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BGA takes a look at an anti-union group

Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 - Posted by Rich Miller

* From the BGA

A small and obscure law firm backed by powerful forces sympathetic to what critics say is Gov. Bruce Rauner’s anti-union agenda is on the front lines of a groundbreaking government vs. labor mêlée underway in Illinois.

The Liberty Justice Center in Chicago is representing the Village of Lincolnshire in two lawsuits brought by organized labor against the municipality’s passage of an ordinance declaring a “right-to-work zone” for the private sector. In such designated areas, employees cannot be forced to pay union dues, even if a workplace within the zone is unionized.

Labor unions vehemently oppose right-to-work zones and top legal experts question the concept. As a result, municipal leaders trying to implement such zones are in for prolonged and costly legal battles at taxpayers’ expense, experts say.

Lincolnshire officials, however, took that risk because the Liberty Justice Center promised to represent them pro bono, says the northern Illinois suburb’s village manager.

Liberty Justice Center is also providing pro bono representation in a case with potentially even greater labor ramifications: Challenging unions’ right to collect “fair share” dues from state workers who opt not to join a public employee union.

Liberty Justice Center is funded by and shares offices with the Illinois Policy Institute, a self-professed free-market-oriented and fiscally conservative non-profit organization. The law center was founded in 2011 by IPI’s CEO John Tillman; conservative talk radio host Dan Proft; and Hinsdale real estate developer and attorney Patrick Hughes.

Go read the whole thing.


  1. - Ghost - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 10:10 am:

    swjat gets me, where do these guys think their money will come from when the middle class disappaears and there are no people left spending money?

    Rome faced a similar problem, all the wealth moved to the top, and the economy collapsed.

  2. - Honeybear - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 10:13 am:

    Back arched, teeth beared and hissing!

  3. - Allen D - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 10:13 am:

    Hrmm Middle class didn’t disappear when Virginia went RTW… it works well there.

  4. - Sue - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 10:17 am:

    Any analysis of union participation in the work force and State economic activity particularly in manufacturing proves unions hurt the workers they claim to represent

  5. - Steward As Well.... - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 10:19 am:

    “Shares offices with the Illinois Police Institute.” What a surprise birds of a feather. LOL

  6. - Gruntled University Employee - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 10:20 am:


    “Any analysis”? get back to us when you can cite some “Actual Analysis”. Keep in mind, 84% of all statistics are made up.

  7. - Norseman - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 10:22 am:

    Back in the late 19th/early 20th century big business/labor wars, the Pinkertons and other similar folks were hired to bust some heads and labor responded with violence. During the early 21st century, we’ve now got lawyers doing the fighting. Less blood, more money and more complicated for the ordinary guy on the street to understand.

  8. - TinyDancer(FKA Sue) - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 10:24 am:

    =Hrmm Middle class didn’t disappear when Virginia went RTW… it works well there.=

    Most RTW states doing worse:

    And states without unionized teachers score the worst:

  9. - Nick Name - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 10:30 am:

    Sue: do tell. Data, please. Hard data. Come on, we’re waiting.

  10. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 10:31 am:

    why bother? if you are a rich person who hates unions why waste your money on court cases that will go 4-4 at best when they go to scotus?

  11. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 10:32 am:

    No surprises here. Of course the astroturf anti-union movement is funded and led by multimillionaires and billionaires, of which Rauner is one of the most active.

    I think Democrats and unions should expose these people, campaign-style, a “know your union-buster” message.

    It’s great that SCOTUS won’t reopen Friedrichs. It’s encouraging, from the legal perspective, that there is at this point a better than average chance that the Democrat will win the presidential election. This would probably bring long-term preservation and protection of union rights at the judicial level.

    The vast majority of states in the bottom 25 of average incomes are RTW–for years.

  12. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 10:33 am:

    So there was a collusion between Rauner’s friends and the Lincolnshire officials after the village leaders discovered that passing the ordinance would be a disaster for Lincolnshire, right?

    The Village official knowingly passed a bad ordinance after getting an under the table deal with a group of Rauner’s billionaire friends.

    That isn’t representing Lincolnshire citizens. That is representing special interests over village needs.

    What does the Comptroller think of her home town officials being bought off like that?

    Is there a recall process in Lincolnshire? Time to implement it.

    Watching monies interests and status quo billionaires undermining our democracy is a bad thing that needs to be stopped.

    Average citizens are smarter than the experts willing to corrupt our elected officials with anti- worker policies passed after unethical deal making.

