In the 1950s, Secretary of Defense Charles Wilson made his infamous statement, “What is good for General Motors is good for the United States.” Now, our public service unions are telling us “What is good for our unions is good for you.”
Both statements have obvious holes in their logic.
This mono view was publicly screamed several times at last week’s state Democratic convention in Los Angeles, where labor leaders drew barriers between “union” Democrats and excluded “business” Democrats to cheering Democratic Party faithful, many belonging to labor unions.
The deafening silence is from our Democrat elected officials, as none responded to these over-the-top comments.
They failed to recognize the obvious exclusion of this position. Democrats filled with the arrogance of power, killing off part of their base. Sound familiar? They are doing the same thing Republicans did: closing the party ranks to only true believers and excluding those who do not adhere absolutely to their dogma.
Just as this type of narrow thinking culled the Republican Party base, so too will self-exclusion damage the Democratic Party. Only 9 percent of workers belong to a labor union. When Democrats disdainfully exclude the other 93 percent from their party, yes, they will start losing elections and power.
You see this Democrats excluding Democrat in the Assembly 15th District race. Orinda City Councilman Steve Glazer, a progressive nonunion small-business-owning Democrat being demonized for pushing efficient government, improved public schools and lowering college education costs.
He is being treated as a pariah because his sin is to put the public good before special interests.
This absolute hostility to nonunion Democrats is appalling. They literally have made it a sin to own a business, have a professional job and work anywhere except in a government office.
This race will show that there are plenty of nonunion Democrats who vote in elections.
You already see the grip that public service unions have on Oakland policy. The power of the police union is never more apparent.
Our police department is governed by a federal judge because for the last 14 years the city refuses to implement basic reforms and accountability unwanted by the police union.
Meanwhile, the city shells out $$millions, citizens are not safe, and there is no clear road to lower crime.
No, what is good for the labor union is not good for the rest of us in all cases. There is one basic concept that public service unions have forgotten: public service. The money for their jobs comes directly out of our taxpayers’ pocket.
We want accountability and efficient quality service for our taxes.
It is great that union representatives are advocates for their members. But taxpayers need an advocate too for their position. And if our elected officials are held captive by the unions’ money and cave into every single demand, guess who will start losing votes.
You see this wave is already starting in cities throughout California, voters rejecting lock step union candidates who are deaf to citizens’ concerns and blind to efficient government.
The “union” Democrats, drunk with power, are making the same mistakes as Republicans made earlier. And unfortunately, they are headed on the same narrow exclusionary path, out of power as the Republicans currently are.
Clinton Killian is an attorney at Oakland downtown Oakland law firm Fried & Williams LLP and former public official. He can be reached at [email protected]