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View Full Version : Tom De Lay and Marianas Scandal (For Gayle)



AmazingBrewdini
06-12-2005, 10:29 AM
The real scandal of Tom DeLay
Monday, May 9, 2005 Posted: 12:14 PM EDT (1614 GMT)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Creators Syndicate) -- Forget the freebie trips across the Atlantic and the Pacific. Forget the casinos and the allegedly illicit contributions -- they represent only degrees of avarice.

To grasp the moral bankruptcy of the public Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, you only have to know about Frank Murkowski and Saipan.

Today, Frank Murkowki is the governor of Alaska, but from 1980 to 2002, he was a conservative Republican senator from Alaska.

How conservative? His voting record earned him zero ratings from organized labor's AFL-CIO and the liberal Americans for Democratic Action, and perfect 100s from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Conservative Union.

But as chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Frank Murkowski became furious at the abusive sweatshop conditions endured by workers, overwhelmingly immigrants, in the U.S. territory of the Northern Mariana Islands, of which Saipan is the capital.

Because they were produced in a territory of the United States, garments traveled tariff-free and quota-free to the profitable U.S. market and were entitled to display the coveted "Made in the USA" label.

Among the manufacturers that had profited from the un-free labor market on the island were Tommy Hilfiger USA, Gap, Calvin Klein and Liz Claiborne.

Moved by the sworn testimony of U.S. officials and human-rights advocates that the 91 percent of the workforce who were immigrants -- from China, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh -- were being paid barely half the U.S. minimum hourly wage and were forced to live behind barbed wire in squalid shacks minus plumbing, work 12 hours a day, often seven days a week, without any of the legal protections U.S. workers are guaranteed, Murkowski wrote a bill to extend the protection of U.S. labor and minimum-wage laws to the workers in the U.S. territory of the Northern Marianas.

So compelling was the case for change the Alaska Republican marshaled that in early 2000, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Murkowski worker reform bill.

But one man primarily stopped the U.S. House from even considering that worker-reform bill: then-House Republican Whip Tom DeLay.

According to law firm records recently made public, lobbyist Jack Abramoff, paid millions to stop reform and keep the status quo, met personally at least two dozen times with DeLay on the subject in one two-year period. The DeLay staff was often in daily contact with Abramoff.

DeLay traveled with his family and staff over New Year's of 1997 on an Abramoff scholarship endowed by his client, the government of the territory, to the Marianas, where golf and snorkeling were enjoyed.

DeLay fully approved of the working and living conditions. The Texan's salute to the owners and Abramoff's government clients was recorded by ABC-TV News: "You are a shining light for what is happening to the Republican Party, and you represent everything that is good about what we are trying to do in America and leading the world in the free-market system"

Later, DeLay would tell The Washington Post's Juliet Eilperin that the low-wage, anti-union conditions of the Marianas constituted "a perfect petri dish of capitalism. It's like my Galapagos Island."

Contrast that with what then-Sen. Murkowski told me in a 1998 interview: "The last time we heard a justification that economic advances would be jeopardized if workers were treated properly was shortly before Appomattox."

The "Made in the USA" label means standards of quality and standards of conduct.

But more important than how a product is made is how the people who make that product are treated -- as human beings with innate dignity -- who are free to organize and entitled to a living wage.

Did somebody say something about moral values?
************************************************** *******

If this is proven true then Tom DeLay should be sanctioned to the greatest degree possible under the law. This type of morally bankrupt conduct should never be tolerated, it is shilling and political prostitution of the very worst kind.

Our leaders cannot go around talking up human rights, while denying those same rights and the most basic protections of our labor laws to people in any part of the US.

highsea
06-12-2005, 12:29 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote AmazingBrewdini:</font><hr>Our leaders cannot go around talking up human rights, while denying those same rights and the most basic protections of our labor laws to people in any part of the US. <hr /></blockquote>I agree, but the Marianas have their own immigration and wage laws that are separate from the US. The vast majority of the 17,500 garment workers are Chinese- they are not US citizens. Also, the annual per capita GDP (PPP) is 12,500 USD, so these workers are a lot better off in the Marianas than they would be if they were working in China.

So you can close down the garment industry in the Marianas, and these people will have to go back to China, where conditions are infinitely worse. The companies (Hilfiger, GAP, etc) will just relocate to China. Think about that next time you stroll down the aisle at Wal-Mart.

I'm not excusing sweatshops, but they are a fact of life in developing countries, and usually the people who work in them are a lot better off than if they had no jobs at all.

DebraLiStarr
06-12-2005, 01:28 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote AmazingBrewdini:</font><hr>
Our leaders cannot go around talking up human rights, while denying those same rights and the most basic protections of our labor laws to people in any part of the US.
<hr /></blockquote>

I don't agree with that statement at all. The people working those jobs choose to be there, and I guarantee that many of them do not pay taxes (which is why they are there). I will also step out on a limb and say that they are not half as upset about this as you are. You can blame the governament all you want, but let's also look at the manufacturing companies that Highsea mentioned. I guarantee you that if we looked through your closet we'd find some of those names represented, or we'd find affilate companies represented. There is no escaping that. If the gov't passes sanctions, these companies just pack up and move to safety. I'm not saying that it's right. Unions have made it this way, not just the gov't. They would rather pay someone $8 a day instead of $8 an hour. Do the math. The low cost of labor is then passed along to the consumer (in most cases, not all). Laws won't change anything because they (the compnaies)will just keep 2 steps ahead of the laws. Laws only affect the people that are willing to abide by them. They are willing to incur the cost of relocating to avoid the laws as opposed to paying higher wages and meeting labor standards. You may not agree with this, but this is the industrial world in 2005.

