How the Teachers’ Union Robbed Chicago, Again

Writing at National Review, Joshua Culling looks at the details of the Chicago teachers deal: During the Democratic National Convention I wrote about a clear contrast between the policies of Illinois natives Barack Obama and Pat Quinn, and their Wisconsin counterparts, Paul Ryan and Scott Walker. We now have another anti-reformer to add to the Illinois column: Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel. The seven-school-day Chicago Teachers Union strike was extensively covered across the country, as teachers walked out of the classroom after rejecting a deal with the city that would have paid them 16 percent more over four years, coupled with a slightly greater weighting of student performance in teacher evaluations. So far as I could tell, the union’s choice was overwhelmingly portrayed in a negative light, with even the New York Times editorial page calling the strike “unnecessary,” positing that union president Karen Lewis “seem[ed] to be basking in the power of having shut down the school system.” It was an opportunity for Emanuel to take a politically popular stand against union largesse while winning serious reforms for his city’s beleaguered budget. It is sad but true that when Democratic leaders push back against unions, they are applauded for moderation, or at least left alone by observers in the media. In 2011, Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick and an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature curbed collective bargaining to little fanfare. At the same time, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker pursued a similar path in Madison, but faced thousands of union protesters at his doorstep and the wrath of the New York Times and MSNBC.

Big Labor Flying Too Close to the Sun

Big Labor Flying Too Close to the Sun

Fox All Star and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer discusses the meaning of the Wisconsin recall election and how taxpayers have finally had enough of Big Labor's power and pocketbook grabs while union bosses claimed mythical societal benefits arose from forced-dues: Tuesday, June 5, 2012, will be remembered as the beginning of the long decline of the public-sector union. It will follow, and parallel, the shrinking of private-sector unions, now down to less than 7 percent of American workers. The abject failure of the unions to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) — the first such failure in U.S. history — marks the Icarus moment of government-union power. Wax wings melted, there’s nowhere to go but down. The ultimate significance of Walker’s union reforms has been largely misunderstood. At first, the issue was curtailing outrageous union benefits, far beyond those of the ordinary Wisconsin taxpayer. That became a nonissue when the unions quickly realized that trying to defend the indefensible would render them toxic for the real fight to come. But as the recall campaign progressed, the Democrats stopped talking about bargaining rights. It was a losing issue. Walker was able to make the case that years of corrupt union-politician back-scratching had been bankrupting the state. The real threat behind all this, however, was that the new law ended automatic government collection of union dues. That was the unexpressed and politically inexpressible issue. That was the reason the unions finally decided to gamble on a high-risk recall. Without the thumb of the state tilting the scale by coerced collection, union membership became truly voluntary. Result? Newly freed members rushed for the exits. In less than one year, -AFSCME, the second-largest public-sector union in Wisconsin, has lost more than 50 percent of its membership.

"Wisconsin, the rebellion of those who pay the freight against the public employee unions"

From Rick Manning at NetRightDaily.com: Democrats are spinning the Wisconsin results, saying, "The exit polls show O is leading in the state, so it doesn’t matter." Of course, those same exit polls showed that the Big Labor Walker recall was too close to call, when it was a veritable blowout. So much for hanging your hat on exit polls. The shocking realization for Big Labor out of the Wisconsin campaign is that its president was unwilling to expend any of his political capital at the moment of greatest need on its behalf. One has to wonder if this will hurt Obama’s ability to mobilize the shock troops of the Democratic Party in November. If it does, the failed Wisconsin recall will be devastating to Obama’s reelection bid nationally whether he wins the state in November or not. Beyond the unsavory fact of public employee unions being the major contributor to the campaigns of those whom they negotiate contracts with, the decision to dramatically raise their profile has made public employee unions fair political game.

"Wisconsin, the rebellion of those who pay the freight against the public employee unions"

From Rick Manning at NetRightDaily.com: Democrats are spinning the Wisconsin results, saying, "The exit polls show O is leading in the state, so it doesn’t matter." Of course, those same exit polls showed that the Big Labor Walker recall was too close to call, when it was a veritable blowout. So much for hanging your hat on exit polls. The shocking realization for Big Labor out of the Wisconsin campaign is that its president was unwilling to expend any of his political capital at the moment of greatest need on its behalf. One has to wonder if this will hurt Obama’s ability to mobilize the shock troops of the Democratic Party in November. If it does, the failed Wisconsin recall will be devastating to Obama’s reelection bid nationally whether he wins the state in November or not. Beyond the unsavory fact of public employee unions being the major contributor to the campaigns of those whom they negotiate contracts with, the decision to dramatically raise their profile has made public employee unions fair political game.

Big Labor and the NY Times Hate Recall Elections (Sometimes)

Big Labor and the NY Times Hate Recall Elections (Sometimes)

If finding inconsistencies on the New York Times editorial page were a boxing match, the fight would have to be stopped especially when it comes to recall elections and big labor. Writing for The Blaze, Chris Field discovered amazing contradictions in logic by the Times when it comes to recalling governors:  The New York Times and the labor unions — led by the AFL-CIO — announced their rabid opposition to the recall of a democratically elected governor. They even went so far as to label the recall effort “an unwise move with potentially damaging ramifications” being led by “wealthy, opportunistic politicians”; a plan that could create “instability”; a “rendezvous with potential political chaos”; a “hijacking of an election”; a “tangent of mischievous politicking”; a “sorry indulgence”; and a source of “mischief” — among other descriptions. Of course, their cries of woe have nothing to do with the efforts to recall Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker, whose efforts have saved the state millions of dollars and increased the protection of personal freedoms for those who don’t want to join labor unions. Their state of outrageously outrageous outrage was over the efforts to recall unpopular and failed California Democratic Gov. Gray Davis back in 2003. The New York Times editorial board believed that the recall effort was the “Wrong Remedy in California” (as the editorial headline read): Recalling Governor Davis, however, is not the answer. It is an unwise move with potentially damaging ramifications. The California Labor Federation sent a letter on Monday to the state’s Democratic elected officials alerting them to the “unequivocal position of the labor movement” on the recall.