James Taranto focuses on a letter from the executive Director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, Jim Palmer that can be interpreted as a “protection racket” threat, as in “nice business you got there, it would be a shame if anything were to happen to it.”
I get several calls a year from police unions asking for donations and I usually give something each year, not in fear of reprisal but because I appreciate the fact that police have a dangerous job. But this letter is different. It’s an up-front demand for support of unions and a threat for non-support of unions.
The undersigned groups would like your company to publicly oppose Governor Walker's efforts to virtually eliminate collective bargaining for public employees in Wisconsin. While we appreciate that you may need some time to consider this request, we ask for your response by March 17. In the event that you do not respond to this request by that date, we will assume that you stand with Governor Walker and against the teachers, nurses, police officers, fire fighters, and other dedicated public employees who serve our communities.
In the event that you cannot support this effort to save collective bargaining, please be advised that the undersigned will publicly and formally boycott the goods and services provided by your company. However, if you join us, we will do everything in our power to publicly celebrate your partnership in the fight to preserve the right of public employees to be heard at the bargaining table. Wisconsin's public employee unions serve to protect and promote equality and fairness in the workplace. We hope you will stand with us and publicly share that ideal.
I have a great deal of concern when people who carry guns come into my business and tell me that if I don’t support their union they will do me harm. It’s a threat with the overtone of physical violence attached. Not good at all.