"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"
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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Aubertine Rally Breaches Company Policy

In a post early this week it was mentioned that an Aubertine political event violated Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant company policy.

Here is news coverage from the Valley News in Fulton and the company who owns the plant are even critical of newspaper Pall Times for their coverage. This is not a good situation for Aubertine and when confronted about the issue, spokesman Drew Mangione avoids answering whether or not they had permission.

Darrel Aubertine experiences some serious lapses in judgment, enough so, voters should ask if he is really qualified and capable of this job.

Here is the entire article (h/t Valley News)

Entergy claims no permission was given for political rally
by Carol Thompson

A recent political rally for Senator Darrel Aubertine at the Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant was done without the permission of Entergy, according to a company spokesperson.

“Once they were recognized as being on site they were asked to leave,” Tammy Holden, communications specialist at Entergy, said Wednesday.

A rally organized by Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 73 was held Sept. 12 under a tent at the plant, and a news article and photo were published in The Palladium-Times. Ms. Holden said the story gave the wrong impression.

“Unfortunately, the article in the Pall Times was a little misleading,” she said. “It gave the perception that Entergy was endorsing, and that’s not the case.”

The perception of an endorsement for the Democrat senator came at a time when the nuclear plants are in the preliminary stages of negotiating their PILOT agreements with county legislators, whose majority membership is comprised of 20 Republicans.

“We’ve reached out to those individuals,” Ms. Holden said. “We don’t endorse political candidates. There were phone calls made. With our rapport, we don’t foresee any problems.”

Ms. Holden did not have available of the names of those legislators who were contacted, but she said she is confident that contact had been made with more than one county official. Legislature Chairman Barry Leemann said late Wednesday that someone from Entergy had telephoned his office that same day; however, he was not available to take the call.

Legislator Fred Beardsley said Wednesday that he has not received a call from Entergy but was aware of the rally. “I don’t know if Entergy is riding the fence because of the negotiations,” he said, adding that, in his view, the company has been fair with the legislature. He said that until all the facts are revealed, he is inclined to believe that Entergy did not grant permission for the rally to be held on its site.

According to Ms. Holden, the union was expecting to hold the rally at another location. “For whatever reason they brought him (Aubertine) to a location here,” she said. “What I’ve been told is that the rally was to be held at a location away from here.”

A media advisory sent from Aubertine indicated that the rally was to be held at the plant. It states, “State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine will be joined Friday at 11:30 a.m. by the Plumber & Steamfitters, Local 73, at the Oswego County James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant for a rally and announcement.”

When asked about the media advisory and if he was aware that permission was needed to hold the rally on site, Sen. Aubertine’s Communications Director Drew Mangione responded, “Senator Aubertine was invited to Scriba by the Plumbers and Steamfitters union to receive their endorsement and talk to members who are currently working there.

“The event went very well and Darrel received an enthusiastic endorsement from these hard-working men and women who work in the region’s energy industry,” he added. “In his comments, Darrel talked about the importance of nuclear power and his support for a fourth nuclear plant and the jobs it would bring to Oswego.”

Ms. Holden said she knew nothing of the media advisory sent from Sen. Aubertine’s office. She said she was advised by security that the rally was to be held on the corner of County Route 29 and County Route 1—property that is not owned by Entergy; however, Aubertine’s media advisory gives directions to the plant’s parking lot.

Ms. Holden said she has no idea who made the change of plans and noted that it likely wasn’t an employee of Entergy. “Our employees know what the process is,” she said.

Ms. Holden also stressed that the employees involved are working under contract and are not regular employees of the plant. The endorsement was actually that of the Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 73, she added.

“The employees were coming in to be trained and badged. They are not regular employees of Fitzpatrick,” she said of the union members. “They are working a shut-down.”

Ms. Holden said that those present did not breach security, but the rally did breach company policy. Asked if they would have been given permission to have the rally on site had they asked, Ms. Holden responded, “Absolutely not.”

