Unions Bet Big on Democrat Billie Sutton as Big Labor Works to Overturn Right to Work

Unions Bet Big on Democrat Billie Sutton as Big Labor Works to Overturn Right to Work

Big Labor is betting big on pro-union Democrats, like Billie Sutton. Already, unions have invested more than $10,000 in Sutton, the Democratic Party’s gubernatorial nominee.

Their contributions come as unions are undertaking a massive nationwide effort to overturn right-to-work laws, which protect workers from being forced to join labor unions. Earlier this week, unions were successful in overturning Missouri’s right-to-work law, which Billie Sutton’s Democratic Party touted as a “huge win” before calling on South Dakota to “follow Missouri’s lead.”

“South Dakota has been a right-to-work state for more than 50 years, and Kristi Noem will keep it that way,” said Justin Brasell, Kristi for Governor Campaign Manager. “That’s why we’re seeing out-of-state union heads investing thousands into Billie Sutton’s campaign. He’s their best bet to repeal the state’s decades old right-to-work laws and force South Dakotans into labor unions they don’t want to be a part of.”

South Dakota is one of the nation’s earliest adopters of right to work protections, passing legislation in 1946 to protect people from being denied employment “on account of membership or nonmembership in any labor union.”

65 Replies to “Unions Bet Big on Democrat Billie Sutton as Big Labor Works to Overturn Right to Work”

    1. duggersd

      I work for a school district. Our school district has a chapter of the NEA. Every year I have a choice as to whether I want to join or not. There is nothing wrong with a union asking to represent workers. There is also nothing wrong with an employee choosing not to join.

      Reply
      1. enquirer

        except the unions want your dues whether you join or not, because they negotiated your wage and benefits whether you’re a member or not. just ask them.

        Reply
        1. Anonymous

          Supreme Court struck down fair share laws. Janus v. AFSSCME, 6/27/18. Any public sector employee is due full union negotiated benefits, but does not need to be a member of the union to do so.

          Reply
        2. duggersd

          Actually, this past school year is the last year I will be a member of the union. I plan to retire at the end of the year and the local union will no longer be negotiating my salary. If I could be a member of the local union but not the NEA or SDEA, I would have done that. But I did feel an obligation to support the people negotiating my salary and benefits. But again, that was my choice.

          Reply
          1. Spencer

            Same issue here. I support our local union. However, I do not nor will ever support the SDEA or the NEA. The first $300-400 in your SDEA membership goes out of state to NEA PACS backing US Senate Democrats as if that has any bearing on education in my school district. Then the SDEA spends its remaining share like a bunch of drunken sailors on administration and those wonderful commercials that urge people to support teachers by supporting the SDEA. Meanwhile, token trivial support is given to education.

            Reply
            1. SSD

              I totally agree. They like to keep that a secret. They pressure teachers into joining by using scare tactics. “If you get sued you will be protected, otherwise you would go broke paying lawyer fees.” Little do they know that if a parent sues, they are suing the district and the district would have to defend itself, including the teacher.

              Reply
          1. don't be fooled

            because the UNION WANTS exclusive power to negotiate

            don’t let the unions fool you, that is a false argument by them

            Reply
    2. Anonymous

      Ask the Democrats and Chamber of Commerce to stop pushing for cheap, illegal workers and ask them to support e-verify and wages will go up PLUS you won’t have to pay billions in taxes to support welfare for illegals.

      Reply
      1. Debbie

        Lol It’s a Republican state – Trump uses illegals even and it’s the Republican farmers and Business owners , even Republican Non Profits . They don’t want to pay fair wages or treat their employees in a decent manner , so they can’t get employees to stay, but scratch there privates and say gee I don’t know why no one wants to work for us. Thankfully no more.

        Reply
  1. Anonymous

    This political will is clearly there. Put in exemptions for police and firefighters and we’re a couple state senators shy of hitting the mark.

    Reply
  2. grudznick

    Unions are bad, they are very very bad. Look at what they’ve done for teachers. They’ve drug the good teachers, and the very good teachers, and the very very good teachers down to the level of the average and middling.

    This is why unions are dying. Nearly dead, in fact.

