Unions disrupt Kansas Legislature


Last week I asked Kansas legislators whether the union-organized protests in Wisconsin could happen in Kansas. Representative Jim Ward said: “I don’t think it would happen in Kansas.” While people in Kansas are passionate, we have a tradition of civility, he added.

At today’s session of the Kansas House of Representatives, however, we’ve seen that it can happen. There union members were evicted from the House chamber for their noisy and rude protests.

According to reporting by Martin Hawver: “The Kansas House this morning — for the first time in decades — was interrupted by shouting from the balcony by opponents of the bill that would prohibit employers from providing union political action committee checkoff on paychecks.”

Hawver also reported that the group made “tasteless remarks about female legislators who supported the bill.”

The bill in question prohibits automatically deducting donations to unions’ political action committees from workers’ paychecks. Workers may still contribute, but not automatically.

Video of the demonstration shows the workers to be quite unruly. A union leader said “we will not shut up … we will not keep it down.”

On Twitter, union supporters and Democrats seemed pleased with the way events unfolded. The Twitter account for kshousedems tweeted: “We are pleased to see so many working men and women in the KS Capitol today, fighting for their rights!” Later the same account called the disruption a manifestation of democracy: “The GOP Speaker’s chief aide says the peaceful assembly of working Kansans in the Capitol is “intimidation.” We call it Democracy.”

“katethedavis” disputed the account reported by Hawver, saying; “Repubs saying the union folks at the Capitol were sexually derogatory? This 24yo female saw nothing but perfect gentlemen.”

Chad Manspeaker was proud, tweeting “We are no longer in the gallery. I couldn’t be more proud of my Union family today.”

This bill does not prohibit unions from accepting contributions for political activity, although it makes it likely that contributions may decline, as union members will have to take active steps to contribute.

So if the Kansas governor and legislature advanced the same actions that Wisconsin governor Scott Walker has proposed, could there be large union demonstrations in Kansas? It seems so. In fact, unions have just announced a “Rally to Save the American Dream” to take place on the steps of the Kansas statehouse this Saturday.


12 responses to “Unions disrupt Kansas Legislature”

  1. T Rex

    Why is this a problem? It seems the Koch party, er, I mean the Tea Party, has been effectively protesting all over the country. If you’re going to criticize, have something to criticize about. Otherwise, you just look like an unhappy unemployed computer programmer.

  2. Anonymous

    I see Bob’s useful idiot is back!

    You can always tell when someone has no constructive argument when they attack the messenger.

  3. NOYB

    T Rex – If you wish to support the unions, maybe you could find an intelligent comment about why you think this bill is a bad thing. The writer has simply stated the news as reported. Why the ugly personal remarks?

    Quite honestly, not all union members wish to support the Democrat Party.

  4. Davros


    There is no “Democrat Party”, it is the Democratic Party.

  5. Anonymous

    correction: “not” instead of “no”

  6. Correction


    Shhhhhh…don’t spoil their fun! They think they’re being clever when they do that. Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity say “Democrat Party” so it MUST be smart!

    Then again, Rush also says that Michelle Obama should look like an Ethiopian, but who’s counting?

  7. James

    Show me an article where the Tea Party disrupted the Kansas House during a vote to increase taxes.

    Don’t have one? Didn’t think so.

    This wasn’t protesting. This was thuggish intimidation.

  8. Ann H.

    The unions are showing their true colors all around the US right now, and demonstrating for us more clearly than we ever could why we need to cut down on their power and their funds ASAP. I’m glad the KS legislature stood strong, unlike the utterly spineless Repub gov and Repub legislature in Indiana that pulled a right-to-work bill when their Democrats also fled the state.

  9. Ictator

    It was interesting that a news report about the boorish behavior by the union clowns included the nasty comments made by union thugs about the appearance of the female legislators who refused to bow down to their demands.

    It has been decades since there was any protest that required the removal of people from the galleries in the KS legislature. It is a sad fact that this is the same type of vile behavior that the national news media kept trying to tag the TEA Party folks with in their reports. Naturally, since the unions are on the political left, this will get back page coverage, if there is any at all. As a TEA Party supporter, I’m tired of being a second class citizen because I don’t worship the clowns of political correctness whether they are in Washington or anywhere else.

    The liberals posting here like T-Rex are strong with their ad hominem criticisms but are void of facts.

  10. BJ

    Hey Bob, do you think it’s rude to distort someone’s position on an issue after it’s been proven that you were incorrect? I think the unions were rude with what they did. It is impolite and rude to disrespect the Legislature, but it’s rude to distort Dale Dennis’ position like you did on January 12. You owe him an apology.

  11. Anonymous

    I am a union member, and I do not support the way those thugs behaved in Topeka. I don’t like my dues being used for whatever the democrats in charge of my union think our dues should be spent on. You know, if I want to give some money to my church, or a pro-life charity, or a homeless shelter, I write a check for it—there is no reason why union members can’t do that too,,, but the reason they want our dues forced on us , is b/c, (1)they can get more $ this way as ALL the studies have shown that liberal democrats don’t voluntarily give much on their own–b/c they really like spending other people’s money, and (2) it gives them a little feeling of power to force some conservatives to support their causes.

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