Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Lifestyles of the Purple Plutocrats

Mitch at French chef school
Just in time for the holidays, a reader has sent along more news about the storybook lives of SEIU’s top officials.

Remember Mitch Ackerman?

In 2009, Andy Stern appointed him to be one of SEIU’s six “Executive Vice Presidents” (the highest positions inside the Purple Palace after SEIU's President and Secretary-Treasurer). Stern also awarded Ackerman a $300,000-a-year salary.

Everything was going swimmingly for Mitch until 2010, when Stern resigned as SEIU's president and Ackerman made the fatal mistake of throwing his support behind Anna Burger in the ensuing succession battle. That's when Mary Kay Henry axed Ackerman.

But don’t cry for Mitch.

Mitch relaxes in a hammock at his ranch
Since then, he’s gone to a French culinary school in New York City, where he stayed chez Andy Stern (who prolly has a phat apartment funded by his billionaire sugar daddy, Ron Perelman).

Next, when Ackerman took a vacation in Santa Fe, New Mexico, he spied a ranch for sale, which he bought and now runs as a bed-and-breakfast inn.

Here’s what Ackerman says about his ranch:

This ranch was just what the doctor ordered to pull us out of our heads and into the hands-on world of renovation, restoration, culinary experimentation, and forced relaxation for everyone who passes through our door.
Mitch in the hot tub

Mitch’s blog bubbles with quotes from chefs like Alice Waters as well as reports like this one:

Out of the kitchen flew dish after dish: lamb meatballs with homemade harrissa, tortilla Española with Romesco sauce, herbed gigante beans, pizzas with three cheese and truffle oil, one with onion and heirloom tomato, and one with prosciutto, fresh tomato sauce and kale.  The cocktails did not disappoint either.

Speaking of cocktails, Ackerman appears to be particularly fond of them. His blog features recipes for cocktails with names like “the Sazerac,” “the Ward 8,” and homemade liqueurs.

Mitch also offers really important advice:

A photo of Mitch's bar
I recommend these tasty riffs on the Manhattan to make two cocktails, for several reasons. First, it is always more fun to drink with a buddy. Second, rather than getting bombed by your first drink, you may want to enjoy several different beverages over the course of an evening. The second recipe is especially large, so don’t hog it all for yourself – share.

Hmmm. Share.

It looks like Ackerman has joined the long line of SEIU's top officials who almost inevitably make a soft landing after being ousted... even as America's workers struggle against massive unemployment, foreclosures, greedy corporations, and a plutocratic class that's increasingly out of touch with reality.