Henceforth, such comments shall be called Hoots, and they shall be documented as Hoots of the Year. However, the government officials who make the stupid damned comments will not be called Hooters; they will simply remain government officials that made stupid damned comments. The distinguished title, Hooters, will be reserved for the audiences that find these stupid damned official comments appealing.
Honeman’s Hoot of the Year comment occurred in response to a non-union electrical contractor who had called in to argue his case against government-enforced funding of union coffers. Honeman insisted that the businessman was “free to choose” to bid on municipal contract opportunities or not, and if the contractor “chose” to submit a bid then the required tribute to the union was simply a cost of doing business with the government, regardless if his work force is organized or not. Honeman repeatedly insisted that the businessman was “free to choose” whether or not to bid on a project. In Honeman’s worldview it appears as though the contractor should thank his lucky stars that he was privileged to be free to bid at all. What if the law said that only union shop contractors can bid?
So, in brief, Mr. Honeman and his ilk are shills for their union brothers who are the beneficiaries of any municipal contract, even if they do not perform any of the work. A contractor who is not operating a business in cooperation with a union is free to bid, providing his bids for municipal contracts also include the required tribute to organized labor, under the auspices of municipal law. Being forced to pay a tribute to his competition for the privilege to bid is nothing less than government-supported extortion, and an obvious example of graft in government.
The contractor does not actually pay the tribute however. It is the tax payer, all of us not employed by the government, who ultimately pays it. Bids that do not include the tribute are rejected, due to non-conformance, by employees of the municipality who evaluate the bids. Consequently, we the tax payers are not getting the best work for the least expense because every conforming bid includes the tribute.
Now that is Freedom at its best. And Honeman is the recipient of the inaugural Hoot of the Year for the stupidest damned comment yet; that contractors are “free to choose” if they want to pay tribute to the unions or not. If they choose to pay it, then they can submit a bid.
Let’s go over it again, just to make sure everything is clear.
A contactor is free to bid, but his bid must include a stipend for the unions that just happen to also be his competitors. The unions are thus rewarded for their support of the elected officials who write laws that reward the unions for their support. In turn, the elected officials enjoy the continued support of organized labor for the next election cycle, enabling the extortion and graft to continue unabated.
Over and over again elected officials are thus in the position to do the public sector unions’ bidding, disguised as representatives of the people; the people who pay the salaries and benefits and provide excellent working conditions that are negotiated between the unions and the government officials that union dues and union “boots on the ground” helped get elected. Consequently, public sector labor agreements are lucrative in comparison to the salaries, benefits and working conditions enjoyed by the people who comprise the private sector; the people who bear the burden of paying the costs of those lucrative public sector labor agreements, and who naively believe that their elected officials are serving them.
Mr. Honeman. You have a perverse concept of freedom. Your response to the contractor is nonsensical, as well as ethically challenged and morally reprehensible.
The Anchorage municipal election on the 5th of April is our opportunity to begin electing individuals who will terminate the extortion and graft that permeates the assembly and school board. Honeman is safe for a couple more years, but three of his comrades are defending their seats. A vote for any one of these incumbents, affectionately known as members of “the socialist six,” will affirm once again that the perverse and ethically challenged concept of freedom demonstrated by Mr. Honeman, is in fact the norm.
And the Hooters will be a Hootin’ for another year, contractors will continue paying tributes and the public sector will continue to reap the benefits of occupying both seats at the collective bargaining table.
This “norm” however, is easily reversible.
The fact is that the “norm” is determined by a mere one-fifth of those of us who are eligible to vote. Why? Because conservatives and moderates do not vote in municipal elections, even though they comprise more than half of the eligible voters. By failing to vote (thus, by default), the moderate and conservative members of the municipality enable the Hooters to Hoot-on, year after year.
For some reason, conservative and moderate voters are CONTENT to allow a majority of a minority to determine who shall represent “everyone” in the community. Unfortunately, those individuals who are elected often do not represent the majority of the population—they too often represent the majority of the minority that went to the polls and cast their votes.
When it comes to elections, it is really easy to Get What You Don’t Vote For. It is not all that much harder though, to actually Get What You Do Vote For.
It’s high time that conservatives and moderates begin to demonstrate some DISCONTENT, become more engaged and cast a vote on April 5th to Get What You Do Vote For, rather than What You Don’t Vote For. It’s high time that conservatives and moderates demonstrate some DISCONTENT by studying the candidates and determining who among them has some common sense, morals, and who will challenge the ethics of their peers. It is high time that conservatives and moderates demonstrate some DISCONTENT by electing some assemblymen/women and school board members who will represent their interests, and begin to create a “new norm” to replace the “norm” that has had a grip on the community for the better part of a decade.
Isn’t it high time for a “new norm” in our community?
(Suggested listening: http://www.wabcradio.com/sectional.asp?id=33447 left click on “listen” or right click on “download this show” at Thursday 3/10/11 Bachelor 12am, scroll to 17:15. Suggested reading: http://www.hoover.org/publications/defining-ideas/article/69086 )
P.S. Sen. Ron Wagoner (R, Kenai) is up for a Hoot of the Year. The daily news quotes him, regarding the governor’s oil tax legislation on Mar. 8th, saying that, “a bill that gives away $2 billion to the companies with no guarantees at all of how that money will be spent or what work would be done with that money in the state of Alaska, how many Alaskans will be hired, I have a hard time supporting the bill."