Isn’t it awesome knowing our County is led by respectful, dignified adults once again?

WATCH: Rex Tillerson Rides with Rolling Thunder to Honor U.S. Military on Memorial Day

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson joined almost one million bikers on Sunday as a rider in a massive caravan of motorcycles that rode from the Pentagon to the National Mall and the Vietnam Memorial on Sunday.

A video posted on YouTube shows Tillerson posing for pictures with other bikers and preparing to mount his own bike for the trip, an annual tradition that began in the late 1980s as a way to honor the U.S. military and to support the continuing search for U.S. soldiers who remained prisoners of war or were missing in action following the Vietnam War.

“O.K., this is just buckets of all-American awesome,” the post on Conservative Treehouse stated. “Secretary of State Rex Tillerson rides with Rolling Thunder in Washington, D.C. to celebrate Memorial Day and salute our armed forces.

“We knew T-Rex was awesome, but who knew T-Rex was Rolling Thunder level awesome?” said the post, which included the 2-minute video of Tillerson in the staging area at the Pentagon.

Guardian posted photos of the procession, including a photograph of Tillerson with a caption that read:

“U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stand with Rolling Thunder, Inc. founder Artie Muller (3rd-R) and U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. David J. Shulkin (R) as opening remarks are delivered at the Pentagon of Washington, D.C. in honor of Memorial Day.”

The Diplomatic Security Service posted a photo on its Facebook page explaining its role in the event.

“DSS special agents provided security for Secretary Tillerson today at #RollingThunder2017 in Washington, D.C. The Secretary and two of the special agents assigned to his DSS Protective Detail rode motorcycles in the event. #honoringvets

Your tax dollars hard at work. If you voted for obama or clinton, you should feel shame, but I doubt you will..

California Farmer Fined $2.8M for Plowing His Own Field

The California farmer who became the poster child for EPA reform under President Donald Trump is being fined $2.8 million by state and federal regulators for plowing his own field in Tehama County.

According to a story in the Redding Record Searchlight:

“The case is the first time that we’re aware of that says you need to get a (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) permit to plow to grow crops,” said Anthony Francois, an attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation.

“We’re not going to produce much food under those kinds of regulations,” he said.

However, U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller agreed with the Army Corps in a judgment issued in June 2016. A penalty trial, in which the U.S. Attorney’s Office asks for $2.8 million in civil penalties, is set for August.

It all started in 2012 when a Modesto farmer named John Duarte, owner of Duarte Nursery, bought 450 acres near Red Bluff in Tehama County.

Because the acreage had numerous “swales and wetlands,” Duarte made the decision to hire a consulting firm to map out areas on the property to mark off areas that drained into the nearby Coyote and Oak creeks — which, under an Obama-era regulation, are considered to be “waters of the United States,” (“WOTUS”).

According to the Record report, Francois and court records confirmed that Duarte planned to grow wheat on the 450 acres.

The wheat Duarte planted was never harvested, “because in February 2013 the Army Corps of Engineers and the California Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board issued orders to stop work at the site because Duarte had violated the Clean Water Act by not obtaining a permit to discharge dredged or fill material into seasonal wetlands considered waters of the United States.”

Duarte responded by suing the Army Corps and the state of California. The U.S. Attorney’s office filed a counter-suit.

 

The government’s case appears to rest entirely on a technicality created under the new rule that grants EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers sweeping powers in what President Trump, at the signing of an executive order directing EPA to begin repealing WOTUS, described as “a massive power grab” granting the federal government control of “nearly every puddle or every ditch on a farmer’s land.”

The Los Angeles Times describes the whole case as a “protracted legal battle ensued over whether 5-inch furrows amounted to enough of an alteration of the land to “pollute” the pools.

“The wetlands in my case amount to very minor depressions — they’re vernal pools — far away and disconnected from any stream or navigable waters,” Duarte told the Times. “Sometimes they’re just dark spots in the grass to the layperson.”

