Skyline of Richmond, Virginia

Democratic Talk Radio format change

06.15.12

We have finally begun the process for changing the Democratic Talk Radio format.

We are taking down certain sections of our website…. program archives, articles and the message board. The first two listed have already been taken down.

New text will soon go up on our front page announcing our upcoming format change and change in legal structure.

We are moving from a show to a brand of shows. We are moving from commerical radio to college and NPR type radio stations. We will no longer be a “for profit” entity probably next month.

We are looking for both new college radio talk show hosts and new stations willing to carry our programs. It is our intention to create unique new shows for each station. Our experienced DTR hosts will be working with new people as we begin this process. We hope to create and train an entire new generation of progressive talk show hosts moving forward.

Democratic Talk Radio ceased being a politically partisan “Democratic” radio show a couple of years ago but it does still have a point of view. We will be talking about “democratic government and democratic economic issues.” The small “d” in democratic is significant.

Our show will be putting together a new national Democratic Talk Radio Advisory Board. We will be asking a few key individuals to serve. If you think you can help raise the needed funding to make the changes we are in the process of undertaking, we would certainly consider placing you on our national Advisory Board. If you have special technical skills in radio, IT, organizational development, legal, non-profit management or public relations, we might be able to place you on the Advisory Board.

Please contact Stephen Scott Crockett by email at CollegeDTR@aol.com or phone at 443-907-2367 if interested in getting involved with the new Democratic Talk Radio.

Sincerely,

Stephen Crockett

Suggested Amendments to the U.S. Constitution for 2011

12.30.10

Suggested Amendments to the U.S. Constitution for 2011

It has become clear that our nation has a severely crippled political system where the will of the majority and the best interests of the nation are being ignored so a very few obscenely wealthy individuals and many international corporations can reap absurd profits. Our American democracy and way of life are under serious attack by elite, powerful forces exploiting grave weaknesses in our system of government.

In my opinion, we need to start serious discussions about how to amend our Constitution in an effort to both correct institutional weaknesses and reduce to power of excessive wealth to undermine our nation. I am suggesting that we start introducing Constitutional Amendments in our state legislatures and in Congress to encourage public debate about these problems and how to best address them.

Below the reader will find some suggestions and It is hoped by this writer that others will suggest additional ways of strengthening American democracy, restraining excessive corporate power and making our government better able to deal with the modern problems facing us in the first half of the 21st Century:

(1) Corporations shall not have the right to spend shareholder money to influence elections. Executives who are convicted of using corporate funds to influence elections shall be barred from serving as corporate officers for life and be punished as felons.
(2) Corporations chartered in the United States of America and foreign corporations with operations in the United States shall be required to have as their first mission serving the public good before the mission of maximizing returns and maximizing the dividends of shareholders. American corporations failing to serve the public good shall be dissolved or have their management replaced at the discretion of the federal courts. Foreign corporations found to be not serving the public good shall be barred from operating in the United States or selling into the American market. The restriction on offending foreign corporations shall include sales via third parties or subsidiaries.
(3) All Congressional election districts shall be required to be drawn in as competitive a manner as possible by state governments.
(4) All votes in all elections in the United States must be counted with reasonable accurately and be cast using independently verifiable methods. All vote counting must be done publicly by government agencies. Private businesses and corporations may not be permitted to fill this government function.
(5) All trade agreements between the United States and foreign nation must be approved by a majority public referendum vote of American citizens of voting age. All previous trade agreements must be approved in the above manner within 4 years of the adoption of this amendment.
(6) All imported manufactured goods must be taxed by the federal government at a minimum rate to offset the financial losses involved to American workers, businesses and governments. No trade agreement may be placed into the referendum process for approval that does offset the financial losses listed above.
(7) All citizens shall be entitled to basic healthcare at public expense. The federal government has the responsibility to provide basic healthcare to all citizens and must fund adequately this responsibility.
(8) The right of American workers to organize and bargain collectively with employers shall not be restricted by employers, Congress or governments at any level. Employers are not permitted to interfere with the election process when workers are deciding rather or not to unionize and bargain collectively. Employers who violate the unionization rights of workers shall be considered felons and punished as felons subject to punishments established by Congress.
(9) All citizens have the right to gainful employment, at hourly rates at least equal to the established minimum wage, by the federal government, if able and willing to work, during periods of excessively high periods of unemployment, unless fired by the federal government for good cause or while serving a criminal sentence. Congress shall establish a reasonable definition of excessively high unemployment rate at a level of no more than 8 percent of the total available domestic workforce.
(10) Corporate officer elections of publicly traded corporations shall be conducted by the Commerce Department of the federal government. Shareholders voting to elect the corporate officers shall vote their shares independently on the salaries and other compensation packages of the corporate offices involved. A majority of shares voted by participating shareholders must approve these compensation packages. Candidates for these corporate offices may vote their shares in the election of corporate officers but may not vote their shares in the vote on compensation.

It is time for the American nation to react to the excessive power of huge corporations to control the lives of American citizens and the institutions of our government. These proposed amendments will be fought by powerful, wealthy forces but are long overdue. We can no longer ignore the damage that a tiny elite is doing to the American nation and the American Dream.

We need a vigorous public discussion of these problems and proposed solutions. It is this writers hope that the discussion will start here and that legislators in every state will force the discussion by introducing some or all these ideas in their respective legislative bodies.

Written by Stephen Crockett (host of Democratic Talk Radio http://www.DemocraticTalkRadio.com) . Mail: 698 Old Baltimore Pike, Newark, Delaware 19702. Phone: 443-907-2367. Email: demlabor@aol.com.

Feel free to publish or reprint in full without prior approval.

Lessons for Obama from the Arkansas and Pennsylvania Democratic Primaries

05.19.10

Lessons for Obama from the Arkansas and Pennsylvania Democratic Primaries

The Obama White House hopefully will learn something about Obama 2008 winning coalition from the 2010 Democratic Primary Elections in Arkansas and Pennsylvania. The media needs to learn this same basic lesson. The Obama Movement was never just about Obama. It was about change… real change. While Obama gives a great speech and the Obama loves to hear him talk, they want real actions that they can believe in and they want it now!

