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Archive for Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Statehouse Live: Senate committee approves bill blasted by unions

March 15, 2011, 10:07 a.m. Updated March 15, 2011, 10:42 a.m.

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— An anti-union bill was approved Tuesday by a divided legislative committee whose chairwoman rushed through a public hearing to advance the measure.

"We have to work this bill today," state Sen. Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, said as she told Senate Commerce Committee members several times to hurry up with their questions to those who testified for and against the bill.

One state senator, Jean Schodorf, R-Wichita, said the bill was "highly offensive to working people." Schodorf moved to table the bill, but that motion failed.

After the committee meeting, Schodorf pointedly chided lobbyists for the Kansas Chamber, which is pushing for passage of the bill, telling the lobbyists, "This is a waste of time."

She said the Kansas Chamber and Legislature should be working together to create jobs instead of fighting against unions that represent teachers, firefighters and police.

House Bill 2130 would ban public employee unions from endorsing candidates and prohibit unions from getting voluntary dues from its members for political activities. It was approved in the House with only Republican support and prompted a demonstration by union members that led to House Speaker Mike O'Neal, R-Hutchinson, to ban one union official from the public House gallery.

The measure is backed by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Kansas chapter of Americans for Prosperity, both organizations aligned with the Koch brothers who lead the Wichita-based Koch Industries.

State Rep. Ann Mah, D-Topeka, said the bill "silences middle class workers and makes sure corporate PACs gain an edge in 2012."

Eric Carter, speaking on behalf of the Kansas Chamber, said the proposal removes government from the political process. "Government intertwined with political activity -- that isn't something voters want to see," he said.

The Commerce Committee approved an amendment offered by Carter that he said would allow private unions to deduct from members' paychecks for political activities, but require the union to annually ask permission from the member to continue the deduction.

The bill has been referred to two committees in the Senate, which Wagle said was the reason she wanted to get it out quickly of her committee. The Ethics and Elections Committee is also considering the legislation.

At one point during the meeting, state Sen. Tom Holland of Baldwin City, who is the ranking Democrat on the committee, was asking questions and Wagle told him to hurry up. Holland responded, "I think we need to have a fair hearing on the issues before we vote on this."

Comments

Paul R Getto 3 years, 9 months ago

"Eric Carter, speaking on behalf of the Kansas Chamber, said the proposal removes government from the political process. "Government intertwined with political activity -- that isn't something voters want to see," he said." == Now that is hysterical. LOL. You've got to be kidding, right? Government and politics are unconnected? In which parallel universe?

number1jayhawker 3 years, 9 months ago

He means the unions shouldn't be deciding where the MEMBERS' money goes as far as candidates running for office. Hopefully you can understand that.

Gedanken 3 years, 9 months ago

I understand that it is a joke. When a person does a job and is paid a wage for their work - does the entity paying still posses some "control" over the wage? No, it doesn't. If I work for Wal-mart - can they stop me from shopping at Target? No, they can't. Should they be able to stop me? No, they shouldn't.

This idea that public employees shouldn't be able to do what they want with the wages they earn is completely counter to the idea of freedoms we cherish in this country. Public employees do not give up their right to vote or endorse candidates by accepting a job!

meggers 3 years, 9 months ago

Union membership is completely voluntary in this state and the measure not only prohibits endorsement of political candidates, it prohibits unions from advocating on behalf of the people who pay dues in exchange for representation.

If you think that's perfectly fine, I presume you would also support the same restrictions on PACs, which also receive voluntary contributions.

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

" I presume you would also support the same restrictions on PACs, which also receive voluntary contributions."

Well, except for the little detail that when people contribute to a PAC (let's call them 'apples'), the money is expressly for political purposes, while the money they contribute in dues to a union (let's call them 'oranges') is theoretically for the purposes of collectively bargaining with the members' employer(s). Or is it your contention that unions serve no other purpose than political campaigning?

KSManimal 3 years, 9 months ago

You are correct about apples and oranges. You are wrong about unions using oranges as if they were apples.

Unions have PAC's, separate from their general operating expenses. PAC's do not run on dues dollars, and members are free to join the union with or without also giving money to the PAC. People can also choose not to join at all.

That being said, even if you were right (which you aren't), where in the US Constitution does it give states the right to dictate to individual citizens or groups of citizens (such as unions) how they can or cannot spend their own money for political purposes? (I can tell you where it expressly prohibits doing so...).

Union money, whether from dues or PAC, is given voluntarily by the taxpaying citizens who rightfully earned the money to begin with. How people spend their own money is nobody else's business.

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

"Unions have PAC's, separate from their general operating expenses."

And there are many political activities - such as 'political education' - that are completely allowable by the unions themselves, not the PACs.

"PAC's do not run on dues dollars"

Sometimes it's hard to tell if you're that naive or just lying. Seriously, dude: Do you think the Easter Bunny is coming to your house in a few weeks, too?

"Union money, whether from dues or PAC, is given voluntarily by the taxpaying citizens who rightfully earned the money to begin with. How people spend their own money is nobody else's business."

While I'm fairly certain it would be difficult for you to find, among your colleagues, even a few members who disagree with the political agenda of your own union, I'll pose the same question I asked another poster down below: Do you really think that the last union I belonged to - SEIU - was spending MY money the way I wanted them to?

As for "voluntarily", when I asked my employer to stop deducting the union dues due to my objections over how it was being spent for their political agenda, my employer - the state - told me they could not stop deducting the money unless the union said okay. Repeated requests - and later demands - to be allowed to leave the union were ignored, and the full amount of the dues, including that portion which had nothing to do with representation-related activities, was deducted until the day I left the employ of the state.

"That being said, even if you were right (which you aren't), where in the US Constitution does it give states the right to dictate to individual citizens or groups of citizens (such as unions) how they can or cannot spend their own money for political purposes?"

Some reason you're an 'anonymous' user, manimal? You don't exactly make it difficult to know your identity. Could it be that as a state employee you're not allowed to use your public employee status engaging in or promoting political activity? Is that something you agreed to when hired? Why is it okay for a union to engage in those activities on your behalf, using that status that you're prohibited from exploiting?

Liberty275 3 years, 9 months ago

""That being said, even if you were right (which you aren't), where in the US Constitution does it give states the right to dictate to individual citizens or groups of citizens (such as unions) how they can or cannot spend their own money for political purposes?""

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

Sure.

But political speech is protected at the federal level.

And, according to Citizens United, spending money on political advertising is political speech.

seriouscat 3 years, 9 months ago

The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests. – Patrick Henry

Question: Is this anti-union bill HB 2130 defined as

a) government restraining the people

b) people restraining the government.

Take your time.

KSManimal 3 years, 9 months ago

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Precisely! The trouble is, Liberty, in order for you to understand that “nor prohibited by it to the States” part, you can't stop reading after amendment #10. #14 states:

“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State……deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

In plain English: states cannot pass laws which selectively restrict the rights of any citizens/groups.

KSManimal 3 years, 9 months ago

"And there are many political activities - such as 'political education' - that are completely allowable by the unions themselves, not the PACs."

Perhaps you've heard of the First Amendment?

"Sometimes it's hard to tell if you're that naive or just lying. Seriously, dude: Do you think the Easter Bunny is coming to your house in a few weeks, too?"

Hey, great job of refuting my point with facts and critical analysis.

"Do you really think that the last union I belonged to - SEIU - was spending MY money the way I wanted them to?"

That did not remove your right to spend your money as you saw fit. It was still your choice to give your money to the union. Furthermore, the fact that you disagree is not justification for restricting other folk's freedom of speech.

"As for "voluntarily", when I asked my employer to stop deducting the union dues due to my objections over how it was being spent for their political agenda, my employer - the state - told me they could not stop deducting the money unless the union said okay. Repeated requests - and later demands - to be allowed to leave the union were ignored, and the full amount of the dues, including that portion which had nothing to do with representation-related activities, was deducted until the day I left the employ of the state."

I don't believe you.

"Some reason you're an 'anonymous' user, manimal? You don't exactly make it difficult to know your identity. Could it be that as a state employee you're not allowed to use your public employee status engaging in or promoting political activity? Is that something you agreed to when hired? Why is it okay for a union to engage in those activities on your behalf, using that status that you're prohibited from exploiting?"

Why do you bother quoting me when your response is completely non-sequitur?

Public employees do not surrender their constitutional rights simply by working in the public sector. Stop making stuff up.

If you wish to argue in favor of this legislation, you should do so with a basis in facts and constitutional law. I have yet to see anyone do that. Can you guess why?

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

"Perhaps you've heard of the First Amendment?"

Why, yes, I have thank you. I was merely pointing out that, in contrast to the lies you posted, political activities of unions are not limited to their PACs.

"That did not remove your right to spend your money as you saw fit. It was still your choice to give your money to the union."

Um, no, it wasn't. When I asked to be released from paying those dues and was not allowed to, it was no longer my choice.

"I don't believe you."

No kiddin'. I'm crushed. And shocked. I really expected someone doing their best to emulate the three monkeys to believe any truth that doesn't fit their delusions.

Tell me something, manimal - just because you have a blog on a newspaper in a neighboring town, do you really think anyone believes the cr@pola YOU post?

"Public employees do not surrender their constitutional rights simply by working in the public sector. Stop making stuff up."

Speaking of "making stuff up", manimal, it's hard to decide whether your response is best described as a straw man or a red herring. Public employees still have the same constitutional rights as any other citizen. They can write letters to the paper, march in demonstrations, give money to whoever they want. They can't use their official office for political purposes. Why don't you try posting under a claim to be representing the official views of the public agency that employs you, and let us all know how that works out for ya'.

"If you wish to argue in favor of this legislation, you should do so with a basis in facts and constitutional law. I have yet to see anyone do that."

Starting, of course, with your own?

KSManimal 3 years, 9 months ago

"Public employees still have the same constitutional rights as any other citizen. They can write letters to the paper, march in demonstrations, give money to whoever they want. They can't use their official office for political purposes."

A union is not a public institution, it is a private one. It is an organized group of workers, not an employer of those workers.

A union engaging in political action is not the same as an individual misrepresenting their views as being those of their employer.

Therefore, the argument you have repeated several times is still moot. This legislation has NOTHING to do with preventing employees from misrepresenting their own views as those of their employer. It is about silencing the political voice of those the legislator's disagree with.

It is a clear violation of the 1st and 14th amendments (still waiting for your rebuttal on that....), and it is contradiction to the SCOTUS ruling re "Citizens United".

meggers 3 years, 9 months ago

Teachers, firefighters, and policemen are public employees. Unions ARE negotiating with the employer when they lobby on behalf of those groups. You are suggesting that the citizens who voluntarily pay unions to advocate for their interests be denied that right. There is a constitutional right of ALL citizens to petition the government, not just groups the legislature picks and chooses.

matchbox81 3 years, 9 months ago

Corportations can decide which candidates to support with company money, even though the average employee probably has a lot less say in which candidate to support than the average union member.

Plus, corporations using money saved from tax cuts, to support candidates (that further support tax cuts) is essentially the same as unions using dues to support candidates that support unions. Both entities use money that, at one point, was government money to support political candidates.

seriouscat 3 years, 9 months ago

Thank you! AT&T gives tons of money to Republicans. They don't ask their employees' or customers' permission.

Walmart is the only place left in some towns where one can buy many things..a de facto retail monopoly. Walmart gives tons of money to political causes. They don't ask permission.

Not to mention the medical, and insurance, and military lobbies.

Cigna doesn't ask my permission or the permission of their employees to take a portion my premium and spend it on political activities that further protect them from having to do the job of actually providing medical care.

It's ridiculous to to assert that unions'...participating in the political process is somehow more underhanded than all of the above.

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

"AT&T gives tons of money to Republicans. They don't ask their employees' or customers' permission."

You don't have to work for AT&T, or use their products.

seriouscat 3 years, 9 months ago

Yes you are correct. People in the Midwest who disagree with AT&T's political activities can just go without a phone.

What freedom!

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

Pssst: Hey, cat - Ma Bell got broken up a long time ago. Although it seems to be coming back together rather nicely, believe it or not, you have more than one choice of a provider for telephone service these days.

KSManimal 3 years, 9 months ago

"You don't have to work for AT&T, or use their products."

Given the history of your arguments about this topic, do you comprehend the irony here?

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

What "history ... about this topic" might you be referring to, manimal? Got something I said - ever - suggesting a person has no choice but to work for a particular company or buy a particular product? What was that? "No"? You mean you're just (as usual) talking out of your diaper?

straightforward 3 years, 9 months ago

Wake up delirious cat, AT&T, Walmart and Cigna don't have to ask their employees' or customers' permission because they don't owe any duty to their employees or customers. They owe duties to their shareholders. If the shareholders don't like what the companies are doing, they sell their shares and the price goes down.

Unions exist for the sole purpose of bargaining on behalf of their members, therefore yes, they should have their members' permission before financing political campaigns.

seriouscat 3 years, 9 months ago

Um Cigna et al actually do owe a duty to me as a customer and or employee.

Businesses existing solely as wealth generators for shareholders and everything else being in the way of that goal, including customers and employees is kinda messed up no?

And if union members were actually asking for this legislation it might have a hint of legitimacy. You won't find me defending a unions' ability to remove money from my paycheck without my permission...unions in Kansas are voluntary.

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

"Um Cigna et al actually do owe a duty to me as a customer and or employee."

That duty is to provide the product or service you paid for in the former case, and to pay you for the services you provided to the company, at the rate agreed to when you took the job, in the latter. Nothing else.

KSManimal 3 years, 9 months ago

"Unions exist for the sole purpose of bargaining on behalf of their members, therefore yes, they should have their members' permission before financing political campaigns."

Unions exist for a variety of reasons, not just bargaining. What each union exists for and what it, as an organization of individuals, does is nobody's business except the members.

Your hypocrisy here is glaring:

"They owe duties to their shareholders. If the shareholders don't like what the companies are doing, they sell their shares and the price goes down."

Likewise, if a union member doesn't like what the union is doing they can drop their membership.

I should add that the union members who make decisions about political activities are elected to those positions by the membership. They can just as easily be voted out. It's called democracy.

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

"Unions exist for a variety of reasons, not just bargaining."

One might think that in your line of work, you might be familiar with a dictionary:

labor union - n. An organization of wage earners formed for the purpose of serving the members' interests with respect to wages and working conditions. - The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

Labor Union - An association, combination, or organization of employees who band together to secure favorable wages, improved working conditions, and better work hours, and to resolve grievances against employers - legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com

labor union –noun - an organization of wage earners or salaried employees for mutual aid and protection and for dealing collectively with employers; trade union. - Dictionary.com

Labor Union Definition: A defined group of employees formed for the purposes of representing those employees with the employer as to the terms of a collective contract of employment. - Duhaime.org Legal Dictionary

Or even from Wiki:

"A trade union (British English) or labor union (American English) is an organisation of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members (rank and file[1] members) and negotiates labour contracts (collective bargaining) with employers. This may include the negotiation of wages, work rules, complaint procedures, rules governing hiring, firing and promotion of workers, benefits, workplace safety and policies. The agreements negotiated by the union leaders are binding on the rank and file members and the employer and in some cases on other non-member workers."

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

Although I have no doubt that you - and your own union - exist for other purposes.

scott3460 3 years, 9 months ago

And it is one of the last remaining places it is practiced in this country.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 9 months ago

"Government intertwined with political activity -- that isn't something voters want to see," he sai--------------------------------------------

That's not what it is, of course. It's government workers exercising their political rights. But the Kansas Chamber has a long history of trying to eliminate the rights of workers, so no real surprise there.

notanota 3 years, 9 months ago

Why would government employees be considered citizens with freedom of speech?