In an ironic twist, the Times noted that “[d]uring the Senate hearing on Pruitt’s nomination, Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst used a photograph of Duarte’s furrows as a backdrop, mocking a federal brief that said ‘the furrow tops now serve as small mountain ranges.’”

Despite Trump’s new policy, federal regulators are still demanding almost $3 million from an American farmer for plowing his own privately acquired farmland — land that he reasonably assumed to be exempt from the regulation now being enforced.

Tim Donnelly is a former California State Assemblyman and author who is doing a book tour for his new book: Patriot Not Politician: Win or Go Homeless. He ran for governor in 2014.

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/tim.donnelly.12/

Twitter:  @PatriotNotPol

The growing threat continues as our politicians play patty cake politics with the threat of radical islam.

Growing Concern Over Brothers Arrested With Guns, Bomb-Making Materials

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There are growing concerns about the arrest of two brothers with ties to the Middle East who authorities say had an arsenal with bomb-making materials, guns and ammunition in their car.

Twenty-seven-year-old Abdullah Alrifahe and 26-year-old Majid Alrifahe were arrested on May 11 in north Minneapolis.

Abdullah is being held in the Hennepin County Jail. His brother, Majid, has been released and is facing minor charges.

WCCO-TV has confirmed that both Homeland Security and the FBI are involved in the investigation, which started outside a federally-subsidized senior housing project. A good Samaritan confronted the men about littering from their car.

abdullah alrifahe and majid alrifahe Growing Concern Over Brothers Arrested With Guns, Bomb Making Materials

Abdullah Alrifahe and Majid Alrifahe (credit: Hennepin Co. Jail)

The man, who asked that his name not be used for fear of his safety, said the brothers jumped out of their car, moved aggressively toward him and used the N-word. He then called police.

Inside the brothers’ car, police found a loaded AK-47, another rifle, a handgun, a grenade, large amounts of ammunition, and what would later be identified as bomb-making materials, including a drone.

Abdullah Alrifahe had recently been released from jail after serving time for a weapons conviction. He is now facing a single felony weapons charge.

His brother, Majid, has been released from jail and is facing a low-level misdemeanor charges, including disorderly conduct.

The good Samaritan is outraged the charges aren’t more serious.

“For what they found in their car, that is way too light,” he said.

However, criminal defense attorney Joe Tamburino, who is not affiliated with the case, says prosecutors are doing what they can.

“These people have been charged with what the prosecutors can do right now,” he said, adding that more charges could come down later.

The Minneapolis Police Department says the investigation remains an open. Meanwhile, Abdullah Alrifahe is being held on $200,000 bail, which is an extremely high amount for the charges he faces.

His brother, who is out of jail, did not immediately return phone calls.

WCCO-TV also reached out to the FBI and Homeland Security. The FBI responded that it has no comment on the case.

Another example of a liberal imbecile incapable of seeing reality. Of course, she’s got armed security around her 24/7.

Hegseth Confronts MN Mayor Who Gave ‘State of the City’ Speech at Mosque

 
As seen on Fox & Friends

Pete Hegseth on Tuesday confronted Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges after she delivered her “state of the city” address in a mosque.

Hodges, who previously called President Trump “uniquely pernicious,” chose the mosque as the location because she believes the city’s Muslim community is under attack from the Trump administration.

The speech came just a day after the deadly terror attack in Manchester, England, which left 22 dead and scores more injured.

“Cities like Minneapolis and the people who live in them are squarely in Donald Trump’s sights,” Hodges said during her address. “His agendas of oppression, regression, and suppression have no place in Minneapolis, and we are standing firm in our resistance to it.”

Hegseth said Hodges tried to avoid answering his questions, so he tracked her down after the speech and confronted her.

“Why a mosque?” Hegseth asked of her choice of venue. “And would you do it in a church?”

“One community should not be held responsible for the reprehensible acts of a few members of that community,” Hodges said, ending the conversation before Hegseth could ask her about President Trump.

