And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Action Looms on a Bargaining Bill –

Posted on: June 18, 2010

Update below

Action Looms on a Bargaining Bill –

This bill goes right along with my post entitled The Millionaire Cop Next Door. Believe it! .  “Measure Forcing States to Grant Collective-Bargaining Rights Nears Vote in Senate”  with at least 7 republicans on board!  The House bill passed in 2007.  Remember the  “card check” bill giving unions the right to unionize by just checking a card rather than the secret ballot?  Well the Labor Relations Board (all Progressives) circled around and got it anyway by making it necessary that only 50% of the people at the meeting voting for the union for the union to pass when it has always been 50% of the companies employees.   That took care of the private sector workers so now Congress is taking care of the public sector  government employees.

Read this whole article very carefully because it is coming to a state near you and that means public employees hands in a wallet  even nearer and dearer.  And really there is no way out for the states if this bill passes.  BB

If the legislation passes and states choose not to grant the minimum collective-bargaining rights outlined in the bill, the Federal Labor Relations Authority, which oversees labor-management relations for federal employees, would step in and implement collective-bargaining rights for these workers.

When gov’t lobbies gov’t for more gov’t money

By: Timothy P. Carney
Examiner Columnist
June 16, 2010

Government employee unions — through their employees and political action committees — have contributed more money to congressional candidates this election than all the PACs, executives and employees of the entire oil industry, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. Because 92 percent of public-employee union money goes to Democrats, President Obama’s party has raised more money from these unions this cycle than Republicans have raised from Wall Street.

Along the same lines, local and state governments have spent more on lobbying this year than the health insurance industry or defense contractors.

By any measure, local and state governments and public sector unions are an entrenched special interest. By any measure, they are also the prime beneficiary of President Obama’s latest $50 billion spending proposal.

Obama’s proposed $50 billion aid package for local and state governments is yet another instance of Obama’s reform talk evaporating in the light of concrete proposals and real dollar amounts. Whatever the supposed virtues of this huge handout to profligate politicians and bloated bureaucracies, it is, objectively, a proposed $50 billion transfer of wealth from ordinary taxpayers to a politically connected special interest that overwhelmingly and aggressively favors the party in power.

Public employee unions’ political activism and Democratic partisanship have been well documented. The PAC of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees had, through the end of April, already spent $10.2 million this election cycle, between contributions to candidates and independent expenditures. That’s three times as much as the PAC spending of Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Wells Fargo combined.

The American Federation of Teachers has also spent more this election — $7.1 million — than any business PAC.

Public employee union PACs are nearly uniformly Democratic. AFSCME has given 99.5 percent of its contributions this election to Democrats, which is more bipartisan than AFT, which has given 99.6 percent to Democrats. Of the top 10 public sector unions, only three have given more than 10 percent to Republicans — the firefighters (14.6 percent), rural letter carriers (24.8 percent) and postmasters (20 percent).

Bureaucrats and politicians don’t act only through their unions, though. Local and state governments themselves are politically active, especially on the lobbying scene.

Government is constantly lobbied, but it is often a lobbyist, too. Governments and government agencies have spent just over $100 million lobbying Washington since the beginning of 2009. That doesn’t include the tab for cities, towns and counties lobbying their state governments.

And municipalities have hired — with tax dollars — some pretty high-dollar lobbyists, such as former Sens. Al D’Amato (R-N.Y.), Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.), former Representatives Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.), Sonny Callahan (R-Ala.), Henry Bonilla (R-Texas), Vic Fazio (D-Calif.), Nancy Johnson (R-Conn.), Ron Klink (D-Pa.) and many others.

Cities and towns have signed up some top-tier K Street firms: Akin Gump, Arnold & Porter, BGR, Elmendorf Strategies, Cassidy and Associates, Covington & Burling, Holland & Knight, Patton Boggs, and of course, the Podesta Group, co-founded by John Podesta, who was Obama’s transition director.

Think about this clout — the PAC spending that outpaces corporate America and the lobbying effort that exceeds the most notoriously “cozy” industries — in the light of Obama’s campaign rhetoric. Back then he assailed “the lobbyists, and the special interests who’ve turned our government into a game only they can afford to play.”

Obama’s attack, though, could apply to public-sector unions and the officials who run state and local governments: “They write the checks and you get stuck with the bills, they get the access while you get to write a letter. …”

State governments have overspent, largely on salaries that far exceed those in the private sector and benefits packages that dwarf what most Americans get. So now those governments are spending their money on powerful high-dollar lobbyists, with the paramount goal of getting access to more federal money. But the federal government is hopelessly in deficit.

The result is this: Local government officials are using your money to hire former government officials to ask current federal officials to give local governments more federal money — and future taxpayers will foot the bill for this whole racket.

Economists can argue about the economic virtues of such a “stimulus,” but on the question of battling the special interests, it’s another failure for the Obama administration.

Read more at the Washington Examiner:


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