Oregon fiscal hawks should take a page from Wisconsin and try the “Paycheck Protection” initiative again. It’s time. In fact, some budget conscious Oregonians, emboldened by the Wisconsin vote, are considering reintroducing an initiative to force the unions to collect their own damn dues. Good.
The last time voters looked at a measure like this was in 2008 and barely 1% separated No’s from Yes’s.
The unionistas in Oregon are a monolithic lot. They support Democrats for office almost exclusively. I say “almost” because at some point in the universe of time there is a vestige of a scintilla of a possibility that they have supported a Republican. But even that’s iffy.
These public employee unions support the party of government. That is the Democrat party. And in turn the Democrats take care of the unions. They vote for union spiffs, give money matches for pensions, and fight for more benefits for government union members. In return the unions take good care of the Democrats.
This has been going on for years. Check the OreStar C & E filings to see who the unions give money to.
The Democrats love this. The unions pay people to canvass for them, make phone calls, give in-kind donations of time and resources and, of course, there are the millions of dollars they sprinkle around races every election cycle. They get that money from the union dues the state of Oregon is forced to withdraw from members’ checks.
In fact, unions are–in every way–a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democrat party or vice versa. Democrats want to be elected, unions give them money, Democrats are elected, they give vote to give unions more money, Democrats make sure the flow of money continues from taxpayers. Rinse. Repeat.
“This measure adds a new section to the Oregon Constitution that prohibits any person or organization from using public resources to collect or help collect political funds. Public resources that cannot be used to collect political funds include public moneys, public employee time, public property and public equipment and supplies.”
Anti high tax warrior Bill Sizemore’s efforts came close that time. When it was tried again in 2000 it went down in flames. But it was also advertised this way:
“Ballot Measure 92 would add a new section to the Oregon Constitution prohibiting public and private employee payroll deductions if any portion of the money will be used for a political purpose, unless the employee freely gives written permission each year on a form used only for that purpose.”
In other words, when the whole ‘paycheck protection’ aspect of it was highlighted it went down because it was seen as picking on unions exclusively.
In 2008 the initiative was tried again. But this time backers reverted back to the 1998 language. See how close it came? Fiscal hawks came a little closer to passage last time.
That’s why it’s inappropriate for taxpayers to foot the bill to ‘jack their union dues for them. Do we do this for Republican groups? Green Party groups? No. We do this only for the Democrats. It’s time this unfairness stopped. Democrats are always crying big crocodile tears about Citizens United or ‘getting money out of politics.’
I think we should help them.