Peter Blake yesterday wrote a great Rocky Mountain News column about one of the major initiatives on Colorado’s statewide November ballot – Amendment 49:
As [Jon] Caldara, head of the Independence Institute, likes to put it, government would no longer be able to act as “the bagman for political special interests.”…
No doubt passage of No. 49 would make it more difficult for unions to collect dues. But Caldara said that in the age of automatic bank transfers, union members can easily arrange to have dues deducted if they want. “Taxpayers don’t have to be on the hook for doing the accounting, the bookkeeping and collection work for special interests and their lobbyists.”
Caldara maintains it’s a conflict of interest for, say, school board officials to be funneling money to local unions through paycheck deductions and then getting a check back from the same unions in the form of campaign contributions.
Government employees can arrange to stop dues deductions from paychecks now, but it can be a difficult process.
(Full disclosure: I also happen to work for the Independence Institute, which has provided the intellectual ammunition behind the Ethical Standards Initiative.)