Wyden and Merkley: Out of Bounds

Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) should be ashamed of themselves.

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The misguided duo: Sen. Ron Wyden (L) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

In their effort to defeat the nomination of Oregon federal prosecutor Ryan Bounds for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Wyden and Merkley misrepresented the facts, relied on questionable accusations by a left-leaning judicial advocacy group, engaged in the kind of character assassination that is sadly predictable in Washington and obscured their motivations.

In September 2017, President Trump nominated Bounds, who grew up in Hermiston, OR, to fill a vacancy on the markedly liberal 9thCircuit.

That the nomination was made without the advice and consent of Wyden and Merkley hinted at a difficult road ahead. But it was a “Snapshot” report issued in February 2018 by the Alliance for Justice that provided fuel for the arguments used by Oregon’s senators. Without hesitation, they weaponized the report.

But the Alliance was no neutral observer. The Alliance is a group of 130 organizations focused on legal issues to advance progressive causes. In the 1980s, it mounted campaigns against President Ronald Reagan’s appointees to the federal courts and was a key player in a successful scorched-earth attack against D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Robert Bork, who was nominated to the Supreme Court by Reagan. The Alliance is currently a player in the fight against Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

The Alliance’s report was a vehement broadside against Bounds, with particular criticism of some of his writings. “…while Bounds has few public writings, those he does have are deeply disturbing,” the report said. “Particularly noteworthy are several articles Bounds wrote for The Stanford Review while a college student. He expressed hostility toward multiculturalism and diversity, often using derogatory language. Throughout these writings, Bounds displayed a strong intolerance for issues or positions he deemed liberal or progressive.”

Merkley and Wyden jumped on the opportunity to use the Alliance report against Bounds in a barrage of allegations full of sound and fury, but blissfully free of substance. In a joint statement, they asserted, “…Ryan Bounds failed to disclose inflammatory writings revealing his archaic and alarming views about sexual assault, the rights of workers, people of color, and the LGBTQ community.”

The media and liberal organizations embraced the ensuing conflict, highlighting the Alliance’s report, but not its biases, and rarely offering the public online links to the report itself. The Oregonian, the New York Times and other publications and organizations referred repeatedly to Bounds’ “inflammatory” writings.

Asserting that Bounds had “expressed his disdain for multicultural values and organizations” while at Stanford University, the report cited excerpts from Stanford Review articles Bounds had written taking to task some aspects of of multiculturalism for undermining social cohesion.

“During my years in our Multicultural Garden of Eden, I have often marveled at the odd strategies that some of the more strident racial factions of the student body employ in their attempts to ‘heighten consciousness,’ ‘build tolerance,’ ‘promote diversity,’ and otherwise convince us to partake of that fruit which promises to open our eyes to a PC version of the knowledge of good and evil,” an excerpt from a February 1995 article by  Bounds read.

Bounds expressed the opinion that  groups organized around racial identity exhibit “the fundamental behaviors of group think,” have no tolerance for individualism and are too fixated on their “sensitivity”, that  “threatens to corrupt our scholastic experience and tear our student community asunder.”

Bounds may have expressed himself clumsily (he was, after all, a brash undergraduate student at the time), but his opinions then are widely shared today, particularly among conservatives. Today’s critics argue that an overemphasis on multiculturalism undermines national unity, encourages separatism over assimilation and isolates ethnic groups within the body politic.

Kenan Malik, a contributing opinion writer for The International New York Times, addressed the issue in a Foreign Affairs article, “The Failure of Multiculturalism.” Multiculturalists “seek to institutionalize diversity by putting people into ethnic and cultural boxes – into a singular, homogeneous Muslim community, for example – and defining their needs and rights accordingly,” he wrote. “Such policies, in other words, have helped create the very divisions they were meant to manage.”

Similarly, Victor Davis Hanson,a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, recently argued in the National Review  that an overemphasis on multiculturalism is “dividing up the country according to tribal grievances,” rather than making the nation stronger by encouraging a common culture.

Claire Fagin, former President of the University of Pennsylvania, elaborated. “We are moving into a very, very hyphenated world: It’s Asian-American, African-American . . . it’s so contrary to everything I grew up with . . . when everyone fought to just be American. For many of us who stress pluralism, these are not easy times.”

