Syrian Refugees/Planned Parenthood Terror Attack/Black Lives Matter Criticism/Rep. Peter Tercyak, DMHAS & a Conflict of Interest

This column appears in the December 3-10 edition of the Hartford News…
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Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. Next show Tuesday, September 15 at 9:00 PM. We’ll talk about unrest in Chicago over the police murder of Laquan McDonald and the subsequent cover up, the gang related murder of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee and the city’s poverty rate, an issue that has been mostly ignored by the corporate media. We’ll also discuss Islamophobia against Syrian refugees, the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood terror attack and the presidential election. Tune in! Replays the following Wednesday, same time.
False Choice: The Bipartisan Attack on the Working Class, the Poor and Communities of Color
Trebol Press has published my first nonfiction book on politics. The Democrats and Republicans spar publicly, but the reality is that these two parties have more in common than they have differences. This duopoly is run on corporatist economic policies that benefit the ruling class, at the expense of the workers and the poor. Global hegemony is at the core of the foreign policies of the Dems and the GOP. False Choice is a diary of national and global issues, set against the backdrop of the Connecticut gubernatorial election between Gov. Dannel Malloy and Republican challenger Tom Foley that was rated as the most negative in the country in 2014. The book also features commentary on politics at Hartford City Hall, including analysis of the highly controversial baseball stadium deal orchestrated by Mayor Pedro Segarra and City Council President Shawn Wooden. Visit the Trebol Press website for ordering info.   Check out the False Choice Author Page on Facebook for commentary on the Democratic/Republican duopoly and coverage of third party politics.
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                                                                                           Political Roundup
Republicans, Democrats, Corporate Media Distort Terrorism Definition 
Reality check for bigots: Syrian refugees do not want to be in the United States. They want to be in Syria. If your house caught on fire, you would run out of the house. Syria is on fire. Be consistent: you should now want all whites (yeah, including yourself) monitored in response to the terror attack in Colorado.
Republican Congressman Michael McCaul and GOP strategist Sean Spicer referred to the terror attack in Colorado as a “mental health issue” during the State of the Union program last Sunday on CNN. Spicer said that no sane person would commit a crime like this. Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, a right-wing extremist, and Democratic Party candidate Martin O’Malley were the only candidates who called the Planned Parenthood attack an act of domestic terrorism. The corporate media continues to define the terrorism issue as threats from ISIS and al-Qaeda. From Wikipedia, “Anti-abortion violence is specifically directed towards people who or places which provide abortion.[1] It is known as ‘single issue terrorism’.[2] Extreme forms are recognized as terrorism. Incidents include vandalism, arson, and bombings of abortion clinics, such as those committed by Eric Rudolph (1996–98), and murders or attempted murders of physicians and clinic staff, as committed by James Kopp (1998), Paul Jennings Hill (1994), Scott Roeder (2009), Michael F. Griffin (1993), and Peter James Knight (2001). Those who engage in or support such actions defend the use of force with claims of justifiable homicide or defense of others in the interest of protecting the life of the fetus.[3][4][5]
David C. Nice, of the University of Georgia, describes support for anti-abortion violence as a political weapon against women’s rights, one that is associated with tolerance for violence toward women.[6]
Anti-abortion extremism is recognized as a form of Christian terrorism.[7]
At least eight murders occurred in the United States since 1990, as well as 41 bombings and 173 arsons at clinics since 1977. At least one murder occurred in Australia, as well several attempted murders in Canada. There were 1,793 abortion providers in the United States in 2008,[8] as well as 197 abortion providers in Canada in 2001.[9] The National Abortion Federation reported between 1,356 and 13,415 incidents of picketing at United States providers each year from 1995 to 2014.[10]”
Domestic terrorists have killed the most Americans since 9/11. 784 hate groups are currently active in the United States, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.  PBS journalist Bill Moyers examined the link between hate speech from popular right-wing media personalities and domestic terrorism.  In 2010 Republican Indiana Senate candidate Richard Behney said, “I’m cleaning my guns, and getting ready for the big show” if GOP candidates failed to unseat Democratic Party incumbents in Congress.
Black Agenda Report Calls Out Black Lives Matter Leaders
I’m in total agreement with the criticism Black Agenda Report commentators Glen Ford and Bruce Dixon have made of the Black Lives Matter movement. Their critique has been mainly directed at the unelected BLM leaders, who have entered into a partnership with Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party machine behind closed doors. Ford and Dixon are on the money when they say that the Democrats are where movements go to die.
Movements MUST have demands. The Civil Rights movement worked to abolish segregation and pass voting rights legislation. The Black Panthers had a Ten Point Program: a specific list of policy demands for the urban community. They ran candidates in elections. Police murder won’t stop until policies are put in place that truly holds officers accountable. There is no way around it.
