Video: Crossroads GPS on the nature of political power

posted at 9:30 am on March 15, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

It takes Crossroads GPS a little while to get to the point, at least for a TV spot, but they do save the best for last. The run-up is a defense of Wisconsin Republicans who decided to take on the public-employee unions and stick to their positions after their Democratic opponents ran out of town rather than lose a vote in the legislature, which puts the issue of PEUs in the perspective of budgets and fiscal control. But it’s the speech at the end that makes clear how PEUs leverage the power of the state to allow unions to raid taxpayer wallets:

NEA general counsel Bob Chanin explained it well in July 2009:

It is not because we care about children, and it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child. NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power. And we have power because there are more than 3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of millions of dollars in dues …”

Willing?  Dues payments aren’t voluntary in most instances.  They get taken from the paychecks of teachers whether they support the NEA or not.  The reason those dues get taken from checks is that the NEA and other PEUs have used their political muscle in states like Wisconsin to enforce closed-shop rules and mandatory dues payments.  They need those rules to keep the dollars flowing, not because their members are willing to pony up dues, but because so many public employees aren’t willing to pay them.  Otherwise, the unions wouldn’t need the state to be their collection agents.  In Indiana, for instance, Mitch Daniels made dues payments voluntary — and 95% of their state workers don’t pay dues as a result.

Willing, indeed.  If Chanin wants to put his claim to the test, then he should be backing Scott Walker’s open-shop rules in Wisconsin.  We’ll see how many public employees are “willing” to pay dues — and how many had those dues strongarmed out of them over the years.


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I’ve been seeing a commercial very similar to this in Dallas. I’m not sure why here but it’s on all channels.

hboulware on March 15, 2011 at 9:37 AM

And we have power because there are more than 3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of millions of dollars in dues …”

er…what? when I was a union member, I don’t recall the option to express my will on whether or not to pony up for those dues. It was merely…..taken

ted c on March 15, 2011 at 9:37 AM

I saw this on fox yesterday during beck.

ted c on March 15, 2011 at 9:37 AM

In the photo for this post, I assume it says “JUNIOR” behind him.

cjtony97 on March 15, 2011 at 9:38 AM

wow! 95% in Indiana? No wonder they are so desperate to ruin Walker.

Mord on March 15, 2011 at 9:39 AM

I hate Rove with a passion, but he hit a homerun with this ad.

NoNails on March 15, 2011 at 9:43 AM

Sure but without collective bargaining and mandatory dues collection backed by the power of the state, people would be dying in the streets.

I know this because federal workers have been dropping like flies for decades now.

Bishop on March 15, 2011 at 9:44 AM

I saw this on fox yesterday during beck.

ted c on March 15, 2011 at 9:37 AM

Me too! I don’t normally watch Beck, but I had the TV on as background noise during Ed’s impression of John Henry.

JeffWeimer on March 15, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Link should be .org not .com.

anglee99 on March 15, 2011 at 9:46 AM

They need to run this during American Idol and Jersey Shore to name a few.

darwin-t on March 15, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Lets not forget the backdoor efforts of Card Check.

I imagine there has been a trend, like Indiana – whereas some schools and states began the process of selection – and the results were dismal for the unino coffers- hence the backdoor efforts.

I also beleive REPUBLICANS need to get behind the “new trend of young teachers” who really want nothing to do with a mandatory union, liberal or not. Splinter them into 2 fractions “old, tenured and heavily paid with a guaranteed golden pension for power” vs “teachers wanting to teach at a fair rate and be judged on the kids results”. Offer new teachers bonus incentives, like a commission for exceeding quotas.

Oh and make Michelle Rhee the Chancellor of the Movement.

Odie1941 on March 15, 2011 at 9:48 AM

How long would unions last if there was a “lobbying law” passed that forbid the unions to give any money or support to a specific party?

right2bright on March 15, 2011 at 9:49 AM

Good ad….you can tell dear leader all you want, it will just fall on deaf ears…..he’s beholden

cmsinaz on March 15, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Sure but without collective bargaining and mandatory dues collection backed by the power of the state, people would be dying in the streets.

I know this because federal workers have been dropping like flies for decades now.

Bishop on March 15, 2011 at 9:44 AM

Logic WIN!

ted c on March 15, 2011 at 9:51 AM

Maybe this has something to do with his brandy new lowest ever approval rating of -22 on Rasmussen. He’s dropped 7 points in just 3 days.

The child better stop with the navel gazing before he craters.

Key West Reader on March 15, 2011 at 9:52 AM

Now that’s an effective presentation of the public employee union issue. Well done.

Jaibones on March 15, 2011 at 9:54 AM

Strongarmed? Let us call them “investments”. That is “a much more pleasant word.”

JimP on March 15, 2011 at 9:54 AM

As a former Democratic Party voter; who once got massively SCREWED OVER by a Private sector union…….


…..I wholeheartedly agree…

Public Sector Unions were a damned mistake, from the word go. FDR said it, as did others….and they were ignored.

And now, they’re reaping the benefits of their foolishness….as they should!

Patrick on March 15, 2011 at 9:56 AM

Not to mention the fact these idiots make more money, then my retired father, who’s UAW member. Even if you do, that I call, the “Dirty Math” and figure in his benefits — they STILL make more!

Bust ‘em. They shouldn’t be able to screw the tax payer like that.

Patrick on March 15, 2011 at 9:58 AM

But hey not to worry, dear leader is going to annouce his ncaa picks tomorrow

cmsinaz on March 15, 2011 at 9:58 AM

Saw this ad on CNN the other night during prime time on the West Coast (tsunnami coverage). I couldn’t believe it…maybe wake a few people up to at least look for facts. Great ad.

spaninq on March 15, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Me too! I don’t normally watch Beck, but I had the TV on as background noise during Ed’s impression of John Henry.

