March 11, 2014 |
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HB 2023 is purely in violation of the 1st amendment of our Constitution. All that baloney about tax dollars is meaningless because once that employee is paid, that money is theirs...it has lost all public identity. I don't see how those educated lawyer types can't see that.
And Mr. Smith, riddle us this, if you are a teacher in the Shawnee Mission district how can you spend the entire semester at another job? How does you contract get adjusted for something like missing half the year? Do you declare a Kobach and get paid anyway? I guess that lays the basis for introducing SB 119, the Feather Your Nest bill.
Where was your outrage when Democrats in the House were teachers and being paid by their districts? Or better yet, how do you know he's paid for both semesters? You don't. Take your fake outrage somewhere else.
Democrat legislators who are also teachers have their pay reduced by the school districts they serve, bud. MORE REPUBLICAN LIES AND INUENDO.
One should note that the same applies to Republican teachers serving in the legislature (there used to be some - Jean Schodorf, Deena Horst, for example). While they are out of school and in the Legislature, they do not get paid by the school district. The same would apply to Smith. Smith has claimed he has "skin in the game" when it comes to helping school budgets because he surrendered his salary for half a year while serving in the Legislature. He surrendered nothing. He didn't provide service to the school district, he didn't get paid. Period. Of course when it comes to private industry with employees serving in the legislature, they do whatever they want. If it looks like a good thing to a company to have an employee in the legislature, they are free to give him/her a paid leave. Just one more benefit for the corporations that now own Kansas.
This is a right to work state. Plain and simple, YOU DON'T HAVE TO JOIN A UNION IF YOU CHOOSE NOT TOO! They republicans just plain flat out and lie! My question is are the people of Kansas going to let the republican party keep lying like they do?
"Meanwhile, state Sen. Greg Smith, R-Overland Park, who is a teacher in the Shawnee Mission school district, said teachers are pressured to join the KNEA. KNEA officials have denied that allegation."
Funny, I was never pressured to join. There are many benefits to being in the union, but never once was pressured by anyone, just given the needed information so I could join and have a voice.
And you still can. This bill doesn't stop you from joining.
It would just stop you from speaking about or participating in political issues-no big deal, eh?
From the actual bill:
(b) Should a member of a professional employees' organization want to donate money to such organization for the purpose of the professional employees' organization engaging in political activities, such member shall do so by a personal payment which notes that such payment is donated for the professional employees' organization's political activities. Moneys received by the professional employees' organization for political activities shall be deposited by such organization in a separate fund for political activities.
Yes, members can still donate to their union PAC's. However, since the union offices, electric bills, gas bills, property taxes, office equiptment, staff salaries, phone bills, fax machines, internet access, etc., etc., etc., are all paid with dues dollars, the bill renders all that PAC money unusable; thusly:
"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."
Of course, it was deliberately written to hide this real effect of 100% gag-order on public employee unions.
So union dues being used to support unions... and political money being used for political purposes and not to support fat union bosses. Say it ain't so!
Why do they call it an anti-union bill when it is actually a Pro-Taxpayer bill?
Because it isn't a Pro-Taxpayer bill. It's one more step in the effort to shut out all competing opinions from state governance.
When you spend all your time silencing your opposition it usually means you can't win your arguments on the merits.
Newsflash: Union members are taxpayers, too.
Pro taxpayer in what way? It's a good thing to have government tell taxpayers what they can do with their own paycheck? Yes, you may not understand how taxes work in Kansas but public employees pay the same tax rates as private employees - actually, they pay more because public employees can't reclassifiy themselves as LLCs and get out of paying income taxes entirely like physicians, attorneys, etc.
And if your argument - which doesn't hold water - is that public employees have no right to political speech since they are paid with tax money, then what about private companies that earn their income on public works projects? Since their income is derived from tax dollars, should the stay prohibit them from engaging in political speech?
I'm guessing you think that's fine because when they contribute to the Kansas Chamber PAC that money is used for the benefit of your ideological brethren.
So essentially, you believe that political speech should be prohibited for anyone who espouses an ideological position different from yours. Yes, I see, just like we see in Bashar Al-Assad's Syria or Hugo Chavez's Venezuela or Castro's Cuba or ... well, you get the idea. Or you don't.
Pro-taxpayer bill? Where did you get that idea? Autie is right. Once it's paid, it NO LONGER BELONGS TO THE TAXPAYER. Get a clue!
And it's also not the job of the state to deduct union political slush funds for them. If they want the money then they can collect it themselves, just like everybody else.
So if the KNEA does collect the dues, all your objections would be gone, right?
The bill doesn't prevent that. An employee could set up a deduction from their checking account once a month just like someone contributing to an IRA. There's nothing preventing that in the bill. But liberals will never accept that because they know the vast majority of the people they collect money from would never do it.
You didn't answer bad_dog's question. Gee, I wonder why?
Really? You know the reason unions, including the KNEA, are going ape is because they don't want to have to do exactly that (which as I said before, is perfectly acceptable according to the bill.) They know donations would plummet.
Lets get something straight. The state doesn't withhold deductions for teacher union dues. The school districts do that. The school districts are already overseen and/or governed by elected officials. They are called school board members. Any school board may refuse to allow these deductions anytime they wish. So why is the state sticking their nose into matters where they have no business? I'll tell you why. Its because you have a bunch of paranoid, insecure conservatives who do not want any opposition to their draconian measures as they relate to the poor and middle class.
It is not the job of the state to deduct donations to the United Way for their employees. If they want the money then they can collect it themselves, just like everybody else.
"...state Sen. Greg Smith, R-Overland Park, who is a teacher in the Shawnee Mission school district, said teachers are pressured to join the KNEA."
Three guesses as to why there isn't any mention of the proof that Smith offered to back up his claim.
Last year Mike O'Neal claimed that union members had made sexist remarks to a female legislator. He would not identify the legislator and did not produce any witnesses, but he claimed to be investigating the matter. He got plenty of press for his unsubstantiated comments. I bet someone a hundred dollars that six months later O'Neal would still not bring forward any evidence at all to support his claims. I knew that my money was safe After all, it was O'Neal.
If Smith has any integrity he will provide evidence of his claims. The people of Kansas should expect more than anecdotes and hearsay from their representatives, but clearly they don't.
To paraphrase Alfonso Bedoya:
Proof? We ain't got no proof. We don't need no proof. I don't have to show you any stinkin' proof!
Get real, if someone came forward all you would do is attack them as well. There's no proof that would ever be sufficient for you.
Smith was a sympathetic figure when his teenage daughter was abducted and murdered a few years ago. I'd argue that he traded on that sympathy to get himself elected. I also have heard that he uses his social studies classes as a platform for his rightwing opinions, not that such behavior historically has been uncommon among high school teachers. He has an agenda, and it's not primarily about education.
Where's your "proof", since everyone here is so big on that?
Proof? It's an informed opinion. I'm not going to name my sources, but I trust them. The burden of proof is with the legislator in any case. He's making policy for the rest of us, so we need to know he's doing so based on good information.
Right, your "sources!"
Listen to yourself, "Me, an anonymous nobody, can say whatever I want, as long as I rely on my anonymous nobody 'sources.' Meanwhile, because I don't like what a public figure has to say, I'm going to hold him to a completely different standard."
Actually, it has everything to do with taxpayers. Specifically, the public employees who pay income tax ( = all of them); property tax ( = all of them who own taxable property); and sales tax ( = all of them who buy anything).
Yes, right-wing-puppets, it's true. Public employees pay taxes.
But the important issue here is that the 1st Amendment has no footnote saying "null and void for public employees."
Yes, the bill does say any public employee is banned forever from donating to a union for political activities... oh, wait... all it actually does is make the unions collect their own money instead of getting the state to do it for them thru payroll deductions.
Oh, gee, sucks that has nothing to do with the first amendment at all.
Since you're apparently new to this issue, situveux1, I shall refrain from accusing you of lying or even of being a mindless parrot for the big businesses who are buying our government. Instead, I will merely share a quote from the bill for about the 8th time:
Next time you spout off about what a bill is or isn't about, you might want to actually read the bill first.
