Public employee unions in New Jersey want a ballot measure in November saying, among other things, that the state has to pay something into the state retirement system. To that end they acted:
County Democratic Party leaders won’t be able to count on New Jersey’s largest teachers union for political contributions this year because state lawmakers haven’t acted to put a constitutional amendment on state pension payments on the fall ballot.
Three county chairman told NJ Advance Media they received calls from a New Jersey Education Association lobbyist informing them the powerful union would be withholding campaign contributions until next spring out of frustration with stalled legislative action on the proposed public pension constitutional amendment.
To which Senate President (and lead Democrat and beneficiary of union money) Stephen Sweeney reacted:
Sweeney said his office received a direct threat from the Fraternal Order of Police. He said he intends to request the U.S. attorney and state attorney general investigate the threats as violations of both state and federal laws on bribery.
“I think a crime was committed,” Sweeney said. He added that unions can do what they want with their money, but when they hold it hostage to specific legislative action, that “crosses the line.”
“These unions have made it clear that unless they get their way, they will deliver on their threats,” Sweeney said, calling it “an assault on the integrity of the legislative process.”
But this IS the legislative process – in New Jersey at least and at practically all levels here. You give money to get laws enacted, projects built, or money spent that will benefit you or the people you represent. If anything, it is the unions that have a clear ‘breach of contract’ action here.