A New York Post commentary by Christian Schneider of the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute correctly identifies the key reason Big Labor and its favored politicians are going all out to oust Badger State Gov. Scott Walker (R) and several of his political allies from office in special “recall” elections early next month: Walker and his team “dared to touch a sacrosanct issue” for union bosses — “mandatory dues.”
Thanks to Act 10, adopted by the Wisconsin Legislature and signed into law by Walker early last year, most teachers and other public employees throughout the state may no longer be fired for refusal to join or pay dues to an unwanted union. Union kingpins are determined both to reverse this reform and to deter elected officials in other states from emulating it.
As Schneider’s commentary (linked above) points out, it is primarily because of forced unionism that government unions are political powerhouses. In 2010, for example, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) reported an income of nearly $212 million. If AFSCME were truly a voluntary union, union officials would have to spend this hefty sum of money on programs that truly benefited union members, rather than on political kingmaking and other personal power grabs.
That’s a scenario that AFSCME czar Gerald McEntee and other union honchos are desperate to avoid. Hence their strenous and expensive efforts to get revenge on Walker and other elected officials who supported, and continue to support, Act 10.