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 9 months ago

It's a coordinated attack across the midwest (WI, OH, IN, KS, et al.) by Republicracks to weaken the Democans and establish a permanent majority. Unions historically favor the democrats...break the unions and you break the democrats. Take this legislation for example. What's the issue? Working people cannot have funds electronically transferred, why? Complete BS! When will working people stand up to this?!?! A working person voting for a Republicrat is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders. Wake up meatheads! Look at what they did in WI! The unions conceded to pay cuts to help balance the budget! But that's not REALLY what Scott and the Koch Brothers want. They want to remove the unions (period). Welcome to our new Oligarch Overlords! Die in a FIRE!

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

"It's a coordinated attack across the midwest (wi, oh, in, ks, et al.) by Republicracks to weaken the Democans and establish a permanent majority."

Um, yeah. Well, except for the pesky little detail that the midwest is hardly the area of the country where Republicans need to weaken the Democrats. Nice try, though.

seriouscat 3 years, 9 months ago

uh yeah, because in politics it's always smartest to employ the strategy of going after your biggest most powerful adversaries first, then going after the easy-to-overtake weak points.

And are you completely incapable of not being a sarcastic prig Mr. notaknowsalot?

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

Quite capable, thank you.

When warranted.

In politics it does not make perfect sense to waste resources and political capital in the areas that are already going to support and vote for you. The GOP doesn't need to weaken any unions in Kansas to keep this state red for the forseeable future, in case you were out of the state back in November.

scott3460 3 years, 9 months ago

Ohio is the prize the republicans are after. Generally, whoever wins Ohio wins the Presidency.

The formerly industrial midwest is the last real bastion of unionism. They are throwing as much spaghetti against the wall as they can and whatever sticks will be worked and expanded over the next several election cycles....if the American people allow it.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

Whatever happened to freedom of speech as expressed by spending money and endorsing candidates for public office?

If corporations can have unlimited freedom to do that, shouldn't unions have the same freedom?

Jeremy DeBoard 3 years, 9 months ago

"If corporations can have unlimited freedom to do that, shouldn't unions have the same freedom?"

No, because that would lead to the breakdown of every other double standard in politics. We can't have that, now can we?

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 9 months ago

AT&T, Koch, Hallmark, just three examples of Kansas corporations that take employee money and put it into a political PAC, then spend the money on candidates of their choosing.

Or, in other words, "deciding where the members' money goes as far as candidates running for office. Hopefully you can understand that."

Corporate PACs, however, are not included in this legislation. AT&T, Koch, and Hallmark are all "Cornerstone Members" of the Kansas Chamber, i.e. major donors.

Who can explain the difference between corporations taking money from employee paychecks and spending it on candidates of the corporation's choosing and unions doing the same?

keith manies 3 years, 9 months ago

This bill is another example of anti-democratic and anti-Democratic wave of legislation produced by the right-wing of the Republican party in this nation. Even though the GOP controlls all state and Federal offices in the state of Kansas, this is NOT enough for them! They want to insure their rule by any means necessary, including sticking it to the working class by attacking unions and making it harder to excercise the right to vote. The GOP obviously stands for "GREED OVER PEOPLE." They should be ashamed of themselves!

sciencegeek 3 years, 9 months ago

"Even though the GOP controls all state and Federal offices in the state of Kansas, this is NOT enough for them!"

So true. But if you think it's bad now, just remember that redistricting is coming up. Lawrence will be lucky not to be divided into fourths!

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 9 months ago

The working people of Kansas only have themselves to blame. They continue to vote for these yahoos because of abortion, gays, guns, and god, and in return they get a weakening of their economic position. Then they blame the very institutions that support them for destroying their economic position.

A brilliant political strategy by the GOP over the last 35 years that has worked masterfully.

Again I say "Bravo! Maestro!".

Jimo 3 years, 9 months ago

Never been a huge union fan but they are in fact the only institutional force standing up to big business these days.

"Government intertwined with political activity" - from the guy speaking on behalf of political activity intertwined with government. Good Lord, these people aren't even embarrassed enough to hide their agenda any more. Corporate welfare literally stealing the food out of babies' mouths.

Ever wonder why jobs flee Kansas?

somedude20 3 years, 9 months ago

The Republican are always trying this sneaky BS. They did the whole redistricting in Texas and other states to favor the Repubs and cut out Democrats (and the voters who are Democrats) just to take over and spread their evil (getting the rich richer on the backs of the working man/ shoving our morals down your throat) agenda. I would say this is Un-American but this seems to be the way now. Can't get what you want, steal, kill and lie to get it. Maybe the Republicans will pass a bill allowing them to shoot Democrats from a chopper (get in da choppa) with a riffle like they want to do with illegal immigrants (darker skinned people)

JustAsking 3 years, 9 months ago

It is my money and no one has the right to tell me how I can spend it!! I have my rights and they are about to be trampled on. What next, are they going to tell me what else I can or cannot invest in or support?

When and when will the first injunction and lawsuit be filed?? This has to be against the law. If it isn’t, then this state and nation are in very serious trouble.

