ANTI UNION, ANTI SMOKERS, DILETTANTE HYPOCRITE
WILDLIFE SLAUGHTERING POLITICAL PIECE OF SHIT
WHAT MAKES THIS MAN THINK HE CAN PLAY GOD AND INTERFERE IN OTHER PEOPLES LIVES AND FREEDOMS?
AND NOW HE WANTS TO GO BUST UP CONSTRUCTION UNIONS AND SLASH WORKERS PAY.
iNST ENOUGH THE PEOPLE ARE STARVING? HE WANTS TO TAKE AWAY THEIR CAKE?
State finally looking to repeal law that serves unions at taxpayers' expense
Crawford to testify against 'common wage' after ending bargaining here
John Crawford knows he will once again be accused of being "anti-worker," but the city councilman is much closer to the truth when he insists that repealing Indiana's common-wage law would be "pro-taxpayer."
"Government can only get money from one place, and with so many big-ticket items on the drawing board here, it's pretty simple," the at-large Republican said when asked to explain his opposition to the law that requires Fort Wayne and other state and local governments to establish minimum construction wages on projects costing more than $350,000.
As I've written many times over the years, the law is nothing but a cynical and potentially expensive charade. In theory, the common-wage law is supposed to prevent competition for large public contracts from precipitously driving down wage rates, but in reality it creates another layer of bureaucracy while artificially inflating taxpayers' costs. That's because, despite going through the motions of a hearing to determine a community's most "common" wages, committees appointed by union-supported Democratic officials normally select pay rates determined through collective bargaining.
Republican-appointed committees, on the other hand, usually bid projects using wage rates submitted by the non-union Associated Builders and Contractors, which insists its scale can lower costs by 10, 20 or even 30 percent. And, yes, Republicans are often supported by so-called merit-shop contractors. The difference isn't political purity, it's public cost. As Crawford notes, savings of even less than 10 percent can amount to millions of dollars on huge projects now being proposed in Fort Wayne's downtown and along its rivers.
"The intent was to guarantee workers a livable wage, but we have that now. The statute has outlived its usefulness. It's political," developer Bill Bean said two years ago while serving on a Fort Wayne Community Schools wage committee.
Despite politicians' supposed loyalty to taxpayers, other interests often take priority. That was evident in last year's often-acrimonious debate over collective bargaining, when Crawford and other council Republicans were vilified by some workers, union leaders and some Democratic officials. Lost in the rancor was the obvious fact that government jobs exist to serve the public, not the other way around.
If the Republican-dominated Indiana House and Senate repeal the common-wage law, all other public bidding requirements would remain in effect. All that would change is the influence of politics and cronyism on the free market.
"It would end government price-fixing and get more for the taxpayer," said J.R. Gaylor, ABC president for Indiana and Kentucky.
"It's a taxpayer-protection issue," said State Rep. Martin Carbaugh, member of the House Labor Committee that will hear testimony from Crawford and others on Tuesday. Both Carbaugh and Gaylor believe the bill has a good chance of passage, at least in the House.
The effort to repeal the common wage has received little attention yet, but you can bet that will change. Before the state Legislature made union dues voluntary through so-called "right to work" legislation three years ago, unions vehemently protested and Democratic lawmakers even fled the state to prevent vote.
Whether that kind of hysteria greets the current effort remains to be seen, but it must be pointed out that in Fort Wayne, at least, the end of collective bargaining for most city workers does not seem to have dramatically harmed employees, who have continued to receive raises but must no longer pay union dues.
There is no guarantee the end of common wage would save taxpayers money huge amounts of money, either, but unions apparently believe it would -- or they would have not fought so hard to keep it in the past.
Crawford and other council Republicans have tried to shed light on common wage's impact locally, and in 2013 Mitch Harper, R-4th, said he might offer a bill that would give council more influence over the city committee now controlled by Henry. That bill never materializes, but if the state repeal effort fails, Harper should try again.
As the likely GOP candidate for mayor against a popular incumbent Democrat, Harper desperately needs a vote-getting issue. The ability to claim he's protecting taxpayers while Henry's protecting unions would be a good one.