Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Unclear on the concept
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Unclear on the concept

Monday, Feb 26, 2018

* National Politico on the Janus v. AFSCME case and Janus himself

Public-employee unions are barred from spending fair-share fees on electoral politics, but attorneys for the plaintiff, an Illinois state worker named Mark Janus, argue that any action by a government union — even collective bargaining — is inherently political, because it involves the expenditure of state money. Ergo, spending Janus’s money on anything constitutes forced political speech and violates his First Amendment rights. AFSCME counters that since the law requires it to bargain collectively for an entire bargaining unit — including union non-members like Janus — then depriving AFSCME of fair-share fees would make it possible for Janus and others to enjoy the benefits of collective bargaining without having to pay for them. Members’ resulting stampede to quit the union and become free riders, says AFSCME, would devastate AFSCME financially — and that’s the real goal.

At a breakfast meeting with reporters Friday, Janus wandered a bit off-script. Far from denouncing collective bargaining as compelled political speech, Janus said “I think unions have a place. Collective bargaining is beneficial to people and workers. But where I draw the line is when somebody tells me that I have to pay something that I don’t agree with.”

Like what? Janus didn’t elaborate. But, writes POLITICO’s Andrew Hanna, Janus “suggested that he opposed AFSCME using his fair-share fee to support the presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton, and said he’d be troubled if his fair-share fee went to any other candidate, ‘whoever the candidate may be,’ without his being consulted.” Again: the law already bars AFSCME from spending Janus’s fair-share fees on political candidates or causes, and Janus’s lawyers aren’t arguing that AFSCME violated that law. If Janus’s real beef is that AFSCME supported Hillary Clinton, then he isn’t a good plaintiff for this case.

…Adding… From Gov. Rauner…

From Governor Rauner on today’s SCOTUS arguments:

“Shortly after taking office in 2015, I took action to protect the free speech and free association rights of government employees who are forced to pay union dues and fund political causes they don’t agree with. Today, as these arguments are heard before the United States Supreme Court, I am proud of what we started three years ago. The gravity of the court’s decision will be felt not just in Illinois, but across America and I am confident that they will side with free speech for the people of our great nation.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Nick Name - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 10:26 am:

    Bit of a dim bulb, isn’t he.

  2. - Mike Cirrincione - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 10:29 am:

    Janus is right.

    It’s a violation of the First Amendment for Bruce Rauner to use any tax dollars to pay for his union busting agenda.

  3. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 10:30 am:

    Hey, Janus got breakfast and a free trip to DC out of it.

    Lucky for him he doesn’t have to speak in court.

  4. - Perrid - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 10:32 am:

    From a column Janus wrote: “At a time when Illinois is drowning in red ink and does not have the money to deliver core services, such as caring for the poor and disadvantaged, the union is wrangling taxpayers for higher wages and pension benefits for state workers — benefits that Illinoisans cannot afford. The union’s fight is not my fight.”

    He should try to stay on message more.

  5. - Montrose - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 10:35 am:

    Rauner better hope that the lawyers representing Janus understand the lawsuit a little better than he does.

  6. - 47th Ward - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 10:39 am:

    For Rauner, this decision might as well be Bush V. Gore. The Supreme Court decision in this case will decide if Rauner remains Governor. If they rule against Janus, I half expect Rauner to resign. His reason for being will be moot until the right wing finds another stooge like Janus to file suit.

  7. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 10:41 am:

    Oh yes, Rauner really is a champion for the first amendment. That’s totally what this is about.

  8. - Annonin' - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 10:43 am:

    Janus appears to be a decent guy. What he does not get is if other like him are no longer protected by the union provision he will be first to lose wage and benefits when guys like GovJunk start protecin’ his lst A rights.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 10:47 am:

    ===…who are forced to pay union dues and fund political causes they don’t agree with.===

    Willfully ignorant, blissfully unaware, or phony to purposely destroy labor… honestly or not?

