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Government Unions vs. Ohioans: Fight!

Guest post by j.hart. Cross-posted from that hero.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) represents a marriage between union bosses and Democrats that barely benefits dues-paying members, and thoroughly screws everyone else. Previously, on that hero:

The brokenness of Ohio’s current system cannot be overstated. When an agency votes to unionize – amid promises of unsustainable benefits – an extra layer of bureaucracy is permanently added between that agency and the taxpayers who fund it. Republicans cooperate with the union out of cowardice, and Democrats cooperate out of necessity; the AFSCME spends big, big bucks:

WSJ graphic

Wait, I’ve changed the subject! That outrageous Wall Street Journal chart uses national numbers, and it’s unfair to paint Ohio’s AFSCME affiliates with the same brush.

Maybe AFSCME Council 8 and AFSCME Local 11 truly exist to build solidarity among oppressed government workers. Maybe they’re not robbing Peter to pay Paul, while electing Pat to keep the scam running smoothly.

The latest available Department of Labor reports are for 2009. Campaign contribution data are from the Ohio Secretary of State.

Government Union Democrat campaign contributions, Jan. 1 2009 – Nov. 1 2010 Staff/Officers with gross pay exceeding $70K Staff/Officers with gross pay exceeding $100K
AFSCME Council 8 $435,152.86 *
39 14
AFSCME Local 11 $518,327.86 *
41 3

* Updated 02-19-2011 to include contributions to Democratic candidate and Party committees

It’s possible that I’m clueless, but $70,000 is a lot of money for someone whose vocation is standing up for “the little guy.” Six figures is an amount of money that makes me feel a little sick, especially when I remember this is our money. Contrast their class warfare rhetoric with their paychecks, and it seems fair to conclude public union bosses treat dues-paying members less as clients than as convenient money-launderers.

Need more numbers to think about when you see sad-sacks on the news holding “Save the Safety Net” signs, complaining that Ohioans won’t give more of our hard-earned dollars for their gilded retirement accounts or their salaries untethered to reality? In 2009, 1,812 state employees pulled down $100,000+. In 2010, 1,813 public school teachers were paid $100,000 or more. If times are tough for members lower on the totem pole, they should look to their wealthy union brothers for a hand.

Or, I could establish a new union! We’ll start by targeting the members of AFSCME Local 11 — 30,870 workers, as of their 2009 annual report. I won’t give a dime of the members’ money to politicians or Policy Matters Ohio (“a Cleveland research group,” in the words of The Columbus Dispatch), and as a matter of fact I won’t take dues at all. There: instant 1.25% raise for everyone! As bonuses I also won’t offer a Ponzi scheme retirement plan, or lobby for selfish, short-sighted policies that will make Ohio financially weaker.

Public employee collective bargaining in Ohio should be defined down dramatically, or repealed outright. Does the Ohio GOP have the stones to do it? Call your state senators and representatives!

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Third Base Politics is an Ohio-centric conservative blog that has been featured at Hot Air, National Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and others.


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