I subscribe to opposition newsletters, and reading through the various (generic) Right Wing hatespeak that spewed forth with my morning mail, I came across a link to this:
By Charles Lane
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 15, 2007; Page A02
The Supreme Court yesterday unanimously upheld a Washington state law that requires public employee unions to get permission before making political contributions using fees they collect from nonmembers.
The law, unique in the nation, was adopted in a 1992 referendum to limit unions’ spending of the “agency fees” they deduct from the paychecks of employees who do not belong to the unions but are represented by them in collective bargaining.
… Though no other states have adopted laws similar to Washington’s, yesterday’s ruling confirms that they have a right to do so.
The Supremes have handed Right Wing zillionaires a huge gift, and it ain’t even Christmas.
To get some idea of the magnitude of this, imagine for a moment that the Supreme Court ruled a law constitutional that banned corporations from contributing to political campaigns, unless they had the permission of all their stockholders. Would you support such a law? I know I would.
There has been an organized movement to decimate unions’ ability to engage in political activity for several years now. The moribund corpse of that movement has just received CPR and a shot of adrenaline.
They tried to run this sort of initiative in Oregon in 1998, and the movement was gaining steam. This is the silly season for ballot initiatives, of course. (I was just contacted for some information on petition gathering contractors by activists in northern Oreg0n), and the secret money behind these sorts of things like to run multi-state campaigns, once they’ve got “an issue.”
So, be forewarned: the head of the “Center for Union Facts” (allegedly shady lobbyist Rick Berman) explained the strategy at the Americans for Limited Government astroturf conference in Chicago last August. Whether we win or not, he said, we pin down the unions and force them to play defense.
You need to understand that this all runs UNDER the national radar, and most national news outlets will cover it sparingly, if at all. The locals generally have their one big state newspaper, and that’s about it. Trust me, whether they win or not, a massive attack on the unions will pin down progressives on defense, which is just what the Right would like, as a distraction to keep their crappy incumbents in office, come November ’08.
An ounce of prevention, as they say.
In my long investigative series on the money cabal behind literally three dozen initiatives last year (and lord knows how many over the past decade), it became increasingly clear that they view unions as the ONLY institutional entity standing in their way to gut safety laws; and most expecially to eliminate taxes, corporate responsibility, land use law, labor law and even minimum wages. And, of course, eliminating unions altogether is a high priority.
Now, they’ve got the wedge issue they need to cripple union funding. For details see my investigative report on the bogus PSA’s that managed to fool the local AirAmerica affiliate into running anti-union spots from the “National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.”
SCOTUS has declared open season on unions. Watch the hunters flock to the chase.
The judgment was a rare 9-0. Take that as you will. (Interestingly, Justices Breyer, Roberts and Alito refused to sign on to portions of Scalia’s majority opinion.)
You’ve been forewarned.