All of us have a right to spend our money where we want to. So we need to send a strong message to the organizations supporting this measure and we must speak with our wallets by boycotting. Let’s start with the members of local Chamber of Commerce. If they are a member, we don’t do business with them and we go into their place of business and tell them so!! These businesses are in part supporting this legislation. Send them the message this is NOT acceptable!!

Boycott!! Boycott!! Boycott!!!

Corey Keizer 3 years, 9 months ago

So wait... Corporations can put up money to endorse politicians because they are "People" but Unions can't? That doesn't make a lot of sense.

KSManimal 3 years, 9 months ago

This law, if passed, would violate the 1st and 14th amendments of the US Constitution. It would also run counter to the recent SCOTUS ruling, re - "corporate personhood".

Newsflash for the right wingnuts: Unions are corporations.

Not that our esteemed right wingnut legislators care about pesky little things like the US Constitution or the SCOTUS.

Jan Rolls 3 years, 9 months ago

It will backfire on them. Union members in Wisconsin are now giving more than they would have through payroll deduction. In one night they raised over $350,000.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 9 months ago

"Has the GOP Become a Threat to America? The current leadership of the GOP is the most dangerous threat to America in the history of this country. Hyperbole? I wish it were. But the evidence clearly demonstrates that the GOP has mounted a concerted effort to circumvent the American people and install a modern-day feudalism that effectively abolishes the will of the people, and their elected officials, to allow our cities and states to be run by corporate-like CEOs – and there’s no telling where it will go from there."

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2011/03/15/has-the-gop-become-a-threat-to-america/

William Weissbeck 3 years, 9 months ago

Life was so much easier in the past. We knew Adolph Coors had deplorable politics, but good beer. It was a happy trade-off - Coors was a fringe political influence. Now you have the Kochs whose combined wealth would rank them the 4th richest individual in the world, who apparently have an unholy interest in influencing politics. Say what you want about George Soros, but he's a piker compared to these guys, and his influence far less direct and his agenda far more egalitarian. And all the Hollywood do-gooders and Michael Moore? You may dislike their life styles and their hypocrisy - but to you seriously see them as a threat? Wouldn't it be easier to build a giant wall around the Kochs - they might think they have a castle and are lord of the manor, and leave us alone. Seriously, the proposed law is patently unconstitutional, and the state will just waste "tax payer" money defending it.

QuinnSutore 3 years, 9 months ago

The only job Michael Moore ever created was for his personal hot dog chef. Soros worked to shove drugs down the throat of every healthy American community with his massive contribution to Prop 19 efforts in California. Maybe in an attempt to draw more of Moore's college liberal stoner crowd into the theaters.

Meanwhile, all the big-bad-businesspeople you mention make jobs for Americans.

Me, I'm not threatened by industry picking up so that less people are unemployed. Give money to the workers, not the unions. You should be thanking Koch for what they do for our local economy.

Gedanken 3 years, 9 months ago

I can see you are a bit behind. Unions are voluntary. The workers are giving the money to the unions - not the government or employers.

tbaker 3 years, 9 months ago

Unions fighting for the livelihood of the working person at the expense of the livelihood of the taxpaying person. I guess elections have consequences unless liberals lose. If government employee unions are such a great thing, how have federal government employees managed to survive without collective bargaining all this time? Its simple extortion. Give us what we want, or we'll shut down state government. They force the workers to pay union dues so they can lavish campaign money on crony politicians who will richly reward them come contract time with taxpayer money. Whatever happened to civil SERVANTS?

seriouscat 3 years, 9 months ago

Hello! This bill legislates PRIVATE SECTOR unions also, none of whom have asked the state legislature to help them out with administrating their finances.

And if you are going to whine about crony politicians working for the unions then you better have as loud a voice in protest about crony capitalism as well, otherwise you are a fool.

KSManimal 3 years, 9 months ago

I didn't have to read beyond your first sentence to know just how ignorant you are (and willfully so, I suspect).

"working person" versus "taxpaying person"? News flash: working folks pay taxes, too. Yes, even unionized workers pay taxes.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 9 months ago

Koch people do not support true republicans. Koch people do however support Bush family republican thinkers which are reckless neoconservatives. Old school republicans would never support neoconservative antics. The neoconservatives and fundamentalist christians took over the repub party over a period of years.

That back door campaign began in 1980. Republicans got replaced who disagreed with the new thinking leadership and/or voted across the aisle which was common practice until Reagan/Bush/Gingrich politics took over. Jerry Falwell boasted of this achievement more than once.

About nine years ago my lifetime fiscal conservative republican father in law FINALLY got a grip on this situation. The new reckless spending,war policies and attacks on women's rights he simply cannot support. 2 years ago he admitted the party walked away from him. He now is an active campaigner in the democratic party. There are likely millions of republicans out there like him that need encouragement.

Reckless neoconservatives are masters of deception aka great liars. True republicans need to be very careful as my father in law learned. My father in law,quite a brilliant man, is from the world of white collar insurance executives. Admitting he has gotten duped was not easy.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 9 months ago

Are you implying everything on youtube is false? If I post a video to youtube showing the tsunami striking Japan and say "LOOK, A TSUNAMI JUST STRUCK JAPAN!" it would be false and I'd be ignorant? Really?!? Are you from another planet, or just 80 years old? You're ignorant, REALLY!