Not to mention what the costs may be to reprogram the payroll systems in districts where these dues currently are deducted from paychecks.
"Smear campaign"? And I said "may," not knowing what the costs might be. I didn't call names, either. Please try to make sense when you write.
It's not a spelling error. It's a failure to recognize the difference between a contraction and the possessive case of the pronoun. You obviously didn't pay enough attention to those union thug teachers when you were in school.
I was probably not allowed to have a proper education because all the money went to payroll changes.
Were they suppose to pay you to do your school work? I mean those overpaid teachers are just awful. They keep making students do work. I know what kind of student you were. You always sat and talked while the rest of us were working, then whined when we earned better grades and called us nerds.
By the way, what you call the "Obama tax increases" were Congress's tax increases. Only Congress can levy taxes.
By the way, what you call the "Obama tax increases" were the Congress's tax increases, as only Congress has the authority to levy taxes.
Smith should not vote on the bill because he is a teacher and a member of congress this is a double standard.
Unlike other districts around the state, we haven't heard one peep from the Lawrence school board or superintendent about all this teacher-bashing by the state. It'd be kind of nice to know where they stand on all this.
The comments attacking Smith for being a teacher and a legislator are comical.
Just how does he get paid for being in Topeka? He shouldn't be allowed to vote because he's a teacher!
Too funny. Odd I never heard anyone complaining when other teachers were elected. Of course, they were Democrats. I'm sure his party affiliation and prior votes has nothing to do with the "outrage."
Or better yet, where were all you people when John Vratil was in both the Senate and on a local school board? No conflict of interest there. Of course, he was "for the children" so that makes everything okay, doesn't it?
I have no problem that a teacher is also in the legislature. But I do have a big problem with Mr. Smith trying to act like he speaks for all teachers. He is a terrible teacher and does not represent teachers when he says they are being bullied by the KNEA.
In fact I would say Mr. Smith is a down right liar and there is a reason he can not provide specific examples of teachers being bullyied!
Why shouldn't he be allowed to speak? Or is the only way teachers are allowed to speak is if they agree with the KNEA? I'm pretty sure what you meant to say is he doesn't represent "union teachers", not "teachers."
If Rep. Smith wants to speak for himself, fine. But like ATR mentioned, he's trying to speak for all teachers... NEA members or not. Frankly, if an ex-Navy man and law enforcement official felt "intimidated" by the KNEA "thugs" in Shawnee Mission, then maybe these "thugs" should be the ones running for state office.
Where's your outrage when the KNEA speaks for "all teachers." As you say, not all teachers are in the union, so where's your outrage then?
Your problem isn't that he's "speaking for all teachers", which he isn't. You're problem is you don't like what he has to say.
KNEA does, indeed, represent the great majority of teachers. Rep Smith, not so much.
"You're problem is you don't like what he has to say."
Why should anyone like it when a legislator attempts to justify bad legislation with propagandistic lies?
Yes, KNEA represents 100% of their members. "All teachers?" Not so much.
I don't see that she has a 'problem". She only wants people to speak as individuals unless she has paid them to speak for her. Smith has not been paid to speak for her or her union, but by the Koch/Brownback gang.
"As a school teacher." Well, let's see. Is he a teacher? Yes. Then he's speaking as a teacher. Did he say, "as every teacher in the state?" Umm, no.
HE is a congressmen trying to portray all teachers. I am sorry you dont get this... are you Mr. Smith is that why you want to try and be right so bad?
He's a state Senator. And he said, "as a school teacher" which just happens to be his profession. Sorry you don't get this.
Somehow, I can't see anyone sensible that would accept a legal opinion as fact from a Chamber lobby spokesperson. The Chamber person stated as fact that law would be constitutional.
"Eric Carter, speaking on behalf of the Kansas Chamber, said the bill was constitutional."
I say, prove it in court, while costing taxpayers a lot of money and losing.
Oddly, this story does not mention testimony I provided showing broad public support for changing the current practice of withholding dues used for political purposes.
Union members, conservatives, government employees, liberals, moderates...everyone believes the current practice should be changed and by a very wide margin.
A slanted survey created by a thug from ALEC and the chamber. Your survey is misleading and false. I can go create my own survey that completely disproves your survey. The bottom line davey is you and your fellow thugs are trying to violate the rights of thousands of Kansans. Do us a favor and leave the state.
Violate what rights? The right to have the state collect your union political slush fund for you? Do me a favor and leave the state.
Please read my reply to Dave below, what is your opinion of how Section 2 (which allows "professional organizations" to collect payment for political activities) work with Section 3 (which does not allow political activities from "public employee organizations").
My opinion is unions can continue to do exactly what they have been doing, with the exception that they have to get someone to write them a check or get a deduction from their actual bank account instead of their payroll.
I assume by Section 3 you mean this part:
(d) (1) It shall be a prohibited practice for a public employee
organization to endorse candidates, or spend any of its income, directly or
indirectly, for partisan or political purposes or engage in any kind of
activity advocating or opposing the election of candidates for any public
officeincluding 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).
This of course does not speak to donations.
Go back and read Sec. 3 (d) 1. A donation is not a fee, due or assessment. You're welcome to feel intellectually superior if you like, but the bill says what it says.
So if my "donation" is periodic (automatic deduction from my bank account), that money cannot be used to political activities? Does periodic mean annually (which to a math teacher it does)? If it does mean annually, what if I "donate" different amounts each year? Is that still periodic?
Do you see why people (rational ones that is) might think this bill is a poorly worded bill and have reservations about it?
Alas, at least I will still be able to join my local golf course with a periodic payroll deduction.
Is it a due, fee or assessment? No. I understand focusing on the periodic part, but that argument is void unless you're talking about a due, fee or assessment. A donation is not that.
The bill does not limit political activities to ONLY dues, fees, or assessments. It clearly states "....any of its income, including....". "ANY" means, well.... "any". And it defines political activities to include anything of "ideological nature", whatever that means.....and it means damn well everything.
I don't think you comprehend the difference between the union and the union's political action committee, either. But I'll let someone else take that one, and just say that this bill revokes the 1st Amendment rights for public employee unions. If you can't see that I really don't know what else I can say to help you.
I would have no problem changing this policy if I could not also have a payroll deduction to pay for my membership to my muni golf course. Doesn't that take the same amount of effort, time and money for my employer to organize and enact? Why the pettiness, why not a ban on all payroll deductions? Why state interference in an local issue?
But, this is a moot point. The real purpose of this bill in Page 3 line 22. The payroll deduction is a distraction.
So Dave what is your interpetation of Section 3 Part D Paragraph 1 and 2?
Dave, the article doesn't mention KPI's survey because the press is full aware that KPI is full of feces.
Let's count misleading lies and direct leading to the desired answer manipulations in that survey, shall we Dave?
Question 3 says the court ordered the legislature to increase school funding by $443 million. This is not true. The court said the legislature must fund its own existing law - That's right, the court ordered the legislature to ACTUALLY FUND the existing BSAPP; a law already enacted by the legislature.
Question 3 also says that meeting the court order would "automatically" result in a $154 million increase in property taxes. This is a lie. Local property taxes would only go up if the locally-elected BOE voted to do so.
Question 4 asks respondents how they feel about courts having "final say in decisions on the specific way taxpayer money is spent on education"; as if such a thing has any basis whatsoever in reality......
Question 7, asking for opinion on whether schools are underfunded, is preceeded with information that the total spending per pupil is at a record high. Not only does this dollar figure by itself ignore such things as the fact that child poverty and homelessness are ALSO at record highs....but it deliberately leads to KPI's desired answer.
Question 10 refers to "government unions".....a deliberate slur. There is no such thing as a "government union." And, by not also asking whether or not public employers should withhold money for investments, health insurance, or any number of other things...which direct money into private, for-profit businesses....who then spend millions of it for political purposes....You're showing your hand, plain for all to see.
Several questions include the phrase "...by cutting other services or raising taxes." This is also deliberately misleading. The state government could increase tax revenue substantially without raising taxes on those of us who actually pay them. How many businesses and their owners are now exempt from income tax? How many are exempt from property taxes? Right now, Senate Bill 72 wants to add "health clubs" to the list of businesses who pay no property tax.