A spokesperson for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission confirmed that in order to hold a political rally on the property, company permission would have been required.

Ms. Holden said the incident continues to be under investigation.

“We are definitely looking into it so that it doesn’t happen again,” he said. “It’s very unfortunate. The article in The Palladium Times led others to believe Entergy was endorsing, and that they didn’t have the authority’s permission is disappointing, as well.”

Local 73 Business Agent Tim Rice said Wednesday that the local union has formally endorsed Aubertine but denied that the group was asked to leave the Entergy premises. “I was out there and they didn’t ask any of us to leave,” he said. “They were more than accommodating.”

Rice said he could not speak for what Entergy is claiming. “I didn’t think it was that big of a deal,” he said. “There was a misunderstanding.”


Anonymous coward said...

You are absolutely right on this one, Political IV. American workers should not have the right to think politically on their own. They should toe the line and ask permission first so the company can tell them which candidate is allowed to speak and which candidate they must support. Remember the words of that great American, George Bush, " If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator,"

Anonymous said...

Anon Coward,

Umm...I'd think gaining appropriate permissions at a nuclear power plant is a little different than say a Stream call center or a hospital lobby. I'd hope anyways.

Besides, the workers didn't endorse anyone- their union leaders did. Did they poll their membership? Let's spin your statement back on you...American workers should have the right to think politically on their own- and not have a union tell them how to vote.

Anonymous said...

thanks Drew, another Black eye for your boss!

anonymous coward said...

I disagree with anon #2. Stream and Hospitals are run by large corporations. Their right to make huge profits and pay large corporate salaries is every bit as important to national security as that of a nukular plant. If workers have the right to join a union and think politically, then they may make voting decisions that are not in the best interest of the corporate leaders and stock holders. That is why Walmart is so successful; no union and they tell you to vote republican. I still agree with PVI.

Anonymous said...

Leave it to Darrel and Drew to screw up something as simple as a visit to a nuke plant.

I'm surprised they didn't try to hand out coffee and donuts to workers in the control room ala Homer Simpson.

Anonymous said...

Bottom Line. It's private property, and they had no right to 'rally' there. Unions usually hold political rallies at there headquarters don't they?

Just Drew playing games with the press release via some mouthpiece in Watertown, or Albany. DA should have stayed in the Assembly. So far he has done nothing as a Senator but screw up, and back track all his missteps.

One can only hope that the voters, regardless of party see through Darrell, and Addie's bs, and vote for the right candidate...Not another mouthpiece for Shelley Silver and all his downstate 'interests'.

Keep it up Darrell, you are making Mr. Renzi's job much easier I suspect.

Anonymous said...

i cannot believe that anyone would feel that Aubertine deserves another second at the incredibly important position. EVERY SINGLE WEEK IT IS ANOTHER EMBARRASSMENT. If he cared about us he would resign immediately. This all started when he didn't offer any positions to senator wrights staff who had a clue how to run this office. That's the first rule of thumb, surround yourself with people who know what is going on and you could almost slide by. This idiot hires his sister after creating a bill to keep nepotism out? How on earth could you be so stupid? resign now and take drew with you.

Anonymous said...

Lapse in judgment, IV? This comes close to breaching national security! Entergy, the union AND Aubertine sshould be called before the NRC to find out what the hell they all were thinking!

If Darrel can stroll onto the grounds of a nuclear power station unannounced and without authorization, who else can get through the lines?

This goes byond politics to public safety. Darrel owes the people of Oswego County an explanation -- and an apology!

Anonymous coward said...

This is horrible and inexcusable! One solution to this breach of national security is to invalidate the votes of all those involved. This exemplifies the big problem we have with freedoms in this great country. Liberals do not know how to handle freedom.

Anonymous said...

Darrel was probably background checked when he was under consideration for the NYPA chairmanship. That's probably why he got through security without letting anyone at Entergy know he was at the site.

Anonymous said...

Before handing out coffee and donuts to the employees wouldn't they have to wake up the Security Guards????????

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