When the late Thomas “Tip” O’Neil coined the phrase “All politics is local,” there were some who ignored this now-famous adage (to their peril) and others who took heed and put it to use. One political entity that has put the “all politics is local” adage to use is the U.S. labor movement.
It is only within the last few years that many Americans have begun to realize the amount of influence unions have on every level of American politics—from the election of President Barack Obama to the election of state legislators and even town councils.
In New York, Pennsylvania, as well as other states, for example, unions have taken over town councils who have, in turn, passed so-called Responsible Contractor Ordinances which effectively discriminate against small, non-union contractors, pushing publicly-funded local construction projects (like schools and libraries) to the unions:
Local construction unions have created what they call a “responsible contractor ordinance” (RCO). They promote RCO’s allegedly to protect taxpayers from contractors who are unqualified or who have not adequately trained their employees. While portions of the RCO’s are reasonable, the portions dealing with training preclude virtually all open-shop contractors from working on public construction projects. The sole purpose of these ordinances is to insure that only union contractors are permitted to work on public construction projects.
In Ohio, where unions have given current Governor Ted Strickland nearly $1.5 million over the course of his career, in addition to his dismal record, Ohioans have had to pay the price of Strickland’s appointment of union boss Richard Murray to the directorship of Ohio School Facilities Commission who is…
…under investigation for forcing school districts to utilize anti-competitive project labor agreement (PLA) schemes that funnel lucrative school construction contracts to unionized contractors and union labor after these special interest groups have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Strickland’s campaign.
The answer, of course, is “NO.”
With yearly revenues of an estimated $25 or more billion coming from both public and private-sector union dues, unions are a dominant (and intimidating) force in American politics.
Until Americans realize how deeply unions have penetrated nearly every facet of American politics, union bosses like those at the SEIU will continue pushing policies that lead to discriminating against small business owners and their employees simply for being union-free, as well as pushing for more job-killing policies like higher taxes.
While many Americans are just beginning to realize how unions have come to rule their political life, some think that the issue may resolve itself after one or two election cycles. However, the retaking of America from the hands of union bosses will take years. It will take vigilance and activism. And, it will take coordination in Getting Out the Vote.
As Tip O’Neill said: All politics is local.
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776
For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.