Just how partisan are federal workers?

Long before Donald Trump’s longshot bid to win the White House, unions representing federal workers and postal employees had almost exclusively supported Democratic candidates for the presidency and, with few exceptions, the House and Senate. They still do. Unions — very, very quietly — helped former RepsTom Davis (R-Va.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.). They worked closely with Democrats with clout, like Reps. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), and former RepHenry Waxman (D-Calif.), to sweeten meager pay raises proposed by the presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. But mostly their endorsements, union PAC money and logistical support goes to Democratic candidates and incumbents.

Outside of the highly-unionized U.S. Postal Service, the majority of federal civil servants do NOT belong to any union. It may be because they don’t like unions. Maybe they are too cheap to pay dues. Or maybe they don’t like the unions’ politics! Rather than being part of a block vote, it is just possible that feds tend to vote like their neighbors and not along party lines. Career feds at the Pentagon may see the world differently than their colleagues at the Environmental Protection Agency.

After giving their full support to the election and reelection of President Obama, white-collar feds —with the backing of most Republican politicians — were hit with a three-year pay raise freeze. Many got semi-automatic time-in-grade raises, but the January pay raises didn’t happen. Regular annual special cash awards and recognition to outstanding career senior executives were skipped or downplayed by the Obama administration.

Some feds feel like the Democrats take them for granted and Republicans take it for granted that most government workers are Democrats. So how’s that working out for you?

Mark G., a long-time fed said:

“The Democrats are great supporters of federal employees — when they are not in a position to do anything about it. They are great supporters now that they are in the minority in both the House and Senate and do not control the White House. What did they do for government workers when Obama was in office and they controlled both the House and Senate? Nothing! Every election, the federal employee unions support Democrats and always get nothing in return.”

Thomas J., another long-time civil servant, who also worked in Congress, said:

“While the employees may get nothing from the relationship, the union and Democratic leaders certainly do. First, there are the PAC contributions to candidates with a (D) after their names. Then there are the phone banks, friendly photos in union publications, favorably devised voting records and even endorsements. And what do these accomplish? They help achieve the most important result … election success for both the (D) and the elected union officers. As they told me many times in private, ‘I can’t do any good unless I get elected.’ Unfortunately, the familiarity this breeds often ends with them substituting their successful election for the ‘good’ they hoped to accomplish. Efforts to get the unions to work both sides of the aisle have failed. They have a dog in this fight, so they simply refuse to play it straight with both sides. Perhaps the eventual deconstruction of both major political parties as we are currently witnessing via President Trump’s antics is the only way to get them, and in a larger sense the entire government, working for the people again.”

So if Republicans want to drain the swamp because they believe it is infested with highly partisan bureaucrats and if Democrats take feds for granted, has anybody got a Plan B?

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Michael O’Connell

The “Plan 9” in the title of “Plan 9 from Outer Space” refers to an alien scheme to create chaos by resurrecting the Earth’s dead as shambling ghouls.

Source: Wikipedia

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