The Alliance report also took Bounds to task for writing a Commentary  in the Oct. 1994 Stanford Review  “… arguing that campus sexual assault and rape victims should have to satisfy the stringent “beyond reasonable doubt” standard. The report twisted this to mean Bounds “…supports making it more difficult to hold perpetrators of campus sexual assault accountable.”

Merkley jumped on this allegation. “Is the person fit (to serve on the Circuit Court) who says that there’s nothing wrong with a university failing to properly punish an alleged rapist?” he said on the Senate floor.

In fact, what Bounds argued against was a relaxation of the burden of proof required in prosecuting alleged violations of the University’s Fundamental Standard, especially in cases of sexual assault. In making his case, he expressed the views of many legal scholars who today argue that campus tribunals operating under university procedures do not adequately protect student rights, resulting in students losing their right to due process.

In other words, Bounds’ views 24 years ago were ahead of his time and hardly worthy of condemnation today.

Even worse, in a particularly egregious overreach, Wyden suggested a connection between Bounds and the Nazis.

Bounds  “…essentially compared tolerance and diversity to Nazi practices” in his writings, Wyden said to Willamette Week.  “…my late great Uncle Max was one of the last to be gassed in Auschwitz, and the idea that comparing tolerance to the Nazis is just so offensive that this is somebody who was not fit to be on an important court. A judge ought to be held to a higher standard.”

Nazis! Auschwitz! This crossed the dividing line between civil discourse and hysterical vitriol.

Wyden was presumably castigating Bounds for writing, “I am mystified because these tactics (by racial factions at Stanford) seem always to contribute more to restricting consciousness, aggravating intolerance, and pigeonholing cultural identities than many a Nazi bookburning.”

Merkley piled on, asking in remarks on the Senate floor, “Is the individual fit when the individual says that promoting diversity contributes more to restricting consciousness and aggravating intolerance than a Nazi bookburning?”

But that’s not really what Bounds said. Bounds was saying that some of the divisive tactics adopted by campus groups were more harmful to the school’s sense of community than the censoring of beliefs and ideas represented by the hateful burning of works decreed by propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels to be “un-German”.

Bounds was most certainly not equating tolerance with Nazism. Accusations that he was were a political cheap shot that illustrate the depths to which politicians will sink in this hyper-partisan time.

Wyden and Merkley celebrated when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell abruptly withdrew Bounds’ name on July 19, 2018 after a Republican Senator, Tim Scott (R-NC), indicated he wouldn’t vote for Bounds.

Though Wyden and Merkley tried to sound high-minded in their victory, their real elation was that they had set the stage for possibly delaying a vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to  a seat on the Supreme Court until after the midterms (when the Democrats hope to take control) or defeating the nomination based on some as yet undiscovered material.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has already said Bounds withdrawal makes it clear the Senate should have access to all the records associated with Kavanaugh’s lengthy career in Washington before voting on his nomination.

“If Republicans agreed that Bounds is not qualified because of what he wrote in college, how could they possibly argue that material from Brett Kavanaugh’s time in the White House and as a political operative aren’t relevant?” Feinstein said in a statement        released the same day as McConnell’s announcement.

Before Bounds’ withdrawal, Wyden told Willamette Week  that Senators are honorable people. “We don’t reward people who mislead,” he said.

Apparently they do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Don’t bet on public support for Oregon’s sanctuary law

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Ballot Measure 105, which would throw out Oregon’s Sanctuary law, doesn’t have a prayer in November, right?

Certainly not in Democrat-led Oregon with its progressive bastions of Multnomah, Lane and Benton Counties and the large overwhelmingly liberal population of Portland.

Don’t be so sure.

Beneath the surface of highly visible and noisy liberal activism there’s considerable concern among the general public about illegal immigration and its ties to a breakdown in respect for the law.

Even many diehard liberals, though supportive of legal immigration, are showing frustration with illegal immigration and with those advocating open borders and the abolition of ICE.

Many are becoming not just uncomfortable with illegal immigration, but hostile to it, seeing as as inimical to an ordered society.

If there was ever a consensus among liberals that welcoming all immigrants, legal and illegal, was the right and moral thing to do, that consensus has shattered.

In a March 2018 Gallup poll, for example, 58 percent of respondents, including 48 percent of Democrats, said they were worried about illegal immigration. This level of concern is typical of what Gallup has measured over the past 18 years, apart from a window between 2006 and 2011 when roughly two-thirds of Americans expressed worry.