Of course, the Obama movement is not really radical. However, it does want to see fundamental reforms in our political and economic system. The Obama White House has been unwilling to get out in front of the Obama Movement on almost every issue. Conservative and corporate forces within the Obama White House have effectively held back the pace of reforms and often have completely defeated them. The Obama Movement wants more! If they do not get more and soon then Obama will no longer be the leader of the Obama Movement.

Sestak won in the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate race because labor activists and the local Democratic Party leaders did not follow Obama’s endorsement of Specter although their top leadership did. The grassroots refused. They were joined by some unions and essentially all progressive organizations at every level. Minority voters simply did not vote in large numbers. The Obama Movement effectively backed Sestak or stayed home for the most part. Obama cannot take the Obama Movement down paths outside their core values.

Specter was not the kind of leader the Obama Movement wanted. Sestak was and is a different story.

Sestak loves labor. Specter needed labor. The grassroots of the labor movement understood the difference.

Sestak wants to end needless wars and wants to curb excessive corporate power. He is certainly not anti-business but he does seem more focused on Main Street than serving Wall Street. The Republican in the race, Pat Toomey, is widely considered a complete tool of Wall Street and with good reason. Toomey effectively ran the Right Wing billionaires political entity known as the Club for Growth. He will not look good running against a tough military man with a devotion to mainstream middle class values.

I believe that Specter would have lost to Toomey. I believe Sestak will soundly defeat Toomey! Sestak is both a realist and an economic populist. He is honest and hardworking almost to a fault. The contrast with Toomey will be very clear in November.

Blanche Lincoln has voted with the Republicans often. She has blocked important legislation like the Employee Free Choice Act. Only since getting an effective Democratic challenger did she start voting more often for the kind of change desired by the Obama Movement.

Lincoln did not deserve the support of Obama based on her voting record. She still does not deserve his support in the run-off. Obama’s core supporters will hold this misplaced support against Obama for a long time to come.

Obama should have stayed out of the race in both Pennsylvania and Arkansas. The American people like and respect Obama but want Obama to act more aggressively to check excessive corporate power. Opposing progressive or reform Democratic challengers only makes Obama weaker.

The Obama Movement activists want Obama to aggressively push legislation to limit the damage from the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. Obama should push legislation requiring that all shareholders should have to approve in a vote before any money from the corporate treasury gets spent on elections or politics. Corporate executives should not be able spend corporate funds on politics if even one shareholder disagrees. The executives are spending other people’s money.

All publicly traded corporations should be required to give at least 20% of the Board of Director seats to elected representatives of their employees. Obama should push that legislation.

Obama should get out and start a nationwide voter education effort to pass the Employee Free Choice Act. It is time to make unionization elections truly democratic instead of jokes rigged in favor of corporations. Workers need a much bigger say in the economy and a bigger slice of the economic pie. Obama should support legislative limits on corporate executive salaries. Corporate executives should be removed completely from the election process for members of the Board of Directors.

Obama should push legislation to break up the largest banks, modify or repeal unfair “so-called free trade deals”, hold oil companies fully responsible for economic damages from oil spills without financial limits, appoint more aggressive regulators and judges, tax imports and start repealing decades of tax breaks for international corporations.

Every hint of going “corporate Republican-lite” upsets the Obama Movement. Obama needs to remember his base. Obama should look hard at making some staff changes and policy shifts in a more Democratic reform direction. He should compromise less with his enemies and remember his real friends.

The media should stop drinking the Republican Right “tea” kool-aid! The Tea Party Republicans are not economic populists nor anti-corporate. If Obama learns the lesson of these two elections, he can lead the Democratic Party in a real economic populist reform direction. This is what the Obama Movement wants and is the key to victory in 2010.

Written by Stephen Crockett (host of Democratic Talk Radio http://www.DemocraticTalkRadio.com and Editor of Mid-Atlantic Labor.com http://www.midatlanticlabor.com) . Mail: 698 Old Baltimore Pike, Newark, Delaware 19702. Phone: 443-907-2367. Email: demlabor@aol.com.

Feel free to publish or reprint at no charge without prior approval.

Toward A Progressive Tea Party Movement

02.12.10

Toward A Progressive Tea Party Movement

Most progressives have little respect for the Fox News generated “Tea Party” movement. However, it has tapped into a very real populist anger with the direction the country is headed in at this point in our history.

Progressives should see a real opportunity in the emergence of the “Tea Party” movement to educate the public and re-direct the anger to the real villains whose actions and policies created the many problems faced by the citizens of the United States of America. Our government has failed the American public by serving corporate interests and private profit instead of the public good.

The Republican Right has been somewhat successful in twisting this legitimate anger and aiming it against those who have been fighting this corporate takeover and corruption instead of themselves. They do this by lying to the public and twisting reality.

Of course, Fox News has been the leading force in this evil propaganda campaign. However, a few corporatist Democrats like Senator Ben Nelson, independents like Joe Lieberman and almost every elected Republican in the nation have helped advance the corporatist agenda by deceiving the reformist elements in the Tea Party movement.

Tea Party activists should realize that Fox News was formed by corporatists to advance the corporatist agenda. The corporatists have captured the “conservative” movement. They are playing their followers for suckers. A few Tea Party leaders know they are being used as a tool of the Republican Right and corporatists but most do not.

The American government is not the enemy if it is actually controlled by the American public instead of by the rich and powerful elite who make up the corporatists power structure. The American government needs to provide a check and balance against corporate power. We must recapture our government from corporate interests. This will never be done by Republicans. It will never be done by the small corporatist faction of the Democratic Party. It can be done with an alliance of progressives, real Tea Party reformers, economic populists and grassroots Democrats.

The Scott Browns and Sarah Palins of the nation only play at being populists. They act in support of the corporatist agenda while talking like reformers. Scott Brown was financed by corporatist forces. He was heavily financed by the debt collection industry, banking interests, health insurance companies and the like just like Sarah Palin. Brown opposes Wall Street reforms and regulation. He wants corporate power to go unchecked. These ideas are clearly enemies of the American public and real functional democracy. Folksy talk is just more hot air. It is actions that count.

Fox News seems designed to act as a financial and political backer of Republican Right corporatist politicians. They spin everything to defeat real reforms and undermine real reformers.

