Saturday, December 13, 2008

All Alternet cares about is money; the facts mean nothing

This is the response received concerning the story that Alternet passed off about the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant:

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The Editors

Democratic Party front groups... the Party hacks heap lie upon lie

-----Original Message-----

From: Alan Maki []

Sent: Friday, December 12, 2008 11:59 PM

To: ''; ''; ''

Cc: ''; 'Bill Hilty'; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; 'David Shove'; ''; 'Lynn Hinkle'

Subject: re: lies and more lies about the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant


Why Angela Walker and Global Exchange knowingly published all of these lies needs to be explained. Any legitimate reporter would have authenticated such an article and sought comments from Minnesota State Legislators.

It is interesting that Alternet allowed Global Exchange to peddle these lies without confirming anything in this wholly fabricated story; and then they used Progressives for Obama to do the rest of their dirty work and give these lies credibility… par for the course with Carl Davidson and Tom Hayden.

We obviously need to do some research to find out the extent to which Global Exchange and Alternet regularly publish these kinds of lies; who they get their money from etc.

I have posted this in the “contact us” at Alternet.

Thank you for bringing this article to my attention.

This is nothing but lies.

You can look for yourself on the Minnesota Legislature’s web site and you can see that there is no such activity as stated here around S.F. 607:

I have also Cc’ed this article to Dee DePass a reporter who has previously written articles about the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant.

This is the same kind of crap and rumors floated in order to thwart opposition to demolishing the Oldsmobile Plant in Lansing, Michigan… again, in the same way Michigan Legislators remained silent as these kinds of rumors were floated. The politicians and big-business have honed and fine-tuned their lies using their front groups.

I have not been able to find one single presently employed member of this Local who knows anything about the Ford Local being in any kind of “coalition” as referred to.

If such a coalition has been formed it has been organized behind the backs of the membership.

No doubt you will be seeing this kind of thing in Detroit, too.

Hinkle and this group are promoting a “people’s ‘green’ capitalism.”
They know this will never fly but their intent is to do what these phony progressives are doing with all issues from ending the war to single-payer universal health care--- trying to thwart and derail any movements aimed at saving jobs and plants.

As far as the hydro dam everyone says it has been sold but neither Ford nor any government officials will provide the details of the sale.

These same politicians enabled Ford to get away without paying one single penny in property taxes for one of the parcels of land ever since Ford owned the property.

They run up phony schemes that sound good but they have no intent in fighting for making people think something good is in the works while the people in power are scamming behind everyone’s backs to do their dirty work.

Lynne Hinckle and UAW leaders have never organized workers anywhere… the present UAW local leadership dropped the ball on SF 607 as a means to save this plant and two-thousand jobs… they couldn’t even muster the support to push SF 607 through one lousy Senate committee that was dominated by Democrats.

The members of this local have never been consulted about this scheme.

The Democrats who make up this Senate Committee chaired by a banker, Jim Metzen, even colluded to make sure the minutes of the meeting were not kept properly.

As you can see, I have Cc’ed this to Minnesota State Senator David Tomassoni who is on this Senate Committee from which there has been no action on SF 607.

In fact, this property upon which is presently situated the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant is going to be turned into a money pit for money grubbing real-estate speculators with poverty wage jobs for workers.

St. Paul needs to protect the housing it already has which is being foreclosed on with families being evicted daily and the Minnesota Legislature is too cowardly to act to defend homeowners. Vacant foreclosed on homes are all over the city right now.
State legislators allowed United States Steel to close down an iron ore mine which is part of their taconite operation.

The only viable alternative to save auto and steel in this country is nationalization of the auto and steel industries and the Democrats are too cowardly to consider this option.

The only “green solution” being sought here is money green… it’s the only green that capitalists and their bought and paid for politicians know.

These people can “envision” all they want to but the only thing they are going to see in the days ahead is these Ford workers getting the shaft.

Now, it is up to David Tomassoni to either confirm the details in this article or to set the record straight.

Both Leo Gerard and Carl Pope are part of this corrupt fiasco, too.
Let us here from Senator David Tomassoni and State Representative Bill Hilty just what the Minnesota Legislature is considering, if anything, concerning the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant… they have an obligation and responsibility to set the record straight.

We see the exact same thing taking place with the anti-war movement and the movement for single-payer universal health care; the same method of operation took place around the impeachment issue, too. We run into the exact same thing with efforts to defend the Big Bog from peat mining.

I would also note that it is the responsibility of any union to struggle to save the jobs of its members not to push the demolition of the plant where they work.