  13. - allknowingmasterofracoondom - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 10:36 am:

    This fight needs to happen once and for all, no matter the outcome, it needs to happen.

  14. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 10:41 am:

    –Hrmm Middle class didn’t disappear when Virginia went RTW… it works well there.–

    LOL, Virginia is lucky it doesn’t sink into the Atlantic under the weight of that fat federal payroll, not to mention the high-paid lobbyists, lawyers, etc., who live in the counties outside DC.

  15. - Albany Park Patriot - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 10:45 am:

    “Feisty” law firm? That’s pretty charitable. All these guys work in darkness under specious names. Their goal is the same, to have the working man crawl on his belly.

  16. - A guy - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 10:59 am:

    ===Back arched, teeth beared and hissing!===

    HB, in the spirit of some levity on a tough day, you may have caused a lot of concentration to be lost with that sentence! :)

  17. - Doug Simpson - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 11:09 am:

    Doesnt business make MORE money when people earn MORE money and have MORE money to spend?

    But Allen D if you want to make LESS money, then help yourself. Go into the bosses office and ask for a pay cut.

  18. - Sulla - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 11:09 am:


    11% of American workers are represented by unions. The middle class is not going to “disappear” if Illinois goes RTW. Your statement is pure hyperbole and ignores the fact that 26 states have RTW laws and that commerce has not in fact vanished in those states.

    Furthermore, your parallels with Rome are facile and ahistorical - as are most amateur comparisons between modern times and ancient ones. Rome’s economic system remained largely unchanged from the late Republic through the Byzantine era. I would ask you explain how the Romans managed to sustain their civilization for 2,200 years with a supposedly-collapsed economy?

  19. - 100 miles west - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 11:15 am:

    Wordslinger - YES! Virginia is the premier federal welfare state.
    Is there a procurement rule in Lincolnshire? Usually “free” services are frowned upon in government business.

  20. - Doug Simpson - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 11:19 am:

    Commerce hasnt disappeared, thats true.

    However when you start the new RTW job and your are in HR and the Benefits Package includes:

    - ObamaCare

    - ObamaPhone

    - Food Stamps

    - Section 8 Voucher

    Because your making minimum wage. And Bruce is on the deck in Winnetka with Rahm lighting cigars with $1000 bills.

    So I guess your right, it doesnt hurt the Middle Class per se.

  21. - MasterPiece - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 11:29 am:

    Just curious, Sulla…..2200 years from what date to what date?

  22. - Trolling Troll - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 11:30 am:

    Take out the competition and you can set your own pay scale. Then they can say that you’re lucky to even have a job.

  23. - TinyDancer(FKA Sue) - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 11:36 am:

    = the high-paid lobbyists, lawyers, etc., who live in the counties outside DC.=

    Word -
    you took the words right outa my mouth.
    Is the number one industry in Virginia lobbying Washington?

  24. - TinyDancer(FKA Sue) - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 11:42 am:

    =Hrmm Middle class didn’t disappear when Virginia went RTW… it works well there.=

    Virginia -
    Right to Work for a Lobby Shop

  25. - Honeybear - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 11:49 am:

    A Guy, it’s also my favorite IWW symbol, the sabo cat. Nobody got it though. I guess they were probably thinking of Pooh bear arching, bearing teeth and hissing, which indeed would be a comical sight. Thanks.

  26. - Baruch - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 11:56 am:

    Seems to me the IL Pol Insti is more Libertarian than it is conservative, especially when one considers that the Libertarian philosophy is inconsistent with Christianity and Judaism’s emphasis on Community.

  27. - City Zen - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 12:09 pm:

    ==Most RTW states doing worse:==

    Yet consistently have a lower cost of living index:

    Darn that other side of the equation.

  28. - Doug Simpson - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 12:19 pm:

    Yet for every buck I send in taxes, RTW states get a buck and a half in Entitlement Benefits.

    Darn that other side of the equation.

  29. - jerry - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 12:27 pm:

    Sue = Trump Supporter

    One sentence answers to complex problems…what could go wrong?

  30. - Steve Polite - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 12:44 pm:

    IMHO, This is a free market issue. Forgive my simple example. I am a professional athlete. I have an agent who represents me and bargains contracts on my behalf. Would it make sense for me to say, “I disagree with my agent politically, and the causes my agent supports financially. Therefore, I shouldn’t be forced to pay my agent, but my agent has to continue representing me.”? Because under federal law, a union has to represent everyone in a bargaining unit position whether they are members or fair share.

