05.28.2010 0

Union Power Grabs in their Own Words

By Rick Manning

I love labor union spokespeople.

Brazen, unflinching, almost no spin, just pure raw political ambition oozing from every pore.

After Americans for Limited Government focused attention on the nine Republican House members who are supporting the union pension fund bailout, the naïve among the nine claimed that this wasn’t a bailout for unions.

Perhaps they should have listened to Teamsters Local 776 shop steward Dave Wolf, who believes he is entitled to a bailout and left no doubt about it when he said, “The government says it has to bail out the banks when they get into trouble because they’re ‘systemically important.’ Well, we’re the people who move the goods and pay the mortgages and support our communities. I think we’re ‘systemically important’ too.”

Where did we find Wolf’s statement? Right on the Teamsters website in an article written about Senator Bob Casey’s introduction of the Senate version of the very bill that the naïve nine claim doesn’t bailout anyone.

If these Republicans won’t listen to Americans for Limited Government, perhaps they will listen to the Teamsters union.

That’s why I love labor union spokespeople – they make it very simple to educate the unrepentant.

Now, in a desperate attempt to keep hold of political power, Obama, Pelosi and Reid are trying to convince America that we need more campaign finance reform. The DISCLOSE Act is nothing more than a nicely titled attempt to freeze out the opposition’s First Amendment rights, but leave it to the AFL-CIO to get caught in the truth about it.

The Hill newspaper quotes the AFL-CIO’s Josh Goldstein on the Democrats campaign finance bill as saying, “We do agree that the final bill should treat corporations different than Democratic organizations such as unions.”

Thanks Josh. No hiding behind the fig leaf “big money corrupts” argument. No dancing around declaring the evils of spending. Just a flat statement that unions should be able to shovel S400 million into supporting their political allies, but their political opponents should be prohibited from doing so.

Josh Goldstein’s disclosure that the Disclose Act should reinstate the legal prejudice against company owners and non-unionized workers in favor of those who represent 7% of the privately employed labor force tears away the good government façade the Democrats depend upon to create campaign finance rules that perpetuate their own power.

During the Supreme Court arguments prior to the ruling that opened the doors for U.S. companies to participate on an even playing field with big labor (Citizen United decision), Obama Supreme Court appointee Elena Kagan argued that if an individual corporation paid for the distribution of pamphlets, books or videos that engaged in the political arena, they should continue to be banned. Kagan argued this knowing full well that union’s like Josh Goldstein’s AFL-CIO were legally allowed to engage in these very activities.

I don’t blame big labor for wanting to keep this competitive advantage over those who they seek to gain power over. I am just grateful that they were kind enough to publicly state that this was their objective in the Democrats desperate push for new campaign “reform”. The admission really just saves everyone a lot of time and energy trying to make the case that the law is nothing more than a power grab.

That’s why I love union spokespersons. They make it so simple.

Rick Manning is the Director of Communications for Americans for Limited Government and the former Public Affairs Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Labor.

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