    If you want more money the key is to go into the STEM programs or just work harder. Work harder people.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Why work harder when I get your money for doing absolutely nothing? Free food, free health care, free childcare, free rent, and soon enough my student loans will be erased. When we turn Pierre blue, I’ll get even more of your money. If Republicans stay in the majority I’ll have to work at least part-time to keep the benefits your hard work provides for me and my children, I don’t want to do that. You can sympathize, can’t you? Please, keep campaigning and volunteering for those Democratic candidates, my lifestyle depends on it.

      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        EB-5, Anderson Seed, GEAR UP and all the other scandals it’s time to drain the swamp and dredge the river in Pierre. BeGone Swamp critters!

        Reply
  3. no to forced unionism

    80-20 the ballot measure went down in 2016 against the union measure to force dues

    enough said

    Reply
  4. Bumstead

    That’s really all we need to know to give us a good reason to NOT vote for Sutton or Bjorkman. Both heavily funded by big out-of-state unions. They’re nice guys but not real smart on economic issues.

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    I wonder what the average paycheck will look like after the subtraction of both union dues and a state income tax?

    Reply
  6. Anonymous

    Despite Billie’s attempts to portray himself as the opposite, Billie Sutton is a liberal. He is not on the far Left, but if he is elected, most of his appointees and advisors will be on the far Left because most of the Democrat leadership are on the far Left. South Dakotans will see through Billie’s deception, and Noem will win with 60%+ of the votes if conservatives are not silent about Billie’s actual beliefs.

    Reply
  7. Dave Z

    Does anyone really believe that a Democrat governor will be able to make significant changes in South Dakota’s labor laws? With overwhelming (and veto-proof) majorities in both houses, the likelihood of some liberal takeover of South Dakota government is rubbish.

    The Republicans have more to fear from forces within that are tearing the party apart than from any group of overzealous labor activists they claim are going to be part of a Sutton administration. Even a casual reader of this site can see that the intra-party venom is more prevalent than the criticism of the Dems.

    Reply
  8. Anonymous

    Keeping wages low since 1946. SD….the state where everyone works 3 jobs. Not because they want to, but because they have to. Farming out our best and brightest at a rate faster than any state in the Union. Such a proud a accomplishment.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      It’s disgusting, isn’t it? This is capitalism, plain and simple. Business owners want to maximize profits, and to do that they minimize wages. Hence underpaid and angry people. The pitchfork emporium is open for business, and if you’re a rich business owner you better change something before they come for you.

      Reply
  9. Troy Jones

    Every single improvement to people’s lives (transportation, abundant food, better homes, higher incomes, ability to store food, better water, etc.) is the result of the creativity of an entrepreneur and a person (usually an entity with a fiduciary to hard working people’s savings and retirement) with capital. The only thing government has ever done to foster improvement to the condition of the poor over time is to enhance the environment in which capitalists flourish.

    Workers don’t get higher wages or better benefits at unprofitable companies. Workers don’t have income security at unprofitable companies.
    Workers don’t have good work environments at unprofitable companies.
    Workers don’t get good training and develop skills at unprofitable companies.

    The smallest minds filled with envy think the world is a zero sum game. Ironically, they are also the one’s who put the least effort into the game and expect the most.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Troy, if only you supported the minimum wage with a comparable buying power today that you received when you entered the workforce. Imagine how wages would not have been stagnant for the past 30 years while you accrued so much debt for our younger generations to pay off. You call the millennials entitled but your generation is the most entitled based on every measurable standard and by every respectable economist out there. We will continue to train our youth for peanuts and then they will leave for the higher wages once they have experience. Such a great thing for the state of SD.

      Reply
    2. William Beal

      Funny, I moved to South Dakota from a union shop state for better opportunities here. 40 years later, when I return to Illinois, I realize that was one of the best decisions I ever made.

      Reply
      1. a friend of education

        great point

        I can easily imagine a circumstance wherein a mega corporation, such as Amazon, underpays workers. Amazon CEO J. Bezos is the world’s richest man. He’s very powerful. He owns the Washington Post. I can see how Amazon workers might need to organize & use collective bargaining to gain power in wage negotiations. Perhaps it’s a similar situation at google, apple, uber, tesla, etc. I don’t know. you tell me.

        I’m less sure our public employees need a dues-funded union. Name the cruel, omnipotent robber baron against whom they bargain. In Illinois, public sector unions ‘bargained’ for high wages and benefits against a state government filled with docile, union-controlled democrats. With no opposition, dems happily pledged taxpayer money by the truckload. fiscal discipline? competitive bids? who needs em? Little wonder they’ve bankrupted that state. Caution: if we overpay state workers, taxes go through the roof, we lose our AAA bond rating, and everyone, especially retired people, farmers, ranchers, & small business, get screwed.