Labor unions act as a check and balance on corporate power. Fox News and the Republican Right corporatists demonize them at every opportunity. Union leaders are always elected by the membership. They are the only truly democratically-elected populist element in our economic system. The Fox News crowd calls these elected leaders “union bosses.” You do not get to elect your “boss.” Try suggesting free elections for all the management positions at your place of employment and you will probably be joining the ranks of the unemployed. Corporations are basically organized in a top down dictatorial manner. It is their nature and mindset to be dictatorial with very, very few exceptions.

Suing corporations act as a check and balance to corporate power. Fox News and the Republican Right corporatists are trying to eliminate the effectiveness of this check and balance under the disguise of “tort reform.”

Campaign finance laws slightly reduced the ability of corporations to buy elections, smear reformers and defeat reforms. While in power, the Republican Right corporatists packed all our federal courts with corporatists. This is why the Republican Right corporatists on the Supreme Court have recently overturned over 60 years of established law to give corporations unlimited power to spend shareholders’ money to advance their corporatist political goals.

Most corporations are not loyal American citizens like the recent Supreme Court ruling implies. Almost all the large corporations operating in America are international in nature. International corporations should not be controlling the American economy, the American political system or the American government. American citizens should be. No matter what the Supreme Court says, international corporations are neither people nor American citizens.

The percentage of the American economy going toward debt is growing rapidly. Why? The answer is corporate power and corporatist government policy. So-called “free trade” has failed the American public while enriching the corporatists. Tax revenue has gone in the toilet because we do not tax imports and tens of millions of former taxpayers have lost their jobs. Without good-paying jobs, these workers/taxpayers are not paying nearly as much in taxes.

Tax cuts for over 30 years have been focused on enriching the corporatists and screwing the middle classes. The Fox News and the Republican Right corporatists want you to place the blame on the poor for government debt. This is pure nonsense. Unfair tax cuts are the real villains along with corporatist “free trade” policies. Additionally, the corporatists start unnecessary wars financed by public debt that enrich the international corporations while killing and maiming American soldiers.

So-called “free trade” is undermining our national security by crushing our industrial manufacturing base and crippling our national finances.

Government spending as a percentage of our economy is excessively large mostly because our economy has not really grown the way it should because of so-called “free trade.” Free trade has not been free for American citizens. Our public and personal debts have exploded. Our wages have not grown as quickly as our cost of living. Our jobs are disappearing or have already disappeared.

Government debt to enrich international corporations instead of improving the lives of American citizens is nearly criminal. Why does Medicare money get paid to drug companies without bargaining down the price of drugs? Corporate power is the only answer.

Why do Americans pay twice as much for medical care than any industrialized nation but have worse results? Why are medical costs exploding here at the same time as millions of citizens are being kicked out of their health insurance plans? Why are our companies paying the cost of health insurance while all our foreign competitors get subsidized by government payment of healthcare costs? The answers are corporate power.

The real reformers of the Tea Party movement need to look at corporate power instead of government as the villains threatening the future of America. The Republican Right, corporatists and Fox News are threatening your civil liberties and Constitutional Right not the ACLU, Obama or the Democratic Party. Republican Right, corporatists and Fox News are those who support the “national security state”, torture, jailing citizens without trial, wiretapping without court orders, etc.

International corporate interests have much more control over the lives of the average American citizen than our government does. When the government gets captured by these corporations, like it did under George W. Bush and his allies who are still in office, the American public gets hammered!

You are not ignorant or out of touch with reality just because you watch Fox News or listen to right wing talk radio but prolonged exposure will eventually get you there. Watching only Fox News will likely stop reform supporters of the Tea Party movement from realizing that they have much more in common with progressives than they ever realized. The real reformers in the Tea Party movement and progressives should unite in a Progressive Tea Party movement. Fox News and the Republican Right corporatists should not control or define the Tea Party. Both progressives and the real reform elements in Tea Party movement should reach out to each other and make common cause on many issues.

It is time for a Progressive Tea Party movement.

Written by Stephen Crockett (Host of Democratic Talk Radio http://www.DemocraticTalkRadio.com and Editor of Mid-Atlantic Labor.com http://www.midatlanticlabor.com).

Democratic Talk Radio Advisory Board & Funding Needs

01.06.10

Democratic Talk Radio is now in our 9th year. We are facing unique challenges and opportunities in 2010.

We have added 3 co-hosts- Dana Garrett (Delaware), John Morgan (Pennsylvania) and Walt Garvin (Pennsylvania) to our WGPA SUNNY 1100AM Thursday morning show. We expect to soon offer a college radio version of the show and are actively exploring new commercial stations.

We are moving from just a show to a “brand” concept that will hopefully have many new Democratic Talk Radio shows each unique to their market/station. All will work together with various DTR hosts being frequent guests on other DTR shows. We have been doing something similar with other progressive and labor radio shows for years.

We badly need money to move forward or even stay on the air in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania. We need your help in raising funds.

We need new ideas and allies in new markets. Our top fundraisers will be invited to join the new Democratic Talk Radio Advisory Board. This group will steer our expansion efforts, help raise funds, plan activities and play a role in our future programming.

If interested, please contact me at demlabor@aol.com. My cell phone number is 443-907-2367. Our mailing address is: Democratic Talk Radio, 698 Old Baltimore Pike, Newark, Delaware 19702.

Even if you are not interested in joining our Advisory Board, we could still use any donations in any amount.

We can run ads or you can sponsor a whole show for just $250. Sponsors can sometimes be guests or play a role in guest selection provided the desired show fits with our larger mission.

In solidarity,

Stephen Crockett

Host, Democratic Talk Radio
Editor, Mid-Atlantic Labor.com

PRESS RELEASE: Democratic Talk Radio -”Heroes and Villains of 2009 Awards”

01.04.10

PRESS RELEASE: Democratic Talk Radio -”Heroes and Villains of 2009 Awards”

The cast of characters in American politics who could have received our Hero and Villain Awards for 2009 was huge. It was a very busy year in American politics. We have multiple winners in both categories but still were unable to recognize everyone who deserved to win.

One of the villains was an easy and obvious choice. Fox News commentator and author Glenn Beck wins a Democratic Talk Radio Villain of 2009 Award for unashamedly spreading lies, myths and innuendos with no conscience.