That may be one reason why Measure 105’s opponents have come together as Oregonians United Against Profiling, avoiding any reference to illegal immigrants, undocumented immigrants or illegal aliens.

An early sign of public discomfort with illegal immigrants in Oregon came in 2014. That was when, despite a slew of organizations and public figures urging a yes vote, voters overwhelmingly overturned a state lawthat would have given state issued photo ID in the form of driver cards“without requiring a person to provide proof of legal presence in the United States.”

Public impatience with the ICE protest camp adjacent to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices in South Waterfront was also a sign of liberal weariness with immigration activists.

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While Portland liberals might once have been expected to embrace the protesters, it became clear as the protest continued that support for the camp was dwindling, particularly among residents and business owners in the South Waterfront area. Liberals there didn’t want their upscale neighborhood trashed by hostile, obscenity-spewing, pathway-blocking, unruly protesters either. Even Mayor Wheeler, who initially took a hands-off stance, buckled to public pressure to close down the camp.

Liberal tolerance in Oregon, particularly in Portland, is also being tested by problems associated with escalating homelessness.

When Officer Daryl Turner, president of the Portland Police Association, wrote in a July 16 Facebook post, “Our city has become a cesspool,”the public response was largely supportive.

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In a KGW News poll asking if viewers agreed with Turner, 94 percent of respondents said yes. Even many online commenters on Portland media sites agreed. “I am a liberal, but am with police on this one,” said a Willamette Week commenter. “Undermining their hard work is counterproductive and hurts us all.”

Awareness if shifting public attitudes on illegal immigrants may have contributed to today’s statement by Knute Buehler, Republican candidate for governor, that he supports Measure 105.

“I see it as way to remove barriers between local and state law enforcement communicating and cooperating with federal officials to keep Oregonians safe. It’s regrettable that this measure is even needed.”

All this tells me the defeat of Measure 105 is far from a sure thing.

 

 

 

United States Olympic Committee: rotten at the top

Sexual abuse isn’t the only scandal under the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

While most of Oregon’s Olympic hopefuls and those from around the country have had to scramble to pay the bills for their training, employees of the non-profit USOC have been wallowing in exorbitant salaries.

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“The road to Pyeongchang is paved with blood, sweat, tears, and a whole lot of money,”  the Aspen Times wrote before the 2018 Winter Olympics. But not every aspiring Olympic athlete has a big bank account.

“Many of them had to crowdfund to get (to PyeongChang),” wrote Washington Post reporter Sally Jenkins. “They bartended, cleaned houses and begged their local police to hold bake sales to help them pay for training and plane tickets.” More than 1,000 campaigns were up on crowdfunding site GoFundMe when you searched “2018 Olympics.” And only a handful of Olympians actually reap big payoffs from their victories.

Meanwhile, USOC executives and staff rake in the dough.

According to the USOC’s Form 990 tax return to the IRS, USOC staff took home $52,949,974 in salaries, other compensation and employee benefits in 2016. At least 13 of the non-profit’s 375 employees collected over $300,000 each and 129 individuals collected over $100,000 each.

And the compensation numbers are just as distressing at some of 47 national governing bodies under the USOC umbrella.

USA Swimming, for example, is responsible for selecting and training teams for international competition including the Olympic Games. In 2016, when the USA Swimming Board of Directors extended the contract of USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus through Dec. 31, 2020 , it agreed to pay him just short of $1 million a year.

This despite serious questions about sexual abuse claims by swimmers and a 2014 story, Unprotected, in Outdoors Magazine that blew the lid on swimmers’ complaints.”There’s a horror in the shadows of American competitive swimming: a continuing legacy of sexual abuse, usually involving male coaches who prey on young women—and a governing body that looks the other way,” Outdoor writer  Rachel Sturtz reported. Wielgus died of complications from colon cancer in April 2017.

Another national governing body, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA), compensated both a former and current CEO in the year ending April 30, 2017, according to its Form 990 .  William Marolt, who led the USSA as CEO for 18 years before retiring in March 2014, received $741,696 in compensation while his successor, Tiger Shaw, pulled in $510,683.

Then there was Dan Flynn, CEO of U.S. Soccer, whose compensation for the year ending April 30, 2017 totaled $832,655. The U.S. men failed to even qualify for the 2016 Olympics soccer tournament; the American women lost to Sweden in the earliest exit the team had ever made in a major tournament.

The USOC revels in pushing out heartwarming stories about the noble Olympics and the athletes who sacrifice to achieve their dreams for America’s greater glory, but it doesn’t talk much about the loot its executives and staff pull in.

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“A house built on greed cannot long endure.” Edward Abbey

In 2016, the most recent year for which compensation data is available, high earners at the USOC included:

CEO Scott A. Blackmun: $1,075,604

Chief Financial Officer Morane Kerek: $301,586

General Counsel Christopher McCleary: $417,416

Chief of Paralympics/NGB Richard W. Adams: $371,550

Chief of Sport Performance Alan R. Ashley: $498,252

Chief Marketing Officer Lisa P. Baird: $592,934

Chief Development Officer Jon M. Denney: $579,027

Chief of Communications Patrick D. Sandusky: $434,622

Managing Director Info Technology Trevor E. Miller: $359,750

Managing Director Marketing Richard Poll: $340,015

Mng. Director, Govt. Relations, Desiree Filippone: $327,529

Mng. Dir. Marketing Peter Zeytoonjian: $301,695

Former Chief Paralympic Russell C. Huebner: $336,754

CEO Blackmun resigned in March 2017, ostensibly because of health problems, but also likely because of sex abuse scandals and oft-criticized excessive salaries at the USOC.

The outrageous compensation payments in 2016 were part of a pattern of steadily escalating compensation in recent years. The 2016 payments were 13 percent higher than payments in 2014 ($47,026,640) and 2014 payments were 7 percent higher than payments in 2012 ($43,939,962).

“To many Olympic athletes, those USOC executives still look like the 1 percent,” wrote Philip Hersh, a former Olympic Specialist for the Chicago Tribune. “That is not an image they should want.”

 

P.S.: The just-completed World Cup reminds us that it’s not just the Olympics that’s over the top in handing out money. The 36 members of scandal plagued FIFA are scheduled to meet just three times this year, but each will be paid $250,000  for their participation.

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KGW and CBD: A failure to inform

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It wasn’t exactly fake news, but it wasn’t the whole story either.

On Monday, July 9, KGW-TV ran a story about how CBD-infused products are gaining popularity.

 CBD is one of many compounds, known as cannabinoids, that are found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. It does not change the state of mind of the person who uses it, although it does appear to produce significant changes in the body.

The KGW story came across more as breathless cheerleading than a news report.

It began with a folksy item about a brewer infusing his beer with CBD for flavor.

“But it also has some other benefits,” said reporter, Keely Chalmers. “Many health experts believe CBD helps with things like pain, anxiety, seizures, even some cancers.”

That might be why business at a Portland CBD Hemp Store, where you can get CBD-infused candy, dog treats, oils and more, has been so good, she continued.

The story also featured a massage therapist who began offering CBD-infused massages and “within weeks the calls from satisfied customers started pouring in.”

Chalmers even threw in a segment featuring Dr. Nephi Stella, Co Director
of the University of Washington – Center for Cannabis Research, who she said asserts that CBD “has proven therapeutic qualities and is safe.”

Cannabinoids have a very good safety profile,” the researcher said in an interview. ‘It all depends on dosage and how much you take and how often.”

Sounds good, huh?

But there’s an unmentioned problem. There are still very little long-term safety data available and there is “no scientific evidence” that most CBD products can be effectively used to treat or cure serious diseases, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The only product the FDA has approved, based on well-controlled clinical trials, is a purified form of CBD to treat seizures associated with two rare, severe forms of epilepsy in patients two years of age and older.

Not only is there no scientific evidence that other CBD products are safe or effective, but the FDA has taken recent actions against companies distributing unapproved CBD products marketed in a variety of formulations, such as oil drops, capsules, syrups, teas, and topical lotions and creams.

…we remain concerned about the proliferation and illegal marketing of unapproved CBD-containing products with unproven medical claims,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on June 25, 2018. “The promotion and use of these unapproved products may keep some patients from accessing appropriate, recognized therapies to treat serious and even fatal diseases.”

The KGW report also failed to disclose that CBD products are being produced in a no man’s land in terms of regulation. “CBD is being produced without any regulation, resulting in products that vary widely in quality,” said Marcel Bonn-Miller at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. “It really is the Wild West. Joe Bob who starts up a CBD company could say whatever the hell he wants on a label and sell it to people.”

