After speaking on the radio Wednesday of 3rd Congressional District candidate Jaime Herrera’s co-sponsorship and twice voting for HB 1329, an act to “provide collective bargaining for child care center directors and workers,” I was initially pleased to receive an email from Casey Bowman, Jaime Herrera’s campaign manager titled “Herrera Information.”
Assuming that Casey heard me explain my understanding of Jaime’s involvement with the bill and thinking she was finally sending me her reasoning and explanation of her support for such a “draconian piece of legislation,” as previously mentioned in A Phone Chat With Jaime Herrera, I quickly became disappointed to see the email was nothing more than a snow job attempt at damage control, as news of Jaime’s involvement in such an anti-conservative bill must be hurting her campaign.
The message turns out to be little more than a memo circulated to supporters, I assume, smearing those of us who have serious questions about Jaime’s judgment, especially in regards to her co-sponsorship and two votes in favor of this liberal pro-union bill. The memo itself is preceded with a curt comment from Casey that said,
Please see the attached memo. Consider it the Herrera Campaign’s response to your questions about this issue. We appreciate your patience with Jaime’s limited schedule in light of this extended legislative session.
Jaime Herrera for Congress”
The memo itself says,
“From: Casey Bowman, Campaign Manager, Jaime Herrera for Congress
Memo: Jaime Herrera and SEIU
It won’t shock you to learn that there’s a false accusation being made in the race for Washington’s 3rd Congressional Seat, but you might be surprised at just how off base the claim is that Rep. Jaime Herrera is a big union supporter. In 2008 Jaime was endorsed by every major business group in Washington state, including the Association of Washington Business, NFIB, Independent Business Association of Washington, Washington Restaurant Association and others. She has never supported compulsory unionism and never will. She is a strong opponent of “card check” because she has seen the excesses of union leaders and is fully aware of the threats and intimidation that card check would inflict on workers.
To prove the false claim that Jaime is a big union supporter, her detractors point to legislation, HB 1329, she supported involving child care centers. Their claim is that the legislation forced “compulsory” unionization of child care workers. That simply is not true. Here are the facts:
· Washington state reimburses child care centers for care of kids under the state’s sponsorship. Many of these business owners believe that they should receive a better reimbursement rate from the state for caring for the most vulnerable children.
· The bill allowed child care center owners and workers to choose to have SEIU represent the business in negotiating better reimbursement rates from the state.
· The bill said nothing about unionizing the workforce. Child care center workers wouldn’t pay union dues or fees and wouldn’t be forced to join a union, at any time. The bill was at the request of the small business owners of day care centers.
Those are the facts about this legislation. Again, Jaime has never supported compulsory unionism and never will. That is why she is such a fervent opponent of card check. If the facts don’t sound anything like the claims of those attacking Jaime and her voting record, then you should ask them why they are spreading these false claims.”
Is it a “false claim” that Jaime co-sponsored and twice voted for this bill? No. Is it a “false claim” as to what we see in the bill? Casey Bowman says it is. But, what about others? Why was Jaime one of only 3 Republicans in the House to co-sponsor such a bill alongside 28 Democrats?
30 of her fellow Republicans and 4 Democrats voted against this bill while 57 Democrats voted for it alongside Jaime and a couple others.
In doing actual research into the bill I was amazed at just how much opposition there has been to it, apparently missed by both Herrera and her campaign manager, Casey Bowman.
Bowman emphasis’s that support of the bill “was at the request of the small business owners of day care centers.” Yet, a 2009 House Bill Report indicates those speaking in support of it before Commerce and Labor were Kim Cook, Megan Price, and Barbara Tristan, Service Employees International Union; Lucinda Young, Washington Education Association and American Federation of Teachers; Diane Gaile, Mariah Collaborative Arts Center and Washington Educators for Early Learning; Molly Boyajian, League of Education Voters; and Kim Gilligan, Washington Educators for Early Learning.
Opposed were Tom Emery, Love and Laughter Learning Center; Ginger Still, Kid’s World Childcare; Candi Doran, Little Orca Learning Center; Colleen Hill, Country Kids Playhouse; Kim Pressell, Middleland Kiddie Korral; and Margo Logan, Washington Parents for Safe Child Care.
Before the House Ways & Means Committee, those testifying in support were Adair Dammonn, Service Employees International Union 925; and Lucinda Young, Washington Education Association.
Those opposed were David Foster, Washington Child Care United; Tom Emery, Washington Child Care Alliance; and Amy Bell, YMCA of Washington.
While there is an element of truth in the bill does not mandate union membership, NOW, after the senate was successful in inserting a “voluntary opt-in” clause, several editorials were published condemning and opposing the bill’s original intent of making union membership “mandatory.”
In February 2009, Washington Policy Center issued a 10 page Policy Brief titled Unionizing Daycare that begins with,
“For unionized daycare workers, membership in the union Local would be a mandatory condition of employment, and failure to pay union dues in full and on time would be cause for dismissal.”
Around the same time, editorials began appearing around the state in opposition of this bill. The Yakima Herald-Republic had Bid to unionize child-care centers still a bad idea. KOMO News ran Not all daycare owners thrilled about child-care unionization. The Seattle Times had State Senate should kill child-care unionization bill. The Tacoma News-Tribune ran Fund child-care, skip the middleman.
After the bill died in committee again, the Northwest Religious Liberty Association posted FORCED UNIONIZATION BILL IS DEFEATED!
Evergreen Freedom Foundation ran several posts in opposition as well. January 27, 2009 saw SEIU wants their cut of money for kids. February 10, 2009 saw Newspapers argue against unionizing daycares. Damning the bill, March 10, 2009 saw State House puts SEIU ahead of children.
In all, a search of Evergreen Freedom Foundations website of HB 1329 resulted in about 10 posts in opposition, many claiming “compulsory unionization” at least in part.
Scott Dilley of Evergreen Freedom Foundation gave neutral testimony before the House mentioning conservative concerns with this bill.
The Family Policy Institute of Washington ran two posts expressing strong conservative concerns with the bill titled WA Legislature Threatens Women’s Choice and Bill Encourages Churches to Indoctrinate Young Children?
Casey Bowman tells us we are “spreading false claims.” Are we to believe all the above, newspapers and conservative institutes that do not even mention Jaime or any of her opponents and largely remain neutral in campaigns are “spreading false claims” as well?
Jaime Herrera’s co-sponsorship and twice voting in favor of this bill are a matter of public record. What remains not public is her reasoning and thought process to go against the majority of conservatives in the legislature by supporting this “draconian piece of legislation.”
Bowman also states “Jaime has never supported compulsory unionism and never will.” If I am to accept that, which I largely do, then it brings to mind, Did Herrera Even Read HB 1329?
Jaime Herrera’s campaign would do much better by just honestly admitting to and explaining her reasoning in supporting this bill and not trying to blow it off with such a weak effort at a snow job.
Voters deserve no less.