State lawmakers claim a bill preventing public union members from using payroll deductions to contribute to political action committees is about protecting union members from harassment. Please. Union members are adults and are perfectly capable of deciding on their own whether to use a payroll deduction. And if schoolteachers and others really are being pressured to use the deduction – a big "if" – then won't they be pressured to write checks to the union PACs? This legislation is entirely about trying to weaken unions – which is why it is being pushed by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Prosperity. In a rare moment of honesty, the chamber's lobbyist told a House panel that he needed the bill passed "so we can get rid of public-sector unions." Lawmakers should at least be honest, too.
January 31, 2013