Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Blame the unions, spare the governor

by Larry Geller

What’s the difference between this snippet…

Lingle has ordered more than 1,100 layoffs, starting in November, to help with an estimated $884 million budget deficit through June 2011. The governor has said the layoffs are necessary after unions blocked her furlough plans in court. [Honolulu Advertiser, Labor picnic draws thousands, 9/8/2009]

… and these articles, from other news media?

Judge: Lingle Can't Impose Worker Furloughs

Court rejects Lingle's furloughs:

A judge threw out Gov. Linda Lingle's plan to furlough state workers yesterday morning, saying she cannot violate the state Constitution even to benefit the people.

State Judge Blocks Governor’s Furlough Plans:

In a decision that will have wide ranging implications for the state budget, Honolulu Circuit Court Judge Karl Sakamoto ruled Gov. Linda Lingle’s plan to furlough state workers three days a month is unconstitutional.

Judge Grants Injunction Against State Furlough Plan

Judge Karl Sakamoto on Thursday morning granted a permanent injunction against the state's planned furloughs for state employees.

Sakamoto said the three furlough days a month violated workers' constitutional right to negotiate.

Let’s grant that all these accounts are accurate. But the story in today’s Advertiser promotes the ongoing less than subtle bias that unions are to blame.

Check out letters to the editor that blame environmentalists for killing the Superferry, or just ask people why the Superferry is no longer running. Some will correctly reply that Lingle’s attempt to override laws (with the assistance of the Legislature) was illegal. But many more, particularly on Oahu, will just blame the environmentalists.

Newspapers need to be clear, because they do influence public opinion.

It’s not incorrect that unions blocked Lingle’s furlough plans in court. It’s simply not the way a newspaper should write the story.

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Who killed the Superferry?

How about all the people who spoke in favor of it, but who didn't actually ride it...that's who actually killed the Superferry.

An interesting observation, Brad, that I have not seen elsewhere. But I can understand saying that we could use interisland ferry service even if I may not ride them myself.

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