Posted on November 13th, 2007 in Colorado Politics, General, Labor | Written by Ben | No Comments »
Repeating himself at the Dead Governors site and at the Denver Post blog, Lefty political hit man David Sirota plies his latest act of deception with the headline: “Business to CO GOP: ‘Where’s The Evidence’ To Back Up Attacks On Ritter?” Sirota links to a Denver Business Journal piece titled “Mixed reaction to union order” to make his point.
The problem? First, Sirota willfully ignores the obvious split in the business community between the self-interested and conflict-averse Chamber of Commerce sector and the more entrepreneurial, independent-minded small business sector. Sirota cherry-picks the apathetic responses of the former (you can read his posts for the excerpts) and disregards the strong anger from the latter:
One of the sharpest criticisms of the governor’s move came from Tony Gagliardi, Colorado state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, a small-business advocacy organization.
“The governor’s move is sure to create a larger division between labor and business, a division that cannot be good for the citizens of this state and our economy,” Gagliardi said in a statement that followed Ritter’s order on Nov. 2.
Michael Severins, president and CEO of the Mountain States Employer’s Council, which represents 2,600 employers in Colorado and Wyoming, fears the governor’s order — coupled with brouhaha over HB 1072 earlier this year — may scare away businesses looking to move operations to Colorado.
If more state workers join unions, Severins is concerned that they’ll get more organized and infiltrate the private sector.
“That will present a business environment that will be totally different than it is now,” he said.
Severins also worries that with Ritter and the Democrats in control in Capitol Hill, the executve [sic] order won’t satiate organized labor’s appetite next session.
“I question what else is coming down the pike,” he said. “Do we need to take a more defensive posture?”
But it’s even worse than that, because the response from the Chamber of Commerce sector hasn’t been as completely tepid as Sirota’s selective quotes would lead his readers to believe. Case in point: he cites the “personal opinion” of a spokesperson for the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry (CACI) as evidence that “leading business voices are even applauding Ritter’s decision to make the move via executive order.” But he neglected the paragraphs immediately following:
CACI’s executive committee on Wednesday issued a statement raising questions about the “substance, process and appearance” of Ritter’s order.
The statement raised concerns that if state workers negotiate for fewer hours and more time off, it might delay the processing of applications for permits, requests for rulings and other actions that may be required by state agencies.
CACI also worried that wage increases negotiated by the union could divert funds from the organization’s priorities such as transportation and higher education.
“CACI does not believe that the executive order was necessary or that it serves the interests of the citizens and businesses of Colorado,” the statement said.
“Where’s the evidence?” Sirota asks.
Reply: “Right in front of your face.”
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