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Congressman Bruce Braley Writes On Point

The On Point site is a busy forum for listener discussion. But one comment about our show on the NLRB’s fight with Boeing caught our eye today. Sorry, Rep. Braley, that the phone lines were jammed when you tried to call.

Comment by Bruce:

Tom, I’m Congressman Bruce Braley from Iowa and I participated in the Oversight hearing in North Charleston on the NLRB investigation of Boeing. Tried to call in but line is busy. Repub Congressmen @ the hearing complained about the NRLB wasting taxpayer money, but Gov. Haley admitted to me that Boeing was the largest corporate welfare recipient in South Carolina history: the taxpayers are giving Boeing a $900 million tax break to move these jobs from Washington to South Carolina. So much for letting the “free market” dictate economic decisions. I also pointed out that interfering with an ongoing adjudicative procedure of a federal agency is no different than jury tampering, which is a federal crime.

Bruce Braley, First District of Iowa

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  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    Wow. Thanks Congressman and thanks onPoint for reposting this.

    Boeing should be ashamed of itself, less for taking the tax break; more for spinning the situation as a free market situation which is a lie.

  • Anonymous

    Glad to hear that a Democratic Congressman from Iowa takes such a keen interest in the affairs of South Carolina. Given his prominence, I invite the good Congressman to explain an issue I raised in yesterday’s discussion in my attempts to blunt criticism that the enemies of public education are all right-wing know-nothings. I cite yet again the sordid case of Dillon County, South Carolina. The political establishment is that of the Dillon County Democratic Party. Sen. Obama campaigned in the County in 2007 and featured footage from a derelict school building left standing for decades by the same do-nothing school administration in his Denver nomination acceptance video, and the President has since promised $35 million in “stimulus funds” to construct a campus to replace one that’s barely twenty-five years old. The salient point is: Dillon County remains the ONLY County in the State of South Carolina without one single solitary elected school board member. The current board continues to fend off public calls for an elected County board (most recently, the “non-binding” Nov. 2010 referendum which passed by a wide margin), members of which appoint the members of the three local boards (one of which is about to be swallowed courtesy of district consolidation). The members of the County Board have been appointed to office over the past twenty years by Democratic state legislators (two state senators from adjacent counties plus one Dillon native who is the state representative AND an employee of the major school district!). Without the accountability that comes with elected office, the schools are “public” in name only. They enjoy and merit no public support, no more than they merit Federal largesse due to the shoddy administration that continues to hold the public in such contempt.
    Do please convey my regards to Rep. Braley with my invitation to explain how a “progressive” Democratic Party can be party to such shameless anti-democratic policies and practices, and maybe the good Congressman can ask our President to explain how he sees fit to reward this anti-democratic political machine with a $35 million subsidy.  

    • Anonymous

      You forgot the $900 million tax break. The good congressman from Iowa was merely pointing out that this was not about the market place or jobs. It was about a state playing games with tax payers money and the hypocrisy that resides on the republican party.
      As to your other issues about education, well that another topic is it not?  

      • Anonymous

        In the context of the Boeing-NLRB dispute, jeffe68, I saw commentators blaming the action in SC in part on its public education system, while crediting “right-wing nut jobs” for tearing down public education across the country for lo these many years. The point I’m making regardless of Rep. Braley’s assertions is that NO: Democratic hypocrisy over public education is on full display in Dillon County, SC, where the local political establishment, wholly under the control of the County’s Democrats, never rebuked by Democrats from Columbia or Charleston concerning its decades-long anti-democratic practice and policy, continues after more than twenty years to deny elections of public school board members (or how else would you care to characterize the denial of voting rights to a public that has voted for a change in practice that the appointed “officials” continue to refuse to address? and how could you dare call the resulting shambles a system of “public education” when the public is kept effectively out of the administration with any oversight or accountability standard?). Then compounding it, of course, is this brainy President who rewards this anti-democratic practice (denying voting to white citizens and black citizens equally, maybe that’s what Obama means by “equality”) by entrusting the unelected, appointed “officials” (all Democrats, or did I say that already?) with $35 million in “stimulus funds”. –This is not public education, jeffe68, but as you say, that’s another topic, is it not?