Hegseth reacted this morning on “Fox & Friends,” calling out the mayor for later using his appearance at her event to fund-raise. He noted the “serious problem” the Minneapolis area has had with Somali Muslim youths joining ISIS and al-Shabab.

“There are real issues in this community [with radicalization] that she could be addressing and doesn’t,” he argued.

Watch more above from “Fox & Friends.”

Hodges said she decided to speak at the Islamic center because Minneapolis’ Muslim community needs support. She said she has spoken at churches before, although not for a “state of the city” or official address.

Hump day feel good story.

Police Eating At Restaurant Near Site Of Deputy’s Murder Get Unexpected Note On Their Receipt

Law enforcement eating at the Oasis restaurant got this note.

Law enforcement eating at the Oasis restaurant got this note.

The Oasis Restaurant Leaves Unexpected Note For Officers

Manhattan, MT – A group of law enforcement officers received an unexpected note on their receipt while eating at The Oasis restaurant.

The group of law enforcement officers was in the area to attend the memorial of murdered hero, Broadwater County Deputy Mason Moore.

On May 16th, Deputy Moore was murdered on a traffic stop. A Gallatin deputy was sent to his last known location to check on him, and found Deputy Moore’s body.

oasis-restaurant-note

“Gentlemen,

Dinner tonight is a gift from my family and me.

May the Almighty watch over you.

Thank you for all that you do to serve.”

Sheriff Allen Fulton took to Facebook to leave this information about the note:

I would like to thank the Oasis restaurant in Manhattan, Montana for dinner tonight. Undersheriff Bruce Price, the Chicago police officers and two Fort Worth Texas Police officers joined us for dinner. This is what our check looked like. Please, if you are in Manhattan, stop and support this business.

The Oasis Restaurant is about 12 miles from where Deputy Mason Moore was murdered.

Thank you to The Oasis for your support of law enforcement.

Would you be more willing to patronize a restaurant if they openly support law enforcement? Should there be a list of pro-law enforcement businesses? We’d like to hear what you think. Please let us know in the comments.

What do you suppose she’s trying to hide? Threatening a police chief? Why are democrats so rarely held responsible for their crimes?

INVESTIGATIVE GROUP

Wasserman Schultz Threatened Police Chief For Gathering Evidence On Her IT Staffer’s Alleged Crimes [VIDEO]

Photo of Luke Rosiak

LUKE ROSIAK
Investigative Reporter

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz threatened the chief of the U.S. Capitol Police with “consequences” for holding equipment that she says belongs to her in order to build a criminal case against a Pakistani staffer suspected of massive cybersecurity breaches involving funneling sensitive congressional data offsite.

The Florida lawmaker used her position on the committee that sets the police force’s budget to press its chief to relinquish the piece of evidence Thursday, in what could be considered using her authority to attempt to interfere with a criminal investigation.

The Capitol Police and outside agencies are pursuing Imran Awan, who has run technology for the Florida lawmaker since 2005 and was banned from the House network in February on suspicion of data breaches and theft.

“My understanding is the the Capitol Police is not able to confiscate Members’ equipment when the Member is not under investigation,” Wasserman Schultz said in the annual police budget hearing of the House Committee On Appropriations’ Legislative Branch Subcommittee.

“We can’t return the equipment,” Police Chief Matthew R. Verderosa told the Florida Democrat.

“I think you’re violating the rules when you conduct your business that way and you should expect that there will be consequences,” Wasserman Schultz said.

Rep. Wasserman Schultz promises "consequences" for Capitol Police chief investigating her staffer

Rep. Wasserman Schultz promises “consequences” for Capitol Police chief investigating her staffer. (Screen shot/House Committee on Appropriations video)

As one of eight members of the Committee on Appropriations’ Legislative Branch subcommittee, Wasserman Schultz is in charge of the budget of the police force that is investigating her staffer and how he managed to extract so much money and information from members.

In a highly unusual exchange, the Florida lawmaker uses a hearing on the Capitol Police’s annual budget to spend three minutes repeatedly trying to extract a promise from the chief that he will return a piece of evidence being used to build an active case.

