The San Francisco Hypocrite (See Update At The End

Nancy Pelosi, the woman who led the charge against the Republican Culture of CorruptionĀ®, has a bit of explaining to do:

On Wednesday, the House voted to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour.
The bill also extends for the first time the federal minimum wage to the U.S. territory of the Northern Mariana Islands. However, it exempts American Samoa, another Pacific island territory that would become the only U.S. territory not subject to federal minimum-wage laws.
One of the biggest opponents of the federal minimum wage in Samoa is StarKist Tuna, which owns one of the two packing plants that together employ more than 5,000 Samoans, or nearly 75 percent of the island’s work force. StarKist’s parent company, Del Monte Corp., has headquarters in San Francisco, which is represented by Mrs. Pelosi.
The other plant belongs to California-based Chicken of the Sea.

Now Mrs. Pelosi, what about that Culture of CorruptionĀ® again?

hattip: Boortz.

UPDATE: As John Newman points out, American Samoa already has an exemption from the minimum wage under other statues. In addition, the passed bill has no special deal for American Samoa. I should have known better than to use the Washington Times as a source.

I retract my allegations of corruption against Nancy Pelosi, however, she is still a hypocrite because she apparently doesn’t have a problem with residents of the territories not being paid a “living wage”.

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  • Brad Warbiany

    I was driving this morning, and listening to Boortz’ opening half hour here in Atlanta, and he was teasing this story. I figured it must mean Pelosi had some business connection to American Samoa.

  • John Newman

    According to this, government workers’ minimum is actually lower than cannery workers.

  • Kevin

    That’s nice John, but what’s the point?

  • John Newman

    Boortz implied because Starkist was in Pelosi’s district, she had a hand in this. The fact is that Bush’s DOL held meetings on this wage issue in 2006 and determined the issue prior to this new law interfering with the free market and Congress overstepping its bounds again. Other than that, there was no point.

  • Kevin


    The fact is that Bush’s DOL did not issue the special exemption that was voted on earlier this week. In fact, the minimum wage law, for the first time, covered the territories as well as the States.

    It’s a tadbit hypocritical to insist on a special exemption for American Samoa, to benefit Starkist and Chicken In The Sea, while condemning Republicans for cozying up to corporate America and giving special access to big oil and Halliburton among other companies.

  • Lance

    Big Oil meet Big Tuna.

  • John Newman

    WASHINGTON — Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao announced the six members selected to serve on the committee to review current minimum wage rates for all industries in American Samoa covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the federal wage and hour law. This year’s hearing is scheduled to begin June 20, 2005, in Pago Pago, America Samoa.

    Conducted every two years, the committee hearings are open to the public. Committee members represent the public sector, employers, and employees.

    I didn’t see Pelosi’s name mentioned anywhere in there. Did you?

    Again I’ll ask, where is it stated anywhere that the obligation of Congress is to set wage standards for private business?

  • Kevin

    Again John, Chao’s actions are irrelevant since the recently passed minimum wage bill overrides her panel.

    Condemning Nancy Pelosi’s hypocracy is not implying support for the minimum wage bill.

  • John Newman

    What was the minimum wage in 2003? $5.15, is that correct? Now look at the wage in America Samoa:

    Now, why isn’t the minimum wage $5.15 if the minimum wage law overrides the panel?

    This is not a brain teaser if you would actually read the gawddamn links.

    I hate Pelosi, but the fact is, she had nothing to do with this as Boortz infers?

  • Kevin

    Again, you’re missing the point.

    The minimum wage was recently raised this week to $7.25. Elaine Chao’s decision about the minimum wage on American Samoa is replaced by the new law. Nancy Pelosi got a special exemption written into law for American Samoa, where a major company based in her district happens to have substantial operations. Basically, Pelosi kept the exemption for American Samoa to benefit campaign contributors, when she campaigned on a Republican Culture of Corruption.

    She is a hypocrite. If she was really for all Americans making a “living wage”, she would have included American Samoa.

  • John Newman

    From the first link I posted:
    The minimum wage rates for American Samoa are set by a special industry committee (29 U.S.C. 205, 29 C.F.R. Part 511) appointed by the U.S. Department of Labor, as required by the Act. This is from the first link I posted.
    What part of this is so gawddamn difficult to understand? The committee determines the MW.

    Kevin said:
    Nancy Pelosi got a special exemption written into law for American Samoa, where a major company based in her district happens to have substantial operations.

    OK, I showed you mine, now show me yours. Please produce this “special exemption written into law” that Nancy Pelosi had inserted.

  • Kevin


    I just looked up the actual bill, apparently you’re right, there’s nothing there. The Washington Times blew this one.

  • John Newman

    I still don’t like Nancy Pelosi and she is a hypocrite.

  • Rhymes With Right

    On the other hand, I find it interesting that the bill ELIMINATED the exemption for the Northern Marianas but not American Samoa.

    Of course, the companies with an interest in the Northern Marianas having a lower wage were big supporters of Tom DeLay — while those with the big interests in American Samoa are corporate constituents of the Speaker.

    It still carries with it a definite APPEARANCE of corruption, if not actual corruption, on the part of the Pelosi.

  • Kevin

    Of course, it’s political payback. But, it’s much harder to prove actual political corruption, but it does look corrupt.

  • Rhymes With Right

    Oh, and by the way — let’s not forget that one of the primary investors in one of the companies that benefits, DelMonte, is Queen Nancy’s husband, who has a $17 million stake.

    Again — it is an appearance of impropriety — which House ethics rules defines as an impropriety in and of itself.