To date, where ever these “green” schemes have been pushed workers end up with one-half to one-third of their former pay… just ask any steelworker who lost their job in the steel mills now building wind generating equipment.
Alan Maki

Option for Obama: Transforming Manufacturing Plants into Community-Saving Business Ventures

Photo: One of Ford’s Largest Plants

Our Future
Is With A New
Energy Economy

By Angela Walker

Nov. 12, 2008 - Hit hard by the slowdown in the marketplace and higher fuel prices, Ford Motor Company recently experienced its largest quarterly loss in its 105-year history. With people evacuating their fuel-inefficient vehicles, Ford is experiencing its delayed rude awakening about the unsustainability of an auto industry geared towards producing pickups and sport utility vehicles. Despite plans to introduce six small cars made in Europe to the U.S. market, Ford today announced another 10 percent reduction in salaried payroll costs and will cut as many as 2,200 salaried jobs by January.

Workers and Students Seeking Green Solutions

The oldest Ford plant still in operation — the Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant in St. Paul, Minnesota — will be the epitome of the changes to come. With plans to shut down in 2011, an additional 900 jobs will be lost in a plant that used to employ 2,000 workers. Communities throughout the state have already experienced the brunt of the country’s economic downturn, Minnesota having lost 50,000 manufacturing jobs between 2000 and 2006 alone, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

“We’re just hemorrhaging,” states former United Auto Worker (UAW) official, Lynn Hinkle, who retired over a year ago from a 30-year career at the Twin Cities Ford plant.

Yet something unusual is in the works that could change the future of this 140-acre manufacturing site and convert it into a model for green manufacturing.

A coalition of the local UAW 879, McAllister University students, and affordable housing and environmental groups have formed the Alliance to Reindustrialize for a Sustainable Economy (ARISE) to design a green manufacturing site. The ARISE project is currently being considered by the Minnesota Legislature under Senate File 607 as a way to transition workers into a mixed-use facility for green manufacturing.

ARISE is re-envisioning how people look at industry, which historically has collided with the environmental movement. Their reindustrialization plans serve as an opportunity for industry to play a key role in the green economy.

“It is becoming increasingly clear to people in the union movement that our job security is dependent upon the new energy economy,” states Hinkle. “If you’re about family sustaining jobs, you have to connect global warming solutions and jobs otherwise you’re going to have neither.”

Ford’s current training center would be converted into a green jobs training program for onsite wind turbine manufacturing and installation, and light rail car production. A plan to expand the light rail system is in the works to reach out to surrounding, traditionally low-income communities, which have been working with ARISE on the reindustrialization plans.

The Ford plant, located on the Mississippi River, is already connected to a hydroelectric system, which produces 18 megawatts of hydropower, and has powered the plant for over 80 years. Additionally, there exists a maze of tunnels onsite that were originally dug out for silica, used in making glass for windshields. These tunnels may be used for ground-source heating.

“We believe there’s enough green energy sources on site to go totally noncarbon,” says Hinkle.

With 140 acres, the coalition has the space to get creative with its envisioning and holistic approach. Businesses would be brought in to develop retail shops on the lower levels of buildings with affordable, residential units above. Walkways up and over the buildings would connect rooftop restaurants and bars to urban gardens with beautiful views of the Mississippi River. To connect the shops to the light rail, small electric vehicles would be produced onsite.

Throughout the last century, manufacturing jobs and industry have played a significant role in the growth of cities and development of communities by providing families with low entry-level jobs. Communities cannot afford to continue experiencing the off-shoring of their manufacturing jobs, especially during the current economic downturn. ARISE’s plan is to develop this site as a prototype for turning brown fields, or old industrial grounds, into green manufacturing sites to support green jobs and sustainable community development.

Student group Summer of Solutions — in partnership with economic justice organization, Global Exchange — sees the future of their generation invested in this project.

“If we’re going to build the green economy, we have to start here,” says McAllister graduate Joseph Adamji. “The green jobs movement and the whole idea of shifting and expanding economic opportunity are to make social changes happen. As much as this project is about the Ford site, we need to use it as a model for how we develop communities, intentionally and sustainably.”

City planners hope to see this space used as a central hub for sustainability projects for St. Paul and beyond.

“We could redevelop old manufacturing cities like Detroit and bring economic opportunities and prosperity,” states Adamji. “We’re trying to say that industry can play a role in the green economy.”