“If a Member loses equipment and it is found by your staff and identified as that member’s equipment and the member is not associated with any case, it is supposed to be returned. Yes or no?” she said.

Police tell her it is important to “an ongoing investigation,” but presses for its return anyway.

A federal employee with knowledge of the situation and who requested anonymity told The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group that as House authorities closed in on Imran Awan and his brothers, a laptop used by Imran was hidden in an unused crevice of the Rayburn House Office Building. Wasserman Schultz’s office is in Longworth House Office Building, a separate structure.

The laptop was later found by Capitol Police and seized because it was relevant to the criminal investigation, the source said.

The investigation is examining members’ data leaving the network and how Awan managed to get Members to place three relatives and a friend into largely no-show positions on their payrolls, billing $4 million since 2010. (RELATED: Suspects Could Read Every Email Congressmen Sent And Received)

The congresswoman characterizes the evidence as “belonging” to her and argues that therefore it cannot be seized unless Capitol Police tell her that she personally, as opposed to her staffer, is a target of the investigation.

US Capitol Police Chief Matthew R. Verderosa. (Screen shot/House Committee on Appropriations video)

When TheDCNF asked Wasserman Schultz Monday if it could inquire about her strong desire for the laptop, she said “No, you may not.” After TheDCNF asked why she wouldn’t want the Capitol Police to have any evidence they may need to find and punish any hackers of government information, she abruptly turned around in the middle of a stairwell and retreated back to the office from which she had come.

Her spokesman, David Dameron, then emerged to say “We just don’t have any comment.”

Though on the surface Wasserman Schultz would have been a victim of Awan’s scam, she has inexplicably protected him, circumventing the network ban by re-titling him as an “adviser” instead of technology administrator.

Politico described him and his wife, Hina Alvi, as having a “friendly personal relationship” with both Wasserman Schultz and Rep. Gregory Meeks of New York.

That baffled a Democratic IT staffer, who said “I can’t imagine why she’d be that good of friends with a technology provider.”

“Usually if someone does bad stuff, an office is going to distance themselves” rather than incur political fallout for a mere staffer, he added. (RELATED: House IT Aides Fear Suspects Are Blackmailing Members With Their Own Data)

Wasserman Schultz resigned as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 2016 after Wikileaks published thousands of internal emails obtained by an as-yet unidentified hacker.

The last 30 seconds of the exchange can also be seen here.

WATCH:

DWS: I’d like to know how Capitol Police handle equipment that belongs to a member or staffer that’s been lost in the Capitol complex and found or recovered by one of your officers. What happens?

Chief: It’s processed on a PD-81 which is a property record, and depending on the property, depending on how you can legitimately determine ownership, it’s generally turned back over to the owner of a property. If it’s part of an ongoing case, then there are other things that have to occur for that to happen.

DWS: So if a member says there is equipment that has been lost, and you find it it would be returned to the member?

Chief: In a general sense, yes. You have to be able to positively identify the property and be able to establish ownership.

DWS: If ownership is established…

Chief: If it’s part of an ongoing case, then there are additional things that need to be done.

DWS: But if a member owns the equipment, and there is no ongoing case related to that member, then the equipment is supposed to be returned.

Chief: In a general sense, yes.

DWS: No, I mean in a specific sense. If the member loses the equipment, says they lose the equipment, and it is found by the Capitol Police, it is supposed to be returned.

Chief: If ownership has been established, it will be returned. If it’s subject to an ongoing investigation, there are additional things–

DWS: OK, but not an ongoing investigation related to that member. If the equipment belongs to the member, it has been lost, they say it’s been lost and it’s been identified as that member’s, then the Capitol Police are supposed to return it.

Chief: I can’t give a yes or no answer on that, because I know–

DWS: It’s a simple yes or no answer. If a member loses equipment and it is found by your staff and identified as that member’s equipment and the member is not associated with any case, it is supposed to be returned. Yes or no.

