifications unknown.

Starts with an ad hom-the union contractors are good and the non union shops are unscrupulous.

Not sure why?

Mike Wilshire-union member from the Quad Cities.

PVW good 'cause it will even the playing field. Of course, Mike doesn't say that you, the taxpayer pay for the levening process.

A guy from my o

The Real Sporer said...

Now a wild socialist from my home town of Ottumwa is speaking against the capitalist system in general.

He's mostly talking about the turkey producers over in west liberty.

He is now attacking the principle of public bidding seeking the lowest cost to the taxpayer.

I think my old buddy Steve
Sigel wrote this speech 'cause I'm pretty sure he's the only Democrat in Ottumwa whose ever heard of Edmund Burke.

The Real Sporer said...

Another guy, missed his name.

He thinks that the PW is necessary to protect Iowans.

Talking about exploitation. Not sure whose exploited, after all, how much is it worth to the taxpayer to have the most trained person holding up the slow sign on the highway?

Anonymous said...

wow - this prevailing wage thing is a huge tax increase. HUGE!

Anonymous said...


Do any of these speakers have a plan for getting Iowa's economy back on track, or getting our 80,000 unemployed Iowans back to work?

Anonymous said...

hey teddy

this is sounding like a union thug setup. are there any entrepreneurs there?

The Real Sporer said...

Jason Norris from Cedar Rapids.

Jason is a carpenter. Jason actually makes the first really decent argument.

Jason is talking about avoiding a race to the bottom. The problem with his argument is the avoidance of reality.

There are few large contractors so the PW labor will come from out of state.

Anonymous said...

how will the "america was failed by the 60's generation spoiled rotten spawn of the worst parental generation ever" capitulation package to be signed by commisar obama tomorrow impact this discussion? Didn't we just pass the biggest union payoff ever? Does this duplicate and therefor is moot?

The Real Sporer said...

Another union guy, President of the Building Trades unions in CR.

This guy is citing Kentucky as an example, claiming that it is more expensive to build without PW laws. That's pretty hard to believe.

wait is the website to which this fellow refers. Check it out and learn the problems with his analysis.

The Real Sporer said...

A local small contractor named Paul Commisky.

The PW law is good because its better for the quality of labor.

The Real Sporer said...

Someone named Richy Kurtenbach is claiming that he has found problems with deficient work at a non union job site.

I had a Chrysler with a lot of problems. By Richy's logic we should prohibit the UAW 'cause the union workers made a bad car.

This guy is one of the most articulatge speakers for the union.

The Real Sporer said...

or even articulate.

Anonymous said...

sounds like the teacher argument.

"the only reason our kids ain't lernin is because our teechers don't make nuff muny. As soon as the paycheck reaches the right number, wow...the teachers will finally learn how to teach and the kids will all be A students"

Let's fire all those inservice training people who train teachers to teach once a week, even after getting a degree in teaching.

Those inservice days apparently aren't doing the trick. Let's fire all the inservice people and pay for the roads instead of increasing the gas tax.

So, do I understand the argument? The builders purposefully engage in malpractice because they just ain't paid enough. Once they get more money, they will become more competent.

The Real Sporer said...

Now a gal named Heather-speaking on behalf of a small contractor. Finally a conservative voice.

It sounds like this gal runs a good company.

She said her work comp premium increases from $22K to $44 K per year.

Worse, wages would increase from $221K to over $440K.

But hey, when this gal's family business goes under because of unreasonable labor costs I'm sure that the Waldinger Corp will be happy to suck up her business and giver her a clerical job at $10 an hour.

Anonymous said...

the d's are gonna out carter carter. this really is going to be a major depression.

Well, as Carville's the economy stupid.

Well, ok, it's the economy stupid.

the unions are stupid. stupid is as stupid does.

The Real Sporer said...

Now we hear from a guy who is saying that PW

RAndy Reiner is next. This guy is using the university of iowa projects as examples of how PW works.

Yeah, works to go over budget. The UofI never builds anything under or at budget.

Anonymous said...

Sporer, are there any Republicans speaking at all?

I thought you were going to start taking advantage of public forums to rally Republicans if you were the state chair.

So, why don't you have anyone there, couldn't find the speakers?

Anonymous said...

I looked up the beneficiaries of the $100 million dollar power fund that chetty ran on and won.

guess who all the winners are so far? All government agencies and convention/trade shows.

Could chet pay for the roads out of the $100 million dollar power fund?

Is this triplification of tax dollars to the unions?

The Real Sporer said...

Now someone is speaking on behalf of county engineers. Against the PW.

This fellow is directly refuting the claims that non union projects produce inferior work.