The Editor of Buzzflash.com Mark Karlin wins a Democratic Talk Radio Hero of 2009 Award for unselfishly devoting all his time and energies to debunking them. The role the Internet played in counteracting the corporate dominance and bias in the realm of political news in 2009 cannot be overstated.

Paul Krugman wins a Hero Award for his role of speaking truth to power in his multiple roles as economist, New York Times columnist and Book author. Congress and the Obama Administration should be listening to him in dealing with the current economic crisis. Every American citizen should read his recent book The Conscience of a Liberal. It will help you understand the current economic crisis, healthcare reform and much more.

Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) wins a Villain Award for politicizing national security and putting every American flying on a commercial airline at risk by placing a hold on the confirmation of the head of the TSA. His rationale for this action is nearly as outrageous as the action. He does not want TSA employees to have the right to unionize and bargain collectively for better pay, benefits and working conditions. DeMint claims that TSA would not be as effective with a unionized workforce. Exactly why having demoralized, underpaid workers doing security screening at airports will make us safer escapes all of us here at Democratic Talk Radio. Union haters abound in Republican Right circles but DeMint has taken his bias to dangerous extremes.

The entire Republican Party power structure and the few corporate Democrats undermining healthcare insurance reform in America collectively win a Democratic Talk Radio Villain of 2009 award for their outrageous public behavior, serving corporate interests instead of the public good and lying to the American public. Single-payer, government provided healthcare should have been seriously considered as a policy option but was not because of these villains. The final bills passed by both houses of Congress are much weaker than they should have been (although the House version does have a better funding mechanism and a weak public option provision). Americans will suffer and die as a result of the actions of these villains by the millions in coming decades! Jobs will be lost because American businesses will still be paying for health insurance while foreign competitors will not.

Former Vermont Governor and DNC Chair Howard Dean wins a Hero Award for publicly speaking the truth during the healthcare insurance debate. Unlike the Republican medical doctors serving in Congress, Dr. Dean understands and lives by the medical ethical slogan “do not harm.” This ethical standard should be applied in both the medical and political fields.

For more information, please contact Democratic Talk Radio at demlabor@aol.com or by phone at 443-907-2367.Our website is http://www.DemocraticTalkRadio.com .

“The Brother Stan Labor Show”

01.02.10

“The Brother Stan Labor Show”

Labor News on Talk Radio!
Wednesdays, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM ET
(Replay: Wednesday evening, 9 – 11 PM – both sites)

Work and Worksite Issues!/Union News!
“Our Weekly Update On the Labor Beat”

Featuring:
Weekly Interviews With Special Guests!
Weekly reports from National Correspondent …
Anne Feeney – “The Union Maid”

Based in Jacksonville, Florida
Regional Coverage – Signal Reaches:
South Georgia
North-Central Florida

Listen In! – Call In!

“North Florida’s Progressive Talk Network”

FM 105.3 – WJSJ – Jacksonville, Florida
On World-Wide Web: www.radiofreejax.com

Call In # = 854-TALK (854-8255) ## AC 904
Your Host: “Brother Stan the Union Man”

“North Florida’s Progressive Talk Network”

FM 105.7 – WHJX – Jacksonville
FM 92.5 – WFJO – Folkston
FM 105.5 – WSJF – St. Augustine
www.radiofreejax.com ## Worldwide

Progressive Talk Radio 24/7!

Featuring:
“Down to Business Andy Johnson”
Monday through Friday, 3:00 – 6:00 PM

LISTEN IN! – CALL IN!
Call-In # = 694-1057 (AC 904)

The Need to Help Labor Radio Survive

12.23.09

The Need to Help Labor Radio Survive

In these terrible economic times, it is hard to keep the bills paid for most working families. We all are struggling to stay in our homes, keep our old cars on the road and food on the table. Americans are certainly worried with good reason about keeping their jobs and affording healthcare. All of these problems can be traced more or less directly to excessive corporate power in America both economically and politically.

The current healthcare insurance reform debate has highlighted for everyone how much the balance of power has shifted in terms of public debate against the interests of American workers and towards the interests of giant corporations. Corporate media has not given a real voice to labor leaders who represent the millions of American workers most heavily impacted by this issue. Right Wing talk radio has distorted elements of the issue, the process and relevant facts beyond all recognition. Most of the opposition to real change from the American public comes from not hearing the truth. Lack of balance in this debate reveals the one-sided nature of corporate media.

Why was single-payer, universal healthcare deemed “off the table” when it is the norm in nearly every other industrialized nation in the world? It was corporate power! The corporate media deemed it “radical” and working Americans had no effective voice in framing the debate. We will all suffer as a result.

Corporate power killed the Fairness Doctrine in broadcasting. This means that the public airwaves are solely being used even in political terms for private profit. Since corporations have huge spending advantages over their workers’ organizations (labor unions), workers have been effectively shut out of the public debate. It has impacted politics, government policy and American working family living standards for decades.

The relative lack of effective working families-oriented media has resulted in awful government policies that have ruined American manufacturing, killed Americans in unjustified wars and by denying healthcare, gutted pensions, legalized predatory lending, polluted our environment, weakened civil liberties, curtailed voting rights and given the wealthiest of the wealthy near veto rights over government policy. Instead of government acting as a check and balance to international corporations it far too often has become a tool of them. The ruination of the American economy has assisted the excessive concentration of wealth in our nation and weakened American democracy.

We cannot reverse this anti-working family, anti-American democracy course without getting our message to the American people. We must create a media network to help offset one-sided corporate media. Labor radio certainly will play a key role if it survives!
Progressive organizations and individuals inside and outside organized labor must find a way to help struggling labor radio programs survive the current economic crisis. Will they? I do not know the answer.

Labor radio heroes, like Rick Smith of the Rick Smith Show and Charles Showalter of The Union Edge, already have given the cause thousands of hours and thousands of dollars personally trying to fill the void. This writer has done the same for 9 years with my own Democratic Talk Radio program (although I would never call myself a hero) by donating tens of thousands of hours and spending around $40,000 personally.

Currently, the Union Edge is taking a short break from the airwaves do to the lack of financial support. Democratic Talk Radio may have to do the same. It is time for those able to assist to step up.

Progressive groups should shift part of their advertising to progressive media outlets instead of channeling nearly all of it into corporate media outlets. Advertising and/or underwriting the right kind of media will multiply many times over the impact of each dollar invested. As a movement and as individuals, we must get smarter in how we use our very limited resources.