Chief: It depends on the circumstances.

DWS: I don’t understand how that is possible. Members’ equipment is members’ equipment. My understanding is the the Capitol Police is not able to confiscate members’ equipment when the member is not under investigation. It is their equipment and it is supposed to be returned.

Chief: I think there are extenuating circumstances in this case, and working through my counsel and the necessary personnel, if that in fact is the case, and with the permission of through the investigation, then we’ll return the equipment. But until that happens we can’t return the equipment.

DWS: I think you’re violating the rules when you conduct your business that way and you should expect that there will be consequences.

Smoke, mirrors, and deception. Obama’s flagship.

REPORT: Obama lied and Obama spied

A new report out this morning details just how much Obama spied on Americans during his administration and it’s a lot. Even the liberal ACLU organization says these new disclosures are some of the most serious to ever be documented:

CIRCA – The National Security Agency under former President Barack Obama routinely violated American privacy protections while scouring through overseas intercepts and failed to disclose the extent of the problems until the final days before Donald Trump was elected president last fall, according to once top-secret documents that chronicle some of the most serious constitutional abuses to date by the U.S. intelligence community.

More than 5 percent, or one out of every 20 searches seeking upstream Internet data on Americans inside the NSA’s so-called Section 702 database violated the safeguards Obama and his intelligence chiefs vowed to follow in 2011, according to one classified internal report reviewed by Circa.

The Obama administration self-disclosed the problems at a closed-door hearing Oct. 26 before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that set off alarm. Trump was elected less than two weeks later.

The normally supportive court censured administration officials, saying the failure to disclose the extent of the violations earlier amounted to an “institutional lack of candor” and that the improper searches constituted a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue,” according to a recently unsealed court document dated April 26, 2017.

The admitted violations undercut one of the primary defenses that the intelligence community and Obama officials have used in recent weeks to justify their snooping into incidental NSA intercepts about Americans.

Circa has reported that there was a three-fold increase in NSA data searches about Americans and a rise in the unmasking of U.S. person’s identities in intelligence reports after Obama loosened the privacy rules in 2011.

Officials like former National Security Adviser Susan Rice have argued their activities were legal under the so-called minimization rule changes Obama made, and that the intelligence agencies were strictly monitored to avoid abuses.

The intelligence court and the NSA’s own internal watchdog found that not to be true.

The American Civil Liberties Union said the newly disclosed violations are some of the most serious to ever be documented and strongly call into question the U.S. intelligence community’s ability to police itself and safeguard American’s privacy as guaranteed by the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protections against unlawful search and seizure.

Obama spied on journalists and the American people, yet we’re supposed to just ignore that he spied on Trump all because of Trump’s tweet? The media pretends like it’s not a big deal at all and even seems to take Susan Rice at her word that her unmasking of details of the Trump campaign’s communications were appropriate.

Yeah I think we need a special prosecutor to get to the bottom of all of this and pronto.

Measles, TB, Syphilis, what will be next? Sadly, Governor goofy embraces these cultures that infect the state.

More Measles in Minnesota: 69 Cases Now Confirmed

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reported on Monday that the number of confirmed measles cases in the outbreak that began in April has increased to 69.

For the first time, MDH is confirming that the outbreak has spread beyond the Somali community in Minnesota to white and Hispanic residents of the state. Fifty-nine of the 69 cases of measles are in Somali Minnesotans, seven are white/Non-Hispanic, and three are white/Hispanic, MDH reported.

Though the number of cases continues to grow, the cases have not spread beyond four counties:

  • 59 in Hennepin County
  • 4 in Ramsey County
  • 4 in Crow Wing County
  • 2 in Le Sueur County

Three cases are in adults, 66 are in children (ages 0-17 years).

Sixty-five of the 69 cases have been “confirmed to be unvaccinated.” Of the remaining four cases, “1 had 1 dose of MMR [and] 3 had 2 doses of MMR.”

Since 1997, the number of measles cases diagnosed in Minnesota has exceeded double digits only once, in 2011, when 26 cases were diagnosed.

The current measles outbreak is the largest in the state since 1990, when a total of 460 cases of measles were confirmed.

Experts say the outbreak is likely to continue to spread.

MDH officials have said the initial infection that sparked the current measles outbreak wasdue to a foreign traveler.

“Measles is a rare disease in Minnesota and in the U.S.; however, measles is still common in other parts of the world. Most measles cases occurring in Minnesota result from someone traveling to or from countries where measles is common, and who are infectious with measles after arriving in Minnesota,” the MDH website states.

As part of its public information program to promote vaccinations, MDH offers a Think Measles  “[l]etter size poster with a reminder to get vaccinated for measles before international travel,” that is available in nine languages, including English, Amharic, Hmong, Khmer, Oromo, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.

The outbreak began in the Somali community, which has seen vaccination rates plummet over the past decade. MDH officials blame that drop in vaccination rates on anti-vaxxers who have spread the medically discredited claim that vaccinations are tied to autism to the Somali community in Minnesota.

Minneapolis-St. Paul is home to the largest Somali community in the United States, estimated to be about 70,000 in total.

“Since FY 2002, 100,246 Somali refugees have resettled in the United States, according to the State Department’s interactive website,” Breitbart News reported in December.

In Olmsted County, which is about 70 miles southeast of Le Sueur County, “a public forum has been scheduled for Monday evening in Rochester to discuss Minnesota’s worst measles outbreak since 1990,” the Post Bulletin reported:

The Somali Health Advisory Committee has organized the forum in hopes of addressing the Somali community’s increasing resistance to the MMR vaccine because of fears of its links to autism, a claim that has been debunked repeatedly by the science community.

Abdirashid Shire, director of Rochester’s Health and Research Institute for Somali Americans, and Nasra Giama, a nursing professor at the University of Minnesota Rochester and a Mayo Clinic researcher, will lead the discussion.
Representatives from Mayo Clinic, Olmsted Medical Center, Olmsted County Public Health and Minnesota Department of Health are expected to attend and participate in the discussion.

“The primary goal is to talk about childhood health issues, specifically about trying to dispel the myth about the link between MMR and autism and the importance of vaccines,” Dawn Beck, associate director of the Olmsted County Public Health, told the Post Bulletin:

Despite ongoing efforts from MDH and other health agencies in recent years, Minnesota’s Somali community has seen its vaccination rate plunge from nearly 90 percent to the mid-40s. In Olmsted County, Somalis have an MMR vaccination rate of 75 percent, according to 2016 data.

Despite good news locally, Olmsted County’s recent Community Health Needs Assessment identified immunizations as one of its top five priorities in 2017.

Minnesota state officials now believe the current measles outbreak, combined with increased rates of tuberculosis and syphilis, has become a significant public health problem in the state.

Minnesota Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger said earlier this month:

In recent months, state and local public health officials have had to respond to a series of infectious disease outbreaks including multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, hundreds of new cases of syphilis, and now, the largest measles outbreak the state has faced in nearly 30 years. These outbreaks come on the heels of extensive public health efforts in 2016 for the Zika virus response and in 2014-15 for Ebola preparedness.

With state and local response costs for the first half of 2017 approaching $3 million just for measles, tuberculosis and syphilis, I respectfully request that the legislature create a public health response contingency fund of $5 million to ensure sufficient resources are available for immediate, life-saving actions to protect Minnesotans from infectious disease outbreaks and other unanticipated public health threats.

“Governor Dayton has given me his support for this proposal and we will advocate for its inclusion in any final legislative budget agreement,” Ehlinger noted.

How many years did he do this before he got caught? We’ll never know, will we?

Probation is sentence for cutting tops off 2,700 trees in Minnesota forest for Christmas decorations

The 70-year-old defendant must also perform community service and make restitution for the damage he did.
itemprop

, U.S. FOREST SERVICEEntrance to the Chippewa National Forest.

