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Arizona Republicans:
"Top that, Scott Walker!"

Over the past two years, Arizona's state government, led by Gov. Jan Brewer, has been characterized by not just run-of-the-mill Republican awfulness, but stuff that's kind of creative in its stupidity. Like selling the state capitol only to buy it back two years later at a $24 million loss. Impeaching the chair of the redistricting commission and not even being able to explain why. SB 1070 and other attacks on immigrants.

Clearly, Arizona Republicans are committed to doing things with flair, which I guess is why, in launching attacks on the state's public unions with a set of bills introduced in the Senate this week, they're declaring their set of attacks the biggest and best ever:

The bills were crafted with the help of the Goldwater Institute, a powerful conservative think tank in Phoenix that flew [Wisconsin Gov. Scott] Walker to the state for an event in November. Nick Dranias, director of the institute’s Center for Constitutional Government, told TPM he sees Walker as a “hero” but that Wisconsin’s laws were “modest” compared to Arizona’s measures.

Where Walker only eliminated most collective bargaining rights for public workers and exempted police and fire fighters, Arizona wants to eliminate all collective bargaining rights and to include police and fire fighters. Arizona would also ban public workers from having union dues deducted from their paychecks and end "release time," in which union stewards and other representatives are allowed to spend work time on certain union functions, such as contract negotiations or handling grievances. The goal, TPM reports, is to make unions seem "obsolete":

“Gradually this would cause people to leave the unions as they recognized that unions no longer have an unfair bargaining advantage given to them by collective bargaining laws,” Dranias said. “They’ll realize that unions don’t do much for them.”

Well, no. If you make the central functions of unions illegal, unions can't do much for their members. Just as abortion being legal doesn't help women if there are no abortion providers within hundreds of miles of them. Just as the United States having "the best health care in the world" doesn't help if you can't afford to go to the doctor. Gotta love that Republican logic.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 08:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Baja Arizona Kossacks, In Support of Labor and Unions, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Gee. I wonder how the police and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    firefighters in AZ will react.   Think that they'll help to squelch any protest?

    Ultimately, the only thing that matters with respect to preserving choice is who will be nominating the next Supreme Court Justices.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 08:14:45 AM PST

  •  The Goal, is to remove a core Democratic base (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Osiris, ColoTim

    With the unions gone, there is nothing to stand in the way of the Republican fund raising juggernaut of 1%ers.

    And I'm not just talking about AZ.

    Congress shall make no law ... abridging ... the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    by AZ Independent on Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 08:18:23 AM PST

  •  Should be noted - AZ is already a (0+ / 0-)

    "Right to Work" for Less state.

    Evidently, Brewer - wants to take that even further -

    As I noted in an earlier diary yesterday - this is all ALEC.

    Thanks for the post!

    •  this former Arizonan.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cartoon Peril, MNDem999

      made $3.25 an hour waitressing because it's a 'right to work' state. Talk about bullshit. So glad I left the State of Hate. I hope Arizonans wake up and get this crazy bitch out of office. Now, Russell Pearce has taken papers out for his reelection. When does the friggin' insanity stop?!?

  •  What would happen if the (0+ / 0-)

    Public Sector employees, including and especially cops and firefighters, decided to stage a state-wide strike? Surely, surely they're not going to take this lying down.

  •  Public issue referendum? (0+ / 0-)

    Labor and Dems better be prepared to get the signatures for a ballot measure repealing this stuff because after Wisconsin and Indiana, I have zero confidence that GOP legislators will listen to their constituents on these issues. If ALEC wants this to happen, their GOP stooges will pass it.
    Ohio was the only place where the people got to vote up-or-down on this ALEC written bullshit, and it was resoundingly defeated. I know Arizona is more conservative and anti-labor than Ohio, but you've got to believe that this shit won't fly with the general electorate, especially when the rather conservative firefighters and (especially) law enforcement unions are under direct attack.

  •  Goldwater Institute (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polecat, Crashing Vor, Azazello

    Would be interesting to know who funds the Goldwater Institute.  

    •  some goldwater contributors (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      82 % comes from individuals,10% from foundations
       of  170 major donors here are a few of the important ones
          * Jeanne Archer
          * The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
          * Chase Foundation of Virginia
          * Gleason Foundation
          * Home Builders Association of Central Arizona
          * Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation
          * Matrixx Initiatives, Inc.
          * Pierce Farms, Inc., Las Vegas Ranch
          * Platt Photography
          * Southwest Gas

  •  Have they noticed the boycott yet? (0+ / 0-)

    Ever since SB 1070 they should have been feeling something.

    Or maybe they simply don't care and want to drive the ship of state into the nearest iceberg.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 07:05:22 PM PST

  •  Next up: (4+ / 0-)

    All paychecks will be eliminated for public workers.  Instead, there will be vouchers to use for approved housing and food providers.  All Republican owned of course.

    "Stay Democratic, my friends." -The Most Interesting Man in the World

    by boran2 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 07:06:47 PM PST

  •  In addition to this, the Republicans have (7+ / 0-)

    introduced legislation that exempts the Goldwater Institute goons from registering as lobbyists or declaring their affiliation during testimony -- making their legislative activity harder to track, even on bills they authored. As I wrote the other night, let's shit all over workers but not tell anyone who is doing the crapping on people.

    stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

    by Mother Mags on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 07:08:37 PM PST

  •  "Unfair"? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, filby, Egalitare, DSPS owl, Reepicheep
    Gradually this would cause people to leave the unions as they recognized that unions no longer have an unfair bargaining advantage given to them by collective bargaining laws,” Dranias said.