Alceste 3 years, 9 months ago

HOOOOORAYYYYYY FOR KANSAS!!!! We're insuring we retain a backwater standard with sub-standard wages as well as sub-standard benefits!!!! HOOORAY!!! VICTORY!!!!

Kansas must retain it's backwater, hillbilly laden standards in order to exist. And, once again:

"...They spend the first sixty years of their lives in a place which had been stuck in the eternal mud and dust and wrapped all around so tightly with the earth of a continent that it takes several decades for a new idea to filter through to the people and several more decades for them to decide whether or not the new idea (which is old then) is sinful or not. They spend their lives working for a living and living that living in the future--...."

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

jafs: "Whatever happened to freedom of speech as expressed by spending money and endorsing candidates for public office?"

notanota: :Why would government employees be considered citizens with freedom of speech?"

Etc., etc., etc.

In most (if not all) states, public employees can not use their position to advocate for a political candidate or issue. They have the same rights as any other citizen to contribute to a campaign or march in a rally or send a letter to the newspaper or what have you. They can not do it in any official capacity, e.g. wearing a uniform to that rally, or signing that LTE endorsing a candidate with their official title as if it is the office, not the person, making the endorsement.

In what universe does it make sense that a group purporting to represent the political views of all those employees is allowed to use that status to further its political agenda?


JustAsking (anonymous) says…

"It is my money and no one has the right to tell me how I can spend it!!"

Unfortunately, that also applies to your fellow union members who perhaps do not share your political preferences. The last time I was a public employee I belonged to a union (only because my officemate was the steward); ya' think that SEIU spent my money the way I wanted them to?

Corey Williams 3 years, 9 months ago

So your "officemate" was the steward and you could think of no good reason not to join up, huh? No real backbone to say "no"? Yep, just like your posts.

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

Well, mancityfootinmouth, the reason I joined the union was because they were desperate to enroll enough members for recognition, and while I personally had no use for unions, I also had no objection to one, if my office mate and some other employees felt the need (or even the desire) to collectively bargain with our employer. So yes, I agreed to help that become a reality for them. After the union was recognized, it it became clear that SEIU was doing absolutely nothing more for the membership than siphoning their money for their political agenda, yes, I had a little problem with that. As I did with the fact that my repeated and lawful requests to leave the union and to stop having dues deducted from my paycheck were refused by the employer and ignored by that union.

I guess I couldn't think of any good reason not to join, as you suggested. Then again, had we not been blatantly lied to by the union organizers, a few good reasons probably would have come to mind.

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 9 months ago

"The last time I was a public employee I belonged to a union (only because my officemate was the steward); ya' think that SEIU spent my money the way I wanted them to?"

In the end, it is all about nota's plans for world domination. They didn't spend the way I wanted! Waaaaahhhhh.

Then don't be a member. Problem solved.

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

Well, widdle bobbie, without even getting into the idea that the passage you quoted was a direct response to those who (falsely) claim that the unions are spending their money the way they wanted, I should probably point out who the whiners here are (as usual). I have no objection at all to this legislation, bobbie. It's you and the insignificant handful of malcontents crying to their mommies that the duly elected legislature of this state, elected by and representing a significant majority of the people of this state, aren't doing what YOU want.

Thankfully, bobbie, very, very few people outside the little lala-land of Larryville give a fig what YOU want. But don't let that stop you from whining - after all, it's all you've got.

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

A simple "I can't think of anything intelligent to say" would have been sufficient, seeker_of_truth [snicker], but in your case it would be terribly repetitive.

I always get a good hearty laugh when someone that can't come up with any response at all takes the time to say it's not worth the time to respond.

Just

frikkin'

brilliant.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 9 months ago

If corp america wants to do business with the taxpayers all CEO's and BOD's must cut their wages by 75% NOW.

Shareholders will need to take a cut as well.

Corp america must eliminate golden parachutes and stock options.

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

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weeslicket 3 years, 9 months ago

my grandfather, a proud hard-arsed-working farmer, would be just rip-shlt about all this in his home of kansas just rip-shlt . of course, be was a member of The Grange, practiced environmentally sensible farming, and supported local banks and credit unions. yep. grandpa was a looney socialist and union thug.

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

"grandpa was a looney socialist"

Pretty redundant after "be was a member of The Grange".

weeslicket 3 years, 9 months ago

yah. snort. chuckle. wacky socialsit farmers working to be treated fairly as productive americans. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nati...

**thanks for taking the bait notajayhawk: or perhaps i shall now think of you as just another Big-Mouth-Bass. (pretty cheeky of me, don't you think?)

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

Maybe you should find a good pair of pliars and try to get the hook out of your own gaping mouth, slick. You can not possibly believe how overjoyed I was to see you cite the Wiki article. Seriously, it brought tears to my eyes.

Yeah, how could anyone get the idea of socialism from an organization "that encourages farm families to band together for their common economic and political well-being", whose biggest accomplishment was "Munn v. Illinois, which held that the grain warehouses were a "private utility in the public interest", and therefore could be regulated by public law".

