Woe unto the voters who get their information exclusively from television. KELO-TV takes a “Closer Look” at Initiated Measure 23, the fair-share union dues measure. Their “Closer Look” reads more like a glancing blow:
According to the Attorney General’s explanation, the measure gives corporate organizations and non-profit organizations the right to charge a fee for any service provided. People are divided over how it impacts union workers.
“Vote yes because South Dakotans are hard workers, absolutely. This is a free-loading or a loophole that is out there and we need to close it,” Will Thomssen with Vote Yes on IM 23 said.
“IM 23 is designed to take people who have chosen not to belong to unions and force them to pay fees to those unions and we don’t think that right,” David Owen, No on 23, said [“Closer Look at Initiated Measure 23,” KELO-TV, 2016.09.28].
32 seconds, the Attorney General’s unillustrative explanation, one blurp each from a proponent and an opponent—and we’re off to sports. No one explains the “loophole” or the central issue of what workers might pay unions for, the currently uncompensated care unions currently provide to all workers, union members and non-members alike, in the form of collective bargaining. KELO’s sole attempt at an explanatory sentence—”People are divided over how it impacts union workers”—gets the discussion completely wrong. People aren’t divided over how IM 23 affects union workers—we all understand that IM 23 has little if any impact on union workers. The division comes over the impact on non-union workers: should they pay unions for collective bargaining that benefits every worker in the shop or not?
Anyone new to the issue comes away from this KELO report still not knowing what the problem motivating IM 23 or the specific action it allows. You can learn more from what voters discuss in the Dakota Free Press comment section than you can from the dull nuggets of lazy TV election coverage.