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0 comments | January 13, 2007 | 8:07 AM | posted by Mike Reitz

Two in-state editorials support Attorney General McKenna and the rights of non-union teachers. Excerpts below.

Seattle Times Editorial
For dissident teachers, the right to limit dues

"In the Washington Education Association case argued Wednesday at the U.S. Supreme Court, most of the justices seemed to side with Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna, who was representing the rights of the dissident teachers. So do we.

"The case has been portrayed as an attack on unions. It really is not. It has no effect on any union's right to spend its members' money on politics. It is only about nonmembers' money.

"If the union wants to ask nonmembers to donate to a cause, it should be free to do so — but it should not complain that having to ask is an unfair burden, or that it limits its freedom of speech."

The Spokesman-Review takes on the union's self-applied label as a "professional organization" and blasted it for thuggish behavior.

Spokesman-Review Editorial
Dues and don'ts: Union should ask nonmembers before spending

"As recently as the 1970s, leaders of Washington's largest teachers union disputed that label, and members recoiled from it. The Washington Education Association considered itself a professional organization, devoted to instructional quality. A union? No way.

"But times have changed, and nobody would practice that artifice today, not with a straight face. WEA is clearly a union, and its aggressive use of nonmembers' dues for
political causes has come before the U.S. Supreme Court.

"'The state of Washington's position is that nonmembers should not be required to say no twice,' McKenna told the justices during oral arguments.

"That's reasonable. If WEA wants the political use of money from people who don't want to be part of WEA, it's only fair to expect the organization to get permission in advance. If that's too burdensome for WEA, WEA should be willing to do without.

"That's how a professional organization would act."

The Washington Times
Restore workers' constitutional rights

"Despite the fact that 43 percent of voters from union households cast their ballots for President Bush in 2004 (according to a national exit poll commissioned by the Los Angeles Times), labor unions have routinely directed more than 90 percent of their political expenditures to the candidates and causes of the Democratic Party. Of course that's outrageous. However, what has been happening in the state of Washington is even more outrageous. So much, in fact, that the Supreme Court of Washington state has turned the First Amendment upside-down.

"The U.S. Supreme Court should restore the constitutional rights of nonmembers by overturning the Washington Supreme Court, thereby requiring unions to obtain permission from nonmembers before their fees can be used to finance causes they likely oppose."

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