Support should go to progressive magazines like the Progressive, the Progressive Populist, the Nation and similar publications. Vitally important blogs and Internet sites like Buzzflash.com, Truthout.org and OpEd News.com will play key roles in creating an alternative non-corporate media.

Labor radio and progressive radio are only going to survive if labor unions, union activists and progressives fund the shows. Some of the best labor radio shows are:

Workers Independent News (Live)
Building Bridges
The Rick Smith Show
America’s Workforce
The Union Edge
Democratic Talk Radio
AFGE “Inside Government”
Heartland Labor Forum

Anything that you can do to support and build these radio shows, Internet sites and publications will help balance excessive corporate power. Like building the labor movement by joining a union, each individual action is small but working together will help everyone. The game is rigged against us as working people but doing nothing means remaining forever the victims of excessive corporate power.

Each little individual action is a small victory for economic and political justice that makes it easier to win the next one.

Written by Stephen Crockett (host of Democratic Talk Radio http://www.DemocraticTalkRadio.com and Editor of Mid-Atlantic Labor.com http://www.mid-atlanticlabor.com ). Mail: 698 Old Baltimore Pike, Newark, Delaware 19702. Phone: 443-907-2367. Email: demlabor@aol.com .

Feel free to publish or re-print without prior approval.

Here is some Health Care Insurance Companies information collected by Democratic Talk Radio co-host Walt Garvin

12.22.09

Here is some Health Care Insurance Companies information collected by Democratic Talk Radio co-host Walt Garvin.

” Last night we discussed Health Care Insurance companies!
Here are the facts regarding the current status of America’s top Health Care Insurance Companies:

UnitedHealth Group had revenues of $21.7 billion in the third quarter of this year, an increase from last year’s $20.16 billion third-quarter revenues.
- Net earnings for UNH for the third-quarter of 2009 were $1.03 billion, up from $920 million in Q3 2008.

Aetna had revenues of $8.7 billion for the third quarter of 2009, an increase from last year’s $7.6 billion in the third quarter.
- Overall net earnings for Aetna in Q3 2009 were up 18 percent from Q3 2008.

Humana reported total revenues of $7.7 billion in the third quarter of 2009, an increase from $7.14 billion last year at this time.
- Net earnings per share for Q3 2009 were up 63 percent from Q3 2008
- Overall net income for Q3 2009 were up nearly 65 percent compared with this time last year.

AFLAC Q3 2009 revenues rose to $4.5 billion during the third quarter, a 22.6 percent increase from $3.6 billion last year at this time.
- Net earnings per share for Q3 2009 were up 266.7 percent from last year’s $.21 per share.
- Overall net earnings for Q3 2009 totaled 363 million, a 263.1 percent increase from $100 million in Q3 last year.

WellPoint had revenues of $15.4 billion in the third quarter of this year, an increase from last year’s $14.9 billion in third-quarter revenues.

Health Net reported revenues for Q3 2009 of $3.9 billion, an increase from $3.8 billion a year ago.

Read ‘em and weep (for American consumers)!

Walt”

Pa. Unemployment Benefits Could Get Relief

07.28.09

Pa. Unemployment Benefits Could Get Relief

http://www.kyw1060.com/Pa## Unemployment-Benefits-Could-Get-Relief/4888051

by KYW’s Tony Romeo

It appears that legislation to provide another seven weeks of unemployment benefits to Pennsylvanians whose benefits have expired is headed for approval in the state Senate.

The first big wave of Pennsylvanians to lose their benefits – about 18,000 – saw their jobless payments expire earlier this month.

Erik Arneson, spokesman for the Senate Republican leader, says a bill to extend benefits for another seven weeks should get a floor this week. He says the bill was amended by a Senate committee to make sure the additional benefits are retroactive:

“There were some question as our attorneys looked at the bill, and later confirmed with some informal communication we had from the Rendell administration, that they agreed that it was best as a matter of state law to make it clear that these [benefits] would be retroactive.”

If the bill passes the Senate, it will have to go back to the House because of the amendment. While the federal government picks up the tab for costs to businesses, Republicans were concerned about the potential cost to state and local governments that have laid off workers.

July 21, 1926- “The Voice of Labor” goes on the air

07.22.09

http://morrillmajority.org/blog1/

July 21, 1926- “The Voice of Labor” goes on the air

On July 21, 1926, WCFL, “The Voice of Labor,” went on the air for the first time in 1926. WCFL was the first, and longest-lasting labor union radio station in the United States. It was owned by the Chicago Federation of Labor and lasted as a union-run station until 1978. Its founding purpose was to “influence or educate the public mind upon the meaning and objects of trade unions and of the Federation of Labor, correct wrong impressions by broadcasting the truth, and advance progressive economic ideas.” It was supported by contributions from union members and by local union sponsorship. In the beginning the station broadcast political and ideological information and speeches mixed with music and more entertaining shows. In the end, the station could not compete with the other major broadcasters in Chicago and the CFL sold it to the Amway corporation.

Today that tradition is carried on by three Pennsylvania radio programs. In the Lehigh Valley, Democratic Talk Radio (http://www.democratictalkradio.com) from WGPA SUNNY 1100 AM radio (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) on Thursdays from 8:05am to 9am.

In south central PA, the Rick Smith Show (http://www.ricksmithshow.com) is on Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 2:00 pm on WHYL 960 AM.

And in southwest PA, the Union Edge (http://www.theunionedge.com) is on Monday-Friday from noon to 1:00 PM on WKFB 770 AM.

Democratic Talk Radio T-shirts, polo shirts, hats, etc.

07.02.09

DTR logo

Democratic Talk Radio T-shirts, polo shirts, hats, etc.

Here is the link to see and order the merchandise http://www.multiprintstores.com/unionedge/category.aspx?cat=19

If you desire a link sent to your friends to view or purchase, email Stephen Crockett at demlabor@aol.com

June 25th Democratic Talk Radio show on Healthcare

06.20.09

There is a huge Rally for Healthcare Reform in Washington, DC on June 25th.

Democratic Talk Radio will be broadcasting live that morning from the bus leaving from Allentown,PA. We broadcast from 8:05am until 9am Eastern.