        • Anonymous

          I gather you live in Dillion County and are not a Democrat.
          What you failed to mention is that the stimulus funds went to all states regardless of what party the are. Some states rejected them.
          Texas’ governor is now using this as a talking point against Obama while he excepted the money with open arms. 

          You use words such as “brainy president” and anti-democratic.
          Again while I think you make some good points I can’t help but wonder if this school board was right wing would you still be complaining? 

          As I said this has nothing to do with Rep. Braley’s comments or the Boeing issues about moving to SC.

          The public school system is a huge and varied system in this country and subject to many variables. However you are correct that it is a mess. I’m not a fan of school boards by the way. I’m mote interested in school systems being run by professionals and that they teach kids to be good productive member’s of society. We have a huge problem with literacy, or the lack there of, in this country and that is evident in blue and red states and counties.  

          • Anonymous

            One out of two, jeffe: I am not a Democrat (no Republican, either) no longer residing in Dillon County (I was actually invited to leave the County by the former head of the SC Democratic Party, Carol Fowler). Regarding the distribution of stimulus funds: unless I am greatly mistook, President Obama specifically designated $35 million for a school system with no program of independent oversight, no structure for political accountability in place.  –”if this school board were right wing . . .”: jeffe, my entire point is, if DEMOCRATS are a party to the kind of shameless anti-democratic practice I’m describing (denying voters any accountability in the management oversight of public schools), AND NO DEMOCRATS COMPLAIN ABOUT IT, the problem is much deeper than left-wing/right-wing disputation. And if you are hearing me, jeffe, you’ll know that listening to one word from Rep. Braley, another out-of-state Democrat taking SC to task for problems created in no small measure here by Democrats, is not at the top of my list of things-to-do. If Rep. Braley has anything to say concerning SC, he can first address the issue of how the SC Democratic Party tolerates, permits, allows, or encourages one of its County affiliates to ride roughshod over participatory democracy itself for two decades and counting. –because if democracy doesn’t count for scratch in Dillon County, SC, it need not be vaunted by the likes of Rep. Braley in Iowa’s First District, or by our good friends at WBUR in Boston. 

          • Anonymous

             Rep. Braley of Iowa was responding to a congressional oversight hearing which is part of his job. It’s called a congress for a reason.
            A Republican governor and legislators granted granted the tax breaks in favor of Boeing. This is what he was talking about. You then go off on some kind thing about how a local school board is not to your liking and somehow attach it to the busniess of congress that is ona completly separate matter.  I’m not sure what else to day here except I’m not really going to debate you on how the school board in a county in SC is set up. That’s for the people of this county to decide, is it not?

          • Anonymous

            jeffe: Rep. Braley took it upon himself to post (grandstand?) in this public forum about his role in the Boeing-NLRB dispute. Among his many other responsibilities in Congress, he found time to post his comment here, relevant as it was. Fine, dandy. Nevertheless, when in the course of discussion in this public forum, SC and “right-wing nut jobs” are credited with helping to destroy public education, in an attempt to partially explain the role of SC government in the Boeing-NLRB dispute, I take the time and trouble to point out an unsettling feature about American democracy itself, which troubles no other Americans insofar as the problem seems restricted to Dillon County, SC. President Obama himself does not seem troubled by anti-democratic voter suppression in Dillon County, since he is rewarding the politically aloof system with $35 million in Federal funds. It is President Obama’s and Rep. Braley’s political party, not mine, that endorses or permits this state of affairs to endure.  

          • Anonymous

            I take it you don’t think Rep. Braley should take the time to post on relevant subjects if he can. Hmmm, I’m not sure but that seems like part of his job, talking to the people.

            The funds you’re talking about had to go through the SC state government, so what’s your point other than you don’t like how the school board is chosen or what it does. You admit to not being a resident of this county anymore. Does the county where you live now have the same kind of school board? If so is it a democrat or republican one or both?

            As to your last comment, what a load of hogwash. This is a state and local matter, not a federal one. You sound like you might be a Libertarian, if so this kind of mindset is contrary to that belief system. 

