Winning idea for CA GOP: A right-to-work initiative

Dec. 6, 2012

By John Seiler

California Republicans seeking to get back in the game should look to Michigan. The big issue there now is advancing a right-to-work law. Given Michigan’s heavy union representation, especially by the powerful UAW, the issue would seem to be a non-starter. Yet it’s advancing:

“Unions lost big in Michigan in November when voters rejected Proposal 2, Big Labor’s plan to canonize collective bargaining in the state constitution. Now they are facing a backlash with the happy possibility that Michigan could become the 24th right-to-work state.”

Things actually should be more promising in California. In Michigan, the UAW, Teamsters and other unions primarily operate in the private sector. Although they have made inroads in the public sector; and the Michigan Education Association, like the California Teachers Association part of the ultra-powerful National Education Association, has a lot of clout in the Great Lake State.

Private-sector union members actually make things, such as cars and steel. And there’s a voluntary element. If you don’t like the UAW, you don’t have to buy a Ford, Chrysler or GM car. By contrast, with the government unions, which dominate in California, you have no choice except to move. As long as you live in California, you’re their taxpayer/slave.

Just last month, California unions defeated Proposition 32, which would have limited the unions’ ability to lift donations directly from member paychecks. The campaign successfully branded Prop. 32 as benefiting special interests that would have been exempt from the initiative.

Prop. 32 was too complicated — a typical failing of Republican attempts at reform.


A better idea: Just go directly at the unions by enacting right-to-work laws. That way, union membership would be entirely voluntary. The tyrannical unions couldn’t force anyone to join. The campaign could be advanced as one of freedom for workers.

And the fact is, Californians are sick of the unions running — and ruining — the state. Did the unions just get a supermajority in both houses of the Legislature for their kept Democrats? Yes, but just wait till the Dems bust the budget in a couple of month — blowing all the $6 billion in higher taxes from Proposition 30, and then some.

And wait till the Prop. 30 tax increases — and the Obamacare tax increases, and the Fiscal Cliff tax increases — throw us into another recession.

In Michigan, Democrats once ruled the roost. The last time a Republican won the state’s electoral votes was George H.W. Bush, running on Reagan’s coattails, way back in 1988. Michiganders just voted 54 percent to 45 percent for President Obama, even though Mitt Romney grew up there and his father was governor in the 1960s. (California voted 60-37 for Obama.) Which is another indication of the ineptness of the Romney campaign.

But in Michigan, the governor now is Republican; the state Senate has a 26-12 Republican majority and the state House a 64-46 Republican majority.

Republicans usually come from business backgrounds and like to make “deals,” as they’re trying to do now with Obama over the “fiscal cliff.” But sometimes you have run right at your opponents. In 1981, Reagan jump started his domestic agenda by firing striking air traffic controllers.

Golden State Republicans should remember: No guts, no glory.


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