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UBC launches enhanced website Posted by on

The United Brotherhood of Carpenters has enhanced "to include more timely news along with expanded information, images and video content for UBC members," according to a memo from General Secretary-Treasurer Andris Silins.

"It also showcases UBC training and productivity for visitors from the construction industry and the general public," the memo said.

The site now includes members-only pages to support members and get them more active in UBC legislative and political action efforts. Members who sign up as "e-activists" will be able to easily keep up to date on relevant issues and add their voices to those of fellow members speaking to elected representatives in Washington.

Soon, members will receive an e-news alert about pending federal trade legislation, encouraging them to contact their Senate and Congressional representatives to discuss the issue. Information about the legislation has previously been posted on and The UBC e-news alerts will be similar to NERCC's Council Update, which is regularly emailed to members of NERCC affiliated locals.

"Online communication is an essential tool for the UBC, and I trust you will find that this improved Internet presence serves our members, our trade, and our Brotherhood well," Silins wrote.

All members are encouraged to visit, share information with fellow UBC Brothers and Sisters and sign up to become "e-activists" in the members-only section of the site.

Governing via CTRL+C, CTRL+V Posted by on

The Portland Phoenix continues to confirm what most suspect: Maine Governor Paul LePage isn't really a policy wonk who pours over issue papers and carefully crafts his own legislation and plans of action. Trouble is, they've confirmed that his staff doesn't really work their fingers to the bone with those messy details, either. Turns out what they're really good at is CTRL+C, CTRL+V (copy and paste).

"In most cases, language from the industry and lobbyist's memos was copied word-for-word into LePage's reform proposal, suggesting the governor and his staff made little effort to analyze or shape policies themselves."

The article reveals that legislation LePage ended up submitting didn't even match up with his own positions. The investigation of how LePage does his job is troubling, according to some.

"Directly photocopying from lobbyist's wish lists is problematic in the message it sends on how seriously he takes his job and how much he is weighing different interests," says Ron Schmidt, head of the political science department at the University of Southern Maine. "I would think that would make a lot of citizens uncomfortable."

Laura Clawson, from Daily Kos Labor put it a little more bluntly in her piece on the story:
In contrast to the likes of Scott Walker, John Kasich and Rick Scott??Republican governors who have clear personal engagement with their extremist agendas??LePage is almost buffoonish, a weapon rather than a warrior in the corporate war on the environment and workers. But the damage to a state is the same, regardless of whether the governor came up with the ideas himself or just cut and pasted them as directed by his corporate masters.