Decarbonize, reindustrialize, equalize, is what ARISE is saying. The new energy economy can be used to battle lagging economic opportunities and social inequity. ARISE hopes to inspire communities — from Flint, Michigan to Richmond, California — to decide how they want to develop a new sense of community. Reindustrialization can be part of this process by formulating ways to generate green energy, mass transit, higher density and energy efficient buildings, and affordable housing.

“This is an opportunity to change the landscape literally and figuratively,” says Hinkle. “What a great basis to rebuild the union movement. It’s an opportunity for the green union movement to emerge, where unions can stand center stage and create aspirations for our entire society.”

Angela Walker is the media director for Global Exchange.

© 2008 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.

View this story online at:

Alan L. Maki
58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763
Phone: 218-386-2432
Cell phone: 651-587-5541

Check out my blog:

Thoughts From Podunk

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Alliance for Metropolitan Stability; a study in hypocrisy

Russ Adams sent out this letter claiming he and the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability have been supporting the Ford workers and their struggle to defend their jobs at the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant.

Fact or fiction?

Pure, unadulterated lies and fiction; hypocrisy.

In fact, when Minnesota Senate Resolution 607 aimed at saving the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant and hydro dam powering the operation came up at a hearing and for a vote, Russ Adams, his chum Lynn Hinkle and the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, never even had the decency to support this initiative which has been the primary initiative aimed at saving the Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant.

Perhaps someone should ask Russ Adams to explain what he and his so-called "coalition partners" have done to support saving the plant and the jobs? I think we would all be interested in the specific details.

Instead, Russ Adams, Lynn Hinkle and the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability have all provided the Ford Motor Company and its hand-picked Ford Site Planning Committee with a "community cover" to do the dirty work aimed at demolishing the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant.

We all know that the "Plan" submitted by Russ Adams, Lynn Hinkle and the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability doesn't have a snow-ball's chance in hell" of succeeding.

The only motivation by the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce, the Ford Site Planning Committee, the Ford Motor Company and a bunch of crooked and corrupt real estate speculators in any of this is, once again, hood-winking the tax-payers to underwrite their profits.

Russ Adams, Lynn Hinkle and the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability have no more intent to fight for implementation of their little "green" fairy-tale than they have done to fight to save the plant and jobs.

The Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, and each and everyone of its "coalition" partners is nothing more than a "rubber stamp" for the crooked and corrupt politicians of the Twin Cities... whenever a "community voice" is needed to front for big-business... out is dragged the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability and each of its coalition partners who just all happen to "jump" at the beck and call of the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce, the Summit Hill Club and the MN DFL Business Caucus just as they jump upon command by the labor fakers heading up the Minnesota AFL-CIO which more often than not responds to the same corrupt political and business interests as they sell out workers and working class communities.

Russ Adams and Lynn Hinkle are shills for the Ford Site Planning Committee and Task force, the Ford Motor Company, the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce and the illustrious Summit Hill club which manipulates and controls the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party.

A shill is an associate of a person selling goods or services or a political group, who pretends no association to the seller/group and assumes the air of an enthusiastic customer. The intention of the shill is, using crowd psychology, to encourage others unaware of the set-up to purchase said goods or services or support the political group's ideological claims. Shills are often employed by confidence artists. In the UK the term plant is also used.

Shilling is illegal in many circumstances and in many jurisdictions because of the frequently fraudulent and damaging character of their actions. However, if a shill does not place uninformed parties at a risk of loss, but merely generates "buzz", the shill's actions may be legal. For example, a person planted in an audience to laugh and applaud when appropriate (see "claque") or to participate in on-stage activities as a "random member of the audience", is a type of legal shill.

"Shill" can also be used pejoratively to describe a critic who appears either all-too-eager to heap glowing praise upon mediocre offerings, or who acts as an apologist for glaring flaws. In this sense, they would be an implicit "shill" for the industry at large, as their income is tied to its prosperity.

No doubt if the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability were to participate in any struggles to save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant, the hydro dam powering the operation and the two-thousand plus jobs, the Alliance's funding--- and Russ Adam's pay-check--- would dry up over-night.

Come on Mr. Adams, explain the position of the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability regarding SF 607.

After all, not all planning is predicated on demolition; in this situation demolition of the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant.

Certainly saving the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant, the hydro dam powering the operation for free and some two-thousand jobs must be part of a scenario with some merit to planners somewhere.

As far as Russ Adam's claim, "The goal of the coalition was to position the site as a model of green reindustrialization for the new energy economy." Give me a break... the present St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant is as "green" as any manufacturing in the real world ever gets or is going to get in the next one-hundred years.

