>La Grande Observer | Union and Wallowa Counties' News Leader

Observer news NE Oregon Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

Follow LaGrandeObserver.com

La Grande Observer print edition

view all La Grande Observer print publications »

The Observer Paper 10/22/14

The LaGrande Observer is now online in a Replica E-edition form and publishes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Current subscribers have full access to the E-edition.

View Paper

If you are not a current subscriber, subscribe today for immediate access.


Recent article comments

Powered by Disqus

Home arrow Opinion arrow Our View arrow UNIONS SWAY VOTERS WITH $2.5 MILLION



While the Legislature agonizes over what is becoming a sinkhole of a financial crisis, one group is emerging as a power broker ready and willing to make sure that no union employees are hurt in any downsizing of state government. Enter several employee union groups who primarily are made up of government workers. These are names that you may or may not be familiar with:

• Oregon Education Association, 44,000 teachers and support staff

• Service Employees International, 22,000 state government workers

• Oregon School Employees Association, 20,000 workers in schools

• American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, 20,000 workers in local and state government

• American Federation of Teachers, 9,000 workers in community college/government

• Oregon Nurses Association, 2,400 public employees

• Amalgamated Transit Union, 3,200 public transit operators

• Oregon Council of Police Associations, 3,000 local police officers

• Oregon State Fire Fighters Council 2,600 firefighters

These are the individuals who through their unions have been lobbying state legislators and the governor for decades and in recent years using their large financial resources to sway the voting public's decision-making process. During the last statewide election, these unions spent $2.5 million on campaigns and ballot measures, seeking to get their candidates elected. How successful were they? Since unions spend all 100 percent of their money to support Democratic candidates, they did remarkably well. Once again Oregon has a Democratic governor, superintendent of public instruction and labor commissioner. Enough Democratic candidates won in the Senate that the Senate is evenly split (previously controlled by Republicans) and won passage of Measures 25 and 26.

We don't have a problem with people joining unions or lobbying their legislators. We all have the right to assemble in groups and to lobby. We do become concerned about any group that has the ability to control the direction of state and local government. Oregon is facing some difficult times, times that may mean downsizing government, from local school districts to every government agency at any level of government. It means taking tough looks at how we spend government dollars and how we might have to reduce the benefits that these employees and unions have worked to create and hold on to. The Public Employee Retirement System is one example of where costs must be drastically reduced or we will face even greater downsizing at all levels of government.

Voters have been swayed by the message that $2.5 million can buy. We hope the Legislature will not be unduly swayed by those dollars or their donors. Perhaps we would feel better if unions were doling out their money to both political parties in Oregon. Or maybe not!


blog comments powered by Disqus
Local / Sports / Business / State / National / Obituaries / Public Notices
Editorials / Letters / Guest Columns / Columnists
Outdoors / Ag / Spiritual / Go Magazine / Portraits
View all classifieds / Jobs / Autos / Real Estate / Rentals / Place an Ad
The Observer
About / Contact / Commercial Printing / Subscriptions / Terms of Use / Site Map
Also Online
Photo Reprints / Slideshows / Weather and Valley Cam / /index.php?option=com_rss&feed=RSS2.0&no_html=1">RSS Feed ?> RSS Feed

Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Twitter

© Copyright 2001 - 2014 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use

viagra france 
cialis online pharmacy 
kamagra retail price cialis in dubai cialis where to buy
buy microsoft expression web 2 upgrade discount powerpoint software best price adobe illustrator cs4
cheapest nero 9 in uk buy outlook 2011 for mac separately buy corel draw 10 buy frontpage 2003 software uk buying cs3 mac purchase adobe acrobat 8.0 pro http://www.acs.nmu.edu/hdw/images/1/11/?... http://www.acs.nmu.edu/hdw/images/1/11/?... http://www.acs.nmu.edu/hdw/images/1/11/?...
best price rosetta stone tagalog buy microsoft office 2007 for mac http://www.museovirtual.uanl.mx/admin/in...
buy flash 8 software cheapest adobe cs4 design premium