And even where people have used CBD in some form and claimed it had a positive effect, that’s hardly scientific proof of efficacy. “There’s no control, so it’s basically how do you know if we’re dealing with the true effect of the drug or just simply a placebo effect because somebody thinks they’ve been given a drug that will be beneficial?” said Timothy Welty, chair of the department of clinical sciences at Drake University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, in Des Moines, Iowa.

KGW’s story wasn’t false information designed to masquerade as news, the definition the Columbia Journalism Review says is favored by most white papers and news reports about the problem. Instead, as in so many other media failures, the error was one of omission.

And that undermines trust in the media.

 

 

 

Starbucks: Another nice mess

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Starbucks is in a mess of its own making, and it’s going to get worse.

On Monday, July 2, a report  prepared at Starbucks’ request came out advising the company on its diversity efforts. The report followed an incident in April when a store manager in Philadelphia called the police after two black men who hadn’t bought anything didn’t leave the store when asked.

The report’s extensive list of recommendations, if adopted, would reach deep into Starbucks’ operations with a litany of actions high on the liberal agenda. Now, if Starbucks fails to embrace the recommendations it will surely be subject to more accusations of racial bias and bad faith.

But the list shouldn’t have come as a surprise to Starbucks. After all, in a bid to placate the left, Starbucks gave the report assignment to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Heather McGhee, former president and now senior fellow of Demos.

The NAACP is hardly a neutral observer on racial issues and Demos is a left-wing think tank launched in 2000 by a group of liberal activists, journalists and politicians, including then-state Senator Barack Obama. To top it off, Demos’ Board Chair is progressive Senator Elizabeth Warren’s daughter, Amelia Warren Tyagi.

Reading the report’s recommendations is like listening to a panel composed of Al Sharpton, Rachel Maddow, Cornell West, George Soros and Jon Stewart:

  • Encourage unionization of Starbucks’ workforce. “…we recommend that the company recognize, respect and encourage the fundamental civil right that is collective bargaining.”
  • Make worker pay transparent. Let all workers know what other workers are making.
  • Do a Civil Rights Audit.“…conduct…a comprehensive and independent review of the company’s processes, policies and outcomes across a range of metrics, including racial diversity of staff at all levels and contractors throughout the supply chain.”
  • Change how staff are evaluated and promoted. “Bluntly, some managers and even corporate leadership may not have a future with the company under the new standards. “
  • Pay a $15 an hour starting wage.“Economic security is a racial equity issue.” (According to Glassdoor, a typical Starbucks Barista salary is $9 an hour)
  • Provide support to police departments. Offer financial and in-kind support to assist with anti-bias training by police departments and in-kind rewards to departments that complete initial trainings.
  • Eliminate arbitration requirements. “Mandatory arbitration agreements prevent employees from bringing individual claims in federal courts, essentially privatizing civil rights employment claims.”
  • Give money for education. Commit financial resources towards supporting college readiness and SAT preparation programs in Philadelphia high schools.

And as if that isn’t enough interference in Starbucks’ business, the report says Starbucks should, “Appoint an independent consultant…to monitor the effectiveness of these measures, and to regularly report back to civil rights organizations.”

You can be sure that the left will assiduously follow Starbuck’s follow-up on the report’s recommendations and call out the company publicly for any perceived sluggishness in implementing change.

And the media will breathlessly jump on every allegation, presenting a constant management and public relations nightmare.

Listen carefully and you can almost hear the company’s employees and shareholders muttering the Laurel and Hardy line— “Well , here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into!”

Another fine mess

What now after Janus? More union decertifications.

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The Supreme Court decided on Wednesday that public sector unions cannot require that workers who choose not to join help pay for collective bargaining. The decision will likely cause thousands of workers to opt out of paying ”agency” or “fair share” fees to public unions.

The National Education Association (NEA), for example, is expecting a nearly 14 percent membership loss and a $50 million budget reduction over the next two years.

Oregon, which has about 145,000 government employees covered by union contracts, is one of 22 states that require workers to pay such fees. That haul is now at risk, too.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote that requiring all workers to finance union activity violated the First Amendment. “We conclude that this arrangement violates the free speech rights of nonmembers by compelling them to subsidize private speech on matters of substantial public concern.”

Now there’s one more action that’s likely — efforts to enhance worker awareness of the union decertification process and the initiation of more decertification elections.