          • Anonymous

            Au contraire, jeffe: the situation in Dillon County, SC, is EXACTLY a Federal matter now by virtue of President Obama’s intervention in local political affairs (his gift of $35 million insures–AND ONLY INSURES–that the political status quo is maintained; I do not know that this $35 million “had to go” through State government at all, except possibly in some formal bureaucratic manner). It is President Obama’svery  meddling in Dillon County affairs that I object to somewhat strenuously: if he demonstrably promotes anti-democratic policies and practices in SC, who can say where his political loyalty lies? (It’s not with “the public”, he’s discounting the public’s participation in the political process by virtue of his action. It’s not with “public education”, since he’s underming public support for it by supporting an anti-democratic regime that denies voting rights and voter representation to a public that has called for them more than once.)  I agree that the sorry state of affairs in Dillon County is primarily a State matter; but while the SC Supreme Court just this week ruled on the status of such “home misrule” in another beleaguered County, I do not call myself hopeful. I’m no card-carrying Libertarian, either, I simply find it galling to hear without interruption the praises of the progressive Democratic Party sung so loudly and so broadly when I am so keenly aware that a local affiliation of Democrats takes exception to the very principles of participatory democracy so shamelessly, just as they’ve been doing for more than twenty years now, without interruption.  

  • no name

    it would be intersting to here the hoover institute dude respond to the 900 million tax break story.  wonder how he would spin it so that boeing moving was still an example of the so-called “free market”

  • Xyin888

    Just wanted to say ‘Thank you’ to Congressman Braley for his comment. We need to see more congressmen like Braley
    The public has been easily misled and manipulated due to the silence of the Democrats in the congress …   

  • Chris Salinas

    EdwardBurke…. sounds like you’re trying to make a local issue into a federal issue. And yes, Right-Wing nut jobs are the reason our public school system is failing.

    Thanks you for standing up to these corporate welfare states Congressman.

    • Anonymous

      Chris: perish the thought! I’d only be trying to make a Federal case of voting suppression if suppression of voting were something actually frowned upon by the Feds themselves or by voters across the country with ostensible interests in democracy and the furtherance of voting rights and accountability in public administration (especially by voters from outside SC willing to take SC to task for shortcomings in its public education system). I did not seriously expect Congressman Braley to take any interest in the matter, except insofar as the offenders against popular democracy I’ve alluded to are all registered South Carolina Democrats, except for our President, whose status as an alumnus of the Cook County Democratic Party here hardly inspires jubilation.
      And NO, Chris, et al., “left-wing nut jobs” in plentiful abundance have done their share and more in helping reduce public education to the level of aggrandized baby-sitting. (I’ve seen how “progressive” pedagogical theory can be incorporated by geniuses at district level offices eager to showcase “fashionable innovation”.)  In no way and in no sense can “the right” be wholly blamed for the sorry state today of public education. (And again: the story out of Dillon County, SC, is only twenty years old and getting longer by the year, as long as folks like you, Chris, and Rep. Braley [and our friends at "On Point", Alex Kingsbury and Tom Ashbrook] size up the situation and blame someone else for it. This one case I cite is unabashed and shameless anti-democratic policy and practice through and through, as practiced by registered Democrats.)

    • Joe

      I would offer that the appointed members are probably Democrat in name only, and Cronyism is probably a more descriptive term for their political views.

      • EdwardBurke

        Joe: insofar as you seem to be replying to my posts and not Chris’s, I take the trouble to inform you that you are no more than half right. The circumstances I describe indeed amount to Cronyism; specifically, the circumstances I describe amount to Democratic Party Cronyism (something like what must have taken place in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts over the long decades of the “Big Dig” project). Dillon County, SC, is not home to any “Democrats-in-name-only” that I am aware of. The County’s Democratic political machine (perhaps you can think County of Cook, Illinois, on a much smaller scale) is loyally tied in to the SC Democratic Party and the national Democratic Party quite securely, thank you, which explains in part how it came to be that Sen. Obama’s campaign filmed some footage in a derelict building in 2007 that showed up a year later in his nomination acceptance video in Denver. The $35 million “present” President Obama has made to this anti-democratic school system (which STILL refuses to submit to school board elections after two referendums calling for such) amounts to a Presidential endorsement of anti-democratic policy and practice administered by lifelong Democratic operatives. The same local personages were on close chummy terms with former Democratic Rep. John Spratt, who in his day funneled hundreds of thousands of Federal dollars towards this same school system which STILL admits no independent standards of accountability known to God or man. (Granted, I might be making too much of “only $35 million”–after all, this is hardly on the scale of the ongoing Solyndra scandal . . . .) 

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