What Do Public Safety Unions Stand For?

In a special election earlier this week, Brian Dahle defeated Kevin Kiley in the race to become the next California State Senator representing District One, which sprawls north from the foothills east of Sacramento all the way to the Oregon border.

Both candidates were Republican members of the State Assembly, competing in one of the few safe Republican districts left in California. If you study their legislative voting records, all but the most committed conservative wonks would consider these men to offer pretty much the same positions on most issues. But you wouldn’t know it from reading their campaign flyers.

In a dirtier than average campaign, Dahle alleged that Kiley worked directly for Kamala Harris, referring to him as a “former staffer” of hers. That flimsy truth is based on the fact that Kiley was a deputy attorney general for the state when Harris happened to be attorney general. In other flyers, Dahle accused Kiley of making it “easier for illegal immigrant criminals to remain in the U.S.,” being “funded by the same liberals who financed Nancy Pelosi Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton,” refusing to “support legislation to hold PG&E accountable for the wildfires,” authoring “legislation making it difficult for victims who are dying from asbestos poisoning to collect damages,” and going “AWOL on welfare fraud.”

You get the idea. While Kiley tried to hit back, for every flyer he mailed, voters often received two flyers from Dahle. Some voters got more than twenty flyers supporting […] Read More

Why Are Public Safety Unions Supporting Teachers Unions?

During the Los Angeles teachers strike earlier this year, an article in the ultra-left publication The Nation offered an excellent glimpse into the mentality of strikers and their supporters. The article begins by describing a scene in front of an LAUSD middle school on day three of the strike. A truck driver has arrived to make a delivery to the school, and the picket line won’t budge. Police have been called.

What happens next? According to The Nation, “The line holds. The police don’t make good on their threats to cite or arrest teachers, and the truck and police cars drive off. One of the officers even gets on his radio before he leaves and says, ‘Don’t let them come between us. We support you!’”

It would take an expert to determine whether this conduct falls within the boundaries of normal police discretion or constitutes a minor act of civil disobedience in solidarity with the strikers, but it doesn’t take an expert to determine whose side this officer was on. “We support you.”

Police, along with the firefighters who on January 19th actually marched by the hundreds through downtown Los Angeles to support the teachers strike, can be applauded for wanting to support teachers and students. They can be applauded for doing what they think is right, especially if they think they are helping the next generation of Americans get a quality public education. But what if everything the teachers union is trying to do is wrong?

For […] Read More