Apparently, considering the scheme they came up with for their vision of a "green community" in place of the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant, Russ Adams and Lynn Hinkle have been reading too many of the old hippie comic books; other wise, they must have attended the last Star Trek Convention and consulted with Spock.

Russ Adams and Lynn Hinkle have not said why they oppose public ownership--- the only remaining option--- to save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant.

Later in September, there will be a panel discussion concerning the future of the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant; perhaps Lynn Hinkle and Russ Adams would like to share their ideas of what can be done to save the Plant, hydro dam and two-thousand jobs.

Here is the Letter Russ Adams sent out (Please note--- Russ Adams, in his letter fails to give one specific instance of support for saving the Plant):

Alliance for Metropolitan Stability

July 25, 2008

Dear Aricia,

Workers at Ford Motor Company's Twin Cities Assembly Plant got welcome news this week. After years of warnings that the auto manufacturer would close the plant, Ford announced yesterday that the St. Paul facility will stay open until 2011.

That means the more than 1,000 UAW members still employed by Ford in the Twin Cities will maintain living-wage jobs for at least three more years.
So what does this mean for long-range planning underway for reuse of the site?

With the uncertainty surrounding the long-term prospects of the plant, the Alliance was asked last year to help form a strategy group to consider ways to retain family-sustaining, living-wage jobs on the site if Ford were to close down the plant.

We organized a partnership of environmental, faith-based, student, transit, labor and community groups to provide input to the city of St. Paul’s Ford task force. Our coalition partners fashioned a redevelopment scenario that includes 2,000 green manufacturing jobs, affordable housing, connections to the surrounding neighborhood and a new bike/walk/transitway. The goal of the coalition was to position the site as a model of green reindustrialization for the new energy economy.

Early indications are that the city development team and task force will still make a recommendation for site reuse this year, despite the news that the plant will remain open longer than expected. Our concept plan will be added to the Ford task force’s other five scenarios to undergo an economic impact analysis, and we convinced the city to conduct a carbon footprint analysis of all the development scenarios. If Ford ever does decide to close the plant, these plans will be available for the community to consider as potential reuse scenarios.

The Alliance supports Ford workers in their efforts to keep the plant open as long as possible. We also remain committed to advocating for the creation of more green, living-wage jobs in our region. Help us tell our local leaders that we need more green jobs by attending a rally for green jobs this weekend!

Green Jobs Rally
Sunday, July 27
1 – 4 pm
Saint Paul College

The Green Jobs Rally will join labor leaders, environmentalists and community leaders to call on our local leaders to pursue economic and global warming solutions. The event will feature great speakers, music, and tables from a wide range of groups. Rally-goers will be part of the largest human wind turbine ever in Minnesota.

We hope to see you there! For more information, please visit our web site at

Russ Adams
Executive Director
Alliance for Metropolitan Stability
2525 E Franklin Avenue, Suite 200
Minneapolis, MN 55406


Alliance for Metropolitan Stability I 2525 Franklin Ave E, Suite 200 I Minneapolis, MN 55406 I 612-332-4471

Russ Adamas stated:

The Alliance supports Ford workers in their efforts to keep the plant open as long as possible. We also remain committed to advocating for the creation of more green, living-wage jobs in our region. Help us tell our local leaders that we need more green jobs by attending a rally for green jobs this weekend!

Final question:

Did anyone attending the "Green Jobs Rally" on Sunday, July 27, 2008 hear any of the speakers mention a program of action for saving the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant, the hydro dam and two-thousand jobs?

If so, what was the suggestion?

Alan L. Maki

Saturday, July 5, 2008

New Life for the Ford Plant?

“The best-case scenario would be for the plant to stay open,” says Alliance Executive Director Russ Adams. “But if it does close, we want the community to have a say in how the site is reused. We need to organize now to make sure that can happen.”

If Russ Adams is really sincere in stating this, the "Alliance For Metropolitan Stability" and all of its "coalition partners" would have mobilized support for S.F. 607, the legislation brought forward by Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party State Senator Stephen Cohen.

"The city has set a goal to make St. Paul a center for green manufacturing," said retired United Auto Workers leader Lynn Hinkle. "While we hate to see the Ford plant go, we see this as a major opportunity. There is no better site in the Twin Cities to attract green manufacturing and model low-carbon, mixed-use development with good jobs at its core."

Lynn Hinkle had his opportunity working at this Plant and now he wants to deny the same opportunity to future generations of workers in the Twin Cities.

