Dec. 4, 2013 |
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"Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, argued that teachers and other public employees receive tax dollars and sometimes they are pushing for policies that taxpayers don't want."
Are they seriously this stupid?
This article is fake. The bill will not prohibit any union member from donating a penny to their union. It merely forbids that this be done via paychecks. The unions may continue to speak out however they like. This does raise an issue about excess pay, however. If teachers have so much pay coming in that they don't miss a few thousand every year to accommodate union slush funds and political ads, then they're hardly hurting for income.
A few thousand every year? What world are you living in?
UltimateGrownup, you are either lying or you have been lied to and are parroting that information forward without verification. And I'll just bet you haven't even read the bill in question, so let me quote the relevant piece of it for you:
"It shall be a prohibited practice for a public employee organization to endorse candidates, or spend any of its income, including any income in the form of or derived from any dues, fees, assessments or any other periodic payments, directly or indirectly, to engage in political activities as defined in paragraph (2).
(2) For the purposes of this section, "political activities" means any activity carried out for the purpose of influencing, in whole or part, any election for a state, local government or board of education office, including activities or causes of a partisan political or ideological nature engaged in by a public employee organization for such purpose, and including contributions to a political committee, continuing political employee committee, or both, for the purpose of aiding or promoting the endorsement, nomination, election or defeat of any candidate for public office of the state or of a county, municipality or school district, or the passage or defeat of any public question."
Assuming you can read, you can plainly see here that unions are NOT allowed to speak however they like should this bill become law. The whole "paycheck deductions" piece is smoke and mirrors to hide what's really going on.
I might also add, for the benefit of other readers who might actually care about facts, that your estimate of union dues is excessive by a factor of at least six.
Here is the link to back up KSmanimal's statements. Reading is a wonderful thing to be able to do. Thank the teacher that taught you.
The second part of this legislation involves prohibiting unions from political activity.
Have you read the bill? http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2013_14/measures/documents/hb2023_00_0000.pdf
Here are the relevant sections:
New Section 1. (a) It shall be unlawful for any professional
employees' organization, as defined in K.S.A. 72-5413, and amendments
thereto, to use any dues, fees, assessments or any periodic payments
deducted from a member's paycheck for the purpose of engaging in
political activities as defined in subsection (c).
(c) For the purposes of this section, "political activities" means any
activity carried out for the purpose of influencing, in whole or part, any
election for a state, local government or board of education office,
including activities or causes of a partisan political or ideological nature
engaged in by a public employee organization for such purpose, and
including contributions to a political committee, continuing political
employee committee, or both, for the purpose of aiding or promoting the
endorsement, nomination, election or defeat of a candidate for public
office of the state or of a county, municipality or school district, or the
passage or defeat of any public question.
a few thousand? no, try a few dollars from each paycheck. this bill would create a barrier to contributing to political causes and would hamper the unions' voices in the political process.
"a few thousand every year"?
That statement was about as uninformed as the rest of your comment. In what world do you get the idea that the cost is a few thousand?
In Tea Party Land, facts are created as necessary.
You are misinformed if you believe that teachers pay a couple of thousand dollars a year in union dues. More like $500. Teachers prioritize their spending. Some join the NEA, some do not. Teachers contribute $20 to the NEA PAC, or they opt not to contribute. It's their choice. That's the truth.
It might be a good idea if you actually read the bill before commenting. Section two says that public sector unions (other than the teachers union) may not collect any money by any manner and use it for "political activities." Teachers would be allowed to donate to a PAC by another means but the definition of "political activities" is so vague and broad as to probably prohibit lobbying the legislature, asking a board to pass or defeat a policy, or even telling their own members to vote for a bond issue. Again, read the bill.
Ultimate, grow up and know your facts. Their dues aren't even thousands of dollars. I asked a teacher I used to work with. Her KPAC is only $20.00 a year, less than 2.00/month. Now she is going to start donating extra, because of the Tea Party radicals. This is going to backfire. And if they try to limit someone's free speech, think of the tax money that is going to go to lawyers so they can be told that it's unconstitutional. I guess that would make Koch's lawyers rich, since they are given a lot of this stupid work.
This article is "fake"?
You mean, the article does not really exist?
Why should the state be able to tell employees what they can and cannot do with their paycheck, including having deductions automatically taken out? Your comment completely ignores how the state is prohibiting citizens from participating how they see fit.
