LETTER: Buck the unions in District 41

To the Editor:

 

Our Minnesota Legislature’s Senate District 41 and House Districts 41A and 41B represent New Brighton and St. Anthony Village, among other cities.

District 41 representation is dominated by the DFL, thanks to the campaign contributions and block voting of public-sector employee unions such as the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and Education Minnesota.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that Minnesota’s public-sector employees are no longer compelled to contribute a portion of their salaries to public-sector union coffers if they are not members and, thereby, subsidize the unions’ political agendas, a game-changing impact on the unions’ formidable and well-funded political machine.

Washington Post columnist George Will observed that public-sector unions are conveyor belts that move public employees’ union dues into political campaigns, almost always those of Democrats, to elect the people with whom the unions “negotiate” (collectively bargain) for taxpayers’ money.

Regarding public education policies and legislation in Minnesota, the DFL functions as a subsidiary of Education Minnesota. Policy questions such as merit pay, classroom size, the length of the school year and tenure are largely influenced by the teachers’ union.

In our district, AFSCME and EM play a major role in determining who runs for office and who wins. Our district has been “safe” for the DFL. We’ve too long borne the burden of that political partnership.

On Nov. 6, we have an opportunity to elect representatives who are not beholden to those unions. They are 41A candidate Susan Erickson and 41B candidate Tim Utz.

 

Gene Delaune 

New Brighton

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