Lynn Hinkle needs to explain why he, and the rest of the UAW leadership sat on their hands and refused to fully mobilize the membership in support of S.F. 607. Any union leader understands that you always bring along a great big crowd when trying to get anything from politicians.

We need to find out why the UAW and the AFL-CIO refused to insist that Barack Obama address the issue of saving the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant when he addressed some 30,000 people on his campaign stop in the Twin Cities. According to Obama, he wants us to unite for change behind him to save American jobs as he "greens the American economy." What better place to start than with saving the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant.

Here we have Lynn Hinkle, a UAW "leader;" and, Russ Adams, the "Executive Director" of the "Alliance for Metropolitan Stability" who make the grandiose claim to be speaking for their "coalition partners"--- none of which the public has heard from on this issue--- both ACKNOWLEDGING that the best case scenario would be if the Ford Plant remains--- yet, neither one of these "leaders" is prepared to lead the fight to save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant, two-thousand good union jobs, and the hydro dam powering the entire operation with lots of electricity to spare.

Like their other "coalition partner" in this dirty deal, the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party, Lynn Hinkle and Russ Adams are content to acquiesce to corporate power and the well-heeled Summit Hill Club which includes the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce, investment bankers along with a sundry of other money-grubbing scoundrels looking to finance another boon-doggle at tax-payer expense as these "limousine liberals" drive off with the profits.

It is bad enough that tax-payers still owe some thirty-million dollars for the UAW-Ford-MnScu Training Center that is an integral part of this operation attached directly to the Plant

From the Spring 2008 "Common Ground," publication of the "Alliance for Metropolitan Stability."


New Life for the Ford Plant?

The Ford Motor Company plant based in St. Paul may soon be facing a makeover.

The plant, situated on 136 acres of riverfront land in the Highland Park neighborhood, is scheduled to close in late 2009. The date of the closing keeps getting pushed back—a good thing for the more than 900 union workers who are still employed there— and it’s still not clear what will happen to the site after Ford vacates the property. The site’s large size, proximity to the river, and location in a vibrant urban neighborhood make it an exciting opportunity to consider innovative
redesign options that preserve jobs, offer affordable housing, integrate with local
transit hubs and minimize the carbon footprint of the new development.

Recognizing these opportunities, the city of St. Paul appointed a Ford Site Planning Task Force to consider redevelopment options for the site. The task force is comprised of residents, business- owners, environmental and labor representatives,
and the Ford Land Company (a subsidiary of Ford Motor Company), and according to the city’s web site, is charged to “prepare for consideration by the planning commission, city council and mayor a development framework for a mixed-use development that will represent a fitting legacy for both the Ford Motor Company and the city of Saint Paul.”


The task force spent much of 2007 gathering stakeholder input and setting forth goals for the final development scenario. Based on this process, the task force has put together five redevelopment scenarios that it believes meet its goals to promote and preserve neighborhood character, access to community amenities and open space, economic vitality, appropriate land use, city- and community-desired features, sustainability and transit integration:

• Reuse for industry

• Mixed-use light industrial

• Mixed-use office/institutional campus

• Mixed-use urban village

• High-density urban transit village

These plans are being evaluated by the task force for economic and environmental
viability, which will eventually lead to a recommendation to the city planning commission. Yet despite the city’s power over zoning of the site, its reuse is ultimately in the hands of Ford, which has control over sale of the land.

With the task force’s work well underway, the delay of the plant closing slightly confuses this planning scenario. It is unclear whether the task force will make a recommendation in 2008 as planned, or whether that decision will be put off until 2009.

What is clear is that the city will hold at least one more public meeting this year to present its findings from the environmental review of the site. The Alliance and our partner organizations will monitor the process as it unfolds.


The delay of the plant closing opens an opportunity for community groups to organize concerned citizens to affect the Ford Site Planning Task Force’s recommendation to the St. Paul Planning Commission, and eventually the full city council. The Alliance has been convening a coalition of labor, environmental, transit and community organizations that are pressuring city officials to support a plan that supports our vision for the development to be a model of green reindustrialization— providing thousands of living-wage jobs, while manufacturing green products and reducing the carbon footprint of the site. “The best-case scenario would be for the plant to stay open,” says Alliance Executive Director Russ Adams. “But if it does close, we want the community to have a say in how the site is reused. We need to organize now to make sure that can happen.”