    ===I am proud of what we started three years ago.===

    … being, arguably, the least honest current sitting governor in America?

    It’s about messaging, not honesty in the messaging.

  10. - Ole General - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 10:56 am:

    Every night before I fall asleep, I thank Mitch McConnell for holding out and seating Gorsuch.

    One of the finest legal minds in America and a true champion of freedom.

  11. - Anon - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 10:59 am:

    Everyone, please see:

    - Perrid - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 10:32 am

    That’s the crux of the legal argument.

  12. - TKMH - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 11:14 am:

    ==Every night before I fall asleep, I thank Mitch McConnell for holding out and seating Gorsuch.

    One of the finest legal minds in America and a true champion of freedom.==

    I’ll have whatever hallucinogenic you’re having.

  13. - JS Mill - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 11:26 am:

    =Every night before I fall asleep, I thank Mitch McConnell for holding out and seating Gorsuch.=

    One of these days it is going to be Chuck Schumer holding out, we will see how you like the tables being turned…I doubt you will be such a huge freedom fighter then.

  14. - Whatever - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 11:28 am:

    Perrid has it right - in the court documents, Janus is arguing that he disagrees with AFSCME’s bargaining positions and it violates his first amendment rights to be forced to associate with them. I believe that, if the Court does decide to overturn its Abood decision, the only way it can protect Janus’ first amendment rights is to hold that the union cannot represent him in any way. Janus (and anyone who wants to get out of paying dues) will have to negotiate his own compensation. He says that is fine with him, but I would bet that yhe vast majority of union members in state employment are aware of how well negotiating your own compensation has worked for merit comp employees since Blago was elected, and will choose to remain dues-paying members of the union. I would also expect that future union contracts will have language providing that non-union members cannot be paid more than a union member doing the same job, and must be laid off before any union member is, which might cause even Janus to rethink his personal beliefs.

  15. - Retired Educator - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 11:30 am:

    It is disheartening o know ha he plaintiff in a case with such far reaching consequences does not have a clue what he suit is about. This case has the possibility of opening “Pandora’s Box.” As Rich says he is “unclear on he concept.”

  16. - Redraider - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 11:31 am:

    Ole General, still mad that they took your statue down, huh

  17. - Steve Rogers - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 11:34 am:

    I’d be very surprised if SCOTUS doesn’t rule for Janus. Kennedy was pretty forceful in his questioning, indicating support for Janus. With his swing vote, the conservative majority on the Court will rule for Janus. Another 5-4 vote.

  18. - Texas Red - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 11:38 am:

    But, writes POLITICO’s Andrew Hanna, Janus “suggested” that he opposed AFSCME using his fair-share fee to support the presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton. What exactly does suggested mean ?

  19. - Sen. Blutarsky - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 11:56 am:

    Fungible: (of goods contracted for without an individual specimen being specified) able to replace or be replaced by another identical item; mutually interchangeable.

    The idea that a union (or any entity for that matter) silos money for specific purposes and that those silos preclude any “interaction” of funds is laughable on its face. If your spouse only spent their paycheck on a shopping spree while you both know you needed that money to pay for your child’s education, I doubt anyone would say oh well it’s ok because you only spent that portion of the money.

  20. - Skeptic - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 12:00 pm:

    Sen. Blutarksy: Then by that argument, candidates should be able to use their campaign funds for anything they’d like because it’s, you know, fungible.

  21. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 12:09 pm:

    –Every night before I fall asleep, I thank Mitch McConnell for holding out and seating Gorsuch.–

    So those are the thoughts and prayers we hear so much about. I was wondering who they were praying to.

  22. - Sen. Blutarsky - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 12:23 pm:


    They often do use that money for personal business, including eating out, club memberships, and other expenditures they could not otherwise afford. Those examples abound.

    As an aside, It’s also worth pointing out that political donations are a completely voluntary expenditure (excluding some notorious bad actors).

