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Wisconsin** law allows state to fund Democratic advocacy group

Democratic attacks on Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker notwithstanding, it appears that good man was indeed willing to compromise with Senate Democrats who fled the state.  It’s only that the state’s minority party proved intransigent:

It appears the Democrats had not accepted the concessions outlined by Walker in an email to some Dem senators (an email his office released). These were discussed below. They allowed collective bargaining over a broader range of issues, but kept the provision ending mandatory union dues checkoff, which is arguably the change unions fear the most. I doubt there was ever a route to a mutually acceptable compromise unless the dues-checkoff provision could itself have somehow been compromise

Read the whole thing (via Instapundit).  Moe Lane explains why unions fear ending that mandatory checkoff:

Simply put, what automatic checkoff does is make it trivially easy for unions to collect dues: the employer (in this case, the state government) simply deducts the money from an union member’s pay and sends it along. No fuss, no muss, no debate… it’s just one more thing that the government takes from your paycheck. This turns the collection of union dues into a guaranteed revenue stream (instead of the colossal pain in the neck that such things usually are); most people don’t even notice, frankly. And it’s from union dues that unions get the money that they use for political advocacy*.

Read that whole thing too.  In short, the bill is indeed about a “power grab” as some have described it; the unions and the Democrats have long since grabbed it.  Not, once the Walker reforms pass, Wisconsin Republicans will have taken the power away from a Democratic interest group — and restored it to individual public employees.

*”Which is, by the way, mostly being used on the behalf of Democrats, at a ratio far out of sync with how their members vote.” [Footnote in original]

**and California law (as well as that in other states).



  1. WI police are carrying out protestors and enabling the Assembly to meet:

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 10, 2011 @ 1:30 pm - March 10, 2011

  2. So, ILC, you mean the protesters are attempting to prevent the Assembly from meeting. Couldn’t that be considered an affront to democracy?

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — March 10, 2011 @ 2:55 pm - March 10, 2011

  3. Yup.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 10, 2011 @ 4:22 pm - March 10, 2011

  4. No, It’s one more the thing the (state) government takes out of state employees wages, based on the employees and government previously having negotiated in good faith and agreed on such. if you aren’t a state employee, in a union, it has nothing to do with your paycheck. And it has little to do with you in any case save for your febrile desire to eliminate political foes on behalf of your corporate masters. Koch sucker.

    Comment by PeeJ — March 10, 2011 @ 4:39 pm - March 10, 2011

  5. Union dues can not be used for donations to political campaigns, a fact right wing bloggers have conveniently ignored in its support of union busting. Union campaign contributions to candidate must be made separately through a PAC and are generally not deducted by the employer and when they are deducted from a paycheck it requires the affirmative request of the worker.

    Comment by Brendan — March 10, 2011 @ 4:39 pm - March 10, 2011

  6. look at all these snakes slithering out from under the rocks…

    Comment by Steven E. Kalbach — March 10, 2011 @ 4:52 pm - March 10, 2011

  7. #4: “Koch sucker.”

    Awwww look. Peej STILL thinks that Americans don’t know that the Left references the Koch family every time they need a talking point that sounds better than “FUCK THE TAXPAYERS!” That’s so SWEET!

    Comment by Sean A — March 10, 2011 @ 4:56 pm - March 10, 2011

  8. Unfortunately for both the trolls, the simple fact is that, as a Wisconsin teacher, you must make a campaign contribution of $800 – $1,000 per year to the Obama Party or lose your job.

    That’s the reality. Union dues do nothing but fund political contributions to Obama Party candidates, who then give the unions kickbacks for their contributions.

    The trolls lie and lie and lie, but they again demand that teachers who do not contribute to the Obama Party be fired.

    That’s really the problem, and hence why Obama Party supporters like PeeJ and Brendan are making death threats against Republicans and their families and planning to bomb public buildings, just as their Barack Obama orders and just as Barack Obama’s mentor Bill Ayers did. You can only imagine what they would do to union members who dared defy union leaders and the Obama Party.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 10, 2011 @ 5:18 pm - March 10, 2011

  9. Brendan, do you have a cite for that? I thought that the employees had to make an affirmative request to get back their share of dues that the union was using for political purposes.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — March 10, 2011 @ 5:30 pm - March 10, 2011

  10. It’s one more the thing the (state) government takes out of state employees wages, based on the employees and government previously having negotiated in good faith

    Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt. Wrong answer.