"The city has set a goal to make St. Paul a center for green manufacturing," said retired United Auto Workers leader Lynn Hinkle. "While we hate to see the Ford plant go, we see this as a major opportunity. There is no better site in the Twin Cities to attract green manufacturing and model low-carbon, mixed-use development with good
jobs at its core."


The coalition is planning its own community forum this spring, which will
offer an alternative scenario featuring green and equitable development

Information about the forum will be posted on our Ford community blog at:

For more information on the Ford site project, see the city’s web site at:

Ford site coalition members are represented by leaders from:

• Alliance For Metropolitan Stability

• Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota

• Fresh Energy


• Metropolitan Interfaith Council on Affordable Housing

• The Sierra Club, North Star Chapter

• Student activists from Macalester College

• Transit For Livable Communities

• United Auto Workers Local 879

• United Food & Commercial Workers Local 789

• University United

This quote from Lynn Hinkle which was featured in this article is quite interesting from several perspectives:

"There is no better site in the Twin Cities to attract green manufacturing and model low-carbon, mixed-use development with good jobs at its core." — Lynn Hinkle, retired United Auto Workers leader

First, Lynn Hinkle has maintained, all along, until now, that he was responsible for "educating" his fellow UAW members to accept considerable concessions from the Ford Motor Company over a twenty year period in order to create a manufacturing facility which is "green."

This is very important, because over two-thousand auto workers over more than twenty years, accepted everything from horrendously longer hours in their work-day and the work-week to very significant pay-cuts. Workers gave up their good health and a big chunk of their standard of living so that the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant could "go green." Many work-place injuries were the result of fatigue from long hours, not enough rest and Ford's atrocious and notorious "speed-up."

The result was, in fact, what is today, probably the "greenest" heavy industrial manufacturing operation in the world.

Workers are treated like dogs, just to create the economic conditions--- the incentive of greater profits--- to convenience the Ford Motor company to go "green," and after the operation reaches the point of being as "green" as any heavy industry can get given the most modern and up-to-date technology compliments of tax-payers... and now these "leaders" want to bring in the wrecking ball. This makes no sense to anyone except the greedy pigs who once again feed at the public trough to profit.

Workers and their families paid a tremendous price "convincing" the Ford Motor Company to "go green."

Tax-payers foot the bill. What tax-payers finance; tax-payers should own and control.

Ford reaped the profits at worker and tax-payer expense.

No bank or venture capitalist would have made the tremendous investments in this Plant and the operation that workers and tax-payers made without insisting on becoming co-owners and full joint partners--- including reaping the profits.

Let us remember, tax-payers even built the hydro dam that has provided FREE "green" electricity to power the entire operation since the day the foundations for the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant were poured.

Plus, the Ford Motor Company banked over two-hundred million dollars in sheer profit from selling the excess electricity the manufacturing operation didn't need. This is two-hundred million dollars that very justly and rightly belongs to the United States Treasury.

Lynn Hinkle has repeatedly stated: Workers create all wealth.

This is a very important observation, one that Karl Marx made over one-hundred years ago, and apparently the only thing Hinkle has retained from studying Karl Marx because he has decided to join the management "team" at Ford in his retirement years. Hinkle chooses to ignore the class struggle and the interests of workers who have created all this wealth.

Which brings us to the real purpose of the "Alliance For Metropolitan Stability" and why this organization is so well funded by foundations receiving their funds from some of the largest corporations in America... including the Ford Motor Company and its top executives... talk about your "conflict of interest."

In fact, the "Alliance For Metropolitan Stability" and its coalition partners are funded in one form or another by just about every single member of the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce!

Anyone who takes the time to study the purpose of the "Alliance For Metropolitan Stability" and its so-called "coalition partners," quickly finds out that their primary purpose is to mediate "class peace;" to help render the working class docile and acquiescent to profit gouging corporations like the Ford Motor Company.

It is no accident that Merritt Clapp-Smith whose family has made its fortune in corrupt and crooked real estate transactions for over one-hundred years in the Twin Cities is not only the lead person for St. Paul's "Ford Site Planning Committee and Task Force," she also sits on the board of directors of one of the Alliance's "coalition partners... a very cozy arrangement indeed.

What is very significant is this title of the article in "Common Ground,"New Life for the Ford Plant?" How is demolishing a perfectly good manufacturing facility giving it "new life?"

More appropriately, the article should have been entitled, "Squeezing Greater Profits from the Ford Site."

"The coalition is planning its own community forum this spring, which will offer an alternative scenario featuring green and equitable development principles."