Host Stephen Crockett will be on the bus talking with union leaders and others. Co-host John Morgan will be in the WGPA SUNNY 1100AM studio. The show will stream live on the Internet from the WGPA SUNNY 1100AM website.

John Morgan is a fairly recent addition to the Democratic Talk Radio line-up. Many of you will know him from his Pennsylvania Progressive blog and/or as a healthcare reform advocate.

Reaching Out to the College Community

05.31.09

I believe that Democratic organizations, progressive groups and labor unions need to increase their outreach efforts aimed at American colleges and universities. Campuses provide a very large percentage of campaign volunteers. They are the source of nearly all future opinion-makers including journalists, book authors, officeholders, business leaders and policy experts!

Generating a better understanding of progressive policies and politics early can only strengthen the prospects for progressive change over the next few generations. Organizing potential activists while in college and educating them should not be an “on and off” effort centered around Presidential election cycles.

The effort should not rely on students seeking out organizations like the College Democrats, ACLU or the AFL-CIO. The organizations should be seeking out students to engage with in a systematic way. Civil Liberties groups, environmentalists, civil rights organizations, campaign reform advocates, peace groups, human rights activists, etc should all be mounting issue awareness campaigns, recruiting and organizing activities on almost every American campus.

Professional marketing and promotional services devoted to the college market are available. I own and manage College Marketing.com http://www.CollegeMarketing.com which offers a diverse mix of public relations, advertising and promotional services.

As host of Democratic Talk Radio and Editor of Mid-Atlantic Labor.com, I understand the progressive political community. I want to see it effectively reach the vast majority of American college students with our messages.

If you represent a progressive organization or labor union, I might be able to help you grow your exposure on college campuses locally, regionally or nationally. We can promote the growth of organizations. We can help potential candidates get their campaign messages to college students and academics.

We can promote issue advocacy messages. Trade policy, healthcare, labor laws, the Fairness Doctrine in broadcasting, clean elections, taxation, employment, poverty, energy policy, foreign policy and almost any specific policy position can benefit from postering college bulletin boards, distributing flyers or placing ads in college newspapers with targeted messages. Many more customized creative public relations efforts can be executed by College Marketing.com.

We can increase traffic to blogs and political web sites. We can help drive book sales or subscriptions to progressive magazines or newpapers. We can promote music and movies with progressive content. We can motivate students to lobby.

You will not have to rely on volunteers who may or may not properly execute your projects. Your professional staff will not be diverted from their other important activities. You will have professional expertise with decades of experience in reaching the college community with advertising, promotional and public relations campaigns.

Your effort can reach a large number of campuses if desired or be scaled much smaller based solely on your needs. All of our efforts are customized to meet your specific campaign needs. Costs will usually be very, very reasonable.

Please call me at 443-907-2367 or email me at demlabor@aol.com to discuss your needs and how we can help meet them.

In solidarity,

Stephen Crockett

Radio LabourStart

04.20.09

Radio LabourStart.

Here is an interesting labor talk radio link! Click on logo.

John Morgan joins the Democratic Talk Radio line-up as a co-host

04.19.09

John Morgan joins the Democratic Talk Radio line-up as a co-host

John is best known as the genius behind the Pennsylvania Progressive website http://thepennsylvaniaprogressive.com/.
John is very dedicated to healthcare reform. He will add a great depth of knowledge on this subject to our program.

In addition, he is a political consultant with a very deep knowledge of Pennsylvania politics.

Bringing Democratic Talk Radio to your community

03.05.09

It certainly seems like talk radio grows best if it grows organically and is based in local communities instead of being created from on top nationally. We have been getting many, many requests to bring Democratic Talk Radio to new communities since the first of the year.
Maybe we need to create a Democratic Talk Radio Support Committee in each area:

(1) We can first work on getting financial underwriting from organized labor and Democratic groups in each location and statewide in each state.

(2) We could look at Democratic campaign donor lists and possibly solicit them by phone or mail.

(3) We could ask help finding financial backers or advertisers from Democratic officeholders or candidates.

(4) We could look into fundraising like dinners or other events.

(5) Identify likely radio stations that would sell us time or even better run us free of charge (which permits them to sell ads in our time slot).

In solidarity,

Stephen Crockett

Host, Democratic Talk Radio http://www.DemocraticTalkRadio.com

Email: demlabor@aol.com
Phone: 443-907-2367

P.S.- Our concept is that the first 10-12 communities to get us on the air will get unique 1-2 hour weekly shows. For more hours or later markets, we will probably offer a national syndicated show.

The advantage of being one of the earliest markets is that we can have much, much more local content including local candidates, officeholders, Democratic leaders and union leaders as guests. We can do a better job of covering local events and issues although all markets will get some national figures and content.

The Jindal Lesson: Keeping Those Republicans Out of Power

02.25.09

The Jindal Lesson: Keeping Those Republicans Out of Power

After listening today to the Louisiana Governor respond to Obama’s speech to Congress and the American nation on the economic crisis and healthcare, I suddenly realized that the Jindal-type of Republican should never, ever be placed in a position of governmental responsibility. Unfortunately, the Jindal-type dominates the national Republican power structure.

Governor Jindal simply does not believe in government. His references to the awful Bush Republican response to Katrina show that he just does not get it. Jindal seems to think that since Bush blew the federal government response to that disaster, therefore, government is inherently incompetent.

It is true that under Bush the personnel responsible for disaster relief were incompetent. Those individuals were selected for entirely political and ideological reasons. They did not believe in government. Essentially, they were Jindal-type Republicans! They were Bush Republicans!

If you believe government will always fail, you are very likely going to fail in the management of government. If politics, ideology and achieving power take precedence over implementing sound policy in your value system, you are a poor candidate for being good at managing government agencies or programs.

Jindal is certainly not alone in his contempt for using government to better the condition of our economically suffering citizens. Along with Jindal, the Republican Governors of Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Alaska have indicated that they would not accept federal money to extend and expand unemployment benefits for the citizens of their states. The reasons they gave are illogical and seem to be motivated by politics instead of real policy concerns.

The citizens of these states losing their jobs are going to suffer simply because these Governors do not really believe in helping citizens facing economic adversity not of their own making. Texas Governor Perry has never been concerned with helping the unemployed, in my opinion; because they do not write big campaign checks and Perry does not really believe in government. Governor Palin of Alaska along with Governor Jindal of Louisiana both seem to be more concerned with running for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination than in serving the citizens of their states.

