Rethinking Public Employee Unions

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Do public employee unions undermine democratic governance, and is their existence constitutional? There are multiple perspectives on the issue of labor unions, and they remain hotly contested among political circles with opinions varying from party to party.

In this seminar, USC Center for the Political Future (CPF) Director Bob Shrum joins Philip Howard, lawyer and bestselling author, for a candid conversation about public employee unions. Discussing his latest book, Not Accountable: Rethinking the Constitutionality of Public Employee Unions, Howard argues labor unions have disempowered elected executives and that their political activities should be ruled unconstitutional. Although Shrum and Howard have different perspectives on the issue, their conversation modeled the Center’s mission of civil dialogue.

Who Will Benefit

– Those interest in the debates surrounding public unions and potential reform
– Policy experts looking for examples of how to engage in civil political dialogue
– Those seeking new insights on labor union debates

About Our Featured Faculty

Robert “Bob” Shrum is the director of the USC Center for the Political Future and the Carmen H. and Louis Warschaw Chair in Practical Politics at USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. A legendary political strategist, he was described as “the most sought-after consultant in the Democratic Party,” by The Atlantic Monthly. He was the strategist in over 25 winning U.S. Senate campaigns, eight successful campaigns for governor, successful campaigns for mayors in major American cities, and numerous campaigns for Congress and other statewide offices. His numerous clients included Edward Kennedy, Joe Biden, John Glenn, and Barbara Mikulski, David Dinkins and Tom Bradley — and John Kerry and Al Gore in their presidential races. Overseas his clients included Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, the British Labour Party, the Prime Minister of Ireland, and the Presidents of Colombia and Bolivia.