A smart argument-all of these public projects have DOT, IDOT and county and municipal inspectors all over every project.

The Real Sporer said...

Andy Warren-on behalf of the NFIB. NFIB has 8000 members in Iowa "job creators"

Andy points to Iowa having the 6th highest cost of job creation because of property taxes.

Andy makes the best and most critical argument, whatever the benefits if we drive out jobs we hurt everyone.

But Andy, you are speaking for the public interest and the Culver/Gronstal/Murphy/McCarthy regime is governing only for the special interests.

Anonymous said...

stalker dude:

Uhm...where are you masterbating tonight? The dark recesses of your small stature basement?

Why aren't you there?

Ted is there, you are busy stalking.

The Real Sporer said...

Now, my buddy Steve Sigel from Ottumwa.

Steve is a great guy but truly on the fringe of the radical left.

Steve, your Civic Center ran so far over cost you'll have my cousins grand kid's paying for it in 2090.

Every construction wage earned is spent in the local economy. Union workers are far more migratory. Iowa has few union shops. C'mon, track back to reality.

Anonymous said...

why didn't rants gather some pubbies? Why didn't anyone but Ted seem to show up?

Where is Krusty?

Where is battleground Iowa?

Where is Ryan Anderson/Will Smith?

Where is Matt Strawn?

Where is anyone? Is Ted really the only Republican there who is concerned about the greatest threat to Iowa in decades???

The Real Sporer said...

Tim Murphy, mayor of Waterloo and President of League of Cities.

Tim points out that our economy is already shaky and public improvement projects will need to be shelved.

Tim: Iowa has critical needs that we won't be able to afford.

Anonymous said...

Oops, I meant Will Rogers. Sorry for using the wrong hollywood name.

Did your parents do that on purpose?

The Real Sporer said...

Doyle Sanderson: not sure of affiliations but he is opposed to the bill because of hte administrative burdens to the school districts of administering such a program.

The Real Sporer said...

A fellow from Clive whose name I didn't catch is making a good argument on behalf of small cities-the cost would slow building projets, thereby costing jobs.

Finally someone said it-Iowa is right to work state and labor unions represent a small fraction of Iowa's employees.

and hence...........the PW is clearly designed to economically benefit only that small fraction. Reader, ask yourself how you benefit from PW legislation?

The Real Sporer said...

The last guy was Tony Clemonson I think.

The Real Sporer said...

Steve Flogle-president of dubuque carpenters union.

Steve is speaking on behalf of all carpenters? It seems that his support ignores the reality that many of the carpenter.

Wow, this is just the 30th union speaker to use "race to the bottom".

Dude, we're at the bottom. We are 49th in biz climate and 50th in private sector job creation. So let's make it more expensive to hire people.

The Real Sporer said...

Now another guy named Bruce says he is speaking for all carpenters.

This guys is worried that out of state contractors will flood into Iowa.

Why haven't they done so already if that is a legitimate fear?

This guy is claiming that local labor will build schools and hospitals with pride and dignity. Interesting theory, although not two words with which one would typically associate unions.

Almost no small towns have labor contsruction companies, so kiss those jobs goodbye. Good to know that they are losing their jobs to the pride and dignity of major labor.

The Real Sporer said...

Another guy is now claiming that the poor wages of non union construction is driving children out of iowa and causing costs to the healthcare system.

He is now harkening back to FDR. As much as I find admirable in FDR he certainly didn't lead us out of the depression.

The Real Sporer said...

Finally another private sector speaker-we're up to two I think.

The fellow is from CAC and makes the main point that unemployment is not the prevailing wage so killing jobs pretty much defeats the point.

Good argument.

Anonymous said...

It's big labor and it kills small towns.

wow. unions hate rural iowa.

wow. iowa democrats hate rural iowa.

wow. rural iowa is mostly conservative.


this is all about the electoral college bill.


this is all about the revolution of the workers party.

Anonymous said...

Iowa's BIG GOVERNMENT just reached agreement with BIG LABOR to increase the salaries of those AFSCME bullies by 4.5% in 2009.

They are touting this as a pay freeze.

I work in the private sector for a large international company and was told there would be NO increases. NONE. NOT A PENNY!

Obama said the private sector isn't allowed to have raises for bonuses.

Why does BIG GOVERNMENT and BIG LABOR get these over the top increases?

This 4.5% increase is before BIG LABOR gets their 15-20% increase due to prevailing wage changes.

I've had enough! When is it enough? Stop it now!

Anonymous said...

The anonymous poster at 8:32 last night wins the dumb ass award.

Teddy isn't the state chair and the Republican Party is too busy doing nothing to organize speakers to support our legislative agenda.

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