Level the Playing Field

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Besides getting rid of our incompetent and narcissistic president, there is no other issue more important in California than Prop 32.  It would be difficult to overstate the impact that it will have in California politics.

Many of you remember the story of Miramonte Elementary School teacher Mark Bernd, who was accused of blindfolding students, some as young as 7, and giving them cookies laced with his “bodily fluids.” He was charged with 23 counts of lewd conduct on children. LA Unified tried to fire him, but the process dragged on for months and ended with LAUSD paying Bernd $40,000 to settle.

Yes you read that right, LAUSD paid this creep $40K to get lost, rather than fight him for years through the appeal process.  And he still wasn’t fired, he retired!

As a result of this case, Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Los Angeles) introduced SB 1530.  This bill would have simplified the process to get rid of deviants like Bernd.  It passed the Senate and was referred to the Assembly, where it never made it out of the Education Committee.

Why, you ask?

The California Teachers Association did a full court press to defeat SB 1530. Even the San Francisco Chronicle said, “The influence of the California Teachers Association was rarely more apparent – or more sickening – than in the defeat of SB1530. The union showed its willingness to defend an expensive and cumbersome process for firing bad teachers at almost any cost – even if that means school districts must continue to spend exorbitant sums of time and money to dismiss teachers in cases involving sex, drugs or violence with students.”

So why does the CTA have so much power that they can convince six Democrats on the Education Committee to kill the bill?  Money! According to CNN, every one of those Assembly members that voted against the bill was a recipient of CTA money.  Sometimes you do actually have to pay the piper.  So even this bill, supported and authored by self-described pro-union Democrats, was defeated because the CTA pulled some strings.

Prop 32 will go a long way to cut those strings.

Prop 32 will do three things:

  1. Prohibit both corporations and unions (like the CTA) from giving any money to candidates (this would apply to all businesses as well).
  2. Prohibit the deduction of political money from worker paychecks (so all contributions will be voluntary – the employee will have to write a check)
  3. Prohibit contractors from giving to politicians who approve their contracts (no more pay to play)

This is simple and makes good common sense.  But to realize the impact to an organization like the CTA, you need to understand their current system.  Right now if you were a public school teacher, you would be paying somewhere around $1,100/year to the union to be able to be employed.  You didn’t vote to start or join a union; it was there when you got there.  You were required to join in order to have your job.

Of that $1,100, more than $300 is used for political purposes. And it’s taken out of your paycheck, whether you want to donate or not.  Prop 32 would end that.  The CTA would have to come and ask you for the money.

When automatic deductions were discontinued in Wisconsin, some estimates were that the participation rate went from 100 percent to 20 percent.  Imagine if the CTA lost 80 percent of its funding!

Vote Yes on 32 and let’s find out.


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  1. VOTE NO on Prop 32:
    Give me one other organization that fights for worker’s rights, health and safety laws, meal breaks, nurse patient ratios, social security, unemployment, 8 hour day, overtime, minimum wage, family leave, workers comp, state disability,and disciplinary procedures to name a few.
    First, Prop. 32 eliminates the union’s voice completely. Only unions collect dues through payroll deductions NOT corporations. There is a system with in every union that governs the tiny percent of the dues that go to politics and every member has the right to opt out. However, The language in Prop. 32 continues to state that even if money is collected through voluntary practices the union cannot use the money for any political purpose or communicate with their members regarding politics. Second the language of prop. 32 states it will stop pay to play. It only stops it during the bidding process, than corporations can go back to giving moneys. It doesn’t stop Corporate Super PAC’s, Wal-Mart, which is not a corporation, Anti union Billionaire CEOs, or 501 4c non profits that don’t even have to report to the FFC who gave them money. Even the Chamber of Commerce can give unlimited amounts of money to their special interests. Let’s talk Chamber of Commerce, their attorneys and members attend every MSHA, OSHA or CAL OSHA hearing I have every attended fighting to stop or repeal health and safety laws that protect workers. Yeah , that’s the folks I want to decide my working conditions and pay.

  2. How did my wife and I manage to make a good living, travel to Europe dozens of times with our children, and even snow ski without belonging to these unions so enamored of “protecting worker’s rights”? How was that possible?

    What you call “protecting worker’s rights,” Tick, I would call bully tactics, intimidation, lies, treachery, and chicanery. Hitler’s party was the National Socialist Worker’s Party. But even Hitler would not stoop to defending someone who put urine or semen into children’s cookies. It takes a union to do that.

    Protecting this vile thing who would harm children is a perfect example of just how low unions stoop, without the slightest hesitation.

  3. What ever happened to simple logic? How is it possible to use a single disgusting event to call for dismantling of an organization designed to safeguard a group of our most precious workers. Even if the CTA were not worthy how can its behavior be used to discredit all unions? Even if all unions were not worthy how can prohibitions that effect unions but have little or no effect on corporations be considered leveling of the playing field? Are the writers of such nonsense unaware that something that characterizes a group applies to every member of the group but something that characterizes a member of a group does not necessarily apply to the group as a whole? Aristotle pointed this out 2000 years ago. Those who ignore simple logic to support political opinion have either not had the benefit of a high school education or are using false logic to further unspoken agenda such as bias and class hatred.

    • You make some good points except it is every union. Who do you think blocks the traffic at rush hour. Who went on strike during WWII? Who destroys public property in the name of the little children. Who ended up as part owners of General Motors without any initial capital. Why is all the public employee retirement systems a coming train wreck in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach and almost every city, county and state in the nation etc., etc. The unions. Simple logic tells you something has to be done for the unions can not control their greed or actions !?

  4. Gee-wizz Scott. What would all the substandard teachers do for a living? After all they went to the best schools in The Peoples Republic of California, received their undergrad and possibly graduate degrees, they should be protected regardless of their teaching ability, and illegal acts. Why that would mean less union money in the coffers if you fired those that deserved it. If only teachers could be fired for not performing like in the market place, but no, not even criminals can get fired in the CTA, they get golden send offs with full retirement!