Unemployed Group Seeks to Kick out Sen. Bunning From Hall of Fame
March 1, 2010
(ChattahBox)—-Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY), a former major league baseball pitcher enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame, represents Republican mean-spirited obstructionism at its worst. Last week, Bunning led a one-man filibuster to block the extension of unemployment benefits about to expire on Sunday, because he insisted that the benefits should be paid for by using existing stimulus funds. In a contentious late-night senate session on Thursday, Bunning repeatedly objected to the extension, not caring about the millions of Americans who would suffer from his actions. At one point he even complained about missing a college basketball game, while working late in the senate to add to the suffering of the unemployed. And when confronted by his Democratic colleagues to stand down, as they read off the catastrophic unemployment statistics in his home state of Kentucky, Bunning responded, “tough shit.”
Over the weekend, a newly formed group of unemployed Americans, called the Ur Union of Unemployed, or UCubed, blasted Bunning for his “vendetta against jobless Americans,” and called for his removal from the Baseball Hall of fame for his UN-American actions. The group even created an online petition demanding “an immediate end” to Bunning’s opposition, which is “holding Americans hostage to a narrow political agenda.”
Rick Sloan, acting executive director of Ur Union of Unemployed told The Hill that Bunning’s actions were “obscene,” at a time of near double-digit unemployment in the midst of a deep recession. “The most obscene thing he can do is prevent jobless Americans from getting their $350 a week unemployment check, said Sloan.
“His legacy as a great ball player is about to be surpassed by his reputation as an obstinate and uncaring ideologue,” Sloan added.
“His heartless actions mean millions will not receive their unemployment checks. For his stance, he should be ejected from the Hall of Fame and installed in the Hall of Shame,” Sloan declared.
As of Monday, nearly 400,000 unemployed Americans workers have lost their unemployment benefits, and COBRA health benefits. And that’s just the beginning of the havoc and suffering wreaked by Bunning. The benefit package he derailed last week, also included extensions for flood insurance, highway funding, small business loans and the compulsory copyright license used by satellite TV providers.
Today, 2,000 federal transportation workers, working for the Federal Highway Administration have been furloughed without pay and small business loans are now on hold, because of Bunning’s vengeful actions. Bunning, 78, who is not running for reelection, has received the support of many Republican lawmakers both in his home state of Kentucky and in the U.S. Senate, for his obstinate obstructionism that hurts unemployed people.
Sloan, who has seen membership for his group UCubed soar, since Bunning’s actions, calls the lapse in unemployment benefits “a humanitarian crisis in many U.S. counties that will severely impact workers, spouses and their children.”
And in his online petition demanding that Bunning cease and desist on his cruel vendetta, Sloan notes that Bunning’s behavior is not what’s expected of an elected official:
“Holding Americans hostage to a narrow political agenda is unworthy of any elected official, no matter how little time remains in their political career. Your words and actions in this matter reveal an embittered and isolated misanthrope who has lost touch with the realities of families trying to survive in this Great Recession.”
The petition to oust Bunning from the Hall of Fame, entitled “Throw the Bum Out,” can be found here. And the petition to demand that he stop hijacking unemployed Americans with his obstructionism can be found here.
Sloan’s UCubed petitions will be hand delivered to Bunning’s Senate Office and the Baseball Writers Association of American on Opening Day.
The Senate will convene for business on Monday afternoon, but a roll call vote on the extension of benefits will not take place until Tuesday.