Florida Senate Rules Committee approved SB 830 8 Yeas 4 No
Yesterday, we reported on the Democrat full court press to stop SB 830 in the Florida Senate. The bill would end automatic paycheck deduction of union dues; The individual union member would decide whether or not to pay dues. More importantly, to Democrat electoral machinery, SB830 would not allow union dues to be used in political activity.
Back in March, the Fort Lauderdale Fraternal Order of Police produced a video calling for the defeat of SB 830.
No problem. RED BROWARD, along with most Floridians, believes FOP members deserve every dime they can get; In fact, if an FOP member can better use money marked for dues then they should be able to keep it. Wouldn’t it be better to use that money in Broward’s economy instead of some political campaign?
When Buddy Nevins’ BROWARDBEAT.COM wrote about the video, local political doyenne
Judy Stern felt compelled to chime in on the issue. Following a few personal cheap shots at Rep. George Moraitis, Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, and Nevins’ own son, Stern got to the point:
“It does not pay union dues (City of Ft Laud. Ordinance prohibits them from contributions to city elected officials campaign accounts, so why deny them the right to charitable contributions thru the ease of payroll deductions? Respectfully submitted, judy Stern”
Even if Fort Lauderdale bans contributions to elected officials accounts, does that mean no union dues are used to support political campaigns? Is Stern right when she claims it’s all about “charitable contributions”? Perhaps she doth protest too much?
Sources tell RED BROWARD the Fort Lauderdale ordinance does not ban union contributions to Electioneering Communications Organizations (ECO). Another sources pointed to another Nevins’ article which claims that in 2008, Judy Stern and Scott Rothstein were highly involved in the Common Sense Coalition ECO.
“Political consultant Roger Stone says disgraced lawyer Scott Rothstein ‘regularly’ broke state campaign laws by ordering employees to give campaign contributions and then reimbursing them.
His prime evidence – the contentious 2008 race between incumbent Republican Sheriff Al Lamberti and Democratic challenger Scott Israel.
* RRA co-founder Stuart Rosenfeldt contributed $90,000 to The Common Sense Coalition on October 15, 2008. The Coalition financial report is here.
‘It’s clear from campaign finance reports that The Common Sense Coalition was run by Israel’s campaign’ Stone says. ‘The first contribution to the Coalition came from Israel campaign manager Judith Stern on March 7, 2008. Stern would eventually contribute $6,000 to the ECO, which would later pay her $4,000 on December 18, 2008.’
The Coalition’s chair is Todd Wilder, a Tallahassee political consultant who worked for Ken Jenne at the sheriff’s department. Jenne worked at RRA.
* Another donor to the Coalition is SJM Consulting Group, LLC, which contributed $70,000 on October 24, 2008. SJM filed for business with the state of Florida on April 11, 2008, with David Boden as its registered agent and manager.
Boden served as RRA’s general counsel.”
The Florida Division of Elections website confirms Stern’s contribution:
The website confirms the expenditures as well:
Stern was not the only one to contribute to Common Sense Coalition. In February 2009, Brittany Wallman of the Sun-Sentinel wrote about nasty attack mailers in a Fort Lauderdale City Commission race.
“Fort Lauderdale has strict rules governing political contributions. No political action committees, companies or corporations may give money to a candidate. Individuals may give only $250. And they must file periodic reports telling the public who gave, and how much. But the city’s law does not apply to independent groups like Oster’s, which can receive limitless sums of money to influence voters.”
Wallman reported two ECOs were involved with the mailers: “Integrity Counts Committee” and “Common Sense Coalition”. Guess who gave money to “Common Sense Coalition”?
“The Common Sense Coalition didn’t attack Teel, but did tell voters that Roberts(Teel’s opponent) is committed to public safety. Fraternal Order of Police Union President Jack Lokeinsky is quoted on the piece. He said the union contributed to that group but had no part in Oster’s attack ads.
Roberts, who is in the hospital with a malady he refuses to reveal, was not involved in the attacks, said his campaign manager, Mark Ketcham.
Teel said she suspects developers who are angry over her votes might have paid for the attacks. She’s called for reduced retirement benefits for new police officers, and said she was warned she’d be savaged over it.”
Who won that race? Yep, Bruce Roberts.
No wonder they don’t want Tallahassee to change the rules. Call your state Senator. Tell Ellyn Bogdanoff you will support her no matter what names Judy Stern calls her.(FYI, Stern’s daughter Barbara Stern was Moraitis’ opponent in 2010; sources say the Sterns will challenge him again in 2012)
This Wednesday, the Florida Senate is set to vote on SB 830, a bill which will alter how union dues are collected and how a union uses those dues when pursuing political activity. Introduced in February by Sen. John Thrasher, the bill has taken on new importance in light of the legislative battles in Wisconsin. Labor unions, including police, fireman and teacher unions, have rallied their troops in recent weeks; they claim the usual doom and gloom for workers, but they rarely mention why they’re fighting so hard–Unions dues are the lifeblood of Democrat political campaigns.
The Unions do not want its members to be able to withhold dues from union political operations. Right now, conservative Republican union workers dues are used to support Democrat candidates whether they like it or not. Under SB 830m the collection of Union dues would become voluntary instead of automatic.
“Employee organizations are likely to have more difficulty collecting dues, fees, assessments and penalties from public employees. Labor organizations are likely to have more difficulty collecting funds from employees for political purposes.”
That comes from an analysis of the bill by the Community Affairs Committee. As submitted the bill would:
“Prohibits a state agency from deducting from employee wages the dues, uniform assessments, fines, penalties, or special assessments of an employee organization or contributions made for purposes of political activity. Prohibits a county, municipality, or other local governmental entity from deducting from employee wages the dues, uniform assessments, fines, penalties, or special assessments of an employee organization or contributions made for purposes of political activity, etc. EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011”
Union members will have more money in their paychecks, but the bosses don’t care. The DNC/DCCC/OFA/OFA_FL machinery needs the union money.
Tallahassee sources tell RED BROWARD the passage of the bill will greatly depend upon the support of the South Florida delegation. Unions have been pressing them hard; They do not want any reform of Florida’s pension/union system:
“The Florida Senate is preparing to pass SB 830. It prevents union dues deductions from our paychecks. Call your Florida Senators. List of phone numbers here:
April 10, 2011 by gatorbonbc
“The Florida Senate is preparing to pass SB 830. It prevents union dues deductions from our paychecks. Its final committee hearing is scheduled on Wednesday, April 13th. We know Senator Oelrich is planning to vote against this if it makes it through committee. Do you know where your Senator stands? PLEASE CALL THEM AND ASK THEM TO VOTE NO.”
Perhaps your voices should be heard as well?