Politics

Poll: The high-tax, gov’t union model at work

leaving njA new poll finds that half of all New Jersey residents say they plan to leave the state, compared to just 45 percent who want to stay. The desire to leave is particularly strong among working age people, reflecting the state’s more than 10 years of economic struggles. Some three-in-ten who say they want to leave specifically blame the state’s high taxes for their desire to leave…

CA: Public sector environmentalists vs. jobs

110624-farm-drought-hmed-245a.grid-6x2On Saturday I observed in the WSJ that private and public unions were increasingly in conflict this election season, particularly as left-leaning public union leaders align with members of the Democratic coalition like environmentalists, whose no-growth economic policies cost blue-collar workers jobs. One example I didn’t discuss in that piece is a campaign transpiring in California…

Watch door to bankruptcy slam shut to protect pensions

In the wake of Judge Klein’s ruling last week that Stockton could cut pension debt in bankruptcy, fiscal reformers and conservative commentators where quick to assume, somewhat naively, that this ruling changed everything and would force recalcitrant unions to the negotiating table. The truth, however, is that many states put up numerous roadblocks to municipal bankruptcy and the real import of the ruling was that states where public unions dominate were likely to throw up even more blocks. Now we’ve seen the first indication of this…

Superintendents behaving badly

If a community can’t trust a public employee, can its elected representatives fire that person?
A lawyer defending a former Brookfied, Conn., superintendent on Tuesday argued the answer is no, not legally.
Recently, a number of superintendents in Connecticut have been sent to the principal’s office – …

The legal landscape of forced dues

One of the major Supreme Court cases of last term, Harris v. Quinn, has spawned other cases challenging forced dues or agency fee payments in the public sector as a violation of non-union member employees’ First Amendment rights. At the top of the list is Friedrichs v. …

Sparse ballot year for pension reform initiatives

This is a busy campaign season, given congressional mid-term elections and 36 governor races. State ballots are also full of direct democracy votes, a total of 148 initiatives of one sort or another according to Ballotpedia. But distinctly missing from ballots at the state level are any pension or government labor reform measures…

Problem not just costs, but mentality of public sector

I cannot figure out why many of our fellow citizens want more aspects of our lives to be controlled by the government. As someone who spends my days watching and writing about government, I sometimes go home with a splitting headache and the need for …

Raimondo wins gubernatorial primary in RI

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo won the Rhode Island Democratic Party’s nomination for governor yesterday. It was a hard fought race, where public sector unions, who were angry about a pension reform measure she engineered in 2011, backed her opponents.  Her victory is something of a referendum …

Despite love of ideas, Brown is conventional union pol

From a personality standpoint, California Gov. Jerry Brown is one of the most entertaining, intelligent and engaging politicians one will ever meet. He’s funny and well read and likes to toss around interesting ideas. His fans boast about his Jesuit training. One need only listen …

Pensions: When you can’t trust the trustees

Last week the board of trustees of Calpers, dominated by six beneficiaries of the pension fund, voted to essentially undue some of Jerry Brown’s modest 2012 pension reforms with their liberal interpretation of the new rules. I have a piece in the LA Times today describing how this is not just a California problem. Many pension funds are directed by boards dominated by beneficiaries…