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The Great Union Break-up: Getting Dirty Money out of Politics

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It appears that soon I will be forced into the Communist Party of Champaign an NEA labor union. Sure, this only applies to visiting academic professionals, not permanent ones, but this arrangement isn’t going to last long. Out of 350 people eligible to vote, 62 voted yes, 41 voted no, and about 250 people didn’t vote. This groundswell has apparently justified the raiding of paychecks to send the Democratic campaigns everywhere.
The only comfort about this prospect (besides the fact that I look stunning in a Soviet military uniform which I will don once forced into this union) is that the AFL-CIO is cracking up. While pundits insist that the union breakup won’t hurt the DNC, one of the key issues that has sent three of the biggest unions out was over political campaigning. The Change to Win Coalition says it’s time for the AFL-CIO to start focusing on member issues instead of on politicians. The coalition seems to be giving way to the fact that about 1/3rd of member households are Republican and are getting tired of there money going to Democrats. Of course this is going to hurt Democrats.

The purpose of a labor union is not political campaigning, it is to represent workers needs to their employers. You want to change politics, join a PAC. As an example, the NEA at their recent annual meeting came up with a list of action items. Almost none of the 90+ items had anything to do with education (the E in NEA). More items had to do with Social Security, a program that none or almost none of the members of the NEA are eligible for because they are in pensions systems and exempt from Social Security contributions, than with education. The NEA is less of an organization having to do with education than a political action committee supporting the DNC.

Hopefully, the AFL-CIO crackup will lead unions to realize that if they want to attract new members they need to be organizations that deal with workplace issues and employers alone. If people wanted to join MoveOn, they would. The rest of us don’t take kindly to having our money taken away out of our control supporting policies we find abhorrent (the last story down about a lawsuit being allowed to procede against a union for forcing a member to financially support abortion groups against their conscience) with union bosses skimming off the top. Either represent us in collective bargaining, or stop wasting our time and money. Breaking up the behemoth of corrupt national unions is a good first step to getting big money out of politics.

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About John Bambenek

John Bambenek is a political activist and computer security expert. He has his own company Bambenek Consulting in Champaign, IL that specializes in digital forensics and computer security investigations.
  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    John, any chance you could provide some backstory on this. What are you doing and how did it come to pass that you’ve been forced to join the NEA or one of their affiliates?

    I was in a situation once when I was still teaching where there was much pressure to join an NEA affiliated union, but I opted not to and that was that. How is your situation different?

    Dave

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    *curses stupid Microsoft autocorrect screwing up quotes in link tags*

    Follow the links that have since been fixed.

  • Bob

    John you should lighten up. The NEA Action items can be found here

    While I consider many of the action items irrelevant to my life, even a bit silly, I’m not a teacher. You will find 5 items that mention Social Security. Two lump Social Security with preserving defined benefit pension plans (an entirely reasonable position for a union). One regarding an education program for teachers who move between “social security” and “non social security” states (again, something useful to members). Another (#77) I just can’t figure out (too inside baseball). And finally, the ONE of 92 that’s causing such heartburn — # 19 is a “communications plan to inform members of the adverse consequences associated with any effort to either directly or indirectly divert Social Security Trust Fund surplus amounts to private accounts within Social Security.” If you think this item (or that and # 77 which I can?t figure out) forces you into the communist party, you need to start watching out for the black helicopters too.

    As for the “E” — well perhaps they should change the name to “National Educators Association” as most of the items deal with pension and health issues — precisely the thing you want a union for.

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    They deal with poliltical issues, not employer issues… that’s a PAC, not a union.

    And it’s long been known that all the unions are supporting Marxism and actively trying to make it happen in the US. They’ll tell you straight out if you ask the leaders.

  • Nancy

    Now, I’m a little puzzled: why on earth would any worker support the GOP, which is blatantly & aggressively anti-labor & pro-rich folks management? Maybe they’re just stupid…?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Now, I’m a little puzzled: why on earth would any worker support the GOP, which is blatantly & aggressively anti-labor & pro-rich folks management? Maybe they’re just stupid…?<<

    They would support the GOP because it’s not pro-rich-folks, it’s pro-folks-who-earn-money. Including members or oganized labor who earn on average over $20 an hour, not including overtime and benefits. That’s a high enough wage to be able to buy homes, invest money and want to protect your interests from the rapaciousness of the Democrats.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    BTW, there’s another somewhat more detailed discussion of the NEA agenda items located here.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    Actually, $20/hr isn’t enough. WTOP just had a profile on air of the fact that in order for rank & file workers in the area to afford a ‘basic’ house (avg price in DC/Balt area: $310K +) they have to have a minimum $120K income for mortgage approval, which means that teachers, police, firefighters, not to mention secretaries & anyone not an overpaid CEO, lobbyist, or politician can’t afford to live in the counties they work in.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Well, $20/hr sounds pretty good to many of us who have to work multiple part time jobs at minimum wage to make ends meet.

    But I’d certainly agree that teachers, firefighters, police and many others are not being paid anywhere close to what their work is worth, while many CEOs are paid hundreds or thousands of times more than what their work is worth.

  • Nancy

    I think the piece was about the highest average wages in the US. NY led the way with $75K+, but the whole point was, you may make $75K, but it costs $95K to live there!

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    Keep telling yourself that the GOP is out to put arsenic in the drinking water as if the DNC is lily white in their intentions.

    Welcome to permanent minority status.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Actually, $20/hr isn’t enough. WTOP just had a profile on air of the fact that in order for rank & file workers in the area to afford a ‘basic’ house (avg price in DC/Balt area: $310K +) they have to have a minimum $120K income for mortgage approval, which means that teachers, police, firefighters, not to mention secretaries & anyone not an overpaid CEO, lobbyist, or politician can’t afford to live in the counties they work in.<<

    So you’re suggesting that the average income of homeowners in the DC area is anything like the national average? It’s one of the most expensive real estate markets in the nation and people who live in the area are correspondingly better paid than their counterparts elsewhere.

    The average you cite represents the combination of very expensive and much more inexpensive properties, and the most expensive ones are so high priced that it skews the overall pricing substantially

    I lived in DC for many years. The way it works there is that there is a wide disparity in home values depending on where you live. A house in Cleveland Park or Georgetown or Chevy Chase is going to cost you a million dollars or more. But move in a different direction, to Fairfax or Bladensburg or Beltsville or into Northeast DC and the prices are lower and you’re not much farther from downtown. Move a little farther out – where the police and firefighters and such live – like Prince Georges County or Stafford County and you’re still in commuting range, but house prices come down into the $200,000-$300,000 range for a family home. Move one circle farther out – and the commute becomes painful, but prices drop under $200K.

    And don’t forget that far more people in the DC area rent rather than own homes.

    But regardless, it’s ridiculous to use DC as the standard for comparison. I can go down the road from where I live and buy a family size home for $100,000 with virtually no qualifying credit, and the Austin area is by no means a depressed zone.

    Dave