Decertification is the process where the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) allows employees to call for a special election to eliminate their union as their “exclusive representative.”  It takes away the union’s authority to act as the workers’ bargaining representative.Employees can file for a decertification election if they believe support for their union has diminished and they have gathered signatures from at least 30 percent of workers.

Decertification actions often occur when members conclude their union is undemocratic, corrupt, inept or has simply overstayed its welcome. Decertification efforts also become more attractive when union membership was decided years before by a substantially different workforce or in situations where there is high workforce turnover. In both cases, questions arise as to whether union representation decided by others should continue in perpetuity.

“Democratic elections are a hallmark of a free society, and for good reason,” says the Freedom Foundation, a non-profit working to minimize the power of unions. “Holding regular elections for our leaders helps keep them accountable and responsive to the people. It encourages healthy debate about the direction of our society and prevents power from becoming entrenched and abusive. The same principles should apply to labor unions for the same reasons.”

In 2012, employees of St. Charles Hospital in Bend voted 334-212 to end their representation by the Service Employees International Union.

A prime candidate for a decertification vote down the road In Oregon is likely to be Burgerville because of its high employee turnover.

“High-employee turnover rates are the root of many decertification votes,” according to Eric Fink, an associate law professor at N.C.’s Elon University. “Typically, newer workers who did not fight for union representation in the first place are less loyal to the union than older workers.” Fink’s made his comment in connection with a July 2017 vote by FedEx Freight drivers in Charlotte, N.C. to decertify the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 71.

In April 2018, workers at a Burgerville at Southeast 92nd Avenue and Powell Boulevard in Southeast Portland voted 18-4 in favor of forming a union, requiring that Burgerville negotiate with the workers. Workers at a Burgerville on Southeast McLoughlin Boulevard followed with a 17-5 vote in favor of forming a union. The Burgerville chain owned by Holland Inc.

But the success of workers at these two Burgerville sites and any others down the line may be short-lived. That’s because Burgerville and the entire fast food industry have exceedingly high turnover rates, often in the 150 percent range. That means a restaurant with 20 workers has to hire 30 new people every year, many of whom might not support the union. Turnover is particularly high when a significant number of jobs are entry level and filled by young people in school or focused on enhancing their low income through job switching.

Fast Companyrecently reported that the fast-food industry is currently grappling with record employee turnover, much of that because of new technologies. It’s not burger-flipping robots affecting things so much as things like mobile apps, delivery, and self-order kiosks that are easy for customers to use, but have a learning curve for employees.

With the Janus ruling, aggressive pushes for decertification may be the next priority for individuals and organizations seeking to lessen the influence of unions.

 

 

 

 

Sports Betting: The Mississippi Choctaws may be first; will Oregon tribes be next?

The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians is expecting to be the first Native American tribe in the U.S. to offer sports betting in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s May 14, 2017 decision striking down a federal law that prohibited sports gambling.

The Choctaw Tribal Council has started the ball rolling by approving professional and collegiate sports bettingat the Choctaw’s Silver Star Casino and the Golden Moon Casino at the Pearl River Resort near Philadelphia, MS and the Bok Homa Casino in Choctaw, MS.

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The Golden Moon Hotel and Casino, one of the planned sports betting sites in Mississippi.

Nine Native American tribes own and operate Indian casinos in Oregon, a small fraction of the 238 tribes in 28 states that offer some form of gaming, according to the National Indian Gaming Commission.You can bet all the tribes are going to go after a piece of the sports betting action.

The only casinos currently allowed in Oregon have to be owned and operated by Native American tribes. It’s not clear how the legalization of sports betting will play out in that circumstance.

One thing that’s for sure is that the tribes aren’t going to be alone in wanting to capture sports betting revenue.

Professional sports leagues have already said they want a cut. Leagues would receive 1 percent of the total wagered on their sporting events under a proposal presented in May by NBA Senior Vice President Dan Spillane. “Without our games and fans, there could be no sports betting,” Spillane testified at a legislative panel studying the prospect of legalized sports gambling in New York.

The NBA and MLB have already drafted model legislation that would enshrine a 1 percent “integrity fee” in law and they have sent forth a phalanx of expensive lobbyists to statehouses to advance their agenda.

The LEAD1 Association, which represents athletic directors at 130 colleges, including directors at the University of Oregon and Oregon State University, has said colleges deserve integrity fees as well.

Let the games begin.