As of Saturday, August 3, 2013
My money to spend
To the editor:
If a member of the public buys a newspaper they give money to The Dalles Chronicle. The newspaper gives some of that money to an employee in the form of a paycheck. Whose money is it? Does the public now have a right to tell that newspaper employee how to spend their paycheck? The money, after all, came from the public. Or does the editorial board at The Dalles Chronicle think that logic only applies to public employees? They must, or they would not have reprinted an article from the Bend Bulletin (July 31, Lobbying on the Public Dime).
An employee from any public or private enterprise earns a paycheck in the same way. They work and are paid for services rendered. That money is now theirs. The notion that anyone has a right to tell someone else how they may spend their paycheck is ludicrous. Would you tell the mechanic, the plumber, or the person at the register in the supermarket how he or she may spend their money?
Their paychecks come from the same source; your pocket. Worse, the article implies that, while other Americans have a right (and some would even say a civic duty) to contact or meet with their elected legislators, public employees should forfeit that right. This is called discrimination.
Bestowing or withholding opportunities to participate in the democratic process based upon one’s position or employment is illegal in this, a free society. It is unconstitutional.
Shame on you, Chronicle. Teachers are shackled by education policies that are not always good for students. Those policies are created by politicians, not educators.
If I care enough about my students to spend my day off in Salem meeting with one of those policy-makers, that’s my business. It’s my time and, yes, it’s my dime.
I cannot speak for others, but as for me, the more you try to silence my voice, the more often and louder I will speak. It is my right, and yes, it’s my duty.
Rory M. O’Halloran