The AFL-CIO will announce its "America Needs a New Direction" campaign at 1:00 pm ET today in Washington, DC. The campaign includes organizational, legislative, and political action components.
The AFL is planning to convene a "Coalition of Fairness in Federal Disaster Relief" comprised of former Secretaries of Labor and HUD, as well as leaders from labor, religion and civil rights to object to the suspension of prevailing wage standards and affirmative action requirements for federal contractors and to promote local hiring requirements.
The AFL plans to pressure the U.S. Department of Labor and/or Congress to over-ride President Bush's Executive Order and restore the community prevailing wage provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act, and likewise restore affirmative action requirements for federal contractors.
The AFL will also push for transparency and accountability in all contracts and work to expose corruption, windfall profits, and the erosion on workers' rights.
When President Bush exercised his emergency authority to suspend the Davis-Bacon Act for hurricane-ravaged areas, the suspension also lifted payroll reporting requirements. Davis-Bacon requires contractors working on federally funded projects to "furnish a statement on the wages paid each employee during the prior week."
According to the AFL-CIO's Esmerelda Aguilar, "With no such obligation to file reports, the labor costs incurred by contractors working on the Katrina reconstruction will be completely obscured, leading to alarming opportunities for waste and fraud."
DNC Chair Howard Dean visited Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian territories for meetings with officials and dignitaries during a trip sponsored by both the National Jewish Democratic Council and the American Jewish Committee's Project Interchange program," the Forward reports. Dean traveled with Steve Grossman and the Democratic state chairs of Arizona, Florida, and Ohio.
Roll Call reports on a night of star-studded conservatism: the belated tribute dinner to former Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC). Jerry Falwell called him a personal hero, Phyllis Schlafly gushed over his manliness, and Wayne LaPierre gave a him a revolver.
The Houston Chronicle Notes that many MOCs from Texas are headed back home to prepare for Rita. LINK
The AP reports that Gov. Joe Manchin from West Virginia has been "tapped" as the new 2006 vice chairman of the DGA. Manchin replaces Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm of Michigan.
Alexander Bolton of The Hill reports this morning that George Soros hosted his first fundraiser for Democratic candidates since John Kerry's defeat last November. About 60 donors rubbed shoulders with Sen. Charles Schumer and poured an estimated $250,000 into 2006 Democratic senate candidates' campaigns at Soros' home on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. LINK