Thursday, November 12, 2009
Will Washington State labor revolt against Dems spread to other states?
by Larry Geller
Labor is asserting itself in Washington State:
The Washington State Labor Council, the Service Employees International Union and unions representing teachers and state workers have either stopped or sharply reduced donations to Democratic caucus political-action committees that back candidates for the state House and Senate.
There's even talk of trying to defeat some Democratic incumbents if they don't support issues important to labor in the next legislative session — such as raising taxes to help close a growing budget shortfall.
The unions said they're angry at deep spending cuts lawmakers made earlier this year to balance the state budget, and at a lack of action on labor-backed legislation and causes. [Seattle Times, State Democrats facing revolt by labor, 10/11/2009]
I have often wondered why business does not rise up against the GOP and labor against the Democrats. The lack of single-payer national health care has cost businesses, both large and small, dearly, for example, yet they do not use their control of our government to support true health care reform. Having to support a greedy and growing health insurance industry cuts into their prospects to satisfy their own greed.
And why do unions continue their knee-jerk support of Democrats who don’t support progressive values, or who work to hurt labor while pushing big banking or big business agendas?
In Hawaii, layoffs and furloughs of government workers and teachers make it harder for everyone to survive. There are alternatives, including taking back some of the tax breaks the rich have enjoyed, “sin” taxes such as on sweetened soda drinks, and other methods of raising money so as to keep as many jobs as possible. We also need to know where the stimulus money is going, and if it will benefit us or go out of state. Where exactly are those shovel-ready jobs? My shovel is ready….
Education in this state has been flushed down the toilet with the cooperation of labor. It should be just the opposite. Ordinary people don’t put their children in private schools. Labor should support the needs of ordinary people. Washington State could be Hawaii, except that the unions there are taking action:
The beef with Democrats varies among the different labor groups.
Some are unhappy with lawmakers for not raising taxes to help close the $9 billion budget shortfall earlier this year. To cut costs, the Legislature eliminated pay increases for teachers and state employees and cut health care, education and other state services.
The Washington Education Association wants lawmakers to put more money back into schools.
The dynamics of labor and politics are different in Hawaii, but still, I wonder when both unions and small business will take their power and work for change in our government.
There is the Democratic Party of Hawai'i and then there's the Democratic Party of Hawai'i. No matter how much progressives like Bart Dame move official party dogma into progressive realms, the shadow Party in Hawai'i is organized labor and the second generation 442nd leviathan in the business community in marriage made in hell and they remained unmoved and unaffected by recent changes on paper.
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