The Rocky Mountain News reports today about a new policy giving labor union leaders privileged access to Colorado state government property. Too bad the administration of Governor Bill Ritter (D) is so fixated on rewarding some of his biggest campaign supporters.
Colorado’s voice of center-right reason on the Western Slope cataloged where these new perks fit into the larger scheme of union payback by Democrats:
Republicans said the policy amounts to Ritter’s second concession to unions after angering them last legislative session when he vetoed a pro-labor bill to make it easier for unions to organize in the private sector.
The first payback, they said, was an executive order that allowed union dues to be automatically withdrawn from paychecks.
“Taxpayer-subsidized e-mail, phones and mail service is just the latest verse in the governor’s mea culpa serenade to the disgruntled union bosses,” state Sen. Josh Penry, R-Fruita, said after reviewing the rules Friday. “And I don’t doubt for a second that there’s a lot more mea culpa to come.”
One of the state’s other rising Republican stars puts the development into context well:
Republicans, who read the draft rules obtained by the Rocky Mountain News, said Friday that they amounted to a back-room administrative fiat by a Democratic administration trying to pay back the public employee unions that helped elect Ritter.
“This type of policy change should be addressed by the full legislature and not done behind closed doors during the summer recess through regulatory finesse,” said Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma.
“The balloon payment for the unions will be made by the Democrats during the 2008 legislative session, when pro-labor union legislation moves from a pat on the back to a full-blown body massage,” Gardner said.
My snide question then is this: can we expect our Democratic legislature to introduce a bill regulating the practitioners of political massage therapy on organized labor leaders? Oh, wait. Pass a law regulating themselves? Never mind.