* From June of last year…
Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner, speaking in Springfield Wednesday, said that even pro-union Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt thought government unions “shouldn’t exist” and are “immoral.”
Actually, FDR didn’t say that. Read what he did say by clicking here.
* He also said this last year…
“I think we can drive a wedge issue in the Democratic Party on that topic — that real folks will say, ‘You know what? For our tax dollars, I’d rather help the disadvantaged, the handicapped, the elderly, the children in poverty. I’d rather have my tax dollars going to that than the SEIU or “AF-Scammy” who are out there for their own interests,’” Rauner said, referring to two of the state’s most influential labor organizations — the Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
* Rauner was asked about that stuff during last night’s debate…
“I’m not against the existence of government unions but workers should be free to choose whether to be in a government union or not,” said Rauner, a venture capitalist from Winnetka.
Still, he maintained there were big differences between public employee unions and private-sector unions.
“When a government union boss has power with taxpayer funded union dues to influence politicians through campaign cash, campaign workers that are free but actually paid by government taxpayers inside the government, it’s a conflict of interest and it’s a corrupting influence. And the result of it is spending goes up, taxes go up and businesses leave our state,” Rauner said.
Watch the video here.
* The react from the other candidates…
Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale said, “I don’t think unions are inherently bad” while acknowledging that Illinois government has become “incredibly unionized” in recent years. While Rod Blagojevich was governor, thousands of workers in management positions flocked to join unions after going years without pay raises.
Dillard said the way to win concessions from public employee unions is to “meet with them, talk with them, not demonize them.”
Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford said there are supervisory positions in government that need to be exempt from union membership, and the right balance has yet to be achieved.
“To say union bosses are immoral is inappropriate,” he said.
Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington also said a better balance needs to be struck among jobs that should not be part of a union because they are supervisory. However, he blamed the drive to join unions on Gov. Pat Quinn making promises to workers that he failed to deliver.
* More from Brady, who said public worker unions are “not immoral”…
“Unions,” he said, “serve their constituency, the people that they represent. And certainly public and private sector unions have done a lot to assist in enhancing the quality of life of the members they provide for. They also provide for a skilled workforce.”