Entries by Will Swaim

Friedrichs 2.0? Supremes May Get a Second Chance to Free Teachers from Forced Unionism

In a case that will cheer education reformers, four Pennsylvania teachers today sued their unions, school districts and district officials for making union membership a condition of their employment. “Teaching is my calling, but I fundamentally disagree with many teachers’ union stances on personnel and political issues,” said lead plaintiff Gregory J. Hartnett, an art […]

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Obama Ignores Destructive Influence of Prison Unions in HBO Appearance

Comedian Bill Maher landed an interview with President Barack Obama last week, and the interaction felt like something out of a movie about hobbits – two grown men basking in the warm glow of a be-flagged White House office with a Frederick Remington buffalo sculpture in the background. But if we were mesmerized […] Continue […]

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In a Political Campaign, City Officials Can Spend Your Money Against You. They Call it ‘Education’

This commentary appeared first in the Orange County Register. Californians going to the polls on Nov. 8 will find more than 300 measures to raise taxes. And despite multiple legal decisions limiting the practice, municipal officials in California may be paying outside consultants to run the campaign to sell you on your local tax measure. […]

Keep Breaking the Law: Your Government Needs the Money

This column appeared first in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal. My colleague Matt Smith recently observed that Huntington Beach is following the model of Ferguson, Missouri: raising fines on misdemeanors in order to generate more revenue for a cash-strapped city. The Department of Justice found that strategy was a contributing factor to […]

The Unions’ Favorite California State Senator

Money in politics has been a recurrent theme in this election cycle. Campaign finance reform advocates, mainstream media and certain candidates have repeatedly driven home the idea that corporations and rich conservatives are biasing the political process by making big-money donations, often without disclosure. Much of the narrative – advanced by authors such as New […]

Despite the Threat of Bankruptcy, Stanton Is Spending Millions to Build One Park

CHAPTER 1: PIGS (ala Portugal, Italy, Greece & Spain) In March 2011, facing a $4 million deficit, panicked Stanton City Council members met in special session and voted unanimously, dramatically to declare a fiscal emergency. It was the sort of thing we’d been hearing from Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain for months—a government’s […] Continue […]

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Stanton is Your Kind of Town

Kobe lives here – the NBA star, not the beef, though that’s often what’s starring for dinner. And Gwen Stefani grew up here. Orange County has the NHL Ducks and baseball’s weirdly named Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Television has honored this place (and mocked it) with Arrested Development, Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County, […]

‘Outsiders’: The powerful government unions that brought OC’s highest sales tax to Stanton are at it again

Stanton city officials have taken to the streets to fight a November ballot measure that would repeal the city’s one-year-old sales tax. In 37 community meetings and in a stream of communications from City Hall, officials tell residents the tax is essential to the city’s survival – and that its victory at the polls in […]

Tax hike masks Stanton’s public-safety pay problem

Stanton has become the stage for a political brawl: in one corner, city officials and the public employee union leaders who backed the measure to give Stanton – Orange County’s smallest city and one of its poorest – the county’s highest sales tax; in the other, residents and business owners working to repeal Measure GG, […]