Bob and the First Debate

By Too Conservative

Highlights for those who missed out:


Comments

  • I hope McDonnell has some kind of internal polling that says attacking the Employee Free Choice Act is a winner with voters because if not, it’s not only a waste of time, it’s also counterproductive. The legislation does not preempt right to work laws, so it wouldn’t even make a difference here in Virginia. Once that gets explained, and you know Deeds will explain it, the whole line of attack is just going to look like politics.

    The better argument would be to point out that Deeds has absolutely no plan to keep jobs in Virginia or bring new jobs here. That’s the better line of attack.

  • Cato the Elder says:

    TC can you guys inject a little more humor into these clips? For example, transposing Porky Pig with Deeds when he begins to respond (along with yakety sax playing in the background) would have been hilarious. Make him a clown, he’s ripe for the role.
    //—//
    And Brian, I think the better question would have been along the lines of “Besides walking picket lines which target Virginia’s employers, what other bright ideas do you have to lure businesses to our commonwealth?” Which, of course, is your basic message with a little more bite behind it. When you aske people polling questions on basic favor/unfavor for unions most of the time you’ll find that people generally support unions in and of themselves. However, when you ask people whether or not the government should have the right to step into negotiations between businesses and unions (which is in the EFCA in current form) public support goes down faster than IBOB in a prison shower. If you really want to make people hot, ask a question about bailouts/unions. An effective derivative of this narrative would be Tax $$$ —> VEA —> Deeds campaign.

  • kelley in virginia says:

    Brian & Cato: you are both right!

    but for the next week, let’s fight to keep Obamacare from ruining the best health care in the world & bankrupting our country.

    we all must call/write/email our Senators (yeah, they really care about us) & our congressman. Perriello’s staff knows my voice by now.

    this is the program that we can’t un-legislate later. its the biggie. let’s fight.

  • FedUp says:

    Bob needs to send the message that a vote for Deeds, or any Democrat for that matter, is a vote to support unions, especially public employee unions that are sucking money out of state and local governments. Here’s a good article on the subject:

    http://www.yankeeinstitute.org/blog/2009/04/the-coming-showdown-with-public-labor

    Attacking card check is a good start, but he needs to go further. I don’t think most taxpayers would be happy knowing that their soaring tax burden has been spent largely on union demands for public employee compensation gains that have been much higher than what they have recieved. It’s a fairness issue that Bob needs to exploit.

    This is what teacher unions like the VEA are really about:

    teachersunionexposed.com

  • kelley in virginia says:

    and fedup: i’ve been reading some of the Obamacare bill today. Unions get most favored nation status. Medical centers trying to get grants on big things or little things must meet certain criteria. one of them is that they must contribute to labor management.

    do me & the country a favor: worry about Obamacare this week until we can get it defeated in the house. and the rest of us will rise up to your call to defeat card check.

    burn the phone lines!

  • Which bill are you reading Kelly?

  • How exactly are public employee unions “sucking money out of state and local government?” By bargaining for the wages and benefits of the teachers, police and firefighters? Why is that a bad thing? And I think you’re wrong about public perception – I don’t know of anyone who would argue that we need to pay these people less, or that they don’t have difficult jobs, or that they don’t deserve comparable benefits to people in the private sectors, or even better. As for the federal, state and local government unions like AFSCME and AFGE, the only reason they have the power they have is because we’ve allowed the bureaucracies on the state and federal level to bloat to unnecessary levels. There’s no point in making this election about unions. It needs to be about jobs.

  • kelley in virginia says:

    docs.house.gov/edlabor/AAHCA

    on a website last night, someone posted this as a place to find it also: thomas.loc.gov but i haven’t looked there.

    i don’t know which version it is. but it is frightening.

    the dems may have floated this bill as negotiation starting place.

  • kelley in virginia says:

    brian, you need to come clean. what is your relationship to a union? or did you tell us already & i didn’t read it?

    about the unions: the dems are crafting legislation that puts unions at the head of the line, e.g., in the version of Obamacare that i read, the unions are exempt from paying taxes on the healthcare benes included as part of their job/salary.

    so brian, this is what gives bad impression about unions (among the other zillion things).

    not picking on you, just askin…

  • I Bleed Obama Blue says:

    Turn your question to Brian around, KiV: What’s so evil about collective bargaining? Brian’s absolutely right: If we want effective, efficient government, we need to pay public employees a living wage, with benefits competitive with the private sector. Unions like AFSCME facilitate this end.

  • Cato the Elder says:

    LOL here we go with the old “teachers, cops and firefighters” meme.
    *
    Why does a group of individuals that have their pay schedules set by state and local governments need a collective bargaining agent? Collective bargaining leads to forced union dues. If you want to work in a shop represented by a collective bargaining agent, you are required to financially support that agent whether you want their representation or not. Not only is this extortion, it’s a First Amendment violation.
    *
    The reason the Democrats are so invested in growing the size of government is that the fastest growing segment of organized labor is comprised of federal/state/local government employees. It’s easier to understand if you just think about these organizations as what they really are – criminal enterprises designed to suck your tax dollars out of the system and redirect them into the Democratic Party campaigns.

  • Leej says:

    When the government pay scale rises way beyond the average pay scale in this country we are headed to Marxism. And we know what happened there.

  • I Bleed Obama Blue says:

    Cato -

    In terms of collective bargaining, how do state and local governments differ from private employers? Either way, employees are in exactly the same position v. management and they benefit from collective bargaining.

    Sweet use of that 1st Amendment canard, btw. When you work in a union shop, also you benefit from the collective bargaining agreement the union negotiated, whether you want to or not. Paying dues enables the union to continue fighting for worker’s rights.

    The Democratic Party supports unions; unions support the Democratic Party. The Republican Party supports big business; big business supports the Republican Party. Do you have a problem with the latter relationship, too, or just the former?

  • Cato the Elder says:

    Why is it a canard, comrade? Don’t you agree that we should all have freedom of association? Or is your outrage over Constitutional violations reserved only for residents of Gitmo?

  • I Bleed Obama Blue says:

    We do have freedom of association.
    *
    It’s a canard, comrade, because, under the National Labor Relations Act, unions may require only that employees either join the union or pay the equivalent of union dues. Non-members who object to that requirement may only be compelled to pay that portion of union dues that is attributable to the cost of representing employees in collective bargaining and in providing services to all represented employees, but not, with certain exceptions, to the union’s political activities or organizing employees of other employers.
    *
    Thereby, labor unions do not violate the 1st Amendment.

  • Cato the Elder says:

    On the contrary, my fellow traveller. There are a number of cases working themselves through the Federal courts at the moment which involve unions compelling membership. See here for a good example.
    *
    In states without right to work laws, unions wipe their collective (pun intended) asses with the First Amendment.

  • Kelley, my background is all over the internet. Just google my name or click on the “contributors” thread on the website I write at. I used to run government affairs for a maritime union that had strong ties to both parties and supported Bush twice. As such, I have seen both the good sides and the bad sides of the union movement. I don’t like needless bashing of unions and especially of union members. You can dislike some unions for being knee-jerk Democratic, but not all of them are like that, and not all union members are like that. I think we’re slamming the door on a potential constituency for no good reason – especially considering that the business interests we are always defending as Republicans will jump ship at a moments notice as soon as we’re out of power.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    There are good unions and bad unions. Good businesses and bad business. Good governments and bad governments. If people are involved — it’s going to be this way.

  • Cato, collective bargaining includes far more than just negotiation of wages. This is especially for police and firemen (and some teachers, depending on the locality), where you’ve got a dangerous work environment.
    *
    Virginia is a right to work state, so there are no forced union dues and no forced union representation. You can choose to join the bargaining unit or you can choose not to. There’s no first amendment violation. Collective bargaining doesn’t have to lead to closed shops or forced unionization. To play devil’s advocate, what about the rights of the business owner? If he or she wants the union, why can’t she make joining the union a prerequisite to employment there? Isn’t that the owner’s right, too?

  • I Bleed Obama Blue says:

    Yes, Cato, there are and will continue be “cases working themselves through the Federal courts” on this matter, just like the Birthers & their ceaseless claims against President Obama’ legitimacy.
    *
    I say the NLRA does not violate the 1st Amendment, you say it does. We’ll have to see what the court’s “collective asses” decide.

  • Cato the Elder says:

    Brian, I happen to agree with you somewhat on the substance when we narrow the scope of the argument to Virginia. I don’t have a problem with a group getting together and demanding clean air filters in the workplace, or new kevlar to wear on patrol. Collective bargaining for wages and benefits are a different story, because unions aren’t in the business of rewarding excellence, they’re in the business of making everyone even.
    *
    But let me throw a devil’s advocate question back at you. If it’s OK for the business owner to require union membership, would it then be OK for that owner to require membership in the Baptist church?