  23. - Eastside - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 12:25 pm:

    Equally unclear on the concept (from SJR):

    “If the unions lose, won’t they have less political influence, Kennedy asked David Frederick, representing the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Illinois affiliate. Yes, Frederick said.

    “Isn’t that the end of this case?” Kennedy replied.”

    Didn’t the union just admit to the swing voting justice that all of their activities are essentially political speech?

  24. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 12:27 pm:

    Sen Blutarsky, if the child’s education costs $1000 a month, it costs $1000 a month. If your wife spends a lot and you only have $900 left you are short.
    Money is budgeted for specific things. There is already a law covering what specific things fair share fees can be used for. If there is already a law in place why do we need the Supreme Court?

  25. - City Zen - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 12:28 pm:

    According to the Dept of Labor, AFSCME 31 paid Citizens Action Illinois $13,500 using non-political dollars (ie regular dues). Per their website, Citizens Action is a “progressive political coalition” that “recognizes that winning justice requires political power” and “Members are asked both to financially support the organization and to take action on issues such as contacting key members of Congress or writing lawmakers.”

    How is this not political speech?

  26. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 12:34 pm:

    That great legal eagle Gorsuch did not ask onr question today. Of course neither did Justice Thomas so much easier to decide if you have no questions and mind made up. I still think Kennedy might t stay with Aboud but whole life thing could be sent back for a full trial or affirmed in part. Anyway don’t count your chickens before they hatch

  27. - Rich Miller - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 12:35 pm:

    ===How is this not political speech? ===

    You answered your own question.

    ===ie regular dues===

    Fair share fees are not dues.

    Try to keep up.

  28. - Truthteller - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 12:37 pm:

    Janus could donate union negotiated wage increases back to the state. He could also donate the difference in what he pays for insurance and what Rauner would like him to pay back to the state.
    Wouldn’t that solve his problem, or is he trying to deny wage and benefit increases to other employees who do want them?

  29. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 12:37 pm:

    Perrid,so if I dislike Amazon can I sue to keep my portion of taxpayer dollars that will be subsidized to bring them to Illinois? Isn’t that a violation of MY freedom of speech?

  30. - Sen. Blutarsky - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 12:44 pm:

    Da Big Bad Wolf,

    My point is that money spent in one area means less money available in another. Likewise, additional revenue for one expense means additional spending capacity on other expenses. Meaning that while technically you can silo money, mandated contributions for one area allow an entity to spend more on other areas. It’s in effect a contribution to the whole pot of money, which is then spent on the whole of an entity’s activities.

    That’s putting aside the argument that what a public sector union does in all of its activities is inherently political given its relationship to politicians and government.

  31. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 12:50 pm:

    “Janus is arguing that he disagrees with AFSCME’s bargaining positions and it violates his first amendment rights”

    Does Janus not want a safer worksite, better working conditions, affordable health insurance, due process, protection for himself and his coworkers from harmful privatization, protection from massive cuts?

    Did Janus not look at Rauner’s contract terms and see how they scapegoat and slash the state workforce? Why is he so selfish that he wants to burn his colleagues, not just in his office but all over America?

    Janus can live in Raunerworld and eat Raunerrhea by himself. Many others are taking up the fight to protect workers from super-rich hypocrites like Rauner, who made lots of money from the public sector he says is wrecking America.

  32. - Mike Cirrincione - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 12:50 pm:

    I’ll bet failed Illinois Governor Rauner wins.

    However it opens up a huge can of worms.

    My Free Speech rights are being violated by my wireless carrier as they use my money to lobby for Net Neutrality.

    Not even a choice of Fair Share and since they are a monopoly.

    Also don’t like my tax dollars funding the War Department. They buy guns from manufacturers who support the terrirists at the NRA.

  33. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 12:57 pm:

    Still don’t see why this isn’t a case of stare decisis.

  34. - Chicago 20 - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 1:12 pm:

    Federal law prohibits the use of union dues for political use.
    If a union wants to donate money to a political cause it must raise the money through a voluntary political action committee.
    Janus doesn’t understand the case means he is just a shill for Rauner and his cohorts.

