My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Re: Colorado Ballot Initiatives, part II 

We've all seen the ads: very sympathetic-looking man who identifies himself as a firefighter, interspersed with pictures of other firefighters doing heroic things, talking about how important it is for firefighters to speak out about things that make firefighters--and, indeed, the community--safer. And then he urges the defeat of Amendments 47, 49, and 54. Well, two nights ago I looked into 47, concluding it was hardly the stuff of gloom and doom. So, tonight, I thought I'd look into 49.

To start with, go check out Ben's take on it, then see the logic that the Rocky Mountain News follows in endorsing 49.

Here's the actual language of the initiative:

In the interest of advancing simple, ethical, and efficient government, the people of the state of Colorado hereby find and declare that public payroll systems should not be utilized to benefit private organizations and special interests except in accordance with this article. The people of the state of Colorado further find and declare that the requirements of this article must apply to all public employers, including all local governments and political subdivisions of the State.

Again, the EEEE-VIL of it all.

There are very nice provisions written in for taxes, judicial issues, charitable deductions, and other normal things that people have taken out of their payroll every day. What is limited is the ability of governmental entities to simply transfer money directly from their payroll accounts into the bank accounts of unions.

That's all. Does this mean that an employee can not sign up for an automatic deduction from their account, like most people do for car payments and other stuff? NO. All it says is that, for someone to give their money to the union, they have to take one extra step at their own bank because the governmental employer is going to stop doing it for them.

Somebody please explain to me how this "silences public employees."

Oh, wait. I know. See, the teacher's union has this great system whereby, once you are a member (and most teachers sign up when they first get hired), there is only a two week window every year for you to revoke your membership and cancel your dues. Under the new system, a teacher would be able to cancel their membership at any time by stopping the payment from the bank; that might cost the union some money.

Which, again, would probably be taken out of their negotiations budget, because we know the union is NOT going to slow down its financing of liberal candidates or pull back from some of its lobbying efforts.

Personally, I don't see the big deal. It's certainly not the end of the world. If the union is really doing its job and representing its people, than the people shouldn't have any problem signing the slip of paper at their bank that makes it possible to just hand the money over.

On the other hand, if people realize how little their unions actually do for them compared to the budget they operate under, maybe this really IS a big deal.

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