Wagle, you ignorant c..orporate puppet. Once that money is PAID to the EMPLOYEES in exchange for their LABOR....it no longer belongs to anyone else.
Or, perhaps if you think that money is still taxpayer money.....you'd be OK with public employees no longer paying taxes on any of it? Yeah, that's what I thought.
Which of these things is not like the others?
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
“It is unconstitutional to ban free speech through the limitation of independent communications by corporations, associations, and unions. Corporations and labor unions may spend their own money to support or oppose political candidates.”
“It shall be a prohibited practice for a public employee organization to endorse candidates, or spend any of its income, including any income in the form of or derived from any dues, fees, assessments or any other periodic payments, directly or indirectly, to engage in political activities”
The Legislature may be violating federal law by attempting to pass this legislation.
18 U.S.C.A. § 241
§ 241. Conspiracy against rights
If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or
If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured--
They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.
Well, Susie, if the taxpayers don't want certain policies, then arguably the lawmakers won't support them, and the union would just be wasting their its time, effort, and money. Who are you to dictate how an individual or an organization should spend their hard earned money?
This naked suppression of free speech borders on fascism.
The intellectual dishonesty of the Republicans is appalling. Sadly, I guess Hitler was right. Tell a lie often enough and people will start believing it.
The only saving grace is that this law clearly violates the First Amendment and will be struck down by the Courts. What aspect of the Citizen's United decision do these idiots not understand?
Would someone explain to Wagle that all teachers and all union members are also taxpayers.
So, anyone paid with tax dollars foreits their free speech rights, and yet we have this abomination: http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2013_14/measures/sb119/ (job protection for persons elected or appointed to the state legislature) requiring employers to rehire former legislators at the same pay and responsibility level upon legislative retirement or failure to win re-election.
""You are silencing those who are at the heart of government," Proctor told the Commerce Committee. "Why wouldn't you want these people's input?""
While we are at it, we should also get input on chicken coop construction from coyotes.
Besides, no person is being silenced. No American can be silenced. Unions are getting the same treatment that churches have endured due to their tax exempt status. Goose, meet gander.
Both are Tax Exempt but completely different. A union is not a church as a church is not a union.
I think it boils down to representation without taxation, no religion.
Liberty, your views are antithetical to Libertarian principles. Have you considered switching to Fascism. as you are apparently a LINO.
I can understand why you say that and in this case you are correct. As a libertarian I think there should be no limits on expression at all. But this boils down to the 14th amendment doesn't it? If churches cannot endorse a candidate because of their tax-exempt status, why should unions be allowed?
Sometimes your philosophy is at odds with the constitution, but the constitution is the law of the land.
Fascism? Really? I am the biggest proponent of personal freedom on this forum and you think I'm a fascist because I have a different opinion on whether unions should be able to endorse candidates for government while being exempt from paying for the government? No. Not even close.
If they are one of a bunch of non-profits regulated under the 501 provision, they can't endorse candidates already.
Both unions and churches are non-profit organizations, however churches are classified as a 501(c)(3) for which there are political restrictions upon things they can do (like supporting or donating to candidates, or even comparing candidates.) While unions are under 501(c)(5) which does not include any of the same restrictions.
Arguments challenging the disparate treatment of unions and churches have been made in the courts on equal protection grounds. To date,. those arguments have failed.
Laws can be changed, like the matter at hand. I'm willing to accept any court ruling.
Do unions receive tax abatements based on non-profit status?
Probably not, since the CU decision allows them, along with corporations, to spend unlimited amounts of money on political ads.
Also, I believe it's only endorsing specific candidates that churches, etc. are prohibited from, and they're able to do much in the political sphere if it doesn't involve that - this bill clearly seeks to impose much more stringent prohibitions on unions.
"Also, I believe it's only endorsing specific candidates that churches, etc. are prohibited from"
Isn't that the only form of speech the union is losing?
"Isn't that the only form of speech the union is losing?"
No. Pay attention.
No - read the bill.
If they're already regulated under 501, etc. tax code provisions, they can't endorse candidates already.
Just answer the question. Make it short. What other speech would be made illegal under the law?
And the other guy said unions can endorse candidates because they were covered under a different part of the code. You two can work that put among yourselves.
