Daily Archives: Jan. 31, 2013

Be honest about effort to weaken unions

State lawmakers claim a bill preventing public union members from using payroll deductions to contribute to political action committees is about protecting union members from harassment. Please. Union members are adults and are perfectly capable of deciding on their own whether to use a payroll deduction. And if schoolteachers and others really are being pressured to use the deduction – a big “if” – then won’t they be pressured to write checks to the union PACs? This legislation is entirely about trying to weaken unions – which is why it is being pushed by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Prosperity. In a rare moment of honesty, the chamber’s lobbyist told a House panel that he needed the bill passed “so we can get rid of public-sector unions.” Lawmakers should at least be honest, too.

Public still supports current system of picking judges

When a poll was released earlier this month showing that 61 percent of Kansas voters opposed changing how state Supreme Court justices and Court of Appeals judges are selected, some conservatives tried to discredit the results by saying that liberal billionaire George Soros was behind the poll. But a new survey sponsored by the Kansas Policy Institute and its conservative backers found similar results, with 54 percent of the public saying that it is in citizens’ best interest to have judges recommended by a nominating panel, a majority of whose members are attorneys. Even 50 percent of Republicans supported the current system. So what did the Kansas Senate do? It voted Wednesday to change the system that the public supports.