It’s For The Members…Really, It Is!!

California is facing an interesting election this November, as a series of initiatives from Gov. Arnold are up for a vote.

One of the most significant is Prop 75, which would defund the public-employees union political warchests by requiring that they obtain annual permission from union members to use a portion of their dues for political campaigns.

I’m pro-union (and certainly pro-working families), and also strongly pro- this initiative. The capture of state government by it’s employees – at the expense of those who it is supposed to serve – is one of the reasons California government is in the straits it is in…

Apparently, I’m not alone.

As labor critics seek to limit the use of union dues in California politics, one group is mostly steering clear of the Proposition 75 campaign: the workers whose rights the initiative claims to be championing.

Despite their entreaties, advocates for the initiative have been able to recruit only a handful of the state’s public employee union members to make appearances, give money or participate in campaign ads.

Out of more than 1 million union members who would be affected by the measure, only 181 have publicly endorsed it.

The absence of union members within the Campaign for Paycheck Protection is striking because its advocates say that one-third to one-half of union households favor the measure.

Hmmm.

So it is important to defeat this proposition for the union members, or for the union leaders, and the political apparatus they are funding with the members’ money?

11 thoughts on “It’s For The Members…Really, It Is!!”

  1. This just in – most stockholders aren’t against corporate donations!

    And the article’s logic is a bit weak. Do you expect tons of union employees to go out protesting the union’s use of money on the weekend and then go back to work Monday without any blowback? Especially a public sector union, where both management and employees are in the same union? “What’s the matter, Jim, don’t you want us to get that raise?” I’d keep my head down too, thanks.

  2. Avatar – you’re misreading the article. The point is that the union members who supposedly benefot from the union’s political donations are not supporting the union positionand opposing the bill, not the other way around…

    A.L.

  3. The union members want the CHOICE of whether their union leaders should exact money from their paychecks.

    Often it is the Union Bosses who benefit from these political exactions and the members get NADA – except less Christmas money.

    And what is wrong with choice?

    Prop. 75 passes.

    Flap

  4. bq. Avatar – you’re misreading the article. The point is that the union members who supposedly benefot from the union’s political donations are not supporting the union positionand opposing the bill, not the other way around…

    Really? I get the impression from the article that it’s the “approve the bill” side (which translates into “yes, we want yearly reauthorizations to use our money for political purposes”) that’s having trouble getting union member support. Where’s the language in the article that suggests otherwise?

  5. Chris, you’re absolutely right; I just went back, read the articloe again, and I totally misread it, and the point I was trying to make is completely blown up.

    Apologies to you & avatar.

    When I get a sec, I’ll post a retraction…

    A.L.

  6. Ok. That said, I do agree with Avatar that it’s not entirely crazy to suggest fear of reprisals are preventing union folk for speaking up for the initiative.

  7. _Despite their entreaties, advocates for the initiative have been able to recruit only a handful of the state’s public employee union members to make appearances, give money or participate in campaign ads._

    Just what entreaties would those be? I’m one of the aforementioned public employee union members, and I haven’t heard peep one from advocates of the initiative beyond a couple of tv ads. And it’s not like my home phone number hasn’t been sold to every other political auto-dialer in the state.

    Frankly, though, even if they had my answer would’ve been no. As much as I support the initiative, I have neither the money to spare nor the time to waste. I do far more to help it by making sure my co-workers understand exactly how the union rep came and lied to us about it than by marching around waving a sign and chanting silly slogans.

    The initiative’s supporters would be much better served just getting on the phones and calling union members to explain the initiative than joining the legions of political partisans hitting us up for money.

  8. _That said, I do agree with Avatar that it’s not entirely crazy to suggest fear of reprisals are preventing union folk for speaking up for the initiative._

    I certainly don’t speak up for it while the union rep is here (once she’s gone is a whole ‘nother story). While I don’t have any specific fear of reprisals, there’s nothing to be gained by getting up in her face about it, and potentially much to lose. Safe to say I’m not the only one who feels this way.

  9. Some union members are tired of the contempt with which they are treated by the upper union echelons. The blowback will be rough when it finally lets go. The mythological foundations of the “noble union movement” are showing nasty cracks.

  10. What “mythological foundations” haha?

    We’re talking about teachers here, not longshoremen. It’s a crappy union that most anyone who knows about hates. Here in CA, small schools have $80-150k PR consultants, teach classical history with a 2 days of videos and eliminate AP classes because they’re not PC.

    But then again, these stinking teachers unions are all we have to keep Arnie from Enroning the state again.

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