Wednesday, March 09, 2011

A Note on the New CrossRoads GPS Ad

I end up on a lot of mailing lists; no idea how -- I don't sign up for them. The emails just arrive.

As an example, today a press release from Crossroads GPS, a conservative Republican PAC, sent me an email trumpeting new anti-union ads they are producing and paying to air.

Part of the email states:

This morning, Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies (Crossroads GPS) launched a new nationwide issue ad, “The System,” that exposes how government unions protect their pay and benefits by backing politicians who give them everything they want – at the expense of taxpayers.

The spot includes footage of Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), Barack Obama, and a particularly candid (and chilling) quote from the National Education Association’s general counsel Bob Chanin, the teachers union boss who says “it is not because we care about children…NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power” deriving from “hundreds of millions of dollars in dues.”

Two points:

1) Union members are taxpayers. There are not two distinct groups -- union members and taxpayers; all union members are taxpayers.

2) Mr. Chanin is exactly correct, elected officials, by and large, do not pay attention to people who care about children unless those people also have money in their pocket. Daycare workers care about children but their political influence is very weak, because they do not have the money to influence the system. Elected officials do not listen to teachers because teachers care about children; elected officials listen to teachers because teachers' unions have money. I can tell you from personal experience that when I contact officials as a PTA member or a parent I am most often ignored. I am a union member; when my union talks people listen. Why? Parents are organized and PTAs don't spend money on politics. If Crossroads GPS did not have wheelbarrows of money the people behind it could rant about unions all they wanted; the reason their ads will air is because they can pay for them. Go figure.

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