Iowa Moves Against Democratic Party Slush Funds

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Iowa, like so many other states, has gone Republican. What happens when you have a Republican legislature and a Republican governor? The corrupt public sector union spigot gets turned off.

Public sector unions in Iowa will have less authority to negotiate working conditions for teachers, nurses and correctional officers under a bill passed Thursday in the new Republican-controlled Legislature that critics say is aimed at crippling organized labor in the state.

Not crippling organized labor, but rather crippling public sector unions. Which Franklin Roosevelt and I say shouldn’t be allowed to exist, due to the inherent conflict of interest that exists when unions “negotiate” with politicians who get millions in political support from those same unions.

On Thursday morning, following days of on-and-off debate, Republicans used a rare procedural move in both chambers to force floor votes. This happened despite dozens of pending filibuster challenges from Democrats.

What a terrible thing, voting on legislation! It is comical to see how fond the Democrats have become of the filibuster, now that their power is slipping away in one state after another.

The proposal is similar to Wisconsin’s 2011 collective bargaining law that drew large demonstrations in that state. In Iowa, hundreds of people turned out at weekend forums to oppose the bill, which culminated with a large gathering Monday night at the Iowa Capitol. But the building has been relatively empty since then, a stark contrast to the turnout in Wisconsin that made national headlines.

Hundreds turned out to oppose the bill, in a state with over three million people? Not impressive. And the AP seems to regret the fact that “the building has been relatively empty since then.”

Since the collective bargaining law went into effect in Wisconsin, membership for both public and private unions in the state has dropped 40 percent.

That makes no sense. The 2011 public sector union legislation would have no effect on private sector unions. If there really has been a 40% decline in private sector union membership, which I haven’t been able to verify readily, it is perhaps due to subsequent passage of right to work legislation.

But this, of course, is what it really is all about: corruption. Public sector unions use the power of the state to extract money from members, which then goes to increase the power of the state:

Two of the largest public sector unions in Iowa, AFSCME Iowa Council 61 and ISEA, contributed a combined total of more than $1 million to the Iowa Democratic Party in 2016, a figure that is based on available campaign contribution filings.

That $1 million is probably a drop in the bucket. Voters have had it with public sector union corruption. Iowa is the most recent state to rebel, but it won’t be the last.