This afternoon, in Pipersville, Pennsylvania John McCain will be holding a staged rally that will be a town hall farce, just like this one was in New Jersey. It is not being held at a public place but rather at the facilities of a right wing corporation called Worth & Company, Inc which supports John McCain. But somebody didn't do his homework. This company was cited for breaking the law at least 6 times for paying workers below the minimum wage by the Pennsylvania's Bureau of Labor Law Compliance and this citation was upheld by the Pennsylavnia Wage Appeals Board. The Company appealed to the Pennsylvania court's.
Here's the case heard by a Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court in June of 2007. The case citation is 2378 C.D. 2006
The Pennsylvania Court wrote,
The Department’s Bureau of Labor Law Compliance (Bureau) filed an order to show cause against Worth alleging that it violated the Prevailing Wage Act (Act) by intentionally failing to pay the predetermined prevailing minimum wage to its employees for work performed on six public works projects.
Feel free to read through six pages of legalese but I'll simplify the Court's ruling for you. The order was affirmed, the company lost.
Now McCain's camp has set up this farce rally months ahead of time and three minutes of research would tell you that you don't have rallies hosted by companies that have been cited by the courts as having to failed to have paid prevailing wages in at least half a dozen public work projects. I suspect the McCain camp knew this but didn't think somebody would catch it.
Okay on to the diary I originally planned until my simple research turned up the gem above.
Here is what will happen today at McCain's farce event/rally which will be mislabeled a town hall by the fawning corporate media that is desperate to turn this Presidential contest into a horserace.
For most of the morning, McCain staffers and local Republicans will be inside the company setting up a staged background. This event is being hosted on a place not open to the public so you can expect the McCain camp to be more vigilant in preventing people onto the premises. Keep in mind that since this is private land, the company basically has this right but let's not kid ourselves. This meeting is not open to all.
The event will be portrayed as McCain appealing to "working class voters" and probably will have some construction equipment in the background. The stagecraft will be "blue collar" but make no mistake about it. This is a right wing corporation that broke the law on multiple occasions and was paying workers wages below that of the minimum wage. I doubt the undecided voters that this McCain propaganda event is designed for will be pleased when they learn this information.
The McCain staff, in coordination with the executives at this corporation, will rope off at least two areas where about 200 friendlies from the local Republican Party will be seated along with company workers who will be paid on company time to sit there. Most of the friendlies (including the executives) will be wearing plaid shirts, working man attire, and a few may even have hardhats on. Since the company is in rural Pennsylvania, it probably has few minorities employed so expect at least one African American, one Hispanic, and 3 women to be "strategically" placed in the 15-20 faces directly behind McCain on the platform.
The crowd will hear almost exclusively country music and "Go Johnny Go" will greet McCain when he comes on stage. Local Republicans will all speak for about 90 seconds. Then right wing Senator Joe Lieberman will pretend he's a Democrat and shamelessly appeal to "working class voters" and delusionally repeat Karl Rove's national security talking points. Eventually, Tom Ridge will introduce McCain.
The media, desperate to make this a "horserace" despite evidence that Obama will win this election by 15-25 points, will go ga-ga over what they will misreport as a townhall. Sometime between 4 and 5, CNN and Fox News will interrupt their "news" to bring to you what they will call a "live town hall meeting with John McCain." The "breaking news" will begin either when Lieberman speaks, Ridge speaks or a couple of minutes into McCain's speech.
McCain will then spend about 25 minutes giving a canned speech. He'll make the usual attacks about national security and even claim that Obama could have come to Pennsylvania to have a "town hall meeting" but refused to do so. (The town hall talking point is an attempt by the McCain camp to divert from the issues and make the debate about the tangental process.) At the bottom of the screen in the scroll will be a sound bite of McCain's passed off as news.
McCain will then take a few questions. They will come mostly from employees or executives of the Company hosting the event and not from ordinary townspeople. Most of these questioners will have been prescreened ahead of time. The way the rigged questions at McCain events work is that 3-4 staffers holding microphones go around the facility and stand next to the person who is to be called on. The staffers holding the microphone know ahead of time who the friendlies are or who they think the friendlies are. You must be given a microphone at a McCain rally to speak. The people who control the microphone are McCain staffers.
If a tough question gets slipped in, McCain will avoid it and soon after end the rally. McCain will try to take up to 10 questions and questions in which McCain can filibuster for 5 minutes are preferred.
The town hall farce will be but one story of the day. If the media would like, they should film the staged area from 10 in the morning til McCain speaks so they can see the propaganda in action.
But the bigger story is that John McCain has decided to have his even on the private premises of a corporation that has been cited by Pennsylvania authorities, a citation affirmed by the courts of the state of Pennsylvania, as being an unlawful, pay below the minimum wage corporate predator.
I would expect this story to be on the front page of every major newspaper tomorrow as well as a lead story for every evening broadcast. But I won't hold my breath.
UPDATE 1 - Here is a good comment which talks about how the company is fighting disbarrment and who they have hired to represent them. The local paper writes up the story well. Remember this company was cited for breaking the law for paying less than what was required by law.
UPDATE 2 - McCain booked this venue months ago. The company has GOP ties. Either he supports this company or should distance himself from them today. Regardless, if the McCain camp can't spend two minutes researching a company that they choose to host their "townhall," then are these the people you want protecting America? Of course not.