The question which is begging an answer, and needs to be asked, is:

Knowing the Plant's life has been extended by the Ford Motor Company beyond the original scheduled date of shut-down; and acknowledging that the best case scenario is keeping the existing plant in production--- if not producing Ford Ranger pick-up trucks, then make the Plant part of Obama's planned drive to "green the American economy--- Why aren't Lynn Hinkle and Russ Adams and the coalition partners they lead, at least including as part of this planned conference, organizing the struggle to save the plant?

When Lynn Hinkle and Russ Adams talk about "creating good paying jobs" by rebuilding on the Ford Site, this makes me want to puke. Thousands of workers are presently employed within a few blocks of the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant making minimum and other poverty wages and neither the UAW, United Food and Commercial Workers, or any of these other "coalition partners" let alone the MN AFL-CIO (which has been shamefully silent on this issue) have lifted a finger to improve the wages and working conditions of any of these workers. What fool is going to be found who will believe Lynn Hinkle or Russ Adams that these new jobs created in this Disney World/Epcot Center like "green community" they are talking about will provide union jobs and decent working conditions? If the neighboring business to the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant, the huge and highly profitable supermarket for upscale shoppers--- Lund's Supermarket--- has not been organized by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union already, why would anyone think these coalition partners would see to it that these new jobs would be organized?

In fact, neither Lynn Hinkle nor Russ Adams, nor any of their "coalition partners," have ever supported legislation which would raise the minimum wage to a real living wage based upon cost of living factors.

When I hear Lynn Hinkle and Russ Adams talk about their fairy-tale vision of hundreds of "affordable housing units" being built on this site in conjunction with their new "green industries" as if this will be some kind of community described in a science fiction fantasy, I can't help but ask why neither of these two "leaders" have mobilized the community to insist that the local, state and federal governments cough up the half-billion dollars it is going to take to bring existing public housing in the Twin Cities up to code?

More housing is needed? Look at home after home with foreclosed signs dangling on the front lawns. Where is their "leadership" in halting foreclosures and evictions if they are truly concerned about "the housing question?"

The two-faced, hypocritical double-talk coming out of the mouths of Lynn Hinkle and Russ Adams is just as sickening as the way the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party let Ford workers and Minnesota tax-payers down in refusing to pass Senator Stephen Cohen's legislation to save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant from the wrecking ball and keep the Plant and hydro dam intact as an industrial unit until a way can be found to save these two-thousand jobs through S.F. 607.

Senator David Tomassoni has stated in no uncertain terms he wants to see S.F. 607 brought before the Senate Committee on Business, Industry and Jobs since it has already been pushed through the House Committee by its Chair, Representative Tom Rukavina.

Both Rukavina and Tomassoni should know a little something about saving jobs... they have pushed through similar legislation resulting in thousands of jobs being saved at the taconite plants on the Iron Range.

Senator James Metzen, an official with Key Community Bank who Chairs this Senate Committee on Business, Industry and Jobs failed to do in his Committee what Rukavina did in his Committee... when a few Republicans kicked... Rukavina simply said, "This legislation is going through this Committee I don't care what any of you say."

Now, Metzen presides over his Committee which is heavily dominated by the DFL over Republicans by eleven to seven. There is something terribly wrong if Metzen can't push this legislation through his Committee by Election Day.

Any worker who would actually waste his or her time voting for any Democrat in the upcoming election--- for a Party claiming to be the "party of working people" and can't get S.F. 607 out of a Senate Committee--- should have their head examined.

Minnesota workers can send a message to the Democratic Party and the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party on Election Day by voting for Cynthia McKinney, the only Presidential candidate for President who has taken the time to talk directly with Ford workers ... if McCain carries Minnesota, let Brian Melendez and Jim Metzen look in the mirror to place the blame.

Everyone from Norm Coleman to Al Franken to St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and even that poor, pathetic excuse who calls himself the Governor says the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant needs to be saved.

Everyone knows the only way to save this Plant is through public ownership; the much idolized "free enterprise" system has failed us, again.

What is the problem? If everything from libraries to schools and state banks and football teams and bus plants to golf courses and ski resorts work perfectly well under public ownership, why can't the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant?

United Auto Workers union President Ron Gettelfinger and his obedient head of the Ford Department, Bob King... ran from the issue of trying to save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant.

The Sierra Club's Carl Pope and the United Steel Workers President, Leo Gerard, appeared at the gates of the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant just long enough to proclaim they had arrived to lead the "battle against big-capital" to save the Plant and two-thousand jobs along with the hydro dam powering the operation. They led some "battle;" no one ever saw the fight.

Pass S.F. 607 now.

If the present politicians can't keep one auto plant in operation and save two-thousand jobs which they have repeatedly voted to subsidize to the hilt with our tax-dollars as the Ford Motor Company walked away with the profits; the time has come for a major political shake-up in Minnesota. And, as each day passes, the socialist alternative to this rotten capitalist system as proposed by Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party Governors, Floyd B. Olson and Elmer Benson, starts to look better and better by the day.

We all better check out the writings of Barack Obama's "mentor," Frank Marshall Davis. Take a walk down to your local socialist institution--- your public library--- and check out, "Livin' the Blues" and "The Writings of Frank Marshall Davis."

I look forward to talking to people at this so-called "Community Forum" Russ Adams and Lynn Hinkle are planning.

In the meantime, be watching for times and dates for a "Frank Marshall Davis Roundtable for Change" coming to a neighborhood near you. Saving the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant will be on the agenda.

Check out my blog on the official Barack Obama website:

Topics for discussion at the Frank Marshall Davis Roundtable for Change:

1.)In the area of health care we need single-payer universal health care which will be a stepping stone to get us to socialized health care. Obama’s idea of health care “reform” leaves much to be desired; he wants to leave the profit gouging insurance companies, HMO’s, doctors and the pharmaceutical industry in control when most of us know this is what is wrong with the system--- profits come before people; and, it should be the other way around.

2.)We need a minimum wage that is a real living wage. Any job that an employer needs done should provide the worker doing that job a real living wage. The way to arrive at what the minimum wage should be is to use the statistics and calculations of the United States Department of Labor and the Bureau of Labor Statistics based on real cost of living factors rather than having some politicians pull a miserly figure out of their hat at election time. If employers don’t like this let them do the work themselves; with the robbery at the pumps it won’t be long before it won’t pay to go to work anyways. What’s Obama’s stand on the minimum wage? I don’t know. It doesn’t really matter. We need to seize the initiative and make it clear to him the change we want.

3.)We need to end this dirty war for oil in Iraq; it’s a war that was based upon lies and deceit right from the beginning and it has taken a terrible toll, not only on the people in Iraq, but on us here, too--- to the point where we can say that every bomb dropped and every bullet fired is destroying our society, too. We can’t have a foreign policy which sees wars as solutions to complex problems. As far as I can see Obama doesn’t really offer much change in this area either so we are going to have to take the initiative in charting a course for change as we expect things to be and make our voices heard.

4.)We need to make it clear that in any program aimed at “greening” America through massive government subsidies to business and industry, that what taxpayers finance, taxpayers should own--- including the profits.

5.)Public ownership of the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant needs to be considered. Saving two-thousand jobs is a major priority for Minnesotans in this election.

If you would like to gather a few friends together to hold a "Frank Marshall Davis Roundtable for Change" around your kitchen table or in a union hall, community center or church in your neighborhood, give me a call: 218-386-2432

We need to begin discussing these issues in a mass way--- today. The time has come for working people to become part of the decision making process... for those who create all wealth to continue being excluded from the decision making process certainly is not what democracy is all about.

There are those who have argued for over four years now, as a means and method of escaping taking part in the struggle to save two-thousand jobs and the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant along with the hydro dam supplying free power to the operation, that this is all a "done deal." Obviously, this position no longer is worthy of refuting since this is far from a "done deal" and no one will find the adherents of such thinking to be credible when it comes to politics and the class struggle.

Other pretenders to leading the class struggle have stuck their heads in the sand claiming they "don't know enough about this issue to participate." Well, again, such charlatans will be seen for what they are: arm chair participants and patio pundits in Minnesota politics.

Everyone is invited to the picket line protest to save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant on Wednesday, September 2, 2008 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Link:

For real "metropolitan stability" to be achieved, working people must be involved in the complete decision making process from beginning to end. To this day, neither Ford workers nor the people living in the local communities surrounding the Ford Plant have had no say. Insensitive and uncaring politicians, party hacks and business interests have decided how this issue should be addressed. Ford workers should have been the first invited to participate... so far, the views of Ford workers who have created all the wealth have not been asked if they want to keep working in the Ford Plant. Such a very simple question. Common sense would dictate that their answer to this question would be set the tone for any discussion concerning the future of the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant.

The problem is, I think we all know the answer to this question.

Alan L. Maki
Initiator of the "Frank Marshall Davis Roundtable for Change"