Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Union Thuggery

In not-very-Republican Oregon:
A mailer sent to Oregon voters by the AFL-CIO warns that their voting history is a matter of public record, reported Wednesday.

"Your voting history is a matter of public record," the mailer declares, implying that the union can determine how people vote...

"It's an updated version of a tool that's served them well in the past: 'Nice little place ya got here. Be a real shame if something was to, you know, happen,'" said a post at Max Redline...

Despite the implied threat, voting records do not say how a person voted, only that they did.
A journalism student at my school, with (I'm told) the active assistance of the newspaper faculty advisor, went to a county office and identified the political party registration of as many of our school's teachers as they could find.  Especially considering the story above, can anyone offer a good reason as to why a person's party affiliation should be public knowledge?


maxutils said...

A better question is, why should you be asked to register for a party? I proudly fly my Libertarian flag, but it annoys me that I have to reregister as D or R if i want to affect a primary. But, there's no reason why it shouldn't be public record . . . it doesn't say who you voted for . . .

allen (in Michigan) said...

Partisan primaries.

If you're going to spend public money to determine which party candidate will represent the party you have a public interest in determining who the legitimate candidate is. Otherwise a concerted effort on the part of the opposition party could result in the opposing party picking the winner. Not exactly in the best interest of representation.

With regard to the story you linked, I see it as evidence of continued descent of union power.

It's always been based on thuggery but that thuggery's been mostly directed at the businesses upon which unions are parasites. By directing their thuggery at the voting public the union's declaring that it's phony image as the valiant fighter for the rights of the worker isn't working any more so they're taking the velvet glove off hoping there's an iron fist underneath.

There isn't which means this effort to intimidate voters will result in more anger then fear. But desperate times demand desperate measures which is really the central point.

Darren said...

I can understand asking a person running for office, and running as a candidate from a certain party, to identify that party (or to run declining to state a party). I can understand having me register as a party member so that I can vote in the primaries. I don't understand why anyone else needs to have access to that information.

maxutils said...

Registering to vote in primaries is ridiculous . . .I understand that the Republicans have an interest in not allowing Democrats to choose their candidate, and vice versa . . . but , since you can register for whichever party you want, then change immediately after, all it does is inconvenience the voter.

Carol said...

My state (MT) doesn't have registration by party. When there is a primary, the voter asks for one ballot or the other, or asks for the third-party ballot if there is one.

As an activist I don't like it, because it's hard to determine who your base is. Most political strategy is based on finding the registered members of the party first. So, we have to do these pushy surveys to try to find out voter affiliation.

It's just really hard to do GOTV if you don't know who to get out. I don't plenty of people don't care, but when their guy loses it's the party that gets blamed for not working hard enough.

allen (in Michigan) said...

OK, I guess a crude, and probably fruitless, effort by some union thug to intimidate voters is going to go by the boards in favor of a discussion of the outrage of partisan registration for primaries. Seems to me like worrying about the smoke rather then the fire but, OK.

If public money's going to be used to hold primaries then some impediments to crossover voting seems prudent. Although in view of the fact that some states don't require partisan registration to vote in a primary crossover voting's obviously not a monumental problem.

Looks like kind of a judgment call with the chips falling one way in some states and the other way in other states.

With regard to privacy, at least in your case Darren, that bird's flown. If enough people were upset enough about for long enough, my guess is something would have been done about it. That something hasn't been done about it results from the predictable public response to serious efforts at voter intimidation using party affiliation: undecideds decide pretty damned quick on the subject and I think most politicians understand that reflexively.

But some union thug who doesn't have to stand for election? I think they'd be rather more willing to try a stunt like that under the assumption that they're insulated from all repercussions.