Help me kill the unions E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

According to multiple media reports, the chief lobbyist for the Kansas Chamber of Commerce has told state legislators that he wants to see them pass a bill to end automatic paycheck deductions for public employee unions. And in an extremely rare instance of a lobbyist or a politician actually letting some measure of truth pass their lips, lobbyist Eric Strafford isn’t saying anything about the rights of non-members or the evils of collective bargaining.

"I need this bill passed so we can get rid of public sector unions," Stafford told committee members, according to a tweet from Scott Rothschild, a reporter for the Lawrence Journal-World.

The legislation in question would make Kansas just like Mississippi and Michigan — both right to work states.

The bill would force unions to get members to pay their dues voluntarily and directly as opposed to having  the dues deducted from their paychecks in order to fund union political activities.

The legislation cleverly expands the definition of "political activities" to banning unions from campaigning for or against public referenda like proposals to privatize policing or disband agencies.

One observer of the legislative session that did not want to be identified, said the hearing "was getting pretty contentious" in exchanges between Stafford and Democrats.

Then Strafford said, "I need this bill passed so we can get rid of public sector unions.”

"There was a gasp in the room," according to one observer.

It’s hardly shocking that some would be flabbergasted by a lobbyist articulating the real motivation behind the union-busting bill.

Usually it’s dressed up as “right to work,” or “employee fairness.”

What’s really interesting is the proposition that the Kansas legislature  and  the Chamber of Commerce is pushing might do even better with a name like the “Get Rid of Public Sector Unions,” bill.

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