Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Very Slow Lerner

Tasty hears that SEIU's Stephen Lerner has finally realized that his purple pals are not too keen on him. Sources tell Tasty that, several weeks ago, SEIU officials fired Lerner from his position as a top SEIU staffer and a member of SEIU's International Executive Board.

It's been a long, slow learning curve for Lerner.  In 2008, Andy Stern and Mike Fishman (President of SEIU Local 32BJ) ousted Lerner from his position as the head of SEIU's Property Services Division and demoted Lerner.

Next, Stern assigned Lerner to lead a slimy attack campaign against Sal Rosselli and California's healthcare workers after they introduced proposals to democratize SEIU during the union's 2008 convention. Lerner's nefarious role in the thuggish campaign was revealed when insiders leaked an infamous email describing the Purple Palace's efforts to either "implode" SEIU-UHW or wage an Irak-like invasion against it. The email -- from June of 2008 -- has lines like this: "Trusteeship would be difficult -- it's like Iraq, easy to get in and then a slog. Implosion would be a better outcome, but what will it take?" The leaked email snagged a whole posse of plotting SEIU staffers, including Bill Ragen, Stephen Lerner, Tom DeBruin, Kirk Adams, Denise Poloyac and attorney Edgar James.

In 2010, a demoted Lerner became the punching bag for SEIU's Scott Courtney, who'd been elevated to a top job inside the Purple Palace. Later that year, Courtney put Lerner on a month-long administrative leave for "insubordination" after Lerner refused to follow Courtney's orders.

At this point, many observers expected Lerner to catch a clue and bolt the Purple Palace with a few tattered shreds of remaining dignity. Tasty hears that Lerner planned to deliver a courageous ultimatum to SEIU's Mary Kay Henry, but as he prepared to enter Henry’s office, a pair of testicles dropped to the floor.

So… Lerner completed his month-long "time-out," and then slinked back to the Purple Palace where he worked on SEIU’s effort to co-opt the Occupy Wall Street movement.

And this brings us to the latest chapter in this pitiful saga:  Lerner's termination. Tasty hears Lerner was offed by his arch-nemesis, Scott Courtney, who seized control of Lerner's project and budget dollars.

So what's next for Lerner? Looks like he's taken a page from Stern's playbook of self-promotion. Just today, Lerner set up a Facebook page where he describes himself as "a leading critic of Wall Street bankers" and "a frequent contributor on national television and radio programs..." Sounds like Lerner will soon be competing with Andy Stern to hustle speaker fees at conferences near you!