Say you are a union activist that just spent a day lobbying legislators in Olympia. At the end of the day, you…
- Follow-up with the legislators you just met with an email or letter thanking them for their time, and summarizing the key points of your discussion.
- Continue to contact the legislators with your message and the positives of the changesyou want to see happen.
- Make a video bashing and criticizing the legislators you just met, then post that video on YouTube.
If you are an activist for the Washington Education Association (WEA), the answer is number three. Earlier this week, the WEA posted a video that features its activists after they had just lobbied legislators. It’s clear that the activists where there to ask legislators to fund the WEA’s money-grab initiative, I-1351—though, interestingly enough, that initiative is only actually mentioned once by name.
“When our state Legislature can call a special session in one day to give a huge tax-break to Boeing… yet want to overturn voter-approved initiatives to say ‘we don’t want to so what the voters commanded us to do, we don’t want to follow the law of Washington State’ something is wrong with that picture,” said one union official.
The targets for the WEA’s bashing were… surprise, surprise… Republicans. How did these Republican legislators earn the ire of the WEA activists? They gasp* dared to inform them that Washington State has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Referring to I-1351, one WEA activist demanded the Legislature “step up and figure out a revenue…”
As far as the WEA is concerned, all blame for education underfunding is on Republicans. Never mind that Democrats have been underfunding public education and higher education spending for a generation. Or, that Democrats have controlled at least one house of the Legislature in 28 of the last 30 years – and had complete control of the Legislature in 14 of those years. Or, that a Democrat governor has signed every state budget since 1985.
The reality is that under these Democrat-controlled budgets, the ratio of additional education versus non-education spending was 1:2 (in other words, the Democrats’ priority was two dollars for bigger general government for every new dollar of education funding). On the other hand, Republicans have already proved that simply prioritizing education funding first is a better solution. During the last two legislative sessions, with Senate controlled by the Majority Coalition Caucus (MCC) and Republican leadership, the state budget has prioritized new education over non-education spending at a 4:1 ratio for the first time in 30 years. That’s all without raising taxes. The State Supreme Court referred to the change as significant progress.
But, the WEA refuses to accept reality. It prefers to bash Republican legislators for not wanting to raise taxes even further on hard-working Washington families. As long as the WEA gets what its looking for in I-1351, it’s clear union executives could care less that they are placing an even heavier tax burden on Washingtonians.