JOSEPHSON AND CLAMAN PAID WELL TO FIGHT JANUS
The Dunleavy Administration is having to defend itself in court against a public employee union lawsuit resulting from the Administration’s enforcement of the Janus decision.
But union-back Democrats in the House of Representatives said “no way” in a House Finance subcommittee meeting last week. They stripped the funding.
COMPLICATED BUDGET MANEUVER
The Dept. of Law in January contracted with an Outside law firm to defend the state from a public union lawsuit against the state’s “opt-in” plan that would comply with the Supreme Court’s Janus decision.
Law planned to pay up to $600,000 for the subject-expert lawyers, as the case resulting from a lawsuit by the Alaska State Employees Association against the Dunleavy Administration, is expected to go to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Last week, the House Finance subcommittee, headed by Rep. Andy Josephson, decided there will be no Outside legal counsel. The committee renamed the appropriation title for the “civil division” in its budget. As a maneuver to protect unions against the Janus decision by the Supreme Court, subcommittee Democrats now call the budget item the “Civil Division Except Contracts Relating to Interpretation of Janus v AFSCME Decision.”
A separate appropriation line is now called, “Legal Contracts Relating to Interpretation of Janus v AFSCME Decision,” and it has just $20,000 in the item, the smallest appropriation legally possible from the subcommittee.
During the hearing, Democrat committee members said they disagree with the Administration’s decision to pursue Janus litigation, and wanted to send a message they will not support spending the money to defend workers’ rights to affirmatively opt-in on union membership, rather than being automatically enrolled in a union, and having to buck union pressure if they want to opt out.
The Democrats on the committee have a conflict-of-interest problem. Two legislators on the House Finance subcommittee who made a point to strip the funding are themselves heavily funded by public labor union political action committees.
In the last election, Rep. Andy Josephson received $18,250 of his total $26,676.73 in campaign funds from Labor Union PACS, which represents about 68 percent of his total campaign funding.
Josephson is, coincidentally, the grandson of Arnold Zander, the first president of AFSCME International.
AFSCME is the union that lost the case against Mark Janus, a public employee from Illinois who did not want his union dues to be used for political purposes and didn’t want to be compelled to pay union dues.
Rep. Matt Claman received $15,600 of his total $110,053 in campaign funds from Labor Union PACS and union representatives, which represents about 15 percent of his total campaign funding.