Qtec
06-13-2005, 02:03 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote highsea:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote AmazingBrewdini:</font><hr>Our leaders cannot go around talking up human rights, while denying those same rights and the most basic protections of our labor laws to people in any part of the US. <hr /></blockquote>I agree, <font color="blue"> I dont think you do. Read the rest of your own post </font color> but the Marianas have their own immigration and wage laws that are separate from the US. <font color="blue"> but it is an American Territory ! </font color> The vast majority of the 17,500 garment workers are Chinese- they are not US citizens. <font color="blue"> So whats all the fuss? If its only the Chinese workers who are affected, who cares? Right? </font color> Also, the annual per capita GDP (PPP) is 12,500 USD, so these workers are a lot better off in the Marianas than they would be if they were working in China. <font color="blue"> This thread is not about what goes on in China. </font color>

So you can close down the garment industry in the Marianas, and these people will have to go back to China, where conditions are infinitely worse. The companies (Hilfiger, GAP, etc) will just relocate to China. Think about that next time you stroll down the aisle at Wal-Mart.
<font color="blue"> I dont think Tommy would sell many$250 shirts with a 'Made in China'label on it. </font color>

I'm not excusing sweatshops, but they are a fact of life in developing countries, and usually the people who work in them are a lot better off than if they had no jobs at all. <hr /></blockquote>


We all know that these things occur and that 'Sweatshops' are rampant in the 3rd world, but it must be wrong to condone these practices when it is happening in US territory.

Q

highsea
06-13-2005, 02:43 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> [ <font color="blue"> I dont think Tommy would sell many$250 shirts with a 'Made in China'label on it. </font color>
<hr /></blockquote>Not my problem.

Qtec
06-13-2005, 03:28 AM
[ QUOTE ]
The people working those jobs choose to be there, and I guarantee that many of them do not pay taxes (which is why they are there). I will also step out on a limb and say that they are not half as upset about this as you are. <hr /></blockquote>

HAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaa..... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

I heard that they were prepared to go on strike if their wage was doubled and they got decent working and living conditions. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif
If it wasnt for DeLay, there could have been a riot! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Q /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

eg8r
06-13-2005, 05:07 AM
[ QUOTE ]
I dont think Tommy would sell many$250 shirts with a 'Made in China'label on it.
<hr /></blockquote> $250 shirts? Where are these, and how many are actually sold. I have seen plenty of $50-75 shirts at Dillards and such, but $250 is ridiculous.

eg8r

Fran Crimi
06-13-2005, 07:24 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr>

We all know that these things occur and that 'Sweatshops' are rampant in the 3rd world, but it must be wrong to condone these practices when it is happening in US territory.

Q <hr /></blockquote>


I agree. The senate was trying to be consistent with U.S. policies and was in the process of proposing new legislation to that effect when DeLay came along and squashed the bill for all the wrong reasons. The GOP is starting to have some real trouble standing behind this guy. He's history, IMO.

Plus, this whole "Made in the U.S." label scam needs to be addressed and fixed. If you're going to outsource your product to 3rd world labor conditions, then you should have to pay the price by notifying the consumer.

Fran

Qtec
06-13-2005, 08:12 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr>

We all know that these things occur and that 'Sweatshops' are rampant in the 3rd world, but it must be wrong to condone these practices when it is happening in US territory.

Q <hr /></blockquote>


I agree. <font color="blue"> </font color> The senate was trying to be consistent with U.S. policies and was in the process of proposing new legislation to that effect when DeLay came along and squashed the bill for all the wrong reasons. <font color="blue"> Exactly Fran.[ your clarity is refreshing. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif] IMO its quite clearly a seedy case of corruption! /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif </font color> The GOP is starting to have some real trouble standing behind this guy. He's history, IMO.

Plus, this whole "Made in the U.S." label scam needs to be addressed and fixed. If you're going to outsource your product to 3rd world labor conditions, then you should have to pay the price by notifying the consumer. <font color="blue"> I agree. this whole set-up is just a con..and DeLay is up to his neck in it. </font color>

Fran <hr /></blockquote>

My guess is that if it ever comes to court, DeLay will try and have the judiciary abolished. LOL

Q /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Qtec
06-13-2005, 08:22 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote eg8r:</font><hr> &lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;
I dont think Tommy would sell many$250 shirts with a 'Made in China'label on it.
<hr /></blockquote> $250 shirts? Where are these, and how many are actually sold. I have seen plenty of $50-75 shirts at Dillards and such, but $250 is ridiculous.

eg8r <hr /></blockquote>

Whatever!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Does it matter?

We all know you you are incapable of being objective, especially when there is a Rep involved. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Q /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
least he didnt use his usual war-cry..............................."...yeah, but Clinton................."
Haaa........LOL /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

eg8r
06-13-2005, 08:55 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Whatever!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Does it matter?

We all know you you are incapable of being objective, especially when there is a Rep involved. <hr /></blockquote> My post had nothing to do with the politics of this thread. You mentioned $250 shirts and I was amazed TH could get those prices for his shirts. If it does not matter, then clue yourself in and not mention it. Especially if you are just going to guess.

eg8r

Gayle in MD
06-13-2005, 12:10 PM
Fran! Thank you my dear, you saved me from posting. and a big thank you to Amazing Brewdini for this post.

Fran, you hit the nail on the nose. He's history. This is just the beginning of many GOP scandals which will bcome public during the next year. I Admire your ability to call a spade a spade, regardless of your political affiliation. Unlike some other posters before you who posted a "F**k the rest of the people in the world" response, you have thought the situation through to the correct position, IMO, and I commend you for that.

At the very least, the American Labor Relations, should change the Made in America label to Made in The United States.

Tom Delay, is a pig, as far as I am concerned.
Gayle in Md.