        Reply
    3. ymous

      Very well stated Troy
      Impossible to argue capitalism is truly the fairest way to move up your income if you work and are willing to save and put some of your money at risk for returns. There are no surfs here like Europe. We aren’t born without opportunities. Dodd Frank did more to harm the poor. Limiting people with limited resources access to capitol doesn’t allow them to start a business or buy a house. Democrats want to control you republicans want to let you choose your own path.

      Reply
  10. Troy Jones

    Anonymous, nothing stagnated wages more than burdensome regulations that made each and every effort of workers worth less. If we measure people’s concern for the poor by results, you and those like you hate the poor more than the worst slave owner because both the enslaved and enslaver were honest about it. You hated them while pretending to love them. That is more than disgusting. It is evil.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      If that were true, a majority of Walmart workers would not be subsidized by taxpayers because they can’t pay a livable wage. Drumpf wouldn’t be pardoning the biggest offenders of hiring illegal immigrants because cheap labor makes the rich richer. Drumpf also wouldn’t be applying for Visa’s for his resorts to ship in cheap immigrant labor. Go buy another MAGA hat made in China. Better yet, get another Chinese flag of his as well.

      Reply
      1. Anne Beal

        Our daughter worked for Walmart for about ten years, right out of high school. She started at well above minimum wage. Her Blue Cross Blue Shield cost her only $35/month and it had better benefits than the Federal Employee Benefit Plan. She had paid sick leave, paid vacation, annual bonuses, a 10% discount on non-food purchases, and an employer match of her stock purchases. There were multiple opportunities for advancement, and flexible hours.
        When we saw what was REALLY going on at Walmart, we realized everything the unions were saying about it was a lie. Her working conditions and compensation package at Walmart exceeded what we ourselves had known at the union shops we had worked in over the years.

        Reply
  11. JKC

    Does the Republican Party believe that lawyers and doctors should be able to practice without joining the Bar or the AMA?

    #JustCurious

    Reply
    1. Cliff Hadley

      JKC, doctors do not have to join the AMA or any other organization to practice medicine. (My father was a physician, and he despised the AMA and refused to have anything to do with it. Before he went to med school, he’d worked at Chicago Bridge in Gary, Ind. He kept his steelworkers union card in his wallet until the day he died. Go figure.)

      As for lawyers, South Dakota does require bar membership to practice law, but it’s an organization devoted to standards, not bare-knuckle politics. About half the states do not require bar membership. Regardless, there are many sub-groups lawyers can join that do political advocacy, and no one’s required to be in any of those.

      Reply
      1. a friend of education

        I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m quite positive the majority of Republicans are 100% ok letting Doctors practice without joining the American Medical Association. The AMA pushed hard for Obamacare. As an organization, it’s not hugely popular with conservatives or with free market advocates. Plus, AMA membership is not required for medical practice.

        I’m fairly certain Republicans are 100% ok letting lawyers who refuse to join the ABA practice. The ABA supports affirmative action and funds democratic candidates 3-1 over conservatives. The SD State Bar is a little different, but I’m confident if you polled SD GOP members, more than 55% would be fine letting non bar members practice law, assuming each potential lawyer held a degree from an accredited law school and a decent exam score (or, say, 20+ years of experience).

        The Bar never advocates for higher wages or benefits. It urges lawyers to act ethically, to take “continuing education” courses, and to provide free (pro bono) services to the poor. That’s basically it.

        Reply
        1. JKC

          a friend of education,

          Thanks for your clarification too, but doesn’t the Bar play a rather effective role in controlling the number of law schools and thus the number of potential attorneys?

          Reply
  12. Troy Jones

    Anonymous 6:35,

    Your failure to present rationale and pertinent thought might be a reason your wages have been stagnant and your economic contribution is insufficient for you not require subsidy from your more competent neighbors.

    Reply
  13. Kelly B Lieberg

    Troy. What effect does immigration, illegal or EB, have on domestic wages ? Net net. From the drywaller to the engineer.

