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As Long as We Remember...

July 19, 2011

Losers and Thieves

Shawn Burns

Either the plan proposed by the city police to offset their demanded pay increase pays for itself this year and in future years, or it doesn’t. So, which is it?


At this point, the contract dispute between the city police and mayor is much like an old-time duel at high noon that takes place in the center of town for all to witness. There’s no going back – or backing down – for either side. And when the smoke clears, there will be a distinct winner and a distinct loser. For the winner go the spoils.


This political standoff will not only leave an extremely bitter taste in the mouth of the loser, it will also cripple the loser for future political aspirations and negotiations. Good luck to both sides because no matter how this shakes out in the end, no one is going to be happy.


* * * * * * * * *


It’s official, the Dream Act, which would have allowed some illegal immigrants to pay in-state college tuition rates, is a referendum issue for voters to decide in 2012.


The exciting part of this issue going to referendum is that for citizens, voters and taxpayers of Maryland, it shines a ray of hope on the political process. A large percentage of citizens, regardless of party affiliation, feel that elected officials act and vote without consideration of the wants and needs of those they supposedly represent. And successfully petitioning and forcing an issue to a referendum is an impressive accomplishment.


The success of this petition effort should wake up politicians all across the state and force them to realize that the voice of the citizens cannot – and will not – be ignored.


The minority party across the state is excited over the success of this petition drive because – for once – they are experiencing a level of success in Annapolis.


And now, the fate of the Dream Act will be decided by voters in a referendum that could reverse the decision made by the General Assembly and the governor.


Citizens and politicians alike doubted that Neil Parrott, a first-term minority party delegate from Hagerstown, could get the signatures required to force a referendum. By using technology and the raw emotions of this issue, the voters will now have the opportunity to vote on whether in-state rates at Maryland colleges will apply to some illegal immigrants.


At least 55,736 valid signatures were needed to get the bill on the ballot. Ballots are still being counted, but the State Board of Elections had already approved 104,728 signatures. Approximately 22,000 signatures have been thrown out for violations of rules and laws concerning petitions.


Now both sides of the Dream Act issue will be working hard in the next year to convince us to vote one way or the other on this issue. And then, of course, there will be the fight over how the issue is worded on the ballot in 2012, with both sides arguing their case.


* * * * * * * *


Thanks to a law Gov. Martin O’Malley signed in May 2009, unions for state employees can start taking money directly from state non-union members’ paychecks. Essentially legalizing the theft of money from state employees who in the past, for whatever reason, decided they did not want to belong to the union.


It is estimated that the Maryland chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) will pocket $4.7 million in the next year as a result of this legalized scam.


It is also estimated that the 12,500 state workers who have chosen not to be in a union will have an average of $390 stolen from their paychecks annually.


The unions were unhappy that so many state employees made the decision not to join. So, the unions went to the governor they spend big to get elected and said pass this bill so that we can legally take money from hardworking people even though they aren’t in our union. And amazingly, the General Assembly and governor did exactly what they were told to do by the unions.


In a press release after the passage of the Fair Share Act on the website for AFSCME, they say that passage of the bill is “…about providing additional resources during the current economic downturn.”


At least they are honest about why they want to steal money from non-union members. It’s about giving the union more money to play with during this difficult economic time. The logic they use is insane. The governor and unions feel it’s okay to reach in the pockets of non-union members during this economic crisis in order to enrich the bank account of unions. Wow!


The governor and unions smiled while legislating a pay cut to over 12,500 state employees who were not union members. It’s hard to comprehend this twisted logic by this bunch of thieves.



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