Collectivism and demands for government regulation of the people that buy your product aren't exactly the epitome of capitalism, slick.

weeslicket 3 years, 9 months ago

stop calling me names, notajayhawk. please try to be a grown-up, now.

labmonkey 3 years, 9 months ago

As a union member, I actually agree with this bill. There are many of us who hate seeing union dollars spent endorsing candidates we find repugnant. I found the letter from the Kansas AFL-CIO I received telling me who to vote for offensive (especially it was on the back of a Stephanie Moore flier). If my money was to go anywhere besides collective bargaining, I would rather see the unions take out ads encouraging people to buy American. This would do more good for American workers than spending money on candidates (especially those who vote for bills that are bad for the industry I work for).

seriouscat 3 years, 9 months ago

"I would rather see the unions take out ads encouraging people to buy American."

Did you ever say so?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 9 months ago

You already have the right not to contribute to political campaigns through your union dues. Why do you feel the need to prevent others from contributing, if they so choose?

labmonkey 3 years, 9 months ago

Bozo-

I would be naive to think that not a dollar of my dues go to help out the Democratic party in some way.

tomatogrower 3 years, 9 months ago

Unions have to keep a clear accounting of where their political money and dues goes. Unlike corporations. But of course corporations have rights and the rest of us don't.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

nota's point is well taken - if unions are voluntary, then he should be able to easily not join one (as long, of course, as he is willing to forgo any benefits that the union provides it's members), and/or be able to only contribute for those purposes, and withhold money for political activity. According to him, those are not easily done.

I suppose that if there are restrictions on public employees, then those same restrictions should apply to public employee unions, as an assembly of public employees.

But the unions should have the same rights as individual employees have.

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

I agree. But there are valid reasons why public employees generally are not allowed to participate in political activities AS public employees. They can do so as private citizens, but not in such a way that it would appear the office, rather than the person, is endorsing a candidate or issue.

weeslicket 3 years, 9 months ago

and as a private citzen, i also enjoy the right to direct these payments into whatever accounst i have chosen. i voluntarily contribute. my choice. not the legislature's choice. (unless your conservativism has slopped off into fascism)

and i really don't see that you have any rational argument (prediction: you will disagree) that i Should Be Precluded From contributing to whatever accounts i see fit. thes are MY voluntary contributions.

also: it costs you nothing for me to make these choices.

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

"and as a private citzen, i also enjoy the right to direct these payments into whatever accounst i have chosen. i voluntarily contribute. my choice. not the legislature's choice."

And any fellow union members who might disagree don't enjoy that same right, because they don't agree with you, so to heck with them, right? See, slick, it's their right to direct that money where they want it to go, too. Their choice. Not the unions.

"i really don't see that you have any rational argument (prediction: you will disagree) that i Should Be Precluded From contributing to whatever accounts i see fit."

Hmm. Perhaps because despite your attempted straw man, I never made any such argument. See, slick, you can give money to any political cause you choose. You don't need a union to do that for you. Why don't you show a little modicum of personal responsibility and make your own contributions to the candidates that YOU choose, instead of having the union tell you who they think they should spend your money on? Oh, forget it - it's much easier for you to just let someone else do the thinking for you.

"it costs you nothing for me to make these choices."

It does, however, cost the other dues-paying union members something. Just because YOU choose to be a lock-step lemming being led by the nose doesn't mean they necessarily want their money used to push them over the cliff with you.

weeslicket 3 years, 9 months ago

part 2: will corporate funding face these same restrictions?? will corporate money designated to "political speech" be given with the consent of its workers? or just because the "landed gentry" says so. (but you already know the answer to this question, don't you.)

yep.
i'll pick my grandfather's world view over yours any day. every day. and tomorrow as well.

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

"will corporate funding face these same restrictions??"

Tell ya' what, slick: When corporate America starts taking mandatory deductions out of my paycheck to pay for their political causes, I'll respond to that. Until then, as it has nothing to do with the case in point, why bother?

"i'll pick my grandfather's world view over yours any day. every day."

Your grandfather's, or the unions, or MSNBC's, or whoever's. It's such a shame you can't come up with one of your own.

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 9 months ago

Unions in Kansas do not take mandatory deductions out of your paycheck, slick. Get that through your ever-thickening skull. Stop repeating what your GOP overlords tell you to say.

weeslicket 3 years, 9 months ago

ummmm, Bob_Keeshan, i hope you are talking to notajayhawk, and not me.

don't let notajayhawk's name-calling and bullying suck you down.

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

You haven't read many of bobbie's posts, have you?

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

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jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

And, of course, private sector unions shouldn't have those restrictions at all, and should have all of the same freedoms as individuals in the private sector.

newmath 3 years, 9 months ago

Again it is all about taking away the rights of the people who might ever stand up against the GOP. How about placing the same limits on businesses? make them get share holder approval before contributing or endorsing?

Matt1958 3 years, 9 months ago

Once a person preforms a service and is compensated, it's their money. Not mine, not the government's.

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

meggers (anonymous) replies…

"You are suggesting that the citizens who voluntarily pay unions to advocate for their interests be denied that right. There is a constitutional right of ALL citizens to petition the government, not just groups the legislature picks and chooses."

Ah. I think I see the problem now. Don't know why this wasn't obvious earlier, thanks, meg, for clarifying it.

I keep forgetting that being a liberal involves completely surrendering any sense of personal responsibility, and an innate need to have someone else do everything for you. So I guess it would make perfect sense that someone that needs their union leaders to tell them which candidates they should be supporting would also need those union leaders to handle the money.

