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*** UPDATED x1 *** Despite IEA warnings, Illinois Policy Institute claims no plans to visit union members’ homes

Wednesday, Sep 5, 2018

* Interesting…


* Has the Illinois Policy Institute started knocking on union members’ doors to convince them to drop their memberships? I asked the IEA’s spokesperson to explain…

So far we have no confirmed reports from our members, but we are expecting they’ll be hearing from IPI soon. We know that some of our locals have been hit with not one but two mailers from IPI encouraging them to drop their union memberships. We are arming our members with window clings to deter door knockers from IPI and other anti-union organizations.

* I asked the Illinois Policy Institute if it had any plans for a door-to-door canvass. A spokesperson issued a one-word response: “No.”

That makes sense. Teachers aren’t confined to one precinct, after all. It would be very difficult to canvass them one-by-one.

* I assume the IEA is just ginning up the base. It’s tweeted out some responses by members to Policy Institute mailers…



* The Chicago Teachers Union is doing the same

CTU has responded by urging its teachers to Tweet pictures of their IPI mailers in defiance with the hashtag #solidarity. Erika Wozniak, a CTU member and a candidate for 46th Ward alderman in Chicago, tweeted that the IPI flier had actually prompted her and her husband to increase their contribution to the union’s Political Action Committee.

The union’s Acting President Jesse Sharkey added a statement Thursday, saying, “Bruce Rauner’s front group is asking CTU members to walk away from our power, and our members have an answer: no way, not now, not ever.”

Charging that the IPI “serves the union-busting agenda of this failed governor,” Sharkey said, “It won’t work. Our members are too smart, organized, and committed to fall for this toxic ploy to undermine our rights and our dignity.”

*** UPDATE *** Bridget Shanahan with the IEA…

Our state affiliates out west have been targeted by anti-union, State Policy Network affiliate groups going door to door. Those groups have also said they’ve hired additional staff just for the purpose of going to door to door.

In a subsequent e-mail, she pointed me to this June 27th Bloomberg story

Following a U.S. Supreme Court decision that millions of public sector workers can stop paying union fees, a group tied to Republican billionaires long opposed to organized labor and its support of the Democratic Party has pledged to build on the landmark ruling to further marginalize employee representation.

The conservative nonprofit Freedom Foundation said that starting Wednesday, it will deploy 80 people to a trio of West Coast union bastions: California, Oregon and its home state of Washington. The canvassers were hired in March and trained this month, according to internal documents reviewed by Bloomberg News. The goal of the multi-pronged campaign is to shrink union ranks in the three states by 127,000 members—and to offer an example for similar efforts targeting unions around the country.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

20 Comments »
  1. - Texas Red - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 4:08 pm:

    See Black Sabbath second album


  2. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 4:19 pm:

    ==That makes sense. Teachers aren’t confined to one precinct, after all. It would be very difficult to canvass them one-by-one.==

    In some cases it actually might be easier because you wouldn’t be turfing people to political lines that may or may not make much sense.


  3. - Anon - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 4:28 pm:

    Will the post office actually return these to IPI without postage affixed? Or is this just to get the social media pop?


  4. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 4:28 pm:

    The huperbole on both sides makes sense. Plays to their respective bases and interests.


  5. - Hahahahahahahah - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 4:34 pm:

    Good to see the crew that came up with Squeezy are still finding work.


  6. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 4:55 pm:

    The IPI has a Chicago address. I think we should have a moment of pity for the IPI, Rauner, Trib editorial board, Hurricane, etc. They’ve had it horrible in Chicago all these years. Almost unbearable poverty and suffering because of Chicago Democrats.

    If they were only being strong enough to follow their own advice they would have left Chicago a long time ago for the prosperity of an Indiana or Tennessee.


  7. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 4:58 pm:

    If they come to my house, I will make them regret it. I’ll eat an onion and then sing to them.


  8. - kitty - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 5:02 pm:

    The new IPI radio ads encouraging employees to drop union membership are incredibly condescending. I doubt the IPI would engage in a door knocking campaign. If it chooses to do so it will certainly energize working class Illinoisans whom oppose efforts to reduce their standard of living.


  9. - Century Club - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 5:06 pm:

    IPI (or the Koch Brothers group, or whoever) could easily hire people to house visit union members. The amount of money they have is bonkers and they are all in for using Janus to do as much damage to the unions as possible.

    And, as far as density is concerned, they wouldn’t just visit IEA members, they’d visit every public union member in an area.


  10. - btowntruth from forgottonia - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 5:28 pm:

    If that were true and they were showing up my door I would tell them they have five seconds to turn and walk away before I call the police and have them arrested for trespassing.


  11. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 5:54 pm:

    Going door to door would require them to leave the basement and tell mom where they’re going


  12. - Huh? - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 6:22 pm:

    “Will the post office actually return these to IPI without postage affixed?”

    Yes and IPI pays regular postage rate for the return.

    Now if IPI had addressed the letter to “Sam Smith or Current Resident” The USPS will simply give it back to “Current Resident” even if current resident is Sam Smith.


  13. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 6:32 pm:

    They would be afraid to walk down my block.

    #BlockBoss


  14. - former teacher - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 6:33 pm:

    As a former teacher I am embarrassed that teachers would send back something like this. Throw it away……be professional.


  15. - Captain Obvious - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 7:38 pm:

    What is wrong with a door to door campaign to encourage people to drop their union membership? If the AFSCME reps can come to my house to try to convince me to join, and they did, there can be no reasonable objection to the opposite situation.


  16. - Rabid - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 7:42 pm:

    Wrap a brick in a brown paper sack, glue the letter on with a return to sender stamp


  17. - They have no morals - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 9:10 pm:

    A golf clap to the IPI . I recently moved and haven’t changed my address with CMS. I did change my address at the Drivers License Bureau. Yet the IPI went to great lengths to mail me a package to decertify out of the Union at my new address. I feel violated and want to contact the ACLU. This is borderline invasion of privacy.


  18. - Perrid - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 8:26 am:

    @Captain Obvious , “Can be no reasonable objection…” what are you talking about? Like legally there can’t be an objection, but anyone can complain about being bothered or ask IPI to please take a hike. It would be a very aggressive move, and anyone could take offense at that aggression and complain about it.

    On a more personal/subjective note, if you don’t see a qualitative difference between a group saying “Stand with us and let’s all work together for our common interests” and another group saying “Abandon all of your friends, colleagues, and peers to all fight for yourselves alone” then I got nothing for ya…


  19. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 8:34 am:

    ==What is wrong with a door to door campaign to encourage people to drop their union membership? If the AFSCME reps can come to my house to try to convince me to join, and they did, there can be no reasonable objection to the opposite situation.==

    So if you skip church on Sunday, it’s OK if atheists show up at your door, telling you to stop attending church?

    AFSCME was at your door because you have a job protected by them and salaried higher than you’d normally get because of them, and get benefits thanks to them. They were there because they wanted to affirm your benefits and listen to you.

    IPI doesn’t want you to have any of those things. They want you to lose your job, benefits and pay.

    How could you even compare them?
    Use your brain and hold onto what you have.
    Don’t be a volunteer putz.


  20. - Travel Guy - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 8:40 am:

    “As a former teacher I am embarrassed that teachers would send back something like this. Throw it away……be professional.”

    Former teacher, there’s probably a reason you are a former educator. I’m sure you were the most beloved faculty member around the office if you believe that these IPI folks are trying to strengthen the teaching profession in any way. There is nothing more professional than unions fighting for teachers’ rights to have a say in their workplace.


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