If there’s anything more pathetic than liberals after not getting their way, it’s watching unions after they didn’t get their way. Late this afternoon, that’s what happened. A joint session of the House and Senate picked Rep. Laura Brod rather than AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Steven Hunter.

Predictably, the AFL-CIO issued a statement whining about how working families wouldn’t be represented on the U of M Board of Regents. Here’s the text of their statement:

Leaders of the Minnesota AFL-CIO sharply criticized the Minnesota Legislature’s decision to keep a labor representative off the University of Minnesota Board of Regents. This decision breaks with decades of tradition of giving labor a voice on the University’s governing board.

“The campuses of the University of Minnesota play a key role in educating our state’s workforce and driving business innovation,” said Minnesota AFL-CIO President Shar Knutson. “It’s just plain wrong that working Minnesotans will no longer have a say in how the University is run.”

Current Minnesota AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Steve Hunter has served as an at-large Regent since his bipartisan appointment in 2005.

Previous union leaders on the board have included Minnesota AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer George Lawson, 1933-1959; Minnesota AFL-CIO Executive Vice-President Robert Hess, 1959 – 1967; Minnesota AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Neil Sherburne, 1969-1981; Minnesota AFL-CIO President David Roe, 1981-1993; and Minnesota AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Bill Peterson, who served from 1993 until his death in 2000.

Today, the GOP-controlled legislature voted to replace Hunter with former Republican Legislator Laura Brod. They also appointed former Republican House Speaker and Pawlenty administration official Steve Sviggum to the board.

“Republican leaders have decided to take the partisan low road and reward their political allies,” added Knutson. “The University of Minnesota Board of Regents governs a statewide campus system and should be representative of all who make our state work.”

My initial reaction to this is that the AFL-CIO are a bunch of spoiled brats. The AFL-CIO’s statement is devoid of logic, essentially saying that they should have a spot on the U of M Board of Regents grandfathered in for them.

It’s also insulting that they’d say only unions can represent ‘working families’. (BTW, the term working families has been used instead of union households since the Clinton administration.) I wrote earlier that the U of M Board had let Minnesota’s families and students down. What type of representation did unions provide during that period?

If they won’t be part of setting intelligent policies, they don’t deserve a spot on the board. They shouldn’t be guaranteed anything if they aren’t part of the solution.

I’ve known Rep. Brod for 5 years. If anything can be said about her, it’s that she’s a tireless worker, a reformer and a true problem solver. Simply put, she’s overqualified for the responsibilities she’s about to be handed.

Technorati: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply