Monday, March 28, 2011

Republican Hypocrisy on Campaign Money



Fort Lauderdale police officers came out with a video asking Floridians to help stop SB 830. The bill's purpose to to financially destroy unions.


Labor and Employment; Prohibits a state agency from deducting from employee wages the dues, uniform assessments, fines, penalties, or special assessments of an employee organization or contributions made for purposes of political activity. Prohibits a county, municipality, or other local governmental entity from deducting from employee wages the dues, uniform assessments, fines, penalties, or special assessments of an employee organization or contributions made for purposes of political activity, etc.


Unions negotiate better wages and working conditions for their members. So for Republicans to merely label politicial organizations is a simplification.

There is also the hypocrisy of Republicans attempting to restrict political contributions. Conservative columnist George Will and the Supreme Court have argued that political contributions. Republicans are suddenly against the free speech when the money goes elsewhere. Apparently, Republicans believe it should be illegal for unions to be able to set up a political contribution system. Yet, that is exactly what Republicans in the Florida legislature did with its leadership funds.


The passage of the so-called leadership funds bill, HB 1207, will strengthen the clout of legislative leaders, allow them to work outside the purview of the party and, for Republicans, outside the the influence of the governor. In 2012, all legislators must run in newly drawn districts. Proponents argue the measure will increase ``transparency'' because they would give citizens the opportunity to view campaign finance activity, which is currently obscured by party reporting.

Leadership funds were banned 21 years ago when Democrats, in charge of the Legislature then, were embarrassed by a perception of pay-to-play politics. Rep. Rick Kriseman, D-St. Petersburg, said that lawmakers are headed down that path again.

"People just want you to be honest with them,'' he said. "This bill isn’t about transparency...This is about winning elections.''


It is about the Republicans able to keep to caucus in line with the promise of campaign money. Unions giving money to Democrats hinders the Republican cause. What the union-busting and leadership fund bills have to do with creating jobs is beyond me.

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