In a bizarre missive sent out today by AFP's New Jersey leadership, the group put forward the arguments of a left-wing artist and an organization that supports mandatory, government-enforced quotas for businesses based not on the quality of work they do, but on subjective and arbitrary factors such as the gender of the owner. This kind of reverse discrimination is abhorrent to most clear-thinking Americans and abusive of taxpayers.
AFP NJ is part of the Koch Brothers' national lobbying group, Americans for Prosperity (AFP). Yesterday, AFP NJ issued a different attack on the same legislation targeted by today's missive: Legislation designed to protect skilled American workers from illegals looking to take their jobs.
The bill under attack is Senate Bill 2173. This is EXACTLY how the bill description reads:
This bill requires every contract subject to State prevailing wage requirements to require each worker employed under the contract to be enrolled in, or have completed, a registered apprenticeship, unless the contractor or subcontractor certifies that the worker is paid not less than the journeyworker wage rate.
Under the bill, a “registered apprenticeship program” is an apprenticeship program which is registered with and approved by the United States Department of Labor and which provides each trainee with combined classroom and on-the-job training under the direct and close supervision of a highly skilled worker in an occupation recognized as an apprenticeable trade and meets the program performance standards of enrollment and graduation under 29 C.F.R. Part 29, section 29.6.
This is the LIE being promoted by AFP:
At the heart of the legislation is a requirement that " each worker employed under the contract to be enrolled in, or have completed, a registered apprenticeship" program. Since apprenticeship programs are offered primarily by labor unions, this bill would all but shut out competition from non-union shops and drive up project costs at the expense of New Jersey taxpayers.
The truth is this: There are 676 active apprentice programs in New Jersey, only 15 of which are affiliated with a construction union.
Illegals cannot gain access to apprenticeship programs because they are in the United States illegally. As it is now, unethical contractors hire a qualified worker (per the law) and then place a dozen or dozens of unqualified illegals under him (or her), pay them less, and increase profits. Why should taxpayers pay for unqualified illegal labor?
SB 2173 makes sure that the workers hired are qualified workers or worker trainees in an approved apprenticeship program, who have a legal right to be in the United States.
And contrary to what AFP is telling you, if there is no apprenticeship program covering a particular job-description, a worker may be hired provided that the contractor sign a statement that he is legally permitted to work in America. Now why would ANY group calling itself CONSERVATIVE oppose that!
What's up with AFP NJ?
Back when Steve Lonegan ran AFP in New Jersey, there was a level of competence that seems lacking now. Lonegan communicated with other conservatives and used AFP to support the conservative movement as a whole -- even when it went against the corporate interests of the Koch brothers.
In contrast to the Koch brothers and the current regime running AFP NJ, Lonegan was solidly Pro-Life, he opposed same-sex marriage, opposed amnesty for illegal immigrants, and supported American cultural values. The current leadership are culture warriors for the Left. No less than conservative Senator Mike Doherty was stiffed by them when he asked the financial backers of AFP NJ for help.
Whether due to incompetence or by design, AFP NJ has once again exhibited that they don't understand the legislation they are opposing. Conveniently ignoring the purpose of the legislation to push the Koch agenda isn't helping the conservative movement in New Jersey. Next time, pick up a telephone and talk to a fellow conservative before going off half-Koched.