* From the Wall St. Journal…
The Janus back story illustrates the corrupting influence of public-sector unionism. It started with Rod Blagojevich, who in 2002 sought to become Illinois’s first Democratic governor in 26 years. According to Mr. Rauner, then- Rep. Blagojevich asked Afscme for “$3 million and a couple thousand of your taxpayer-funded people” to work for his campaign. He won the election. “Then he went to the state employees and he said, OK, if you’re in my administration, if you’re in a union, I’ll give you 4% annual raises as long as I’m governor. And if you’re not in a union, I will never give you a raise as long as I’m governor.”
$3 million? Hmm.
* Shelbyville Daily Union…
“I respect peoples’ right to join a union or not join a union,” said Rauner. “But a governing union, when they go to a politician and say, ‘I’ll give you $3 million bucks for your election and I’ll give you 500 of my taxpayer-funded members to work for your campaign and then when you get in, I’ll negotiate a contract with ya, that is corruption.”
There’s that $3 million again.
* According to Illinois Sunshine’s website, AFSCME gave Blagojevich’s campaign $377K through 2003. Blagojevich received nothing after that. From September of 2006…
However, Blagojevich has had a more difficult time drumming up support from the state’s two largest public sector unions, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31, which represents state and local workers, and the Illinois Education Association, which represents many of the state’s teachers.
Earlier this month, AFSCME and the IEA opted to formally support neither candidate in the Nov. 7 election.
AFSCME didn’t endorse in the Democratic primary earlier that year, but did back Republican Judy Baar Topinka in her primary race.
* I asked AFSCME’s Anders Lindall for a comment…
Like nearly everything that Bruce Rauner says, these wild claims are false and have no basis in reality.
* Also, too…
Gov. BRUCE RAUNER, while visiting a business in Morton last week, described an ambitious effort to cut the state’s income tax — more ambitious that what’s actually in the proposal he submitted.
“I’ve recommended a budget that rolls back the income tax hike that they passed over my veto last summer, roll that back to 3 percent, from the 4.95 percent,” Rauner said at Morton Industries, LLC.
Actually, the budget he proposed Feb. 14 would cut the current 4.95 percent personal income tax to 4.7 percent. But that decrease — of just a quarter of a percentage point — would only happen, according to his proposal, if lawmakers enact a pension reform plan that would face a likely court challenge. So even that cut is not assured, and may not come in fiscal 2019, which begins July 1.
I asked the governor’s office to explain his comments in Morton.
“Governor Rauner has proposed incrementally rolling back the income tax hike passed last summer over his veto,” spokeswoman RACHEL BOLD said. “To make that possible, he supports full implementation of a consideration model for pension reform which will save taxpayers nearly $1 billion a year, making it possible to begin rolling back the tax hike with a 1/4 percent tax rate cut. We believe it will also spur economic development which could speed up the pace of the rollback.”
* Is the Supreme Court inviting a ‘Pandora’s box’ of unintended consequences if it rules with Rauner in his anti-union lawsuit?: All three of these cases, says Maher, are about making the government face the consequences of ruling with Janus. That if he doesn’t have to pay his agency fees because collective bargaining is speech he disagrees with, that makes the very act of collective bargaining—speech. And therefore can’t be restricted. In other words, Janus unintentionally argues for unions’ right to free speech. “If this is the way the Supreme Court rules, it will be hard to limit free speech of unions,” Maher says. “This Janus case has been presented [by conservatives] as providing workers with a choice, but they already have a choice not to pay for the political speech of unions. This is the choice to get collective bargaining and not having to pay for it—something for nothing.”