Joseph L. Edminster, 70, of Grand Rapids, was sentenced in federal court in St. Paul on Friday to three years’ probation and 200 hours of community service, and ordered to make restitution.

“People need to understand that taking plants or animals from federal lands is a serious crime punishable by substantial fines and even time in federal prison,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Provinzino said in a statement issued upon Edminster’s sentencing. “Mr. Edminster took responsibility for his actions. Had he not, his punishment could have been even more severe.”

Mary King, special agent in charge for the U.S. Forest Service Eastern Region, added that “the penalties reflect the seriousness of the crimes committed against our nation’s natural resources, and we hope they will act as a deterrent in the future.”

According to his guilty plea in January, Edminster cut more than 2,700 tree tops from the Chippewa National Forest worth at least $24,000 in total. Cutting or damaging timber is prohibited on national forest land without proper authorization.

Edminster then sold the tops for $1.50 to $2.50 each to various wholesale vendors, who would then sell each top for up to $6 each to retail outlets in Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois. The retail cost for individual spruce tops ranges from $2.50 to $7.50 apiece, depending on the height.

Black spruce, a North American pine species, is widespread in the northern United States and Canada. It can be found in northern and northeastern parts of Minnesota, extending as far south as northern Anoka County.

Is this what union dues are intended to support?

Teachers’ Union Contract Guarantees Jail-Time Pay

NEA staffers to be given free legal expenses, wages as long as charges stemmed from union activities

The National Education Association’s 150th Annual Meeting / GettyImages

BY:

Staff members at the nation’s largest teachers’ union are guaranteed pay for the time they spend in jail if it is related to union work.

Staffers at the National Education Association, the union that represents about 3 million American educators and school employees, are entitled to their standard wage rate during their incarceration, according to a copy of their contract first reported by The 74 Million.

“Some union staffers can receive incarceration pay ‘for reasons stemming from actions taken by him/her in the scope of his/her Association employment.’ The NEA contract specifies that this will be at the regular hourly rate for all time spent in jail,” the website reports.

The National Education Association Staff Organization represents 369 staff members employed by the union and takes in $600,000 in dues and fees each year—a drop in the bucket compared with the NEA’s $387 million revenue in 2016.

Neither the NEA nor the staffers’ union responded to request for comment about the provision or whether it has been invoked by union employees in the past.

The staff members have a history of including compensation during imprisonment in their union contracts. The group’s previous contract, which took effect in 2012 and expired in 2015, also included a section that protected worker pay in the event that they were arrested during the course of union activities. The contract mandates that the union cover not only the employee’s wages, but the legal defense costs associated with criminal or civil trials. Only in cases of “gross negligence or gross irresponsibility” is the union relieved of its duty to cover such expenses.

“NEA shall defend and save an employee harmless from any personal financial liability (including fines, reasonable attorneys’ fees, posting of bail or bond, etc.) arising out of any claim, suit, criminal prosecution or judgment against him/her because he/she is an employee of NEA or because of any act taken by him/her in the course of his/her employment,” the contract says. “If an employee is incarcerated for the foregoing reasons, he/she shall be paid at his/her regular hourly rate for all time spent in jail.”

Not every union has such protections for members. A senior Teamsters official and key ally of union president James Hoffa Jr. turned to crowdfunding in April to support his legal defense in a civil union corruption investigation. Rome Aloise, who earned a combined $380,000 in compensation for his local, state, and national roles at the Teamsters, started a website to collect as much as $14,000 from donors willing to defend him against charges that he rigged union elections and accepted gifts from companies that he was supposed to be negotiating with on behalf of workers.

Patrick Semmens, a spokesman for the labor watchdog National Right to Work Committee, said that the NEA’s contract is the first he has seen with an imprisonment clause. He said it was “outrageous” that teachers are forced to pay union officials’ legal troubles, especially in school districts that mandate union membership.

“This is another example of the outrageous activities teachers are forced to subsidize because of union boss forced dues powers,” he said.