Perhaps in the spirit of Earth Day, Craig Medred (writer for the Alaska Dispatch) decided to recycle his old lies and misrepresentations of Governor Palin’s stances and political career. We have fisked his previous falsehoods and illogic here, here, and here. In this piece though, Medred’s distortions reach beyond Alaska and into Wisconsin. Writing about Governor Palin’s speech in Madison,Wisconsin, Medred gets it completely wrong. During her masterful speech, Governor Palin spoke of the budget bill that Governor Walker signed into law that saved the jobs of thousands of Wisconsin educators and protected their pensions as well. Medred writes:
But that’s exactly what she did over the weekend when she announced Badger state Gov. Scott Walker is “not trying to hurt union members. Hey, folks, he’s trying to save your jobs and your pensions!”
Let’s assume for a minute that this is true. Does that mean Walker’s view should trump the decisions of thousands of Wisconsin wage slaves who vote on union labor agreements governing jobs, pensions and salaries? Shouldn’t state union workers in Wisconsin have as much right as other Americans to make bad decisions, or are we all now bound to some new common-sense idea that the politicians know best?
What Walker is trying to do in Wisconsin, of course, is eliminate collective bargaining for state employees, and the reasons are simple and understandable. It takes politicians with guts to negotiate fiscally conservative contracts with public employee unions.
Collective bargaining without argument makes life difficult for government, not to mention business, by giving some measure of power to working folk.
Medred is wrong on so many levels here. First, No snarky assumptions are needed for Governor Palin’s statement. She was right. If that bill was not passed, educators faced layoffs, school districts faced lower state funding, and the state deficit problem would jeopardize teacher pensions. Past proved to be prologue for the teachers’ unions, as the Milwaukee teacher’s unions in June 2010 were willing to sacrifice the jobs of 482 teachers (including that of the 2010 state’s “outstanding first year teacher”) in order to prevent small reduction in health benefits. Wisconsin unions were poised to allow similar things to happen on a state wide level. These teachers are not “Wisconsin wage slaves” as Medred hyperbolizes. Wisconsin teacher salaries average at $51,000 compared to the statewide employee salary average of $37, 398.
Medred seems to be a bit clueless both in the difference between public and private unions and in the specifics of this bill. I must give credit to Medred for one point. It does take a “politician with guts to negotiate fiscally conservative contracts with public employee”. That is exactly what Governor Walker did. What the passage of this bill did was preserve the jobs of Wisconsin educate, save the Wisconsin taxpayers from tax increases, and put Wisconsin on a path to fiscal solvency.The entity that these unions are negotiating with were the taxpayers of Wisconsin who pay their salaries and contribute to their benefits. The big bad boss that the unions were attempting to demonize were their fellow Wisconsin residence. Medred also ignores the fact that the bill maintains that unions can still collectively bargain for their wages.
Now that Medred has the premise for his story completely wrong, let’s take a look at how he gets Governor Palin wrong on the issue of unions, her gubernatorial record, and her motivation. Medred laughably claims Governor Palin as a political opportunist, when the truth is Medred is a journalistic opportunist–seizing any opportunity to use the word “Palin” in a story title to drive traffic to his stories.
Despite his claims that Governor Palin has flipped flopped on her support for unions, Governor Palin has always been pro-union member, but anti union boss thuggery. She re-iterated this in her speech on Saturday, and she acted in this way as Governor, using state surplus to pay down underfunded pension plans for state (public union) employees. Governor Palin takes issue with the union bosses whose actions would be detrimental for the whole of the American people or the people of individual states, such as union bosses who supported government bailouts and were involved in health care “reform” deal making.
Additionally, Medred, who proudly states that he has been Alaskan journalist for 35 years, somehow has not found time to read the Alaska constitution that clearly states that the Alaskan people own the natural resources and that these resources must be developed for the benefit of the people of Alaska. This is what led Governor Palin to restructure the state oil tax through ACES and provide energy rebates to Alaskans when oil and gasoline prices skyrocketed. Medred asserts this makes Governor Palin a socialist, which is another recycled claim of Medred’s. Alaskans4Palin did an excellent job of responding to this ridiculous charge last month:
His article states that Alaskans should do something to earn this compensation, and implies that it is a “socialist” free handout taken from the oil companies by the government and distributed to the citizens. Imagine setting up a system in Kansas where farmers couldn’t harvest their own crops but must allow companies to come in and harvest the land they own for them. The companies harvest the crops then sell the crops at profit and the land owner is left with nothing. Alaska’s laws state that the companies must pay the owner a fair price for what they have taken. Governor Palin set out to state what that portion should be through legislation. She called it Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share, or ACES.
Alaskans as a whole selling their resources to companies who want to develop them, for the price determined through ACES legislation, is hardly socialism. The resources are owned collectively by the citizens of the State. The citizens sell their resource to the companies who wish to harvest and develop it. The price Alaskans are paid for their resource, by law, is a ‘Clear and Equitable Share’ of the companies profits when they sell the resource outside. This is capitalism at its finest, and an excellent example of State law protecting the interest of its citizens.
Medred closes out with more false claims regarding Governor Palin. He claims she “inferred that Barack Obama was a community organizing domestic terrorist’. Actually, Medred was the one who made an inference. He is accusing Governor Palin of making an implication. As a journalist, Medred should use his verbs correctly. Beyond that, Medred is flat wrong. Governor Palin has been very critical of President Obama, but has never made such an implication.
His pretzel logic woven throughout his piece seems to indicate that Governor Palin is a political opportunists jumping to support whatever is the political message flavor of the day. However, Governor Palin is not a political follower of issue-driven Pied Piper. She is a prescient leader. When Alaska needed corruption defeated, she took the lead by passing major ethics reform and two major energy related legislative pieces under a transparent process. When candidate Obama was selling snake oil science policies, she was calling him out. Look at any point discussed during her 2008 RNC convention speech and see how foretelling she was. Governor Palin was the first to stand with Governor Brewer in passing a key bill on border security. When a second round of quantative easing was put into play, Governor Palin warned of the coming inflation and higher fuel and food prices. When bullying by union leadership threatened the fiscal health of Wisconsin, Governor Palin was stood firm with the taxpayers of Wisconsin. Governor Palin doesn’t follow political messages, she drives them.