The Corner

Unions vs. the Taxpayers

For decades and across the country public employees have enjoyed release time, where they work full-time for their unions while being paid full salaries from the taxpayers. Because this practice explicitly violates a law, present in most states, that public funds cannot be used for private gain, is it being challenged in a Phoenix Arizona courthouse, and the prospects for the plaintiff are looking up:

The core of the case rests on the Arizona constitution’s gift clause, different forms of which are present in almost all 50 states. The gift clause stipulates that public funds cannot be used for private purposes, and, as the prosecution argues, release time is for the private benefit of the union. “Basically, this is a classic gift-clause violation because it is a diversion of funds from one of the most important functions that government provides to a private organization to use for its own purposes,” Bolick [lead attorney representing the plaintiffs] says.

What’s worse, PLEA, like other unions, has used publicly funded release time for overtly political actions. “They’re using it for lobbying purposes, they use it to recruit members,” Bolick says. “They use it to negotiate their very own contracts. . . . They endorse candidates.” Ironically, in contract negotiation, taxpayers are footing the bill for both the city and the union to negotiate with each other.

And the total cost? “In Phoenix, we have seven public-employee unions,” Bolick explains. “Our initial report was that it was $3.2 million a year, and that’s just Phoenix. And we have discovered that a significant amount of the release time is not reflected in those costs, so it’s actually more than $3.2 million.”

Read more here.

Most Popular

The Imaginary Trump

Like Andrew Jackson, Donald Trump is man who represents the age in which he lived. Whatever you may think of the age. Jackson embodied a generation of men who had risen and made their mark in a young country. He represented their desire for greater representation, even if it had costs for slaves and Indians. He ... Read More

The Imaginary Trump

Like Andrew Jackson, Donald Trump is man who represents the age in which he lived. Whatever you may think of the age. Jackson embodied a generation of men who had risen and made their mark in a young country. He represented their desire for greater representation, even if it had costs for slaves and Indians. He ... Read More
Film & TV

Bowing Down to Obama

‘How can we miss you when you won’t go away?” political podcaster Yvette Carnell joked two years ago when Barack Obama began his comeback tour by making sideline pronouncements about the state of the nation after his brief retirement. Now the comeback is official, with two new Kool-Aid-drinker Obama ... Read More
Film & TV

Bowing Down to Obama

‘How can we miss you when you won’t go away?” political podcaster Yvette Carnell joked two years ago when Barack Obama began his comeback tour by making sideline pronouncements about the state of the nation after his brief retirement. Now the comeback is official, with two new Kool-Aid-drinker Obama ... Read More
Economy & Business

Shopping Superstitions

It’s the boss-bossiest time of the year, when Americans getting ready to open up their wallets to buy Christmas presents are lectured by illiterate halfwits about where and how to spend their money. The usual demands: Buy local, or buy from small businesses. This is pure nonsense, and you should feel free to ... Read More
Economy & Business

Shopping Superstitions

It’s the boss-bossiest time of the year, when Americans getting ready to open up their wallets to buy Christmas presents are lectured by illiterate halfwits about where and how to spend their money. The usual demands: Buy local, or buy from small businesses. This is pure nonsense, and you should feel free to ... Read More
History

The 1620 Project

On November 11, 1620, the Mayflower arrived on the eastern coast of North America. She had weathered the slings and arrows of maritime misfortune for almost ten weeks at that point, but the passengers thought the discomfort of crossing a small price to pay for passage to the Promised Land. After all, these were ... Read More
History

The 1620 Project

On November 11, 1620, the Mayflower arrived on the eastern coast of North America. She had weathered the slings and arrows of maritime misfortune for almost ten weeks at that point, but the passengers thought the discomfort of crossing a small price to pay for passage to the Promised Land. After all, these were ... Read More