The Democrats and Republicans on the municipal, state and federal level will NEVER initiate the radical policy changes that are needed to dismantle and reform the system that protects killer cops. Those policies will have to be formulated and pushed by grassroots activists. Intense public pressure will have to be put on elected officials, specifically urban legislators, to support reformist policies. I’m not going to exploit this issue by having the grieving parents, siblings, spouses and other loved ones of the latest police murder victim on my radio show, then sit back and do nothing to try to change the laws that allow these killings to happen. I’m going to work with whoever wants to work with me to draft ordinances and bills. Hate it or love it.
Gimme a Break! (Update)
A couple of weeks ago I reported on how Connecticut Valley Hospital is infringing on the contractual break rights of employees by refusing to provide break rooms, forcing workers to eat lunch at their desks and endure constant interruptions. Last week I visited one of the CVH administrative buildings, where some of the bosses work. They have a nice break room. A REALLY nice break room. This break room is the size of a small apartment. I’m not kidding; a person could actually live there comfortably. Features include a loooooong dining table, a microwave, electric oven and a refrigerator. This difference between employee and boss accommodations is known as classism. I was informed that the break room issue has been added to the agenda of the next labor-management meeting at CVH. Stay tuned.
Safe Work Environment Act Special Report: Peter Tercyak is Dating WHO?
Last year my CVH co-worker John Hollis, Robert Augusta, the president of our union local, and I attended a meeting at the State Capitol to discuss workplace bullying at CVH. State Representative Peter Tercyak, the co-chair of the Labor and Public Employees Committee, attended the meeting. John and I bluntly told Rep. Tercyak that CVH management perpetuates a climate of bullying and intimidation. CVH’s own workplace bullying survey results (which they tried to suppress) show that over 80% of employees view CVH management as retaliatory bullies, who perpetuate a culture of abusive workplace conduct. Data we obtained from CVH through a Freedom of Information Act request revealed that this employer fires Black employees at a rate of 70%, compared to just 22% of whites. 70% of the employees who earn $120,000 or more per year are white, compared to a mere 3% of Black workers. Blacks are 30% of CVH hires yet they are disciplined at a rate of 39%, which is 10% more often than all other employees. White CVH employees are promoted at a rate of 56%, dwarfing the numbers for Blacks (30%) and Latinos (8%) combined (see Resources for more data).
We went on to tell Tercyak that in our opinion Pat Rehmer, who at the time was the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services commissioner, should be held personally responsible for the hostile work environment at CVH. The survey results and the data we obtained clearly indicated that the abuses happening on Rehmer’s watch were systemic. DMHAS has a team of lawyers defending CVH against discrimination and abuse claims that obviously have merit. A Latina woman who worked at another state facility told me that she contemplated suicide, because of the bullying she suffered from DMHAS. Tercyak then politely informed us that he was dating Rehmer.  Following this meeting, we picked up our jaws off the floor and realized that we had a problem. Tercyak would not return our subsequent phone calls or respond to our emails. In our opinion, Tercyak being the co-chair of the committee that decides on policies affecting state agencies, while he was dating the commissioner of a state agency, is an egregious conflict of interest. Tercyak should not have even been voting on DMHAS related bills, much less be the co-chair of the labor committee. This situation was perfectly legal. There is no way in hell that it should be.
Our position is that NO elected official should be allowed to influence policy regarding state agencies, if he is or she is in a relationship with the commissioner of a state agency. Y’all see how that could be a problem, right? I knew that you would. A source told me that the Department of Administrative Services, which oversees DMHAS, used their influence to block a toothless version of the Safe Work Environment Act during the 2015 legislative session. The labor committee removed all of our enforcement provisions, and approved our workplace bullying advisory board language (see Resources). That bill was placed on the Senate calendar, but was not called for a vote. The Tercyak issue underscores the cozy relationship DMHAS has with lawmakers. DMHAS opposes anti-workplace bullying legislation. Tercyak won’t support the Safe Work Environment Act. There is no way that John and I can look at this situation and not feel the need to examine it. Closely. So we are planning to file an FOI request for all email communications between Tercyak and Rehmer during her tenure as DMHAS commissioner, which ended earlier this year. Tercyak and Rehmer are now married. Over 200 people in the United States committed suicide in 2008 as a result of workplace bullying, the highest number since the statistic has been tracked. The Department of Health and Human Services states that workplace bullying is the equivalent of domestic violence. Tercyak and the labor committee must stop ducking this serious workers’ rights issue. Stay tuned for updates.
Racism and homophobia at Connecticut Valley Hospital:
Workplace bullying and racism at Connecticut Valley Hospital :
Coming in 2016: The Community Party’s Safe Work Environment Act would remove legal obstacles employees currently face when they file workplace bullying lawsuits:
Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and world news headlines. Check out my Facebook page for daily news commentary.   Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcements on our racial justice initiatives and So-Metro Radio the first and third Tuesday of each month at 9:00 PM for commentary on urban issues  Check out our No Sellout blog ( for the complete archive of CP columns and Northend Agent’s archive for selected columns ( Contact us at 860-206-8879 or  
David Samuels
Community Party



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