Free Speech? Not if you work for Louisiana

by Courtney C Horne @FireezDragon

I was poking around a job search site and noticing that the state of Louisiana is hiring a lot of people. I ended up on their website and came across this list..

Classified employees shall NOT do the following:

Become a candidate for nomination or election to public office.

Become a member of any committee of a political party or faction.

Make or solicit contributions for any candidate or political party or faction.

Take an active part in the management of the affairs of a political party, faction or campaign

Attend any fund raising function of a candidate or political party or faction even if someone gives you a free ticket. A function will be considered a fundraiser if it is advertised that anything – including food – will be sold at the function – even if you do not plan to buy anything.

Solicit votes for or against a candidate or political party or faction.

Publicly announce, in writing or otherwise, support of or opposition to a candidate or political party or faction.

Prepare or distribute campaign material for or against a candidate or political party or faction.

Contribute or volunteer time, effort, property, or any other thing of value in support of or opposition to a candidate or political party or faction.

Display a bumper sticker on the vehicle you drive in support of or opposition to a candidate or political party or faction.

Place a sign on your property supporting or opposing a candidate or political party or faction or allow anyone else to do so, unless it is your spouse or someone other co-owner who is not a classified employee.

Contribute or loan money in support of or opposition to a candidate or political party or faction.

Vote at the caucus or convention of a candidate or political party or faction.

Wear, use, display, or distribute T-shirts, hats, stickers, pins, fans, water bottles, or any other material in support of or opposition to a candidate or political party or faction.

Classified employee is very broad. Secretaries, office workers, people whose political support would give a candidate no appearance of state sanctioned support all fall under it.

Essentially if you want to work for the state of Louisiana you have to give up a huge chunk of your freedom of speech. Corporations are people according to our government for purposes of political contributions but evidently state employees not so much.

On their website, they have a blurb about how the supreme court says that their policy is okay. The blurb says to me “we understand people find this immoral but hahahaha they said it was legal.” Their remark feels like they are twisting the knife in the gut of the middle class workers by going “there is nothing you can do about it either.”

I find it deeply troubling that a large number of workers are robbed of their right to speak out by our state. This policy alone is enough to prevent me, and I am sure many others like me, from even considering work as a civil servant in our state.

Believe this is wrong? 

To contrast, check out how things work in California. 

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