    My simple, fair solution, which I realize will probably never happen, is to allow fair share members to opt out of the union, and in doing so, they give up all union rights. In other words, thhe union no longer is required to represent those employees; no union raises, no union supported grievances, etc. Those employees would be treated by management as at will employees not covered by a contract.

  31. - City Zen - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 12:54 pm:

    ==Yet for every buck I send in taxes, RTW states get a buck and a half in Entitlement Benefits.==

    Don’t forget non-RTW states like Maine, Vermont, WV, KY, etc that do the same thing.

    About half of RTW states are on the “givers” side like Illinois. Surprisingly, it’s not as lopsided as you think.

  32. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 12:57 pm:

    “Yet consistently have a lower cost of living index”

    Meh. Many live in more expensive places for what they have to offer, which is why so many people live in NYC and other large metro areas, and why the areas are international powerhouses with world-class features.

    Rahm put it well when he basically said Chicago should be in a class with powerful international cities as opposed to places like Mississippi.

  33. - Union Man - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 1:33 pm:

    RTW states also have the highest illiteracy and poverty rates. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.

  34. - Steward As Well.... - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 1:40 pm:

    Steve Polite, never say never but it would be very unlikely for the opt out you speak of to happen.

    What you are describing is merit comp employees. Union ranks have swelled because many of these people were unable to attain raises from their respective agencies for years. They with the help of the union made the jump into the various locals around the state. Good for business it was.

  35. - Skeptic - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 2:06 pm:

    “Christianity and Judaism’s emphasis on Community.” You mean they’re “collectivists” too???

  36. - Baruch - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 2:11 pm:

    Absolutely Skeptic! “Few are guilty, but all are responsible.” A. Heschel

  37. - City Zen - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 2:18 pm:

    NM, Alaska, Cali, WV all have similar illiteracy and poverty issues. And older stas show NY and NJ ranked poorly in literacy too.

    So the same ratios hold true. I’m not here to defend RTW. Just saying it’s not as lopsided as you might think.

  38. - Sue - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 2:30 pm:

    Does anyone here think the reason all of the foreign automakers end up in the Siuth is because the decision makers like grits. Oh yea- the foreigners did pick Illinois for a plant and now it’s up for auction

  39. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 2:31 pm:

    ==Oh yea- the foreigners did pick Illinois for a plant and now it’s up for auction==

    That has nothing to do with anything going on in Illinois and everything to do with the demand for their product.

    Try again.

  40. - Daniel Plainview - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 2:37 pm:

    - the foreigners did pick Illinois for a plant and now it’s up for auction -

    Better tell those “foreigners” in Italy that own Chrysler, they must have made a big mistake with the huge expansion at the Belvidere Chrysler plant.

    Do your lips move when you read?

  41. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 2:44 pm:

    –Oh yea- the foreigners did pick Illinois for a plant and now it’s up for auction–

    “The foreigners” from Mitsubishi made a car that no one wanted to buy in the record year for U.S. car and truck sales.

    “Foreigners” from Michigan are investing $1.1 billion to expand production and add UAW workers at two Ford plants on the South Side.

  42. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 2:44 pm:

    - Gruntled University Employee –

    “Keep in mind, 84% of all statistics are made up.”

    You made that up, right?


  43. - City Zen - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 3:37 pm:

    ==Does anyone here think the reason all of the foreign automakers end up in the South…==

    The top 2 selling foreign models - Camry and Accord - are made in KY and OH, neither of which are RTW states.

  44. - City Zen - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 3:52 pm:

    It’s also worth noting Subaru/Isuzu chose Indiana before it became a RTW state. Coincidentally, it was around the same time (mid-80’s) Illinois won the Diamond-Star Motors (Mitsu) deal.

    It’s not Illinois’ fault Mitsu products fell out of favor. In the meantime, Subie sales are stronger than ever and exceeding expectations.

  45. - Doug Simpson - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 3:55 pm:

    In case anyone doesnt remember, but Republicans have traditionally supported labor unions. Its only recently that this has changed.

  46. - Rabid - Thursday, Jun 30, 16 @ 8:44 pm:

    A collectivist group out to destroy the collectivized

  47. - Say no to big government - Friday, Jul 1, 16 @ 2:58 pm:

    ==Keep in mind, 84% of all statistics are made up.==
    Show us the peer-reviewed studies that support that statement.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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