January 29, 2010
Conservative columnist George F. Will never misses an opportunity to distort the facts in an effort to spread untruths about issues of importance to working Americans.
In a January 29, 2010 Washington Post column, Will takes President Obama to task for not mentioning the Employee Free Choice Act in his State of the Union Address. “Unmentioned was organized labor's “card check” legislation to abolish workers’ rights to secret ballots in unionization elections,” Will wrote. This is a calculated effort to mislead readers about the legislation.
The Employee Free Choice act would not “abolish workers’ rights to secret ballots.” What it would do is eliminate the ability of employers – not employees – to demand a National Labor Relations Board election. Workers would have a choice of “majority sign-up” or an election.
On January 10, Will wrote another Washington Post column that was filled with distortions and misinformation. In that column, he argued that unnamed liberals and AFSCME members were somehow responsible for the budget crisis facing California, ignoring the fact that conservative policies had led the state to the brink of disaster. AFSCME Pres. Gerald W. McEntee wrote to the paper to set the record straight:
George W. Will must think that his readers have amnesia. How else to explain his muddled effort to blame liberals for California’s budget crisis (“Fiscal liberalism has tarnished California gold,” Sunday, January 10), while making no mention of Proposition 13 and its impact on the states’ fiscal fortunes? That measure, passed with the enthusiastic support of Mr. Will and his conservative allies, cut property taxes by 57 percent and forced the state to rely heavily on income taxes to fund vital public services. When combined with the California constitutional requirement of a two-thirds majority vote in the state’s Legislature for all major tax and budget proposals, Prop 13 set the Golden State on the course toward disaster. How strange, too, that Mr. Will targets American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) workers at the University of California at Berkeley who participated in a September protest against budget cuts at the university. Our members who participated are janitors and service workers. Rather than blame these low-paid employees for California’s budget problems, Mr. Will should look in the mirror.
Gerald W. McEntee