"... or the passage or defeat of any public question."
What other speech? This:
"activities or causes of a partisan political or ideological nature "
Now, what could a union possibly say about ANY issue that couldn't be construed as "of ideological nature"?
More importantly, it matters not one bit if it is or isn't "only one" form of speech that's being taken away. Even ONE is unconstitutional. As has been said before, go back and read Citizens United.
Yes, I'll look that up.
From a quick search, there are many 501c structures, with slightly different rules. I thought they were all prohibited from endorsing specific candidates, but may be wrong.
Others have answered your question, and the relevant part of the bill has even been posted above. How much work do you need me to do for you?
This article is completely and purposefully misleading. (No surprise, I know.) This bill doesn't prohibit anyone from giving money to any union or any candidate or any cause. it gets the state out of being a dues collector for the unions. If the unions were that great, their members should be happy to support them.
As far as that goes, I'd like to see all tax withholding abolished, too. As it does with with union dues, tax withholding hides the weekly reminder that your wages are going to someone who didn't earn them.
So Centerville, I guess you are okay with suppressing the First Amendment rights of public employees. Have you considered moving to Cuba, China, or North Korea? School teachers there don't have free speech rights. I am sure you would get along with the communist party bureaucrats famously.
Read the second section - it prohibits unions from engaging in a wide variety of political activities.
So, even if union members choose to write a check every month, if this bill passes, the unions won't be able to use that money for political advocacy.
"This bill doesn't prohibit anyone from giving money to any union or any candidate or any cause."
Yes, it does. It prohibits public employee unions from doing so, and as such it flies in the face of the 1st Amendment and of recent US Supreme Court rulings re the 1st Amendment. Google "Citizens United" and start reading.
Your attempt here at the right-wing strategy of repeating lies until people believe them is rather transparent. Go back and read the pieces of the bill that were posted earlier.
So do you have a problem with payroll deductions for the United Way, IRS tax levies, child support, garnishments or voluntary wage assignments for consumer goods contracts? If the government in its function as an employer is responsible for providing such things as health insurance or withholding for taxes and Medicare, why is their obligation to deduct for union dues any different than a private employer who must deduct pursuant to their contract with their employees?
Rockchalk1977, please explain how unions "launder" money. I am very curious.
More than one political theorist has opined that the political continuum is not a straight line, but instead, a circle, and that ultimately the two ends--far right and far left--converge at a point of complete totalitarianism. In this regard, the far right of the republican party are in actually RINO's, as their attempts to suppress American's most cherished liberty--the freedom of speech--puts them in bed with both fascists and communists.
Shame on them. They are nothing but traitors to the U.S. Constitution and to every American who believes in freedom. .
If I were King I would deport every last far right Republican scoundrel (and those on the far left as well) to the country of their choice--North Korea or Afghanistan.
The Republican party trying to suppress unions doesn't surprise me. Anything to weaken workers' rights seems to be what Republicans are all about. Next, they will eliminate OSHA so workers will once again have dangerous workplaces like during the industrial revolution. Before you know it, we will be back to sixteen hour days with no weekends or holidays to be with family or have a life. In time, workers will be chained to their desks or assembly area 24/7 and the corporate owners will say "We own you. You no longer have a personal life. You are our slaves." That is how the Repubs want it because they want their Gilded Age to return. That is the time between the Civil War and the Great Depression, and that kind of economy CAUSED the Great Depression because there was no middle-class, only a few rich and a lot of very poor people. Maybe we need to just let the very conservative Republican legislature here in Kansas know on no uncertain terms that if they take away any workers' rights, they will be at the receiving end of a civil revolt.
Not all teachers/public employees are Democrates!!!!!!!!!!!!
Not for the time being, anyway.
They're not all Democrates? Really, they're not all ancient Greek philosphers?
And not all people know how to spell, either.
bd, What does that have to do with anything? They don't have to join KNEA and if they do they don't have to give to the KPAC. If you are a union member, you don't have to vote for the candidates that are endorsed by KNEA. All they do is tell you which candidate is most supportive of public education, just like the NRA will tell you which candidate is most supportive of gun rights. Hopefully no one chooses their candidates by what group endorses them. You should never be a one issue voter. And you should never try and vote a straight party ticket; although in the last few years the Kansas Republican party has pushed me into voting a straight Democrat ticket, but this is just a recent development.
