The Freedom Foundation – which last year expanded into Oregon after spending a quarter century fighting for free markets and limited, accountable government in neighboring Washington – will take its first formal plunge into California this week by unveiling a series of TV ads targeting unionized caregivers.
Much like ads that have run successfully in Washington and Oregon, the California ads will deliver to home-based care providers a message their union doesn’t want them to hear: “You have a choice.”
Prior to 2014, home-based health providers being compensated for by Medi-Cal for providing care for a client or loved one were required to pay either dues or fees to a labor union.
But in Harris v. Quinn, the U.S. Supreme Court established that these state-paid home care aides and other “partial-public” employees could decide for themselves whether to associate with a union.
Faced with the prospect of massive defections – and the corresponding loss of billions in dependable revenue – the unions answered Harris by first ignoring the ruling, then fighting to keep the workers unaware of their newly affirmed legal rights.
And for those who heard about their rights and tried to exercise them, the unions dreamed up ways to make the opting-out process more trouble than it was worth.
The Freedom Foundation works in all three areas. Its lawyers have filed countless suits in the past two years aimed at making the unions live up to their legal responsibilities under Harris. Equally important, the organization has created a one-of-a-kind canvassing program that has hired dozens of workers to fan out all over the Pacific Northwest and visit thousands of home care providers with information their union is trying to keep from them.
The new California ads lay the groundwork for a similar push in this state by introducing viewers to providers in neighboring states who opted out with the Freedom Foundation’s help.
“As our name implies, we’re committed to freedom,” said Freedom Foundation CEO Tom McCabe. “If someone wants to be a union member and support its political agenda with their hard-earned dollars, that’s their privilege. But we also believe people have the right to decide for themselves they want to keep every dollar Medicare has allocated for their effort and for the care of their loved ones.”
The ads will run on cable TV stations in the Orange County market starting on Sept. 12.
“This is our largest ad buy – really, our largest marketing effort of any kind – ever,” McCabe said. “We’re in California for good now, and we want to bring the same information to forcibly unionized workers in this state that we did to the thousands of caregivers who’ve opted out in the past two years in Washington and Oregon.
He concluded, “Our message to the workers and the unions that deceive them is that we’re here, we’re staying and we mean business.”
The Freedom Foundation is a member-supported, Northwest-based think and action tank promoting individual liberty, free enterprise and limited, accountable government.