Precisely Targeted Ad

2/6/08 15:19

This had just been pasted to the floor of the Navy Yard metro station when I was leaving the office on Weds. It had a link to the website Fire Mary Peters. The Navy Yard station is across the street from the Department of Transportation’s new HQ.

When I came in this morning, the floor ad was gone but there were 4 or 5 posters up in the usual advertising space. That’s kinda messed up tho, badmouthing her where she works and in such a way that almost all the employees under her are going to see it.

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7 Responses

  1. Gregory says:

    I’m not sure I agree with your last sentence, but I am rather impressed at how stealth the application must have been. I guess that metro manager must have been sleeping. :-p

  2. I also do not agree with your last statement. Mary Peters is an appointed member of the Bush Administration. She has tasks to carry out and responsibilities to the United States. A person, like Mary, who continues to break the law while simultaneously jeopardizing our safety; who exploits workers South of the Border while making it harder for working people in the US to maintain a Middle Class lifestyle (or even get to the Middle Class) … A woman like Mary needs to be known by everyone in and out of the Beltway. (How many folks outside of DC even know who she is or care?)

    I think that going after Mary’s job in the way the union is doing it is not only needed, it is a perfect example of pushing back when enough is enough.

  3. Brian says:

    I don’t doubt that it has the makings of an effective protest, however as someone that works for DOT, I’ve met Mary Peters, and as a contractor… I have no idea what she or anyone immediately under her does!

    So I’m sure that while many people saw it and were interested, I doubt that anyone I work with was going to pull up the website “Fire Mary Peters” from their office computer. 🙂 I should clarify that the floor ad was gone when I wrote this, but came back that afternoon it had been replaced. Probably due to a little shoddy work on the ad in the above picture (loose corner).

    I was hoping someone connected to the union might comment and fully explain what it’s all about, since I don’t really understand how she’s breaking the law. Only that someone’s pointing out a highly socially objectionable practice and claiming she’s responsible. My co-workers said that Teamster’s were handing out the fliers, but none of them could answer any questions people asked of them.

  4. Hi Brian,

    First, thanks for this reply. I want to see if I can help out and shed some light on the issues at hand. Also, I want to let you know that I am a Teamster working with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters — and I was one of the union members you mentioned handing out fliers. Interestingly enough, everyone I talked with as they were heading to work were thankful that I was able to provide them whatever information that they asked for. The idea that we could not answer any questions people asked, is, unfortunately a fib. I was joined that day with our press secretary and two other Communications Coordinators. We also had with us a few members of our Local Union in Washington, DC; all of whom are well-informed on this issue. One last note about not answering questions: When the Lou Dobbs Show from CNN showed up, we provided their reporters with enough for them to run a full news package the following day.

    Before getting to the meat of this issue with Mary Peters, let me make clear that the Teamsters had no intention of having DOT workers log on to the site from their offices; especially if doing that would put their jobs in jeopardy. In fact, I told at least five interested people to make certain that they visit the site when they are home from work to avoid any internal DOT issues with them as interested individuals.

    As for this issue: Mary has continued to give very dangerous Mexican trucks access to U.S. highways despite overwhelmingly bipartisan measures passed by Congress and signed by President Bush.

    Mexican trucks and Mexican drivers are not held to the same standards as American trucks and drivers. This is something that should bring pause to ANYONE on U.S. roads. When we say that these trucks are not held to the same standards, there is a laundry list of items — there is one that bothers me personally the most: that has to do with anti-lock brakes.

    You might already know that a U.S. commercial vehicle cannot get on the roads without having anti-lock brakes in place. This is good news, of course. This safety feature is designed to help drivers avoid crashes. How? Well, the basic concept here is that if a driver needs to hit the brakes and hit them hard, the wheels may lock. When that happens, the truck skids. If there is any kind of uneven road, the trucks don’t just skid … they spin. On wet and slippery roads, it is much more intense. This might be overkill to what you need to know, but anti-locks prevent wheels from skidding by way of monitoring the speed of each wheel and automatically pulsing the brake pressure on any of the wheels if/when skids are detected by the system.

    Mexican trucks, you might have guessed by now, are not required to have anti-locks; and that bothers me as much as it should bother you!

