Initiative 1501 is probably the most convoluted initiative on the ballot this November. We hope you’ll read the entirety of this short article, as it is extremely important to be informed about this initiative and make the right choice when voting.
I-1501 alleges to help protect three classes of people against identity theft:
Seniors, disabled people, and in-home caregivers for these people. At first glance, this seems noble. Who would be against protecting vulnerable people against identity theft? Sadly, this initiative does virtually nothing to protect anyone against anything. On the contrary, it is a dangerous piece of legislation, cleverly engineered by lawyers and bureaucrats to help the largest monopoly in Washington – the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) – maintain an iron grip on public information.
To understand why, we have to take a brief look at the back-story.
In 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state-funded in-home providers (IPs) could not be considered full state employees, and therefore could not be required to pay union dues. Simple enough.
One big problem, however: The unions never told the IPs that they had the right to opt-out, for obvious reasons. Employees leaving the union would inevitably mean fewer dollars to line SEIU’s vast bank accounts.
Several watchdog groups, such as the Freedom Foundation in Olympia, realized that this was a scandalous way to do business, and called out the unions on their actions. The Freedom Foundation started a campaign to contact union members and inform them that they had the right to opt-out of paying dues, and could keep more of their own money.
Naturally, this didn’t set too well with union leaders, so they devised a way to prohibit organizations like the Freedom Foundation from contacting their members. This is where I-1501 comes in.
I-1501 makes contact information for these in-home providers exempt from public disclosure, and exposes these watchdog organizations to potential criminal prosecution.(1) It is nothing more than a shady, last ditch attempt to keep people from understanding their rights. Additionally, there are already laws on the books to deal with the prosecution of identity thieves.
Make no mistake. I-1501 is about money and control, nothing more. It is only disguised as a protection for vulnerable people. In truth, it uses seniors and disabled adults as a convenient smokescreen – or battering ram, if you prefer – to hide and advance a much more perverse agenda: To deny people the choice to keep more of their hard-earned cash, and grow SEIU’s bargaining power.
For further reading, see this article at the Freedom Foundation.