Rocky Mtn News: Thumbs Up to Ask First and Good Government

For your edification, in case you missed it, a great lead editorial from the Rocky today:

Somewhat surprisingly, “paycheck protection” is back. And it’s encouraging to see that even with a union-friendly governor and a Democratic legislature, this time the campaign could have lasting consequences.

Attempts to end the automatic deduction of union dues from paychecks without the prior consent of individual employees have generally gone nowhere. Legislation has failed. So have proposed ballot initiatives. The only paycheck protection measure that had any impact on automatic dues deductions – a 2001 executive order from Gov. Bill Owens that covered state employees – was rescinded by Gov. Bill Ritter this year.

The latest foray, however, known as Ask First, has chalked up some victories. Commissioners in Arapahoe, El Paso, Jefferson, Mesa and Weld counties have passed paycheck protection policies covering county workers. Voters in Centennial, Englewood and Greeley will decide in this fall’s election whether those automatic deductions would end for unionized workers employed by those cities.

By the end of the year, the free-market Independence Institute, which launched Ask First, says it’s possible that paycheck protection provisions might cover cities and counties where more than half of Coloradans reside.

We hope the campaign continues to gain ground, because governments should not serve as collection agents for any dues-based organizations, not just unions.

Though I would quibble with the use of the term “paycheck protection,” the piece is excellent overall. I won’t say much more in this venue, since educating the public about these policies has been part of my professional duties, and you’d probably rather hear about it from a less biased source – like the Rocky.

Go ahead and read the whole thing. Let the debate begin.

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