  • edmundburkenator says:

    This is interesting. Is it against the law for employers to be that specific in their hiring?

  • Cato, I’m going to have to answer that one like a lawyer. It depends. If the business is a religiously affiliated one – say, they make bibles for Baptist churches, then yes, they can do that. If not, then generally, the answer would be no. That being said, there’s a big difference between requiring someone to be a member of a church and requiring someone to be a member of a union – at least when it comes to employee. The union I worked for provided full medical, dental and vision benefits for all of their members, and free on-going education through a training school. All the employers had to do was pay in to the plans – which saved them having to run their own training programs, run their own medical and benefits plans and let them focus on their core business. So, in that case, it was to their benefit for everyone to join the union. But the point is they had the choice.

  • Lovettsville Lady says:

    Bleet said “employees are in exactly the same position v. management and they benefit from collective bargaining.” How about education, where management and staff are all in the same boat, all get the same raises? Why do they need to belong to union (oops, sorry, educational association, as they prefer to be called). Management, all the various school superintendents and their huge bureaucratic staffs, fight FOR raises, not against them. Teachers and all of administrative staff are on the same team. There is no ”teachers versus management”.

  • Cato the Elder says:

    Well, actually one (my strawman) is a clear title VII violation and yours is not. I’d still argue the point that forced union membership runs afoul of freedom of association (note the nuance here – compensation to the bargaining agent != union membership). However, it sounds more like your union was more of a cost effective extension to a human resources department as opposed to one committed to mediocrity through wage-levelling and productivity quotas. This seems to be a reasonable evolution away from a more traditional union model that has, for the most part, outlived it’s usefulness.

  • I Bleed Obama Blue says:

    Laddie said; “Management, all the various school superintendents and their huge bureaucratic staffs, fight FOR raises, not against them. Teachers and all of administrative staff are on the same team. There is no ”teachers versus management”.

    According to its website, NEA constituencies include Administrators, Teachers, and Staff. All these folks are employees and Management in this case would be the school board or its equivalent.

  • FedUp says:

    Brian: Nobody wants to bash teachers, firefighters or law enforcement officers, but the reality is that spiraling compensation costs have to be reined in to reduce government spending, which will reduce taxes and create more jobs. It is a myth that public employees are undercompensated, but unions are great at keeping that myth alive to win higher pay and maintain benefits that are much better than what the average taxpayer gets. Find me a private sector job comparable to a public school teaching job that pays up to $100,000 for 9 months work out of the year and where you are eligible for retirement at age 55 after 30 years service and receive a guaranteed check for the rest of your life. Taxpayers are paying a hefty bill for this generosity.

    Unions exert their influence politically by funding campaigns of politicians (Warner and Kaine to name a few) willing to continue to throw more money at compensation and create more dues-paying positions. Why does the NEA recommend smaller class sizes? Because it will require more teachers, which will bring in more union dues. Studies show it does not improve student achievement.

  • I Bleed Obama Blue says:

    Fed -
    *
    “Nobody wants to bash teachers, firefighters or law enforcement officers, but…” except me, of course, ‘cause that’s what this post is all about.
    *
    You sure do like to talk out of your ass; “It is a myth that public employees are undercompensated, but unions are great at keeping that myth alive to win higher pay and maintain benefits that are much better than what the average taxpayer gets.” Got any evidence to back that up, sport?
    *
    In what school system do teachers earn $100,000 for 9 months of work? Seriously, what public school system pays that well? There certainly aren’t any in VA.
    *
    “Studies show [smaller class sizes do] not improve student achievement.” Oh, really? Could you cite some of those studies, please?
    *
    There are literally millions of private sector jobs that pay well over $125,000/yr. (the equivalent of $100,000 for 9 months). You are a fool.