Why hasn't KPI asked something like "do you think it's fair that businesses and business owners are exempt from income taxes, while salaried and hourly employees still have to pay them?" Or how about, "do you think it's fair that many businesses are exempt from property taxes, while even the poorest citizens still have to pay them?" Or, how about "did you know that some businesses get to pocket the taxes they withold from employee paychecks? Do you think it is fair for employees to have to pay higher sales taxes, lose their morgage interest deductions, and have their schools de-funded in order to pay for this?"
I eagerly await your convoluted defense of KPI, Dave.
Two days and sixteen hours later,......not a word from Trabert. Gee, ....shocking.
Excuse me, but the Kansas Policy Institute is about as rightwing an organization as they come. I wouldn't trust any survey they commissioned to accurately represent the publics' views. It is well known that you can slant questions to get the desired results. You can also pick the geographical areas to conduct your survey. There are so many ways to corrupt a survey. The only way to ACCURATELY do a survey is to have both sides of an issue commission the survey and jointly come up with the questions to be asked and then jointly have the surveyors monitored. Trabert can just throw this one out the window.
Oddly, this story does not mention that when questioned your refused to divulge your sugar daddies who pay for KPI. Now, everyone knows your money comes primarily from the Kochs but your comment that your funders feared retaliation if their names were revealed should tell us something about your positions - most Kansans disagree.
David, have you ever had any training in the writing of survey questions? In what school, other than the School of Brownbackistan, is it allowed to ask questions that have pre-approved answers included in them?
Your survey, if given properly, should probably have been 100% positive for your side. That it wasn't shows me that some Kansans are still aware of your seamy tactics and will not bow to your tactics.
Good grief, Trabert, have you poeple no shame, no integrity at all?
The real issue here is that the legislature refuses to stand by its own research, and the governor of this state is attempting to ignore a lawful order of its Supreme
Court. How do you phrase that question in your totally slanted survey? And how do you people sleep at night?
Your poll shows that people answer misleadingly worded poll questions in your favor, not that "everyone" agrees with you. Get real.
The article says that ALEC claims to be non-partisan. IF there are democrats on their board they would have to be paid to be there. MORE REPUBLICAN LIES.
Situveux please actually read the bill and the article before you post your nonsense. Even the republican chair women believes that the bill may violate rights. You have to actually read the entire bill. The parts alec and davey t want you to ignore.
Please actually relate small parts of the bill to the overall bill. I've posted multiple sections of the entire bill. You can keep saying, "please read the bill" like an all-knowing liberal would in an attempt to avoid real arguments. You can keep doing that but the fact is, I have read the entire bill and the reality is, my interpretation of it does not agree with yours. Your welcome to continue to think whatever you like, but I do not agree with you that Sec. 3 (d) 1 prohibits all political activities by unions. What it does do is prevent non-volunatary dues, fees and assessments from the union being used for political activities. It makes unions get voluntary donations for union political activities. I understand you disagree, I understand you want to be superior and more intellectual, you're welcome to feel superior to me, I don't care. But in the end I don't agree with your interpretation.
" I do not agree with you that Sec. 3 (d) 1 prohibits all political activities by unions."
So just to be clear here, situveux1, you think that:
"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 "
...is perfectly congruent with Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, which ruled that:
"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."
This was already decided by Communications Workers of America v. Beck. The current system that KNEA has with the payroll deduction complies with that decision by the SCOTUS. This is referred to as your Beck rights. Anyone who is a union member is aware of their Beck rights.
This bill will be found unconstitutional and will be thrown out.
What part of "any of its income" don't you get?
By the way, money collected for political activity is currently voluntary in KS, as is union membership.
Another attempt to silence teachers. House Bill 2085 would dramatically limit bargaining, strip teachers of a voice in evaluation procedures, and prohibit exclusivity- in other words teachers would not be permitted to choose a bargaining agent.
The anti-teacher forces in the Kansas House of Representatives released a bill that effectively dismantles collective bargaining for teachers.
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