Things are heating up in Oregon with one of the closest races for governor in years and the possibility of the first Republican winner since 1987.
Not surprisingly, government unions are starting to sweat. Kate Brown, Oregon’s current governor, was hand-picked by organized labor leaders for her seat and has cashed millions of dollars’ worth of campaign checks over the years siphoned from the dues of workers given little if any choice in the matter.
And Brown’s given them a pretty good rate of return, too, raising millions in taxes on businesses and individuals with the objective of growing government and, thus, union membership rolls.
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is a nationwide teachers’ union, and its President, Randi Weingarten, recently came to Oregon to help campaign for Brown’s re-election. Weingarten, ineloquent defender of forced unionism, has vocally condemned the Freedom Foundation and our supposed attempts at implementing “economic injustices.”
The AFT’s support of Brown is based on increasing concern about the upcoming elections. Unions favor and finance governors like Brown because of their willingness to serve union interests and increase taxes.
Moreover, Gov. Brown is pulling out all the stops to ensure Oregon doesn’t comply with this summer’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. AFSCME, which bans mandatory union dues and fees in the public sector.
Like other union-controlled governors, Brown understands that, if government employees aren’t compelled to pay dues, many — if not most — won’t. And if she has to start counting on the financial backing of only those Oregonians who actually agree with her thuggish policies, the well is going to go dry in a hurry.
Candidates who don’t rely on money seized from those who don’t want to give it, meanwhile, are more likely to act on the recent Supreme Court decision and take practical steps to notify public employees of their rights to choose, something unions adamantly avoid.
Across the United States there are only 16 Democrat governors, 12 of them in states that permitted mandatory union dues prior to the Janus decision. That’s why unions like the AFT are terrified about the governor’s race here in the Beaver State.
Unions have had an iron grip on politics in Oregon for generations, due in large part to their close relationships with (and financial support of) hand-picked governors.
The Freedom Foundation’s arrival in Oregon has hurt them significantly. Our efforts have cost unions millions with which they would otherwise have been able to grease the palms of their corrupt friends.
And it scares them to death.
You can bet Randi Weingarten didn’t come to the Pacific Northwest to fish for salmon. She’s angling for something far more important: The ability to keep calling in political favors.