  35. - VanillaMan - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 1:14 pm:

    At a time when Illinois needed a governor to calm discord and provide results, it got a governor committed to the opposite.

    Shockingly, Rauner is in DC trumpeting his involvement in a lawsuit with the stated goal to sow more chaos and discord upon Illinois.

    I listened to Janus, interviewed by Reason, and was sadden by how this sincere gentleman was used to unravel his own comfortable world. He is like a drunk walking into a popular bar on New Year’s Eve, wearing a belt filled with explosives and shrapnel, looking for his table of friends.

    What a sweet stooge. So sad.

  36. - dbk - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 1:16 pm:

    Big Bad Wolf, Mike Cirrincione

    This is what two libertarian legal scholars have argued in their amicus brief. They predict a veritable torrent of challenges (”Pandora’s Box”) like those you give as examples.

    Anonymous 12.57: The Cato Institute in its amicus brief argues that stare decisis is insufficient because “constitutional rights” (First Amendment) are at stake, and the justification of 41 years of labor peace achieved by Abood is insufficient to outweigh the constitutional right at issue.

  37. - Chicago 20 - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 1:17 pm:

    Janus better be careful.
    He just might end up owning a nursing home.

  38. - Skeptic - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 1:51 pm:

    “My point is that money spent in one area means less money available in another.” But what you’re saying doesn’t make sense. Fair share employees pay $X. Full union members pay $X + dues. What I hear you saying is that spending the money from the “dues” money on political contributions necessarily decreases the amount in the “X” category. Of course that’s simply not true, as long as the amount spent is less than or equal to the dues collected.

    “They often do use that money for personal business, including eating out, club memberships, and other expenditures they could not otherwise afford.” You might ask Aaron Shock about that.

  39. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 2:14 pm:

    Sen. Blutarsky
    So let’s say there is a month that a union collected dues and fair share fees and did’t have to negotiate too hard, hire lawyers or even settle a few grievances. There is money left over.

    The union still can’t spend the left over money on political ads and political events. It can only spend fair share fees on specific things. Running the business of the union. This is law.

  40. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 2:45 pm:

    Rich, I told ya this guy was a loose cannon lol.

  41. - bear3 - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 4:51 pm:

    No fair share than how can you be entitled to wages and benefits negotiated for you. If you do not want to pay, you should not enjoy the benefits. You privilege and can work in another field based on your convictions!

  42. - City Zen - Monday, Feb 26, 18 @ 5:26 pm:

    ==No fair share than how can you be entitled to wages and benefits negotiated for you.==

    After a union contract is negotiated, what’s to stop a manager from using that contract as the baseline for any non-union employees?

  43. - ed hunt - Tuesday, Feb 27, 18 @ 2:17 am:

    If bargaining or negotiation is free speech it must be protected. So if Abood goes down, there will be many lawsuits about a negotiated contract being an example of protected free speech. The reactionary court might regret its eagerness to kill unions.

  44. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Feb 27, 18 @ 8:26 am:

    ==what’s to stop a manager from using that contract as the baseline for any non-union employees==

    Nothing. But, your comment completely misses the point being made. The point is, if these people remain unionized (which is a question up in the air) then why would they be entitled to any of the benefits negotiated by the union?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed until Tuesday
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Tribune asked 16 mayoral candidates to release tax returns, 6 complied
* A rough idea of what they're looking at
* Question of the day: Golden Horseshoe Awards
* Rauner was wrong about "record levels" of unionization
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY: Stava-Murray updates
* Pritzker's inauguration ball tix will benefit Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic and Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation
* Rauner claims he's been too busy to reflect on his term
* Pritzker's day in DC
* *** UPDATED x3 - Morrison wants emergency meeting of ILGOP - McConnaughay explains - Schneider responds *** Rauner says he tried to drop out of race after primary
* Feds re-raid Ald. Burke's office
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...






Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller