UPDATE: Hot Air has a vivid analysis of the extent of influence bought by unions. Gateway Pundit has further details on the website “The Tea Party is Over”. Please help us fight this battle by joining the CITIZEN POWER CAMPAIGN!. Please click HERE for further details.
Dear Readers: I wanted to be among the first to share with you news of a home-grown, grassroots initiative that is in the beginning stages. This initiative promises to be as significant to the economic and political health of our state as California’s famous Proposition 13.
I hope to inspire energy for a struggle against CA’s “Axis of Economic Evil” — the unholy alliance of state employee union leadership and political power players in Sacramento. As we are in the Halloween season, I will liken this partnership to that between Faust and the Devil, and use the appropriate analogies as they suit.
Last night, I was privileged to be among the first hear the news that Dawn Wildman, the President of our local Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition, LLC and Mark Meckler, National Coordinator of Tea Party Patriots, signed as two of the five citizen proponents to begin an initiative process. Their proposal will ultimately insure that monies from California state employee union members are no longer automatically extracted to be placed in the accounts of union bigwigs for political purposes. Unless this change to the state Constitution is passed, the head honchos of the unions will continue using member money to make power-deals with politicians — Faustian bargains that are toxic to the economic health of ALL California employees (including the union membership). The other proponents to sign the petition include Mark W. Bucher of the Orange County Lincoln Club, Allan R. Mansoor (Costa Mesa Mayor, see video below), and Lawrence D. Sand of the California Teacher Empowerment Network.
For those of you interested in the “meat” of the proposals that Meckler handed into the Attorney General’s office (shockingly over-run with S.E.I.U. posters and paraphernalia), let me direct you to the source material:
Mark Mecker explained the basis for this first initiative directly sponsored by a Tea Party entity within California: “State employees are forced to make contributions into their unions. The union leadership then uses this money to directly influence politicians by contributions. This is a horrendous arrangement, and completely undermines the power of California’s citizens to influence their representatives as was initially envisioned by our founding fathers. It essentially leaves the individual California constituents completely powerless.”
Meckler continued: “For example, the California State Teachers Union donated 90 million dollars to various politicians and special interest causes. How can the average citizen compete? But this process begs the question — how much of what union leadership supported was actually supported by their individual members?”
Dawn Wildman echoed the sentiment: “No employee, in either the public or private sector, should be forced to give monies to causes in which they do not believe and would not normally support.”
Meckler used the ground-breaking Idaho legislation, the Voluntary Employee Contribution Act, as an example of the type of success this kind of initiative can have to mend the healthy working of the political/free market system of a state. Though the union and political leadership battled VECA, it finally prevailed in the U.S. Supreme Court and the donations FROM unions TO politicians decreased by 85% within three years.
Meckler stated: “The Idaho act leveled the playing field. We need that here.”
Meckler expects the same type of legal push-back, and the ultimately the same success. “Getting this initiative passed will help free union members to give their personal donations to people and causes they support, individually. This type of reform is an ideal activity for Tea Party groups to get behind, and we suspect that there will be a lot of push back against this reform from union and political leadership in California.”
Meckler noted that some people may have concerns about the Lincoln Club, whose members were instrumental in getting this citizen initiative process started. He felt that Tea Party members might be uneasy about the Lincoln Club’s connections to the Republican Party. Meckler assures everyone that the Lincoln Club’s interest in assistance from Tea Party Patriots is totally NON-PARTISAN, and the Lincoln Club membership is much more interested in protecting the free market system and the state’s economic health. For example, the Lincoln Club of Orange County has the following mission statement:
The Lincoln Club of Orange County is a cornerstone of California politics. The Lincoln Club was founded in 1962 by a group of prominent Southern California businessmen whose goal was to bring a business sense to politics. The Club’s founders created an organization that included a wide spectrum of beliefs within the Republican Party, but who all shared a commitment to the principles of limited government, free enterprise, the rule of law, and the preservation of individual liberty.
In fact, Lincoln Club is turning to the Tea Party because it is unlikely the California Republican Party will stand behind this initiative. Meckler further explained that all participatory members of the Lincoln Club had to join their local Tea Party Patriots group — and they did so with a whole lot of enthusiasm!
“It has been my experience that a lot of politicians come up to Tea Party groups, wanting us to help THEM,” Meckler detailed. “However, when we in return ask how THEY can assist us in promoting citizen causes, that is where the conversation ends with them.”
“The Lincoln Club was a totally different experience”, Meckler continued. “They recognize they had been funding political failure — and that their support of quasi-conservative Republican candidates was actually part of the problem. The Club is now realizing, like we have, that we need to be more focused on legislation and action — as opposed to specific politicians.” (MUT Note: Below is a video of Meckler speaking at the Aug. 28th March on Sacramento):
At this point, what can California citizens do to help?
* GET UPDATES - Come back to this website or that of the Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition. LLC or Tea Party Patriots (or your local TPP Chapter) for updates — this first step will take about 45 days to complete, and I will be providing new information as I have it.
* PREPARE TO SIGN – It is estimated that the target date for initial signature gathering will be Dec. 1st; we want to have as many signatures gathered as fast as possible so we can send a strong message to Sacramento: PEOPLE are the real POWER — not MONEY!
* VOLUNTEER – We will be collecting signatures using volunteers. We will need “precinct captains” willing to commit a lot of time and energy into this process. Training classes and support information will be made available to assist this process.
* SPREAD THE WORD!!!!!!!!!! At this stage, this is the most important action Californians can take!
And if you want to have some fun, send me some submissions for names we can use for the act.
To be honest, people involved in this process must be prepared for a battle. Let’s take a look at the news archives, to recall some of the classic moments in S..E.i.U. leadership and their treatment of citizens.
* Look for the Union Label
* Eye Witness to St. Louis Scuffle: ‘SEIU Representative Punched Him In the Face.’ (Updated w Gladney Quotes)
* NEA and SEIU Diverted Forced Union Dues to Corrupt ACORN Offices
* Why Unions Are “Astroturfing” Health-Care Town Halls
* SEIU head: Anti-American teabagging extremists need to elevate their discourse
* Father of Handicapped Son Received Threats After Confrontation With Rep. Dingell
Dawn Wildman concurred: “The union is going to try and kill this reform, and they are going to throw a ton of money and man-power behind this. The union leadership knows this is the fight of their political life. However, we view this as THE fight for the future of our state. It has the potential to be as important as the passage of Proposition 13, and more far ranging in our success in May during the special election.”
Meckler warned that their will be next to no support from the Californian Republican Party. “GOP Politicians get money from the unions, too. We can anticipate very little help from either of the major political parties to promote this initiative”. (The one good thing about me being a Democrat is that the Democrat politicians never disappoint).
“Politicians are usually interested in the the power of money,” explained Meckler. “Tea Party groups have the power of infinite resources. We will need to use the most important resource California has, its people, to change the law.”
As I start with a reference to Faust, I will end with an apt quote:
Please help us make a new one for California!