Oregon residents – or at least the ones paying attention – already know Measure 97 is a terrible idea that will raise taxes, kill jobs and drive business out of the state. But it can’t be repeated often enough who’s behind the looming ballot boondoggle.
So the Oregon-based Freedom Foundation team gathered on Sept. 12 a press conference to underscore the role the state’s government employee unions are playing in the measure.
At the press corps room Oregon’s Capitol, reserved for the press only, Oregon Director Anne Marie Gurney laid out the true motivations and motivators behind Measure 97.
“The question,” she noted, “has been asked many times, ‘Why would anyone put forth such a ballot measure that would decimate Oregon’s economy?’ The answer is government unions.”
Government unions, Gurney noted, have no regard for state economies, numbers and people. Measure 97 will devastate employment in the private sector, but the number of government jobs – those being paid by taxpayers – will increase markedly.
“That’s bad news for you and me,” Gurney said, “but it represents a huge windfall for the unions, because every one of those new employees will be required to pay union dues.”
Oregon Policy Analyst Ben Straka illustrated the problem. More than 97 percent of the funding for Measure 97, he noted, comes from just by two major entities. SEIU503 and the Oregon Education Association (OEA) have given millions to the effort and stand to gain the most in membership.
By investing a few million dollars now, those same unions will reap a huge return in the forced union dues from all those new government employees.
A live stream of the press conference was carried through the building during the hustle and bustle of Legislative Days, and those who were physically present for the event was even more telling.
Outside the press conference room, a union stooge stood holding up his iPad taking pictures of everyone who entered and exited and felt compelled to talk about socks. Those same photos ended up being passed around the union channels.
After the press conference, the union noise machine calling itself the Northwest Accountability Project returned to its familiar theme, asserting that the Freedom Foundation’s Oregon operation has been ineffective to date.
But if that’s true, why do they waste so much time hanging on our every word?