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford should be more concerned that in December his state was losing 830 jobs a day than scoring points with the Republican Right and Michael Steele’s Republican National Committee. Michael Steele is another Jindal-type Republican. In Jindal’s Louisiana, they were losing 430 jobs a day during the same time period. Instead of dealing with the crisis in a constructive manner, both Governors (along with Steele) went into full political spin mode.

Nothing stimulates the economy more than expanding and extending unemployment benefits. Basically, all that money gets spent as soon as it arrives unlike tax cuts for the wealthy.

The Jindal-type thinking is not limited to Republican Governors and the Republican National Committee. Senator Ensign of Nevada gave an amazing interview today on cable with Chris Matthews where he frankly stated that he did not believe in the key principles of Keynesian economics where governments run surpluses during good economic times.

According to Keynes, they should pay off government debts and build rainy day funds to use during bad times. The economic policies of the Clinton-Gore era were Keynesian. They were working until Bush changed our government tax and spending policies and began giving huge tax cuts to the wealthiest of the wealthy during good times while running huge deficits.

Under Keynesian economics, governments should run deficits during bad times to even out the boom-bust cycles in the economy. Ensign falsely stated that government spending did not help end the Great Depression. This historical misinformation has become a regular talking point among the Jindal-type Republicans, Right Wing talk radio and the Fox News crowd. The real lesson of the New Deal was that government spending was not large enough (largely because of Republican opposition) until just before World War II to end the economic crisis.

Ensign and Jindal both want more of the same policies that got us into the current economic crisis. They want to play the same obstructionist role under Obama that the Republicans played under FDR during the 1930’s. The Jindal-type Republicans are really Bush Republicans following in the tradition of Herbert Hoover.

If tax cuts for the wealthy actually created jobs, the last 8 years under Bush would have created the biggest, baddest economic boom in the history of mankind! Everyone would be working at huge salaries. It did not happen and will never happen on the basis of just more tax cuts.

We need spending. We need higher incomes for the majority instead of just the wealthiest of the wealthy! We need controls on predatory lending. We need a re-industrialization program for the American economy, higher taxes for the wealthiest of the wealthy, the end of poorly regulated international trade, limits on corporate executive compensation, stronger consumer protections against price-gouging, new anti-usury laws and enforcement of anti-monopoly laws.

We have an income crisis in America. In 1929, the top one percent of Americans in terms of income had 29% of the total national income for that year. In 1979, just before Reagan was elected, that number had declined to just over 10%. Currently, that number has risen to around the 1929 level.

The Republican assault on progressive taxation along with wealth destroying “free trade” deals were combined with halting anti-monopoly law enforcement and repealing anti-usury laws to concentrate wealth. These policies have weakened our economy. Excessive corporate compensation and excessive industry deregulation (especially in energy and finance) played important roles in destroying the buying power of the American middle class.

The Republican and corporate assault on labor unions severely weakened the economic position of all members of the middle class including those not in unions. The unionization process was rigged by law and government regulation against workers attempting to bargain collectively with employers. Enacting the Employee Free Choice Act is a key to real economic recovery along with healthcare reform for the vast majority of Americans. The Jindal-type Republicans stand strongly in opposition to both.

When income gets concentrated at the top, it destroys the market for goods and services. It additionally fuels unsound speculation and investment bubbles. There is excess investment money chasing opportunities that do not really exist because there is not sufficient customer liquidity available for the output of those investments. We get asset inflation followed by severe deflationary pressures.

Facing problems like these, we cannot afford public officeholders like Jindal, Palin, Perry, Sanford and Ensign. Their approach to government could turn this recession into a depression even worse than the Great Depression.

Written by Stephen Crockett (Host of Democratic Talk Radio http://www.DemocraticTalkRadio.com and Editor of Mid-Atlantic Labor.com http://www.midatlanticlabor.com). Mail: 698 Old Baltimore Pike, Newark, Delaware 19702. Email: demlabor@aol.com. Phone: 443-907-2367.

Labor and the media: On air with labor radio host Steve Crockett

02.16.09

Labor and the media
On air with labor radio host Steve Crockett

Interview by Ron Ennis, Lehigh Valley Postal Workers
Editor, Lehigh Valley Labor Council

Steve Crockett is a busy guy. The radio talk show host had just traveled through a January storm the night before his Thursday morning program when he sat down with the News & Views. His weekly show, Democratic Talk Radio, is a Steve Crockett magnet for labor activists, progressives and Democrats.

The success of Crockett’s show is largely attributable to his friendly manner and his passionate interest in labor issues and civil liberties. He is a member of the National Writers Union (United Autoworkers, Local #1981) and the Office and Professional Employees International Union, Local #277.

The News & Views caught up with Crockett in his hotel lobby to talk to him about labor and the media.

News & Views: What makes your program different than the other talk radio shows?

Primarily, it’s the message and who we represent. Right wing talk radio represents corporate forces. Their message is that labor unions are bad, workers should not be able to act collectively and there should be neither consumer nor environmental protection laws. Everything I don’t believe in, they believe in.

How did you get into the business as a radio talk show host?

I started Democratic Talk Radio because of the role right-wing radio played in stopping the recount vote in Florida during the 2000 presidential campaign between Al Gore and George Bush. As you know, it was a judicial coup d’ etat orchestrated by the U.S. Supreme Court that stopped the recount.

I asked myself after the ruling was handed down, what’s it worth to me as a working class guy to live in a free country? And the answer was everything.

So, I started out in Fayetteville, Tenn., Al Gore’s old House district, and over the next five years spent $30,000 of my own money to get the message out about the corporate forces taking over America.

Eventually, I had a show that was nationally syndicated on i.e. America Network, which was backed by the United Autoworkers. It folded at about the same time as Air America went into production.

My current show, Democratic Talk Radio, started on April 3, 2008. It’s broadcast from Bethlehem every Thursday morning at 8:05 am on WGPA-1100AM.

You could have taken your talents anywhere. Why did you set up “shop” in the Lehigh Valley?

Politically, it is a very exciting area. It’s a swing congressional district in a swing state.
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You’ve had quite a few guests on your current program.