    I do not think that word means what he thinks it means.

    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

    by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 07:10:07 PM PST

  •  So far the response is non-existent. (0+ / 0-)

    We have no recourse, except  the ballot box. If Latinos/as and Native Americans register and vote, we could change this state.  The tide may be turning here, due to Rethug overreach and a lousy economy.

    Remember, you can't have crazy without az.

    by Desert Rose on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 07:12:50 PM PST

  •  General Strike (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, jcrit

    The war on the middle class has been relatively bloodless, so far.  It the republipukes keep this shit up, it will get bloody.  Obviously they don't understand, or don't care about the consequences of pissing off workers.  Shut them down!

    •  Nobody's Demonstrated an Ability to Mobilize Enoug (0+ / 0-)

      Americans for a general strike ever, to my knowledge. Certainly not in the last half century. It's an action that could start serious change moving in a hurry, but just because it's a good idea doesn't mean it can be done.

      When movements are small it's crucial not to overreach on demonstrations and strikes. Disruption or strikes against important services that can be accomplished by modest numbers are usually the best way to start.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 07:27:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's really the only way out I can see other than via the ballot box.  These fascist shits need a wakeup call.  Call it the "Red, White, and Blue flu pandemic".

      Propaganda is where someone uses the truth as a context for sneaking in their own bullshit.

      by jcrit on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 07:53:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's the Logic of Conquest. As Far Ahead As We Can (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, Azazello, Egalitare

    see, they're going to take large areas of the country and hold them. Best of luck to you in Arizona.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 07:24:30 PM PST

  •  start a recall Brewer petition (0+ / 0-)

    Lots of people would love to get rid of her.

  •  Jan Brewer Recently Spotted On The Beach (0+ / 0-)

    A Good Peasant Is A Silent Peasant - Jesse LaGreca

    by kerplunk on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 08:30:42 PM PST

  •  i think the only pushback will come (0+ / 0-)

    from cities and communities  regarding fire and police employees. one argument could want to pay them LESS?? how the hell can you keep attract good applicants ans keep a good force, AKA protect your community if you want to pay them less? removing collective bargaining certainly implies paying them less  to just about everybody. and there is already such a small union presence this is where the only stand can be made ,it seems to me.

    then again this is a state that thinks the border should be patrolled by a volunteer gang of untrained thugs...

    •  Well, you know, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DSPS owl, Reepicheep, weinerschnauzer

      like teachers, we shouldn't give them raises, because they should be Called By God to protect the community and filthy money would just sully them.

      Do you not see that it is the grossest idolatry to speak of the market as though it were the rival of God?

      by kismet on Fri Feb 03, 2012 at 04:03:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Disconnect. (0+ / 0-)

      I've heard repeatedly that CEO salaries are justified because of the Free Market, and because corporations want to "attract the best talent."

      I've heard the same justification for the profits of pharmaceuticals. Without the "profit motive" why would anyone be inspired to find a cure for cancer or alzheimers? And if they do find a cure, the rest of us should be willing to bankrupt ourselves to pay for it, and there's nothing immoral about that.

      So, which is it? If people are only motivated by profit, why the hell would anybody become a teacher or a cop?

      "YOPP!" --Horton Hears a Who

      by Reepicheep on Fri Feb 03, 2012 at 08:34:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Unfair bargaining advantage"? right.. (0+ / 0-)

    as in employees having ANY bargaining leverage AT ALL... is unfair to management...

    They really want to be able to go full Sopranos/Godfather power trip... and make only offers that can't be refused...

    In this kind of "free Market" the buyers are the corporations and Republican run governments... buying labor and they want a pure "buyers market" dictating the prices they will pay and what the conditions the work they buy will be.

    So not a market at all. A fixed crypto slavery paradigm where workers have close to zero choice at all. Corporations get to say "My way or the highway" without contradiction... a funny way for free marketeers to think.. unless they are that in name only. Price fixing, bid rigging, Govt money taking, employee and environment abusing free marketeers in a race to the bottom allowing no interference.

    Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

    by IreGyre on Fri Feb 03, 2012 at 05:22:44 AM PST

  •  Union Busting (0+ / 0-)
    “Gradually this would cause people to leave the unions as they recognized that unions no longer have an unfair bargaining advantage given to them by collective bargaining laws...” (emphasis added)
    This is instructive of what many Republicans actually think; they that the tables are unfairly tilted toward workers because they can bargain collectively, or more to the point, that they can bargain at all.  They think business should be able to dictate all the terms and that would be fair.  I mean, just look how well the workers are doing in the non-union shops in China that make all of our cheap plastic crap.

    There's just no negotiating with people that think like this; you can't have a rational debate with people that fundamentally disagree with reality.

    Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

    by democracy inaction on Fri Feb 03, 2012 at 05:51:44 AM PST

  •  Building a union voice (0+ / 0-)

    Yes, we need a broad, vigorous public campaign for unions.
    In addition to organizing, we need some very adept public relations and messaging. In California the state Labor Federation has worked on some materials that give great guidance on changing the narrative on the Role of Unions.
    I assume that the materials will soon be up on their site.
    also see,

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