LABI’s Fatal Spear to the Heart of the Giant

Ever since 2010 when the Supreme Court declared in Citizens United that corporations were people too, a wave of fear enveloped me. I always knew that corporations with their endless billions had more influence on the nation’s course than regular, everyday Americans like myself. Now those millionaires and billionaires had an even clearer path to drowning me out.

It just got worse. I hoped that state and local politics might have a certain immunity from this national money disease, but not so.

When business leaders take such joy and delight in hurting regular Americans who happen to be union members, it makes one wonder exactly what business leaders are for.


The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) has strongly backed House Bill 418 by Representative Stuart Bishop (R-Lafayette), essentially removing numerous groups, namely teachers, fire fighters and police, from being able to deduct their union dues from their paychecks, while leaving other groups like United Way alone.

The bill is perniciously nicknamed the “Paycheck Protection” act, though exactly what we are protecting a paycheck from is unclear.

Some claim that union deductions inappropriately feed the unions. How so? The paycheck program allows for deductions for retirement, taxes, insurance, and FICA, none of which are voluntary. Computer geniuses have made the system efficient and capable of hundreds of deductions.

It’s only the union deductions that has the LABI up in arms. Some say that deductions should only be for organizations that are apolitical in nature, like United Way, for instance.

Hogwash. United Way heavily supports Common Core, which is a blatantly political issue. LABI through HB 418 wants only agreeable groups to have donations.

Actually, LABI wants to be the ONLY group with influence. They’ve been trying to manipulate educational policy for years, even though their expertise is both short-sighted and limited.

LABI, though its Education and Workforce Development Council chair Lane Grigsby, has been caught on videotape essentially exposing their barefaced hypocrisy. They don’t want to protect people or paychecks; they want to strangle opposition voices by crushing the flow of money.

At an April LABI meeting, Grigsby stated, “Guys, this is where you grab the aorta and you shut it off. Honest to goodness, it’s the truth. If you control the money flow, you control the success.”

“It’s a fatal spear to the heart of the giant,” he said last September, right after he smiled gleefully. “I can’t talk for the grin on my face.”

When business leaders take such joy and delight in hurting regular Americans who happen to be union members, it makes one wonder exactly what business leaders are for.

LABI is no more qualified to run schools than LAE is designed to run a trucking company. We are all human beings, worthy of dignity and respect, not objects to be speared.

LABI does not want regular everyday humans to have any sway in the world. Teachers educate and inspire the future generations, and fire fighters and police protect everyone in this republic. They have a right to be heard, and legislators would be foolish to dismiss their concerns by listening only to rich millionaires like Grigsby.



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2 responses to “LABI’s Fatal Spear to the Heart of the Giant

  1. Mary Ann Pundt

    I became a Teacher 25 years ago. At that time, I didn’t know I would no longer be just an average citizen. Being a Teacher then was a noble profession. Now, I am considered by the likes of you, to be a second class citizen. Because I am a Teacher, I can’t have my union dues payroll deducted from MY pay check? Do you really think unions are your problem? Do you really think I will not be a member of my Union just because I will not be able to have the dues deducted from my check? It’s for convenience, but I will take the time to write a check every month.
    As an Elected official, I believe you have more pressing things to consider than how I spend my money.
    Remember, Teachers pay taxes and vote.

    • Hello there. As I read your post, I couldn’t understand some of it, until I realized that I think you have me confused with someone else. I am not an elected official; I am a school teacher of 24 years who has taught at both private and public schools. Are you perhaps confusing me with Representative Taylor Barras, who is not related to me though we share the same last name? If not, I had hoped my article was clear that I was on the side of the teachers and their ability to withdraw their dues from the paycheck. My apologies if it wasn’t clear.
      Vincent P. Barras

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