    Current law (i.e. pre-Walker) forces the employee to be part of the union, whether they want to or not. The employee is given no choice, except to stop working in their profession. That is not “good faith”, it is an evil (bad faith) denial of the employee’s human rights.

    Union dues can not be used for donations to political campaigns

    The law has varied on that point, so you’d better cite, if you want people to take you seriously. You ignore (or had better address) the issue of the union making campaign efforts (e.g. flyers, voter advice cards) under its own name. And you ignore the issue of a union and its PAC sharing overhead costs (office space, administrator salaries, benefits plans, etc.).

    Mind you, there would be nothing wrong with union dues going to political efforts – *IF* union dues/membership were voluntary. At that point, the union’s efforts would be analogous to a corporation, where you can choose to own stock (or buy product) as you like, and the corporation makes its own decisions about political participation. What is morally wrong in present WI law is that union membership/dues are not voluntary.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 10, 2011 @ 5:36 pm - March 10, 2011

  11. (i.e., the qualified professional’s only other choice is to not practice her profession)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 10, 2011 @ 5:40 pm - March 10, 2011

  12. An example from Ohio, where a union member was forced to pay union dues – that went into to a vicious campaign against her own husband:

    The union in that case did *not* make a contribution to the other guy’s campaign, they just published flyers in their own name. The blog post lists six states having “paycheck protection laws” to prevent that kind of abuse, and I don’t see it listing WI among them. If WI is among them, it’s up to you to cite.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 10, 2011 @ 5:48 pm - March 10, 2011

  13. And amazingly enough, ILC, that’s all this newly-passed law does; it simply makes union dues no longer mandatory as a requirement of keeping your job.

    And that, again, is why Brendan, PeeJ, and the rest of the death-and-public-building-bombing threats Obama Party crowd and Barack Obama are pissing themselves. They know there is no way they can depend on another couple hundred million union dollars for the 2012 and beyond elections if union members are not compelled by law to make contributions to them.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 10, 2011 @ 5:49 pm - March 10, 2011

  14. Also, I’d like Brendan and PeeJ to answer a basic question: what would you say about a corporation that required you to make political contributions to the Republican Party annually or lose your job?

    What would you say that that corporation was trying to do if it then made enormous contributions to Republican candidates?

    The next sound you hear will be of Brendan and PeeJ turning into Wonder Women from the spinning, as they try to reconcile their rants about how the first would be unlawful compulsion and how the second would constitute bribes and kickbacks with their insistence that their union masters should be allowed to do both.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 10, 2011 @ 6:01 pm - March 10, 2011

  15. It’s plainly obvious that labor unions are targeted by Republicans not for their effects on budget, but because labor unions overwhelmingly support Democratic candidates and policies. A large part of Republican electoral strategy is making it hard for liberal constituencies to vote and fundraise, while making it easier for conservative constituencies to vote and fundraise. The other side of what’s happening in Wisconsin is the Citizens United decision that lets corporations give as much money as they want to candidates. Republicans want to flood political discourse with corporate money and make political activity for organizations of teachers more difficult. That’s how you win elections if you have no ethical boundaries and care more about power and money than the future of the country.

    Comment by Levi — March 10, 2011 @ 6:19 pm - March 10, 2011

  16. actually, Levi, you got it backwards, laws currently in place allow the state to assist in Democratic fundraising.

    And please note that corporate money is just as likely to help Democrats as it is Republicans.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — March 10, 2011 @ 6:21 pm - March 10, 2011

  17. Frankly, I oppose unions for the simple fact that they cater to the lowest common denominator. I see no positive impact, for me, in joining a union. Why should I work harder than the loser working next to me just so we both can get a raise?

    Prior to being self-employed, I worked for a company for 10 years. It was small (<75 people) when I started but it grew (to 300-400 people) by the time I left. During those 10 years, my salary increased ~250%. During that time I also received 401K matching (didn't have it at the beginning) but also had to assume 25% of my health care premium (with DP benefits, this was about $100/month). I did this without a union.

    IMHO, employers want to retain quality talent. Why would an intelligent business owner want otherwise?

    Comment by Gene — March 10, 2011 @ 7:32 pm - March 10, 2011

  18. Actually, Levi, you should be pleased; the Wisconsin decision puts unions on exactly the same footing as corporations, which is to say that they cannot threaten peoples’ jobs for donating or not donating to political campaigns.

    If, of course, you actually cared about worker freedoms and equality, versus enslaving people to provide money for your Obama massas.

    Maybe you can answer that, boy; why, if your Obama massas are so wonderful, do they need to force people to make contributions with the threat of being fired if they don’t?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 10, 2011 @ 7:36 pm - March 10, 2011

  19. IMHO, employers want to retain quality talent. Why would an intelligent business owner want otherwise?

    An intelligent business owner wouldn’t. That is why losers like Levi need unions; they essentially need to free ride off others’ productivity in order to keep their own sorry asses.

    I haven’t seen anything posted here by Levi or the other union supporters to indicate that they have any marketable skills or work ethic whatsoever. Instead, they’re always blaming other people for their problems and claiming that the only reason they’re not rulers of the world is because other people are stupid and ignorant.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 10, 2011 @ 7:38 pm - March 10, 2011

  20. Frankly, I oppose unions

    FTR, I don’t.

    I mean, your points are all good, Gene, and I might never join a union myself. But I support freedom of association, which means: I support voluntary unions. What’s morally wrong about WI (and soon to be changed, I hope) is that government (the law) stepped in to make their unions basically involuntary.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 10, 2011 @ 7:41 pm - March 10, 2011

  21. “The Only Good Republican is a Dead Republican” – Will the President’s Teleprompter instruct him to condemn the uncivil tone of his union buddies?

    Comment by V the K — March 10, 2011 @ 8:31 pm - March 10, 2011

  22. I don’t see why Levi has to drag up citizen’s united.

    After all. How can corporations spend money? In Levi’s world all money belongs to the government.

    Comment by The_Livewire — March 10, 2011 @ 8:45 pm - March 10, 2011

  23. Well V, the White House opens its pie hole to yammer about ‘coming together’ and about how Walker’s reforms, they claim, violate it:

    Notable omission: The White House does *not* condemn, or even notice, how the practice of Fleebagging violates ‘coming together’. Or the rest of it: how Democrats’/unions’ death threats on Republicans violate ‘coming together’; how trashing government buildings violates ‘coming together’; how mandatory collective bargaining was always a violation of people’s rights and therefore of ‘coming together’; etc.

    Thus proving, once more, that Democrats don’t give a rat’s ass about ‘coming together’; only about them winning.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 10, 2011 @ 8:47 pm - March 10, 2011

  24. It’s plainly obvious that labor unions are targeted by Republicans not for their effects on budget, but because labor unions overwhelmingly support Democratic candidates and policies.

    It’s plainly obvious that labor unions are targeted by Republicans because of their effects on budget AND because they overwhelmingly support liberal candidates and policies while screwing over the people they work for.

    Kimberly Strassel said it best:

    Here’s the fundamental problem with public-employee unions: They exist to compete with, and undermine, public priorities. The priority of Wisconsin citizens is a state that can provide basic services, encourage private-sector jobs, and pay its bills. Wisconsin public-employee unions, by contrast, were formed to, and exist to, erect a system that showers members with plump pay and benefits, crowding out state services and private jobs. The same disconnect is on display with the TSA.

    The TSA is allowing Americans to witness the downward spiral of the collective-bargaining system in action. Government sets out to accomplish specific public priorities. Unions, via dues, elect politicians who will agree to collective bargaining, and to shift those priorities to those of the union. The fights in Wisconsin and elsewhere are about the public trying to reassert its will.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — March 11, 2011 @ 1:23 pm - March 11, 2011

  25. Point taken, ILC…when you put it that way, we’re pretty much on the same page. I should have said I would never personally join a union, not necessarily “oppose” them.

    Comment by Gene — March 11, 2011 @ 7:48 pm - March 11, 2011

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