SEIU Tax-Increase Ads Blanket State

MAY 16, 2011


The Budget Wars begin in earnest after the release today of Gov. Jerry Brown’s May Revise of his 2011-12 state budget proposal. In preparation, the state’s unions have been blanketing the state with pro-tax propaganda.

The ads disingenuously don’t directly call for tax increases. One flyer drooped on my doorstep Saturday is from, a product of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). My scanner broke or I’d display the flyer here. But the flyer has the exact same content, in concise form, as the Web site.

The Web site explains SEIU’s campaign:

(Sacramento, CA) – The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California today launched the first wave of a seven-figure advertising campaign planned for the coming weeks as California races toward a June 15 deadline for adopting a state budget. The television ad, which will begin airing on Friday, May 13 in 5 broadcast markets and on targeted cable stations, calls on California legislators to work together to “stop extreme cuts” that threaten our families’ safety and security. The ad is expected to reach over 2.6 million households. The “Stand Up for California” ad campaign will also include radio, print and outdoor advertising in targeted markets across California.

“Though we live in different parts of the state and do different kinds of work — from janitorial services to home care to university education — SEIU California’s 700,000 workers are first and foremost men and women, moms and dads, who are concerned about what another $13 billion in cuts will mean for the safety of our families and our communities,” Executive Director David Kieffer said of the ads. “This campaign calls all Californians to look past our differences, and send a unified message to our leaders: Stand up for California and stop the extreme cuts.”

Union “Solidarity”

What I find curious is that the SEIU is not, generally, a government-employee union. Most of its workers are in private industry. Yet it’s eager to raise taxes that would slam private industry and reduce the jobs held by SEIU union members.

But the SEIU doesn’t see it that way. For years it was affiliated with the AFL-CIO, which nowadays is dominated by government-worker affiliate unions, such as the the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO. According to Wikipedia, in 2005, SEIU split with the AFL-CIO and formed a new group:

The Change to Win Federation held its founding convention in September 2005, where SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger was announced as the organizations’ Chair. As with other Change to Win unions, many individual SEIU locals remain affiliated to regional AFL-CIO bodies through “solidarity charters.”

The SEIU in California also remains affiliated with California State Employees Association, according to the CSEA’s Web site.

The SEIU’s mostly private-sector employees apparently don’t realize that they’re the ones paying for the lavish pay, perks and pensions of the government union employees. And that the government unions today are so powerful that they are exploding state and local budgets across the land, as their unquenchable thirst for more tax dollars drains the pool of the private sector in which the SEIU swims.

Unions call it “solidarity” when they stick together. But in this case it’s really a parasite-host relationship, with the SEIU’s members paying for the government workers-unions extravagance.

“Extreme Cuts”

The catch phrase in the SEIU ads is “Extreme Cuts.” They’re savvy enough to concede that some cuts need to be made. They just don’t want them to be extreme.

And the ads also never mention that nasty, three-letter word: TAX. Even though, if you don’t cut enough, the only alternative is tax increases. And the whole campaign is a soft-sell for tax increases.

The flyer I got Saturday shows five smiling kids, apparently high schoolers and college students. It reads:

California Can Do Better Than This!

Recession. Unemployment. A never-ending budget mess.

Deep cuts to the things that matter most, like our kids’ education, seniors’ safety,
and jobs in our communities. California is hurting, but we can do better than this.

Unfortunately there are some extremists who are trying to stop any compromise,
and your legislator may be listening to them. They need to hear from you.

Call 866-864-8567 today and tell them to Stand Up for California —

No More Cuts!

This actually is a well-done piece of political propaganda. They’re not trying to get you to back tax increases. They’re just trying to get you to call the number. So I did. Here’s the message I got:

Thank you for calling the Stand Up for California Hotline. Press one followed by the # key to hear this message in Spanish. [Pause] To be connected with your elected official right now, enter your five-digit zip code, followed by the # key.

I entered it. But all I got, the five times I tried, was….


Must be a glitch in the program. Or so many Californians are calling it to demand tax increases that the lines broke down.

Like the state of California itself, which is burdened by much too heavy government that has collapsed the base of the fragile, eggshell private sector that supports everything.


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