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 9 months ago

Kind of like the Red Cross deciding who to help. Derned liberals.

Have some personal responsibility, Japan.

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

Was there supposed to be some point to that, widdle bobbie? Is the Red Cross deducting dues from your paycheck?

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 9 months ago

Yes. So is the United Way and a variety of other charities. It's all voluntary, just like dues deductions are voluntary.

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

Forgetting for a moment the potential for coercion, and the weak-willed lemmings who prefer to be led by the nose like you do, in order to accept your assumption that union membership is completely voluntary:

You can stop your deductions for the Red Cross and the United Way any time you choose. You can't stop the deduction for your union dues unless/until the union lets you.

But it's good to hear you finally have a paycheck coming in again, bobbie. It's good to keep busy in your declining years.

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

Hate these nested threads. Let's move down from above:

KSManimal (anonymous) replies…

"A union engaging in political action is not the same as an individual misrepresenting their views as being those of their employer."

In essence they are one and the same. If, say, a teacher's union endorses a political candidate, that endorsement carries the clear implication that the teachers they represent, as individuals, also endorse that candidate. Because "if a union member doesn't like what the union is doing they can drop their membership," and "the union members who make decisions about political activities are elected to those positions by the membership."

"It is about silencing the political voice of those the legislator's disagree with."

You meant "It's going to lower my soapbox a little," didn't you? See, manimal, the point that YOU keep sidestepping is that nobody is being silenced. You're still free to donate to a political candidate, march in a demonstration, whatever. You just have to do it as Joe Manimal instead of as a representative of a group of public employees. And what you're scared to death about is that nobody gives a hoot what Joe Manimal thinks.

scott3460 3 years, 9 months ago

Joe Manimal has more power when he bands together with his fellow workers than he does alone. Just as business have more power banded together as the Chamber.

And I doubt he scared that nobody gives a hoot. That's been clear to anyone who's been paying attention for the last 30 years. More likely he's ready to take some action to make sure they start giving a hoot.

Liberty and Union, Now and Forever.

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

"Joe Manimal has more power when he bands together with his fellow workers than he does alone."

And that's what it's all about, isn't it? Despite your doubts as to his fears, it's really all about people who feel insignificant wanting to feel powerful. At least you're honest about it.

scott3460 3 years, 9 months ago

No, I never said Joe Manimal was "feeling" insignificant or wanted to "feel" powerful. Joe Manimal "is" insignificant in the workplace when he stands alone because his employer can abuse him in so many ways. When he bands together with his fellow workers he BECOMES powerful. That is what employer, and all who shill for them, hate - that a working person is empowered to be something more than a wage slave.

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

In the latter post, I wasn't referring to Joe Manimal.

pace 3 years, 9 months ago

At least the bill requiring who is buying the giant ad campaign to be public record wasn't passed. I would hate that. Those sweet ads where a mother is talking about how her kids need to be free of the tyranny of unions. I don't want to know that woman represents one of the Koch brothers dressed up so sweet.

weeslicket 3 years, 9 months ago

just wanted to say how impressed i am that notajayhawk is no longer posting during (conventional) working hours. good for you notajayhawk.

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

Well, slick, glad I could make you happy. And glad that I could give you something to do with your time, monitoring when I post. It's good to have something to do to ward of senility. But as the weather gets better and better, slick, I have much better things to do during the daytime than arguing with the loons in Larryville. I get plenty of amusement from people like you in the evening.

pace 3 years, 9 months ago

So the next bill will apply to the merry band of brothers, the chamber of commerce. same rules for the business unions?

pace 3 years, 9 months ago

The Chamber of Commerce may of made use of tax money to travel to Topeka to testify in support of the antiworkers bill. The union of Chambers of Commerce and the local Chamber unions of Commerce receive tax money and can spend tax money or excuse businesses and industries from paying their taxes. Part of the packages they control or influence is State, local and tax incentives for business expansion and development. State Incentives State of Kansas incentives for business development. Local Incentives Lawrence and Douglas County incentives. Taxes Sales and property tax rates for Lawrence and Douglas County.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

Actually, if the distinction is that public employees can advocate, but not represent themselves as acting on their employer's behalf (ie. the state, school, etc), then restrictions on public employee unions don't make sense from that perspective.

Unions aren't advocating as representatives of the federal government - they're advocating as representatives of their membership, which consists of individual employees.

They should, of course, in my opinion, be voluntary and easily not joined, as long as people are willing to forgo any of the benefits they provide their membership (wages, working hours, benefits, etc.)

And, I don't have a problem with members paying for those benefits, and withholding money for political activity, if they feel that the union isn't representing their views.

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

So if, for example, a Missouri highway patrolman can't come out and say 'I, as a Missouri law enforcement officer, think you should vote for XYZ," it somehow makes sense for a union to be able to say "We, as the law enforcement officers of Missouri, think you should vote for XYZ"?

KSManimal 3 years, 9 months ago

First of all, a Missouri highway patrol officer could do just that; on her own time.

Second, and I'll refrain from saying I told you so, it appears that a Federal Court agrees with me, re - this "hobble the unions" crap violates the 1st and 14th amendments:

http://www.myfoxal.com/global/story.asp?s=14280947

...and you don't have to like it.

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