I have no problem with the first part where they are no longer allowed to use dues, fees, assessments or any periodic payments deducted from a member's paycheck. If the union wants to be political they can solicit my contributions directly. The section on not being allowed to have political speech won't last the first court battle.
Union members are already allowed to opt out of the political advocacy contributions, so it's really a non issue.
It should be an opt-in process. That makes it an issue.
Not to me - either way it's voluntary.
Besides, this law isn't proposing an "opt in" system anyway.
No it isn't voluntary. It's like installing freeware with all the buttons that download malware to your computer checked automatically. If you miss opting out by mistake, you have been swindled.
And I know the law isn't proposing an opt-in, that's what I think would be fair.
As long as members are informed about how it works, and given the easy opportunity to opt out of those contributions, they're voluntary.
If you're installing freeware, and can't take a moment to check and see what you're installing, and proceed correctly for your situation, whose fault is that?
Also, I imagine that anybody who mistakenly didn't opt out of the political contributions would be given another chance to do so - the whole point of that is to make the contributions voluntary, because courts have made that mandatory for unions.
Why should it be an op-in process? As a Libertarian, don't you think it should be up to the individual unions to decide whether it is op-in or opt-out, based on the Constitutional right of Freedom of Association. Why, as a Libertarian, do you believe the government should be dictating how free individuals associate?
Aren't you advocating for the same "nanny state" policies that traditional and true Libertarians abhor?
This is a right-to-work state. All matters concerning unions should be opt-in.
What transpires between a private organization, such as a union, and the free citizens who choose to belong or not belong to that organization is none of your damn business.
How is it free speech to have to give a union your earnings?
You obviously are uninformed. Kansas is a right to work state. Nobody can be required to join a union. It is purely voluntary. Once you join, you are bound by.the union's by-laws, including provisions on dues. its a free choice. What part of this don't you understand, Centerville?
Teachers aren't required to give to the union. If they chose, they can have deductions taken from their checks.
You don't HAVE to, that's how. It is 100% voluntary. Again, centerville, you spout lies in hopes that people will start believing them.
It very much looks like Kansas has been producing some of the dumbest kids in the United States for at least two generations. When you have grown ups act as stupidly and as ignorant as a majority of our elected officials have over this bill it just makes you wonder out loud "How in the hell did we ever get this far." And then you realize how much more progress we might have realized if these idiots had never been elected in the first place.
I apologize to the many very good teachers in Kansas for the first sentence. Maybe its just a case of those of the overly conservative persuasion just being unfit for learning. That probably explains why they fight so hard against wanting Kansas kids to get the best education possible.
The Free Dictionary: fascism/corporatism is "an attempt to create a 'modern' version of feudalism by merging the 'corporate' interests with those of the state."
American Heritage Dictionary: fascism is: "A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism."
Starting to sound familiar to what's happening in this state???
So many people don't know their history. Anyone here remember that Hitler abolished all unions? If you don't know your history, google German Labour Front and enlighten yourself.
I am always amazed, but not surprised, that most American's have no clue about the past. What KS and other states have been trying to do to unions reaks of fascism.
Please people, learn your history and stop trusting these idiots in office that keep telling you to move along, nothing to see here and just do as we tell you to do cuz we've got your best interests at heart. Guess what, they don't. They're only interest is in money, not the common people. Corporations are allowed free speech, but they're doing their best to stop the people from having free speech.
Setting aside the fantastical leaps of logic in your post, I will point out again, as you clearly have missed it time and time again, Kansas is a right-to-work state. This means that there are zero jobs in this state where membership in a professional union can be required as a condition of employment. Those who choose to join a union do so voluntarily. Those who also choose to contribute to a union's political action committee also do so by choice.
Definition of money laundering-- the process of concealing the source of money obtained by illicit means.
How bout you give it another try, rockchalk1977?
It's really unfortunate how misinformed this comment is. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
What a teacher chooses to do with money they earn from their job is nobody's business. Ksdot hires engineering firms and construction contractors who are paid with tax dollars. Some of that money without doubt ends up at the ks chamber...should they be stripped of their free speech rights too? Goose and gander...
Proposed legislation of this sort illustrates very well why public employees need to have unions to represent their interests.
Their interests. It really boils down to that, doesn't it?
