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Whom Do You Want To Represent You In Elective Office – A Guardian Of The Public Interest Or A Fleeing Tool Of Public-Sector Unions?

Posted on February 23 2011 5:00 pm
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A milk container should be produced with the faces of all Democratic legislators, from Wisconsin, Indiana and any other state, whom have run away from their states rather than carry out the duties for which they were elected. They are subverting our system of representative government.

Looking past the specific issues being debated over union collective bargaining rights to the bigger picture, we now know who believes in serving the people in accordance with American democratic processes and who is beholden to their public service union bosses.

When the Democrats won big, as they did in 2008, they readily used their majority powers to steamroll over the minority party in the U.S. Congress and many state legislatures. But the Republicans stood their ground as the minority party and went down fighting for their principles. They didn’t make a mass run for the exits. They ran in 2010, telling voters precisely what they wanted to do to restore fiscal sanity. But when the Democrats lost many of their seats fair and square in the 2010 midterm elections and became the minority party in Wisconsin and other places, they cut and ran in order to obstruct the will of the people as reflected in the election results.

This is the way the choice between the parties in 2012 should be framed. Do the American people want to elect members of a party willing to undermine the orderly workings of elected government to serve union bosses who fill their campaign coffers, or do they want to elect members of a party willing to carry out what they promised to do during the election campaign even if it is not politically correct?

Democrats, all the way up to President Obama himself, believe that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s attempt to curb the scope of collective bargaining by public-sector unions is an “assault” on the basic rights of government workers, regardless of the costs such sweetheart collective bargaining deals have imposed on the taxpaying public. In fact, a Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts,  Rep. Mike Capuano, called for a counter assault – literally. He told a union crowd rallying in Boston in solidarity with the Wisconsin public workers that they need to go out and “get bloody,” while pointing out Tea Party counter protesters across the street.

The New York Times, speaking for the unions and Democrats, said in its lead February 23rd editorial:

For unions and Democrats in the Midwest, this is an existential strugge, and it is one worth waging

But that is not the way President Franklin D. Roosevelt – a friend of private-sector unions – looked at the so-called “rights” of public-sector workers. He saw an important common sense distinction between private and public workers that has gotten lost in today’s political storms:

Meticulous attention should be paid to the special relations and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government…The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service… [a] strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to obstruct the operations of government until their demands are satisfied. Such action looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it is unthinkable and intolerable.

Broad collective bargaining rights for government workers have brought many states to the brink of bankruptcy. When government employees have the power to halt or check the functions of government unless their demands are satisfied and they have compliant legislators whom they have paid off with campaign donations, the right of the people to ensure that their representatives are looking out for their general welfare is sacrificed to special interest groups.

For example, when elected officials in Wisconsin delegated to union leaders the power to force government workers into the unions’ selected health care plans, which are more expensive than other alternatives, they are working against the interests of the public at large and those union members who would prefer to have other health plan options to choose from. Forcing public-sector workers to join unions and pay dues which are deducted automatically by the state from their paychecks removes worker choices and makes the government the collection agent for the unions.

As another courageous governor, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said in a speech last year to his state’s mayors:

At some point, there has to be parity between what is happening in the real world and what is happening in the public-sector world

That time has arrived. Any public service employees who go on strike should be given an ultimatum – return immediately to work or lose your job. Any legislators who run from fulfilling their responsibilities as elected officials should be fired by the people in the next election.

Joseph Klein is the author of a recent book entitled Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations and Radical Islam

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