  • Alter of Freedom says:

    IBOB in a word.New York. In Virginia it is not uncommon for “adminstrators” to garner such income but I doubt even the most senior teachers reach that level of compensation. Of course, the university level is quite a different story in Virginia.
    I love these studies. There was one that stated that the education received by students taught in trailers was no less than those taught inside the school in calssrooms. My guess the people doing this study were never one of the students who had to endure such trailers. Those of us who did in middle and high school can attest to the fact that having class in that environment sucks. No politician will ever convince me that the education is not impacted by environment.
    I think if people really examined what people in government (local government) are being compensated they would have a stroke. I can’t imagine that Fairfax and Loudoun are paying less than Chesterfield at the government level and what we pay our people is astonishing frankly. It seems to me that no one ever wants to talk about cutting “adminstrator” jobs but are always willing to downsize the teacher/student ratio to cut costs.

  • Not John S. Mosby says:

    Do we live in New York? What part of New York? I don’t think teachers in Troy are making six figures, while teachers in Manhattan may. Simple cost of living, which is why more and more public employees in Fairfax have to live out in the sticks because they can’t afford housing in Fairfax anymore. And once again, comparing Fairfax to Chesterfield is fairly stupid since the cost of living in Chesterfield is much lower than here.

    If you want to pay your teachers shit and your administrators warm shit, then the education dispensed will be shit. I see that in every third-world country I travel to.

  • Max Steele says:

    Why are the Repubs always called the party of “big business”? I’m not even sure I know what “big business” is supposed to be – what’s the definition? Because if I recall correctly Wall Street gave far more money to Obama than McCain. Big Media gives more money to the Democrats – even the dreaded Fox News staffers I believe did. The entertainment industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and I’m guessing they give far more to Democrats. Read Forbes list of billionaires – as many are Democrat-contributors as Republican. Obama’s administration is full of Wall Street funny-money, back-door shysters. The truth is the Republican Party is best described as the party of small and medium business – just the ones that are going to be soaked by Obama and company. The businesses that don’t have massive amounts of money to throw around and scores of lobbyists in their roledexes to buy influence. So get over it libs, accept that your “party of the people” sold its soul a long time ago.

  • John Millhiser says:

    Brian, While I understand that the union you worked for/with had/ negotiated very nice benefits for the employees AND themselves. I don’t know who the employer is or was that the union members actually worked for, but he obviously could afford the costs of these benefits for the employees. What about the small business who has very little margin to begin with but employs 20 to 25 employees? How would a union be of any benefit to him? Of course the employees would love to have the union get in the employer’s face and demand higher wages and better benefits regardless of the fact that the employer does not have the money to provide such benefits. There are many small businesses JK%$CK This new format SUCKS. I had to quit on this post because I guess I twitted too many words. Please fix this dam thing.

    In addition there are also many small businessesIn addition there are many small

  • FedUp says:

    IBOB: Check the Arlington County teacher pay scale for starters. Since you feel teachers are underpaid, what would you consider fair pay (Don’t forget to include the superior benefits package)? $200,000? All I ever hear from the union is that they want more, more, more. Why don’t you provide evidence that teachers are underpaid?

    Many studies prove smaller class sizes do not improve achievement. The key is to find one that isn’t paid for by the NEA or one of the organizations they fund. Look up the NEA on http://www.unionfacts.com for a long list of those leftwing organizations.

  • Alter of Freedom says:

    Gee, the last time I checked my notes I do not remeber the “cost of living” having anything to do with the discussion over the School Board budget in terms of pay. It had to do with the number of students in the system, the cost per student, the overall budget component and revenues released by the Board of Supervisors to the SB. Sure there is a competitive component, but is the “pay rate” not more of a reflection of the budget component and not really at cost of living issue.

    I make no apologies for a low tax, business and family friendly County like Chesterfield. I wonder exactly why it is Fairfax’s cost of living and housing is so high? Could it be that in order to sustain the rate and size of government it requires the County to implement higher fees, taxes etc than other areas? In terms of “shit”. How many of Fairfax County schools made the Top 1000 schools in America exactly? I guess we turn “shit” into success down here Mosby or at the very least we get more out our investment in our teachers in terms of results than what you are getting regardless of the cost of living parameter.

  • Not John S. Mosby says:

    Once again, Alter shows he really doesn’t have that PhD in Economics. Yes, it costs more to live in Arlington than in Chesterfield. Thus, you have to pay people more to be able to afford to live here. Thus, you can’t pay teachers the same scale in Arlington that you do in Chesterfield. Nor do you pay them the same as in Manhattan or San Francisco.

