Why the Democratic Party-Union relationship is corrupt

Posted by: Phineas on February 24, 2011 at 12:01 pm

**Posted by Phineas

Michael Barone nails it — it’s a kickback scheme:

Public unions force taxpayers to fund Democrats

Everyone has priorities. During the past week Barack Obama has found no time to condemn the attacks that Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi has launched on the Libyan people.

But he did find time to be interviewed by a Wisconsin television station and weigh in on the dispute between Republican Gov. Scott Walker and the state’s public employee unions. Walker was staging “an assault on unions,” he said, and added that “public employee unions make enormous contributions to our states and our citizens.”

Enormous contributions, yes — to the Democratic Party and the Obama campaign. Unions, most of whose members are public employees, gave Democrats some $400 million in the 2008 election cycle. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the biggest public employee union, gave Democrats $90 million in the 2010 cycle.

Follow the money, Washington reporters like to say. The money in this case comes from taxpayers, present and future, who are the source of every penny of dues paid to public employee unions, who in turn spend much of that money on politics, almost all of it for Democrats. In effect, public employee unions are a mechanism by which every taxpayer is forced to fund the Democratic Party.

So, just as the president complained in his 2010 State of the Union address about a Supreme Court decision that he feared would increase the flow of money to Republicans, he also found time to complain about a proposed state law that could reduce the flow of money to Democrats.

Emphases added. How is this any different in any real sense from a supplier winning an order from a business and then kicking back a portion to the manager who awarded the contract? In the real world, this kind of garbage would land both parties in court.

Barone makes a couple of other points worth noting: the first is that Wisconsin (and now Ohio and Indiana) is not the opening battlefield of this fight. In 2005, with California already facing serious budget problems, the Governator had four propositions placed on the ballot for a special election. Three of them, as I recall, dealt with some aspect of union/pension reform. The unions, particularly the teachers union (sound familiar?) and the leftist nurses union, spent $100 million dollars in a successful effort to defeat all four measures. Oh, and that money was all supplied by taxpayers in the form of dues, regardless of their own preference.

(For the record, it was the 2005 special election that, in my opinion, broke Schwarzenegger’s governorship. He never recovered the influence and initiative he had at that point, and increasingly “went along to get along” with our progressive legislature. It wasn’t until 2009-2010 that he recovered enough political strength to take on pensions again, scoring a significant victory that went largely unnoticed. See Tim Cavamaugh’s “Farewell, My Lovely.”)

Barone also takes on the argument Obama made that unions have made “enormous contributions” to our economy and society by asking pointedly, “what contributions?” What studies show the benefits of strong public unions compared to states without them? Indeed, as he points out:

Their incentives are to increase the cost of government and reduce down toward zero the accountability of public employees — both contrary to the interests of taxpaying citizens.

Which is why the corrupt mutual-patronage scheme the Democrats and the public employee unions have going has to end. For the good of all taxpayers and the fiscal health of our municipalities, states, and nation, let’s hope Governor Walker is more successful than Governor Schwarzenegger.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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8 Responses to “Why the Democratic Party-Union relationship is corrupt”


  1. Carlos says:

    OK, so the jackasses (the ones without an “R” beside their name, anyway) have all cut and run from their legislative duties in at least two states now, simply because they know the outcome of votes scheduled in their respective legislatures.

    They are calling “Foul!” because those evil, mean Republicans won’t let them block the legislation, much less weaken it.

    Well, welcome to the world of Democrat Party politics, you idiots! Remind me of how many times Dingy Harry and Nazi Pelousy blocked ANY Republican attempt to introduce ANY meaningful modifications to that piece of garbage commonly referred to as ObamaCare. Remind me again of the major pieces of legislation the federal Congress passed last year because they could, because THE DEMOCRAPS RULED THAT PART OF THE WORLD, WORMS!

    Isn’t all this civility nice, just getting along and letting our separate state democracies function as they were designed to? And don’t you just love being on the unicorn farm?

  2. Sefton says:

    [Obama] added that “public employee unions make enormous contributions to our states and our citizens.”

    When the White House celebrated Ramadan, Obama declared, “The contributions of Muslims to the United States are too long to catalog because Muslims are so interwoven into the fabric of our communities and our country.”

    Both lies to help butter the two entities into the public consciousness. As usual, from the playbook of the man whose middle name is Liar.

  3. Kate says:

    I feel your pain there, Carlos…rampant hyposcrisy that boggle our minds, but doesn’t seem to phase the liberals and lame stream media.

    Amazing how they spin the rules to their favor and can’t even imagine that they would have done anything remotely similar….

    I don’t seem to remember the House or Senate Republicans running away so there couldn’t be a vote, either. Could it be because they were busy standing by their principles and defending them instead of turning tail and running for cover. Again, I say, Cowards!

  4. baseballguy says:

    This relationship is a criminal enterprise – defined as 2 groups working together to extract money from a third entity (in this case the taxpayers) through lies and corrupt practices.
    Forced union dues (no choice but to join) channeled to 1 party 85-90% of the time – does this reflect the political affiliation of it’s members?
    In the real world, this practice is labeled extortion, paying protection or a shakedown.

  5. Kate says:

    One thing these teachers/govt worker unios are fighting is The whole idea that the concept of making the individual pay their own union dues out of pocket..even if it’s from the pay they get from the taxpayers…the purpose is that it would open the eyes of the union members on how much money they aren’t passing onto their union leaders and PACs. There dues are taken out by my husband’s union and he gets a little receipt each month. The reason they do it is because people forget to pay, or if they have a beef with the union they hold off paying it while a greivance is being arbitrated (by putting it into an escrow account).

    I have been an eye witness to union corruption and at times the companies and NLRB are all complicit. So unions in my book only benefit the union leaders and politicians in the long run.

  6. Nate says:

    baseballguy – Exactly.
    There was a time when Democrats fought organized crime, and buying elected officials and judges, etc. – at that time known as the Mafia.
    So how has the extortion changed with how unions launder money to Democrat coffers by forced membership (protection racket) and taxpayer funded bennies?

    To paraphrase The Joker from Batman…”This country needs an enema.”

  7. tom beebe st louis says:

    Violence is a sign of a system gone awry. Where is the counter force to public employee union demands? The disconnect between response to such demands and their effect on taxpayers/voters, their customers, is what needs to be corrected. set their contracts to expire shortly after elections. Then put their demands and “management’s” offers on the ballot for these customers to choose or reject. If management is overly generous, they can be thrown out by the same taxpayers. This is what happened when the GOP took over WI statehouse, but that takeover is disconnected in the public perception, so the statehouse disorder is what we see on TV.

  8. Glenn Bergen says:

    Well, Tom, you are an astute fan of national TV; you need to disregard the “state-run media” (Rush Limbaugh invented that invective, not me). I stay away from that “liberal narrative”.I rather find the truth the hard way. For me, what is transpiring in Wisconsin, is an assault on American democracy. If the protestors can’t get they’re way, they get violent. Kinda sounds like the “60’s”. I went through that, and I quit the university and joined the Army. I got tired of being lectured by “socialist” TA’s who would downgrade your grade,if you did not agree with their philosophical view of life, make you subject to the US draft, by flunking you out of college. So, bring it ON, the old triad, Berkely, Boulder, and Madison. Lord love the Weatherman!!