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Republicans side with unions in court case

Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015

* The jaded might say that some legislative Republicans are looking for political cover. But, hey, at least they’re making some sort of stand

Nearly 50 current and former Republican state lawmakers from across the nation recently filed a friend of the court brief, asking the U.S. Supreme Court not to interfere with the role states have in determining whether “fair share” fees have to be paid to unions by non-union members.

It’s a high profile labor case—known as Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association—and one closely watched in Illinois, where GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner opposes “fair share” fees, thinks they’re unconstitutional and has filed his own controversial “amicus brief” with justices.[…]

They include GOP Reps. Rep. Terri Bryant of Murphysboro, C.D. Davidsmeyer of Jacksonville, Norine Hammond of Macomb, Dwight Kay of Glen Carbon, Bill Mitchell of Forsyth and Sen. Sam McCann of Carlinville. Former Rep. Angelo “Skip” Saviano, now mayor of Elmwood Park and a strong union ally in the GOP, also signed the brief.

The lawmakers’ brief asks the court to stay away from the role that “states have long played in determining the content of their own labor laws.”

The lawmakers also believe that “nothing in the Constitution prohibits the agency fee (fair share) arrangements at issue in this case and that whether these arrangements are good policy is a decision that belongs to the relevant state and local governments.”

Reps. Bryant and Kay are looking at big Democratic opposition. McCann has his primary to deal with and Mitchell has drawn a Democratic opponent.

Gov. Rauner, of course, is on the other side.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:03 am:

    That is like giving free turkeys away. Nice, but too little, too late. We know where you stand already.

  2. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:03 am:

    Except McCann of course. He has been consistent.

  3. - good ole boy - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:04 am:

    State Representative Bill Mitchell is a sure winner in any political contest. Bill has the support of many in labor. Mitchell will be elect as long as his name is on the ballot.

  4. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:05 am:

    Signing a brief is one thing…

    … refusing to be “green” when it mattered is another.

    If anything, those current members “who” signed, but didn’t support Union legislation could/should face a harsh backlash;

    “Where were you… when it mattered.”

    I guess Owls can sign things on their own but can’t press voting buttons on their own. Oh, ok.

    Labor; “What are you prepared to do?”

  5. - walker - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:09 am:

    They’re more afraid of losing than confident of winning. There is no longer an assumption that the solution for obstruction of Republican ideas in state legislatures rests with the Federal courts.

    They’re not doing so well lately with healthcare or abortion issues, and they don’t want to solidify the opposite position in a Federal decision.

    Now back to the local control arguments.

  6. - Norseman - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:10 am:

    Willy nails it!

  7. - Todd - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:15 am:

    its better than nothing. And I hope the Supremes knock down this takings by state governments. It would truely knock the snot out of any RTW laws.

  8. - Apocalypse Now - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:28 am:

    =Reps. Bryant and Kay are looking at big Democratic opposition=
    Kay’s Democratic opponent is not a top tier candidate.

  9. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:44 am:

    OW - I think labor is organizing, making sure everyone is ready to go next year. BUT, the question will remain, who has the best story to tell or compelling argument to voters? Raunericans or Democrats?

  10. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:46 am:

    Wait a minute…Dwight Kay signed that brief?! Well now I’ve seen it all…

  11. - hot chocolate - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:50 am:

    “where were you when it mattered?” That assumes that SB 1229 was necessary. By permanent extension of the tolling agreement and subsequent actions by the Governor to cut deals and stick by them, the Unions’ overreactions just show their true character. All they care about it getting more money. They don’t care or even recognize that the state doesn’t have the money to raise their pay and continue paying as much as it does for their very very very generous health insurance benefits. You can be union friendly and still operate in the realm of reality.

  12. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:51 am:

    ===Kay’s Democratic opponent is not a top tier candidate. ===

    He is if MJM wants to increase his majority. That district swings toward D during prez years.

  13. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:57 am:

    Rich - not sure about that. Mitt Romney won Madison County in 2012. If my memory serves me correctly, Romney did very well in Kay’s district but did quite a bit worse in Beiser’s and Hoffman’s districts.

  14. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:57 am:

    “All they care about it getting more money.” Yup, that’s all I care about. Me, me, me. Sheesh. Reality is far more nuanced than your broad generalizations.

  15. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 11:00 am:

    Hot Chocolate -

    “Cut deals and stick by them” - please remember Good Friday cuts.

    “All they care about is getting more money” - you apparently have never seen the list of concessions many unions take to save their company. Ask the United Auto Workers.

    “They don’t care or even recognize that the state doesn’t have the money…” - tax levels allowed to expire January 1, 2015 by Rauner’s choice.

  16. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 11:02 am:

    ===Rich - not sure about that===

    Look at Kay’s winning margin that year against a complete unknown, kinda flakey candidate with almost no money.

  17. - Apocalypse Now - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 11:04 am:

    =He is if MJM wants to increase his majority=
    The Democratic opponent is a female. Not a he. Team sleep us correct. Kay’s district is trending more Republican based on 2012 election numbers.

  18. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 11:04 am:

    I agree with you there - and he did poorly in 2012 against Marleen Suarez. He’s a milquetoast candidate who ran hard in 2008 and laid the groundwork for a 2010 “upset” in a big GOP year.

  19. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 11:09 am:

    I should’ve added a disclaimer to my last comment.

