Blair Stenvick

Blair Stenvick is a fall 2012 Prospect intern.

Recent Articles

Unions Fighting Two-Front War on California Ballots

Flickr/quinn.anya
This is the eighth in the Prospect's series on the 174 measures on state ballots this year. It’s been a bad year for California unions. Republicans have never been fans of the labor movement , and now state Democratic support is waning. In September, Democratic Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a pension reform plan that will force union members to work longer for fewer benefits, and vetoed the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights , an AFL-CIO-backed bill that would have given labor rights to domestic workers. And earlier this month, Brown vetoed a bill that would have allowed child care workers to unionize . In cities like San Jose and Los Angeles—both Democrat-leaning cities with Democratic mayors—unions are fighting more losing battles against pension reform. In this election, state unions were forced to open a new front—at the ballot box. California ballot Proposition 32 puts labor in even deeper trouble, and could leave the movement effectively silenced. And even if labor kills the...

Obama and Romney's Proxy Debaters Take the Stage

Saturday’s “Rumble 2012” debate between Jon Stewart and Bill O’Reilly shared one key feature with last Wednesday’s presidential debate: a bipartisan meta-loser. While Wednesday’s title went to moderator Jim Lehrer, Rumble 2012’s was Nox Solutions LLC, a third-party venue hired to host the streaming website, which failed miserably. However, that was pretty much where the similarities ended. Young or uninformed voters who may have tuned in to Wednesday night’s presidential debate looking for a crash course on the policy differences between the two candidates were likely disappointed. The debate dissolved into bickering—not to mention flat-out lies—before most people could make any sense of it. Not helping matters was President Barack Obama, who looked like he’d rather be anywhere else. Contrast that against Saturday night’s spectacle. Both debaters were clearly happy to be there—O’Reilly even brought cute little cards to illustrate his points—though it was unclear if he were trying to...