    There are other annoying and pesky safety issues that should cause alarm. My second personal favorite is in regard to hours of service, which basically means what it says … the hours in which a truck and its driver can be in service working. In the United States there is a law which requires me and all truck drivers to not work more than 11 hours a day. We then need to rest for a set amount of time before we can start again. Some in the U.S. have even fought against these 11-hour days but Congress didn’t vote in favor of that, it didn’t happen.

    You probably guessed by now where I was going, but to be certain: Mexican drivers are not held to that same 11-hour day. How is that possible? Well if one of our Mexican brothers or sisters took between nine and 12 hours to even get to our borders, they are then given another 11 hours to, well, keep on trucking! Imagine driving with your family down the interstate on a wet winter day when an 18-wheel truck with no anti-locks swerves around you driven by a guy who is on hour 19 in his day. Until Peters is out of office and this absurd Mexican trucking pilot program is halted – my advice to you in this scenario is to just pull over and wait until that truck is out of your site before progressing on your ride.

    Mary Peters has broken the law by not stopping this program as Congress mandated and in doing so simultaneously placed our lives in jeopardy. This is not some hardcore union rhetoric, my friend; this is just a matter of fact.

    I urge you, as I did the other folks at the DOT, to go look through the website — from your home computer! You will potentially be fascinated by the Facts and Fiction page: You might even get excited about the BLOG to see what others are saying.

    Again, thanks for the comment and posting about this important issue. If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to email me direct at

    All the best,
    — Richard

  5. Brian says:

    Richard: Thank you for your very detailed response. The facts you point out are very disturbing, and I will share the information with the co-workers who seemed to choose to remain in the dark about the issue instead of seeking some answers.

    I apologize for the incorrect information in my earlier comment and I’m glad to be more informed about this.

  6. Brian,
    Thank you for taking the time to respond to my personal email address with your note.

    I am glad there is more understanding around this campaign. I am available to offer as much as I can to help you write about this very important issue if wish to do so again.

    All the best,

  7. The Teamsters woke San Francisco today with a rock ‘em, sock ‘em rally against open borders to unsafe trucks from Mexico.

    They began to arrive at dawn, on streetcar and in semis, on bicycles and on foot, on motorcycles and buses. By 8 a.m. some 450 Teamsters stretched the length of the city block in front of the federal courthouse. There the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals would soon hear the case against Transportation Secretary Mary Peters’ cross-border truck pilot program. By the time the hearing was done, there were more than 500 Teamsters by the Court getting heard as well.

    Seven Teamster trucks circled the block and blared their air horns as Teamsters cheered and chanted “We Are Teamsters!” and “Fire Mary Peters!”

    A constant tattoo of horns came from the streetcars, buses, trucks and cars in the traffic that flowed in front of the rally. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” said a Federal Protective officer.

    “I’m exuberant,” said Paul Faaola, a rank-and-file member of local 85 in San Francisco. “This just cause I believe the Teamsters Union was made for.”

    Local 287 President Bob Blanchet – who had put his heart and soul into organizing the action – beamed throughout the rally. That is, when he wasn’t shouting into a bullhorn.

    International President Chuck Mack revved up the crowd from atop a flatbed truck parked in front of the courthouse. “Mary Peters must be fired!” he shouted to cheers. “The only problem is George Bush is her boss. We gotta fire George Bush in November!” he shouted to more cheers.

    Tony Gonzalez, secretary-treasurer of local 890 in Salinsa, Calif., told the crowd that Mexican truck drivers oppose the program too. “They fear it will destroy the trucking industry there,” he said. Teamsters waved both Mexican and American flags.

    Tears came to the eyes of many Teamsters as David Jennings described how he lost his mother, father and 19-year-old son in a crash caused by a Mexican truck that suffered a catastrophic drive train failure. That failure could have been prevented by a border inspection.

    “NAFTA has already compromised our jobs,” he said from the flatbed truck parked outside the court. “NAFTA has already compromised our environment. Now it’s being pushed to compromise our lives.”

    Jennings later watched the panel of three judges grill attorneys representing the Teamsters and representing Mary Peters. They will rule later on the case.

    Afterward, Paul Faaola reflected on what the rally meant beyond a wake-up call to the City of San Francisco.

    “These are the times much harder than for our fathers or their fathers,” he said. “It’s harder to organize. Standing together is the most powerful thing there is.”

    Amazing rally photos are here.

    This was cross-posted from Fire Mary Peters . Com.

    If anyone as questions and would like to write me direct, my email address is

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