JeffWeimer on March 15, 2011 at 9:45 AM

It’s funny, I watched Beck last night talking about the implications of the bond market and how things could go south very badly. Then I went down to my woodworking area, put on NPR’s (hey it’s good mental exercise to dismantle facts from spin) business show, and they talked a bit about Japan and the bond market. Glenn may overly dramaticize things, but he is talking about implications from real issues. The bond market may be about to go down.

rbj on March 15, 2011 at 10:05 AM

Willing? Dues payments aren’t voluntary in most instances.

To collectivists, “willing” is a relative term.

People are “willing” to give Tony Soprano money, when the alternative is getting their knees broken. And people are “willing” to pay union dues when the alternative is to be excluded by law from working for that company, industry and/or government if they don’t.

logis on March 15, 2011 at 10:11 AM

rbj on March 15, 2011 at 10:05 AM

It doesn’t matter how hard these central planners try, the market will find it’s level – drastically if need be.

JeffWeimer on March 15, 2011 at 10:13 AM

I saw this on fox yesterday during beck.

ted c on March 15, 2011 at 9:37 AM

I’ve been seeing it nearly every morning on Fox and Friends.

Love it.

UltimateBob on March 15, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Saw this ad on CNN the other night during prime time on the West Coast (tsunnami coverage). I couldn’t believe it…maybe wake a few people up to at least look for facts. Great ad.

spaninq on March 15, 2011 at 10:00 AM

If they really want to make some Leftist heads explode, they should buy some airtime and run this during “Fareed Zakaria GPS”. I’m sure many of his rocket scientist CNN viewers zombies would believe it was actually a part of the program and not an ad.

Del Dolemonte on March 15, 2011 at 10:39 AM

Ed & AllahPundit, you guys ought to make HA readers aware of the Supreme Court’s Beck decision (no, not that Beck).
The court ruled that union members are entitled to refunds of the portion of dues that was spent on non-union activity such as politics.

itsnotaboutme on March 15, 2011 at 10:47 AM

In Indiana, for instance, Mitch Daniels made dues payments voluntary — and 95% of their state workers don’t pay dues as a result.

Wow. That says it all.

I’ve seen this ad for days in SW Ohio. I don’t agree that it takes a while to get to the point. Indeed, it builds nicely to the concluding speech excerpt, which I find chilling.

I don’t presume to know all of Walker’s motivations for components of the legislation, but I always thought this dues-paying provision was critical. Yet he never seemed to highlight it. I would have bludgeoned the protestors over the head with it. First, the government should not be complicit in directing funds to private political organizations. Second, why should individual public-sector employees be forced to pay union dues? What if they don’t share the union’s concerns in political matters, object to the way they’re run, and so on?

One reason Walker didn’t come out smelling better is that he failed to make his considerable case on the non-financial aspects of the bill.

BuckeyeSam on March 15, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Sure but without collective bargaining and mandatory dues collection backed by the power of the state, people would be dying in the streets.

I know this because federal workers have been dropping like flies for decades now.

Bishop on March 15, 2011 at 9:44 AM

I am stealing this argument and using it in the teacher’s lounge this afternoon.

I hope you don’t mind.

Lily on March 15, 2011 at 11:00 AM

I think this ad can be much better.

Instead of listing government employee benefits, say:

“YOU are forced to pay government workers 40% more than YOU make.”

That sort of thing.

mockmook on March 15, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Democrats have a hard time differentiating between voluntary and involuntary.

antisocial on March 15, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Hard working, patriotic, and selfless union brothers and sisters: please don’t be taken in by the union bosses. At the end of the day, they’re not fighting for your pension or health care plan or even for the sustainability of Wisconsin’s education budget. They’re fighting to protect their own powerful privileges and their own political clout.

.
Old news.

News2Use on March 15, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Mitch Daniels made dues payments voluntary — and 95% of their state workers don’t pay dues as a result.

Alright I’ve seen this ‘fact’ quoted several times over the internet now. It’s never appears with a source. I’d LOVE to be able to use this in a debate I am having with liberals over the WI. new law, and yet I know the moment I bring it up without an iron-clad source they are gonna jump all over it.

Can ANYBODY source this claim? If so, thanks!

manofaiki on March 15, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Ed, I’ve done an internet search, and while I can find many people repeating this claim that when Mitch Daniels ended mandatory union dues in Indiana 95% of state workers stopped paying them, like you, none of them provide a SOURCE for this claim.

I had one person respond on another site saying Daniels claimed this in a radio interview some time back. Is that the only source? If so, I don’t think that’s good enough for me to use it.

manofaiki on March 15, 2011 at 3:12 PM

Another update: Now a poster on Ann Coulter’s message board is saying Daniels has repeated this claim several times in interviews on Fox News.

Uh……..still not sure this proves the claim. What’s he basing it on? I can’t go to these liberals and say “Mitch Daniels claimed on Fox News that 95% of Indiana state workers stopped paying union dues when he made it mandatory.”

They’ll simply say “Isn’t it amazing what Mitch Daniels can pull out of his nether regions?”

manofaiki on March 15, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Damn, looks like this topic is dead.

Guess I’ll have to hold off for now on using this claim then.

‘Because Mitch Daniels said so on Fox News’ won’t get me very far with the people I’m debating. I need something concrete.

Since the claim is popping up with regularity now, I’m sure opportunity will come up in the future to find out what Daniels is basing this claim on.

For now, it’ll have to remain a mystery.

manofaiki on March 15, 2011 at 3:51 PM