SEIU,Service Employees International Union, thugs have been a prominent feature at many of the town hall meetings on health care. Did you ever wonder why they were there. This article from American Thinker on January 6, 2009, months before these town hall meetings, will shed some light on their presence. And while your reading this article, note the mention of Robert Blackwell, you remember, the man who received many favors from Obama and donated a lot of money to Obama’s campaigns.
“Pay-to-Play Politics, the SEIU and Obamacare
The Governor of Illinois, for all his well-documented faults, has performed at least one valuable public service. He has made it clear to the meanest intelligence that our new President-elect emerged from a hopelessly corrupt political culture. Barack Obama oozed from the same stinking Chicago swamp that produced Blagojevich, and a man whose formative years were spent wallowing in the muck with such creatures isn’t likely to be long in White House before the stench of pay-to-play politics begins to pervade the place. That this has important implications for the future of health care in this country has already been demonstrated by a brazen episode of cronyism involving one of America’s most prestigious health care institutions, the University of Chicago Medical Center.
It is no secret that, immediately following Obama’s election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, UCMC created a new position called “Vice President for Community and External Affairs” and bestowed it-along with a lavish salary-upon Michelle Obama. It is less well known, however, that one of her husband’s cronies subsequently received preferential treatment in a UCMC contract bidding process. Specifically, the medical center altered its normal procedure for soliciting contact proposals so that longtime Obama “friend” and political donor, Robert Blackwell, could submit a bid to upgrade UCMC’s intranet. Naturally, officials of the medical center deny that the expanded process was in any way connected to Obama’s influence, but Blackwell Consulting was awarded the $600,000 contract.
What does this have to do with national health care policy? Well, Mr. Obama achieved his November victory with more than a little help from such “friends.” These benefactors paid a lot to put him in the White House, and they weren’t all motivated by a desire “make history.” Among the most generous of Obama’s supporters was another entity that has figured prominently in the Illinois culture of corruption — the Service Employees International Union. According to CNSNews, the SEIU’s political action committee made “more than $27 million in independent expenditures” in support of Obama’s presidential campaign while its members “knocked on 1.87 million doors, made 4.4 million phone calls, registered 85,914 voters and sent more than 2.5 million pieces of mail.”
In return for all this largesse, the SEIU wants help in unionizing the health care industry. And a clear sign that Obama intends to provide that assistance can be found in his nomination of California Representative Hilda Solis, the hand-picked candidate of SEIU President Andy Stern, for U.S. Secretary of Labor. Solis made her priorities clear during the press conference at which her nomination was announced: “As secretary of Labor, I’ll work to strengthen our unions …” And a key strategy in “strengthening” unions will be an aggressive program to organize health care workers. Indeed, she has a track record of doing just that. As it was phrased in the gleeful news release from SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West, “She has stood alongside healthcare workers as they fought to form unions in their hospitals.”