Channel 7 reports that Gov. Bill Ritter has turned down an offer from Jon Caldara to withdraw Amendment 49 from the Colorado ballot in exchange for Ritter revoking his executive order that unionized state government:
Jon Caldara, head of the Independence Institute, a conservative think tank, said he also wants Ritter’s word to oppose any effort to pass a paycheck deduction into law.
Not exactly, at least if you read the letter Caldara sent to Ritter yesterday:
…These same opponents have been champions of your Executive Order D 028 07, which drastically reshaped labor relations by introducing collective bargaining to state government.
I therefore propose withdrawing Amendment 49 from the statewide ballot, contingent upon your repeal of Executive Order D 028 07 and your word to oppose any effort to bring it forward via legislation….
The issue is not “a paycheck deduction” but more broadly “collective bargaining,” which grants unions monopoly representation over state workers to negotiate on their behalf for wages, working conditions, and the like.
Rocky Mountain News blogger Bridget Johnson (who has kindly linked to this blog on several occasions) makes a similar error with her one-line description:
Jon Caldara offers to withdraw Amendment 49 if Gov. Ritter agrees to withdraw his executive order that overturned Gov. Owens’ executive order on paycheck protection.
No, wrong executive order. Ritter’s order overturning Owens’ “paycheck protection” order was D 006 07. The story from Johnson’s own Rocky Mountain News properly identified (congratulations!) the order in question as the one “allowing state workers to unionize” (D 028 07).
Most egregious was the Denver Post‘s headline for the same story (at least the online edition) this morning: “Ritter declines offer on right-to-work measure.” Confusing, misleading, inaccurate … what other words should I use? Maybe the headline writer should talk to the reporter who wrote a fairly good story.
Right-to-Work is Amendment 47, which frees workers from the obligation to subsidize unwanted union representation. The initiative at hand is Amendment 49 (aka Ethical Standards), which stops government from bundling and collecting money to special interest groups through payroll systems. Amendment 49 is not, never has been, nor ever will be Right-to-Work.
All these observations today from a supposedly unaccountable, pajama-clad blogger. While there are many things MSM is capable of doing that individual bloggers cannot necessarily do, we’re still glad to be here to provide a little correction and clarification as needed.