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First things . . . Richard Falknor on 15 Mar 2011 06:16 pm

Missing Supporters? Yesterday’s Annapolis Counter-Protest

Yesterday’s small but focussed counter-protest against Maryland’s public-employee unions has already been well chronicled by Ann Corcoran in her Potomac Tea Party Report especially here.

RedState’s LaborUnionReport in his Twilight Zone: Maryland’s O’Malley Keynotes Union Protest of His Own Budget declares – –

“Yesterday, as in states around the country, another union protest took place. This time, the public-sector union members crowded around and chanted in Annapolis, Maryland—a state that has no chance of reforming the monopoly that public-sector unions have on its government. In attendance were up to 15,000 union activists, according to an AFSCME spokesman who helped organize the protest.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

Whether or not LaborUnionReport is correct in his pessimistic perspective on Maryland public-employee-union reform, he does draw our attention to AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka’s troubling rhetoric via reporter Christian Freymeyer of Historic Annapolis Patch – –

“While the march was organized around specific proposed cuts, Trumka warned that the days’ events should be seen as part of the larger fight.(Underscoring Forum’s.)

and to Len Lazarick’s analysis in the Maryland Reporter – –

“’I don’t like this budget either,’ O’Malley said in a short speech. He was met by cheers, some grumbling, and the evening’s chant of ‘Keep the Promise.’ He proclaimed his strong support for collective bargaining rights for public workers.’Our state is not like other states,’ the governor said. ‘You will not find in Maryland the sort of Midwestern oppression that you find in Ohio and Wisconsin.’ The mixed messages at the rally were a sign of the co-dependency between the public officials who rely on teachers and unions for their base of support and the public employee unions that rely on the governor for their funding.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

Don’t miss the Maryland Reporter’s illuminating picture (scroll down and click on photo) of the counter-protestors.

Conservative counter-protestors yesterday welcomed over a dozen GOP members of the General Assembly who came by the event.

  • But there were no reports of the top two GOP leaders from each chamber of the Maryland General Assembly here and here visibly appearing to back up the counter-protestors.
  • Maryland AFP had no identifiable presence visibly backing up the counter-protestors even though their national site proclaims their support of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker.

Perhaps LaborUnionReport’s perspective would not be quite so gloomy for Maryland if the Old Line State’s grass-roots voices had some visible, unhesitating support from top political chieftains who claim at election time to be low-tax and free-market advocates, and as well as from AFP Maryland whose new director Charles Lollar is also weighing a run for governor.

Many citizens across the U. S. see the Wisconsin struggle between governor Scott Walker’s administration and the public-employee unions as one deciding whether voters or union leaders will run state and local government.

But if the Maryland General Assembly GOP leaders believe that Maryland’s spending and taxes can be returned to fiscal health without any substantial reform in the way Maryland and its local governments do business with the public-employee unions, they should say so. Otherwise they should help the rest of us try to reform that system.








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