Friday, January 28, 2011

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 UnionDemocrat campaign contributions, Jan. 1 2009 – Nov. 1 2010Staff/Officers with gross pay exceeding $70KStaff/Officers with gross pay exceeding $100K
AFSCME Council 8$435,152.86 *
AFSCME Local 11$518,327.86 *

* 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!


  1. Your spending figures are way too low for the unions. Research the %age of $ that is doled out by the ODP that is Union $. The ODP is just a bank/pass through for the unions. The union $ figure in all the apportionment board seats and the House are much higher than just tracking the direct dollars spent.

  2. So when is this blog going to put on a disclaimer that it's paid for by the Ohio Republic Party State Executive & Central Committee campaign funds?

  3. Those evil unions. Protecting American workers, forcing businesses to pay prevailing and living wages, keeping workplaces safe, holding executives accountable for shipping jobs overseas, coming in the majority of cases under budget and on time.

    China and India got NOTHING on unions!

  4. JungDem, you're intentionally obfuscating the issue by discussing private sector unions.

    On unions in a regular workplace, there's an overall check on their power. They get too greedy, they run their employer out of business.

    For public-sector unions, there's no equivalent check -- the government doesn't go under, it just borrows more money. Public-sector unions are just a means for looting the treasury.

    It's not about "living wages" bu rather about unaffordably high levels of pensions earned starting at incredibly young ages, about unaffordably high levels of benefits, about wages that have now outstripped private-sector ones -- all at taxpayer expense.

  5. Public sector unions are bad public policy, except, of course, if you are a Democrat who wants to be elected. End of story.

  6. So, has Keeling died or something or is he burned out? This is becoming a dead blog spot.

  7. Keeling stopped blogging once his shell company stopped getting paid by the Ohio GOP for "research". I'm sure it's just a weird coincidence.

  8. You sure spend a lot of time and energy obsessing over Jon Keeling, Modern.

    It's creepy.

  9. Im waiting Ohio republics to really do something about this..

  10. LOL.. Not obsessing, just pointing him out for the political whore that he is. No conviction, just currency. Gave him an entire year to deny that he was getting paid to blog the tripe he put out. Never did.

    Is that the best response you've got to try to salvage the reputation of this site? This $11,000 monument of Ohio GOP astroturfing? Surely, Keeling taught you how to turn "tricks" better than that?

    Are you getting paid by the Ohio Republican Party, too?

  11. Boy, did I miss the boat on these comments.

    Kyle, thanks for your suggestion. Sorry I'm only seeing it weeks later, after I came to the same conclusion myself!

    Modern Esquire, I've never requested and have never been offered one red cent for my writing. I'm not part of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, so you'll just have to assume I'm stupid. To be honest, a Progressive thinking I'm stupid is the best compliment I can think of.


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