I’ve had Gregg Potter, Labor Council president, Jerry Green and Leo Gerard from the steelworkers, Pennsylvania AFL-CIO president Bill George, Wendell Young IV, president of the Food & Commercial Workers Local #1776, Fran Friel, president of the Penna. Postal Workers, Dennis Hower, vice-president of the Teamsters Local #773, congressional candidates Ed O’Brien, Charles Dertinger and Sam Bennett, Allentown City mayor Ed Pawlowski, Northampton County Democratic chair Joe Long and many other local and statewide political officials.

I’ve also had some bloggers, book authors and political figures from outside our listening area on the show. You can be sure that I’ll keep the program interesting. The problem that we have is that we have only one hour per week.

I should also mention my co-host on the program, Dana Garrett. He writes for the blog Delaware Watch and is a co-host on another radio program called Progressive Voices, which is aired from the campus of the University of Delaware on WVUD. Very intelligent guy.

What makes an interesting guest on a radio show?

Primarily, an interesting person with a story to tell. It certainly helps if they can articulate a passion and a commitment to a cause greater than themselves

Since you’ve talked to quite a few labor leaders, what are some of the concerns they have in common?

Of course, the Employee Free Choice Act stands out as the number one issue. With the decline of unions has come the decline of the middle class and weakened our democracy.

Free trade is a topic discussed frequently on our show. Finally, the healthcare crisis rounds out the top three themes that engage our guests and callers.

How is your show funded?

It was the Laborers’, Local #1174 that gave us the start up money to put Democratic Talk Radio on the air. They have been great sponsors from the beginning.

The other sponsor that has been so critical to the success of the program is the Mail Room, the Lehigh Valley’s only unionized printer.

We’ve also received support from other union locals, Democratic Party organizations and law firms.

Financing was a struggle in the beginning. I paid for almost half of the air time, not to mention my two hour drive from my home in Maryland.

Sponsorship is always welcomed and I ask anyone interested in supporting our program to contact me at demlabor@aol.com or 443-907-2367.

Do you think labor organizations do enough to get their message out?

No! Quite simply, no.

But I do think they are trying more, especially here in Pennsylvania. Rick Smith, a Teamster, has a phenomenal weekend show entitled United for Progress, which is broadcast out of Carlisle, Pennsylvania. And Charles Showalter, a member of the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists, hosts a great show in the Pittsburgh area called The Union Edge.

What should union leaders be doing, though? Rick Smith, Charles Showalter and you are getting the message out.

Union leaders should not be afraid to talk to journalists. Part of it is that the internationals should give their local leaders some leeway to talk to the media.

Everyone should realize that they may be misquoted sometimes. And learn to live with that to some degree. We also need to train our guys on message control and how to talk to the media.

Some union leaders have told me that they’d never talk to the papers.

Absolutely. And the reason is because they are frequently misquoted.

Unfortunately, if you don’t talk to them, then the only side the public will hear is the other side. I believe it is better to get a slightly distorted version of your side than nothing at all.

I have found that reporters are fairly friendly, although that may not be the case with the owners of the paper. In today’s print media, reporters are not as aware of working class issues as they use to be because of the increased professionalism of journalists and journalism schools.

Years ago, most of your reporters came from working class families and working class backgrounds. And every major urban area had a labor newspaper.
Today, they are almost all gone. I think it is fantastic that you have in the Lehigh Valley The Union News published by Paul Tucker. It’s amazing that Tucker’s publication exists because very few places have a labor press. Contemporary journalists don’t understand blue-collar concerns, although they might be sympathetic to white-collar issues.

Of course, I think we should go on radio more. We need to finance our own media in order to do a permanent campaign just like the other side does. Whether it’s Tucker’s Union News or Democratic Talk Radio, unions need to support labor media.

What new media projects are you working on?

Oh, there are so many! (chuckles)

Well, just give me two or three.

My most immediate project is helping to pass the Employee Free Choice Act. For example, I’ve used Facebook to network with other activists. I think the legislation is so important.

Longer term, I’d like to create a national advertising agency for the benefit of labor organizations and progressive groups with the goal of building our own media.

We are also working on getting Democratic Talk Radio into the Philadelphia market. You have some phenomenal pro-labor candidates coming out of the Lehigh Valley who need greater exposure outside of the area if they are to be successful statewide. And the Labor Council does some great work that should be recognized beyond the Lehigh Valley.
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EDITOR’S NOTE: Article reprinted from the February 2009 edition of the NEWS & VIEWS (Lehigh Valley Labor Council AFL-CIO newsletter).

Democratic Talk Radio announces our 1st Labor Hero of the Year Award for 2008

02.12.09

Democratic Talk Radio announces our 1st Labor Hero of the Year Award for 2008

Democratic Talk Radio has given our Ist Annual Labor Hero of the Year Award to Fran Friel, President of the Pennsylvania Postal Workers for moving his union convention from the hotel in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania to honor a picket line by the Laborers (LIUNA) Local 135 and the Painters (IUPAT) this past summer.

They encountered significant legal costs and maybe other even larger financial costs by their actions in support of the union brothers and sisters in the building trades. We at Democratic Talk Radio love this example of real labor union solidarity and want to honor it.

Fran Friel and his fellow union leaders from the American Postal Workers Union truly believe that an injury to one is an injury to all. For Fran and the rest of members of the Pennsylvania Postal Workers Union, these are not just words. Their actions show their conviction and sincere devotion to labor solidarity.

When asked to comment on their actions, the President of the Painters (IUPAT) District Council 21 Ken Kraft stated, “THEY not only supported our union I feel they supported the entire building trades movement by not having the convention at a place that uses non-union workers from out of state and then EXPECTS Unions to just book there anyway… It was a great example of how we get it together once in a while between the building trades and the other Labor Council type Unions… But it is also a shame, in Europe NO-ONE would find this unusual, they still get it over there…”

Millions of labor heroes exist in the work force of America. They all deserve recognition and our sincere admiration. Democratic Talk Radio honors them every day for their contribution to economic opportunity and justice.

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For more information, please contact Democratic Talk Radio host Stephen Crockett. Crockett can be reached by phone at 443-907-2367 or email at demlabor@aol.com. The Democratic Talk Radio website is http://www.DemocraticTalkRadio.com.