Actually, it boils down to all of our interests, assuming, of course, that we are rational human beings and believe that quality education is important to Kansas. Sooner or later, there will be more than a few self-respecting teachers who will tire of the right-wing attack on education, and either find teaching jobs in another state, or make a career move.
A similar would thing would most likely occur in the prospective teacher population.
And by the way, Liberty, assuming arguendo that its all about self-interest (which it is not), isn't your hero Ayn Rand the champion of self-interest?
If you are going to call yourself a Libertarian, you should familiarize yourself with well-known Libertarian thinkers. Reading a few lines of Libertarian polemics on a bathroom stall is not an advisable alternative.
And what's wrong with that? Do you think the Kansas Chamber is throwing their influence around for philanthropic reasons? No, they're trying to push an agenda they perceive as being in their best interests.
The Soviet Socialist People's Republic of Brownbackistan.
Charles Koch doesn't want public unions in KS. Done deal
This bill is clearly unconstitutional. I have a question for all the legislators who vote for it. Where does your money come from? Oh, the taxpayers. So when does it become your money? You don't vote the way I want you to so you should not be allowed to vote on any bill. In fact, since you get taxpayer money, you shouldn't be allowed to voice your opinion at all. How is it that the Chamber of Commerce, which is also tax-exempt, gets to run Kansas government? I am currently investigating what businesses belong to the Kansas Chamber of Commerce because they will no longer be getting my business. Any teacher who cares about their job should do the same.
Visit the chamber home page and watch those businesses scroll past your eyes....
Not giving them your business is all well and good. But unless they KNOW about it, and know WHY you've made that choice....it won't change anything. Let 'em know, folks.
A lot of comments and a lot of whining by Democrats. This is a national Republican initiative (see Wisconsin, Michigan, etc.) and a very smart one as well. The unions are a primary ground support group for the Democrats. Their ability to organize and disperse information is critical to Democratic strategies. The Republican party is one more election away from total collapse. If they don't make changes in states they control i.e. union restrictions and redistricting, they may never recover.
I can't believe it, but I think I am in total agreement with Senator Wagle on this. Once you accept taxpayer money, you should forfeit your right to take any public position or make any public statement that the electorate may not agree with absolutely. My problem is that the list of restricted parties is too short. I would add the following recipient of taxpayer funding who should be silenced: Susan Wagle.
Teachers and other state employees don't take the money; they earn it. Do you think I should tell my employees what they can and cannot do with their money and opinions? I do agree that this law should include everyone across the board, including legislators and anyone or any corporation that receives tax dollars.
Obviously my sarcasm did come through. I will rephrase - As long as Susan Wagle, as a recipient of taxpayer money, is prohibited from advocating for or against anything, anytime, anywhere, I am willing to consider her point.
Sorry, I didn't have my sarcasm detector turned on.
Let's pretend for a second that this bill really IS about protecting employee's paychecks from deductions that are subsequently used for political purposes that the employee doesn't agree with.....
Lawrence's school teachers can have payroll deduction for Coventry Health Care insurance premiums. The district is "burdened" with this deduction on behalf of the employees - an expense to taxpayers, according to "logic".
Coventry is a "cornerstone member" of the KS Chamber of Commerce - meaning they've given at least $5,000 to the chamber.....This money is then used to lobby in favor of legislation such as HB 2023....which is overwhelmingly opposed by public employees.
So....I'm sure we can expect another bill soon to protect public employees from such atrocities....right? No more voluntary payroll deduction for paying insurance premiums!!!!
Then ditto for annuities, flex spending accounts, etc., etc.,......right? After all, those finance companies spend big bucks lobbying..... Who will protect employees' paychecks from their own choices to give money to those companies? Who?????
This is funny. To believe the teachers and their unions will have no voice if this bill passes. All you have to do is open your check book and start writing. Go to your bank and set up a direct deposit from your checking account straight to your unions checking account so they can spend you money. What will happen is the teachers union will now have to convince you that writing that check is worth your while. They are going to have to work for it. The unions will have to tell you now what they are going to spend your hard earned money on. That has been the problem with private unions, they are not able to convince people that those union dues are worth it. I am anxious to see how this works out for the teachers unions.
Read the information that's been presented above numerous times.
This bill does more than that, it prohibits unions from using money on political activity, regardless of how it's collected.
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