As California continues to struggle with the consequences of its rapacious public sector -- consequences that include $240 billion in unfunded pension liabilities (PDF link), lackluster schools, and a dysfunctional prison system -- a group of conservative activists are looking to strike the root of the problem: the seemingly endless supply of money that unions can put towards political causes without the consent of their members. This group, which includes former Secretary of State George Shultz and Warren Buffet's business partner (and political opposite) Charlie Munger, announced yesterday that they've qualified an initiative for next November's election that would prohibit big labor from using member payroll deductions for political purposes.
As one would expect, the hyperventilation amongst Public Sector Inc. is already beginning. As the AP story reports:
"It's not enough for them to have taken our houses and it's not enough for them to make millions off the TARP funding and federal government support for the banks, now they want even more. They want us to not even have a voice in politics whatsoever," said Art Pulaski, executive secretary-treasurer of the California Labor Federation, an umbrella organization that represents more than 2 million union members.