Help Stop Big Labor in AZ: Support SB1182 (“paycheck protection”)

| February 14 2013
AZ News

SB1182 (paycheck deductions; public employers) is headed to the Arizona State Senate floor for a vote shortly, and the legislature needs to hear from you, the conservative grassroots.  SB1182 is Arizona’s chance to join a growing number of states that are fighting back against destructive union practices.

What is paycheck protection?  Paycheck protection is a concept that prevents government employers and liberal unions from taking money out of employee paychecks without the express annual authorization and consent from union members.  Current law allows for employers to take money out of the paychecks of union employees and spend that money on political purposes, even if that employee disagrees with the unions’ political agenda.

The concept of SB1182 is simple.  We’ve all used our email addresses to sign up for blog accounts online or maybe you’ve purchased tickets to a concert recently.  Usually, the sign up form will include some sort of check box that will ask you if you’d like to receive special offers from affiliate partners or regular email updates.

Whenever you register your car with the MVD in Arizona, there’s a box on your form that allows you to “opt-in” if you want your personal information to be shared with commercial parties.  So why aren’t unions held to these same basic standards?  Why are employees forced to give portions of their hard earned money to support political activity they don’t support?

Take a moment to think of your personal paycheck.  Now think of something you hold dear as a conservative.  Imagine if your employer took $20 out of every paycheck and decided they were going to spend that money to directly further the agenda of a group or individual that believed the exact opposite of you on that issue you hold dear.  Strongly pro-life?  Too bad, your money is now going to support Planned Parenthood.  Member of the NRA?  Your money is better spent promoting weapons’ bans across the country.  Believe in the definition of marriage as “one man, one woman?”  Sorry, your money is now supporting a same-sex marriage ballot measure in Vermont.

This is what is happening on a daily basis in America, and union employees have absolutely no say.

The Heritage Foundation may have said it best in their 2006 analysis of paycheck protection laws:

Many union leaders are pursuing an agenda that their members do not support.  This fact suggests that America’s workers would be well served by giving them greater freedom in deciding whether or not to belong to a union, and union members should be given greater sway over how their dues are spent by their leaders.

But really, how politically slanted is union spending?  A quick review of 2012 outside national spending by donors’ industries shows that just 1.18% of national union spending went to support conservative candidates, issues and organizations. 99 to 1!  And we wonder why Democrats are opposed…

Public Sector Unions

  • To Liberals: $34,802,844
  • To Conservatives: $419,866

Miscellaneous Unions

  • To Liberals: $25,550,548
  • To Conservatives: $0

Industrial Unions

  • To Liberals: $12,353,694
  • To Conservatives: $0

Building Trade Unions

  • To Liberals: $18,845,248
  • To Conservatives: $725,500

Transportation Unions

  • To Liberals: $4,036,193
  • To Conservatives: $0

And the grand total is….

  • To Liberals: $95,588,527
  • To Conservatives: $1,145,366 
Combine the forced political union dues with federal grants and stimulus money kick-backs and the Democrats essentially have what Rush Limbaugh has referred to as a “money-laundering scheme.”
For example, in Wisconsin, 90 percent of the stimulus money in Wisconsin went to unions, public sector unions. … Teachers didn’t lose their jobs, while everybody else did,” Rush explained. “And since they kept their jobs, they continued to pay dues. And the dues are what end up being donated back to the Democrat Party or used by the union to fund advertising to elect Democrats.”
Here in the Arizona, the 2012 legislation election cycle witnessed historic amounts of outside union spending.  Luige del Puerto, from the Arizona Capitol Times noted:
 “The aggressiveness of the attack suggested that organized labor in Arizona and its allies adopted a specific strategy — to take out as many Republicans as they can, even those who are perceived to be somewhat sympathetic to unions.”

And it appears the strategy worked.  As a result of the unfairly drawn IRC lines and outside spending by liberal union groups, Republicans lost four (4) seats in the Arizona State Senate and another four (4) seats in the Arizona State House.

If Arizona can pass a paycheck protection law this session we will join six other states that have already passed similar employee protection laws.  Even union strongholds such as Ohio and Michigan have passed paycheck protection laws.

There’s a reason why Big Labor is scared of SB1182.  Within five years of the passage of Washington’s paycheck-protection law in 1992, voluntary paycheck deductions to the state’s teachers-union PAC had shrunk by 75 percent.

In Idaho, labor unions spent 15 percent less on state elections in 20120, a year after paycheck-protection legislation took effect.

There was a time in Utah where nearly 70% of teachers contributed to the teachers union’s political activity.  Four years after paycheck-protection legislation was enacted, less than 7 percent of Utah teachers were voluntarily contributing.

Even union members have indicated that they support paycheck protection legislation in recent polling.  79% of union households indicated they supported “the right to not participate in their union’s political support of specific candidates or political parties by requiring the union to get approval from employees before their dues money is spent on behalf of political parties or political candidates” in a 2011 poll.

Unions, like any group or individual, have a right to exercise their first amendment right and spend their money how they see fit.  But that should not come at the expense of the first amendment rights of their employees.

Contact your Republican Senator today and ask them to support SB1182 – “Paycheck Protection.”  You can use the following LINK to find the contact information for your State Senator.

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