  • Alter of Freedom says:

    Since when is Arlington in Fairfax. Where did Arlington come from? You basically called our “dispensed education” shit and yet never answered the question. How many schools in Fairfax rank in the Top 1000 schools nationwide? You seem to always imply us “downstaters” are a like the bastard step child to NOVA. The question you and your liberal pals always overlook is the WHY it costs so much more to live in Fairfax or Arlington as opposed to downstate. So given that the real eate market has adjusted lower some 15% in Arlington does that mena that the teacher salary is tied to the cost of living index and since it will be lower based on falling home values that teachers should as a result be paid less in 2010 than 2009? Of course not. Why? Because it has absolutely nothing to do with COL. The COL due to housing costs may actually drop in 2010-11 and you can bet salaries will either remain firm or even increase. How? Taxes will raised on property to meet the County requirements will they not? How else will the County generate the revenue for the school system budget? Its not like they are going to reduce spending or cut teacher pay. How will they make up the shortfall In fairfax or Arlington to the budgets if values continue to decline? BTW its History and for the record whats the cost of living in Richmond and what are teacher salaries there again? And whats the administrators/teacher ratio? Exactly how many students are there in the system? yeah COL is a true measure. Please.

  • John, the benefit to the small business owner is that if he brings a union that has a multi-employer pension, medical or training plan, he pays what he can (what he negotiates) while the larger employers with the union subsidize his worker’s benefits. The way the benefits worked for our members was that the employers negotiated a per man, per day payment into each of the plans based on days sailed. If the guy worked, the company paid into the plan. Each of these rates was negotiated with each employer under each contract. Instead of not being able to provide any benefits, the employee gets benefits through the union. And there’s the added benefit that the employee can move to another employer (as long as they have the union, which is common in some industries like maritime) and not lose their benefits.

  • Cato the Elder says:

    Brian, that’s a pretty forward-thinking business model and is far outside of the bounds as to what we hard conservatives would consider “big labor.”
    *
    Regardless of the benefits/drawbacks of the approach, in answer to your original question lamenting the internal polling for EFCA I think the McD campaign knows what we do – that this will be a low turnout, base election and going after “big labor” resonates positively with the base. You weave the libertarian themes of “no secret ballot” in there to pull enough independents for a plurality. No judgement of right vs. wrong here, brother, just telling you what’s going to win.

  • “One word: New York.”

    Thank you Alter, for my morning chuckle.

  • Alter of Freedom says:

    Edmund- Us “downstaters” aim to please. Glad you caught that. Nothing like a little cut bait in the water just to see whose biting. I shoulda said “NeeYark” I guess.

  • “just like the Birthers & their ceaseless claims against President Obama’ legitimacy”.
    He could silence that in a single minute with the production of a legally signed and verified “long form” of the Hawaiian Birth Certificate.
    Instead, we’ve been thru two hospitals (with Snopes and thew AP updating their information to the newest hospital as it is announced–all the while frantically trying to purge the archived sites off of the world’s servers)

    Show the damend long form- complete with attending doctor and signatures….
    Or else – just keep doling out the millions in stalling to keep it out of sight. This ain’t going away…so I’m afraid it will come to pass within the tenure of this first term.

  • I Bleed Obama Blue says:

    No President in the history of the United States has EVER been required to prove his “natural born citizen” status. Why should President Obama?
    *
    The Hawaiian Certificate of Live Birth is the ONLY legal document that the state issues. It PROVES that President Obama was born in Honolulu on August 4, 1961. In addition, two announcements of President Obama’s birth in Honolulu were published in Honolulu newspapers. People who doubt the president’s eligibility to serve favor tinfoil hats.
    *
    This “birther” nonsense is analogous to the rumors & innuendo the Clintons were subjected to (e.g.; Vince Foster). It may continue, but it doesn’t have any basis in reality and simply makes those who push it look like even nuttier nutjobs than those in the rank-and-file Republican base.
    *
    PS – It’s now the good old US Government that “keep[s] doling out the millions” (if that is in fact the case) to refute these baseless attacks.

  • Cato the Elder says:

    Q: What’s the difference between PeeBo’s birth certificate and Bigfoot?
    *
    A: Bigfoot’s been spotted.
    *
    /rimshot
    *

  • edmundburkenator says:

    There is now no document, no long, short, medium, or extra large form that will satisfy the Birthers. This is now moved into crazy-land and nothing matters in crazy-land.

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