    In all fairness to the Madison County GOP and Rep. Kay, the Madison County GOP couldn’t find candidates for years. They were buried in terms of numbers at the county board level and held no seats before John Shimkus became Treasurer and after John Shimkus won a promotion. The fact that Rep. Kay was ready to run in 2006 and actually went through with it not once but twice means that he at least took the initiative. Overall he was one of the better recruiting jobs done by Tom Cross and Kevin Artl. He’s not an impressive official but he’s a hard worker and he’s tied into serious cash.

  20. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 11:09 am:

    ===The Democratic opponent is a female===

    I was referring to Rep. Kay.

    If you don’t think he’ll be a target, just wait and can say you told me so.

    For now, though, MJM is looking everywhere for advantages over the Republicans. Ask Mike McAuliffe how he feels today.

  21. - hot chocolate - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 11:14 am:

    nm. needed to refresh my browser. sorry

    “Cut deals and stick by them” - please remember Good Friday cuts. - CCAP, DON Score, Tolling Agreement

    “All they care about is getting more money” - you apparently have never seen the list of concessions many unions take to save their company. Ask the United Auto Workers. - I was talking about AFSCME specifically and their posture in the contract negotiations. What have they given?

    “They don’t care or even recognize that the state doesn’t have the money…” - tax levels allowed to expire January 1, 2015 by Rauner’s choice. - He wasn’t even Governor.

  22. - Anon - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 11:23 am:

    ===“Where were you… when it mattered.”===

    Too scared to even vote present! I’m not sure how Bryant can ever walk that back.

  23. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 11:26 am:

    You may recall that AFSCME members, and many state workers gave furlough days not long ago.

    From 2013, when last contract was ratified: “In regard to pay, AFSCME has agreed to a pay freeze in the first year of the contract followed by raises of just two percent in the second and third years. Given the rate of inflation, this amounts to an effective pay cut for most workers over the course of the contract, especially younger ones and those most recently hired. The agreement keeps in place step increases for approximately 40 percent of workers, and gives those with more seniority an extra $25 a month in “longevity payments.” The union hopes the latter provisions will secure the votes of long-time workers for the sellout deal.

    The agreement worked out with the Quinn administration also addresses the 5.25 percent raise, which had been approved by former governor Rod Blagojevich. AFSCME had initially agreed to defer the raise in order to aid the Democrats’ budget plans and also agreed that AFSCME members would take unpaid furlough days. Quinn later canceled the raise entirely, claiming that the legislature did not make the necessary appropriation of $75 million to fund it. “

  24. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 12:37 pm:

    Too bad these Republican state reps didn’t vote against RTW and vote for SB 1229.

    I am glad that Republicans did file the friends of the court brief and hope they vote more consistently in the manner of their beliefs. As OW implies in his question, it’s up to unions and union members to push the issue at home in their districts and vote for those who back up their beliefs with actions.

  25. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 1:54 pm:

    AFSCME has trained activists ready to go on Katie Stuarts behalf. We’re at platoon strength with activists in her district. As the Labor war heats up this winter that number will grow. With Rauner starting his 2nd assault finding motivated sisters and brothers has been easy. State employees really want to do something to get back at Rauner and his purchases. Nothing is motivating Kay forces right now, nothing. We have the weathergage.

  26. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 1:54 pm:

    hot chocolate: Considering there hasn’t been any news about AFSCME negotiations for weeks (or months), it’s impossible to say what either side has given. If you have inside information, I, along with many others here, would like to hear it. All we know for sure is that AFSCME’s starting position is (metaphorically) the Moon while Rauner’s is on Pluto. They’ll meet on Earth some day, but for now “What have they given?” seems pretty moot. Besides, what has the Governor given? (And before you say “Teamsters”, I’ll remind you that isn’t a valid comparison.)

  27. - Gman - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 1:59 pm:

    Hot Chocolate,
    RE: - tax levels allowed to expire January 1, 2015 by Rauner’s choice. - He wasn’t even Governor…”
    The Governor elect did make that request of the legislator. It has been reported repeatedly.

  28. - Union Leader - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 2:19 pm:

    Former State Rep Saviano has always been an ardent supporter of unions

  29. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 2:33 pm:

    - 360 Degree TurnAround -

    The better story is the one that can drag more liked-minded voters to the polls, in the micro districts.

    “Fire Madigan, 2.0″ vs. “Raunerite destruction”…

    … but this isn’t going to be driven that way


    It’s all about the micro. The Saviano Example is one place I’d look to the playbook; it’s every street, block, apartment, house… and dragging your pluses out, period.

    The story? The story isn’t as important as the micro.

  30. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 2:36 pm:

    Do not feed trolls…

    To the comments,

    Note, as we all comment on these members, notice how often there’s a reference to the district (micro) as opposed to the larger narratives, including their possible opponents.

  31. - one of three puppets - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 3:18 pm:

    Um, this matters. If unions lose fair share they will lose tons of members. The GA isn’t where the collective bargaining vs RTW fight is. We know RTW isn’t coming here unless the Supreme Court strikes down fair share. So, in my opinion this amicus is a pretty big deal and is likely bigger than the show votes put on the board by the speaker. Anyone in the dome knew the RTW vote was baloney.

  32. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 3:39 pm:

    I’m really not afraid of Friedrichs. I think it will be good for us. It will separate the wheat from the chaff and forge a more united union.

  33. - GRA - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 1:29 am:

    @ walker: ACA is horrid as well as universal healthare — it doesn’t work. Abortion you need moral fiber, something supporters don’t have.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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