Labor Union Dues

Supreme Court got it right (June 27, 2018)

Will someone please tell me why public employees need a union. When has their work ever been so dangerous, unpleasant or underpaid that they need a union to run interference for them? Long ago unions certainly served a purpose and we all benefit from safety rules, hours and conditions laws and such but all those are now codified into law. It’s time for the politicians to stop using the public unions as their piggy bank and rely instead on their policies and philosophies to gain the support and dollars of all of those they claim to represent.

Simply stated, it’s immoral to force a worker to support financially, and against their will, any person or party they disagree with. Fortunately, there’s nothing to stop the union members from being as personally generous as they please and replacing the prior union slush-fund largesse dollar for dollar — only now the politicos will need to make their case to the entire electorate.

Get out your checkbooks folks. The tone of the Civil Beat story is that unions and politicians have rights. They don’t. People have rights. In my mind the Supreme Court got Citizens United wrong. They got this one right.

— Michael Ford, Kailua

Kaniela Ing The Sequel

Getting the facts straight on marriage equality (June 27, 2018)

This is in response to Andrea Duncan’s article “Campaign Corner: The Real Progressive In The Race.” Let’s get the facts straight here — Kaniela Ing is not the only candidate to have supported marriage equality as is claimed in the article. This is terribly misleading and patently false.

Make no mistake, Ed Case has been a supporter of marriage equality the longest. He cast the lone no vote while on the House Judiciary Committee on the constitutional amendment in 1997 that would allow the state to ban same-sex marriage. He voted against that Con Am twice. When that bill passed, 70 percent of Hawaii voters voted for the amendment, effectively banning gay marriage. Case was there in support of gay marriage when it was actually incredibly unpopular. Furthermore, while speaking at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center in 2002, Case stated that he supports gay marriage because it is the right thing to do. You can find that video on YouTube.

However, the blame for this mistake cannot be placed fully on Ms. Duncan. Rep. Ing has claimed to be the “only candidate … who supported marriage equality in 2013” on his campaign Facebook page and the recent Democratic Party candidate forum.

— Asami Kobayashi, Honolulu

Working class hero (June 26, 2018)

Andrea,  thank you so much for writing about Kaniela Ing in this congressional race. This is Hawaii’s opportunity to make history. Only Bernie Sanders has run on this level of progressive politics and it was the Democrats who sabotaged his run for President. Basic Income is a solution for Hawaii’s impoverished labor force and runaway cost of living. I asked former Gov. Neil Abercrombie to consider this when he was in office. Kaniela Ing is for the forgotten everyday working people, pono, he wants to do the right thing for Hawaii. If you never voted before this is your opportunity to put someone in office who will serve you.

— Deborah Coleman, Kula