…but will it succeed?
Newly elected Illinois ‘Pub Governor, Bruce Rauner, is preparing to engage one of Illinois’ largest political machines. Yes, one even larger that Richard Daley’s Chicago machine at its heyday. He preparing to battle Illinois’ public service unions and the SEIU. Rauner wants to bring Right-to-Work to Illinois.
I can hear the screams and howls already.
Up in Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker has shown it’s possible to take on unions, including government unions, and live to tell the tale, and in large part because of his courage, he is now being considered as a Presidential candidate. It looks like his neighboring governor to the south, Bruce Rauner of Illinois, wants to follow in his footsteps. Rauner is one of the many Republican success stories of the 2014 election, and it looks like he isn’t going to be one to waste his mandate. In a recent appearance in Decatur, Illinois, he announced his intentions to take on the government union bosses. Northern Public Radio quoted him as saying:
“The taxpayers on the outside. It’s a conflict of interest. It’s a closed loop. This is what’s going on. Big problem. And it’s driving up our bureaucracy and jobs are leaving. It’s that closed loop up that; it’s what going on: the unions that contract with the state. I think it’s the number one conflict of interest in our state today.”
As their article also notes, he is blaming prevailing wage and Project Labor agreements for playing a role in driving up costs. He did not stop there. The major goal of his Decatur speech was to push one of his major policy goals: the establishment of “right to work zones” in the state. According to one of the local CBS stations, here is what he said specifically:
“The states that are already growing don’t force unionization into their economy,” Rauner told an audience at Richland Community College in Decatur, a city he said could benefit from such a plan.
“I’m not advocating Illinois becoming a right-to-work state, but I do advocate (for) local governments being allowed to decide whether they’re right-to-work zones,” he said.
As Scott Walker proved up in Wisconsin, it is possible to take on the unions and live, but it is by no means an easy task. I hope Gov. Rauner has the spine his neighbor to the north does. It will be very interesting to follow him over the next few years. He could be the next big star for the Republican Party if he is successful in his endeavors. The articles I linked here make it clear that the unions are not happy with the Illinois governor’s remarks, so we should expect a battle that could be just as intense and drawn out as the one that happened in Wisconsin. We need to make sure Governor Rauner knows he has our support, especially if you live in Illinois.
Rauner is also proposing to lower Illinois’ minimum wage to the federal standard to make Illinois more competitive to its neighboring states. That, too, is an anathema to Illinois unions.
Right-to-Work is returning to Missouri’s legislature this year as well. There have been a number of Right-to-Work bills already filed for the 2015 legislative session, House Bills 47, 48, and 116 as well as Senate Bill 127 and 129. In all, nearly 20 labor related bills have been filed.
The unions had and still have massive clout in Jeff City. One of the leading union shills in the Missouri Legislature, Jeff Roorda, lost his election in November. He was in the news today when he engaged in a scuffle with a St Louis Alderman.
It is time to pass Right-to-Work in Missouri and Illinois.
Many of us would like to see the EPA abolished. If that agency ever had a real, useful purpose, that purpose could just as easily be performed by the states. In fact every state has an EPA equivalent so the transition or responsibilities would be minimal.
Another federal agency whose time may have come to fade away, or at least be constrained, is the FCC. The FCC, or the Federal Communications Commission, is a child of the 1930s, a product of FDR’s New Deal. Its creation was a merging of the older FRC, or Federal Radio Commission, that regulated radio stations and wireless communications with telephonic communication of wired telephone and telegraphic operations by the ICC, the Interstate Commerce Commission.
In the early days of wired and wireless communication, some oversight was needed. Before federal intervention, multiple radio stations used the same transmitting frequency, or frequencies so close to one another that they created mutual interference. The result was a race to acquire the most powerful transmitter. The stronger signal received the most listeners. The FRC was created to insure no two stations used the same frequency within a given geographic area and to insure stations on adjacent frequencies had sufficient separation to prevent mutual interference. The FRC issued regulations that governed transmitter power. signal bandwidth and standards for signal purity.
Early wired telephonic and telegraphic communications was a patchwork of carriers across the country. There was little to no interoperability and many companies openly competed, sometime violently, for the same territory. As wired technology increased, standards were required to insure seamless communication across the country and with our neighbors, north and south, who used different national standards. British standards in the case of Canada.
Unfortunately, the FCC, especially under recent liberal administrations and commissioners, has wandered far astray from its original purpose. No longer is the Commission primarily concerned with technology and interoperability, but has shifted focus to content, and that is where the conflict between the FCC and Congress rests.
Republican measure would limit the commission’s regulatory authority while many Dems want to treat Net like public utility.
by Rob Longley, January 28, 2015 – 10:45 pm
A Senate hearing last Wednesday took aim at a controversy that has vexed Congress, federal regulators and the telecommunications industry for the better part of a decade: How best to regulate the Internet — and how large a role the Federal Communications Commission should play.
The hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee focused on a Republican proposal to maintain so-called “net neutrality” — the idea that all Internet content should be open to the public and treated equally.
The GOP bill, crafted by the committee’s chairman, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), and his counterpart on the House panel, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), is an effort to head off the FCC’s own plan to preserve net neutrality. Most analysts expect the FCC to push for greater regulatory control over the web and the Internet service providers that deliver it to consumers. The FCC has sought greater control in the past, but the federal courts have struck down its efforts, saying the commission lacked congressional authority to take such action. The commission is set to announce its latest plan next month.
The Republican measure would allow the FCC to impose tough new limits on ISPs, especially with respect to how they manage their networks. But it also would limit the commission’s regulatory authority, and would fall well short of the solution touted by many Democrats and consumer groups: Turn the Internet into a veritable public utility like water and electricity, a move that would give the FCC broad powers to control service providers and, in effect, oversee their operation.
Such a scenario does not sit well with Thune.
“There is a well-founded fear that regulating the Internet like a public utility monopoly will harm its entrepreneurial nature [and] chill investment,” the senator said in his opening statement Wednesday.
Meredith Atwell Baker, president and CEO of industry trade group CTIA — The Wireless Association, agreed. She was one of five witnesses to testify at Wednesday’s hearing. Baker said the FCC’s expected plan, which would include a decades-old set of regulations known as Title II, would force “1930s-era wired rules” onto wireless broadband services. That, in turn, she said, would stunt growth and innovation, and in the end, lead to higher costs and diminished services for the public.
“It would harm consumers and our economy,” Baker said.
But Democrats fear that weakening the FCC’s bite would lead to a less-than-open Internet, a development that could also harm consumers, said Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), the committee’s ranking Democrat. Consumer groups fear that service providers would use “loopholes” in the GOP plan to set up a two-tiered Internet by charging companies a kind of information-superhighway toll to boost their websites’ visibility and access, an option known as paid prioritization. By necessity, that means companies who refuse to pay the toll have less visibility — a situation that goes against the principles of an open Internet.
“[The public] does not want their access to websites and services blocked,” Nelson said Wednesday. “They’re worried about their broadband provider picking winners and losers on the Internet by relegating those content companies who refuse to pay a toll to a slow lane of service.”
Some of the same groups fear an impotent FCC as well. No one disagrees that the FCC was done a great job and provided a needed service—in the past. However, its current focus on content is negating that accumulated good will from the public. The FCC needs to be reined in and returned to its focus of maintaining the nation’s lead in communications and cease its efforts to enforce a liberal political agenda. For be broken up into a less oppressive organization.