Who The Heck Is Wayne Grigsby?

There’s a guy splashed all over NOLA.com today named Wayne Grigsby, and he’s with LABI. He’s on an old video of some LABI meetings talking about HB 418, the Paycheck Protection bill, explaining that it’s a “fatal spear to the heart of the giant” – namely, that if the state is no longer collecting dues for the public employee unions, it will serve to cut their funding off and with it their political power.

Here’s the video…

Of course, there is no such person as Wayne Grigsby. The man on the video is Lane Grigsby, founder and CEO of Cajun Industries and a LABI board member.

Lane Grigsby is a relatively well-known personage in Louisiana politics. Whoever edited that video for publication on the Times-Picayune’s website probably should have known his name; the error makes the newspaper look like a collection of amateurs.

And considering the video springs from the journalistic efforts of the Picayune’s leftist columnist and part-time LSU professor Bob Mann (we maybe ought to start calling this guy Captain Obvious), who boasts in his latest column of having had it provided to him “by someone who viewed it on LABI’s website (who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal),” as though it’s somehow a smoking gun or a secret that Grigsby believes passing Paycheck Protection will gut the unions in the state, the amateurish nature of today’s Grand Scoop shouldn’t be a surprise.

Here’s a link to Mann’s column. We seldom link to his writings because they really don’t merit the traffic, but we’re departing from usual practice because it’s a hoot.

He spends the majority of it quoting various proponents of HB 418 who profess no opposition to unions and/or no animus toward teachers, and then making the case that because Grigsby thinks the bill’s passage would destroy the unions the professions of goodwill by LABI president Stephen Waguespack and bill sponsor Rep. Stuart Bishop and others are thus lies.

Which is credible if you believe Waguespack and Bishop and others are simply Lane Grigsby’s lackeys and do and say what he tells them, and that Republican activists and politicians who oppose the state acting as bill collector for the Louisiana Association of Educators or the Service Employees International Union can’t see reasons to support that bill unless Grigsby says so.

And that’s typical of Mann’s Democrat spin doctor reality, and it’s why he’s the awful opinion writer he is.

The fact is, Grigsby has been telling anyone who’ll listen for the past three years that a paycheck protection bill will destroy the unions. That he’s on video saying it might make more of an impact, or at least it might if the people at NOLA.com didn’t screw up his first name, but it’s not like some secret got revealed.

And Grigsby’s opinion isn’t new. The screaming by the unions themselves over this bill should tell you they know it’s a fatal spear to the heart of the giant. This bill has been passed in lots of other states and a steep decline in union membership has been the inevitable result.

Everyone knows what Grigsby says in the video, that if the unions have to get their members to actually consent to paying dues by signing bank draft forms or paying online with a credit card, etc., as Grigsby says, “they won’t do it because the value’s not there.” Membership loss, and loss of revenue the unions can use to fund political candidates and causes almost completely of a left-wing bent, ultimately results.

Maybe Captain Obvious should have read my piece making this precise case yesterday. He might have had another name he could put toward his Vast Right Wing Conspiracy To Destroy The Unions he’s alleging in today’s column. Or he could have read what I wrote last week on the subject making the exact same point.

There’s another reason we’re linking Mann’s piece. We want every Republican in Louisiana’s House of Representatives to read it. We want the squishes – numbering as few as six and as many as 11, though we’re hearing the number is getting smaller rather than larger and there may actually be a handful of Democrats willing to vote for the bill – to understand the political importance of the bill.

As a friend of ours who works on issues like these across the country said today, “It takes a special kind of stupid for a Republican to vote against Paycheck Protection.” The more these people understand that this is about making the state’s political process conform to the reality that Republicans run the State Capitol, the easier it will be to pass the bill.

We’re hearing the national union bosses are descending on Louisiana in advance of the floor vote on HB 418 in the House next week, and that they might well go up on TV with ads screaming about how terrible paycheck protection is. Do you think they’d be fighting so hard to kill the bill if it didn’t affect their membership and revenues?

Bob Mann is supposed to be an expert on Louisiana politics owing to the fact he’s been around for decades, and yet he acts like he just fell off a turnip truck.

Or maybe he thinks the voters of Louisiana are going to be really broken up if something happens to SEIU or the teacher unions.

Either way, it doesn’t come off as a shock that the folks at the Picayune couldn’t get Lane Grigsby’s name right.

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