It’s always interesting to read the New York Times in the morning and see local news on the front page. But there it was, the issue of local government’s war on public employees played out in the nation’s newspaper of record.
From the story: “Costa Mesa, population 110,000, is California in miniature. For years, public employee unions across the state have often used their influence — sometimes behind the scenes but occasionally with public, hardball campaigns — to push for improved worker pay and benefits. They have exercised power beyond their numbers by donating money to lawmakers, burnishing candidates’ credentials with endorsements and supplying volunteers during elections.
Public employee unions are hardly the only group involved in bare-knuckles politics. Businesses lobby fiercely and executives make hefty campaign donations.
But public workers have a unique relationship with elected officials, because government employees are effectively negotiating with bosses whom they can campaign to vote out of office if they don’t get what they want. Private unions, in contrast, don’t usually have the power to fire their members’ employers.”
The story has already gained nearly 200 comments at the time of this post, so feel free to asdd your voice to the debate there and here.
The online version of the story doesn’t have the terrific photo spread, so I’m guessing copies of the Times are going to be hard to find at your local Starbucks today.