Tracking Political Spending by Government Unions

By Edward Ring
With a rough top-down analysis, it’s easy enough to estimate how much government unions collect and spend every year in California. They have roughly a million members, paying roughly $1,000 per year in dues. That would be one billion dollars per year. They spend about a third of that to fund political campaigns for candidates and ballot...

TAGS: California public sector unions, campaign finance, Dark money, Elections, public sector union reform

How Can Local Officials Prepare for the Upcoming Janus vs AFSCME Ruling?

By Edward Ring
“A public employer shall provide all public employees an orientation and shall permit the exclusive representative, if applicable, to participate.” – Excerpt from California State Assembly Bill AB 52, December 2016 In plain English, AB 52 requires every local government agency in California to bring union representatives into contact with every new hire, to “allow...

TAGS: Janus vs AFSCME, public sector union reform

Populist Candidates Still Ignore Government Unions

By Edward Ring
Nearly every objection that supporters of presidential candidates Trump and Sanders raise to the establishment are intimately associated with government unions. But neither the people’s voice, or that voice as it is reflected back to them by their populist heroes, articulates this fact. (1) Do you want to reform Wall Street? You’ll have to go...

TAGS: Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, government unions, public sector union reform, public sector unions

Lessons for Reformers from Governor Scott Walker

By RiShawn Biddle
Certainly there are scores of Beltway conservative reformers (and movement conservatives disinterested in education policy) who are dismayed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s decision yesterday to halt his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. After all, the onetime state legislator and former Milwaukee County Executive-turned-governor has been highly-touted by them for his success in abolishing...

TAGS: education reform, Governor Scott Walker, public sector union reform

Scott Walker vs. the Unions (Part 2 of 2)

By Steven Allen
Summary: In part one we examined the early stages of the struggle between unions and Wisconsin’s combative governor, Scott Walker—his reform efforts, the initial protests, efforts to recall Walker and his allies, and the “John Doe” raids targeting supporters of reform. In part two, we look at his reelection campaign and the biggest twist of all: Wisconsin,...

TAGS: public sector union reform, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

Scott Walker vs. the Unions (Part 1 of 2)

By Steven Allen
Summary: In politics, it’s said, you’re known by the enemies you make. Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) is best known nationally for his battles with unions—from his reforms that brought 100,000 protesters to the state capitol, to the efforts by the unions to throw him out of office, to the passage of a Right to Work law. Now Walker is expected to run...

TAGS: public sector union reform, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

Pension Reformers are not "The Enemy" of Public Safety

By Edward Ring
“You will find that powerful financial and investment institutions are the ones promoting the attacks on your pensions. Firms like Berkshire-Hathaway and the Koch brothers are backing political candidates and causes all over the country in the hopes of making this issue relevant and in the mainstream media. Why? Because if they can crack your...

TAGS: defined benefit pension, government unions, pension reform, public sector union reform, unfunded liability

Glazer vs. Bonilla 7th Senate District Battle Reflects New Political Split in California

By Edward Ring
California’s politics remain polarized, but not just via the traditional division of Republicans vs. Democrats. As reported here two months ago in the post “Issue of Government Unions Divide Candidates More Than Party Affiliation,” there were two California State Senate contests that remained unresolved after the November 2014 election. One of them, pitting Republican John Moorlach...

TAGS: public sector union reform, Steve Glazer, Susan Bonilla

Conservatives, Police Unions, and the Future of Law Enforcement

By Edward Ring
Conservatives in America are at a crossroads. They face a choice between greater freedom or greater security. While striking this delicate balance has required ongoing policy choices throughout history, recent events involving law enforcement have brought these choices into sharp focus. Here’s how Patrik Johnson, writing last month in the Christian Science Monitor, described the...

TAGS: police unions, public sector union reform