To the Editor:
I want to thank all of my constituents in House District 66 for your words of encouragement. The past week has been overwhelming for all of us, yet Hoosiers from across the state of Indiana have been telling all the House Democrats, “stay the course”. Hoosiers are beginning to understand what is going on in Indianapolis, and they, like us, don’t like it.
I believe it is important to get beyond all the Republican talking points and strategy as they attempt to create a dense political fog around the issues that are important to Indiana’s working families. I must address, what I would like to call, the “Right for big business to exploit Indiana’s workforce bill” The actual title, Right to Work, is part of a campaign to confuse us, and disguise a bill that will decimate Indiana’s working class.
The facts about Right to Work: 1. The Republican backed bill has nothing to do with creating jobs or balancing the budget. Instead, this bill would have opened the door for out of state corporations, and illegal workers to take jobs away from Hoosiers. The bill would have created unsafe work environments, reduced the income of hundreds of thousands of workers, and eliminated an individual’s First Amendment Right in the workplace.
The Right to Work bill would have affected everyone, union member or not, for a non-union shop will have to compete with out of state companies who hire non-documented low-wage workers. The bill would have literally made us all poorer, for recent Census data reveals that seven out of ten of the nation’s poorest states are Right to Work states.
Right to Work was a piece of legislation that was crafted by International Big Business and championed by the Speaker of the House. This bill wasn’t drafted in the best interests of Hoosiers, it was drafted to make some very rich people, richer.
2. My Republican counterparts state that the House Democrats have run away from their responsibilities and are not fulfilling our duty to our constituents. If there is anyone who is offering up a disservice to Hoosiers during this legislative session, it is the House Republicans. They never mentioned their attack on working families in their 2010 campaign materials, websites, or even their victory speeches. They did campaign on bringing conservative principles and open government to the Statehouse, and I can assure all Hoosiers that they are not sticking to their campaign pledges.
They talk about transparency, yet they want to hide from you legislation that will lead to property tax increases, increased unemployment, reduce pay for workers, establish frighteningly low funding levels for our public schools, and allow for local taxpayer property and schools to be confiscated by the state and sold to private companies for just a dollar.
What is conservative about cutting unemployment by one-fourth, privatizing schools with no local input, offering school vouchers to people who earn more than $80,000 per year, or punishing someone with a felony for attempting to organize a union at their workplace?
3. And finally, the Republican’s attempt to convince Hoosiers that we’re not working. The truth is, despite the tantrums being thrown by Speaker Bosma for the media, we are not being paid while we are away from the Statehouse. The Republicans, on the other hand, are getting paid to sit around the Statehouse while they regroup with their special interest cohorts, and devising more talking points against House Democrats, public school teachers and working families. This type of work, in the eyes of the Mitch Daniels and House Republicans, is taxpayer money well spent.
In closing, we love basketball in Indiana; sometimes the best offense is a great defense. The House Democrats are playing defense for Hoosier families and children.
(The following bills were referenced for this correspondence: HB1001 (Budget bill), HB1003 (School vouchers), HB1479 (Private takeover of public schools), HB1468 (Right to Work), HB1216 (Common construction wage), HB1203 (Employee representation), HB1585 (Right to Work /public employees), HB1538 (Minimum wage).
To the Editor: