October 17, 2005

Paycheck Protection Initiative Endorsed By -- the Los Angeles Times?!

Hatched by Dafydd

In an astonishing burst of good sense, decency, and even courage, the Los Angeles Times has actually endorsed Proposition 75, the initiative that would ban public-employee unions from using member dues for political purposes without the prior written consent of the member. This according to the ever-reliable Daniel Weintraub at the Sacramento Bee, whose Bee-blog, California Insider, is a daily must-read at Big Lizards central.

Weintraub links to the LA Times editorial:

IN 1998, THIS PAGE OPPOSED Proposition 226, the so-called paycheck-protection measure that sought to bar labor unions from spending a member's dues for political activities in the absence of that member's consent. We considered that initiative a disingenuous "good government" move aimed at diminishing the voice of only one side on public policy debates, and we would oppose such a proposition again if it were on this year's ballot.

But contrary to some of the arguments being mustered both for and against Proposition 75, this election's version of "paycheck protection" is significantly different than Proposition 226: It applies only to public employee unions. We support this more narrowly tailored initiative primarily as a means of lessening the power of public employee unions in Sacramento, but also as a way of reinforcing the right of union members to insist that their hard-earned income not be diverted to political causes they don't endorse.

Ah, the world, which had been wobbling on its axis, has steadied itself: the Times supports the initiative, but for a silly and contradictory reason! They support, among other things, "the right of union members to insist that their hard-earned income not be diverted to political causes they don't endorse." But they nevertheless opposed Prop. 226, which would have upheld "the right of union members to insist that their hard-earned income not be diverted to political causes they don't endorse."

So evidently, they only support the right of public employees to be free of such odious misuse of their paychecks!

(The Times cites the thoroughly discredited canard that a similar restriction on private-employee unions would be wrong because corporations would still be able to contribute money without asking shareholders. But this is absurd: shareholders can register their disapproval by dumping their stock; I dumped my Disney stock some time ago because I despised the politics Michael Eiser was funding, and I suffered no financial setback. But absent such an initiative, the only way for an employee, public or private, to stop his union money going to causes he loathes would be to quit his job and go on the dole.

(There already is a law, on paper, "allowing" members to specifically tell the union not to use their dues for politicking; but union thugs have a habit of "hatting" and beating anyone who tries to use it.)

The Times supports the First-Amendment rights of conservatives, but only in a limited fashion... and only because even politcos like Antonio Villaraigosa despise the teachers unions.

Sanity is restored. I am glad to have the Times on my side for a change, but at least I don't have to rethink the fundamental nature of reality!

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, October 17, 2005, at the time of 8:38 PM

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