    Reply
    1. a friend of education

      In the short run, immigration of foreign workers lowers domestic wages. Increase supply & you slide down the demand curve. No serious economist will dispute this, although some academics try to dodge the question.

      If we allow greater immigration of good, law-abiding workers, it helps big business. It lowers production prices, increases total production, and raises GDP, but simultaneously immigration increases competition for domestic jobs and decrease the cost of labor. Hence, unions have always opposed immigration, until…

      Reply
      1. Kelly B Lieberg

        Rather obvious, isn’t it. My question wasn’t concerned with the union component, that’s just as obvious. More rhetorical. Hopefully, Troy can set us straight.

        Reply
  14. Troy Jones

    Kelly,

    Good question. Immigration (legal, well designed and well implemented) is the economic equivalent to trade with regard to comparative advantage.

    Extreme analogy:

    Country A: Everybody grows their own food, gathers their own water, and builds their own home. Basically a subsistence existence and everybody “works” to survive 15 hours a day, seven days a week.

    Country B: Has farmers who grow the food for everyone, sophisticated water works provided by engineers and the like, and a construction industry. Because of the efficiencies of specialization etc, people work less and have a better standard of living.

    To take advantage of comparative advantage there are three choices:

    1) Have all needed skills at highest efficiency inside your country, most efficiently produce them, and only trade inside your country. Because efficient production requires Land (natural resources), Labor (skill and cost) & Capital (availability and cost) and there are natural resources and sometimes access/cost of capital differences, it is virtually impossible for one country to have the economic equilibrium and distribution of land, labor and capital to be so self-sufficient. For instance, we can grow coffee in the US but it would be limited in supply and almost 15 times more expensive per pound because it would have to be grown in hot houses.

    2) Because trying to be self-contained results in lost opportunities such as we are the most efficient food producers in teh world so we gain by trading food with others and using the proceeds to buy things we are comparatively not as efficient like coffee. Thus, international fair and free trade is good for both. One country gets cheaper food and we exchange that food for other goods we can’t produce as cost effectively.

    3) Hybrid #1 and #2 (optimize what we can do internally and trade what we can’t). One of the ways to optimize internal production is to import labor via temporary migrant workers and legal immigration. If we do this, the temporary depression of domestic wages is localized in some places but because of the benefits of comparative advantage net-net for all GDP and personal incomes go up. For instance, if we didn’t have migrant farm workers, we would have less food and what we have would be more expensive. However, it wouldn’t just impact consumers. The lower effeciency, lower production, and lower profits in those locales would depress wages for everyone.

    One other thing to note: The US could not have had the per capita income growth it experienced from 1950 through today without immigrants because of the birth rate declines. The US just isn’t reproducing at a level to support economic productivity and income growth.

    Regarding illegal immigration, it is chaotic, distorting to the free market, and has unintended adverse results (ala crime, exploitation, drugs, and human trafficking). It is bad economics as well as immoral. There is absolutely no legitimate economic rationale for its support.

    Regarding EB-5, it is not about immigration (we authorize and renew more H1-B visas (specialized workers with a sponsoring employer) a week than can be done under EB-5 in a year) but bringing capital into the US. As currently constituted and part of Customs, it is bound to fail (what does Custom’s know about capital formation?). EB-5 should be part of the Department of Commerce with oversight of transaction/investments by the Securities and Exchange Commission and individual vetting of applicants by proper Immigration officials.

    Reply
  15. Kelly B Lieberg

    Troy. Thanks for the response. I’m happy to share you points on illegal immigration. The EB component was as it relates to legal temporary. Many tourist outlets utilize this in SD. Not certain, but I want to say EB2. Correct program name aside, it artificially suppresses domestic wages. With agreement, I would hope you can see my dissatisfaction with AFP and their promotion of illegal immigration. As far as the AFP goes, they also choose to misrepresent the motives of the Trump tariff strategy. While I have an aversion to tariffs as a policy, the objective is to break the current crony structure so that a more free economic environment can become more the norm. They are behaving in a self interested manner. The tariff tactic will be temporarily uncomfortable but the global muscle of the US economy will eventually be more than other countries can stand. This will allow our capitalistic ingenuity to ultimately prevail. The socialistic overhead of other national competitors is our advantage.

    Reply
  16. WaUa

    442325 334668 Its hard to discover knowledgeable individuals on this topic, but you sound like you know what youre talking about! Thanks 440204

    Reply

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